"Director Geoff Bennett's daughter called out, 'Who's that boy over there?' I had short hair, wore second hand men's suits and even wore jockettes in a shower scene"-Dee Smart on her role in Turning April
A PLACE FOR ME is a clever and touching tale of family, love (lost and found), and how endings can make new beginnings. There are no rewrites in life, only second chances.
Meet the Borgens. William Borgens (Academy Award Nominee Greg Kinnear) is an acclaimed author who hasn’t written a word since his ex-wife Erica (Academy Award Winner Jennifer Connelly) left him 3 years ago for another man. In between spying on Erica and casual romps with his married neighbour Tricia (Kristen Bell), Bill is dealing with the complexities of raising his teenage children Samantha (Lily Collins) and Rusty (Nat Wolff). Samantha is publishing her first novel and is determined to avoid love at all costs - after all she’s seen what it has done to her parents. In between hook ups, she meets “nice guy” Lou (Logan Lerman) who will stop at nothing to win her over. Rusty, is an aspiring fantasy writer and Stephen King aficionado, who is on a quest to gain ‘life experiences’. He falls for the beautiful, but troubled Kate (Liana Liberato) and gets his first taste of love and a broken heart.
The Borgens were born in the imagination of another writer: Josh Boone, a promising
new screenwriter who found himself fascinated with the idea of how families on the verge of unravelling sometimes come together. It was an idea that not only intrigued him but moved him – in part because his own parents went through a confounding divorce when he was coming of age. He notes that the screenplay for A PLACE FOR ME emerged from that deeply personal place where poignant memories meet the stuff of dramatic comedy: “The script is pretty autobiographical, and based a lot on my parents' divorce. In a way, this script became my hope chest -- I put everything in there that I believe and care about,” he comments.
"the full spectrum of human relationships"
“With this story, I had a chance to give my parents’ story a different ending,” Boone notes. “And that was important to me, because I believe in love. At the same time,
I wanted the film to take in the full spectrum of human relationships –the realities of parents and children, marriage and divorce, lost love and first love – because that is what we all relate to.”
A PLACE FOR ME turned a new chapter when the filmmakers pulled off an initial casting coup – attracting Greg Kinnear in the role of the highly accomplished but heartsick family patriarch Bill Borgens. Renowned for both his winning wit and evocative ‘everyman’ quality, Kinnear’s roles have ranged from his Academy Award®-nominated turn opposite Jack Nicholson in AS GOOD AS IT GETS, to the put-upon father in the Oscar winning LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, as well as Tina Fey’s date in BABY MAMA and the out-of-work architect in I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT. Despite his broad range, Bill Borgens struck Kinnear as a very distinct character – a highly intelligent and insightful writer, a loving, devoted father . . . and a completely befuddled ex-husband at a complete loss when it comes to getting over his divorce.
“I responded to him because he’s very human,” says Kinnear, “and I was very engaged with the story, and all the things large and small that are happening to this family.” He goes on: “I liked that this is a story in which everybody is trying to do what they can in their relationships and it’s about how they help each other get through. I thought Josh Boone did a wonderful job of weaving all these individual relationships together to tell a story that felt very honest.”
That story took on even more dimensions when Jennifer Connelly was cast as Bill’s ex-wife, Erica, who still drives him crazy in all the best ways – and who he covertly snoops on to assure himself she’s less than perfectly happy in her new marriage to a much younger man (Rusty Joiner). Kinnear and Connelly have worked together before, but were excited to tackle the particular mix of friction and flirtation of being exes who still have unresolved feelings for each other. Connelly -- known for her complex portraits including her Academy Award winning role as Alicia Nash, wife of the brilliant but schizophrenic John Nash in A BEAUTIFUL MIND – plays Erica not only as a confused ex-wife but as a mother regretful that her personal affairs have damaged her closeness with her daughter.
The palpable sparks between Kinnear and Connelly further added to the film’s romance. “Greg brings something special to every single scene he does – in one scene he’s eating a bowl of cereal and just the way he does it just makes the scene – and Jennifer seemingly can’t do anything that isn’t true and honest,” observes Boone. “Together, they brought out a wonderful chemistry.”
“It’s an involving and likeable film that relies on its script and there are top performances from its hand-picked cast. If you like your films richly composed with characters whose contradictions you recognise, you will enjoy this warm and uplifting film,” says Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile.
A PLACE FOR ME (MA15+)
Strong coarse language & drug use
Writer/Director: Josh Boone
Producer: Judy Cairo
DoP: Tim Orr
Editor: Robb Sullivan:
Music: Mike Mogis, Nathaniel Walcott
Production Design: John Sanders
Run time: 96 minutes
In cinemas around Australia: May 16, 2013