This still-untitled “relationship comedy” from director Sam Mendes and novelists/screenwriters Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida (they’s married!) is shaping up to be a nice, low-key collaboration – which is perfect for Mendes, who’s lost his way with one too many prestige pictures (though I’m still hoping for great things from Revolutionary Road). The very simple premise of a young, expectant couple wandering the U.S. in search of a suitable community in which to raise a family is ripe for either a satirical or gently whimsical approach. It could also be a remake of Moving.
Though Mendes has spoken highly of the late-80s Richard Pryor vehicle in numerous interviews (none of which I can track down at the moment), I have a feeling he’s more inclined toward a quirkier kind of cinematic comedy; true, he’s done barbed relationship stuff in the past (albeit on stage with Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing), but I think he’s generous enough with his characters to allow for a sort of Bill Forsyth/Local Hero vibe. It also helps that I can’t see Eggers and Vida writing anything too acerbic.
So it’s interesting that Mendes has gone with two actors – Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live) and John Krasinski (The Office) – best known for their television work. Krasinski makes sense if only because he appeared in Mendes’s Jarhead (I’m trying to remember his performance, and drawing a blank), but, aside from her tiny role in A Prairie Home Companion, Rudolph hasn’t done much outside of the broadly comedic realm. I really hope Mendes isn’t after something more sitcom-y, but the additional casting of Cheryl Hines (so great on Curb Your Enthusiasm) makes me wonder.
Focus Features will finance and distribute this unknown quantity. I imagine it’ll turn up next year, but Mendes did just take an extra year to complete Revolutionary Road, so who knows.
When filming “I Love Lucy” producers used tactics to make Ethel, Lucy’s foil, uglier on screen than she was in real life. This was done to put the focus on Lucy. A similar tactic seems to have been used in 2020’s Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, by not giving any of the supporting actresses … Continue reading — By Sushi-X