Fox Searchlight utters the ‘F-Word’

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EXCLUSIVE: Fox Searchlight is pretty much the undisputed master in the quirky character-romance, a reputation it acquired with “Napoleon Dynamite” and solidified with "(500) Days of Summer” last year. Which is why one can’t but be hopeful about a new hire it’s set to make.

The company is negotiating to bring on Alex Holdridge to direct a romantic comedy called “The F-Word.” Holdridge is the director of an indie gem (and Independent Spirits winner) titled “In Search of a Midnight Kiss” (think “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” only smarter) that has a down-on-his-luck twentysomething in an unlikely New Year’s Eve romance.

The “F” in question in Holdridge’s new movie is friendship, and the film is about a young man and woman who harbor romantic interest for each other but must escape the platonic curse if they’re to make it work (or escape the romance hex if they’re to make a friendship work). It’s written by a screenwriter named Elan Mastai, who has romance and breakup movies set up nearly all over town.
For a while it looked like emo romances were going to take over moviedom, what with not only "(500) Days” but Michael Cera unleashing the power of a thousand waifish, soft-spoken Canadians in both “Paper Heart” and “Nick and Norah.” Fortunately that didn’t happen, but Marc Webb and his cohorts showed what was possible with "(500) Days,” which handled its subject with both irony and soul. Look for “The F Word” to follow in the same shoegazing, Morrissey-esque footsteps.

-- Steven Zeitchik

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