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Mottola off to Adventureland

When the comedy smash Superbad came out, its stars Jonah Hill andMichael Cera got a lot of attention, but the hysteria quietly eludedthe film’s true breakthrough — director Greg Mottola.

When the comedy smash Superbad came out, its stars Jonah Hill and Michael Cera got a lot of attention, but the hysteria quietly eluded the film’s true breakthrough — director Greg Mottola.

Having made an acclaimed indie comedy 11 years prior called The Daytrippers, it wasn’t until super-producer Judd Apatow hired him for Superbad that the struggling filmmaker would finally get his due in Hollywood.

“I do sort of believe in fate,” said Mottola during a recent interview in Los Angeles.

“I was really stubborn that I wasn’t going to direct other people’s writing and I really got in my own way.

“(Judd’s) one of those guys who awoke in me to just say ‘yes’; to be open to other experiences and see all the good opportunities around me and stop obsessing on ‘oh, I’m not going to be the auteur that I wanted to be.’ Once I let that go, life got so much better.”

Of course, the success of Superbad didn’t hurt either. In fact, it gave Mottola the means to finally make his pet project Adventureland — in theatres next Friday.

It is a semi-autobiographical comedy about a group of slackers working in a run-down amusement park during the 1980s — or as Mottola describes it, “Superbad’s annoying little emo-brother.”

“Every character is based on somebody or is a composite of someone I know and little events that happened,” Mottola said, adding he’s had an abundance of terrible jobs to source comedy from.

“If this film doesn’t work out, there’s literally nothing on this planet I can do well.”

A sweet reflection about coming of age in the ’80s, Adventureland is particularly underscored by a fantastic soundtrack.

Featuring songs that include a hilarious skewering of Falco’s Rock Me Amadeus, the movie definitely spotlights how humorous the decade was.

“I didn’t want it to be an ’80s kitsch period-piece,” said Mottola. “I just wanted it to feel like it took place 20 years ago but then you start to realize how radically different the world was before the internet and the corporatizing of America and cellphones — it’s seems quaint and ridiculous now.”

 
 
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