1. Movies

'Joey Pants' filming 'Random Tropical Paradise' movie in St. Pete Beach

Emmy winner Joe Pantoliano is filming Random Tropical Paradise in St. Pete Beach
Published Dec. 2, 2015

Well, it isn't Magic Mike or even Forever Mine, but St. Pete Beach is once again hosting a movie production.

This time it's Random Tropical Paradise, a bawdy comedy directed by Sanjeev Sirpal, whose movie Screw Cupid played in 2008 at the Sunscreen Film Festival. I'm informed - if not reminded - by a news release blurb that I saw Sirpal's movie that year, calling it "crisply written and full of wit."

Random Tropical Paradise began filming Dec. 1 on St. Pete Beach, with much of the action occurring at Tradewinds Island Grand Resort on Gulf Blvd. Principal photography is expected to continue through Dec. 22.

The production's closest member to celebrity is Joe Pantoliano aka 'Joey Pants,' who won an Emmy on The Sopranos and has played some of our favorite scuzzballs in films like Risky Business, Memento and Bound. The cast includes Bryan Greenberg (HBO's Unscripted), Brooks Wheelan, who lasted one season on Saturday Night Live, ex-Daily Show correspondent Beth Littleford,, and "Vine superstar" Brittany Furlan, learning real cinema runs longer than six seconds.

Random Tropical Paradise is, according to the news release, "a modern take on the screwball comedies of old," with Greenberg as a jilted groom and Wheelan as his best man. Together they take the honeymoon, getting involved with cocaine dealers, sexy women and a Mafia don (Pantoliano, of course).

St. Petersburg-Clearwater film and video commissioner Tony Armer said Wednesday that a $50,000 incentive was offered to attract the production to St. Pete Beach, at a time when Florida's incentives fund is depleted and projects are dodging Florida.

"That (money) comes right out of my budget," Armer said by telephone. "It's part of the local film incentives marketing grant that has existed since 2007."

Incentives lure productions, creating temporary jobs for local industry workers. Earlier this year Pinellas County hosted brief shoots for The Infiltrator starring Bryan Cranston, and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, directed by Tim Burton.

Random Tropical Paradise is using largely local crew members, some actors with small speaking parts and some extras. All of those positions have been filled.

"It may not be a Tim Burton movie or a Bryan Cranston movie," Armer said, "but we're getting them here for (nearly) a month rather than just one week."

No release date for Random Tropical Paradise was announced.


  1. Bill Skarsgard in the movie, "It". [Brooke Palmer, Warner Bros. Pictures] is offering to pay one approved applicant to track things such as their heart rate, jump scares and sleep patterns.
  2. "Rambo: Last Blood" stars Sylvester Stallone. YANA BLAJEVA  |  Lionsgate
    ‘Villains’ and ‘Ambition’ also open, plus Gigglewaters features ‘Mars Attacks!’ before the “storming” of Area 51.
  3. An image from the poster for Magnolia Pictures' documentary "Wrinkles the Clown." The film is set for an Oct. 4 release. Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
    The real-life creepy clown sightings phenomenon is back in a new movie. We talked to the director.
  4. Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Barbour, left, and Ansel Elgort as Theo Decker in "The Goldfinch." MACALL POLAY  |  Warner Bros. Pictures
    Plus, ‘Edie’ and ‘Freaks’ accompany a trio of local screenings.
  5. From left: Tim Curry as Frank N. Furter, Barry Bostwick as Brad Majors and Susan Sarandon as Janet Weiss in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." 20th Century Fox
    The popular ‘Last Podcast on the Left’ and Barry Bostwick from ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ are new to A Nightmare on Franklin Street.
  6. In this June 23 photo, Lizzo arrives at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The rapper will take the stage at Yuengling Center in Tampa on Tuesday. RICHARD SHOTWELL  |  Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
    Lizzo continues her rein over 2019 with a Tampa concert, and the Lightning Fan Fest fuels Bolts fever.
  7. Disney's Aladdin comes to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts as part of the 2019-2020 Broadway series. Courtesy of Deen van Meer.
    From augmented reality at the Dalí to a boatload of Beethoven at the Florida Orchestra, it’s shaping up as another busy season in the arts.
  8. In 1960, black people could work behind lunch counters in downtown St. Petersburg, but any attempt to dine there immediately brought out 'This Section Closed' signs. Sit-ins led to the desegregation of public dining areas in 1961. Tampa Bay Times (1962)
    Plus, you can sing along to 'The Sound of Music’ at Tampa Theatre.
  9. Dusty is back in Disney's 2013 high-flying adventure "Planes: Fire & Rescue." Tampa International Airport will offer a free screening for families in its new event space on Saturday. Disney
    You can brush up on your Tarantino trivia for prizes in Clearwater, plus enjoy Florida Game Day at the Sulphur Springs Museum or Family Nerf Wars in Safety Harbor.
  10. Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise in "It Chapter Two." Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
    Eckerd College also kicks off the fall edition of its International Cinema Series with the award-winning ‘Amazing Grace.’