MIKE COCHNAR – EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
Mike Cochnar flips “the narrative on rom coms and bromantic comedies” with his witty new comedy Addicted to You. We caught up with Cochnar for the release to talk about the themes of the film, whether it’s a personal story and valentine’s day movies
Sex addiction. It’s a controversial topic – haha! How did it become to be the primary theme of the film?
We wanted to flip the narrative on rom coms and bromantic comedies. It’s always about sex. American Pie, Knocked Up, When Harry Met Sally, etc… But, I never saw a film that used sex addiction as the crux of the main plot, and specifically lying about being a sex addict.
Did you speak to anyone that might or might not suffer from the addiction?
We consulted with a couple of friends. We also did a lot of research on the topic. We weren’t setting out to make a profound dramatic statement through cinema, but we wanted to get it right. We wanted these characters to be grounded in reality.
How personal is the story?
The story isn’t at all anything that happened to me. All in all, it is a love story. So in my eyes we all are either in love, falling out of love, or looking for love. Whether that be an intimate relationship or just simply friendship. It seems like such a simple topic. But the Trojan War was waged because of love. So, we’re dealing with one of mankind’s most brutal emotions. There is a lot to play with there.
And are any of the characters in the film based on friends or family?
This story started as a “what if” in reference to a college friend of mine. As in, what if unnamed friend hooked up with a girl who wouldn’t let him go? It snowballed from there. We placed a lot of real life stories and situations into the script. A lot of the characters have antics of ourselves too. For example, Sid and Wendy, the bar owners, are literally my wife and me.
Can you talk about some of your influences for the film? Maybe some early Rob Reiner in there? Blake Edwards?
One of my big influences from a filmmaking side is Judd Apatow. It goes without saying that we take his breed of comedy and add our own fun twists to it. We use antics from Adam Sandler rom coms and other comedy movie tropes with our own indie edge to them. One of my favorite scenes is where Luke’s best friends antagonize him about a girl instantly falling in love with him. They begin to reference multiple rom com movies in a fast paced set up and punch line exchange. One of my favorites was, “did you wake up today realizing your life was being directed by Rob Reiner?”.
By the looks of the pic, it looks like you were filming in some fun locations?
Our locations are one of the main things that sell the film. One of the hardest ones was to create a mock Buzzfeed company with a shared space vibe. We literally went to IKEA and bought up a bunch of cheap office supplies, filled a small warehouse space and then returned them after we were done filming. Everything else was shot on location in real places. The bar is “The Offbeat” in LA. Most of the apartments or houses were our own homes.
Were any beds harmed during the making of the movie?
Ha! No. But we did break a tripod.
Your cast are great. Were they all hired via auditions?
We are fortunate enough to have known a number of our cast prior to filming. A lot of us started working together for a sketch comedy show at Second City Hollywood. So, we wrote parts specifically for Cat Alter, Garrett Mendez, and Choni Francis. We also got very lucky when auditioning Melissa Paulo and Shane Hartline. Choni Francis also did a great job of bringing a lot of his comedy friends into the fold.
Was it a conscious decision to release the film now, in the lead up to Valentine’s Day?
Releasing the film on Valentine’s Day was never the original idea. We were ready to release at the end of Summer in 2019 but we knew that there wasn’t a great time to release a rom com when October is loaded with horror films and after that everyone wants to see holiday movies. So, we realized that waiting until the new year was the best thing.
Besides your own, what films would you recommend to people on Valentine’s Day?
I noticed that the new Will Ferrell movie is being released on Valentine’s Day too. So, we’re in good company! But, it’s always good to go to a classic like When Harry Met Sally. I also love The Wedding Singer and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
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