There are two types of people in the world: chaos muppets and order muppets.
For Wild Canaries writer/director Lawrence Michael Levine, an order devotee, his wife, actress and director Sophia Takal is the chaos variety. “It can be very, very funny sometimes for the two of us to be in a living situation together. I think that was something he wanted to explore in a comedy,” Takal told EW. Levine agrees: “Sophia is just so funny and wacky in our everyday life and I really wanted to do a movie that would show that off.”
The result? Wild Canaries — a screwball murder mystery in the vein of The Thin Man series, about a newly engaged couple Barri and Noah (played by Takal and Levine) who both react to the death of their elderly downstairs neighbor in different ways. Barri suspects murder. Noah thinks that’s insane.
“It’s really based on our dynamic. Our real dynamic,” she said. Barri enlists her roommate Jean (Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat) to aid in the amateur investigation. Everyone is suddenly a suspect — from their deceased neighbor’s son (Kevin Corrigan) to the suave, hipster building owner (Jason Ritter) — and relationships become more fraught than ever as the riotous, high-stakes caper evolves.
“[Levine] wrote it right before we got married, so I think a lot of commitment phobia is in there, too,” Takal says about the film, which is premiering at SXSW. Levine says, “I think a lot of those anxieties that exist as you approach marriage — fear of being betrayed, fear of making a mistake, thinking long and hard about if you really trust somebody — these were things that were on my mind. So when I started to write a murder mystery, the one I came up with reflected those fears.
Adds Takal: “We’re exploring things that are relatable but also couching it in a fun mystery.” READ FULL STORY