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LEAP YEAR

About The Production
For more than a decade, writing partners Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont have been collaborating on comedies. With Leap Year, they admit that the concept for their latest project came to them very quickly. Kaplan recalls: "I was on a news website, and it was actually February 29th. There was a headline that read ‘Women in Ireland Propose on Leap Year Day,' and I said to Harry, ‘Does this sound like a movie or what?' We dropped what we were working on, and within two weeks we had the outline of the story. Within another two weeks, we had sold it to Spyglass. We then wrote it very quickly, and Amy signed onto it. It all happened lightning fast.”

The screenwriters were fascinated by the Leap Day stories they uncovered. Kaplan and Elfont knew that truth was stranger than fiction and felt this was an ideal proposition for a romantic comedy. "You read so many scripts where the premise seems forced,” Kaplan offers, "but this gave us the freedom to tell a simple but very credible love story. Here's a story about a girl who's going to propose to her boyfriend. This date gives her a specific day to get there, a country to go to that's not her own, and you follow the journey. Because we had a framework and knew where we were going, it allowed us to dig in and create a more complex role for an actress to play.”

At the center of their story is Anna, a fastidious young Boston native who has spent a life leading with her head instead of her heart. She's spent the past four years dating an up-and- coming cardiologist, and everything in her life seems perfect as she eagerly anticipates a proposal.

Elfont elaborates: "She has a father who was scattered and very irresponsible. Anna was forced early on to be the grown-up and to create a safe place for herself by making all these plans and knowing exactly what was coming next. She's created that life with Jeremy, but there's just one thing missing and she's unsettled. When she hears about this Leap Year tradition, she believes that she can close the deal and everything will be exactly as she's planned it.”

As the writing partners fleshed out the story, they knew that Anna personified the theme of their comedy: you can find a messy, fantastic love amidst chaos. "You can't plan everything, and you have to let life happen to you in order to find happiness,” says Elfont. "You can try, but you're not necessarily going to be happy. It's a very modern idea that you can control everything and be completely in charge of your life. We try to be a bit old-fashioned about that.”

While their protagonist struggles with the trappings of contemporary life on America's east coast, the roguish Declan is her polar opposite. Though he is an Irishman who leads with his heart, he is also no poster boy for emotional fulfillment. "Declan has had his heart broken, and he's stopped moving forward; he's stuck, and she's stuck,” explains Kaplan. "Through this journey they are both able to move on. And the best way for them to move on is with each other's help.”

When the premise for Leap Year was pitched to executives at Spyglass Entertainment, the producers found a story they believed had widespread appeal… and one that tossed out the notion of falling for your true love the moment you find him or her. "Not only did Anna and Declan not fall in love at first sight,” explains producer Roger Birnbaum. "What they felt for each other was actually extreme dislike at first sight. But the journey that they go on strips away all that they thought was true before. They learn a way to live and love by taking this trip together.”

Such was the producers' confidence in the project that it went before cameras only one year after the initial pitch. The on-screen talent also shared that sentiment. Amy

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