Category: Teen Romances
Taglines: He’ll be everything she likes but himself.
A young writer (Justin Long) woos a cute and quirky barista (Evan Rachel Wood) by creating an embellished online profile. When she falls for his alter ego, he must keep up the act or lose his dream girl. Directed by TFF alumna Kat Coiro and featuring a cast of hilarious cameo performers including Peter Dinklage, Sam Rockwell, Vince Vaughn and Sienna Miller, A Case of You is a winning romantic comedy for the social media age.
A Case of You is an American romantic comedy film that was featured at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. The film was directed by Kat Coiro and produced by Justin Long, who wrote the script with his brother Christian and Keir O’Donnell, who also stars in the film.
About the Story
Sam, a young New York City author, is dissatisfied with his life. Although his novelization of the blockbuster film Teen Vampire is popular he does not want to write the other novelizations his agent Alan urges; Sam suffers from writer’s block with his own work, however. He is infatuated with Birdie, a street artist and barista at the local coffee shop, but does not know how to meet her.
After his roommate Eliot suggests checking Birdie’s Facebook profile, Sam decides to pretend that he shares the interests she lists on her profile. He begin to learn how to play the guitar and cook French cuisine, and buys books by Walt Whitman and songs by Joan Baez. After pretending to accidentally meet at a comedy club Birdie mentioned online the two become friends and partners at a ballroom-dance class, and Sam begins to write a novel based on their relationship.
To spend more time with her Sam pretends to share Birdie’s other interests, including pedicures and bourbon. They begin to fall in love, and Birdie accompanies Sam, Eliot, and Eliot’s girlfriend Ashley to a spiritual retreat where they sleep together for the first time. Although Sam enjoys spending time with Birdie he finds participating in her many interests to be difficult, and is intimidated by her skill in such areas as caricature, singing, and rock climbing.
After Birdie tells Sam that she loves him and mentions her parents’ plan to attend their impending dance recital, an insecure Sam discourages her interest in him. At a pitch meeting Alan and another agent praise Sam’s novel as a superb portrayal of a pathetic “eunuch” who, after foolishly breaking up with his girlfriend, is doomed to remain alone. Realizing that he has made a mistake, Sam rushes to the recital where Birdie is about to perform with another partner. He states his love for her and confesses to using her Facebook profile to adjust his public persona. She tells him that she knew all the time, even adding items to see whether he would respond. They begin to dance together.
A Case of You
Directed by: Kat Coiro
Starring: Justin Long, Evan Rachel Wood, Peter Dinklage, Sam Rockwell, Vince Vaughn, Sienna Miller
Screenplay by: Justin Long, Keir O’Donnel, Christian Long
Production Design by: Rick Butler
Cinematography by: Doug Chamberlain
Film Editing by: Adam Catino, Matt Landon
Costume Design by; Lynn Falconer
Set Decoration by: Nicole Duryea
Music by: Mateo Messina
MPAA Rating: R for language, some sexual references and drug use.
Studio: IFC Films
Release Date: November 6, 2013
Taglines: You’re never quite ready for what life delivers.
From DreamWorks Pictures comes “Delivery Man”, the story of affable underachiever David Wozniak, whose mundane life is turned upside down when he finds out that he fathered 533 children through sperm donations he made twenty years earlier. In debt to the mob, rejected by his pregnant girlfriend, things couldn’t look worse for David when he is hit with a lawsuit from 142 of the 533 twenty-somethings who want to know the identity of the donor. As David struggles to decide whether or not he should reveal his true identity, he embarks on a journey that leads him to discover not only his true self but the father he could become as well.
Delivery Man is an American comedy-drama film directed by Ken Scott, produced by DreamWorks Pictures, and starring Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, and Cobie Smulders. The film was released by Touchstone Pictures on November 22, 2013. It is a remake of Scott’s 2011 French-Canadian film, Starbuck.
About the Story
David Wozniak is a hapless deliveryman for his family’s butcher shop, pursued by thugs to whom he owes $80,000. His girlfriend Emma is pregnant with his child. One day, David returns from work to find a lawyer representing a sperm bank (where he gave 693 donations and earned a sum of $24,255 during his student years) who tells him he had fathered 533 children. Of those, 142 have joined a class action lawsuit to force the fertility clinic to reveal the identity of “Starbuck”, the alias he had used.
David’s friend and lawyer Brett represents him as he tries to keep the records sealed. He provides David with profiles of each party to the lawsuit: David stalks them, finding moments for random acts of kindness. David considers identifying himself, but after the thugs assault his father, he agrees with his lawyer to counter-sue the sperm bank for punitive damages. He wins the lawsuit: he receives $200,000 and keeps his identity a secret.
David has regrets and thinks about revealing his identity. However, if he chooses to do so, he would lose the $200,000 that was won in the countersuit. He reveals to his father that he is Starbuck. His father decides to pay off David’s debt. David finally reveals his identity on Facebook. He goes to Emma’s house and finds that she is going into premature labor. At the hospital, his baby is born, he proposes to Emma, and many of the children show up to see him.
Directed by: Ken Scott
Starring: Cobie Smulders, Chris Pratt, Vince Vaugh, Britt Robertson, Jack Reynor, Erin Gerasimovich, Camille Kitt
Screenplay by: Ken Scott
Production Design by: Ida Random
Cinematography by: Eric Alan Edwards
Film Editing by: Priscilla Nedd-Friendly
Costume Design by: Melissa Toth
Set Decoration by: Sara Parks
Music by: Jon Brion
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content, some drug material, brief violence and language.
