'Valentine' is sweet on Purefoy


James Purefoy is in negotiations to star with Nia Vardalos in "I Hate Valentine's Day," a romantic comedy being directed by Nick Hurran. Blue Star Entertainment and Lorimont Prods. are producing.

The movie, written by Vardalos, follows a commitment-phobic woman who closely adheres to a set of dating rules but finds them put to the test when she falls for a Brit who dumps her.

"He's mischievous and dirty on the phone, so he's a joy to write for," Vardalos said about Purefoy. "The part was written for an American guy in mind, but I'm now revamping the script to make it about a British guy who doesn't understand the ways of American women."

Vardalos, who was nominated for an Oscar for writing "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," said her goal was to write "a movie for everybody, whether you're in a relationship or not, and how Valentine's Day puts so much pressure on us to be romantic. And the last two things that go hand in hand are "have to" and "be romantic now."

Principal photography on the U.K.-Canada co-production is scheduled to start July 3 in Toronto.

Purefoy might best be known for playing Mark Antony in the HBO miniseries "Rome." His feature credits include Mira Nair's "Vanity Fair," opposite Reese Witherspoon, and "A Knight's Tale." He is repped by CAA, Brillstein-Grey and ICM in the U.K.

Hurran, repped by ICM, directed "It's a Boy Girl Thing," with Kevin Zegers, and "Little Black Book," with Brittany Murphy.

Vardalos is repped by CAA and manager Peter Safran.