Thursday, March 02, 2006

Zach Braff and Gael Garcia Bernal

Before I go any further, allow me to give full credit for both these news nuggets to The Hollywood Reporter. That said, they're both pretty cool to me.

I've never really been able to embrace romantic comedies, except for the rare exception like "Say Anything" or "Garden State."

The latter, from Zach Braff, ranks among my favorites for many reasons: Natalie Portman as cute as she's ever been, Peter Sarsgaard as funny as he's ever been and Braff as a surprisingly sure-handed director, writer and actor.

According to THR, Braff will take time off from "Scrubs" to follow this up with "Open Hearts," a remake of a Danish film, for Paramount Pictures.

The story is about a man who is paralysed in a car accident and his fiance who ends up having an affair with a doctor in the hospital where he's recovering. To complicate matters, the doctor's wife is the one responsible for the accident which paralysed the man.

Given what Braff has been able to do with the hospital setting in writing and directing for "Scrubs," I'd be amazed if this turned out bad. It will also, according to THR, be a return to New Jersey, for which Braff showed such an innate empathy and understanding in "Garden State." All-around goodness here.

Garcia Bernal directing first film

THR also reports that Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal will make his directorial debut with a low-budget feature film that focuses on class differences in Mexico.

Upstart shingle Canana Films, run by Garcia Bernal, his "Y Tu Mama Tambien" co-star Diego Luna and producer Pablo Cruz, will produce the drama, which remains untitled. Garcia Bernal will star alongside Camila Sodi, Luz Cipriota and Tenoch Huerta.

The story is an adaptation of an episode of "Rute 32," a series that Canana has been developing for television, which stars Garcia Bernal. Kyzza Terrazas, who directed a short titled "Birdkillers," penned the script.

"It has been quite an organic experience to start directing," Garcia Bernal said in an interview. "I'm discovering a new world."

All that is from THR, but this short note is from me. I don't buy nearly as many movies as I used to, but one I'm glad I did spring for was "Y Tu Mama Tambien."

Along with being a great road movie filled with humor and humanity, it's a knowledgable indictment of the current state of Mexican society. If Bernal can take what he learned from that for this new work, it should be great. We'll see.

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