• by director Marcos Siega
On the surface Chaos Theory is a simple story about a man
who is given some emotionally devastating news and how, in dealing
with it, goes on a chaotic ride to re-discover who he is and the true
meaning of love. I guess I could leave it at that and just let you
take the ride. But the truth is that there is so much more to it than
what sits on the surface.
There is a line towards the end of the film where our protagonist, Frank
(Ryan Reynolds), says...“You ever hear of Chaos Theory,
Ed? It’s a science that tries to find underlying patterns in chaotic
systems. Weather, ocean currents, blood flow. Turns out there are few
things more chaotic than the beat of a human heart. Speeding up, slowing
down. A flight of stairs, a pretty face. Constantly changing depending
on what’s happening to us out there. It’s an erratic little
son-of-a-bitch. But under all that bump-a-da-bump mess there is a pattern.
An order. A simple truth. It’s called love.” I remember
the first time I read the screenplay and how those words affected me,
how everything I had just read sort of came together for me at that
When I met with the studio and producers we talked extensively about the tone
of the film, and through it all, I kept thinking—how do I get to that moment
in the film and have the audience feel what I felt when I read it for the first
time? The truth is, it is a bit more complicated than it sounds. Having someone
tell you how you are supposed to feel is very different than actually understanding
the feeling because you’ve experienced it. What I really wanted was for
the audience to understand what Frank was saying at that moment. Not
because he was telling us, but because they were just stepping off the same “chaotic” ride.
But how would I get there? Do I emphasize the drama that sends his world into
a tailspin and risk possibly feeling like a melodramatic “movie of the
week”? Or do I embrace the comedy and maybe leave audiences unable to take
the film seriously? It’s a fine line because audiences usually expect one
or the other, and to the studios there is no greater sin than labeling your film
Ultimately, I want you, the audience, to enjoy both the peaks and the valleys—to
watch a film that hits the emotional notes just as hard as it does the comedic
beats and hopefully this shift in tone would mirror the chaos in Frank’s
life, taking you on the ride with him.
Luckily, with the support of the producers, the writer (Daniel Taplitz)
and an incredible cast (Ryan Reynolds, Emily Mortimer and Stuart
Townsend), I think we struck a balance that truly captures Frank’s explanation of “Chaos
Theory,” that underneath all the bump-a-da-bump mess there IS a pattern.