14 Absolutely Fascinating Behind-The-Scenes Facts From Iconic Romantic Comedies
Nia Vardalos, the writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, added some real-life details and quotes from her family into the script, including the immortal line, "Greek women. We may be lambs in the kitchen, but we are tigers in the bedroom."
1.In Palm Springs, two wedding guests stuck in a time loop fall in love, as wedding guests who get stuck in a time loop are wont to do. Sarah (Cristin Milioti) is trapped in the loop after an ill-fated encounter with Nyles (Andy Samberg), who has long since given up hope of escape (and of showing up to the ceremony in anything other than a Hawaiian shirt). But the movie doesn't reveal exactly how long Nyles has been living the exact same day.
But screenwriter Andy Siara revealed in an interview that Nyles has been treading temporal water for decades. He told Decider, "I don’t know if I’m supposed to say exactly, but Nyles has [been] in there for over 40 years. There are versions of the script where — mainly when Sarah comes in — I put titles in of how much time has passed. The main thing I hope got across was that a lot of time had passed. A lifetime of memories has passed, basically."
So that explains why Nyles doesn't remember what he does for a living, and also, you know, all that despair.
2.In an interview with Refinery29, 10 Things I Hate About You cowriter Karen McCullah said that the film's title was inspired by a diary entry she wrote as a teenager.
McCullah said, "I found a high school diary, and I had a boyfriend at the time, and I had a list of all the things I hated about him." When she told her collaborator Kirsten Smith about reading the diary for inspiration, Smith pointed out that it would make a "great movie title," and the rest is teen movie history. About the poem/declaration of reluctant love itself, Smith said, "I was a poet in college, and the poem came from my love of writing poetry. We just leaned in to the list of it all from the title."
3.In Crazy Stupid Love, Jacob (Ryan Gosling) shows off his most impressive "move" to Hannah (Emma Stone): He talks about Dirty Dancing, then shows off his ability to do the film's famous lift. According to Entertainment Weekly, Jacob's move was inspired by one of Gosling's own.
When Gosling met with the directing team and screenwriter, he recalled a time he did the Dirty Dancing lift on a date. Co-director John Requa told the outlet, "Me and [co-director] Glenn [Ficarra] turned to each other and said, 'Okay, that’s going in the movie!' He’s like, 'No, you can’t put that in the movie.' We put it in, much to his chagrin."
4.The engagement ring that Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh) gives to her son Nick (Henry Golding) to communicate her approval of Nick's girlfriend Rachel (Constance Wu) in Crazy Rich Asians came from Yeoh's personal jewelry collection.
Director Jon M. Chu told Vulture, "We had a ring designed already, and our mock-up looked so shitty that Michelle was like, 'That cannot be the ring I wear.'" Yeoh suggested her own emerald ring, and Chu agreed that it was perfect.
Yeoh later wore the ring on the red carpet of the 2019 Golden Globes.
5.During an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Kumail Nanjiani explained that the role of his father in his semi-autobiographical romantic comedy The Big Sick was played by his actual father's first choice: Anupam Kher, whom Nanjiani described as a "Bollywood legend" and compared to Robert De Niro.
While Nanjiani was doubtful they'd be able to book him, Kher ultimately accepted the role. Incredibly, The Big Sick was his 500th movie.
6.Nia Vardalos, the star and screenwriter of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, told ABC News'20/20 that she took some of the lines in the movie from her real life and family, including the immortal "Greek women. We may be lambs in the kitchen, but we are tigers in the bedroom."
Vardalos said that this was "something that my mother said to me while we were making chicken soup." She went on, "So I threw up in my mouth. And then I wrote it down."
Speaking of real-life inspirations, Vardolos said that her actual Aunt Voula "really does have a lump on the back of her neck that is her twin," just like her onscreen counterpart, who is portrayed by Andrea Martin.
7.In a Variety retrospective on The Princess Bride, Robin Wright, who played Buttercup, told a sweet story about working with Andre the Giant, aka the giant with a heart of gold, Fezzik.
Wright said, "We’re in the middle of the forest, and we’d be standing next to each other in our costumes, and it’s freaking cold and wet. He put his hands on my head literally to keep me warm from shivering. His hands covered my whole head. The heat from his hand was like an electric blanket." She added that the "sweet and thoughtful" Andre always offered her his coat if she didn't have hers.
8.In an interview with ComingSoon.net, Nancy Meyers, the writer and director of The Holiday, said that she wanted to cast Jack Black as one of the film's romantic leads after being impressed by his performance in School of Rock.
Meyers explained, "I saw School of Rock, and I just adored him; I thought he popped off the screen. He spoke to me as an audience member. I just thought, This guy is so great with these kids. That was a really hard performance, great movie, and he was spectacular in it."
Meyers added that when Black bumped into her on set and apologized for the "boob graze," she "just laughed so hard" and ended up writing the moment into the script.
9.That moment where Peter spins Lara Jean around by the pocket of her jeans in To All the Boys I've Loved Before? That was all Noah Centineo.
Director Susan Johnson told Entertainment Tonight, "He did it in the rehearsal and I was like, 'That is beautiful, we’re going to change the shot around!' He’s a natural flirt, so he knew what he was doing."
10.In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, When Harry Met Sally director Rob Reiner talked about the film's initial, less romantic ending.
Reiner said, "Initially they weren’t going to get together. We had it where time goes by, they run into each other in the street…and then they walk in opposite directions. I’d been single for 10 years after having been married for 10 years, and I just couldn’t figure out how it would work again."
According to EW, Reiner changed the ending when he met his future wife, Michele Singer, while the film was in production.
11.Fire Island screenwriter and star Joel Kim Booster told Entertainment Tonight that his costar Bowen Yang got to choose the song he performed in a karaoke sequence. He went with Britney Spears's "Sometimes."
Booster said, "I asked Bowen for a list of songs he’d be comfortable singing, and 'Sometimes' was sort of the top choice. And we were able to get it."
12.Set It Up director Claire Scanlon told Entertainment Tonight about a joke in Katie Silberman's screenplay that was ultimately cut from the final version of the movie, despite the fact that when she first read it, it was what made her think, Oh, I have to do this movie.
In the setup for the joke, Harper, the main character, portrayed by Zoey Deutch, complains about being ghosted to her love interest's roommate Duncan, a gay man played by Pete Davidson. Scanlon said, "Duncan tries to make her feel better, and Harper looks at Duncan and takes his hand very emotionally and says, 'I wish it was the '50s and you had to pretend to be straight and we had a passionless and confusing marriage.' And he says, 'Simpler times.'"
She went on, "I thought that was really funny, that one couplet. Of course, it was the opposite of simpler times, and no one would want to go back in time to that time. But it showed how she clicked with Duncan, and I really liked that relationship, [but] we just didn't have time. "
13.When the cast of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World underwent training to re-create comic book–style action, director Edgar Wright got in on the fun.
Wright told the Hollywood Reporter, "I have this thing where I wouldn’t make the actors do anything that I wouldn’t do, so if there were any rigs, like flying up in the air, I would do it and sometimes video myself, or do it in front of Michael [Cera]."
14.And finally: She's the Man director Andy Fickman told E! News that when Channing Tatum auditioned for the role of Duke, Fickman immediately realized that the relatively inexperienced actor in front of him was going to become very, very famous.
Fickman recalled, "I clearly remember — and I think I still have it somewhere — on my casting sheet, as he was talking, I was writing in crazy scribbles, 'Star…star…star.' I remember everyone else was crazy-scribbling 'Star.'"