"Scott Rosenberg: Off to a Beautiful Start"
By Peter Alexander
With the screenplays of Things to Do In Denver When
You're Dead and Beautiful Girls under his belt, as well
as the soon to be published book Going to California,
Scott Rosenburg seems destined for immediate stardom.
It wasn't always that way. "I always wrote short stories
and stuff like that," said Rosenburg. "After college, a
buddy of mine was coming out to L.A., so I
accompanied him thinking I was going to be here for a
little while. When you write and live in L.A., eventually
you write screenplays. So I just started writing, got my
first agent and sold a couple of things that never were
made. Then my father got sick with cancer and died. I
wanted to cope with it so I wrote Things To Do In
Denver When You're Dead. I wanted to deal with the
death of my father, but not in a conventional,
made-for-TV movie way, so I said it in a setting, in a
post-Tarantino kind of way."
Things To Do In Denver… yielded Scott Rosenberg a
devoted following, and a two-movie deal with Disney.
One is Con Air and stars Nicolas Cage, John Cusack,
and John Malkovich. The other was conceived while
Scott was in Boston waiting to hear whether Disney
would utilize his first script or not. "It was the worst
winter ever in this small hometown Snow plows were
coming by, and I was just tired of writing these movies
with people getting shot and killed. So I said, 'There is
more action going on in my hometown with my friends
dealing with the fact that they can't deal with turning 30
or with commitment'--all that became Beautiful Girls."
Beautiful Girls is a film that explores men's perceptions
of and feelings towards women. With this in mind,
Rosenberg told us how close his original script and the
final results really were: "Maybe a scene here and there
that I wanted to keep in was cut out, but overall it is
very close. I was allowed on the set from conception to
end. I had worked with the producer and the studio
before in Things To Do In Denver…, so I had
relationships with all of them. I also got along with the
director, Ted Demme, who was like one of the guys in
the movie: he comes from a working-class background,
is 30 years old, and is this big, lovable beer-drinking
fellow. Ted was just perfect for the movie."
Any one of Beautiful Girls' subplots could easily have
been the central plot of its own film. Crucial insights
into the development of the plots were provided by
Rosenberg's own environment. "It's pretty
autobiographical, me being the Hutton character. I just
swapped the piano for the computer. Beautiful Girls is
loosely based on my friends living back in Boston; this
is their life, this is what they do."
The authentic show-stopper was the Israeli-born Natalie
Portman Natalie is perhaps best known for her role in
Luc Besson's The Professional opposite Gary Oldman
and Jean Reno, or as Al Pacino's daughter in Heat. The
young actress portrays 13-year-old Marty in Beautiful
Girls. "We always said that if we couldn't find the right
little girl then there was no point in making the movie,"
said an enthusiastic Rosenberg. "We were fortunate that
Natalie just happened to be 13 at the time we were
making this movie, and almost the only one in the world
who could play the part. She was almost like an alien
who crash-landed a ship onto this small town and then
A motion picture that includes 13 principals, among them
Timothy Hutton, Matt Dillon, Uma Thurman, Academy
Award-winner Mira Sorvino, Rosie O'Donnell, and
Michael Rapaport, could have created friction on the set,
particularly in the form of ego clashes. "The actors got
along just as they do in the movie," said Rosenberg.
"We were on location two weeks prior to shooting
because you had to believe that these people grew up
together. So we hung out, ate, drank beer, and spent
Scott Rosenberg has met the Cryptkeeper and written
two Tales from the Crypt episodes ("Forever Ambergris"
and "Seance"). Among his upcoming projects is a motion
picture to be named Hi Fidelity, and, of course, Con
Air, due in theaters this summer. - PA
Article from "The Best Video Guide," at www.tbvg.com
Read More "beautiful girls" Articles