You have to care about her no matter what.
Exactly. But also the other girl, Michelle Monaghan, to her credit - there was a point halfway through cutting the movie together when we said, "We got problems." Because Malin is so good that I didn't know if the audience was going to let go of her. But Michelle Monaghan wins them over - she does. Everybody comes out of there loving her, which you have to. But she had her work cut out for her, because 20 minutes into this movie, it seems impossible that you're not going to love Malin at the end. So it was great casting on both sides there.
With the soundtrack, how much of that comes out of casual listening - a song pops up from the past and you say, let's give this a shot? Or is it more that you've got a scene so you go through 50 tracks to see what works best?
Most of it is the casual listening process. By the way, putting the music in is my favorite part of making a movie. It really is. Because you've cut it together and now you're throwing music over it. And we do try a lot of different songs. I'll try six or seven songs per scene. But ultimately it's like me driving along in the summer and a song comes on the radio, and I think, "God, I haven't heard this for so long. We should put this in a movie." And then I try that song in ten different places and try to slide it in. Like Brian Hyland's "Gypsy Woman." I haven't heard that song on the radio in years. But on the other hand, I have two music supervisors, Tom Wolfe and Manish Raval. They have a company called Aperture, and they send me CDs of new bands constantly. So I love the old stuff, but I also love the new stuff. I don't want it to feel like an oldies movie. Like I grew up with David Bowie, and I knew all those songs and I've been wanting to put them in a movie for a long time. But to tell you the truth, when I listen to the soundtrack CD, it's the new stuff that I like the best at this point.
Susanna Hoffs' cover of Michael Nesmith's "Different Drum" was an inspired choice.
Yeah. She did that with Matthew Sweet.
There's an emotional quality to her voice on that track that really makes those scenes click.
I was trying to get that in somewhere because I really liked it. Some of the new stuff is really poppy. I wish for once we'd get a hit out of one of our movies. They'll play certain older songs more on the radio after we use them, but I've never had a new song pop. There's a song in here by Buva that's incredible. It's in the beginning and at the end, and it just makes the movie for me.
Do you and Bobby have similar tastes, or do you butt heads when it comes to the music tracks?
I can honestly say that's the only thing we do not do together. Bobby kind of backs off on that because he doesn't listen to a lot of music. But he used to, growing up. I do try to pick stuff I know he'll like. Like he was a huge Bowie fan as a kid. But I pretty much put the music in and Bobby stays out of it, and I'm hoping it'll always be that way. [laughs] Because it's nice - I really enjoy it.
Because you make comedies, I'm sure you prefer that people watch them in a movie theater with a lot of other people laughing around them. But do you have a preferred way of watching a comedy at home? I mean, is Dumb & Dumber funnier on a 12-foot screen and in surround sound?
Well, I think everything's better on a 12-foot screen and in surround sound. Actually, I don't care what somebody watches one of our movies on as long as they're watching it on a DVD or a movie channel as opposed to, say, TBS or TNT or network TV, where they're cutting out major parts of the story. I could never watch that. It would be too depressing.
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