"Hold Please" began when playwright Annie Weisman had some politically incorrect thoughts about the Clinton-Lewinsky affair.
The writer believed that Monica Lewinsky virtually blackmailed Bill Clinton into finding her a job. "It's important to set standards to protect the powerless in [boss-intern] relationships," Weisman, 28, says. "But it's not always the person in power who's doing the exploiting. Young women have a powerful trump card when they get into relationships with powerful men. I think many women are wise to that and use it to their advantage."
Back when Rod Lurie was the meanest film critic in L.A., he used to gush about actress Joan Allen on his KABC radio show. The guy who once called Danny DeVito a "testicle with legs" lauded Allen as "the greatest working actor in the world." "I'd manage to slip that in every other week," admits the Israeli-born critic-turned-director, whose debut film, "Deterrence," revolved around a Jewish U.S. president in crisis. Allen had heard all about the fawning critic, so she was receptive when he offered to write a screenplay for her in 1998.