Start­ing over is a bitch

TV se­ries of wife dumped for new, younger model is re­al­is­tic de­pic­tion of movie in­dus­try’s so­cial mores

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - THE GUIDE SEVEN DAYS TV -

Ka­gan learns – and maybe find your­self.

It’s a re­al­is­tic de­pic­tion of the in­dus­try’s so­cial mores, said writ­ers and ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers Sara Par­riott and Josann McGib­bon.

“We knew two peo­ple who were in a Hol­ly­wood mar­riage that broke up and knew she was off the list,” McGib­bon said. “Only one of them was go­ing to (top agent) Ed Li­mato’s Os­car party and it was the more fa­mous per­son, even though she her­self was a pro­ducer.”

Grazer’s novel has a caus­ti­cally comic edge that was eased for the minis­eries, the pair said. Char­ac­ters and sub­plots also were added to ex­pand the story.

“The book is more cyn­i­cal, and when we tried to put that in the screen­play it wasn’t like­able: a bil­lion­aire woman be­com­ing a mil­lion­aire,” McGib­bon said. “We had to make her more iden­ti­fi­able to any woman who was dumped

be­cause she’s no longer what the guy wants and she has to start her life over again.”

Adds Par­riott: “You don’t want to write about the tragedy of the woman who can’t get her man­i­cure ap­point­ment any­more. We had to shift to make her some­one you wanted to spend six hours watch­ing.”

Which isn’t to say the minis­eries plays it en­tirely straight. Hav­ing a skilled comic ac­tress like Mess­ing al­lowed the writ­ers to layer in laughs, in­clud­ing a re­hab-cen­tre scene that Mess­ing and co-star Judy Davis play to the hilt.

The se­ries also stars Stephen Moyer, who plays a free-spir­ited beach-comber who res­cues Molly from the ocean and who could be her ro­man­tic saviour.

Grazer, who also served as an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer on the se­ries, was de­lighted when she heard that Mess­ing was in the star­ring role.

“I was like, ‘My job is done’. She’s sort of in­cred­i­ble,” Grazer said.

Al­though Grazer prides her­self on her rel­a­tive de­tach­ment from the in­dus­try town she chron­i­cles, her life be­came grist for the gos­sip mill when she and her hus­band briefly sep­a­rated in 2006 and then re­united (only to di­vorce in 2009 – Gigi won a $13 mil­lion set­tle­ment).

Hol­ly­wood com­men­ta­tors were quick to see a link.

“It was the odd­est thing; art im­i­tat­ing life im­i­tat­ing art. I wrote it maybe a year be­fore our first sep­a­ra­tion and, then, there I was. But no life­guard in sight,” she laughed. “Hope­fully, my next work isn’t about Ar­maged­don.”

The ex­pec­ta­tion would be that Grazer got the cold shoul­der dur­ing the first sep­a­ra­tion. “In my case, the op­po­site hap­pened. Peo­ple sur­prised me at how kind they are.” – Sapa-AP

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