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Laura Linney • Topher Grace • Marcia Gay Harden • Gabriel Byrne
DIRECTOR: Dylan Kidd

Love at first sight THE CONCEPT:
Thirtysomething Louise Harrington is a successful but unfulfilled admission’s officer. Her life changes dramatically when a young painter applies to the school, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Louise’s high school boyfriend and true love, who died 20 years earlier. Within hours of their first meeting they have embarked on a passionately uninhibited affair.

U.S. RELEASE: October 15 2004 New York City, San Francisco • Rated: R


Laura Linney on this tale of an older woman/younger man affair

Had you read the novel by Helen Schulman?:

“I did read the book, I read it before we filmed. I used it as a primary resource, and it was very helpful. I had not read it before Dylan contacted me to discuss the project, but I really enjoyed it.”

Did you base this character on anyone you knew?:
“Probably pieces of people; she’s a very complex character, she’s a festival of emotional undercurrent, there’s so much going on. There are so many things about what is happening to her that echoed to me; people who have worked their whole life and really done everything they thought they should do, and their life doesn’t turn out the way they thought it would; there’s the element of grief over a past love that you never get over, that you carry with you forever, everybody has that. What we all chose to do with it, whether or not it liberates us or paralyzes us, is the big question and the big indication of someone’s character.”

What was it about the screenplay or character that interested you?:
“I always find it interesting when I connect to something and I don’t quite understand it. That’s always a good thing, because it means that I’m not going to be able to make predetermined decisions about something, so I have to work my way through it and it will create itself as I go, certain works will create a life of their own. It was also profoundly actable material, and lots of scripts are not.”

Did you have a say in choosing Topher Grace as your co-star?:
“Yes, and it was very interesting, there were a lot of really wonderful actors who came into read for that part, and when Topher came, whatever chemistry there was, whatever it was that he was bringing, all of a sudden the whole story made sense to me. Things made sense in a way that they hadn’t before. I could tell in 30 seconds. He thinks like an actor, and not all people do, so he also adds and brings things [to the project], he was wonderful to work with.”

Could you imagine yourself dating someone who is 15 years younger than you?:
“I have never had the pleasure of dating someone much younger than myself. But life is long, so who knows what will happen.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Film Review, #650, November 2004 cover

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