Patrick Stoner: In order for the witty repartee in ONE FINE DAY to work, the dialogue's pacing has to be much faster than we're used to hearing, doesn't it?
George Clooney: Yes. In fact, we had to keep speeding it up. We would do a scene, and then we would look at the tape, and Michelle would say, "It's got to be faster." And I would agree. So, we would do it again, and it would still need to be faster when we looked at the tape. We just kept speeding it up until it felt VERY strange while we were doing it, but it looked and sounded right when you viewed it. Strange, huh?
Stoner: It IS, but the director, Michael Hoffman, has a theory about that. Let me run it by both of you: He says that when we're in a room like this one, just talking, we're getting data from a lot of sources -- out of the sides of our eyes, things heard around the corner -- extraneous information that we barely notice. BUT, when you FRAME a shot and isolate attention to, say, two people verbally sparring, you can take in that limited information much faster because you don't have all of the competing stuff. Not bad, huh?
Clooney: Not bad at ALL. That must be why it felt so different when doing it but worked when you viewed it on playback. Of course, that's the way I like to work anyhow -- just throw the lines away, not try to fill the space with anything. On E.R. -- whatever I do -- I'm always just throwing them away because I'm not good enough to fill the spaces with anything else. That's just what makes ME comfortable.
Michelle Pfeiffer: That's also why everything had to be so PRECISE. If you're going to speed through the dialogue, everything -- every movement, every nuance -- must have a purpose. It should LOOK casual but BE precise. For example, in this film there are split-screen phone calls -- George on one side of the screen, me on the other, talking to each other. Every move had to be choreographed so it would match what the other was doing. That's the kind of thing that can drive an actor crazy. You know, "Tilt your head this way. No, just a little more. Then look up THERE and left THERE." A lot of meticulous planning went into looking spontaneous.
Stoner: And the echoes of those old movies were everywhere. Did you have a particular favorite?
Pfeiffer: I just LOVE Katharine Hepburn. I think she's just about the perfect actress. I would watch her old films on TV -- I never got to see them in the movies -- and would just marvel at how good she was. Of course, the parts she played were attractive too -- strong but feminine, independent but not competitive. She played women who were comfortable with themselves, and she seemed to attract men who were comfortable with that. I miss those films, and that's why I wanted to do this one.
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