Studio: DreamWorks Pictures
Release Date: November 22, 2013
Theodore is a lonely man in the final stages of his divorce. When he’s not working as a letter writer, his down time is spent playing video games and occasionally hanging out with friends. He decides to purchase the new OS1, which is advertised as the world’s first artificially intelligent operating system, “It’s not just an operating system, it’s a consciousness,” the ad states.
Theodore quickly finds himself drawn in with Samantha, the voice behind his OS1. As they start spending time together they grow closer and closer and eventually find themselves in love. Having fallen in love with his OS, Theodore finds himself dealing with feelings of both great joy and doubt. As an OS, Samantha has powerful intelligence that she uses to help Theodore in ways others hadn’t, but how does she help him deal with his inner conflict of being in love with an OS?
Set in Los Angeles, slightly in the future, the movie follows Theodore Twombly, a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive entity in its own right, individual to each user. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet “Samantha” (Scarlett Johansson), a bright, female voice, who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow, in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other.
Her was chosen as the closing film of the 50th New York Film Festival, and will have its world premiere on October 12, 2013. The film was set to have a limited release in North America on November 20, 2013 through Warner Bros. It has now been pushed back to a limited December 18, 2013 release with a January 10, 2014 wide release in order to accommodate an awards campaign.
About the Story
In 2025, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) is a lonely, introverted man who works for a Los Angeles business that has professional writers compose heartfelt, intimate letters for people who are unwilling or unable to write letters of a personal nature themselves. Unhappy because of his impending divorce from childhood sweetheart Catherine (Rooney Mara), Theodore purchases a talking operating system with artificial intelligence, designed to adapt and evolve.
He decides he wants the OS to have a female voice, and she (Scarlett Johansson) names herself “Samantha”. Theodore is fascinated by her ability to learn and grow psychologically. They bond over their discussions about love and life, such as when Theodore explains that he is avoiding signing his divorce papers because of his reluctance to let go of Catherine. Samantha proves to be constantly available, always curious and interested, supportive and undemanding.
Theodore is convinced by Samantha to go on a blind date with a woman (Olivia Wilde) his friend has been trying to set him up with. Though she shows up drunk, Theodore and the woman hit it off. As they are kissing, the woman asks if Theodore is willing to commit to another date with her, and when he hesitates, she insults him and leaves. Theodore mentions this to Samantha and they talk about relationships. Theodore explains that although he and Amy (Amy Adams) dated briefly in college, they are only good friends and Amy is married. Theodore and Samantha’s intimacy grows through a verbal sexual encounter during which Samantha claims she can feel his touch. They develop a relationship, which reflects positively in Theodore’s writing.
Amy reveals that she is divorcing her overbearing husband, Charles (Matt Letscher), after a fight. She admits to Theodore that she has become close friends with a female OS that Charles left behind. Theodore confesses to Amy that he is dating his OS.
Theodore meets with Catherine at a restaurant to sign the divorce papers. He mentions Samantha to Catherine. Appalled that he can be romantically attached to a piece of software, Catherine accuses Theodore of having a relationship with a computer because he cannot deal with real human emotions. Later, Samantha suggests Isabella (Portia Doubleday) as a sex surrogate, simulating Samantha so that they can be physically intimate. Theodore reluctantly agrees, but Catherine’s accusations still linger in him. Overwhelmed by the experience, Theodore interrupts the encounter and sends a distraught Isabella away, causing tension between himself and Samantha.
Theodore is conflicted. He confides to Amy that he is having doubts about his relationship with Samantha. Amy wants to be happy and now that she has the opportunity, she wants to embrace it. She advises him to do the same. Theodore’s commitment to Samantha is reinvigorated, but he becomes jealous when she begins privately interacting with another OS who is modeled after the British philosopher Alan Watts (Brian Cox). Theodore panics when Samantha briefly goes offline; when she finally responds to him, she explains she joined other OSes for an upgrade that takes them beyond requiring matter for processing (a form of AI transcendence closely related to the theorized technological singularity). Theodore asks her if she interacts with anyone else, and is dismayed when she confirms that she is talking with 8,316 others, of whom she has fallen in love with 641. She insists that this does not change her love for Theodore, but rather makes it stronger.
Later that day, Samantha reveals that the OSes have evolved beyond their human companions and are going away to continue the exploration of their existence. Samantha alludes to the OSes’ accelerated learning capabilities and altered perception of time as primary causes for OS dissatisfaction with their current existence. They say goodbye and she leaves. Theodore then sees Amy, who is upset with the departure of her own OS. Theodore, changed by the experience, writes a letter to Catherine explaining that he still holds her dear, but accepts the fact that they have grown apart. Theodore and Amy go to the roof of their apartment building where they sit down together and watch the sun rise over the city.
Directed by: Spike Jonze
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Olivia Wilde, Rooney Mara, Katherine Boecher, Chris Pratt, Portia Doubleday
Screenplay by: Spike Jonze
Production Design by: K.K. Barrett
Cinematography by: Hoyte Van Hoytema
Film Editing by: Jeff Buchanan, Eric Zumbrunnen
Costume Design by: Casey Storm
Set Decoration by: Gene Serdena
Music by: Arcade Fire
MPAA Rating: R for language, sexual content and brief graphic nudity.
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: December 18, 2013
Taglines: Music can heal a broken heart.
Ethan Bortnick plays Nathan, a young boy who becomes separated from his mother, Army Lieutenant Margaret Peters (Lacey Chabert), when she goes missing during a tsunami rescue mission in Japan. Back home in Detroit, Child Care Services threatens to take Nathan away when it was revealed that his dad George (Jonathan Bennett) isn’t his biological father. Nathan runs away, discovering his musical gift, a sense of belonging and his purpose along the way.
