Griffin Dunne was at the inaugural Aruba International Film Festival this week with the world premiere of his new short film Veronica, which is part of the as-yet-untitled Peter Farrelly/Charles Wessler Project.
Relativity Media and GreeneStreet Films are working on the project of 17 short comedies, for a feature film that will be released in early 2011. “It’s an almost retro idea, like Kentucky Fried Movie, and it has gained a lot of momentum in Hollywood,” Dunne explained. “It doesn’t really have a common thread, although it shows two kids trawling the internet looking for a site evidently so offensive that it will make you go blind.”
Other directors taking part include Peter Farrelly, Brett Ratner, Bob Odenkirk, Steve Carr, Elizabeth Banks, Steve Brill, and Will Graham. Actors in the shorts include Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Richard Gere, Naomi Watts, Liev Schrieber, Julianne Moore, Gerard Butler, Seann William Scott, Johnny Knoxville, Anna Faris and Kate Bosworth. Winslet and Jackman star in The Catch, about a man who is a “good catch” except for testicles hanging off his chin.
Dunne’s Veronica stars Kieran Culkin and Emma Stone in the story of a potty-mouthed teenage couple who attempt a reunion in a supermarket. The film was shot in New York earlier this year. “Mine’s probably the most emotional one,” Dunne explained in Aruba – quite shocking given that Veronica’s raunchy dialogue includes lines such as “I want to give you a hickey on your vagina.”
“I love these two kids, they are both so gifted,” Dunne said of Culkin and Stone. “They play it so straight, like Bogie and Bacall at the end of Casablanca.” The small crowd in Aruba, comprised mostly of critics, gave the short a rapturous response with a lot of laughs.
The compilation project’s producers are Peter Farrelly, Charlie Wessler, John Penotti and Ryan Kavanaugh. Executive producers are Tim Williams of GreeneStreet and Tucker Tooley of Relativity. Tom Gormican and Marc Ambrose co-produce. Witness Protection Films is also a producing partner.
Dunne also participated in the festival’s In Conversation With series. AIFF runs through June 11, presenting more than 30 films in total.