Happythankyoumoreplease ~ Vulture @ nymag.com
Josh Radnor was an NYU student long before he moved to L.A. to become Ted on How I Met Your Mother. In between seasons on the show’s fake New York set, he decided to write a movie about a group of foundering twentysomething friends in real New York. That strikingly titled romantic comedy, Happythankyoumoreplease, winner of the Audience Award at Sundance 2010, screened to famous people, like leather-daddy Ed Westwick, on Wednesday and hits theaters for the masses today. We spoke with Radnor about L.A. versus NYC, his complicated feelings about Woody Allen, and how the cast of HIMYM vacations together.
Didn’t you start writing this movie on vacation in Hawaii with Jason Segel?
That’s correct. I was already deep into the screenplay and he was writing Forgetting Sarah Marshall at the time, and we just hung out for a week in this house he had right by the ocean. It was pretty amazing.
Do you take joint vacations often?
You know, he got a house in Hawaii for a month, and Ali Hanigan and her husband had come out to visit him right before I did. And then Cobie Smulders came for the last two or three days that I was there. Neil Patrick Harris didn’t make it out to Hawaii, but everyone else did.
Why set this movie in New York when you’ve been living in L.A. forever?
Well, I went to grad school at NYU and then I lived in and around New York for a year and a half after. There’s so much nonsense tossed around about L.A. and how horrible it is and “don’t go out there” and all that stuff. So I went out to L.A. and I was pleasantly surprised. In the film, Zoe Kazan and Pablo Schreiber’s characters, they’re kind of having this debate about New York versus Los Angeles, and I think some people see it and think my heart is in New York — and that’s actually not true. I think what’s wonderful about L.A. is what’s horrible about New York and vice versa. One of the things that Charlie [played by Schreiber] says about L.A. is that it’s this blank canvas that reflects you back at you. So if you’re happy, L.A. is great. If you’re not, L.A. sucks. Whereas New York is, like, its own kind of energy. It’s got its own character and either you’re in the flow of that and things are going great, or it’s kicking your ass. There’s really no in between.