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YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS

About The Production
In YOUR FRIENDS & NEIGHBORS, his first film since the acclaimed and controversial "In the Company of Men," writer/director Neil LaBute continues to watch, and listen to, the human condition

In YOUR FRIENDS & NEIGHBORS, his first film since the acclaimed and controversial "In the Company of Men," writer/director Neil LaBute continues to watch, and listen to, the human condition. While his first film plumbed the depths of mental cruelty practiced by two modern corporate players, the new feature unearths the dark side, and darker humor, of intimate relationships among today's upscale urbanites. The ensemble cast of six (three women, three men) portrays characters engaged in intricate manuevers leading to sexual deceit and self-immolation. In seeking the most basic human contact -- to only connect with another person --the characters find their motives misunderstood, curdling, and betrayed.

"We humans are a fairly barbarous bunch, and I don't think we've changed much over the millenia," says LaBute. "Society does shape how we act, though, by laying down rules of the game -- and the people in YOUR FRIENDS & NEIGHBORS play by the rules of the late 20th Century. These characters represent a fair cross-section of our society today."

LaBute speaks from experience: he had worked in the mental health field while attending Brigham Young.University..He later attended the University of Kansas, before entering the Graduate Dramatic Writing program at New York University. Over the years, LaBute authored several plays, and later completed several screenplays.

When preparing to direct his first feature film, LaBute found himself "torn between this script [YOUR FRIENDS & NEIGHBORS] and 'In the Company of Men,"' another screenplay he had written. Ultimately, "there was only so much money to do whatever film it was going to be," and the smaller number of characters and locations required for "In the Company of Men" tipped the scales in its favor. LaBute made "In the Company of Men," which starred Aaron Eckhart, a friend and collaborator since BrighamYoung days (who reteams with LaBute on YOUR FRIENDS & NEIGHBORS).

"In the Company of Men" screened at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, with LaBute on hand. The film quickly emerged as the most controversial movie of the Festival, and earned the Filmmakers Trophy. Also at Sundance that year was Alix Madigan-Yorkin, who had recently joined Fleece, Jason Patric's production company based at Propaganda Films, as head of development. LaBute and Madigan-Yorkin met up at Sundance, and Madigan-Yorkin in turn recommended LaBute's work to Patric.

Having formed Fleece, Patric was looking for the right film to mark his debut as producer. He recalls, "I had seen 'In the Company of Men,' and I thought it was very strong -- one of the most unique movies in years. I took a look at the [YOUR FRIENDS & NEIGHBORS] script, and I found it even more audacious. Initially, I was reading it more as a producer, not knowing that there was a part I was going to play." Patric quickly realized not only that "it helped to get it made if I played something," but also that the movie shaped up as "an actor's dream."

Patric remembers, "I took the script to Propaganda and said, This is a movie I'd like to make."' Propaganda Films' Steve Golin, who had recently produced Barry Levinson's "Sleepers," in which Patric starred, remarks. "Jason came in with a vision for bringing the movie to the screen. When I read the screenplay, I knew right away that his instincts were cor

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