The Scene at LAFF: 'L!fe Happens' Female Indie Filmmakers on Babies, Banding Together, and Breaking the Rules

The Scene at LAFF: 'L!fe Happens' Female Indie Filmmakers on Babies, Banding Together, and Breaking the Rules

Jun 22, 2011

Director Kat Coiro makes her feature film debut in L!fe Happens, a hilarious story about three best friends, Kim (Krysten Ritter), Deena (Kate Bosworth), and Laura (Rachel Bilson), living under the same roof. Ritter, who shares writing credit with Coiro, plays a single mother who attempts to jump back into the dating scene with the help of her BFFs. But she soon realizes that her newborn can be a bit of a “buzz kill” when it comes to meeting Mr. Right.

Coiro and Ritter candidly talked with us about the joys and challenges of making of L!fe Happens, the few rules they broke, and why women filmmakers can rule. How did this collaboration come about, any difficulties?
Kat Coiro:
Krysten and I have been friends for a long time and we always talked about trying to make a female comedy. I think we started off with a female version of Swingers but we couldn’t quite find the formula to do that.

Krysten Ritter: Two heads are better than one. We work really well together. We’re both super high-energy, type A, let’s get it done, we’re both the kind of girls that put our money where our mouth is so it was a great collaboration. For this particular project it was the perfect marriage. : Why didn’t a female version of Swingers work?
The whole idea was inspired because Kat and I were trying to do a fun female comedy where the girls get to be funny and act like boys. We soon realized we couldn’t do a female version of Swingers because there are double standards, but we realized that we can have babies.

We were driving home one day from getting burritos and some boys pulled up next to us, this actually made it into the movie, and we were making eyes at them and then Kat’s baby cried. And it was this magical, hallelujah moment, where we were like that’s it. So thank god Kat went and had a baby because it inspired this whole idea and journey. : How was life on set with a baby?
It’s funny because in independent films there are two rules: don’t have babies and don’t have animals. We had about 12 or 13 babies and 18 dogs so we broke all of those rules but we did it with flying colors. We got really lucky and hired these twin babies. It’s hard but it got to the point where I could hold the baby like a pro and it was second nature. I could tell when it wanted to throw up so I would aim it away from me, it was definitely challenging.

Read the full interview at Fandango.

Categories: Features, Film Festivals, Indie
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