Seeing the Humor in Sexual Identity

GreenCineStaff's picture

I found your gender inversions sophisticated. Elizabeth Reaser, as Allegra, is in a role that a man would usually be playing in these screwball comedies, and yet it worked. She pulled it off. She really was attractive and "fuckable."

Yes, she's darling, isn't she? She had to do something very difficult. She had to be a character for whom the intellect is the primary way of being in the world but, as an actor, she had to be about emotions and feeling and physicality. That's a tough role for an actress. Actresses usually aren't given the opportunity to be smart, y'know? We were incredibly lucky to find Elizabeth and we only found her approximately a week and a half before we started shooting.

That's what I understand. And this after seven years?!

Indeed. Seven long years of struggling to get this film off the ground.

Puccini for Beginners is a smart "salad to steak to salad" comedy with a bossa nova frothiness to it that I enjoyed very much. It made me curious about your writing process. You have these wonderful one-liners like, "You never sublimate hideous issues, you just act them out," and "Love doesn't have boundaries but sexual identity does"; these are great lines. In your writing process, do these lines come to you randomly and you jot them down? Or do they come to you in a torrent of inspiration? What's your writing process like?

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