Peter Bogdanovich has been working on his latest film, She’s Funny That Way, for nearly two decades. He and Louise Stratten co-wrote the romantic comedy (formerly titled Squirrel to the Nuts) back in 1998 and, years later, first attempted to make the film with John Ritter and Cybill Shepard, two stars of his previous films. Tragedy derailed those plans when Ritter died in 2003 after experiencing chest pains during rehearsals for an episode of his sitcom 8 Simple Rules.
Bogdanovich shelved the project and didn’t revisit it until a decade later after meeting Owen Wilson through mutual friend Wes Anderson. The film now stars Owen Wilson and Imogen Poots, and Yahoo has its first trailer.
In what looks like a riff on Pretty Woman—though Bogdanovich says the film was inspired by Ernst Lubitsch’s oeuvre—a Broadway director (Wilson) pays his young escort (Poots) to turn her life around and pursue an acting career. Karma, of course, bites him in the ass when she shows up to audition for his latest play, which happens to also star his wife (Kathryn Hahn), and ends up wowing its playwright (Will Forte). A confusing love hexagon inevitably ensues that somehow involves both the escort’s therapist (Jennifer Aniston)—who’s also married to the playwright—and the director’s wife’s ex (Rhys Ifans).
If it all sounds a bit over the top, it’s not just because of Poots’ awful Brooklyn accent: The film, Bogdanovich’s first since 2007’s Runnin’ Down a Dream, debuted at the Venice Film Festival to tepid reviews. But while most of the trailer’s jokes come off slightly dated, the film boasts a strong ensemble cast, including several cameos (Tatum O’Neal, Quentin Tarantino), that’ll hopefully make it worthwhile. She’s Funny That Way opens May 1.*
Update, Jan. 27: The film’s release date has been moved from April 10 to May 1.