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About the Origins of the Film

Love in the 21st century is rarely straightforward. On the contrary, it tends to be messy, complicated and filled with comical obstructions and impediments that sometimes make it a wonder that it happens at all. Screenwriter Colin Patrick Lynch wrote a romantic comedy that reflects the long and winding road that so many people must careen down to find connection in today's chaotic world.

Lynch follows Oliver and Emily over a seven-year period—from young adulthood to the cusp of their 30s—constantly moving from place to place, shifting careers, changing partners and even redefining their dreams as they begin to figure out what life is really about. All the while, they are each searching for true love—searching everywhere, that is, except the one place they might find it: standing right in front of them again and again in the form of an old friend.

Lynch, a Los Angeles-based playwright who had yet to have a feature film produced, turned to an old college friend, producer Kevin Messick, who read his script and fell in love with it. "I thought Colin's script had such a realistic way of tackling the chaos and messiness of contemporary relationships,” he says. Messick was determined to get Lynch's debut project off the ground.

When director Nigel Cole read the screenplay he was quickly seduced. Cole saw the story as an opportunity to take a fresh look at the traditional screwball romance—focusing on how two people finally come together in a world that seems to keep yanking them in opposite directions. "I had been looking for a romantic comedy to do for ages, and I was almost despairing until I was sent this script,” recalls Cole. "What excited me about it is that it reminded me of the great old-fashioned romantic comedies I've always been enamored with, but it had a very contemporary sensibility. I like that it's a tale about real people you recognize in a real type of love that is as blind, unpredictable and out of control as real love, much to our chagrin, almost always is.”

A rising new talent in mainstream comedy, Cole had already directed two back-to-back sleeper hit comedies about middle-aged women breaking out of their molds—"Saving Grace,” in which Brenda Blethyn plays a woman who unwittingly becomes involved in the cannabis business, and "Calendar Girls,” about a group of women who make the bold decision to pose nude for charity. Now, Cole himself was ready to break out and do something new.

He continues: "A LOT LIKE LOVE is quite unusual because most romantic comedies are structured so that they essentially spend two hours building to a kiss and end with the very start of a relationship. This one starts right away with a kiss and then the fun of the story comes in the surprising developments that come after that when these potential lovers don't come together. It's really a story of bad timing—Oliver and Emily keep meeting over and over but it's always the wrong moment for them to fall in love, for one reason or another. It begs the question of what happens when a chance encounter doesn't lead to the people involved taking a chance, which seemed like a wonderful starting point. The minute I finished reading it, I rang my agent and said, ‘You have to get me this movie.'”

Cole came to Los Angeles and met with producer Kevin Messick and writer Colin Patrick Lynch and the three agreed to work together to get the film made.

Now, with Cole on board, Messick was able to take the script to Armyan Bernstein at Beacon Pictures—who was also won over by the romantic comedy's blind-to-romance charms. "From the minute we started reading the script, we loved the premise,” says Bernstein. "It was funny, enchanting and seemed very relevant to today's audiences. We were also thrilled to find out Nigel Cole would be involved. He has shown himself to be very talented and I think his unique

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