Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes a romantic comedy about finding love when you least expect it. A Date With Miss Fortune is a story about a down-in-the-dumps writer who meets a superstitious Portuguese beauty over some very awkward circumstances. The stars don’t exactly align as one might expect in this not-so-typical Canadian production starring real-life couple, Ryan Scott (Undressed, Relic Hunter) and Jeannette Sousa (Supernatural, CSI:NY) and directed by John L’Ecuyer.
We sat down for a quick chat with Jeannette to discuss the movie, the pros and cons of working so closely with her real life partner and which other Canadian talent she would eventually like to work with.
In speaking with the actress about how the onscreen couple meet, I asked her how her own relationship with Ryan influenced those first couple of scenes where the characters first came into contact. “We have a theme of ‘Firsts’ that is woven throughout the film.” She replied, “Our first real life date took place over 5 hours and is portrayed in the movie. We have a distinct memory of all those flirty first moments, as most couples do, so it definitely influenced the writing and our performances.” I guess it can’t hurt when a couples chemistry adds to the depth of a film such as this.
I continued on with a couple of questions about the perks and challenges that come with working and and being in a relationship with her co-star. “We would get each other pumped up for the day. We had similar creative sensibilities so we were always throwing ideas back and forth. It is fun to live in that creative world.” She replied positively while adding that there is another side to the coin. “I think the biggest challenge is separating our personal lives from our movie life. We worked on this film for four years so we ate, drank and breathed it! To keep us sane we had to take time outs to be a family. We have an incredible 3 1/2 year old little girl who is a constant reminder of what is truly important.”
Moving away from their personal lives, I picked her brain about the movie business. Romantic comedies are known to be formulaic (not taking away that they are fun to watch), especially some of the movies that come out of the cinemas these days. As an audience, we are well trained and we can almost predict how the story will go. In asking how A Date With Miss Fortune stood apart from the rest, she replied confidently, “Nowadays, to keep it fresh, you deliver what audiences want. I think the days of the anti-rom-com are coming to an end. Love is triumphing over cynicism as it did in the classic romantic comedies of the 80’s and 90’s. In some ways we are a throwback to those rom-coms. However, we do have a unique non-linear structure that helps set us apart from the traditional rom-com. We also knew we needed to keep our film romantic and comical, hence the genre. Recently, we have seen way too many romantic comedy that seem to choose romance OR comedy. We pride ourselves on doing both.”
A Date With Miss Fortune has been compared to such films as My Big Fat Greek Wedding, especially the story that is developed around Maria’s family. Jeannette takes it as a compliment stating: “Considering it is the highest grossing romantic comedy to date, we will happily take the comparison. Everybody loved My Big Fat Greek Wedding because it was fun. That is what a lot of people are saying about our movie. We are both cross-cultural romantic comedies so I get the comparison. MBFGW was Nina Vardalos’ experience and A Date with Miss Fortune is our experience. So they are very different because of that.”
The film features a ensemble cast including appearances from Canada’s most famous Portuguese celebrity, Nelly Furtado and the CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos. In closing out our chat I asked Jeannette which other Canadian celebrities she would like to appear onscreen with. “Yes, we definitely do produce some of the world’s top talent. Don’t tell Ryan, but there are two other Canadian Ryan’s that I would love to work with — Gosling and Reynolds. What is it with the good looking Ryan’s!!” It’s true, we can’t argue with good taste.
Make it a date night and check out some of our favorite restaurants before or after the show. You’ll be happy you did.
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