Love that hurts – and heals

The Citizen (KZN) - - City - – Ci­ti­zen re­porter

In a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween child­hood friends Owen McCaf­ferty and David Holmes, the ini­tial idea for Or­di­nary Love be­gan to take shape.

McCaf­ferty, a cel­e­brated play­wright in his own right, had been dis­cussing his first foray into screen­writ­ing and as Holmes ex­plains: “In the cur­rent cli­mate of films, you need a re­ally good idea.”

It wasn’t un­til McCaf­ferty’s wife was di­ag­nosed with and sub­se­quently sur­vived a jour­ney through breast can­cer that Holmes be­lieved McCaf­ferty had the idea for his de­but script.

“I re­mem­ber the day and the mo­ment Owen called me to tell me Peggy had can­cer,” Holmes re­calls. “It dawned on me that maybe this is what he should be writ­ing about.”

“I didn’t per­son­ally want to go back into that world,” McCaf­ferty told his friend. “If I were to go back there, it would draw Peggy back with me.”

Holmes com­pletely un­der­stood when his idea was ini­tially re­jected: “Af­ter you’ve been on a jour­ney like what Owen and Peggy went through, the last thing you want to do is re­visit it.”

For a year, Holmes con­tin­ued to check in with McCaf­ferty about the idea to make sure he was happy with his de­ci­sion. “I was un­sure of the idea of us­ing some­thing that close and real to you for a script,” McCaf­ferty says. “When David asked again, I asked Peggy what she thought. When she said yes, I agreed. David’s very per­sua­sive!”

Holmes brought the idea to Lisa Bar­ros D’Sa and Glenn Ley­burn, his part­ners in Can­derblinks Film.

Within six months, the first draft was ready. “It’s about people cop­ing and find­ing a way to live with grief. It’s about the nor­mal­ity of ex­is­tence and I don’t mean that in a mun­dane way,” McCaf­ferty says.

“It con­cen­trates on the minu­tiae of life.

“I have a the­ory that if you tell lots of small sto­ries; you end up telling one big story. So in a sense that’s the con­struc­tion of

Or­di­nary Love,” McCaf­ferty says.

“When I first read Or­di­nary

Love,” pro­ducer Brian J Fal­coner says, “the an­tic­i­pa­tion and nerves were high.

“It was that good. It’s the best script I had ever read, and people like Lesley Manville and Liam Nee­son clearly agreed.”

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