Motherhood may not change her career, said “Friends” star Courteney Cox, but a new independent film, “November,” might do the trick.
The drama, which tells of a woman dealing with trauma after her boyfriend becomes the victim of a violent crime, debuted over the long holiday weekend at the Sundance Film Festival here, the premier gathering for U.S. independent filmmakers.
Cox told Reuters she hopes her career will move to movies and to producing when television comedy “Friends” tapes its final episode this week and ends its 10-years on air in May.
“I know I won’t do another sitcom right away or any kind of television series,” she said.
Cox, who announced her pregnancy in January and who is producing a design show on cable TV called “Mix it Up,” said she’s not exactly sure how having a baby with husband David Arquette will change her life or career.
“It’s one thing I’ve never done. I don’t know how I feel about any of it, but I have a feeling -- I’m a pretty good multi-tasker -- so I have a feeling I’ll strap that little baby on my belly, and we’ll go do the things we need to,” she said.
Her take-charge personality may remind fans of Monica on ”Friends,” but in “November” Cox extends her acting range by playing a photographer, Sophie Jacobs, whose relatively orderly life is shattered when her boyfriend is murdered.
Until the final scene of the low-budget, digital movie, audiences don’t know exactly what happened on Nov. 7 when Sophie’s boyfriend, portrayed by James Le Gros, walks into a local market while she waits outside in her car.
Audiences do know that a robber also enters the store and shoots the two workers inside along with Sophie’s boyfriend in a senseless murder.
Deny, then accept
The film’s structure tells of Sophie’s reaction in three chapters, but the story shifts between chapters to reveal how Sophie chooses to deal with the crime -- first denying it, then eventually accepting the tragedy.
As anyone might after a trauma, Sophie seeks a therapist’s help to overcome her grief. She uses her photography skills to aid police in solving the crime because, rationally, she thinks her work may help put together the pieces of a complex puzzle.
Yet, there is no real reason for the murders, and Sophie tries to exert some control over events when, indeed, she has none.
“It is about her inability, initially, to accept the fact her life has changed for no good reason ... How do we go through life trying to make the right choices when, ultimately, there is no control,” said director Greg Harrison.
Harrison, 34, is one of show business newspaper Daily Variety’s 10 directors to watch here and his previous film, ”Groove,” was a hit at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.
He said “November” was written with few characters and locations making it a good choice for a low budget, independent film. It was shot in 15 days for $150,000, and he spent another $150,000 to get it in shape for theaters.
Cox said she did not care about the budget or relatively new techniques used in making digital movies, because the script was good and the character was a challenge.
“I was allowed the opportunity to play a character I had never done before with such emotional depth,” she said.
About her future, she said she wanted “to do things that interest me and make me happy and challenged.”
In a way, Cox follows the lead of her “Friends” friend Jennifer Aniston, who turned up at the premiere along with other “Friends” co-star Lisa Kudrow. Aniston’s digitally made ”The Good Girl” in 2001 helped launch her movie career.
Cox said leaving “Friends” will be hard, but necessary.
“It’s extremely sad, but it’s bittersweet,” she said. “It’s time to go, I think.”