‘Lemon’ Directors Praise the Cathartic Power of Failure (Video)

Sundance 2017: “It’s just ninety minutes of watching me fail. But it’s fun!” says writer-star Brett Gelman

Husband-and-wife team Brett Gelman and Janicza Bravo’s Sundance comedy “Lemon” centers on an ordinary man whose life unravels after being left by his blind girlfriend. Or, rather, “seeing-impaired,” as actress Judy Greer prefers.

“It opens up with her leaving him, and it sort of sparks this realization that he is nowhere near the place he wants to be in his life,” Gelman told TheWrap during a recent interview at the annual Park City, Utah film festival. “For the rest of the movie, you just watch my life unravel. It’s just ninety minutes of watching me fail. But it’s fun!”

Bravo and Gelman both came to the idea from their own fear of falling flat on their faces. “We were both really afraid of failing, and I think we felt that if we kind of wrote out what all of our anxieties were in this extreme and comedic way, it was kind of an exorcism,” said Bravo.

“Rejection is a really cool part of my life,” she continued. “I get told ‘no’ a lot. There’s not one specific thing I would cite, but I feel the film as a whole and the manifestation of it was in response to that and I think a lot of the rejection is actually what is charming or endearing about our very funny, uncomfortable movie is embracing failing, embracing being told ‘no’ and still getting up every day to go on.”

Watch the full interview above.