SAY IT ISN'T SO
Screenwriters Peter Gaulke and Gerry Swallow conceived their unique theory of "relativity" in 1998, after abandoning their stand-up comedy acts to concentrate on films. Their first effort, an unproduced black comedy called "Mountain Fever," which poked fun at the dramatic and tragic 1996 Mt. Everest disaster.
The pair next set out to scale new comic heights with "a funny romantic comedy," per Swallow. "Many of the romantic comedies we see are big on romance and low on comedy. They're not very funny. So, we decided to try something that was big on comedy and throw in a little romance.
Swallow credits his partner for coming up with the film's concept. "Peter just came up with this scenario of this guy falling in love with his sister, but then finds out it may not be his sister," he remembers. "That's all we initially had."
After Gaulke and Swallow completed the first draft of their screenplay, they decided the concept was tailor-made for Peter Farrelly and Bobby
Farrelly. Eventually, the script landed on the desk of the Farrelly's producing partner, Bradley Thomas, whose reaction was telling in its own right. "I thought someone was playing a gag on me," Thomas relates. "I was sure Peter and Bobby had written this. There were these two names on the title page, Gaulke and Swallow, which I figured were pseudonyms. So, I looked them up on the Internet. When I couldn't find any other credits for them, I was convinced the brothers were playing a joke on me.
When Thomas realized the script wasn't a Farrelly gag, he gave it to them to read. The brothers's reaction was strong. "We thought it was really funny —just the type of thing we laugh
at," says Peter Farrelly "But it's more than just outrageousness; it's a love story, about people drawn apart by a mistake. It gets very complicated and crazy, but true love wins out."
While audiences may look at SAY IT ISN'T SO as a patented Farrelly Brothers movie, Bobby Farrelly says that isn't necessarily so. "It's a Gerry Swallow-Peter
Gaulke-J.B. Rogers movie," he emphatically states. "We read the script and thought it was hysterical, and asked 'How come this isn't getting made?' As producers, we were in a position to help get it made."
The Farrellys and Thomas brought aboard J.B. Rogers to direct. As the Farrellys's assistant director, Rogers had seen and heard it all on the sets of each of Farrellys's four features. "We'd been looking for something for
J.B. to direct because he's really been like a third director on our movies," says Peter
"Right from our first movie, 'Dumb and Dumber', I thought J.B. could go out and direct himself," Bobby adds. "So, we'd always been looking for a script, and when this came along, even though we hadn't written it, we thought this would just be great for
Rogers, who had been talking for a while with the Farrellys about directing, embraced the opportunities of helming his first picture. "I've been with these guys for so long, I kind of knew how this movie needed to be shot and structured," says Rogers. "SAY IT ISN'T SO is definitely in the vein of your traditional Farrelly brothers film, because it has big laughs and characters with hearts of gold.
"Peter and Bobby have a real light sense of humor; they're not mean spirited at all," Rogers continues. "A lot of movies have tried to copy the Farrellys's style, but most don't have their good-hearted quality. Peter and Bobby's characters are always trying to do the right thing, which allows them to get away with some of craziness and outrageousness So, people laugh at the situations instead of being repelled by them. And that's what I also liked about Peter Gaulke and Gerry Swallow's script for this film."
Chris Klein certainly found the situations to be
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