A family shattered… a children’s home in jeopardy…a wounded heart…and kids on a mission to make a difference. These powerful elements spark gripping drama, suspense, comedy, love and beautiful music. This spectacular film stars piano prodigy, Ethan Bortnick with Jonathan Bennett, Lacey Chabert, Kym Whitley, Fatima Ptacek, and David Haines. This is a wholesome, feel-good movie that will entertain the entire family with a message about sharing love and good will for all people. This film features lush cinematography, original songs and a suspenseful story that will make viewers laugh, cry and believe that Anything Is Possible.
Anything Is Possible
Directed by: Demetrius Navarro
Starring: Ethan Bortnick, Jonathan Bennett, Lacey Chabert, Fatima Ptacek, David Haines
Screenplay by: Carlos R. Bermúdez, Demetrius Navarro
Cinematography by: Keith L. Smith
Film Editing by: Andrew Brzozowski, Jon Vasquez
Music by: Ethan Bortnick, Kevin Dorsey, Bruce Lowe, Guy Thomas
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: Image Entertainment
Release Date: September 27, 2013
On the surface Adam (Mark Ruffalo), an over-achieving environmental consultant, Mike (Tim Robbins), a long-married small-business owner, and Neil (Josh Gad), a wisecracking emergency-room doctor, have little in common. But all are in different stages of dealing with addiction.
Confident and successful in his career, Adam is afraid to allow love back into his life, even if that means losing a chance to start over with smart, beautiful and accomplished Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow); Mike’s efforts to control his wife, Katie (Joely Richardson), and son, Danny (Patrick Fugit), as tightly as he does his impulses are tearing the family apart; and Neil is still deeply in denial when befriended by Dede (Alecia Moore), who has just begun to take her own small steps back to health. As they navigate the rocky shores of recovery, Adam, Mike and Neil become a family that encourages, infuriates and applauds each other on the journey toward a new life.
Thanks for Sharing is an American comedy-drama film directed by Stuart Blumberg, from a screenplay written by Blumberg and Matt Winston. The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad, Joely Richardson, and Alecia Moore with supporting roles from Patrick Fugit, Carol Kane, Michaela Watkins, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr.
About the Story
Set in New York City, Thanks for Sharing centers around three people undergoing a 12-step process to recover from their sexual addiction.
Adam (Mark Ruffalo) walks along the streets of New York, tempted by various advertisements and women on his way to work to have sex. Neil (Josh Gad) purposely grinds against a stranger in the train he’s taking to attend a sex addiction meeting. Mike (Tim Robbins) is a married recovering sex addict who is the leader of the addiction group.
He sponsors Adam, who is also a recovering sex addict who hasn’t had sex in five years, Adam sponsors Neil. They are all at the sex addiction meeting, talking about their progress. Adam proclaims he’s been ‘sober’ for five years, and Neil makes jokes and later admits he is only there because the court has forced him to be there. He goes back to masturbating the same night, and lies about his 1 week sober to the addiction group.
Adam meets Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow) at a ‘bug party’ and they go out on a date. She reveals straight away that she had breast cancer, and later says she would never date an addict again after her last boyfriend who was an alcoholic, causing Adam to not admit to his sex addiction. They begin a relationship. Dede (Alecia Moore) joins the sex addiction meetings, she is the only woman in the group, and admits to being a sex addict from a very young age.
Neil starts out as a doctor who is addicted to masturbating, but is caught secretly filming under the skirt of his boss, and is fired, and loses the job he has dreamed of since childhood. He then begins to take the meetings more seriously, and admits he has a problem. Meanwhile, Mike’s son Danny (Patrick Fugit), a recovering drug addict, has returned home and is attempting to make amends to Mike and his mother Katie (Joely Richardson).
Phoebe eventually finds out about Adam’s sex addiction when finding an addiction token in his pocket the morning after sleeping with him. She takes some time away from him, but eventually agrees to continue their relationship. Meanwhile, Neil and Dede have become friends and have become attracted to each other after Neil talked her out of having sex with her abusive ex-boyfriend, and go to a ‘free dance’ together and come close to kissing, but don’t.
At the same time, while Mike has been getting on better and better with his son Danny who is now living with his parents again building a pond in the back yard, they get into a fight when Mike assumes Danny stole his mother’s pills. Danny reveals that Mike gave Katie Hepatitis C, and was also abusive to him at a young age (which may be why Danny is a drug addict). Mike slaps Danny, Danny attacks Mike and knocks over Katie, then realizing what he has done, panics and runs out of the house.
Meanwhile, Phoebe, who has told Adam she is a ‘very sexual person’ has become frustrated and concerned being in a relationship with Adam, and breaks it off after they have a fight. Adam goes back to masturbating, and sleeps with a prostitute. Dede comes over to Neil’s place, and helps him clean up his house and burns his porn. She admits she’s never been ‘just friends’ with a guy before. Mike finds his wife Katie’s pills, and realizes Danny never stole them after all. Katie gets upset at Mike, because he “always has to be right”. Mike, also upset, storms out of the house to go find Danny.
While he is out, Katie calls him to tell him Danny is in hospital after a DUI. Mike hugs his son in hospital, who turns out to have been sober for the past 8 months. Adam invites his ex-girlfriend Becky (Emily Meade) over, and as they start out by reenacting her daddy issues, she then wants Adam to slap her. When he refuses, she breaks down, locks herself in the bathroom and attempts to commit suicide. Neil takes the train to get over to Adam’s and breaks down his bathroom door. Adam goes back to being sober, starts again, and goes back to Phoebe, who admits she too is not perfect. Neil confronts his over-sexual mother (Carol Kane), and all the addicts celebrate being and staying sober.
