REEL LIFE / FILM & VIDEO FILE : Pastoral Scene Puts Cows and Crops at Odds : Hollywood should have checked with a farmer before it sent Holsteins out to lunch in a field of soybeans in the opening scene of 'I Love Trouble.'


There may be lots to criticize in the remarkably lame "I Love Trouble," starring Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts, but sticklers for agricultural accuracy are no doubt chagrined by the film's opening sequence.

It's supposed to be a pastoral scene from the American heartland--barns, cows, crops--that sort of thing. But a closer look reveals that the Holsteins are grazing in a field of soybeans.

Anybody who's ever scraped manure off their boots knows that cows in the row crops mean somebody left the gate open.

"I've never heard of such a thing," said Rob Frost, president of the Ventura County Cattlemen's Assn. "If somebody called me and said my cows were in the crops, I'd get down there in a hurry."

Cows eat grass costing pennies a bushel, not crops worth several dollars per bushel basket.

Frost said the movie industry often gets it wrong when the subject is animals or farming, but then he's long looked at the entertainment industry with a critical eye.

"In the first 'Lonesome Dove' they had a gray horse called Hell Bitch. Well I knew the guy who got the horse after they were finished with the show. I met him at a roping and that horse was a gelding."


MGM has agreed to a benefit premiere of its comedy, "It Runs in the Family," to be held July 31 in Ojai. The money will go to the Christopher House, Ventura's first home for AIDS-infected residents.

"It Runs in the Family," starring Charles Grodin, Mary Steenburgen and Kieran Culkin, takes place in the 1940s. The film follows the Parker family through one memorable summer.

Ron Halleran, a local AIDS organizer, said that it was Steenburgen's idea to debut the film in Ventura. The actress and Ventura County resident was also instrumental in the decision to premiere "Philadelphia" here last December.

Christopher House opened last month and is at capacity, but organizers are still hard-pressed for the money to cover daily operating expenses.

The six-bedroom house and two cottages behind it will function as a home for the AIDS-infected and HIV-positive residents there. The residents will have keys to come and go, and each will pay a minimal rent, about 30% of their Social Security benefit.

The premiere starts at 4 p.m. July 31 at the Ojai Playhouse, followed by a party at The Oaks in Ojai. Tickets are $40 and available at the Ojai Playhouse and Primavera Gallery in Ojai as well as the Ventura Bookstore in Ventura. Tickets may be charged by phone at 643-8842. Advance purchase is required.

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