The Rebound is a romantic comedy set in New York City about a 24-year-old man and his new neighbor, a sexy 40-year-old mom, who catches more than just his eye.
Sandy's a beautiful, sexy mother of two, who's just turned forty. Living in the neat suburb of Sleepy Hollow, she's mastered the art of multi-tasking; baking pies, cutting sandwiches, dropping her kids at school, taking care of her fantasy sport's league. What appears to be a picture perfect world is shattered the morning she discovers her husband cheating on her. Immediately she packs up her two kids and moves to New York City to find a job and start a new life. There, she meets Aram Finkelstein, a sweet twenty four year-old college graduate who's clearly at a low point in his life. He just found out his French wife of two weeks duped him into marrying him for a green card. A romantic and optimist and now a recent divorcee, he's struggling to keep his faith in the world.
Aram works two jobs in a Women's Center and as a Barista in the coffee shop below the apartment Sandy's renting. They strike up an easy friendship. When Sandy gets hired at a New York sport's network, she asks Aram to babysit her kids. He takes her up on the offer. After all, he has no career, few friends and spends too much time hanging out with his overly concerned parents.
At work, Sandy's career blossoms and she's offered a promotion. Her best friend encourages her to start dating again but after one disastrous night she firmly believes her dating days are over. Meanwhile Aram becomes an increasingly bigger part of their lives. He's fun to be with and her kids love him.
Very quickly a makeshift family forms and even though there's a list of reasons they shouldn't be together, they fall in love. Sandy and Aram meet with resistance to their new relationship from friends and family alike and they both have to figure out if what they have found is something that is just fun for now or if it could last forever.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
From script to screen…
Bart Freundlich began writing The Rebound, while completing production on his earlier film, Trust The Man, starring David Duchovny and his wife, Julianne Moore. "Unlike a lot of the other movies I had made, this time I wanted to experiment with a more traditional sympathetic lead. It started
with the name Aram Finkelstein (JUSTIN BARTHA), inspired by the writer Aram Schroyin. It's such a great New York Jewish name, I just had to name a character after him," says Freundlich. He spent a good year talking about the concept and developing Aram's character, coming up with different scenarios. "It really started out as a story about a young man whose French wife leaves him, but it soon developed into these parallel stories of Aram and Sandy (CATHERINE ZETA-JONES), two people who have been terribly wronged and end up finding each other."
Inspired by filmmakers like Woody Allen and such films as The Graduate, Freundlich says "the film is also an affirmation of the importance of relationships in your life. No matter how damaged you are or how much you believe there's no future, there always is, and most of the time it's about letting go and allowing that stuff to happen." He was also interested in the idea of two people in different age groups experiencing the same thing; the idea of Aram, a 24-year old kid who's getting divorced experiencing the same thing as Sandy, a 40-year old woman. "The age difference between them was really just a secondary story. It was more about these two damaged people trying to connect to one another and looking at that through a comedic lens."
Originally the film was about a very concentrated period of time in someone's life; that moment you fall in love, but it spanned into a longer period of time. "Even if one person is ready to take a relationship to the next step, you need both people to be in the same place to move forward," Freundlich says. "These characters go through the same pain that most people go through in relationships of needing to separate for a long time and having really let go in order to come back together. I know that's an old notion but it's something that I really believe in."
As well as being funny Freundlich wanted to make a comedy that was also real. "My hope for the film when people see it that they take something very real away from it, having laughed the entire way through it." The Rebound is rooted in the history of romantic comedies but it walks that fine line between being a farcical comedy and being really human and naturalistic. Freundlich wanted to give audiences the familiarity they are looking for in a romantic comedy while not boring them with thesame thing over and over. "You need to create the easy chair for people to sit in but do a great dance in front of them once they're sitting down."
He describes the opening of the film as "a short hand for things that are recognizable in a romantic comedy, quick, easy indicators of who someone is. Sandy's the perfect mom; Aram is the lost college graduate who's been dumped by his wife. He's urban; she's suburban. But slowly the idea was to get into the real minutia of the characters and let these people become real so the audience becomes attached to them. That's the hope at the end of the movie that you really believe in their relationship and that through the comedy of it you've come to care for them."
