Lush Life

Institute History

  • 1992 Directors Lab


LUSH LIFE is a comedy about the ethical and romantic dilemmas of Augie Sullivan, a New York City journalist. The story begins when Augie is confronted with an opportunity that could mean professional glory or the death of his integrity.

Ego Magazine, a slick celebrity-oriented fashion/lifestyle magazine, hires Augie after he distinguishes himself as a writer for a small downtown newspaper. Augie is enlisted by Tanya Braun, his driven managing editor, to do a cover story on Lorenzo Cooke, "media mogul, philanthropist, family man." Although a little out of his depth, Augie plunges into his assignment with zeal. While researching the story, attending Lorenzo's charity benefits and hip parties interviewing his many admirers—Augie grapples with an increasingly passionless relationship with Donna, a compassionate and scrupulously honest woman he lives with.

Lorenzo's attractive assistant, Cecily, is appointed to navigate Augie through Lorenzo's world of power, fashion, and his myriad of social causes, against the backdrop of ingénues, music industry parasites, aggressive self-promoters, and assorted beautiful buffoons. As Augie interviews Lorenzo's peers, he begins to sense that aspects of the truth are being withheld from him. At the same time, he realizes that he is deeply attracted to Cecily, a worldly and vibrant young woman. A flirtation begins, which leads to a small infidelity, which in turn leads to larger deceptions. Seeking acceptance and romantic fulfillment, Augie begins to rationalize his deceitful conduct.

LUSH LIFE is a story about compromise, hypocrisy, and egotism. The events of this fateful week in Augie's life force him to define his attitude to his work and to women. As his adolescent notions of morality and love are overthrown, he finds himself in a crisis. Augie wants to stay true to his beliefs, but he doesn't know what he believes in anymore. He finds himself struggling for direction in a world where qualities like honesty and compassion seem to be profoundly irrelevant.


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