“If you start too high with comedy, there’s nowhere else to go. Three jokes to a page can be monotonous. Little Miss Sunshine is subdued. By starting low you’re able to add a bit of absurdity and meet the characters as real people, not trying to wring comedy out of them. You don’t have to like them at first as long as you buy the reality they’re in. It’s okay to be boring for 20 minutes as long as you are laying the groundwork for things popping on page 21.” — Little Miss Sunshine screenwriter Michael Arndt to Hollywood Reporter columnist Anne Thompson in her just-posted “Risky Business” column.
The only thing bothersome thing is the title — “‘Closet screenwriter’ Arndt comes into light.’ It comes from a quote from producer Albert Berger, saying that he never knew Arndt (whom Berger knew when he worked for Matthew Broderick) was a “closet screenwriter.’ People are always skimming and reading on the fly, and Thompson had to know what the first thought-spasm (as opposed to the first considered thought) would be.
The other thing I didn’t care for is Thompson’s description of Arndt’s apartment as “cheap” — i.e., small, dingy, cockroach-infested. I’ve stayed there and by NYC standards it’s a nice, decent-sized crib.
Here’s my own Arndit interview which ran two or three weeks ago.