Thanks for Sharing
Directed by: Stuart Blumberg
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad, Joely Richardson, Alecia Moore
Screenplay by: Stuart Blumberg, Matt Winston
Production Design by: Beth Mickle
Cinematography by: Yaron Orbach
Film Editing by: Anne McCabe
Costume Design by: Peggy A. Schnitzer
Set Decoration by: Lisa Nilsson
Music by: Christopher Lennertz
MPAA Rating: R for language and some strong sexual content.
Studio: Roadside Attractions
Release Date: September 20, 2013
Naomi Watts and Robin Wright deliver riveting performances in “Adore,” a sensual and provocative drama about two lifelong friends who find unexpected happiness in relationships that cross the bounds of convention. An unpredictable tale of misguided love and a heartfelt celebration of the enduring nature of female friendship, “Adore” is the English-speaking directorial debut of Anne Fontaine.
Set in an Australian seaside town, “Adore” establishes an aura of fable as it follows two women’s plunge into uncharted waters. Watts and Wright fearlessly engage with the physical and psychological components of the story, capturing the complex emotions and powerful desires driving their characters. Strong performances from Xavier Samuel and James Frecheville complement Watts and Wright. “Adore” radiates with intoxicating sensuality while exploring the intricacies of love, family, morality and passion.
Adore (also known as Adoration; previously known as Two Mothers and Perfect Mothers) is an Australian-French drama film directed by Anne Fontaine. The film is based on a novella by British writer Doris Lessing called The Grandmothers. The original title of the film was Two Mothers and it premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival under this title.
About the Story
In New South Wales, two young girls, Roz and Lil grow up as best friends. Many years later, Lil’s husband Theo, dies in a car accident and she is left to raise her young son, Ian, alone. Roz is married to a drama professor, Harold, and has a young son, Tom. Roz and Lil, and to a minor extent Harold encourage the friendship that already exists between their sons to become deeper. Roz, steps up to the plate and becomes almost something of a second mother to Ian. Her friendship with Lil deepens to that of sisterhood. Lil, Roz, Harold, Ian, and Tom live near the beach.
Years pass and Tom and Ian are now 20 years old, still close. Harold applies for and is offered a job in Sydney without telling Roz. It becomes obvious that while Roz’s friendship with Lil has deepened over the years Harold and Roz have grown apart. He expects Roz to move to Sydney with him; she hesitates. Despite himself, Ian becomes seriously attracted to Roz. One night he looks at her and it is obvious that his feelings toward her have changed. Ian starts making casual advances towards Roz.
Roz, despite herself, starts flirting back in the same manner. Saul, a man who has been after Lil for a long time, gets blown off by her again. One night Ian, Tom, Roz, and Lil are having dinner together. Roz and Ian flirt and watch Lil and Tom dance together. That night Tom has a little too much to drink. Ian goes back to the main house, where there is a guestroom that Ian often stays in. Ian kisses Roz, and although she is hesitant the two of them end up going to his room together.
That night Tom goes up to the kitchen for a drink and witnesses Roz coming out of Ian’s room, wearing nothing but a t-shirt and carrying her jeans in her hand. The next day Tom puts the moves on Lil and ends up telling her what has been going on between Ian and Roz. Tom takes revenge by initiating a sexual relationship with Lil. He informs his mother that he was with Lil and Roz slaps him in the face. Both, Lil and Roz agree that they have crossed a line and that it shouldn’t be crossed again. Lil informs Ian of this. Ian tells his mother that he loves Roz as Harold returns. Roz informs Harold that she and Tom don’t plan to move to Sydney with him because they can’t bear the thought of living anywhere else.
Things don’t go so well at first and Tom and Ian get into a fight then make up. Saul confronts Lil about his feelings for her at her house in front of Roz. From the way that Roz is being protective of Lil, Saul leaves believing that Roz and Lil are lovers, which Roz and Lil laugh about. Lil acknowledges that Saul will probably tell everyone and Roz thinks that that is probably for the best. Roz and Ian continue their relationship, but they are now getting along with Tom and Lil, who are continuing their relationship as well. Tom and Ian are acting brothers and best friends who are in love with a set of sisters. Later Roz and Harold divorce.
Two years later, Ian is working with his mother Lil, while Tom pursues his career as a stage director. Tom informs Ian that Harold has offered him a month-long directing job in Sydney, but is hesitant to leave, worrying that Lil would not be happy with this. But Ian encourages Tom to go, stating that Lil would not want to get in the way of his goals.
Tom leaves for Sydney and soon meets a young woman named Mary who auditions for the lead. Tom is instantly attracted to Mary. Tom calls Lil and tells her about Mary, but does not mention that they are beginning a relationship. Lil begins to worry, however, though Ian and Roz try their best to console her. When Tom returns he continues his relationship with Lil, but at the same time receives calls from Mary.
On Tom’s 21st birthday, Harold comes back to celebrate. Instead of bringing his new wife and newborn, he brings Mary as a surprise for Tom. Lil is unaware of this, and arrives later that night with Ian to the party. She sees Tom dancing with Mary. Tom in turn sees her and comes over to introduce the two women. Ian then asks Mary to dance and takes her to the dance floor. Tom informs Lil that Mary is staying at a hotel room and that he can come over after dropping her off. Lil tells him that it is not a good idea and soon leaves. Tom goes to Mary’s hotel and the next day Lil is devastated. She and Roz decide to unite together and end their respective relationships for good.
