"Somebody Marry Me" is the first American feature film to be shot in one continuous take, and the first romantic comedy to do so
John Asher, the actor-turned-director son of deceased "I Love Lucy" director Bill Asher, is hoping his seventh feature film makes history as the first romantic comedy to be produced in just one continuous take.
Following in the footsteps of "Timecode," "Russian Ark" and the 2007 Colombian drama "PVC-1," Asher's "Somebody Marry Me" contains no cuts during the 98-minute running time.
“I wanted to push the boundaries of filmmaking," Asher said in a statement. "And by the time I called ‘action’ on this film, I knew something magical was about to happen.”
The comedy, starring Michael Lerner, Ray Abruzzo, Annie Burgstede, Jeff Doucette and Leslie Murphy, was rehearsed for three weeks prior to the magical moment Asher described.
Alfred Hitchcock attempted a similar approach to shooting a narrative with 1948's "Rope." However, camera technology at the time only allowed a maximum of 10-minute takes, so the thriller (Hitchcock's first to be shot in technicolor) was only disguised to appear as if it was one continuous shot.
"Silent House," a 2012 low-budget horror movie starring Elizabeth Olsen, used the same technique to appear as if the story was taking place in real time.
Asher says "Somebody Marry Me" is the real deal, though. And the premise — a man (Abruzzo, pictured right) tasked with finding a bride in only a few hours in order to collect inheritance from his father (Lerner, pictured right) — caters to the experimental concept.
Although Asher started his Hollywood career as an actor, starring in five seasons of the '90s USA series "Weird Science," he's been steadily pursuing the same behind-the-scenes career trajectory as his Emmy-winning father.
Since completing his first feature in 1996, Asher has directed a number of independent films, including "Diamonds" with Kirk Douglas, Dan Aykroyd and Jenny McCarthy and "Wreckage" with "Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul ("Wreckage"). He also remains active in television, having taken a number of guest-starring roles over the years, on top of directing seven episodes the CW's "One Tree Hill."