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in Filmmaking
on Apr 3, 2009

With Adventureland hitting theaters today, here’s a reminder that Nick Dawson’s interview with director Greg Mottola is up now on our home page and in our Winter, 2009 issue, which leaves newsstands in about a week.

Here’s an excerpt:

Filmmaker: The main character is very sexually inexperienced, and in a way this is almost like The 40-Year-Old Virgin except that, unlike Judd Apatow‘s movie, James being a virgin is something we sympathize with rather than make fun of.

Motolla: It was a somewhat different time 20 years ago, obviously, but there was a lot of discussion about whether to keep the virginity aspect in the script. Between the time I wrote it and was trying to get money for it The 40-Year-Old Virgin had come out. The characters in Superbad are virgins and, you know, we‘ve seen it — it‘s not brand-new. But I really felt like it was important because it was so connected to this guy‘s unrealistic romantic idealization of women that he couldn‘t quite go through with it. Besides the fact that he was awkward and bad at seducing women, he really was clinging onto an idea of some romantic fantasy. I wanted to imply that being able to understand that that [point of view] is childish was crucial. It doesn‘t mean that he has to give up all of his romantic notions of the world but just that [he finally understands] that it doesn‘t work that way, that people don‘t have intimacy that way. In fact, having your head up your ass [like he does] stops intimacy from happening. I came from a very Catholic family and I definitely inherited a childhood fear of things that you were told by priests and sermons. There‘s a certain amount of repression I grew up with. I had a college friend who hadn‘t even masturbated until he was 22 — he was such a repressed Catholic — but I spent an enormous amount of time when I was in high school envying my friend who was fucking girls, just really being so jealous and hating myself because I was not there.

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