Justin Long grew up watching and loving Woody Allen movies, so it’s no surprise that he absorbed the line from 1989′s Crimes and Misdemeanors, that “Comedy is tragedy, plus time.” When Long and Keir O’Donnell (Wedding Crashers) were simultaneously recovering from painful romantic breakups several years ago, they channeled their pain into the romantic-comedy script that became A Case of You, which premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival this Sunday.
Long stars as Sam, a shy New York writer who develops a crush on Birdie (Evan Rachel Wood), the quirky barista at his local coffee stop. When his initial attempts to get her attention fail, he invents an Internet profile for a much cooler version of himself that he manipulates to her likes and preferences. To keep her attention, however, he might actually have to eventually do and be all the things his online alter ego promises.
In an exclusive meet-cute scene from the movie, Sam finally gets up the nerve to speak to Birdie at the coffee shop. “He’s been a regular customer there and sort of watched her from afar,” says Long. “You get the idea that he’s somehow infatuated with her but this is the first time that they’re really having a moment together where she’s aware of him participating.”
They giggle over some doodles and the bond is sealed when a third party interrupts, making them feel like co-conspirators in their own inside joke. “I think the most important thing about a romantic-comedy is that you believe they’d find similar things funny,” says Long. “I think that’s true in relationships too. I don’t think people give that enough credit, how common your sense of humors link up.”
Watch the sweet scene below, and then read a Q&A with Long, who discusses his screenwriting debut and his role in the Funny or Die biopic, iSteve. READ FULL STORY