Kat Coiro

The Dink

I’ll be honest with you, folks. A Case of You doesn’t seem like it has a lot going for it. It’s got a basic romantic/indie comedy setup, and (as our own Caitlin Hughes pointed out), it holds hard and fast to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl archetype that’s been so badly overworked these past few years. A Case of You has a pretty basic setup. Justing Long is fast approaching the time where all his friends are getting married, and yet he’s hopelessly alone. But then the Rom-Com gods grant him a love interest in the form of Evan Rachel Wood. Not wanting to screw things up, he begins stalking her on Facebook, using every page, activity and lifestyle choice she’s “liked” to craft himself into her perfect man. As you can probably guess, something goes horribly awry and then Long must save his last shot at love (or something like that, anyway). But here’s what A Case of You does have: Peter Dinklage. With a mustache. Playing a sassy barista. What more could you possibly ask for? Witness his mustachioed glory in the trailer below:

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Sometimes, even when you’re living out your life on a breathtakingly picturesque Italian island and look like Kate Bosworth, life can be hard. You can have a mean composer husband who doesn’t want to spend time with you, a sense of misdirection in a foreign country and another man, sweet as he may be, trying to win your affections and sway you from your crummy marriage. As Jane (Bosworth) finds out in Kat Coiro’s And While We Were Here, vacation time off the Italian coast might be the best time to let go of inhibitions and give in to making out with a cute dude. An homage to the many great romantic Italian films (I spy at least one dreamy Vespa ride), the film explores what happens when a person you meet on the street (Jamie Blackley) could turn out to be the love of your life. Though the trailer doesn’t give us too much in terms of plot besides the assertion that the characters will “laugh. cry. love. live,” that actually seems like all we need to know. It’s Italy; they’re in love.

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Smack in the middle of a fizzy-skewing resume that includes titles like L!fe Happens and A Case of You, writer and director Kat Coiro‘s And While We Were Here has long occupied a space of drama and romance that doesn’t seem to come with the kind of belly laughs the filmmaker’s other fare spawns. Based on a set of audio tapes that Coiro made in conversation with her own grandmother, the film follows American writer Jane (Kate Bosworth) as she embarks on what should be a dreamy trip to Italy with her husband (Iddo Goldberg), one that soon becomes mired in her own attempts to adapt tapes of her grandmother’s WWII-set life story for a memoir. Oh, and then there’s that affair with a younger man (Jamie Blackley). It sounds like one heck of a trip, and the film’s newest poster, exclusively debuting here, conveys the wistfulness and dreaminess of a journey worth taking. And While We Were Here will hit VOD on August 13th and theaters on September 13th.

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Director Kat Coiro‘s (L!fe Happens) latest feature,  A Case of You will undoubtedly enter the pantheon of “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” movies. You know the kind – movies that glorify the precious nature of spritely, eccentric leading ladies who make their “normal” suitor’s heart got pitter-patter. Our MPG here is named Birdie Hazel (Evan Rachel Wood), a barista at a Brooklyn coffee shop – she wears fedoras, draws caricatures in Prospect Park, and takes ballroom dancing with a pack of admiring senior citizens. She also has an unparalleled taste in music literature, as she appreciates the likes of both Joni Mitchell and Walt Whitman. When struggling writer Sam (Justin Long, who co-wrote the film with his brother Christian Long and co-star Keir O’Donnell) falls for her, he looks to her Facebook page as inspiration and makes all of her quirky interests his so that she will fall for him.When Birdie does fall for Sam, will he need to keep up the façade forever so that he remains interesting in her eyes? A Case of You rests on this game of Sam’s, which is somewhat of a flimsy premise. This and other problems aside, Long and Wood are delightful to watch and have great chemistry, and on the whole, the film is, despite my better judgement, quite enjoyable.

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Apparently, not all YA fiction these days centers on monsters of the mythical variety, and now it’s time to bring those particular blood-suckers to the big screen. Deadline Echo Park reports that filmmaker Kat Coiro will direct the film adaptation of Paige Harbison‘s novel, “Here Lies Bridget.” The story focuses on what happens “after narcissistic mean girl Bridget Duke crashes her car and ends up in limbo, [where] she must confront the people she has bullied, degraded and belittled, all of whom must decide if she goes to heaven or hell.” Coiro recently wrote, directed, and produced L!fe Happens, a mildly satisfying slice-of-life female-centric dramedy that stars Kate Bosworth, Rachel Bilson, and Krysten Ritter. The film revolves around three best friends and roommates who find their entirely life thrown into disarray when one of them (Ritter) gets pregnant from a one night stand and decides to raise the baby on her own (with the help of her equally-as-unprepared roommates). The film premiered at this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival and is set to open in theaters on March 30, 2012. While I was not a tremendous fan of L!fe Happens (and, please, someone ditch that exclamation mark), the film did exhibit Coiro’s charm and ability to craft female characters that feel both likeable and real. Much of the film rang true, so it will be interesting to see Coiro apply her talents to a film that’s significantly less down-to-Earth.

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