Love that hurts – and heals
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.”