“Just Married” hits theaters this week, starring Ashton Kutcher, Brittany Murphy … and a cockroach.
“My favorite scene is with the cockroach,” Kutcher (“Dude, Where’s My Car?”) said, referencing a farcical moment where a large bug interrupts one of many failed attempts at lovemaking by the honeymooning couple, a theme the film revolves around. “I just really appreciate animals,” he joked, sitting beside his co-star and current girlfriend Murphy. “I love them and the cockroach put on a great performance. They said it was a cockroach, but then [they] dropped a Cadillac on my face.”
“It was huge,” Murphy (“8 Mile”) chimed in. “It wasn’t like a water bug.”
The pair began filming “Just Married” almost a year ago (see “Ashton Kutcher, Brittany Murphy Talk About Being ’Married’ “ ). Since then, Murphy rocked the box office alongside Eminem in “8 Mile” (see ” ’8 Mile’ Goes The Distance With Record-Breaking Opening Weekend” and Click here for photos from the movie ) and worked on a flick called “Molly Gunn” (see “Brittany Murphy’s Multiple Personalities Caught On Tape” ).
All three flicks were well-financed, relatively easy-going productions. On the other hand, gritty cop drama “Narc,” which expands into wide release this week, had a notoriously rough time getting made.
Funding dried up several times during production on the currently buzzed-about indie flick, which stars Jason Patric as a troubled officer together with a beefed up Ray Liotta as his vengeance-driven, unconventional new partner. There was a chance that the film would not get released at all, until it found a fan in Tom Cruise. The “Minority Report” star stepped onboard as co-producer after seeing “Narc” and helped it to secure distribution.
Also expanding into wide release this week, after a limited run in select cities, is Denzel Washington’s “Antwone Fisher.” The film stars newcomer Derek Luke, who was working in the gift shop on the Sony Pictures lot when Denzel dropped by to tell him he had landed the role as an angry and conflicted Navy sailor. The real-life Antwone Fisher, himself discovered while working on the Sony lot, penned the story based on his own life. Washington plays a Naval psychiatrist, and also directed the flick.
“It was harder [than just acting],” Washington explained. “I’m a director who’s never directed before, so I’m working harder. Now I gotta sit down in it and act and then jump up and look at the tape and make sure I got what I need.”
All three films will have to contend with the box-office might of “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” (see “DiCaprio Still Can’t Catch ’The Two Towers’ “ and Click here for photos from the movie ), which has ruled the roost since it was released in late December.