1-20 of 37 items from 2017 « Prev | Next »
- Rebecca Rubin
Exclusive: The Female Brain, a romantic ensemble comedy about modern-day relationships, is making its world premiere Saturday at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Directed by and starring comedian Whitney Cummings and written by her and Neal Brennan, the pic also stars Sofia Vergara, Toby Kebbell, James Marsden, Lucy Punch, Beanie Feldstein, Cecily Strong, Blake Griffin and Deon Cole. Produced by Black Bicycle Entertainment’s Erika Olde and Michael Roiff, The Female Brain is… »
Whitney Cummings is a Los Angeles-based comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director. Best known for creating and starring in the NBC series “Whitney,” she also co-created and co-wrote the Emmy-nominated CBS comedy series “2 Broke Girls,” along with Michael Patrick King. Her acting credits include “Unforgettable,” “The Wedding Ringer,” “Made of Honor,” and “The Ridiculous Six.”
“The Female Brain” will premiere at the 2017 La Film Festival on June 17.
W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.
Wc: The film is a neurology comedy — not that I even have any idea what that means! We made a movie that depicted how our reptilian/primal brain undermines our modern day relationships. When conflict happens in scenes, brains are superimposed over the actors to show which neuro-chemicals are being released. The only way I know how to describe it is that it’s like a sexy, funny “Magic School Bus.”
W&H: What drew you to this story?
Wc: I read Louann Brizendine’s book “The Female Brain.” I was fascinated by all the things I learned about not only female brains, but the brain in general. I was shocked that they don’t teach us about our brains in school. It’s so unfair that we go through life being labeled as “crazy” or feeling like jerks when a lot of our behavior can be explained by our primal brain reactions.
I was so relieved to find out that a lot of my nutty behavior, and the behavior that frustrated me about the men I was in relationships with, could often be explained by primordial neuro-chemicals. It led me into a wormhole of trying to learn about the difference between nature and nurture, and to have more patience for people in times of stress given I now know how powerful cortisol and adrenaline can be.
Similarly, I have more patience and even compassion when people do selfish things given how strong the pull of dopamine is. I felt the need to be an evangelist and spread the word of the neurological gospel, but of course needed to do it in a funny way, so I or the viewer wasn’t bored out of their minds.
W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?
Wc: I want them to have the same sense of relief I had when I read the book, and the same feeling you get after leaving a comedy show. Nothing makes me feel less alone than when someone admits to something and you think “I thought I was the only person who did that!”
The idea of the movie is to reveal private moments we’ve all had but maybe are too embarrassed to talk about, or too ashamed to be honest about. I hope that moving forward, when someone in a relationship gets jealous or hurt, they can maybe use the science to feel less guilt or shame and to calm themselves down, i.e. “that wasn’t personal. This is just adrenaline. My primordial brain thinks I’m in danger but I’m really not.”
Our brains have not evolved fast enough to catch up to modern technology and to how safe our current environment is. Often, our instinct to snap into fight or flight mode is obsolete and just makes a mess of harmless situations that can easily be explained by neurology.
I hope everyone leaves the theater with an interest in how our brains work, and maybe just a bit more patience for themselves and for others. After this movie I hope people leave with a new vocabulary for how to talk about their behavior and feelings.
W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
Wc: Making an independent film is so hard and requires so much surrender. I think that was the hardest thing for me — to detach from the plan I had in my head and to allow for the curve balls to change the movie into what it was meant to be.
I got great advice from a friend who is a director who said, “you have three movies: the one you write, the one you shoot, and the one people see,” and that really helped me. Casting, location changes, weather, and technology fiascoes — these forces all get involved and fate starts directing the movie at a certain point.
Letting go and accepting that not everything was going to be the way I had it in my head was very challenging. Also as a comedian, I tend to want everything to be funny all the time, but this movie, whether it was because of the incredible cast or the subject matter, wanted to be more emotional than I anticipated so I had to surrender to that as well. I’m proud that it has so much heart but I didn’t quite envision it that way initially.
W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.
Wc: Making an independent film is a Rubik’s Cube of complications and weird math equations that I’ll never quite understand, and it had a bizarre road but finally it landed with Erika Olde at Black Bicycle Entertainment, an incredible woman who is supporting female-driven films.
She’s brave and fearless and a champion of risk and all things fresh and new. I was lucky enough to have her support and patience. She responded to the script and trusted me for some reason, so we jumped off this cliff together and managed to pull it off, but not without a couple premature gray hairs.
W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at the Laff?
