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Antonio Banderas to star in 'He Loves Me'

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Labeling He Loves Me as a Little Miss Sunshine reunion is reason enough to want to see the upcoming film in theaters. But the project — which teams up Sunshine star Paul Dano with the 2006 film’s directors (Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris), producers (Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa), and studio, Fox Searchlight — is becoming more and more fascinating the more we learn about it. Below, five reasons why I can’t wait to love He Loves Me when it hits theaters. (No date, however, has been set yet.)

1. The aforementioned Little Miss Sunshine link. We were all surprised by the heartwarming (and, yes, somewhat creepy) film when it was released five years ago. Though, since then, we’ve been hit with plenty of feel-good, quirky indie films with Sunshine‘s bright style. (Think: Juno, (500) Days of Summer.) But we’ve waited half a decade to see Dayton and Faris behind the camera again. Who else can’t wait to get see what “Super Freak“s they put on the big screen this time around?

2. The concept. He Loves Me follows novelist Calvin, played by Dano, who, plagued by writers’ block, seeks help from a woman he wills into existence. The Los Angeles Times compares the plot to Weird Science. Enough said.

3. Antonio Banderas. Not only has star Dano more than proved his acting chops since appearing in Sunshine (who else agrees he was snubbed for his work in There Will Be Blood?), but the film boasts another shining star as well: Antonio Banderas, who plays the boyfriend of Calvin’s mother (Annette Bening). You have to respect a guy who can go from adorable cat to twisted plastic surgeon to star of sure-to-be-delightful ensemble project. It’s too bad that his work in the Shrek franchise has overshadowed some of his more dramatic fare over the years (though, the upcoming The Skin I Live In will certainly get him some attention), but He Loves Me could be the film that allows audiences to fall for him all over again — and this time, he wouldn’t even need whiskers.

4. The rest of the cast. I can’t help but fall for He Loves Me‘s diverse cast: Aside from Banderas, Dano, and Bening, the film stars Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder), Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood), Elliot Gould (Ocean’s 11), and Chris Messina (Julie & Julia). Even Love Actually would be jealous.

5. Its real-life link. The woman Dano’s character wills into existence is played by Zoe Kazan (It’s Complicated) — who also happens to be the actor’s girlfriend in real-life (and the author of the screenplay). And who doesn’t love off-screen couples who romance each other on-screen? (Wait, don’t answer that.)

Anyone else find themselves digging He Loves Me?

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateWardEW