by director Paul Weitz
The few days before a movie comes out are marvelously relaxing. If you are a pathological masochist, that is.
I wrote the original version of this letter on the plane back from the premiere, which was relatively pain-free. Tina Fey had on a nice dress. So did Paul Rudd. I wore tight bicycle shorts with a faux pony-fur and spandex top. It went well. Wally Shawn poured champagne from the theatre balcony down into Lily Tomlin's mouth. There was laughter, tears, shouts of surprise. And then the film started.
Anyway, the first note I wrote for Landmark Theatres is on the apparently unrecoverable hard drive of my laptop, which is in the repair shop due to its lack of resistance to spilled lattes. This current note is much more revealing, mawkish, unhinged, even, because Admission is "opening" in a mere three days.
I hope you will see it, and I hope you will enjoy it, because you are my only friend. I know I haven't been in touch lately, but then, you did take out that restraining order on me, and I can take a hint.
Why should I see it? You ask me.
Well first off, I managed to get Tina Fey and Paul Rudd to star in it. I did this by pretending to be Judd Apatow. I studied Judd's voice for months, and then claimed to have had particularly nasty dermatological work done in the days leading up to shooting, necessitating that a bandana be worn over my face at all times. Only in the third week of shooting did I reveal it was me directing the film, and by then it was too late for them to pull out.
Second, the movie is funny and emotional, based on an excellent novel. Tina plays a woman who has made a number of decisions about her life: she doesn't want to have kids. She is happily unmarried to her long-term boyfriend (a preening Chaucer scholar played by Michael Sheen). She is going to take over her boss's job when he retires. Paul plays a teacher, a charming but selfish altruist who steps into her life and unravels it by pulling at the loose threads of her past.
I’m interested in making movies that are about areas of uncertainty in my own life. That way I can learn on the job. And I was lucky to get to make this romantic comedy about parenting, loneliness and finding one's place in life.