Posters and memorabilia line the walls. Some of them being iconic movies such as She’s The Man, You Again, and The Game Plan. Andy Fickman dons a hat that says One True Loves, making sure that his latest movie is front and center.
One True Loves is his latest adaptation, based on the book from Taylor Jenkins Reid and starring Philip Soo, Luke Bracey, and Simu Liu. The director is here to promote the movie, which from the get go you can tell that he has a passion for.
I’m distracted though by the posters in the background, a testament to his art. And yes, directing is an art. The way that they draw out a story and make it dance across a screen.
There’s a fire going on a building over and I apologize to him for the sirens. He tells me to stay safe and that if I need to go, he’ll know why and that I need to make a quick exit.
Not sure why, buy instantly, Andy puts you at ease. He makes you feel like you’re talking to that one really fun uncle that tells you that you can do anything, be anything, and that hey, even if you piss off your parents, you need to follow your dreams.
But Andy, he’s got nothing but love for his family. When I ask him why he wanted to do One True Loves, his face lights up as he starts to tell the story, “My grandmother, when my grandfather passed away, she refused to date anyone for about 40 years up until the time she passed away in her late 90s because she believed my grandfather was her one true love. Subsequently, when I was 16, my dad died. My Mom was in her late 40s, and my mom following the footsteps of her mom decided never to date anyone. Never went on a date because she believed my dad was her one true love.”
He continued, “We began as a family to accept that was what happens. When my Mom turned around 70, she called myself and my three older brothers and said, ‘You’ll never guess what happened, but I went on a date,’ and we were like, ‘What? You what?’ Decades of not dating in 70 and she met a gentleman Richard, who was a winner, and they fell in love and he asked her for her hand in marriage. He called my oldest brother to ask for permission.”
We don’t know Richard, but we’re applauding him for making the call to ask for permission. But the story of why gets even more amazing, “Then he took my Mom to my father’s grave site. There he asked my father for my Mom’s hand in marriage and he told my dad, he promised to look after my Mom, which he always did up until the time of his passing. At that moment, I knew it was truly possible to have more than one great love. A new love doesn’t necessarily step on anything about the old love. They’re just different times, different places than where we are. I was always looking for a story to tell, and my producing partner, Betsy Sullenger, handed me the book To One True Loves. I read it and I thought, ‘That’s the story I want to tell.'”
Call me a sap but the beauty of that story, that moment, made me want to cry. I don’t want to tell him that I barely believe in love, because he seems so passionate about it. For a bit, I start to think that there could be such a thing as true love.
As a fan of the book, after hearing that story, all I can think to tell him is that it feels like One True Loves was made for him to direct.
“I appreciate you saying that. When I met with Taylor and her husband Alex, the two of them ended up writing the script. When I met with them, Taylor was like, ‘You do a lot of comedies, you do a lot of family stuff, why are you connecting to this book?’ She was a very fair question and I answered it with what I told you, and that was it. She was like, ‘I’m in, Let’s go.’ It’s been a really special beautiful partnership ever since. My mom who now is almost 93 and can’t really see anymore, we got her the book initially on audible.” he tells me.
And he continues by telling me, “She has now listened to the book five or six times, loves the book, and every time even when I first told her about it, she listened to it and said, ‘You have to make this movie. This is an important movie to tell people you can have more than one true love,’ and I thought, ‘That is right, mom. That is right.'”
At this point I am holding back tears, thinking about how supportive his Mom is. How supportive Taylor is. It is definitely a beautiful story and I am appreciative of how he’s being so honest, sharing these moments with me.
If you’ve watched One True Loves you can tell that Andy really takes a lot of care in the moments. I tell him, “I noticed when watching the movie, one thing that you seem to like to do is you like capture the little nuances, like a casual look or a walk and step with each other, or just the slight touch of hand. The things that are really romantic. It’s definitely a love story but the subtle things that are really romantic. How important do you think these things are to capture and why are they so important?”
He smiles and thanks me for saying that, but I should be thanking him. The truth is, I love those type of movies. It’s those movies that make me believe in love, in some ways. He says, “I think that everyone has a very different love language. I think sometimes, the easiest thing seems to be the hardest, the easiest thing is I love you. Just saying the words feels like that’s the hardest thing. It’s always not till the very end of the bachelor before they start dropping the L word. Even if they’re passing out roses, they don’t say love. I think that sometimes it’s the look, it’s the connection. It’s the 1,000 things going through your mind. When we say to somebody, “What are you thinking?'”
His words are so wise, and I don’t think he realizes how smart and impactful they are. He continues, “That, just the touch, how when you’re early in a relationship, it’s almost like kids where it’s like hands just go from here to here and you’re on that first date. Then the touch of a finger to a finger is almost just like an antenna of will you accept this hand? I’m asking a simple– I’m asking a simple question, If not, I can, “Oops, sorry, I didn’t mean to do that,” but if this goes to this, that says an awful lot. I feel like with actors, I love sometimes just turning the camera on and seeing what magic they’re going to do. I never want to rush them. I never want to dictate the line should be said that this very– don’t turn and then say it.”
And then he finishes off by saying, “Sometimes you do that for a comedy moment, but when dealing with real emotion, with great actors, just letting it play out. Then in editorial, honestly, so much of it is what you discover because you’ve got multiple cameras going. Sometimes I miss a look when I’m at Video Village. I get an editorial and I’m like, ‘What did Phillipa just do?’ Then I’m like, ‘Go back. Go back four frames,’ and I see Phillipa just dropped her eye for a second. I’m like, ‘That was it.'”
We start to talk about moments that the characters have on screen and how for me, K-Dramas have changed the way I look at television and movies and what is romance on the screen. He tells me, “I always wanted it to be, it was team Jesse and team Sam and I wanted it to feel if we stopped the movie at any given point, you could argue the case for either one of those people. That challenge really falls on Phillipa because the character of Emma has a heart that’s filled with so much love for both people. This is not a movie about cheating. This is not a movie about betrayal. This is a movie about life getting in the way of life. In that scenario, you never want to victim-shame somebody and be like, ‘Oh, you should have–‘”
He finishes off by saying, “I think there’s the argument to be made that any decision would have been the right decision if it’s the right decision for Emma, and where she is in her head at the right moment.”
We agree with the argument. One True Loves will be available on digital on April 14th and on demand April 28th. Let us know if you’ve seen it and what you think!