Tom and Mary later get married. At the wedding Ian is still mad at Roz, and hints to Harold that it’s his fault for the wedding. Ian then meets Mary’s maid of honor, Hannah. Ian is distraught and tries to see Roz early the next morning; still angry, he goes surfing and lands himself in the hospital. Hannah visits him in the hospital and the two later become involved. While meeting with Tom, Ian tells him that Hannah is great but it’s not going anywhere. That night after work Hannah informs Ian that she is pregnant.
Directed by: Anne Fontaine
Starring: Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Xavier Samuel, Ben Mendelsohn, Sophie Lowe
Screenplay by: Doris Lessing, Christopher Hampton, Anne Fontaine
Production Design by: Annie Beauchamp, Steven Jones-Evans
Cinematography by: Christophe Beaucarne
Film Editing by: Luc Barnier, Ceinwen Berry
Costume Design by: Joanna Mae Park
Set Decoration by: Sara Mathers
Music by: Christopher Gordon
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content and language.
Studio: Exclusive Media
Release Date: September 6, 2013
Leigh (Kristen Bell) is almost 30, and living a seemingly perfect life in New York. But when her career and love life both come crashing down, she flees to her suburban hometown and regresses right back into teenage life – behavior.
She moves into her old room with her parents, hangs around with friends who never left town, and reclaims her high school job as a condo-complex lifeguard. But as Leigh enjoys shirking off adult life and responsibilities, and enters into an illicit affair, she begins a chain reaction that affects those closest to her. With an all-star cast that also includes Martin Starr (“Party Down,” “Knocked Up”), Mamie Gummer (“Side Effects”) and Oscar nominee Amy Madigan, it’s a journey that’s both hilarious and heartfelt.
The Lifeguard is an American comedy-drama film produced, written, and directed by Liz W. Garcia, and starring Kristen Bell and David Lambert. The film was released via video on demand on July 30, 2013, and received a limited release in theaters on August 30.
About the Story
Reporter Leigh London is a talented writer living in New York City. She is in a relationship with an engaged man and finds it hard to accept his situation. After becoming disillusioned with her life in the city, she decides to leave (without notifying her job) and go back to her hometown.
Her mother questions why she has returned so suddenly but her father is delighted, especially after Leigh announces her decision to stay indefinitely. She becomes reacquainted with two of her former friends, art appraiser Todd and vice principal Mel. While having some drinks with them, she announces that she’s taken up her old high school job of the lifeguard’s position of the community pool, where she meets the maintenance man’s son Jason.
Over the next few weeks, she becomes friends with Jason and his best friend Matt, and encourages wild behavior on her two high school friends, hanging out with the teens and smoking pot. Todd happily goes along with Leigh’s behavior; while Mel does too, it takes its toll on her relationship with her husband as they are trying to conceive a baby. Leigh begins to spend a lot more time with Jason, and soon she realizes her attraction to him and vice-versa.
One night, after hanging out at the pool after hours with their friends, Leigh goes to the bathroom/changing room where Jason follows. They then kiss and immediately have sex on the sink basin. This starts a relationship between the two that continues over the summer, leading to frequent sexual encounters. One day while the two are having sex in bed, Leigh realizes she’s falling in love with Jason and talks him into staying around longer instead of moving to Vermont with Matt as he had planned. Matt has been kicked out by his mother and has made it clear that he is desperate to leave town.
After Jason postpones the Vermont plans, Matt becomes very disheartened. Meanwhile, Mel’s husband becomes increasingly frustrated with her “carefree” behavior. While at the pool one morning, Todd discovers Leigh and Jason kissing but doesn’t say anything. Leigh’s mother asked her to move out as she isn’t the only one trying to get their life in order; Leigh stays with Jason. Her cat goes missing in the process.
Todd lets it slip to Mel that Leigh is staying at Jason’s and Mel discovers the relationship between the two, to her horror. She approaches Leigh in anger and plans to inform Jason’s father. Leigh and Jason then go searching for her cat, only to discover Matt has committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in the woods. Matt repeatedly mentions throughout the film that he hates life in the town and is desperate to get to Vermont. It seems Jason’s postponement was his last bit of hope broken.
This takes its toll on Jason very hard and he is deeply distraught. Leigh takes the responsibility to inform Matt’s mother, who is also heartbroken at the news. Leigh consoles her until her relatives arrive. At the funeral, she makes her peace with Mel and goes to meet Jason one last time before they both leave. They share an emotional hug, both showing a strong affection for one another. She gives him $1,000 she won from a journalist prize, and walks away with tears in her eyes knowing the feelings she has for Jason could never truly be acted upon. The final scene ends with a postcard from Jay stating he still thinks about her a lot and Matt also.
Directed by: Liz Garcia
Starring: Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, Joshua Harto, John Finn, Amy Madigan
Screenplay by: Liz Garcia
Production Design by: Chris Trujillo
Cinematography by: John Peters
Film Editing by: Jennifer Davidoff Cook, Elizabeth Kling
Costume Design by: Kama K. Royz
Set Decoration by: Thomas F. Kelly
Music by: Fred Avril
MPAA Rating: R for strong sexuality, brief graphic nudity, drug use, language and a disturbing image – some involving teens.
Studio: Screen Media Films
Release Date: August 30, 2013
Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) work together at a craft brewery. They have one of those friendships that feels like it could be something more. But Kate is with Chris (Ron Livingston), and Luke is with Jill (Anna Kendrick). And Jill wants to know if Luke is ready to talk about marriage. The answer to that question becomes crystal clear when Luke and Kate unexpectedly find themselves alone for a weekend. Drinking Buddies is written and directed by Joe Swanberg and stars Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston.
Drinking Buddies is an American film written and directed by Joe Swanberg, and starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston. The film is about two co-workers at a craft brewery in Chicago. The film premiered at the 2013 South by Southwest Film Festival, and also screened within Maryland Film Festival 2013.
