ALONG CAME POLLY
Creating comedy with a three-dimensional soul has become writer/director JOHN
HAMBURG's (Writer / Director) trademark storytelling style. As evidenced by the success of each of his projects, he has quickly risen through the ranks as a top writer and director of comedic fare that is simultaneously funny and believable, achieved by not only learning the nuances of filmmaking, but also by finding the humor in everyday life. Whether it comes in the form of lip-bitingly hilarious dialogue or flawlessly timed slapstick, Hamburg understands the need for audiences to connect with the characters and story, and delivers both in riotously funny doses.
Hamburg's most recent directorial endeavor, Along Came Polly, stars Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Debra Messing, Hank Azaria, Bryan Brown and Alec Baldwin in a story about the fortunes and mishaps that occur when taking chances in life. Reuben Feffer (Stiller) is a man who has never taken risks in his life. He has a seemingly picture-perfect existenceâ€¦until he finds his perfect wife (Messing) rocking the boat with another man on their honeymoon. Reuben returns home to pick up his emotional pieces and get his life plan back on track. He soon reconnects with childhood friend Polly Prince (Aniston), a free spirit who draws straight-laced Reuben into an adventurous world of spicy foods, underground salsa clubs, sight-impaired house pets and living in the moment.
Hamburg began his feature film career writing and directing the independent film, Safe Men. The film stars Sam Rockwell (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) and Steve Zahn (Out of Sight) as a pair of down-and-out lounge singers who are mistaken for safecrackers. The strong supporting cast includes Paul Giamatti (American Splendor), Mark Ruffalo (You Can Count On Me) and Broadway great Harvey Fierstein as the Jewish underworld boss who calls the shots. Hamburg's fresh and original script and innate comedic sensibility were the keys to attracting top talent for this, his feature debut. Safe Men made its premiere at the 1998 Sundance Film festival, where Hamburg began to garner attention for his witty portrayal of safecrackers and songwriters in Providence, Rhode Island.
After his success at Sundance, Hamburg co-wrote his next two features, Meet the Parents and Zoolander. Directed by Jay Roach (the Austin Powers trilogy) and starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller, Meet the Parents was a comical look at the trials and tribulations that occur when meeting your future in-laws. Meet the Parents, released by Universal in 2000, truly resonated with audiences and helped Hamburg brand his unique comedic style of blending realism with farce. Hamburg took a different approach in 2001's fashion-industry satire Zoolander. Starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as a pair of clueless male models charged with the task of saving the world from tyrannical fashion overlords, Zoolander quickly became a hit and has garnered a strong cult following. The worldwide success of these two films solidified Hamburg's position as one of the foremost writers of comedy with Meet the Parents and Zoolander both drawing in huge audiences and building loyal fan bases.
Born and raised in New York City, Hamburg began making short films while in high school. At Brown University, he continued making movies in addition to studying playwriting. He later attended the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at N.Y.U. There, he wrote and directed the short film, Tick, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and brought Hamburg his first taste of critical praise and audience appeal.
Hamburg currently resides in New York City.
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