Although Freundlich describes the film as a traditional love story, it's also about two people's life philosophies. "It's not just about having a second chance with someone it's about finding a way to be and continue to be true to yourself and to trust the world. Aram, an optimist and romantic, truly believes in the good in the world, the little moments. His philosophy is that life is about the people you interact with, the people you see on a daily basis. It's not about getting ahead, getting a new job, getting a promotion." A lot of the humor in the film comes from the world trying to beat this out of him but Aram maintains his positivity throughout and this is really the essence of his character.
It was at least a year before Freundlich gave the screenplay to his longtime producer and friend, TIM PERELL, who produced three of his earlier films including The Myth Of Fingerprints, a family drama, World Traveler, a very intense drama and Trust The Man, his first comedy and most recent film. "I thought for his next film he would go back and write something intensely dark and challenging so I was surprised that he wrote a comedy that was an even further departure from Trust The Man," notes Perell. "Bart is a very humorous man and the first read was extremely funny but it also had an incredibly warm human core to it. I laughed hysterically at some of those first scenes and I still laugh just as hard when I see them today," he says.
After several more passes the script was ready to send out to financiers, The Film Department being one of them. "The Film Department got it on a Friday and came back to us Monday morning with an offer. That said a lot to us about their level of enthusiasm and support for the film," says Perell.
"Even though there were other interested parties, because they spoke so loudly to us and so quickly they really got our attention. We met with MARK GILL and really loved him. Mark, Robert (Katz) and NEIL (Sacker) have been fantastic partners throughout this and we're their first big movie."
The threat of the actor's strike meant that the filmmakers had to move quickly to have filming completed by June 15th . This gave them seven and a half weeks of pre-production and the even though the film didn't have any cast, this was the time to make it. "It's hard to get a movie up and running but the pressure of the strike actually helped us enormously," notes Perell. "It's also rare for a company to move as quickly as The Film Department these days but they were always able to back up their promises and we moved forward at a fast pace."
Bringing the cast together….
The film's greenlight was contingent on the casting of Sandy, the perfect suburban mom from Sleepy Hollow, living in a picture perfect world until she discovers her husband's been cheating on her. Freundlich really wanted Zeta- Jones to play this role and she was on the top of their list. Even though the award-winning actress describes herself as someone who can't tell a joke from start to finish, she was looking for the chance to do more comedies. "I wanted to find a comedy with a kind of zany comic feel to it and The Rebound had all the elements I was looking for," she says. Read more
Camera's roll in New York City and beyond…
Principal Photography commenced in New York City on April 21st and concluded on June 16th before continuing around the world for an additional 12 days of filming capturing the film's end sequence. In NYC, most of the film was shot within three blocks of where Freundlich lives, "which was part convenience and part shoot what you know," he laughs. "The city has so much immediate production value built in and you find so many different personalities here. It was kind of invaluable being able to have locations like the business district where Sandy works and the west village where she meets Aram, be so familiar to me. It's important for a filmmaker to know and be familiar with the place they're shooting and for me growing up in New York, it's just the place where I want to set my movies."
Zeta-Jones agrees, adding, "The Rebound is such a predominantly New York piece and obviously people try and tell you they can shoot in another city because its cheaper and make Toronto look like New York, but the fact is that it can't. You don't get the essence of the city nor the energy, so I am really glad we filmed there." Read more
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Bart Freundlich - Director
Bart Freundlich's most recent release, Trust the Man became one of the highest sales at the 2006
Toronto Film Festival. The relationship drama set in New York City stars Julianne Moore, David Duchovny and Ellen Barkin.
His debut film as writer and director was the short film A Dog Race in
Alaska, featuring Sam and James Waterston. He followed this with the documentary short Hired Hands. His first feature that he wrote and directed was The Myth of Fingerprints, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to win the Audience Award at the Deauville Film Festival.
went on to write and direct the independent feature, World Traveler, starring Julianne Moore and Billy Crudup. He later directed Catch That Kid starring Kristen Stewart and Corbin Bleu.
For television, Freundlich has helmed episodes of "Californication" for Showtime, and a pilot for the Lifetime Channel.
THE ART OF ORIGINAL FILMMAKING