"I love to read. Well, I have three kids, so no, I don't read. But I aspire to read." -- Allyson, from Moms' Night Out
The amount of time I spent trying to title this blog entry is ridiculous.
Gotta be clever. Gotta be succinct. Gotta tell what the article is about.
Welp, I went one for three.
And I just said, "welp." I love that word.
I mean, I didn't say, "welp." I typed it. And in reality, Andrea Nasfell isn't going to talk about Moms' Night Out here. I'm going to relay her answers to some questions I posed. By typing.
I've already raved about Moms' Night Out and if you haven't seen it yet, stop reading now and go buy it or rent it. No, buy it. Heck, do both. Tell Hollywood these are the movies you want to see. Buy it twice.
I haven't bought it yet.
But I'm going to. More than once. Christmas spoiler alert.
|Screenwriter, Andrea Nasfell|
So before everybody dies at the end of the movie...
Just kidding. No spoilers. Really.
The first thing I had to ask Andrea was how much of the story was derived from her own experiences. She said, "The idea of starting [the story] on Mother's Day came from my life - the high expectations of needing to feel appreciated on that day and the chaos that results from having kids 'appreciating you.' Just the overall feeling of being overwhelmed and feeling like a failure, and totally alone in that failure, is from my life."
Now, technically, I'm not a mother. But aside from my reproductive system, slightly lower voice, and splotchy facial hair, I fit in more closely with mothers than fathers. As a weekday stay-at-home dad, I relate to Moms' Night Out more profoundly than the typical 30-something dude, and Andrea's sentiments speak to me on an almost uterine level.
She continues, "It wasn't until I opened up to some friends about how I was feeling that I realized we are ALL feeling the same way, but everyone is afraid to admit it. So it was fun to put that vulnerability on screen and to see how many women responded saying, 'That is me! I didn't know anybody else understood!'"
And lest the men out there think Moms' Night Out is just a chick-flick, rest assured there is plenty of screen time for the other halves of the moms having their night out. When co-directors Jon and Andrew Erwin (October Baby) came on board, Jon expanded Andrea's script to include more from the dads' point of view.
"When they acquired [the screenplay], Jon, Andrew, and [co-producer and actor] Kevin [Downes] sat me down and told me they wanted to make a movie for their wives," Andrea reflects. "[Each having young kids], they instantly related to the family dynamics. They wanted to make the movie to show their wives how much they loved and appreciated what their wives do. I knew they 'got' the movie."
Originally, Andrea wrote Moms' Night Out for PureFlix (God's Not Dead) with a small budget, non-theatrical release expected. When Kevin Downes and the Erwins got involved, the project grew in scope and budget and Jon Erwin rewrote the script accordingly. Then Sony (Soul Surfer, Heaven is for Real) came on board, and Moms' Night Out evolved into a bigger studio release.
On the plot challenges of Moms' Night Out, Andrea said, "This one had a lot of plotting to get the overlapping story lines to lay out the right way, but [the effort] was well worth the payoff. The other issue was always, 'is it funny enough?' People start worrying about that a lot once it gets close to production, but in the end, once you bring in a cast as funny as the one we had, every beat gets funnier with their masterful comic execution."
I agree with Andrea that the cast was outstanding. Yes, the lead roles are cast with recognizable talent, but beyond the star power, they are just funny, talented, easy to watch homo sapiens. Andrea commented that the Erwins got pretty much all the actors they wanted for this film. I'm sure they wanted me, too, but you know... things happen. No hard feelings.
Next up for the talented and busy Andrea Nasfell is another faith-friendly comedy like Moms' Night Out that will shoot this fall. She has another Christmas movie that should be released in 2015. And she continues to write, write, write and mommy, mommy, mommy.
Be sure to visit Andrea's blog: A Hundred Hats
And please do watch Moms' Night Out. Go to the movie's official website and choose between two versions of the DVD or BluRay. What's the difference? Go to the website and find out! I'll be here when you get back, aspiring to read, write, and do other things I did before I had kids.