It’s always good to try new things, especially when you’re M. Night Shyamalan and you’re known for making only one kind of movie: Pseudo-supernatural thrillers with a twist ending. So what could Shyamalan do to mix things up? How about a teen romantic comedy?
M. Night Shyamalan, known best for his twisty films The Sixth Sense and Signs, revealed that he actually ghost-wrote the screenplay for a teen romantic comedy called She’s All That.
The film was released in 1999 and starred Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook, and actually ended up being a pretty modest hit as well as one of those teen rom-coms that totally defines the 90s in an un-ironic way.
Though writing for the film is credited to “R. Lee Fleming Jr.”, Shyamalan reveals that he ghost-wrote the screenplay, meaning that such classic lines like “Supersize my balls” actually belong to him, though he didn’t take official credit for writing them.
During press rounds for After Earth (his latest written-and-directed-by adventure), Shyamalan was asked if all of his movies have to have a trademark twist ending. He replied:
“You’re saying the audience’s relationship started with me with The Sixth Sense. That same year I wrote Stuart Little. I ghost-wrote a movie that same year that would even add to the breadth of it all. I ghost-wrote the movie She’s All That.”
It’s a genre that Shyamalan might want to re-explore. Most critics have agreed that the director has dramatically lost steam with each successive movie following The Sixth Sense, with many growing tired of his increasingly-forced twist endings and self-serving cameo appearances.
After Earth, Shyamalan’s Will and Jaden Smith power vehicle, is his latest flop, with abysmal sales and negative reviews. It’s Shyamalan’s first film since his 2010 flop The Last Airbender, which followed 2008’s The Happening which, though marketed as Shyamalan’s first R-rated film, sucked egg.
The sad thing is that Shyamalan is, visually, a great director and visual story-teller. Our advice? His writing seems to be the problem, not his directing. Unless of course he sticks to writing formulaic teen rom-coms.
I was going to include a trailer for After Earth, but instead I think I’ll include this M. Night Shyamalan clip instead.
[Image via: Debby Wong / Shutterstock]