Dear sis­ter-in-law

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES -

THE movie’s tagline is “What doesn’t kill you ... is go­ing to marry your brother.”

In first-time screen­writer Moe Jelline’s case, it is more ap­pro­pri­ate to say “what doesn’t kill you will get you a movie deal”.

Her high school ex­pe­ri­ence has be­come rich fod­der for Dis­ney com­edy You Again, star­ring an en­sem­ble that in­cludes fa­mil­iar names such as Kris­ten Bell, Jamie Lee Cur­tis, Vic­tor Gar­ber, Sigour­ney Weaver, Betty White and Kristin Chenoweth.

It’s about Marni (Bell) who, as she’s about to re­turn home for her brother’s wed­ding, finds out that the bride is Joanna (Odette Yust­man) who had given her end­less grief in high school.

“I’ve al­ways been fas­ci­nated with how high school is just four years in your life yet the emo­tional ups and downs can stay with some peo­ple for the rest of their lives,” ex­plained Jelline.

The idea of a de­spised en­emy mar­ry­ing one’s beloved brother was also in­spired by the writer’s own fam­ily.

“I have an adorable brother and many of my friends keep call­ing me to ask if he is sin­gle and if I could set them up with him.

“The thought of my brother dat­ing one of my friends was slightly hor­ri­fy­ing, but then it oc­curred to me that it’s bet­ter he wound up with some­one I like than I don’t,” she added.

She showed her script to her boss of many years – Eric Tan­nen­baum, who ex­ec­u­tive-pro­duces the hit sit­com Two And A Half Men. Tan­nen­baum showed it to his friend and fel­low pro­ducer John J. Strauss who in turn took it to Dis­ney and the rest, as they say, is his­tory.

Di­rec­tor Andy Fick­man then set about as­sem­bling his dream cast. Be­sides Cur­tis and Gar­ber play­ing Marni’s par­ents and White as the grand­mother, Weaver is the worldly, wealthy aunt of the bride. Chenoweth plays the flam­boy­ant wed­ding co-or­di­na­tor.

By all ac­counts, the cast mem­bers truly en­joyed step­ping on set through­out film­ing thanks to the di­rec­tor who kept the en­vi­ron­ment light­hearted. He’s also fond of giv­ing nick­names (good­na­tured ones, of course) to his ac­tors, such as K-Bell and Cheno.

In fact, there was such a pos­i­tive vibe that when Fick­man put the word out that he was look­ing for peo­ple to make a cameo ap­pear­ance, there was plenty of re­sponse – a band in­cluded.

As this is a flick about a wed­ding, nat­u­rally there’s a lot of mu­sic and danc­ing in­volved.

“I did a hit list among the cast and crew, and struck gold with Hall and Oates. They agreed to change their tour dates to ap­pear in the movie,” said Fick­man, who comes from a mu­si­cal the­atre back­ground.

“The cast was so ex­cited. Hall and Oates also wanted to meet Sigour­ney and Betty,” he added.

Be­sides the mu­sic treat from the Amer­i­can pop duo who achieved their great­est fame in the late 1970s, the cast also get to show off their dance skill with a few stunts thrown in.

Fick­man, whose past movie di­rec­to­rial cred­its in­clude Race To Witch Moun­tain, had the most to say about White in the scene in which she swung from the ceil­ing in a fab­ric swing: “We had a stunt dou­ble for Betty, but she in­sisted on do­ing it her­self.

“I was wor­ried sick; I yelled cut as soon as we got the shot and she was ask­ing if we got the scene right and should she do it again!”

It wasn’t just White who was will­ing to do the phys­i­cal scenes her­self, the oth­ers also gamely threw (lit­er­ally for some) them­selves into theirs.

Ex­cept for Bell ac­ci­den­tally slip­ping and fall­ing on her back while do­ing one scene, all the cast sur­vived You Again un­scathed. – By Vick­yOoi

Joanna (left) and Marni mak­ing nice af­ter years of bit­ter ri­valry.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.