*In years gone by many films used Barry White’s music to set a particular mood. So it was surprising to see Jake Gyllenhaal put on Al Green music to get Anne Hathaway in the mood in “Love & Other Drugs.”
Now, with the release of “How Do You Know” Paul Rudd (George) not only pumps up the volume of “Turn Off the Lights” by Teddy Pendergrass, but belts out the song.
Somewhat inebriated during his performance in the film, Rudd was asked if that’s the song he sings when under the influence of love or life’s pressures?
“I’ll sing Teddy Pendergrass drunk, sober, it makes no difference to me at all,” Rudd says. “That was all sense memory. Teddy Pendergrass, that song I sung several times at karaoke. I listen to all kinds of music. But I knew all the words to that song. It’s also about an eight-minute song, so it’s probably good that we didn’t get into the entire thing.”
Rudd, sitting next to his cast mates, was then asked “How Do You Know” when the right one comes along?
“We always heard you just know,” Rudd responded. “But I question that. Is that just a way to get out of the question, or do you just know?” Hit with the same question by The Film Strip, Jack Nicholson quipped, “It’s too long ago for me to remember [Laughs].” Reese Witherspoon dodged the question. Director James L. Brooks jumped in with “I had a line that I took out of the movie that Paul was gonna say, that ‘it’s when you’re more yourself than you ever thought possible.’ And I find most people when they answer the question, it has something to do with what they become in the relationship, what happens to them, how they see themselves.”
Reese did talk about her role. “I think what was an interesting quality about my character is that I’ve done a lot of comedies where a woman talks a lot about her romantic dynamics and is always kind of talking about men, and like, ‘What should I do?’ And this character is a woman who has a hard time conveying her emotions and doesn’t even really want to talk about things, which is sort of an interesting female character. My character says to Owen [Wilson] at one point, ‘If I wake up in the middle of night and start crying just ignore me, please.’ What woman would ever say that in real life?”
“Rabbit Hole” deals with the sullen subject of the death of a child and how the parents cope. The Film Strip asked cast members and the filmmaker that came to town to promote the film what are the encouraging messages a theatergoer can walk away with? “I don’t think I would have wanted to make this film unless there was something about it that was forward thinking that gave you hope,” director John Cameron Mitchell says. “At the very end when Nicole’s character takes her husband’s hand, that was absolutely necessary just for me to be able to say, ‘I want to direct this.’ If she hadn’t, I don’t know if I’d want to do it because they’d been through so much and you sense that they’re going to make it, and they’re going to make it not in a fake Hollywood way but in a complex, true way. We want this film to be a tool for everyone in order to deal with loss, to live their lives. That’s what these stories are for. Yeah. I think it’s important and I hope that it makes people feel not so alone. That’s the point of it.”
“I think that with this film it’s very much about a family as well and it’s about how a family works through [loss] together, about how you can help people and how in some ways you’re just so isolated, star and producer Nicole Kidman explains. That’s what I find very beautiful about this film, that this is not about five days after the death of their child. This isn’t the day of the loss. This is eight months. This is life. This is how do you stay alive, how do you choose life when you feel like everything to live for has been taken away.”
Sandra Oh, a parent who suffered a lost in the film and who also stars in the TV series “Grey’s Anatomy,” offered another perspective.
“Just going on with what Nicole was saying is that even though the subject matter is about grief and any kind of loss, the point is that we need it, we need to see this. People need to see this because people are isolated, and when you go and see a film in the privacy of yourself whatever your loss might be about, because we all encounter it, it gives us catharsis, a connection. I feel it’s like every sad story doesn’t have to have a happy ending or whatever it is. I think it’s a deeply human subject that we all need, and at the beginning people might be frightened to say, ‘Oh I don’t want to see a film about the death of a child,’ but the thing is that we do.”
More uplifting news about “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Film Strip is happy to report. Not only did it come in as the #1 film at the box office last week, but the stars of the film were on hand at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C. for a special naming ceremony for one of the Zoo’s seven African lion cubs. The cub was named Aslan after the Lion in “Narnia.”
The 3D film is based on one of C.S. Lewis’s beloved books. Ironically, Lewis was an atheist and became a devout Christian and his religious views are prevalent in his “Chronicles of Narnia” books. He brings to mind the horrendous slave trader John Newton who had an epiphany, repented and wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace.” Also, there was Saul, who persecuted Christians who was later baptized and became the Apostle Paul. ‘Tis the season to be hopeful.