That’s What She Said, the independent comedy masterfully directed by Carrie Preston (Arlene Fowler) and written by Kellie Overbey first caught my eye when it was selected for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in December. After all, you don’t get into a festival like that unless the film is really good. And from the trailer, which you’ll be able to see at the end of this post it really did look like a great movie! And I was not disappointed!
However the reason why I have devoted as much time and attention to this film as I have is because it is something that Carrie Preston truly loves and cares very deeply about. It’s things like this movie that make me love having this blog because while I love True Blood, and I do immensely, the cast and crew have more to than simply this show and it is those things that make them interesting to me.
Usually when I decide to attend something True Blood-related I have to get on a plane, especially to have the kind of intimacy that the San Francisco Women’s International Film Festival (SFWIFF) provided. But this time something I loved came to the city I love and also happen to live in! So I not only wanted to go but I had to go because these kinds of opportunities are far and few between.
That’s What She Said was the closing night film of SFWIFF 2012 and prior to the screening there was a reception at an intimate venue around the corner from the Roxie Theater. Many people in my life have no idea what True Blood is much less why I go to events like this. So I was grateful to have my uncle Tim with me. He watches the show and is also a musician so he understands the creative necessity of these events. You can learn more about his band JeeJah here.
We weren’t exactly sure what to expect when we walked into a room full of about 20 people and music that was blaring through speakers thanks to a DJ set up in a corner of the small space. After looking at some of the materials that were available, I took a seat with a clear view of the door and started checking on what happened with the latest Waiting Sucks clip which I asked Heather to post while I attended this.
10 minutes after we arrived Carrie and Kellie came in and naturally of course my nerves set in. Even though the venue was small, I didn’t want to pounce on Carrie right away nor interrupt conversations she might be having. A lot of people just went up to her and quite a few asked for pictures. But that’s not necessarily my style. I wanted to make sure she had some time to enjoy herself, especially since Carrie had flown in from the premiere at the Soho International Film Festival earlier that day. So it took me a good 30 minutes or so before I actually talked to her and truthfully I probably looked like I was stalking her until I did. But I was trying to be polite!
When I was finally able to speak with Carrie, she could not have been sweeter! She was glad that I came out for the screening and I congratulated her again on this achievement, telling her that I was genuinely happy for her when I had heard the news about the film and Sundance back in December. We also discussed the interview I had done with her back in March which you can read here. I never know when I do interviews how well they’ve gone over. So it was nice to actually be able to talk to her about it and she seemed to be glad that I had been trying to cover her film here as much as I could.
True Blood didn’t come up which is too bad. But on the other hand I think Carrie gave me all the scoop she could at the time. So it all worked out. She did however tell me that she will be returning to the Good Wife to do more! If you haven’t seen her as Elsbeth Tascioni on that show, you should! She is awesome in it! All in all, it was a pleasent conversation. And as it so happens, I also met Tanya Wright while I was at the party. She plays Kenya Jones on the show and was in town because her movie Butterfly Rising had screened the day before. Unfortunately I was tied up in something the day before to make it. Had I known that she was there and going to do a Q&A I would have dropped everything and gone. She was also very sweet and upon noticing TBFS and Kristin Bauer Online on my card, commended me on my dedication! I’m hopeful that I will be able to do something with her in the near future because I am interested in speaking with her about everything she has going on.
Not long after it was time to head to the theater for the movie. It was a small place and we took a seat in the second row and had a perfect place for the Q&A afterwards. Carrie and Kellie came up just before the film started to give an overview and then it was time for the film.
The film centers around three women; Dee Dee (Anne Heche), Bebe (Marcia DeBonis), and Clementine (Alia Shawkat). Bebe is having a date with Tom, a guy she met at a wine tasting after he’s been out of town for three weeks. So she asks Didi to spend the day with her helping her get prepared. However, Didi is slightly bitter and jaded having ended a relationship of 7 years with her boyfriend Dick who she says was cheating on her. The two best friends meet up for coffee prior to Bebe’s manicure and when Didi arrives she finds Bebe talking to a hysterically crying woman named Clementine who’s boyfriend Harry just broke up with her, causing her to to flee their apartment with a hastily packed bag.
The trio end up spending the day together which starts with them getting kicked out of one coffee shop and ends well past midnight in a bar in New York’s Chinatown. In between, they get rained on, someone dies, another person gets arrested, and a dildo is almost considered a weapon. Screenwriter Kellie Overbey makes an appearence as a lawyer named Elyse who springs the jailbird. While I don’t want to give away too many details about the plot, I will say that it did remind me of Sex and the City but it was for real women. It was very nicely paced. There were some serious moments but Preston didn’t dwell on them. She kept the film going at quick pace that was perfect for Overbey’s words.
In the hands of anyone else, this film could have been a disaster. The breadth of material that is covered in under 1.5 hours is astounding and yet the assembled cast members handled it with ease Under the watchful eyes of Preston and Overbey, this is a film that had me in silent giggles for almost 84 minutes straight! After the film, Carrie and Kellie came down for a Q&A which you can watch below and look at the pictures I took. That’s What She Said will be coming out in the Fall in a wider release thanks to Phase 4 films.
Thank you to Carrie Preston for taking the time to speak with me and for sharing your baby with San Francisco! I had a wonderful night! Go see That’s What She Said! It’s a wonderful movie and I guarantee you won’t regret it. Visit That’s What She Said for its next festival visit.
Trailer Credit: That’s What She Said
Image and Video Credits: HBO, Inc. and True Blood Fan Source.com