The Plank

For The Annals Of Humility


I didn't see Vanessa Parise's first film, Kiss the Bride, but judging from the synopsis of her second, Jack and Jill Vs the World, she is the best thing to happen to cinema, and the world, since--well, perhaps ever. (Missing text about ten lines in is in the original): 

Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Taryn Manning star in Jack and Jill vs. the
World, a love story for cynics by actress/writer/producer/director
Vanessa Parise. The film opens April 11th. Parise’s films, by design,
are more than pure escapist entertainment. She also endeavors to ensure
her movies are life-affirming, multi-dimensional and cognizant of the
world’s foibles. In Jack and Jill vs. the World , for instance, the
main characters have a Manifesto (or Rules to Live By), believe in Fair
Trade, are animal advocates, and face a genetic disease that occurs in
one of every 3,900 live births - all while launching into a romance
that is passionate, e Parise graduated Magna Cum Laude in Biology from
Harvard and was accepted into Harvard Medical School (as well as
Stanford, Yale and Columbia, to name a few). But with her heart in
acting from the age of five, she decided to turn down Harvard Med to
follow her dreams of being an actress. She auditioned for and was
accepted to the prestigious Circle in the Square Theatre School in
Manhattan and never looked back. Acting as well as writing and
directing have brought Parise out of her head and into her heart, a
transition she has fully embraced. As she did with her first film
(“Kiss the Bride”), she raised the financing for Jack and Jill vs. the
World, this time from gap, various equity sources, a sales advance, and
some presales. She closed the deals personally, working hand in hand
with an independent production legal team. Parise was solely
responsible for hiring cast and crew, and was the final decision-maker
in all things creative. She removed her producer and businesswoman hats
for just long enough to direct the film and then switched back to
business mode in order to sell the film. Over all, the process took
more than four years. In Jack and Jill vs. the World, Jack (Prinze) and
Jill (Manning) meet and begin an intense romance, but after too many
instances of Jill’s disappearing, Jack forces Jill to reveal her secret
- she has Cystic Fibrosis. In the film, Jill, of course, could have had
any number of reasons for disappearing for days at a time, but
writer/director Parise made the courageous decision to identify and
advocate a little-discussed disease that has no cure in sight (though
small advances against CF are sporadically forthcoming).

(via the indispensible Vulture)

--Christopher Orr

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