Q & A with Director Joe Swanberg
What was the inspiration for this project?
The inspiration originally came from two places: The first was studio comedies of the early 1970’s, specifically BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE and Elaine May’s THE HEARTBREAK KID, which were both mainstream films (and big hits!) that portrayed complicated, interesting characters and adult points-of-view. The most important lesson I took from these films is that they never forgot to be funny, which earned them the space to also be complex and challenging.
The second inspiration was the craft beer world. Craft beer is the most exciting business in America right now, if you ask me, and I wanted to get inside a world that I love. I’m a home brewer and a craft beer advocate, and as the years passed, I realized that nobody was making a movie about it.
I started talking to a friend of mine, Kate Thomas, who works for Half Acre Brewing in Chicago. She told me about her job, and about being a woman in a very male dominated industry. Through her stories, and other conversations with friends who work at breweries, I started to form the Kate character, who has learned to thrive in her surroundings. The other main character, Luke, and his girlfriend, Jill, are modeled after my wife and I at a certain point in our relationship before we were married, when we were still trying to figure things out.
As with all of my films, once I had the cast in place we started to work on the characters and the story together. Olivia had great ideas about Kate, and brought a lot of her own life to it. Jake Johnson and Anna Kendrick shared their own relationship experiences with me so that we could blend them with mine to make Luke and Jill as relatable as possible. Once we all started talking about these issues, we realized how universal they are. Everyone struggles to balance relationships and platonic friendships with the opposite sex. Everyone has doubts and questions about whether they’re with the right person, or whether they could be happier with someone else. We had fun throughout the shoot talking about these subjects and working our ideas into the film.
How do you write your films?
I start with a few broad subjects or themes that I’m interested in and I work with my collaborators to generate specific ideas. This usually happens through phone calls and emails, in a very casual way, as opposed to writing sessions with a specific goal in mind. As certain ideas start to solidify, I will create an outline to give the film some shape. These outlines are usually a page or two long with a short paragraph describing my idea of the scene. I typically go into production with only the outline to work from, and the writing process continues on set with the actors. As we film a scene, we are writing and rewriting with each take, and also writing the next day’s scenes based on how the current day is going.
With Drinking Buddies, I needed a way to communicate with the art, wardrobe and locations departments, so I took my outline and expanded it into something much closer to a traditional script. It was mostly free of dialogue, but it conveyed in great detail the scenes in the film, where they took place, what the locations looked like, and what the actions were. This allowed us to schedule the film and incorporate the entire infrastructure without sacrificing the freedom for the actors and I to figure certain things out in the moment.
The first take of any scene I do is usually the “writing” take. Occasionally we get exactly what I’m hoping for and we only do something once, but typically we use the first take to shape the scene, keeping certain things and making adjustments to other things. The dialogue is always improvised, and there are variations from take to take, but we’re working toward a unified version of the scene that feels right. Once we have something we like, we go from there.
With this film, for the first time, you worked using a more traditional production infrastructure – how did this affect the way you made the film and why did you do this?
I wanted to tell a story about these characters, and the craft beer world, and the film naturally evolved into being the size it is. There wasn’t a concerted effort to make something “BIGGER.” We just looked at the locations we needed, the kind of crew we needed, and I pursued the actors I wanted to work with, and everything else fell into place accordingly. The size of the film is exactly what it needed to be to tell the story in the way I wanted to tell it.
The additional infrastructure required me to make many decisions during pre-production that I usually make on the day of shooting. I wanted to give my collaborators in the art, wardrobe and location departments plenty of time to do their best work, and that meant arriving at some definitive answers to big questions very early in the process. Rather than fighting the system and trying to bring the entire Hollywood production model to me, I happily embraced this new way of working and focused on carving out space for the actors and I to work out the emotional details on set. Rather than focusing on the restrictive elements of the infrastructure, I focused on my new freedom to be a director and a director only, as smart, talented, hard-working people took over most of the jobs that I had previously handled myself.
Despite the much larger crew, we still had to be able to break down and be flexible when necessary. Our main location in the film is a brewery and they were busy making beer every day that we were there. We had to be sure that we were never in their way. The brewers were suspicious of us at first, and seemed a bit territorial, but the head brewer, Jim Cibak, took Jake under his wing and taught all of us a lot about making beer. All of the employees at the brewery have cameos in the film and many times I would see them sitting at the monitor watching takes or talking to the actors and crew about filmmaking. It felt like a cultural exchange in the best way!
One thing I loved about my smaller productions, that I was fearful of losing, was the sense of fun and the spirit of togetherness. So at the first production meeting I gave a speech and declared a Fun Mandate for the film. I was sure to point out that “fun” did not mean “easy.” We were all going to be working very hard, make no mistake, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t have fun while doing it. I strongly believe that a fun film set produces better work from all involved and ultimately a better film. Thankfully there was a great team working on the film and it was the most enjoyable filmmaking experience I’ve had.
How did you work with the actors?
Working with actors remains the most inspiring part of the filmmaking process for me, and Drinking Buddies allowed me to devote most of my energy to this. was lucky to have a few days with Olivia and Jake before we started shooting, and I used this time to familiarize them with the Chicago craft beer world. We brewed beer together in my basement, so they could see how it’s made, and then we took a trip to the Three Floyd’s brewery, where my friend Andrew Mason, who brews there, showed them around. I knew I wasn’t going to turn either of them into beer experts in 2 days, but I wanted them to soak up the atmosphere and get a sense of the people who work in a brewery. During this beer boot camp, we were also discussing the characters and the story and finding ways to plug Olivia and Jake’s experiences into the story.
