It says something about directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, that half a decade since they rocked the indie movie world with "Little Miss Sunshine," that they are able to assemble the kind of cast they have lined up for "He Loves Me." Written by actress Zoe Kazan, the project is a meta-strange sounding road-trip film that centers on Calvin (Paul Dano) a young novelist who achieves success early in his career but begins to face struggles. As the young protagonist follows the advice of writing the woman he thinks will love him in a bid to overcome his writer’s block, he ends up willing her into existence. Annette Bening is also on board as Calvin's concerned and artistic Mom. It's a concept worthy of Charlie Kaufman and ripe with potential so no wonder this thing is packing itself full of stars.
24 Frames reports that Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, Deborah Ann Woll, Elliott Gould and Chris Messina have all joined the project with "The Daily Show" correspondent Aasif Mandvi also in negotiations. And you can't really ask for better talent. Banderas has been lost in the wilderness of "Shrek" for the past little (and few films he's done have slipped under the radar) but he seems to be coming out of it with a plum part in Pedro Almodovar's "The Skin I Live In" coming later this year, with Steven Soderbergh's "Haywire" and the oil epic "Black Gold" on the horizon. We shouldn't have to remind you who the awesome Brit funnyman Coogan is, but if we do, just do youself a favor and track down "The Trip." Meanwhile, Woll, best known for her role as Jessica on "True Blood," has notched her first major film role (though she was considered for Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" last year before it first fell apart). Messina is on the rise, appearing in a number of indies like "Greenberg," "Away We Go" and "Monogamy" and has "Celeste and Jesse Forever" coming up. And you should already know who Gould is.
So who is doing what? Woll will play Calvin's ex-girlfriend, while Coogan will play a fellow writer and his rival (that alone has us sold). Gould, Messina and Mandvi are Calvin's therapist, brother and agent, respectively, while in the best piece of casting, Banderas will play Bening's hippie boyfriend Mort. Yep, this sounds ace.
Dayton and Faris are looking to replicate the ensemble success they had with "Little Miss Sunshine" and damn, they certainly have the right people to do it. "He Loves Me" is now shooting in Los Angeles, and damn, we're glad Dayton and Faris are back.