Podtalk: Dennis Dugan Directs ‘Love, Weddings & Other Disasters’

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CHICAGO – Dennis Dugan, in directing Adam Sandler (“Happy Gilmore”), Chris Farley (“Beverly Hills Ninja”) and John Ritter (“Problem Child”), can rightly be considered a comedy director icon. He also for his latest film, “Love, Weddings & Other Disasters,” developed the story and wrote the screenplay for the first time.

An impending wedding is the backdrop for the film, as it weaves multiple storylines regarding the search for love by a colorful group of characters. They include an inexperienced wedding planner nicknamed “The Wedding Trasher” (Maggie Grace), a fussy celebrity caterer (Jeremy Irons) negotiating a “blind date” (Diane Keaton) and a Duck Boat tour guide (Andrew “King Bach” Bachelor) looking for his Cinderella. It all comes together, connecting the love encounters and the nuptials. The film also features Melinda Hill, Jesse McCartney and even director Dugan takes a role.

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Andrew “King Bach” Bachelor in ‘Love, Weddings & Other Disasters, Directed by Dennis Dugan (inset)
Photo credit: Saban Films

Dennis Dugan has had a nearly 50 year run in show business, starting out as a teenage actor and emerging as a top comedy director. In the 1970s, he was cast in classic films such as “Night Moves,” “Smile” and “The Day of the Locust.” On TV, he did guest roles on such memorable shows as “The Waltons,” “M*A*S*H,” “Columbo,” “Hill Street Blues,” “Moonlighting” and most famously “The Rockford Files.” That character role, as youthful private investigator Richie Brockelman, was spun off into its own series, which premiered in 1978 and lasted one season.

Through his television connections, he began to guest direct episodes, beginning with “Hunter” in 1987. His stint as an actor on “Moonlighting” led to directing assignments on that show, and as he explains in the Podtalk below that was his ticket into feature films. His debut was “Problem Child” (1990), featuring John Ritter. In 1996, the young Adam Sandler was breaking out, and Dugan began a long association with him by directing “Happy Gilmore.” This began a seven film run with Sandler, including “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” and “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.” Dennis Dugan’s “Love, Weddings & Other Disasters” is his 15th feature film.

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Dennis Dugan as ‘Richie Brockelman, Private Eye’
Photo credit: Studios USA Television

In a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, director Dennis Dugan of “Love, Weddings and Other Disasters” talks about directing his own screenplay for the first time and working with an ensemble cast.

In Part Two, Dennis observes the differences in TV eras and relates an anecdote about Adam Sandler.

MORE “Love, Weddings & Other Disasters” in the Patrick McDonald Zoom interview of cast member Melinda Hill, click here.

“Love, Weddings and Other Disasters” opens in theaters and through Video-On-Demand on December 4th. See local listings for theaters and showtimes. Featuring Diane Keaton, Jeremy Irons, Maggie Grace, Andrew Bachelor, Jesse McCartney, Melinda Hill and Dennis Dugan. Screenplay and directed by Dennis Dugan. Rated “PG-13”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Editor and Film Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2020 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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