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MUST LOVE DOGS

About The Production
"We wanted to explore one woman's search for love in an increasingly frantic world,” says Gary David Goldberg, who directs the romantic comedy Must Love Dogs from his own screenplay, based on the best-selling Claire Cook novel, and shares producing duty with Suzanne and Jennifer Todd. "Sarah Nolan is a woman whose life didn't turn out exactly as she expected. Now she's in transition. She has to summon up the courage to get out there and try again, and the world is not as hospitable or forgiving as it should be. It's an uncomfortable and often very funny place to be, rich with human predicaments we can all relate to.” 

No stranger to the human predicament, Goldberg's career is distinguished by entertainment that addresses themes of family, romance, growing up, breaking up and starting over – and always with a healthy dose of laughter. A writer on The Bob Newhart Show, Alice and M*A*S*H, and writer/producer on Lou Grant, Goldberg went on to create Family Ties and Spin City, earning his first Emmy Award for Lou Grant and another Emmy and four consecutive nominations for Family Ties, as well as a nomination as executive producer for the critically acclaimed series Brooklyn Bridge. He again struck that balance of humor and poignancy in the 1989 feature Dad, starring Jack Lemmon and Ted Danson as a combative father and son bickering their way toward reconciliation. 

Goldberg wasn't looking for a film project when he discovered Must Love Dogs. At home in a small town in Vermont, "I kind of fancied myself semi-retired at the time,” he recalls, happily removed from the world of development meetings, casting sessions and 4 AM wake-up calls. Stopping at a local bookstore one day, he saw Claire Cook's novel, a Literary Guild Book Club selection, featured as the staff's pick-of-the-week. He read it and laughed out loud. Before long, he was mulling over possibilities for a script and bidding for film rights.

"Claire does a wonderful job of capturing a moment in time,” says Goldberg, referring to that surreal, post-divorce pause in which "you're in shock, retreat. Your confidence is shaken and you don't make great choices. That's where we find Sarah.” 

Matching Goldberg's enthusiasm for the story are dynamic producing partners – and sisters – Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd, of Mememto (2002 Independent Spirit Award winner and AFI Film of the Year nominee), Boiler Room and the phenomenally popular Austin Powers films. Suzanne shared a 1997 Emmy nomination for the acclaimed HBO movie If These Walls Could Talk, and Team Todd shared a 2000 nomination for its powerful sequel, If These Walls Could Talk 2. 

"Unlike a lot of broad high-concept romantic comedies,” notes Suzanne Todd, "Must Love Dogs derives its humor from real characters and real situations.”

"It's a sweet, honest movie about putting yourself back together,” says Jennifer Todd. "Plus, Suzanne and I enjoyed the sister relationship and the family dynamics, which are amazingly true to life. With Suzanne and I working together we've had so many people tell us either that they think it's wonderful and they would love to be able to work with a sibling or just the opposite, that they can't imagine how we do it and remain on speaking terms. Everyone relates it to their own circumstance and the same is true the first time you encounter Sarah's family, which is very much in each other's business.” 

Having no sisters of his own, Goldberg gratefully defers to the Todds on that subject, specifically for scenes that highlight the often barbed but unmistakably loving interplay between Sarah and her take-charge sibling Carol, played by Diane Lane and Elizabeth Perkins. "They gave me the sister stuff,” says Goldberg of his co-producers. "There were times when Diane and Elizabeth were working out a scene and we'd be tossing it around and Jennifer or Suzanne would say, ‘well, we'

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