"Back-up Plan" worked well for director Alan Poul

Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:16pm EDT
 
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - It never hurts to have a fall-back position when things don't go as expected, and for first-time film director Alan Poul "The Back-Up Plan" proved to be as good as its name.

Poul is no newcomer to Hollywood, having produced movies such as "Candyman" and television shows from "My So-Called Life" in the mid-1990s to 2008's "Swingtown." Along the way, he earned Emmy nominations for funereal drama "Six Feet Under."

But when it came to directing, he found Hollywood's doors closed to him and believed he would have to raise money himself to make a low-budget, dark drama in the indie movie arena.

Then, along came the producers of heartfelt, romantic comedy "Back-Up Plan," which debuts in theaters on Friday starring Jennifer Lopez. They offered it to him as his first feature film and, knowing that few second chances come around in Hollywood, Poul seized the moment and took the job.

"It's funny the way life turns out," he told Reuters. "

"It's more difficult to crossover than you might imagine, largely because the TV world and the film world are populated by different people," Poul said. "Often they seem like two discreet universes with limited overlap between them."

Since the mid-1990s, TV stars have proven fairly adept at crossing over into film, and vice-versa. Helen Hunt, for example, was still working on TV's "Mad About You" when she won an Oscar for best actress in 1997's "As Good as It Gets." But for others the shift remains difficult.

COMEDY WITH AN EDGE   Continued...