For a movie called The Year of Spectacular Men, there’s an incredible amount of girl power behind it. Madelyn Deutch (Outcast) wrote, composed, and stars in the film – playing sister to her actual sister, Zoey Deutch (Flower, Before I Fall). The awesome ladies (and the family connection) don’t stop behind the camera, either. Zoey and Madelyn’s mother, Lea Thompson (Back to the Future) makes her feature directorial debut and stars alongside her daughters.
Women in Film honored this power trio and The Year of Spectacular Men at a special premiere in Los Angeles last week, where we spoke with Madelyn and several other stars of the film about this family affair, why the movie is important in this time of #MeToo and TIME’S UP, and threesomes (yes, really).
But before we get to the interviews, here’s what the movie is all about:
Izzy Klein has (barely) graduated from college, broken up (sorta) with her boyfriend, and is stranded in New York City with a bad case of pre-real-world millennial-itis. Unsure of what the next step is, her movie star little sister Sabrina convinces her to move back home to Los Angeles and into her shared apartment with movie star boyfriend Sebastian, where they can keep an eye on rudderless Izzy.
Emotionally unable to deal with the loss of her father, and slightly distracted by her mother Deb’s newfound love affair with loopy yogi Amythyst, Izzy funnels her energy into dating a colorful bouquet of five complicated and spectacular men: Aaron, Ross, Logan, Mikey, and Charlie, over the course of the next year. Coping just barely with the help of her trusty notebook, she falls in and out of some not so romantic romances, and figures out that when it totally feels like the end of your story, it’s often just the beginning.
While Spectacular Men started filming before #MeToo and TIME’S UP hit the forefront of pop culture, it’s premiering in a different environment altogether – one that makes the female-fronted lineup both in front of and behind the camera even more special.
According to Madelyn Deutch and her costars, the vibe on set was something special, too. “I think female energy is an interesting thing,” Madelyn said. “Having a female director… My mom [Thompson], I think, is brilliant and I love that she was ruthless in her vision and never compromised but was still generous and respectful of everyone on set.”
The admiration for Thompson’s skills as director didn’t stop with her daughters, either. Melissa Bolona – who plays Thompson’s girlfriend, yogi Amythyst – had nothing but praise for the director and the Deutch sisters. “I’m really, really proud of what’s transpired with the film and how far Lea and Maddie and Zoey have taken it as a family and all female,” she said. “I think they poured their hearts and souls into making the film, and they poured their hearts and souls into the aftermath. This film has been around the festivals – they did not stop there, and now here we are at the premiere for a theatrical release. I’m very proud of the film and the female cast and how they did not stop.”
Brandon T. Jackson, who plays one of Izzy’s love interests, added, “I think it’s inspiring to see women in a film like this really having a good time. It was dope. It was a great experience.”
Beyond the impressive girl power going on with this project, it’s also a fun and #relatable story with a variety of love stories happening. While we didn’t get to delve too much into Izzy’s various relationships, Madelyn did tease a little about the two we got to speak with: Brandon T. Jackson and Jesse Bradford.
“I wrote amazing parts for these two men where I asked them to do really uncomfortable, terrible things, and they totally showed up and they were amazing actors,” she said. “Working with these guys was like a dream come true. They were the best actors I could have gotten for the job.”
And if that still doesn’t convince you, Madelyn shared what makes the movie a must-see: “I have sex scenes with both of them – that’s what it is,” she said, laughing and gesturing to Jackson and Bradford, who added, “In the sequel, it’ll be all three of us. That’s a promise.”
Watch the full interviews below:
The Year of Spectacular Men hits select theaters and VOD on June 15.