By Elizabeth Stuart
A play written six years ago as a homework assignment at BYU stirred a newly graduated BYU film major to make a movie, which hit the stores on DVD at the end of April 2006.
The Disney-released, play-inspired film, “Everything You Want,” is a lesson on not looking beyond the mark in romance.
The movie portrays a 20-year-old woman who must choose between the dream man of her imagination, who she created as a means to cope with family problems, and a flesh and blood romantic prospect, said Brian Brough, BYU alumnus and head of production for the movie.
“Everything You Want” is based on the play “Sy”s Girl,” which Natalie Prado, who graduated from BYU in 2003 with a B.A. in English, wrote in 1999 as part of the Writer Director Actor Workshop at BYU.
Brough, who had been doing freelance work for LDS Motion Picture Studio, only saw “Sly”s Girl” at BYU in 2000 because a friend dragged him to the theatre.
“I”m not a play person,” he said. “I have a short attention span.”
However, Brough was captivated by Prado”s witty and entertaining script and thought it would make a great movie, he said.
The play had an intriguing, “delusional off the wall concept that was somewhat unbelievable but somewhat fun,” he said.
Brough said he was impressed by the play”s message about society”s tendency to have unrealistic expectations in life and relationships.
“We”re never going to find the perfect person,” he said. “When we get married, we aren”t settling, we just understand what is realistic. The person who fulfills every ideal out there doesn”t exist.”
Prado was skeptical that Brough, a recent BYU graduate at the time, would actually make the movie, she said.
“I thought it would never happen,” she said. “I mean Brian had never made a movie -he was just a BYU student.”
Brough was determined, however, and continued to renew the film option for “Sy”s Girl” for nearly three years, during which Prado said she nearly forgot about the project.
When filming commenced in February of 2004, Prado was pleasantly surprised.
“I hadn”t realized they had finalized the script,” she said. “That”s when I started to believe.”
Prado said she was pleased with the movie rendition of her play despite changes made to make the story more conducive to film.
“I laughed. I enjoyed it. I had a good time,” she said.
Eric Samuelson, associate professor of Theatre and Media Arts, however, said he didn”t think “Everything You Want” did Prado”s play justice.
Samuelson said the charm of “Sy”s Girl” lay in its exploration of psychosis driven by dissatisfaction with reality, an idea the movie strayed away from in favor of a romantic comedy flavor.
Prado”s situation is not typical of most BYU playwrights.
It is rare that a student”s work gets produced as a movie but the recognition reflects positively on BYU, Samuelson said.
“I am hoping people will start to notice that we really know what we are doing here [in the Theatre and Media Arts department] and that we are developing some talented young writers,” he said.