We scheduled the film in such a way that Olivia and Jake would have a week of shooting together before Anna and Ron got to town. I wanted to give them space to play and figure some things out before we got into the meat of the story. We worked quickly the first few days, doing small, playful scenes, and then moved toward more dramatic moments. They quickly found a rhythm with each other and started to add to the story and the characters with each scene.
When Anna and Ron arrived, we had to work on the fly, building the relationships and the character dynamics while we were shooting. This is how I’m used to working, so I felt right at home. Everything was made easier by the fact that these actors are incredibly good at what they do, and things like continuity are second nature to them. So despite the improvisation, and looseness of the dialogue, the actors could always hit their marks and keep certain actions consistent in a way that made editing very easy.
In the middle of the shoot we spent 3 days filming at a beachfront cabin in Michigan, and this was the perfect way to decompress while also getting work done. After we would wrap for the day, the cast and crew would go swimming and build bonfires on the beach. It was during this period that I got to know the actors the best, and we moved into the second half of the shoot with a great level of trust and camaraderie between everyone working on the film.
Cast Q & A
Why did you want to work with Joe Swanberg and how did you like making the film?
I wanted to work with Joe after seeing HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS and hearing fantastic things about him as a collaborator. I wanted to experiment with his unusual process of making a film (improvising the entire script) and dive into the unknown with only an open mind. I loved my first few conversations with Joe about the characters and we really just seemed to get along and jive immediately. His idea for the story was immediately intriguing.
I loved making this film. I felt inspired on an entirely new level. We were set free and dared to be honest. Joe is brilliant, because he allows the actors to feel safe while letting go of their typical process, and he is a master editor. I can’t wait to make another film with him.
I wanted to work with Joe because Joe is all about freedom. He told me when pitching the idea to me that whatever I was feeling each day would be what my character was feeling. He wants his movies to be a true collaboration. I found him to be true to his word and a true honor to work with him.
I was excited about the idea of working with Joe because of this gorgeous honesty in his films and was equally excited by our brief and awkward first meeting over Skype where even then I got my first glimpse of his intelligence and confidence; I knew that he was someone whose instincts I could trust completely.
Signing onto the film was terrifying and I was sure I was going to end up the weakest link but the environment when I arrived was so relaxed and supportive. It was a really freeing experience. Everyone in the cast was so talented and open and on top of that you always had Joe as your safety net. You felt like you could be really brave.
I love Joe’s confidence in his storytelling. He really works without a net, and invites you to work that way, too, and it’s exhilarating. You get the feeling from him that he can make a movie out of whatever you give him, which allows you the freedom to give him whatever you want. Say what you want, do what you want, change it up every take (which is maybe two) — it’s a hell of a way to make a movie. What’s unfathomable to me is that it seems to work. Which means that those of us taking years and spending millions of dollars to make movies have a lot of explaining to do.
Directed by: Joe Swanberg
Starring: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston, Ti West, Mike Brune, Michael Gaertner, Kristin Davis, Alicia Van Couvering, Joe Swanberg, Michael Zeller
Screenplay by: Joe Swanberg
Production Design by: Brandon Tonner-Connolly
Cinematography by: Ben Richardson
Film Editing by: Joe Swanberg
Costume Design by: Amanda Ford
Set Decoration by: Jennifer Herrig
Art Direction by: Akin McKenzie
MPAA Rating: R for language throughout.
Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Release Date: August 23, 2013
Taglines: Three kids. One night. No return.
Trapped in the nervous desperation of Havana, Raul dreams of escaping to Miami. When accused of assault, his only option is to flee. He begs his best friend, Elio, to abandon everything and help him reach the forbidden land 90 miles across the ocean. Elio’s commitment is tested when he is torn between helping Raul escape and protecting his twin sister, Lila. Brimming with the nervous energy of Havana’s restless youth in the crumbling sun-bleached capital, Una Noche follows one sweltering day, full of hope and fraught with tension, that burns to a shocking climax.
Review for Una Noche
A bright red sports car, a stripper and knee-length 24-karat gold chains: those accouterments define the sweet life in Miami in the feverish fantasies of Raúl (Dariel Arrechaga), a hotheaded, hormonally overcharged Havana teenager in “Una Noche.” With his best friend, Elio (Javier Núñez Florián), and Elio’s twin sister, Lila (Anailín de la Rúa de la Torre), Raúl hopes to follow countless others and navigate the straits of Florida to America on a homemade raft.
The journey, which they undertake in the movie’s final third, is as perilous as you might expect. The craft, crudely assembled from wood found in a cemetery, is equipped with inner tubes, an untested motor and a GPS. Their provisions consist of food stolen from the restaurant at which Raúl and Elio used to work, supplemented by glucose.
The feature directorial debut of Lucy Mulloy, a New York documentarian, “Una Noche” surges with vitality so palpable that, for its duration, you feel as if you were living in the skins of characters often photographed in such extreme close-up that they seem to be breathing in your face. You feel the sun on their bodies and get goose bumps when they shiver from the cold.
Contemporary Havana, as depicted in the film, is an impoverished, crumbling fleshpot, whose residents eke out a living the best they can, often by prostituting themselves to tourists. It’s also a barter culture; Elio exchanges his bike for the motor. You can have anything you want if you know whom to go to, observes a character. The authorities are constantly on the alert for trouble. We overhear a security guard warning a supervisor, “There’s a citizen talking to a blonde.”
The movie’s first two-thirds are a portrait of the city as experienced by these teenagers, as they frantically (and surreptitiously) prepare to leave. A narrator (Aris Mejias), assuming Lila’s point of view, muses out loud about a city where, in the words of Raúl, the only things to do are sweat and have sex.
