On paper, Lawrence Kasdan‘s Darling Companion sounds promising. Kasdan, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and filmmaker, directed the drama from a script he co-wrote with his wife Meg Kasdan, also an Oscar nominee. The star-studded cast, as the trailer is happy to remind you, includes two Academy Award nominees (Richard Jenkins and Sam Shepard) and three Academy Award winners (Diane Keaton, Dianne Wiest, and Kevin Kline), as well as promising younger actors like Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass. But at the end of the day, no number of collective accolades can guarantee an interesting picture, and unfortunately, the trailer for Darling Companion looks pretty cringeworthy.

The Kasdans’ screenplay revolves around a dissatisfied older woman named Beth (Keaton) who adopts an abandoned dog she finds on the side of the road and finds contentment in her bond with him. But when Beth’s self-absorbed husband (Kline) loses the dog, the couple pull together a search party to find him and everyone finds that they’re affected by the experience in unexpected ways. Watch the video after the jump.

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We already knew a little bit about Frank or Francis, Charlie Kaufman‘s second directorial effort after his insanely ambitious, gloriously bizarre Synecdoche, New York. Basically, we were aware that it existed, that Nicolas Cage, Steve Carrell, and Jack Black had signed on, and that the film would revolve primarily around the feud between an Internet blogger and a Hollywood director. But this being Kaufman, of course, there was bound to be a whole lot more to the project than that.

Now, we have lots more details on the story — and the more I learn, the more I’m dying to see this film. After the jump, read all about the script, and find out which very weird role(s) Kevin Kline has just been cast in.

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Paramount Pictures has released a red band movie trailer for Ghostbusters/Meatballs director Ivan Reitman‘s new comedy No Strings Attached. The movie follows a lonely doctor who gets lucky with a pretty co-worker (played by Natalie Portman) in a “comedy about the complications of friends with benefits.” The film costars Ashton Kutcher, Greta Gerwig, Mindy Kaling, Olivia Thirlby, Kevin Kline, Lake Bell, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, and the next breakout comedy actor (in my opinion) Jake Johnson.

The film actually started out with another title, Fuckbuddies. Of course, Paramount didn’t want to face the problems associated with releasing a movie under that title, so they changed it to Friends With Benefits, which eventually got changed into the truly horrible title No Strings Attached (at least they didn’t go with “No Strings”, the abbreviated title they were testing). The reason they moved on from Friends With Benefits is that another film had already staked claim to the title Friends With Benefits. A day after Paramount released the first trailer for No Strings Attached, Screen Gems released a red band movie for their R-Rated romantic comedy starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis featuring a very similar premise. I thought that must be what makes them different — one is raunchy, and the other isn’t. Looks like I was wrong.

It seems like Paramount is following suit, and has released their own red band trailer. This is one of those red band trailers which is out to prove the movie isn’t just a cookie cutter comedy and is a filthy r-rated movie. So in other words, how many cuts of swears, nudity and sex can you fit into three minutes (not that that’s a bad thing…). Watch it now embedded after the jump.
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Paramount Pictures has released the first movie trailer for Ghostbusters/Meatballs director Ivan Reitman‘s new comedy No Strings Attached. The movie follows a lonely doctor (played by Cary Elwes) who gets lucky with a pretty co-worker (played by Natalie Portman) in a “comedy about the complications of friends with benefits.”

A guy and girl try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it’s not long before they learn that they want something more.

The film costars Ashton Kutcher, Greta Gerwig, Mindy Kaling, Olivia Thirlby, Kevin Kline, Cary Elwes, Lake Bell, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, and the next breakout comedy actor (in my opinion) Jake Johnson. Watch it now embedded after the jump.
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kasdan-wiest-shepard

Though he’s been announced as attached to a few projects over the past couple years, Lawrence Kasdan hasn’t written or directed a produced film since Dreamcatcher in 2003. (He has done script work, like the polish on the script for the action version of Paradise Lost that Alex Proyas just signed to direct.)

But now Kasdan will direct Darling Companion from a script he wrote with Meg Kasdan, and he’s just added Mark Duplass, Dianne Wiest and Sam Shepard to the cast. Read More »

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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The Independent Film Festival of Boston has begun! I’ll be here over the course of the next week providing coverage, hopefully in the form of interviews with exciting people from the indie film scene. Here are some of the movies I’m most looking forward to, and here’s a link where you can find all of our IFFboston coverage from this year and last year. Hit the jump for my brief chat with actor Kevin Kline, who was in town to receive a Career Achievement Award. In the meantime, if you have a movie you’re screening here and want to chat (or if you’re just a reader/listener in the area and want to say hi), feel free to e-mail me at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com.
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the extra man
American Splendor directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini return to Sundance with The Extra Man, a comedy which will screen in the Premieres section. Based on a novel by Jonathan Ames (Bored to Death), the film tells the story of a down-and-out playwright who escorts wealthy widows in Manhattan’s Upper East Side takes a young aspiring writer under his wing. The cast includes Kevin Kline, Paul Dano, John C. Reilly, and Katie Holmes. After the jump we have photos, a poster, and a very extended plot synopsis from this upcoming film.
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It didn’t take long at all for Robert Redford‘s The Conspirator to get off the ground. The film, which hinges on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, was announced only months ago and is already shooting in Savannah, GA. We knew some of the cast prior to the shoot’s start, but now we’ve got a host of good names to throw your way, in addition to some pics and video. Read More »

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The Tale of Despereaux Movie Trailer #2

Universal Pictures has released a new trailer for The Tale of Despereaux, the new computer animated family fantasy adventure from Sam Fell (Flushed Away) and Robert Stevenhagen (supervising animator of Space Jam and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West).

This trailer makes the film look less like a copy of Ratatouille (a problem I had with the teaser). The film doesn’t look all that special compared to even Dreamworks’ Monsters vs. Aliens. The animated adaptation features the voices of Emma Watson, Dustin Hoffman, Christopher Lloyd, Sigourney Weaver, Matthew Broderick, and Kevin Kline. Watch the trailer after the jump, and tell me what you think in the comments below.
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