The critically hailed dramedy People, Places, Things – which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival – has been acquired by independent distributor The Film Arcade, and is due for a U.S. theatrical release this summer.
The movie, starring Jemaine Clement (HBO’s Flight of the Conchords) and Regina Hall (Scary Movie), follows the comically frustrated struggle of newly divorced father Will Henry as he navigates single parenthood, reacquaints himself with romance, and comes to terms with the wife who left him. Here’s a sneak peek featuring some controlled chaos in People, Places, Things:
This not the first Sundance success for writer and director James Strouse, who made his directorial debut with 2007’s Grace Is Gone (winner of Best Screenplay, the Audience Award, and the Critics Award at Sundance that year). He also has several screenwriting credits under his belt, having worked on The Winning Season (2009) starring Sam Rockwell, New York, I Love You (2008), and his upcoming movie The Hollars, directed by John Krasinski and starring Anna Kendrick (Into the Woods) and Sharlto Copley (District 9, Chappie).
In an interview with Collider, Strouse explains how the story manifested itself through his own complex experiences:
It’s inspired by a big bundle of confused feelings that I wanted to unknot and try to make sense of, and that I thought were funny…but had some depth to them.
Clement, a New Zealand actor with a seasoned resume in television and film comedy (including Dinner for Schmucks, Gentlemen Broncos, and the recently released comedy What We Do In the Shadows), is best known for his droll, dry, straight-delivery style of humor. The actor had never heard of Strouse before he was sent the script for People, Places, Things, but Strouse was confident that he and Clement would make a “beautiful match”:
I wanted it to be funny throughout, even in some of the most dramatic scenes I wanted to keep a sense of humor in it. But it was important to find someone who could make you laugh, but also keep that foot on the ground and respect the emotional reality of what’s going on.
The film is one of two movies starring Clement in the 2015 Sundance Festival, his other a drama called Don Verdean (officially acquired by Lionsgate).