|Title:||Catch and Release|
Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)
|10.20.06||Paramount||This Screening is part of event: Austin Film Festival 2006|
Susannah Grant's new movie (which she directs as well as writes) stars Jennifer Garner as a newlywed-cum-widow who deals with her fiance's death along with all of her/his friends and whatnot. A thousand nipples and explosions could not make this a male-friendly movie, but you know... I sort of have a soft spot for these sapfests when they're done right and Grant's contribution to In Her Shoes granted me some interest in this. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people were disappointed to learn that Kevin Smith, who acts in the movie (he's the fat non-sexual friend) cancelled his appearance and guearanteed-to-be-entertaining Q&A. We did get an ego boost from Grant though, who said she just finished the movie on Tuesday and that we are the first audience to see this movie, so yay for that.
OK, here are the things that made it stand out from every other romantic comedy for me:
-It's set in Boulder, Colorado. I'm a general fan of movies that are set in specific locations that are not LA or NYC. It means they actually went somewhere and paid attention to the locations, which mean the movies have a bit more aesthetic identity (like Tao of Steve being in New Mexico or Wonder Boys being in Pittsburgh). Plus I lived in Boulder for a few years when I was a kid so the flatirons in the background were cool to see in a movie.
-Timothy Olyphant, presumably because of Deadwood, is now a romantic leading man! He still has to have some of that dangerous 5-day-stubble sexual predator look to him but it's cool that studios think he can carry films now, because he's a good actor.
So OK it's not a radically out-of-the-box approach to the genre, but hey... how many romantic comedies are? The important point (for you chicks out there) is that it will make you cry because you're sad and then cry again because you're happy. neat.
Unfortunately, Austin and/or AFF festivalgoers did not prove themselves incredibly competant during the Q&A afterwards. I've come to expect one or two idiotic questions but come on people... One person asked why one character, in the midst of a little mini-struggle kissed another character instead of headbuttng him. Huh? Maybe they thought they were at the Shane Black screening instead of Susannah Grant. Another person asked what her inspiration was. Someone said the music was good, and the rest were about Kevin Smith. sigh.
Surprisingly, I actually did get some info from Grant's answers. Apparently the rough cut of this movie ran three hours long, so lots and lots of material got cut, much of it including back story on Olyphant's character. If you're googling this from the future because you want to know what that lost backstory was, here you go: He starts the movie working for some trashy horror flick (uh huh, because romantic comedies are SO much more honorable) and he gets the news that his friend in Colorado just died so he walks off the set and takes a big powder for the entire movie. So there's lots of stuff with his phone ringing, people trying to figure out where he is and what's happening, lawyers contacting him because it's a big production that he's putting in jeopardy, etc. And the original ending had tons and tons of callbacks to all this stuff (which, after cutting it all out, made no sense) so they actually reshot the ending in a much simpler way that you can probably guess (it involves a beach and the line "what took you so long").
Also, apparently she never writes characters with specific actors in mind. huh.
So... more people were here for this than TV Set (cough kevin smith cough), and I guess it wasn't a bad movie but it didn't really give me heat flashes either.