Think ”Girl, Interrupted,” helmed by the director of ”Private Parts,” starring Sandra Bullock, and you have this dramedy about a writer (Bullock) whose booze abuse lands her in a rehab facility, where she meets some mighty wacky characters. The script, written by Susannah Grant (”Erin Brockovich”) and retooled by Carrie Fisher and director Thomas, ”made me cry,” says Thomas, the former ”Hill Street Blues” star who not only brought Howard Stern’s life to the screen, but also sent up America’s first family in 1995’s ”The Brady Bunch Movie.”
”But I said, ‘Don’t do a rehab movie that makes you cry. You have to do a rehab movie that makes you laugh your butt off.’ I thought [doing it like] ‘M*A*S*H’ was the way to go.” Another important consideration: finding the ”right” movie star to send to rehab. ”It needed to [star] a woman who was accessible to the public,” says Thomas, ”and Sandy was.”
Despite the elements of comedy, O’Malley (”The Mike O’Malley Show”) says the ensemble cast took the subject matter to heart during filming: ”I didn’t drink pretty much the entire time I was down there.” Now, however, ”I’m boozing my days away.” BUZZ FACTOR: 6
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