During the past year, Jimmy Fallon has risen to prominence not only as The Tonight Show’s host but also as a major voice in the world of comedy. Since April 2018, the comedian has hosted Saturday Night Live, bringing us some of the most memorable and funny scenes in the show’s history. His film credits include Crazy, Stupid, Love and The House of Gucci.
Meanwhile, the actor Robert Pattinson has largely kept to himself since stepping out of the shadows a few years back. The internationally recognized star has enjoyed a resurgence in the U.S. since his role in The Lost Boys in 2017, and he has since appeared in high-profile films like Gucci Mane’s Sorry and Daniel Day-Lewis’ final film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He has also been making waves in the comics world, with multiple appearances on both The Simpsons and Black Panther—not to mention a bestselling memoir, Twilight: Life in the Meyerverse. It was only a matter of time before the two crossed paths and began working together. And so they did, with their first project, the romantic comedy The Lost Boy, premiering at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
The Two Of Hearts
“I’ve always been a fan of Jimmy Fallon’s, ever since I saw him host SNL years ago,” said Pattinson. “I think he’s so funny and talented. I had the chance to work with him on a project, and it was such a pleasure.”
“I was really happy when he reached out to me about this role, because I love romantic comedies,” said Fallon. “It’s the perfect blend of funny and romantic. And it was such a thrill to work with someone of Robert Pattinson’s magnitude and talent. We’re very different people, but I think that comes through in the film. In some ways, we’re both a little crazy and lost. But in the right situation, we can both be very romantic. We have a lot of fun with each other on screen, and off screen as well.”
From Funny To Romantic
While The Lost Boys is a romantic comedy, it isn’t your typical fare. In fact, it’s pretty raunchy at times, with plenty of jokes about sex and alcohol that even the most mature comic might find crude. But that’s what makes it so appealing: it’s relatable, it’s cheeky, and above all, it leaves you feeling good at the end. It feels good to laugh, and it feels good to cry. In other words, it feels good to be human.
As for the pair’s impressions of the other, they were both hilarious. And while The Lost Boys was in fact Pattinson’s first major acting role, it isn’t his first time playing a comedy character. He famously played a manicures-obsessed manicures salesman in the 2007 romantic comedy Nights With NeNe. And then there was that time he played a transgender woman in the 2013 romantic comedy The Wedding Singer.
“I always find it fascinating when someone describes their character in a different way than how I interpreted them,” said Pattinson. “For example, my character in The Wedding Singer was supposed to be a really fun-loving, free-spirited person, but everyone on set kept describing him as a real life Peter Pan. And I would say that was one of the first times I felt like I really didn’t know what the heck I was doing.”
“There are definitely subtleties in The Lost Boys that audiences will latch on to,” Fallon agreed. “And there are definitely things about my character that people will relate to. He’s an idiot, he’s impulsive, and he has a drinking problem. But he’s a very sympathetic character, at least in my eyes. You’ll find yourself rooting for him even when he’s doing dumb things. He’s definitely an underdog, but he’s also very lovable.”
Romance From A To B
In the grand tradition of American romantic comedy, The Lost Boys is filled with memorable one-liners and quotable moments. The film’s opening scene, for example, parodies Gone With The Wind and introduces us to Jack, the film’s protagonist, who is played by Pattinson. We then cut to a jazz music-filled bar, where Jack tells the story of how he came to be lost in the first place.
“I was supposed to be in New York for a business meeting on September 11th,” he begins. “I was in a fancy hotel, getting ready for the day, and I got a call from my boss…He said there was a problem and that I should come down to the office.”
The rest of the scene continues in this vein: Jack recounts how he and his friends got drunk that night, watched the World Trade Center towers fall, and spent the next six months trying to find their way home. His story is funny in its own right, but it also foreshadows the film’s overall theme, as he repeatedly refers to himself in the third person. It also sets the stage for one of the film’s biggest laughs, when Jack, unable to find a job because of his drinking problem, auditions for and then lands a job as a janitor at the home of a very rich man. During his time there, he cleans up after the man’s massive game night party, which ends with the drunken millionaire falling off his toilet and breaking his neck.
“He was a very wealthy man,” said Fallon. “He had a pool that went down to the floor, and at night, all the servers would pour out, and everyone would just go swimming. It was amazing.”
While The Lost Boys is filled with funny one-liners and dramatic set pieces, it is also has a poignant side that speaks to all its viewers. The late producer Irwin Winkler saw the potential in the film right away and worked to ensure it was a rom-com with a conscience.
“We were determined to do something different with this film,” said Winkler. “It was important to us that people not see it as just another dumb, romantic comedy. We wanted to make it about something. After watching the news, we felt like there were a lot of lonely people out there, and a lot of despair.”
He continued: “The film also examines the issues of addiction and isolation, and how we can sometimes be our own worst enemy. I think people will get that.”
From Darkness To Light
Winkler discovered his talent for matchmaking while working as a divorce attorney. He would often meet with clients who were having trouble getting over the loss of a spouse, and it was there, in those sad moments, that he would find the comedy. The line between comedy and drama can be thin, and Winkler found the dividing line in The Lost Boys. While the story is filled with hilarious scenes, it is also a coming-of-age tale about Jack, played by Pattinson. The young man lives with his emotionally distant mother (Faye Wray), who is unable to connect with other people because of her own mental health issues. In desperation, Jack turns to booze and drugs to dull the pain. However, after years of addiction, the haze begins to lift, and he starts seeing the world through new eyes.
Pattinson, who was 22 years old when he made the film, said that while he was only supposed to play a supporting role in The Lost Boys, he ended up being the film’s lead: “The whole thing started as this really small role, and then it just kind of ballooned. It was crazy, because the producer was like, ‘Why don’t we just make it the lead role? It would be easier for you and for the studio.’ It was such a crazy evolution, because I really didn’t want to do that. But once I got into it, it was the only thing I could do.”
Fallon came on board in the second half of the project, having read the script for Weekend At Bernie’s, and he too was drawn to what he read. He saw it as a romantic comedy about friendship, and one that dealt with real issues, particularly in regards to alcoholism. While Jack is a character who finds redemption, the story is ultimately about the effect addiction has on a person’s life. And it’s a theme that will be explored further in this year’s sequel, Weekend At Bernie’s 2020.
The two actors’ work together is seamless, with their on-screen chemistry evident from the start. As the New York Times put it: “You will find yourself laughing and crying… and maybe a bit of both at the same time. For once, it’s not about style or fashion. It’s about two lost and found souls, who learn to love and trust each other in the most unexpected of ways.”