Fox Searchlight has set an August 14 stateside release date for Sundance premiere title “Mistress America,” the second Noah Baumbach comedy to come out this year. This one is co-written and produced by Baumbach and his dazzling partner in life and cinematic muse, Greta Gerwig (“Frances ha”). Other producers are Scott Rudin, Lila Yacoub, and Rodrigo Teixeira.
Searchlight picked up ahead of Sundance the enchanting “Mistress America,” which creates the most memorably entertaining screwball comedy heroine since Holly Golightly, capable of such one-liners as: “Sometimes I think I’m a genius, and I wish I could fast forward to the time when everyone knows it,” and, “There’s nothing I don’t know about myself–that’s why I can’t do therapy.” This is not writer-director Woody Allen creating comedies as vehicles for his muses Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow. This is director Baumbauch co-creating with a writer-actress with a clear, identifiable voice.
Clearly, having already opened the movie at Sundance Searchlight is taking out “Mistress America” –in which lonely New York college freshman Tracy (Lola Kirke) is taken in by her almost stepsister, Brooke (Greta Gerwig), a dangerously entertaining urban sophisticate who draws her into her crazy schemes–in the quieter August corridor rather than taking it on the more congested and expensive fall festival route. If audiences embrace it–and I think they will–then the distributor will assess its awards chances–Best Actress and Original Screenplay come to mind.