By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 18, 2011 at 11:38AM
Well, here's one that has landed square on our radar thanks to the intriguing triple threat of young, on-the-rise talent in the lead roles.
Krysten Ritter ("She's Out Of My League" and Amy Heckerling's forthcoming "Vamps"), Ari Graynor ("Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist," "Holy Rollers" and David Gordon Green's upcoming "The Sitter") and Brian Geraghty ("The Hurt Locker") are set to star in the intriguing sounding rom-com that seems to take some sexual stereotypes and flip them around. The film will tell the tale of a young Japanese man who is obsessed with slender American women, and his gay American friend, who has affairs with a series of Japanese men. The film will be directed by Alan Brown ("Book Of Love") who wrote the screenplay that is based of his first published novel. Not too shabby.
The film will head to Tokyo to shoot on location in April and we presume more casting news will be on the way. We'll definitely keep an eye on this one -- the talent involved is strong and the premise is certainly intriguing. Brown also recently completed "Private Romeo" a modern day take on "Romeo & Juliet" set in a high school military academy with two males as the love interest; it will make the festival rounds this spring. You can check out the synopsis from Brown's book on Amazon after the jump.
Writing with the assurance of a born novelist, Brown has produced a witty, touching coming-of-age story that is a keenly observed, diverting depiction of Japanese-American culture clash. Ever since his ninth birthday, when he saw his first Audrey Hepburn film, narrator Toshi Okamoto has fantasized about foreign women. When Toshi, now a young commercial artist in Tokyo, is seduced by Jane, his teacher at the Very Romantic English Academy, he finds the aggressively sexy, self-dramatizing American woman confusing, without realizing that she is psychotic. Not only Americans are unknowable, however; so are Toshi's parents. It was difficult growing up in the small northern town of Hokkaido after his mother left his father, to move not far away across the peninsula, and Toshi has always felt socially uncomfortable and embarrassed because of his parents' estrangement. Theirs had been a household ruled by silence, and one of the secrets Toshi unlocks in the course of this narrative is the reason for his family's sadness and isolation. Meanwhile, however, he undergoes a series of adventures with other Americans: his gay friend, Paul, and the composer Lucy, both of whom teach him some essential truths. These events take place against a backdrop of daily events in postwar Japan, from the 1960s to the 1980s, a society that is changing almost as fast as Toshi's perceptions of life. The Emperor is dying; women are auditioning to become the wife of the Crown Prince; anti-American riots are sweeping the country. Brown tells his tale in spare but vigorous prose, energized by dazzling visual images and haunting metaphors. The reader is caught up in Toshi's fear, excitement and frustration as he encounters strange and amazing Western concepts, and as his notion of himself changes.