Adventures in Paradise, Aurora Blunton, British RomComs, Cary Grant, Cinema Style, Colin Firth, comedy caper, Comedy of Manners, Dutchess of Cambridge, Elan Durham europabridge 'Adventures in Paradise', Hackgate, London, Mayfair London, Mr. Darcy, revenge comedy, Romantic Comedy, Rupert Penry-Jones, Sarah Burton, To Catch A Thief, Vera Wang
‘Adventures in Paradise’ (WGA reg) is loosely based on the events of Hackgate in London, and weighs in at some 130 pages … That’s a little over two hours in the theatre, but the script moves very quickly, and works very much like a puzzle.
I’ve had a wonderful time writing the hero Clive Reade as a sort of Darcy – returned to our era – impossibly rich (billions), literate, articulate, brave, funny, and wise. Oh yeah … and handsome, generous, sexy, incredibly well-mannered, manly, as well as being an impulsive Bugatti driver – drawing comparisons to Cary Grant, no doubt.I wanted to create a new screen icon in Clive Reade, since film viewers, especially female viewers, want to see some combination of Cary Grant and Mr Darcy stroll into a make-believe world, and transport them to a place where people speak in more than commonplace utterances … After all, the gross-out comedies of ‘What Happens in Vegas’ cannot cover every human condition in life, at least I hope not.
I’ve had a wonderful time creating a complex character who is not so much perfect, as he is lovably imperfect – always catching up with who he needs to be to face the challenges my screenplay throws at him. He is horribly betrayed (as we all are), but endures in a Buster Keaton kind of way making a brilliant comeback, most importantly without using machine guns, throwing his mother off a train, taking out a contract on his ex-girlfriend, or becoming a bitter middle aged cliché.
How does Clive Reade do it?! He has something almost extinct in our age … character, instinctive grace, and intelligence. And, of course, packets of dough!
Very helpful, indeed.
‘Adventures in Paradise’ draws on many sources: British RomComs, the 30’s Comedy of Manners after the Nick & Nora series, Hildy and Walter from The Front Page, Susan & Dr. David Huxley from Bringing Up Baby, Hitchcock’s stylish whodunnits, Evelyn Waugh, and social satires like Network.
I hope I’ve drawn on the very best satirists and comedians to tell a story that will last the ages, or at least until I’ve been in the ground for about 50 years …
The truth is the story has plenty of action, just no gratuitous violence (or maybe just a tiny bit – a few busted lips, a broken nose, some rough-housing), but constantly shifts forward to keep you guessing in the midst of some complicated developments. It’s made for quick, brainy, visual, media and travel oriented people, and the rest of humanity, who love a good love story about high crimes and misdemeanors, and glamorous, funny suspense films …
‘Adventures in Paradise’ look is important to the overall concept to reflect a kind of Contemporary-Retro feeling, which I have interpreted as Classic. This lovely staircase is in a mansion on Lyall Street in Mayfair, London where Clive Reade lives.
On the other side of town in Bloomsbury, Adventures co-star Aurora Blunton lives in a flat with her Jack Russell terrier, Tippy … (I’m proud to have written three roles for pets in AIP – all well-developed barking roles.) Sophisticated, Cambridge-educated, beautifully turned out, and stunning in any context, Aurora is disastrously out of place at The Sentinel (tabloid) where she lands due to a frame-up and betrayal. Her progress as a major player in the London scene, and her character development are issues I carefully crafted. Possible casting … Carey Mulligan of the ‘An Education’ mold … as I thought she was terrific.
Finally, I’ve started the sequel ‘Return to Paradise’ which will continue the caper in just as interesting ways. The opening of ‘Return’ is a knockout – featuring a comic wedding scene at Brides’ Cathedral on Fleet Street in London (church for journalists in London), where Clive’s father and Aurora’s mother run off together in his Bugatti.
Journalism, London, high crimes, religion, and elopement … Where else but in my films?
RELATED: Cinema Style – by Cathy Whitlock , film historian
Vera Wang wedding couture (below).