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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fox Searchlight and the Battle of the Unconventional Romances (UPDATE x 2)

By John C.

This July - Fox Searchlight will be releasing two films. One on the 17th, one on the 29th. The first one is a film that I’ve already seen. The highly enjoyable (500) Days of Summer. The film employs brilliant techniques to tell it’s story, including fractured narratives and split-screens. There’s even a dance number in the park. If the film had been a conventional romantic-comedy, none of these techniques would have worked. But because it’s a very fresh and unique film, all these elements work brilliantly. Fox Searchlight is pulling out all the stops trying to market the film. In the US, they’ve had free giveaways of summer food and promotional t-shirts. On May 26th, they announced free screenings of the film in 16 cities. On May 28th, 5 more cities were added to the list, including Toronto. I believe that once it opens, word-of-mouth will spread like wild-fire. Audiences will love the film. It has the appeal of two very likable lead characters and actors, played by Joseph Gordon-Levvit and, the almost always good, Zooey Deschanel. It’s “sunshiney” poster, is sure to attract crowds to the film as it decorates the multi-plexes. Our reviews of the film will be coming on July 17th, but I can tell you right now that I’m highly recommending it.

The other film is also an unconventional romance, one that I’ve not yet seen, but am very much looking forward to. Adam is the story of a young man with Asperger’s syndrome, who falls in love with the new girl that moves into his apartment building. I am at this point unsure how the studio is marketing this film, but I think that more focus should be put on it. (500) Days will find it’s audience no matter what, and it deserves it. It’s an excellent film. But due to the subject matter of Adam, people may not warm up to it the same way. On July 6th they announced free screenings of the film, but only in 13 cities in the US. If enough people are able to see it, especially in the Asperger’s and autism communities, then it will have a following. People may not see it on their own, but if they are told by other people to see

it, they will go. If you call them they will come. But only if enough other people already have, so that they have someone to follow.

(UPDATE) Denver, St. Louis and Toronto have now been added to the list of cities having free screenings of Adam.

(UPDATE) 5 more cities have now been added to the list - bringing the total count up to 21.

You can get more info on all of Fox Searchlight's films and sign up for free screenings at their website, here.

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