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Paul Negoescu realized he hit the jackpot with “Two Lottery Tickets,” the low-budget comedy he shot for around €30,000 ($35,000) which – to the surprise of everyone, including the director himself – would become the top-grossing Romanian film of 2016, raking in €540,000 ($630,000) at the box office.
But for a helmer whose first feature, “A Month in Thailand,” screened in the Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week, a breakout, box-office hit didn’t change expectations for his third movie, “The Story of a Summer Lover,” which world premiered in the Transilvania Intl. Film Festival May 31.
Film - Negoescu - Summer - Lover - Story
“It’s a different film,” says Negoescu, calling “Summer Lover” a “personal story” that he suspects will appeal to a smaller, niche audience. Modest ambitions aside, the movie is bound to generate buzz off of Negoescu’s earlier successes; even if it can’t match “Lottery’s” big payout, “people will hear about this film, for sure,” he says.
The eponymous anti-hero of “Summer Lover” is the philandering Petru, an adjunct math professor who splits moral hairs with mathematical precision when he justifies bedding co-eds half his age. (They’re not his students, he insists.) Content to continue reaping the benefits of an open relationship, his endless summer comes to a jarring end when his girlfriend suddenly announces she’s pregnant. Faced with the prospect of commitment, Petru can’t quiet his doubts any more than he can silence the troublesome pigeons nesting in the rafters of his bachelor pad.
Negoescu - Screenplay - Pregnancy - Worth - Doctor
Though Negoescu’s original screenplay mined that unexpected pregnancy for all its dramatic worth, script doctor Jacques Akchoti steered him toward comedy instead, during workshops at the Jerusalem-based Sam Spiegel Intl. Film Lab. Studying the filmography of Woody Allen, Negoescu soon found himself channeling the neurotic protagonists of the director’s early works, casting...
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