'What If' Director Michael Dowse on What It Takes to Direct Comedies

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After directing the male-oriented comedy Goon with Jay Baruchel, director Michael Dowse sets his attentions on the romcom genre with his new film, What If.

“I feel like in a lot of my movies, I’m always supporting the romantic subplot, so I was versed in those scenes and how to play them without looking too hokey, but I was excited to do it as an A-story, and explore the idea of getting an emotional impact out of two people falling in love,” Dowse tells The Moveable Fest. “I thought it was a great script that had a specific voice and a nice slow boil of emotional impact, so this would be something kinder and gentler I could sink my teeth into.”

“I just like comedy and found myself making comedy movies…so I just keep pushing that until it became a career,” Dowse says of his favored genre. “But it’s a hard thing to figure out. I did it on a very low-budget movie, where you can kind of afford to make mistakes and figure out the picture. Somebody asked me [earlier about] some of my favorite comedies and I [thought] about the importance of watching the DVD extras of This is Spinal Tap and how that influenced cutting [my first film] Fubar, where you just learn about pushing stuff to the background, making stuff more subtle. The subtler it is, the funnier it is.”

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