Making Movies That Matter
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08/23/10 | Penelope Ann Miller | 2 Comments

Penelope Ann Miller 250x350
Penelope Ann Miller





I feel we need to support films that send powerful messages to kids about courage, values, and being true to yourself.

If we don’t get behind them and support them Hollywood won’t make them.

Last summer I had the incredible opportunity to be a part of Rob Reiner’s new film, Flipped. It’s a story about two 13 year-olds in the early 1960s  – Bryce and Juli – who live across the street from each other and how they find themselves and each other through the trials of love and friendship.

The story “flips” between the viewpoints of these young characters and, as they grow, their perceptions of each other “flip” as well.

I play Juli’s mom in the film, alongside a fantastic ensemble of actors: Madeleine Carol & Callan McAuliffe (the kids), Aidan Quinn, John Mahoney, Rebecca De Mornay, and Anthony Edwards.

Flipped is not just about first love, but about how a young girl teaches a young boy about what’s important in life.  It’s a movie about courage, character, and standing up for what you believe in. 

Juli comes from a warm, tight-knit family that’s low on money but rich on love while Bryce’s family is wealthy but repressed. Bryce learns over time from Juli that life is not about where you come from but what you do and the choices that you make define who you are. Bryce really starts to grow into a young man of character because of Juli and her family.

Based on the beautiful novel of the same title by Wendelin Van Draanen, the film stays true to the story, humor, morals, and life lessons that made the book such a huge hit with adolescents. While the book takes place in present day, Rob chose to set the movie in the early 60’s to capture that pre-Vietnam, pre-Twitter/Facebook time of innocence.  It makes the film a very nostalgic experience for those who grew up in that period, as Rob did, remembering your first love and how it changed your life. It’s also relatable to kids today who are experiencing that now.

Flipped was a real passion project for Rob and he was the perfect man to bring this story to the screen. He tells stories about human beings. You won’t find explosions, aliens, or vampires in this movie.

From my experience working with him and counting him as a friend, Rob is a man that really appreciates and respects women and values the immense impact they have on men’s lives.

I wanted to reach out through Maria’s amazing network to all the mothers and grandmothers who want to take their children and grandchildren to see a movie this summer with a message that will surely inspire.

And if you love it, tweet about it!
Flipped is playing now in Los Angeles, Austin and Sacramento. On August 27th it will open in New York, Chicago, Boston, Toronto, and San Francisco. And then, hopefully, in theaters across the country.

Penelope Ann Miller has shared the screen with some of the most notable and renowned leading men and directors in Hollywood. The list includes Al Pacino and Sean Penn in director Brian de Palma’s Carlito’s Way for which she received a Golden Globe nomination; Marlon Brando and Matthew Broderick in The Freshman directed by Andrew Bergman; Robert De Niro and Robin Williams in Penny Marshall’s Awakenings; Robert Downey Jr. in Sir Richard Attenborough’s Chaplin;  Danny DeVito and Gregory Peck in Norman Jewison’s Other People's Money; Matthew Broderick & Christopher Walken in Mike Nichols’ Biloxi Blues; and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Ivan Reitman’s Kindergarten Cop.

And now to add to that distinguished list, Rob Reiner in his latest film Flipped.  She can next be seen reprising her role as Ray Romano’s recently separated wife in the critically acclaimed drama Men of a Certain Age on TNT.

Share your story: How did you meet your first love?

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  • I was a child in the sixties. I remember integration of the schools in Texas in 1960. The small town where we were living was in utter turmoil. I was 10 years old. I had never seen adults behave in the manor of that day.

    I remember the campaign slogans of the day...Kennedy Kennedy he's our man...Nixon belongs in the garbage can. I remember the debates, the election, Caroline and John John. It was Camelot.

    I remember the bomb drills, the school assemblies with the black and white television broadcasting the space walks.

    I remember the day John Kennedy was murdered. I was thirteen years old, sitting in 8th grade history class taking a test. The principal came into our class spoke with our teacher then announced that our President had been shot in Dallas. As proud Texans we were devastated it happened to our President and in our State. School was dismissed and we rushed home to sit in front of our television sets for days (this was the first time they stayed on the air 24/7). It was like a hoax, just too incredible to believe. I sometimes think a part of our collective soul started dying that day.

    Lyndon Johnson, a Texan was sworn in as President that day. You would think as a fellow Texan we would have embraced him...we did not. Country folk can be very suspicious. He stepped up the sending of troops to Viet Nam and many of the small country town boys were drafted and shipped to a place foreign to their psyche to a hell they would never return from, even if they made it back alive.

    Robert Kennedy gave us hope. A hope the Camelot we all wanted, had rejoiced, and lost, would return. Our hearts and souls would heal. This was not to be. Many of my generation opted out after this as did I. Disillusionment brought about a live for today mentality. Free your pain with the drug of the day. There is no guarantee of tomorrow…fear the man! Make love not war. After all, this was the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, wasn’t it?

    My first "love" was my cousin's third cousin or something like that. Jimmy Lee was older, very sweet, and very protective and adored by my family. I adored him too, but I was fourteen and very inexperienced and living in the heart of Texas where men are men and women are hood ornaments. I thought he was my savior.

    When I matured and had a greater understanding to what love can and should be. I understood that I was and had always been my own savior.

    Posted by debbifei, 4 September 2010.

  • interesting post.:D

    Posted by pwspeak, 24 August 2010.