Wc: I’m honored to be able to screen the movie for the first time in La. It’s where we shot the movie, it’s where I learned about movies, it’s where our film business is. I’m glad that other parts of the country get to film movies these days, with so much shooting in Georgia and New Mexico, because it’s great for their economies and the overall health of the business.
However, there was something special about shooting in La — being able to sleep in my bed, get actors I would not get to have if we shot out of state, and now screening it here, the original home of the business and so many passionate movie geeks.
This is an unapologetically commercial movie, and with other festivals being so specific, Laff just feels very right and welcoming to the vibe of this weird neurology movie.
W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?
Wc: I love this question. Some good advice was “80 percent of directing is casting.” I found out that this is very true. I cast people I’m super fans of, people I admire, people I love watching, and people I know are kind and patient humans.
It really paid off because when things take a wrong turn and you’re shooting at 4 am, actors being patient, kind, and still funny under an incredible amount of pressure despite being completely exhausted is invaluable.
The worst advice? Shoot on film.
W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?
Wc: Go through your budget like a hawk. Understand what everything means — every acronym, every shorthand. Learn the economics of a budget so you can be empowered to understand what it means to go into overtime, so you know where you can cut, compensate, what you need and what you don’t need, and what you can and can’t compromise. This isn’t just for women, it’s for everyone.
Also, hire other women and wear sunscreen.
W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.
Wc: I love Nicole Holofcener. Her movies are so complicated and dimensional yet so simple. “Enough Said” was incredible, charming, and special. I loved “Lovely & Amazing” and how she is able to show women as vulnerable and fragile and emotional but never as pathetic victims. She has a very impressive relationship with the truth and has an uncanny ability to know how much information to give the viewer.
I love how bravely she attacks uncomfortable topics. She also has great patience, she really lets the stories unravel at a pace that isn’t too slow, but still makes the viewer earn the payoff. Okay, I’ll stop now.
W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.
Wc: I’m very optimistic. I have tons of girlfriends directing their films, so I actually see a ton of progress every day in my inner circle, so maybe I think it’s better than it actually is since I know so many female directors.
For me, the key was just writing something for myself. I wrote the script with Neal Brennan and we hustled to get it made — if someone else had written it I would have been on a list to direct it. I have no idea how directors get hired in the studio system so I like sticking to generating my own material so I’m not waiting around to win the lottery.
Laff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Whitney Cummings — “The Female Brain” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Joseph Allen
12 June 2017 2:39 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
With her first feature, Whitney Cummings joins the short list of filmmakers who have made comedies based on nonfiction best-sellers. Woody Allen did it in 1972 with Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, and like that film, hers is composed of vignettes. But The Female Brain is a decidedly more middle-of-the-road affair, the brief scenes forming four rom-com threads involving couples at different stages of involvement, from just-met to long married.
Anyone expecting the acerbic insights of the 2 Broke Girls co-creator’s stand-up will find a far gentler tone prevailing. At the feature’s Los Angeles Film Festival premiere, »
- Sheri Linden
Denise Di Novi's Unforgettable starring Katherine Heigl, Rosario Dawson, Geoff Stults, Cheryl Ladd, Sarah Burns, Whitney Cummings, Simon Kassianides, Isabella Kai Rice and Robert Ray Wisdom is headed to Blu-ray, DVD and Digital in July.
The Unforgettable Digital HD version will arrive first on July 18th. You won't have to watch much longer for the Unforgettable Blu-ray and DVD combo packs as they are scheduled for release a week later on July 25th.
Unforgettable had a tough time at the box office earning just over $15 million. A lower $12 million production budget helped, and home video should find a much larger audience.
A total of three bonus features are included on the Unforgettable Blu-ray, DVD and Digital combo:
Reclaiming What's Yours: Making Unforgettable
Deleted Scene with Commentary
You can currently pre-order Unforgettable on Digital HD at Amazon. Check out the trailer and cover art below.
E! News is reporting that Roseanne will officially return to ABC. As we reported a few weeks back, the show was being developed as a limited series revival set to star Roseanne Barr and the rest of the original cast, including John Goodman, whose character Dan Connor was dead at the end of the original series run. The show will be produced by Roseanne Bar, Sara Gilbert, Tom Werner, and Whitney Cummings. Sarah Chalke, who was the second actress to play Becky Connor on the show, will return for the limited series but will be playing a different role.
Related: Roseanne Revival In The Works
The show is set to showcase the life of the Connor's in 2018 as they struggle to get by paycheck to paycheck. Channing Dungey, ABC President, had this to say about the revival.
