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March 21, 2014 | posted in Filmmakers
“Can you make a romantic comedy about the least romantic thing in the world?” Director and producer Jason James asked himself this question many times when developing the idea for his feature film “That Burning Feeling.” The film follows the foibles of Adam, a charming young professional whose favorite pastime is seducing women. However, he quickly finds that too much of a good thing only makes him itch and burn.
“It plays with the ideas of finding one’s authentic self and authentic relationships,” James says. “The disease is the jumping off point of this discovery.” He adds, “If you can get past the ick factor.”
“I have a love-hate relationships with romantic comedies,” James continues, “Because they are some of the best films and a lot of the worst films ever made.”
“That Burning Feeling” is not your typical romantic comedy. It may be a film that fits into the romantic-comedy genre, but the “painful subject matter,” says James, “addresses the consequences of our actions, even if it is fun.”
When he was pitching the idea, James began asking himself what this film was really about. He asked himself a lot of questions.
“Can I make this happen?” he wondered. “People have so many choices of what to go see. I wanted to present something bold and challenging.”
Even with a killer comedic cast, the premise is not all fun and games. It focuses on the “morning after” situation, where we are witnesses of the dark side to Adam’s exploits. It pays homage to a classical approach to the romantic-comedy genre, “Like Billy Wilder’s ‘The Apartment,’” James suggests. “Films that have dramatic premises wrapped in a comedic shroud.”
In his film, James addresses the darker side to sex that isn’t quite as charming as many other films in the genre.
“It promotes a healthy sexual lifestyle, whatever your direction is,” says James. “I think it expresses modern relationships in a fun and funny, heartfelt way.”
There’s one universal truth about relationships: we all have them. One moment of meaningless activity for Adam turns into what is a, literally, painful journey of accountability and self-discovery.
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ICYMI: The CIFF staff was thrilled to have welcomed National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu to the office on Thursday morning. Our friends from Ohio Arts Council, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, and Community Partnership for Arts and Culture joined in on the fun as well. What a perfect way to start the day! (And yes, Beth is wearing a flag dress.)
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