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Edward Burns returns to the Tribeca Film Festival with New York as his canvas once again in his new film Purple Violets. Thirty-three-year-old Patti Petalson (Selma Blair) is stuck in a rut; she and her husband only seem to be occupying the same space, halfheartedly at that, while she has traded fiction-writing for a career in real estate that leaves her feeling empty. Her former college boyfriend Brian Callahan (Patrick Wilson), a successful crime fiction writer living with his girlfriend, has finally written his opus-the story of his life-and the critics have panned it. On the sidelines are Patti's best friend Kate Scott (Debra Messing) and Brian's best friend Michael "Murph" Murphy (Burns), who also happens to be Kate's boyfriend from their college days. Out one night for dinner, Patti and Kate run into Brian and Michael. They haven't seen each other for a decade, since their relationships ended in the misunderstandings and the insecurities of youth. Now older and wiser, the attractions of youth are rekindled, but as the friendships start up again, shakily at first, there are many hurdles to overcome. Burns, who has become a master of depicting the small moments that define an age, brings to Purple Violets the realism of the world he witnesses-polite but bare, and endlessly truthful.
Director's Statement Collapse
One of the great things about being a college student, is the excitement of having your whole life in front of you, where you can dream and fantasize about the promise the future holds. You sense this great adventure is ahead. As you get older of course, most of these great dreams ebb away, and you deal with the day to day pressures of being an adult.
Purple Violets is really about falling back in love with those dreams your younger self possessed. I don't believe that they ever really go away, but quietly leave the room when we get into our routines and habits. Sometimes it's scary, and even foolish to revisit them, but when you do, the rewards can be fantastic.
For Patti (Selma Blair) and Brian (Patrick Wilson), both dreamed of being important novelists and respected artists. Both, in some ways, were derailed from these dreams. When these two former lovers have a chance encounter, they are each reconnected with those dreams of
youth. And they fall in love again, with those dreams.
Film Information Collapse
[PURPL] | 2007 | 100 | Narrative Feature
Foreign Title: (Purple Violets)
About the Director(s)Collapse
Award-winning director, writer, producer and actor, EDWARD BURNS was born in Woodside, Queens and raised on Long Island. Initially an English major, he ultimately focused on filmmaking, which he studied at New York's Hunter College. His debut feature The Brothers McMullen premiered in competition at the 1995 Sundance Film festival, and won the Grand Jury prize. Burns wrote, directed and starred in the film, which was shot on a budget of only $25,000 and went on to gross over $10 million at the domestic box office. Following this success, Burns wrote, directed, produced and starred in She's the One, Looking for Kitty (Tribeca Film Festival 2004) and The Groomsmen (Tribeca Film Festival 2006). As an actor, he has appeared in films such as James Foley's Confidence and Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. Burns serves as a National Ambassador for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.