— roc from AfterEllen.com
Oscar- and Emmy-winning actress
Helen Hunt has emerged from the where-the-hell-have-you-been cold
case files! Phew. It’s dark and moldy in those little boxes in which
Hollywood tosses its female stars of yesteryear. Hunt will soon be seen
in Then She Found Me, a comedy with drama and a little romance,
also starring Matthew Broderick, Colin Firth and the Divine
Ms. M, Bette Midler.
But what’s even nicer than seeing Hunt in front of the camera is that this new film features Hunt behind the camera, as well. Then She Found Me is Helen
Hunt’s feature film directorial debut, and it is has received its fair share
press from earlier film festivals. The film is at last winding its
way to a general release in April.
The movie has been adapted
from a novel by Elinor Lipman of the same name, and Hunt helped to pen
the screenplay. Writer, director, and star? Is that the new
Hollywood version of the triple threat?
In Then She Found Me, Hunt plays an unassuming
schoolteacher who finds out that she is the biological daughter of an
abrasive talk show host (played by Midler) who placed her baby for adoption
at birth. The pairing of Hunt with Midler as the unlikely mother-and-daughter combo is enough of a draw for me to buy a movie ticket for
this one, but the story also seems interesting in that modern-day
complicated twist sort of way. You see, Hunt’s character is ending
a relationship with a pretty annoying guy (Broderick) and
beginning a relationship with a flawed but nice enough guy (Firth) who
has a daughter enrolled at the school where Hunt’s character teaches.
Hunt’s character learns that she is pregnant with her ex’s baby, though
she is still trying to see where her relationship will go with the new
guy. Talk about dyke drama! Oh, wait — I don’t think there are any lesbian
characters in this; just lesbian icons. Well, anyway, here’s the latest
Hunt directed several
Mad About You episodes, including the finale of the beloved series,
but she had never tried her hand at a feature. In a recent interview, Hunt discusses the journey of making
the film. It took years to get this movie made, then seen, and now
finally distributed and released. And it paid off: Hunt
was awarded the Breakthrough Director of the Year at ShoWest.
Hunt has had a pretty robust
35-year film and television career. For a woman, the on-screen career
can often dry up much earlier than the careers of her male counterparts, and historically
there have not been a lot of female directors in film. But
there has been a trend of actors turning directors and starting an entirely
new second career behind the camera, with Clint Eastwood as the role
model and leading the pack. Lately, Sean Penn, Ben Affleck and Denzel Washington are
all looking at shifting their focus to directing. Well, the guys may
have to make room in line, because based on the early accounts of
Then She Found Me, Hunt may have a future in this directing business. The film opens April 25.