Biography

British director Paul Weiland graduated to directing and producing movies at home and in Hollywood, after making his mark with innovative and dynamic commercial work for such brands as Tesco (in a famous series of spots starring funnyman Dudley Moore) and Canon. Weiland made the crossover to Hollywood in the mid-'80s on the strength of his advertising genius; unfortunately, the first outing that he helmed -- the Bill Cosby spy spoof Leonard, Part 6 (1987) -- not only bombed, but went down in history as one of the most embarrassing films greenlit by a major studio. Weiland survived this debacle, however, and additional projects -- notably the Mr. Bean series in the U.K., with Rowan Atkinson (for which Weiland directed many segments) and the comedy City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994) -- did much to redeem his reputation as a craftsman. In the meantime, he also took on work for the Jim Henson Company (filming an episode each for its Storyteller and Storyteller: Greek Myths series) and expanded the breadth and focus of his Paul Weiland independent production banner in the U.K. Subsequent efforts included the satirical black comedy For Roseanna (1997, starring Jean Reno and Mercedes Ruehl) and the romantic comedy Made of Honor (2008), a kind of masculine reworking of My Best Friend's Wedding (1997) with Patrick Dempsey as a male maid of honor helplessly in a state of unexpressed love for the bride. The offbeat 2006 comedy Sixty Six, a coming-of-ager about a young boy's bar mitzvah that is interrupted by a number of mitigating factors, was adapted from Weiland's real-life experiences growing up in the mid-'60s; he directed it and provided the screen story, but did not script. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi