I could barely believe it, but I’ve searched high and low and found no evidence that Judd Apatow was involved in the making of “A.C.O.D.” None at all. Not even a producer. This is stunning news – Hollywood has made a comedy outside of the influence of the man who has dominated the entire genre for getting on towards a decade now.
Not entirely outside of the influence, I suppose. The focus on the arrested-development travails of a middle-aged man is certainly something Apatow would suggest. But there’s just something a little less raunchy about this trailer, a little more sweet and genuine. That probably has a lot to do with the likable cast – Adam Scott’s work on “Parks and Recreation” has made him a personal favorite, and I hope he gets more big-screen looks in the future. Plus, you can’t miss with Richard Jenkins, Catherine O’Hara and Jane Lynch in the mix. It is peculiar, and saddening, though, that Mary Elizabeth Winstead gets relegated to the “nice girlfriend who doesn’t even get to speak in the trailer” while Jessica Alba is the “obvious romantic temptation.” Pity it’s not reversed.
Despite his vivid storytelling skills, there’s been no attempt yet to film any of humorist David Sedaris’ vast wealth of material. That’s probably for the best, since I think his particular writing voice could be extremely difficult to capture when transferred off the page.
But, a new young writer/director named Kyle Patrick Alvarez has taken on the challenge, and I’m optimistic from this first look. “C.O.G.” is based on one of the essays from Sedaris’ collection “Naked;” and the essay is itself based on the author’s time working in a factory in Oregon. I feel like you can really see the personal touch in this trailer, for what could otherwise be an extremely precocious, contrived narrative. Again, casting helps, and having great character actors like Denis O’Hare, Dale Dickey and Corey Stoll around gives an authentic feel to this blue-collar town. Singer/actor Jonathan Groff, of Broadway’s “Spring Awakening” and “Glee,” is an unexpected but intriguing choice to play the Sedaris-surrogate. On the surface it seems a rather superficial attempt to give a more attractive, charming face to Sedaris’ eccentricities, but he’s not a bad choice for a character in the midst of an identity crisis.
I Give It a Year
Minnie Driver is British? Why did no one ever tell me that Minnie Driver is British?