"We're rebooting Roseanne," she said. "It is planned for the midseason. We're still at the early stages. »
- Tim Jousma
ABC have unveiled ten new trailers from their upcoming slate of new TV shows which wil be arriving on our screens in the coming months. Absent from the list is Marvel’s Inhumans, though executives did screen a look at the forthcoming spin-off during their upfront presentation yesterday. The only other on not presented online was the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off which will focus on firefighters, another project that was revealed to press at the presentation.
We do have a look at the other ten, including Roseanne which, sadly is just made up of archive material from old episodes as the new show hasn’t officially kicked off shooting as yet. Take a look.
Groundbreaking family comedy “Roseanne” will return in 2018 with the original cast! From executive producers Roseanne Barr, Sara Gilbert, Tom Werner, Bruce Helford, Whitney Cummings and Tony Hernandez.
You can’t imagine what will become possible. »
- Paul Heath
President Trump's youngest son is heading to a new school just outside of D.C. -- and sports will be a big part of his time there. Melania Trump confirmed reports Monday Barron will attend St. Andrew's Episcopal in Maryland starting this fall. According to school officials the First Kid will have to join a sport for 2 out of the 3 trimesters each year. Here are some of his options: - Fall trimester ... cross-country, equestrian, »
- TMZ Staff
It may be time to reach for a cupcake, as CBS has canceled “2 Broke Girls” after six seasons. Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs starred in the sitcom that was frequently on the bubble. The cast also included Garrett Morris, Jonathan Kite, Matthew Moy and Jennifer Coolidge. Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings created the show, and it hailed from Warner Bros. Television. Also Read: CBS Picks Up Johnny Galecki-Produced Comedy 'By the Book' to Series The network still has a number of shows still in limbo, including “Elementary,” “The Great Indoors” and “Code Black.” CBS has already »
- Ryan Gajewski
Comedy series “2 Broke Girls” has been canceled after six seasons at CBS, Variety has learned.
The series starred Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs as waitresses at a Brooklyn diner who one day dream of opening their own business. The only thing standing in their way is the fact they are dead broke. The series also starred Matthew Moy, Jonathan Kite, Garrett Morris, and Jennifer Coolidge. The series was co-created by Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings, with King and Michelle Nader executive producing. Warner Bros. Television and Mpk Productions produced.
The series posted solid ratings throughout its run. Season 6 averaged a 1.3 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.6 million viewers per episode, airing mostly on Monday nights. It briefly moved to Wednesdays and Thursdays during its fifth season.
CBS previously renewed 18 of their series. The returning shows renewed to date include six comedies such as “Big Bang Theory,” “Mom,” and “Life in Pieces”; nine dramas including “Blue Bloods” and »
- Joe Otterson
Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.
– The Human Rights Watch Film Festival will be presented June 9 – 18, with 21 topical and provocative feature documentaries and panel discussions that showcase courageous resilience in challenging times. In an era of global advances by far-right forces into the political mainstream, assaults on the free press, and the rise of “citizen journalism,” festival organizers hope that the films in this year’s program can serve as inspiration and motivation for the audience, from seasoned activists to those searching for a role in local and global movements.
Now in its 28th edition, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival is co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFC Center. All screenings will be followed by in-depth discussions with filmmakers, film subjects, Human Rights Watch researchers, and special guests. »
- Kate Erbland
Watch: Roseanne Barr Rocks Platinum Bob, Disses Kanye's Presidential Bid
"I will let you guys know when/if there is to be a reboot of Roseanne," she tweeted, adding, "Of course I want to do a reboot of Roseanne-new political reality in our country will make for some great jokes!"
A source confirmed to Et on Friday that a revival of the hit '90s sitcom was still in early discussions, but should the deal close, Roseanne's on-screen husband, John Goodman, would be a part of it. Also reportedly returning for the reboot is Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf and other original cast members.
According to Deadline, the eight-episode revival will be executive produced by the »
Time for another cinematic trek to the land of “second chance” romance, where those wounded lovers get another try at happiness in a picture-perfect little town complete with a cozy home (fireplace included, of course) and an adorable moppet. But this journey to a happy ending can’t be a smooth one. The fly in the ointment (or the more crass “t%#d in the punch bowl) is the more than a little unhinged ex. Then the trip goes from hearts and flowers to demented nannies and boiled bunny rabbits. Perhaps as a way to mark the 30th anniversary of Fatal Attraction, movie-goers are now treated to a “female-centric” take on torture and turmoil mixed with thwarted desire and homicide in Unforgettable.