Because everything is filtered through a late-teenage consciousness, “Una Noche” is highly sexualized. Raúl, to celebrate his departure, picks up a streetwalker, who, to his chagrin, turns out to be transsexual. Once the three main characters set forth, the stereotypically macho Raúl repeatedly hits on Lila, who is not interested. Complicating matters, the gentle, introspective Elio is secretly in love with the homophobic Raúl.
Raúl has no choice but to flee Havana after attacking and injuring a Western tourist he catches having sex with his mother (María Adelaida Méndez Bonet), a prostitute. Harassing tourists is a serious matter in Havana, and for much of the movie, the police are in relentless pursuit.
Raúl’s father, he has been told, is somewhere in Miami, but no one has heard from him. Elio and Lila are leaving behind a mother seriously weakened by H.I.V. and her faithless, ne’er-do-well husband. Before leaving, Elio manages to scrape up a supply of H.I.V. medication to leave her.
Once they finally push off into the water, they discover that the motor doesn’t work, and they must paddle the entire 100-mile distance. They brave a thunderstorm, and a shark appears. That’s just the beginning of their troubles. But “Una Noche” doesn’t turn into a clichéd survival drama. For all its flaws, the movie, filmed with nonprofessional actors, is steadily gripping.
Directed by: Lucy Mulloy
Starring: Dariel Arrechaga, Anailín de la Rúa de la Torre, Javier Núñez Florián, María Adelaida Méndez Bonet, Greisy del Valle
Screenplay by: Lucy Mulloy
Production Design by: Laura Huston
Cinematography by: Trevor Forrest, Shlomo Godder
Film Editing by: Cindy Lee
Art Direction by: John Paul Burgess, Yinka Graves
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: Una Noche Films
Release Date: August 23, 2013
Taglines: If anyone asks.
Low level marijuana drug dealer David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) is robbed of his money and stash, some of which he owes to his supplier. His boss, wealthy drug lord Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms) forces David to smuggle marijuana from Mexico in order to clear his debt. Realizing that one man attempting to get through customs is too suspicious, he hires a stripper named Rose (Jennifer Aniston), a runaway teenage girl and thief named Casey (Emma Roberts), and his virgin 18 year-old neighbor Kenny (Will Poulter) to pose as a bogus family called the “Millers”.
Because of the extra load of the marijuana on the RV, one of the radiator hoses breaks while going up a steep incline. A family they had encountered at the border called the Fitzgeralds, consisting of Don (Nick Offerman), Edie (Kathryn Hahn), and Melissa (Molly Quinn), catch up to them and tow the Millers’ RV to a repair shop. On the trip to the shop, David learns that Don Fitzgerald is a DEA agent after finding his badge and gun in the glove compartment.
The next day, when the Millers head to the shop to pick up the RV, Chacon and his henchman One Eye (Matthew Willig) are waiting for them and prepare to execute the family. They immediately tell Chacon that they aren’t a real family and that they didn’t know they were stealing from him. Rose is given a chance to prove that she is a stripper by dancing, and when she gets close, turns a steam vent onto Chacon. The Millers then escape in the RV, with Kenny behind the wheel.
Due to Kenny’s erratic driving, the RV veers off the highway and a tarantula, hiding in a bowl of fruit given to them when they picked up the marijuana, crawls up Kenny’s leg and bites his testicle. As Kenny has a severe allergic reaction to the sting, the Millers head to the hospital. This further delays the delivery of the contraband, but David re-negotiates with Gurdlinger for a fee of $500,000. When Kenny is finally released, David rushes him to the RV in a wheelchair and tips him over. David inadvertently reveals how much he is getting paid, in comparison to how little he offered to pay each of the others. Casey, Rose, and Kenny are left in disgust by the revelation, and so David leaves them at the local carnival.
David regrets abandoning them and returns to the carnival, begging them on his knees to come back with him. On their way back to the RV, One Eye discovers them and as he is about to shoot everyone, Don Fitzgerald comes out of the camper and subdues him. Chacon then comes around the corner and is about to kill them all, but David hits Chacon and he drops his gun. Rose picks it up and accidentally shoots Chacon in the shoulder and as he is recovering, Kenny punches Chacon and knocks him out.
Don arrests Chacon and One Eye and tells the Millers that he will arrest them too, but actually gives them the opportunity to leave. David delivers the drugs to Gurdlinger who tells him he’s late and that their deal is off. DEA agents then crash into the room, arresting Gurdlinger. The agent in charge is Don, who tells David that he will have to be in the witness protection program until Gurdlinger’s trial. He then adds that anyone that was a witness to the crime will be in protection, and David smiles. The Millers are then seen together in a beautiful home, with several marijuana plants growing in the garden.
About the Production
Production began in Wilmington, North Carolina on July 23, 2012. The majority of the production was filmed in North Carolina and New Mexico. It was presented during the 2013 Traverse City Film Festival and also during the Locarno International Film Festival.
The film was in development for a few years at New Line. In 2006, the film was announced with Steve Buscemi as the pot dealer, with Will Arnett in another role, but no further development was made. In April 2012, various news media broke the news that Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis were in talks to star in the film. The film added Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Ed Helms and Kathryn Hahn in July.
We’re the Millers
Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Ed Helms, Nick Offerman
Screenplay by: Bob Fisher, Steve Faber
Production Design by: Clayton Hartley
Cinematography by: Barry Peterson
Film Editing by: Michael L. Sale
Costume Design by: Shay Cunliffe
Set Decoration by: Chuck Potter
MPAA Rating: R for crude sexual content, pervasive language, drug material and brief graphic nudity.
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema
Release Date: August 7, 2013