NOT KNOWING WHETHER TO LAUGH OR CRY
Both Fey, who plays Wendy (the not-so-happily married mom of two) and Bateman, who plays the sad-sack Judd (whose wife has just him for his boss) are primarily known for comedies. But obviously there’s a lot about the characters that is more melancholy than funny.
Bateman says he was surprised that some of the saddest moments, such as the opening scene where he gets word of his father’s death, actually result in some of the biggest laughs.
“[Tropper] creates these emotionally vulnerable situations which is really the grounding of comedy anyway,” the actor said. “There’s nothing funny about somebody who’s bullet proof. So the comedy was always right there for you to grab if you wanted to.”
TINA FEY WILL BEAT YOU UP
One of the scenes invented for the movie was a battle between Fey and Bateman when the sister starts trying to get her brother to reveal the secret of his marriage breakup.
They go from trading whispered insults to actually grappling in front of a houseful of mourners.
It helps when you give opposite direction to your actors,” Levy said. “I would whisper in Jason’s ear: ‘Shut her up.’ And I would go to Tina: ‘Make him confess.’ The only note I ever gave her was, ‘Pull his hair harder.’”
“This came off three times!” Bateman joked, wiggling his hair like a wig.
“It ended up backwards,” Fey said.
“Is it on straight now?” Bateman asked.
NEXT PAGE: TINA FEY WILL BEAT YOU UP — PART II