We first meet a battered and bruised Julia Banks (Rosario Dawson) as she is interrogated by a pair of somber stoic police detectives. Ms B is in big »
- Jim Batts
The return of past television, which has recently included The Gilmore Girls, Full House, and others (including news of a Will & Grace return), now adds one of comedy television all-time greats, Roseanne. Deadline reports in an exclusive (see below) that Roseanne a revival is in the works with at least Roseanne Barr, John Goodman and Sara Gilbert.
The show apparently already has several networks bidding, including Netflix, who seem to want to make this kind of idea part of their overall television effort. The revival is executive produced by original series Ep’s Tom Werner, Barr and Bruce Helford with Gilbert and Whitney Cummings.
Deadline also reports that the show intends to get all the principal actors from the original in some capacity for the reboot.
- Marc Eastman
A Roseanne revival is in the works!
The '90s comedy is getting an eight-episode reboot starring Roseanne Barr, John Goodman and Sara Gilbert, according to Deadline. Laurie Metcalf and other original cast members have also reportedly signed on.
Deadline reports that the revival will be executive produced by the original series' executive producers Barr, Tom Werner and Bruce Helford, with Gilbert and Whitney Cummings also on board to produce. ABC (Roseanne's original network) and Netflix (which has found success with reboots like Fuller House, Arrested Development and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life) are reportedly both bidding on the project.
A source tells Et that the revival is still in early discussions, but should the deal close, Goodman will be a part of it, while another source close to Barr confirms "things are in the works."
Roseanne ran for »
Whitney Cummings — co-creator of 2 Broke Girls — proved her dedication to comedy when she submerged herself up to her neck in water for the cover of her new book, which she revealed today.
“Oh dear. Today is the day I get to reveal the cover of this book,” wrote Cummings on her Instagram on Tuesday. “And yes I almost drowned shooting this.”
The book is titled I’m Fine… And Other Lies, and showcases the arc of her life that eventually brought her to the riches at the end of the fame rainbow. She now holds the titles of comedian, producer, »
- Sam Gillette
Get ready to read Whitney Cummings. The comedian just revealed the cover of her debut book, a memoir called I'm Fine...And Other Lies. The cover shows a smiling Cummings in a water tank with her head just above water. According to her publishing house, the funny lady's tome will detail her "struggles with codependence, love addiction, workaholism, eating disorders and vagina steaming." "I always told myself I would wait to write a book until I had accumulated enough humiliating mistakes to actually make the read worth your time," Cummings told People when the book deal was announced last May. "I've dated a gay guy, had my hair fall out from not eating enough fat, put »
The ultimate uptight blond turns psychotic ex-wife in a silly thriller that tries – and heroically fails – to be the new Fatal Attraction
Poor Katherine Heigl has been typecast as the uptight blond (think the unfortunate trifecta of Knocked Up, 27 Dresses and The Ugly Truth). Here, she at least has fun with that typecasting as tightly wound and sleekly coiffed troublemaker Tessa. A Bay Area psycho Barbie, Tessa is determined to make life difficult for her beer-brewing, rent-a-hunk, ex-husband’s (Geoff Stults) new girlfriend, Julia (a heroic Rosario Dawson, playing it as straight as the hammy script will allow). Enjoyable, too, is the inversion of the black best friend trope, with Julia’s supportive, zany bestie played by Whitney Cummings of 2 Broke Girls.
Movie super-producer Denise Di Novi’s directorial debut casts itself as an erotic thriller in the tradition of Fatal Attraction; to me, it had more in common with »
- Simran Hans
There are few surprises in “Unforgettable,” the first feature film from longtime producer Denise Di Novi. In hair color, clothing and personality type, the two female leads of this custody-battle-turned-murder-mystery are diametrically opposed at every turn, hurtling toward a final showdown that will probably not end in hugs and an exchange of floral arrangements. But there’s something about the way that Di Novi and writer Christina Hodson never stray from this dynamic that gives the movie a strange heightened, camp-adjacent appeal.
“Unforgettable” treats this central struggle over the heart of a family in the same way that a recent Ken Watanabe character does, by surveying the battlefield and coming to a simple, definitive conclusion: “Let them fight.”
The setup for this feud is as simple as its execution. New SoCal transplant Julia Banks (Rosario Dawson) is fresh off a move from a publishing gig in New York to be »
- Steve Greene
The actress revealed that she was “still swollen” from freezing her eggs when she recorded her audition on tape.
“I was on bed rest because I had had this thing called hyperstimulation, so I should’ve been in bed,” she tells People in this week’s issue. “I was in so much pain, on painkillers. But when a doctor tells me like, ‘Take it easy for a couple days’ — that, in my head, »
- Jodi Guglielmi
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