“They sort of advertised Piuma as a teen movie to get teens in the theater, but I don’t think of it as a teenage movie”, Johnson told me in his office at Palomar Studios. “It’s like saying that Juno is a teenage movie.”
“The characters in the movie go from 17 to 70 and somewhere in there is a center. I think the most of the people that will enjoy this movie will be between 30 and 50. The ideal viewer is, I don’t know, 45 years old”, he mused, laughing. “The ideal viewer is a 45 year-old woman with a kid.”
I reminded him that people of every age and gender were thoroughly enjoying themselves at its Venice Film Festival premiere last year but he insisted, “When they showed it to teens, they loved it, but it’s not basically for them.”
“The perfect match for this movie is actually…”, says, pausing to grin widely, “me”.
And there’s a perfectly good reason for that.
I was about that age at the time that I was thinking, ‘Should I have a kid?’ “
“I would say it’s a comedy about family”, he told me. “This family has a problem that explodes. This baby girl that is coming (an unexpected teenage pregnancy) is a ticking time bomb for everyone, and it’s like a little snow ball that falls down a mountain and causes an avalanche.”
“In Piuma, the baby represents a responsibility that is coming”, he said, “and either you are prepared or you aren’t.”
“For me, it’s kind of a metaphor for this time in the world, like climate change and other big issues. Are we prepared, or not, and what is your attitude going to be about it?”