In the Land of Women with Adam Brody

Adam Brody, better known as star of the TV show “O.C.” gives a superlative performance as the confused youth in Jonathan Kasdan's feature debut, “In the Land of Women.”

Self-Discovery

Carter Webbs adventure is one of self-discovery where often the bumpy road traveled is more illuminating than the final destination you arrive at. The movie is really about a guy who is in the process of falling in love with his life. When we meet Carter, writer-director Jonathan Kasdan says, hes struggling, conflicted and a bit lost. At the end of the movie, his changes are very subtle as hes had a couple of those moments where he comes into contact with the overwhelming thrill of the journey of his life.

The scripts ability to connect with those defining moments of everyday life was what attracted producers Steve Golin and David Kanter. This is a movie about humanity, says Kanter. Its fresh and original and the dramatic questions posed are very relevant and couched in real language the dialogue is funny and smart. Youre always hoping to find material that will leave an impact on the audience.

Collision and Control

For Golin, what makes “In the Land of Women” such a compelling story, is people colliding at a time when everything in their lives, everything they thought they controlled, is slipping through their fingers, and in that moment, find allies in each other. The movie spans a very brief period of time. Both Carter and Sarah are going through their own personal crises and for this short window they develop a very poignant bond with each other. Its about two people at the right time at the right place.

Adam Brody says: It's a really positive movie that's in love with life, in love with people, and in the end, appreciates the everyday moments of life. Its about relationships and love, and all those things intersecting.

“In the Land of Women” is a glimpse inside a female-centric world from a young mans perspective. What continually caught the actors off-guard was Kasdans uncanny ability to articulate a womans perspective with such sensitivity.

Brady is quick to weigh in with praise regarding Kasdans talent in his directorial debut. Jon blows me away. Hes so calm, he says. Its his first movie but youd think it was his tenth. He knows every aspect of a movie shoot, not just about setting up shots, but also different ways to light, work with actors.

Waiting for Adam

Production was put on hold for eight months until Adam Brody was available, a decision that the producers and Kasdan have never regretted. Adam is the heart, soul and life blood of this film, says Kasdan. I spent five months looking for an actor to play the lead in this largely autobiographical story. What I discovered was that I wasnt really looking for an actor to play me, I was looking for a movie star to play someone way more attractive and far less neurotic! In Adam I found everything I wanted for Carter. Adam is a pure, classic leading man in the tradition of Tom Hanks and Cary Grant.

Golin concurs, Adam brings a lot of good will to Carter. He appears effortless in terms of his performance hes very natural and thats one of Adams big strengths. The audience wants to like him even though sometimes hes doing things that may be questionable. Audiences cant help but give him the benefit of the doubt.

A struggling writer, Carter has fallen in love with a beautiful actress, a woman who may well be out of his league, but its clear at the start of the film that he has built his world around her. The last words the hopeless romantic ever thought hed hear were that Sophia was moving on with her life and career without him. When Carter goes home to break the news to his mother, Agnes (JoBeth Williams), that Sophia has ended the relationship, Agnes seems more devastated than her son, recounting and wallowing in her own tales of a broken heart. Agnes confides in Carter that shes concerned his dementia-prone grandmother living in Michigan has taken a turn for the worse.

Verbal Guy

Says Kasdan, Carter is a character not unlike me in a lot of ways. Hes a very, very verbal young guy who has lived his life sort of in a neurotic kind of active and imaginative way all of his successes and failures have been related to his ability to express himself. Hes one of those guys whos seen a lot of movies and who has lived as much on the other side of the screen as he has in the real world. The thing hes always fantasized about and worked his hardest at is this relationship with Sophia. But she doesnt want to be with him anymore.

Getting Dumped

Getting dumped by Sophia sends Carter into a tailspin, says Brody. He sees going to Michigan to care for his grandmother as an opportunity to run away from his life for awhile, get his bearings and hopefully figure some things out. Even though he doesnt quite really know what those things are.

While Carters and Sarahs story unfolds, so does the viewers understanding that “In the Land of Women” is not so much a physical place, as it is an emotional landscape where Carter learns about relationships about their frailties and their fleeting nature.

Suburbia

Both Jon and I are from Southern California, which doesnt have the most traditional suburbs,” Brody says, To us and to Carter, the suburbs are this pristine place you've seen in movies–football games, prom–sort of John Hughes meets Norman Rockwell. Jons got a great crew and theyve found and transformed our location into this ideal suburb. My characters curiosity of wanting to explore this other side of the world, in a way, is satisfied when he runs away to Michigan, in search of something hes seen in movies.

Vintage Clothing

As for Carters character, both Kasdans and Brodys love of true vintage clothing, was utilized to express this young mans physical as well emotional journey to Michigan. We wanted to get as far away from what he wears on the O.C. as possible, says designer Keating. We also wanted to take Adam to an older level of clothing, so that he would be playing twenty-five, which is his real age.