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Say the words “teen comedy” in Hollywood these days and minds instantly jump to American Pie, Superbad and other raunchy fare.
For writer-director Jon Kasdan, he hopes that his sophomore effort The First Time will fill a void in the teenage marketplace.
“I feel like there’s an excess of the raunchiness in all Hollywood Movies,” Kasdan tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s a shame, because I love comedies but more and more I feel like Hollywood comedies tend to be really broad and that’s not the kind of comedy I respond to.
“I grew up on Jim Brooks movies and Woody Allen movies,” he continues, “movies that were all about talk and language and the way that people relate to each other. So all the things I’ve written have always been more in that tradition and that seems to be less in style in mainstream Hollywood movies.”
That’s not to say Kasdan doesn’t appreciate his fair share of dirty laughs. The helmer cites Tropic Thunder, penned by Justin Theroux and starring Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr., as his favorite modern comedy.
“I think that there’s some pool to appeal to the 19-year-old boys going into college [that] want to drink a lot of beer, party and see a lot of boobies everywhere, and Jon wasn’t really trying to do that,” says Britt Robertson, who stars in The First Time as a high school junior who — against her better judgement — falls in love with Dylan O’Brien’s character. “He was just trying to tell a sweet story and I think that is a big part of its appeal, and it has a really special message to young teens and adults and people of all ages, really.”
Typically, when promoting films, actors will lament about the extreme awkwardness on set while shooting sex scenes. That complaint couldn’t be further from the truth in this case, despite the scene’s intended awkward nature.
“I love filming sex scenes,” says Kasdan. “Actors always tell you it’s uncomfortable and they’re nervous. I’ve shot two sex scenes in my career and they’ve both been the most fun days we’ve had on the movie… I’ve found that because the situation is so extreme, the actors tend to break through some wall in their comfort and are relaxed as they ever are.”
The first sex scene to which he was referring came via 2007’s In the Land of Women, his directorial debut, between Meg Ryan and Adam Brody. The scene, Kasdan says, did not make the final cut.
The First Time opens in select theaters on Oct. 19.
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@thr.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci
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