NEXT STOP, WONDERLAND
About The Story
Two strangers meet on a train, setting off sparks -- it's a classic concept in Hollywood romance, one that often leads to romantic mayhem, twists of fate and comedic outcomes
Two strangers meet on a train, setting off sparks -- it's
a classic concept in Hollywood romance, one that often leads to
romantic mayhem, twists of fate and comedic outcomes. Brad Anderson's
NEXT STOP WONDERLAND takes this familiar story and inventively
propels it backwards in time, exploring how such seemingly random
accidents between a man and a woman occur in the first place.
In NEXT STOP WONDERLAND, the romantic mayhem, twists of fate and
comedic outcomes all occur before the lovers even meet --
driving them unwittingly towards one another.
Anderson skillfully follows two parallel lives -- each a funny,
honest and distinctive portrait of coming to terms with dating,
destiny and meaning in your 30s. Erin, played by Hope Davis, is
a night nurse who has been dumped by her politically correct boyfriend
and is convinced she'll never find a man who can hold a candle
to her deceased father, a paragon of the brilliant, sensitive
man. Alan, played by Alan Gelfant, is an East Boston plumber who
wants nothing more than to leave behind his debt-wracked father
and the family plumbing business -- to start a passionate new
life as the marine biologist he's always dreamed of becoming.
Both are struggling with the past, uncertain in the present and
learning to be happily alone in a tough, crowded city.
What are the odds these two will meet? As Erin dates a hilarious
barrage of posers, losers, wanna-bes and wimps -- and as Alan
mires himself in a nefarious fish-napping and other comically
criminal attempts to settle his debts -- it seems less and less
likely. But just when they each begin to get right with themselves.
their paths unforgettably cross.
"The intent of the movie was to play on the issues of fate
and destiny, to explore how people in their private moments create
guidance and structure to see themselves through the difficulties
of finding love," explains writer/director Brad Anderson.
"I wanted to explore the two sides of the romantic fate coin.
On one side is the belief that your love life is designed and
controlled by some higher force. On the other is the more rational,
scientific perspective that life is nothing more than a random
series of accidents and chaotic events. I don't think the story
really comes down hard one way or the other -- you could interpret
the events through either perspective. But the point is that you're
left in a state of wonderment, a joyful curiosity about what's
going to happen next."
From the beginning, Anderson wanted to take the conventions of
a typical romantic comedy and turn them on their side, leaving
open questions of how, when and why romance blossoms in a life.
He chose a hand-held, documentary-like style for the film that
subverts the usual wide-angle slickness of most romantic comedies.
He went for a naturalistic, improvisational relationship with
his actors that has a rawness not common to the genre. He set
the whole thing to a cool, jazzy Bossa Nova soundtrack that contrasts
slyly with the contemporary Boston setting. And he and co-writer
Lyn Vaus created a lead character who embodies the Bossa Nova
concept of saudade: a kind of sadness that is a longing
for happiness -- a concept with much resonance on the modem relationship
"I have always loved Bossa Nova and I wanted to create a
character who embodies the mixed emotions of that sound. I also
wanted to create a very real, very strong female character, a
complex woman struggling to meet the right guy. I w
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