Interview: 'Mother's Day' director Garry Marshall on women & comedy
"You gotta understand: I'm Italian," acclaimed veteran writer/director Garry Marshall declared as he sat in the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle. "I have sisters. I have daughters. I grew up in an apartment in the Bronx where your grandma and grandpa lived with you. I'm used to women."
"I really think the hardest job today is motherhood. "
Marshall has already cemented his place in entertainment history. He created "Happy Days," directed "Pretty Woman" and helmed numerous other TV shows and films during his entertainment career that reaches back the late 1950s. Although the role of women in film is now a trending topic, Marshall has directed and created numerous projects prominently featuring women in leading roles. His latest film - "Mother's Day" (opening in theaters nationwide April 29) - features a largely female cast led by Jennifer Aniston, Julia Robertsand Kate Hudson.
"This is a great salute to three women who carry the picture," Marshall said. "I think there should be more stories about women and I hope I do them."
Marshall was in Seattle earlier this week for a special red carpet premiere of "Mother's Day" at the Cinerama on Monday evening. Several of the film's locally-based executive producers - Frederick Grimm, Matthew Hooper, Scott Lipsky and Rodger May - hosted the event where Marshall also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the SIFF.
Although "Mother's Day" is the latest ensemble cast comedy from Marshall centered around a holiday, he says the film's origin actually goes back to a movie he directed way back in 1986.
"I had a film called 'Nothing In Common' which was about my father," he said. "It was time to do something about mothers. I really think the hardest job today is motherhood. It's really tough - with the internet and kids who never look up."
He said has spent his entire career in comedy for good reason.
"I suggest you see 'Mother's Day' right after you watch the news - because it will pick you right up and lighten your day," Marshall said laughing. "I still think there's still room for a 'nice' film with an uplifting ending with some laughs."
Now that Marshall has made films focused on Valentine's Day, New Years Eve and Mother's Day ... are there any other holidays ripe for the feature film treatment?
"I like a challenge," Marshall said. "Truly, I was thinking recently: 'Could I possibly make Arbor Day funny and interesting?'"
"Mother's Day" is rated PG-13 (for language and some suggestive material) and opens in theaters nationwide April 29.