Copyright ©2008 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
February 12, 2008.
interest in politics at a high-water mark in the United States due to an
unusually intriguing race for President, perhaps it is a happy coincidence
that the film Blue State positions a breezy romantic comedy in
the midst of ancient history: the fallout of the Bush-Kerry election of
movie stars Breckin Meyer as John Logue, a former Kerry campaign worker who
on the eve of the election drunkenly brags on TV that if Bush were elected he would move to Canada.
The next morning, with the results he crashes, losing his hope, losing his job and losing his
lover. With nothing else to lose and everyone congratulating him for
standing for his principles, John decides to make good on his threat
to leave the country.
puts up an ad to find a companion for his road trip and ends up sharing his
car with Chloe, a blue-haired, nose ringed younger woman who also claims to
be disgusted with the outcome of the election. However, as they drive over
the miles it turns out that she is not as progressive as she originally
suggested. She has a much more personal reason for crossing the border.
they cross the west coast they slowly come to like each other and then an
attraction forms. However, there is still the age-old question: can love
and politics co-exist?
thing has to be said, Meyer is able to very convincingly play a man who
despises everything which George W. Bush stands for. However, when asked
about how he got into the mindset of the role, Meyer laughs good-humoredly
but leaves his own beliefs vague. After all, he is just an actor playing a
lot of this was based on Marshall Lewy, the [writer and] director,” Meyer
explains, “his experiences when he was stumping for Kerry. It was
interesting, Marshall and I sat down initially and he gave me a bunch of
books from his hit list of books that he enjoys. The part I liked about it
was it was both sides. It wasn’t just left, left, left. He wanted me to
read Al Franken stuff for the fun, but at the same time he wanted me to read
Ann Coulter and then John Kerry and then back to [Sean] Hannity. It was a
lot of fun getting into it. But, while we were doing it,
the public opinion was shifting a bit.”
a romantic comedy, the movie touches on some controversial themes –
including the war in Iraq and the red state/blue state divide. It was this
topical yet nuanced script which made Meyer sign on the low-budget
independent film. He liked that it could have a point-of-view and
interesting things to say – without being strident about them.
“Before I met with Anna and Marshall and Andrew [Paquin], the thing I liked
about it was it didn’t just hammer me over the head when I was reading it,”
Meyer says. “It didn’t just preach to me. The thing I liked was that John
was flawed. He wasn’t a movie-perfect Democrat. He was guilty himself
of just spouting off soundbytes a lot and things he heard. He
contradicted himself. He wasn’t perfect. I liked that.
“Politics is a big
part of the movie, but hopefully at the forefront [is the relationship
between] two different, odd-couple people. When I sat down with Anna [and]
auditioned… we just clicked. She’s definitely in the top… top one… of [the]
favorite actresses that I’ve ever worked with. We were so close. She was
just fantastic. It really is a two-hander.”
film is a labor of love for Paquin. As well as starring in the film she and
her father produced it. Meyer says that this devotion
to the story was
catching amongst the cast and crew.
was passionate,” Meyer explains. “With an independent film, nobody is there
for the money. People are there for the love of the game. Everyone is
there because they feel passionate about the project. It definitely helps
to know that when you’re running out of money or it’s a late night or we
lose a location or something.”
is there anything Meyer feels so passionately about that he would leave his
old life behind for it – like his character does?
“It’s really tough because I’m in a different position than John. He was
scraping the bottom there with his life. Life was kicking his ass,” Meyer
laughs. “He just got dumped. He really had no ties here, other than his
buddies. Which is different for me, I have family. It would be real hard
to up and leave, but I would do it for them. Jeez, I don’t know. It’s
hard. It would be a really hard decision.”
However, despite all the political trappings, when you get down to it
Blue State is a road trip love story. Meyer does recognize that this
fact may get overlooked because of the characters’ backstories.
“It’s possible, sure,” Meyer admits. “I think if someone sees it,
they’ll get it. But, if you hear the one line of the movie is about a guy
who moves to Canada after Bush gets elected…. Yeah, the politics are there
and I don’t think it necessarily tries to hide them, but I do hope that when
people see it they do get more than just a left-wing guy and a right-wing
chick yelling at each other.”
thing is, first and foremost, Blue State is a romantic comedy.
Granted, it has some very serious aspects, but it is not an overly-serious
film. Still, Meyer, who has tended to work on lighter comedies like Road
Trip, Garfield and Inside Schwartz, enjoyed the opportunity to do
some more dramatic work as well.
was one of the things I liked about it,” Meyer says. “It was one of the
things that attracted me to the project, that it wasn’t broad comedy. It
was funny, but it had to be played real. This relationship really had to be
believable. It was a comedy, but it wasn’t a big, broad, wacky film. It
gets a little wacky when they get to Canada, where the fun is, but that’s
not John – it’s more about the world around John, the wacky stuff.
in Canada is rather weird in Blue State, but Meyer is hopeful that
our northern neighbors will not be offended by how they were portrayed.
know it’s tough,” Meyer laughs. “That whole household is crazy, and it’s
filled with Americans and Canadians. Some of the crazier people are
Americans as well, escaping to Canada. I don’t know if our Canadian
brothers will be mad. [On the plus side] we have curling and we shot at the oldest curling
place [in Canada]. I loved the curling. There are not a lot of movies with curling in
was kind of a dream project because it was both [comic and serious]. The
comedy wasn’t being played broad. My favorite actors growing up were like
Michael Keaton and Tom Hanks, people who always juggled both sides. That’s
always something I wanted to do – to be able to do both.”
Meyer is happy with the direction of his career with very few exceptions.
“Seth Green and I get mistaken for each other way too much. But we work
together, so it’s all right,” he admits, laughing.
someday he’s hoping that he will look back on a
creative and varied career like his heroes.
importantly, in terms of his livelihood, he
hopes that in twenty years, “I’d like there
to be one,” he laughs. “If there still is one, I’m happy. If I could get
1/10th the résumé that Michael or Tom Hanks have, I’ll be in
heaven. I know I’m not alone in this. There are a lot of actors I’ll talk
to and I’ll be like; well, you know, Michael, Richard Dreyfuss and Tom Hanks
are the reason I started doing it.
On more than one
occasion people are like, ‘Oh, me too!’”
Blue State is an
interesting place to start in on that juggling of styles.
It has a point of view,
yet it is still enjoyable in a purely entertaining level
if you don't know Dick Cheney from Lon Chaney.
(And really, who does know the difference, except that Lon is a little less
Besides, with the US going through the most interesting Presidential
election in years, maybe the world is ready for a love story based on the
political divide. This interview took place the day after “super-Tuesday,”
the day when 24 states held Presidential primaries – and Meyer hopes that
the passion people are feeling for the political process may get some people
to look at the film.
“Right now it’s I guess mild-Wednesday, but after super-Tuesday I’d hope
that politics are on people’s minds and they’d say, ‘You know what? I
wouldn’t mind watching a fun romantic comedy about what’s going on right
now.’ It was interesting because it’s recent enough – the Kerry-Bush thing
– and especially [important] right now with what’s going on. It’s
definitely got a point of view. It’s relevant right now.”
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