"Endearingly Awkward"

Save a seat for one more dreamer, the movie-mad San Francisco romantic (writer-director-star Adam Bronstein) of My Movie Girl, who aims to rectify a botched date with an on-camera do-over. Endearingly awkward, our hirsute hero sees everything through a lens brightly.

SF Weekly

"A cleverly layered bubble that's also a valentine to cinema"

Among the three or four locally made features this year is "My Movie Girl," erstwhile Bay Area filmmaker Adam Bronstein's 2009 offbeat romantic comedy, shot in Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco. A would-be filmmaker named Adam (played by Bronstein), a pretentious-yet-nerdy Woody Allenish type, is trying to make, yes, an offbeat romantic comedy about himself and Kate, the woman he's fruitlessly pursuing--until she walks off the set in a huff and he tries to find a Kate lookalike to replace her. It's a cleverly layered bubble that's also a valentine to cinema, with references, both overt and glancing, to King Kong, The Breakfast Club, Annie Hall, Vertigo and probably more.


SF Arts

"Indie romance closes Lakedance Film Festival"

Adam Bronstein didn't change much about himself in his first feature film. "My Movie Girl," is based on one of the most painful moments in his life. He didn't even bother changing the name of the main character.

"To be honest, when I originally set out to make this movie, I couldn't get over this girl," Bronstein said. "I wrote a script about this one night we share that was really wonderful. I set out making the movie admittedly as a cheap and selfish ploy to reconnect with her."

"Girl," co-written, directed and starring Bronstein, screens Saturday at Sandpoint's Lakedance Film Festival. It dramatizes how Bronstein overcame his own false perception of romantic relationships. Everything he supposedly knew about love he learned from how it was depicted in movies, he said.

The story was so personal, Bronstein decided to play himself, despite a total lack of acting experience.

"It really teaches you a lot about who you are and how people see you, and I really learned a lot about myself," Bronstein said. "I wanted to do something that felt really sincere."

The movie began with a script in 2002. Bronstein was working in the story department at Pixar Animation Studios when he decided to pursue a more personal project.

"At a certain point, I realized real people were so much more interesting," he said. "Working in animation can be very isolating."

Even as he began shooting the film in 2003, Bronstein worried if there was such a thing as "too personal."

"I think a movie that focuses so much on a personal life is very risky territory," he said. "With being so personal you run the risk of not appealing to people."

So Bronstein created a more dramatic story structure and emphasized the character's awkward adoration for romantic movies, which was the notable difference between Bronstein and the written character.

"I love the stories we can find in our day-to-day lives," he said. "It's sentimental and corny, but growing up listening to my grandfather was endlessly more entertaining than any TV show I ever watched."

Production work continued off and on until 2006, and post-production dragged all the way into 2009 -- nothing unusual for independent filmmaking.

"Finances were a struggle. It's a movie made out of love with my own money and family and friends," Bronstein said.

Bronstein now works as a story editor in reality television, but "My Movie Girl" is finally reaching audiences at film festivals. He will attend Saturday's screening at the Panida Theater, part of the final block of the weeklong Lakedance Film Festival.

"My Movie Girl" screens alongside three shorts at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Today's film blocks include a collection of documentaries beginning at 6 p.m., and the festival's best offerings from Idaho filmmakers at 8:30 p.m. Saturday will feature a collection of international short films at 1 p.m., as well as the feature drama, "Lovers in a Dangerous Time" at 6 pm.


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