SARASOTA — Laughter and giggles filled the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Friday night as the Sarasota Film Festival kicked off with “The Extra Man,” starring Kevin Kline.
“This is the night where everything comes together,” said film festival president Mark Famiglio before the film, which attracted a huge gathering of local residents.
Many film fans, along with the press, awaited outside for Kline’s arrival. Making a grand entrance via Rolls Royce, the distinguished-looking Kline was excited to be at the festival, though he was solo.
“My kids are in school,” he told the Herald.
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“And my wife is, you know, holding the switch over them,” he joked.
One member of the press told the actor he was quite handsome while she was interviewing him for TV on the red carpet. Kline stood straight-faced, not sure what to say.
When asked by the Herald if he would spend some of his time in Sarasota networking, like other industry darlings, he said, with that same straight face: “I tend to be reclusive.”
A lot of that straight-faced humor was found in Kline’s quirky film, “The Extra Man,” in which he stars as the provocative Henry Harrison.
Henry crosses paths with Louis Ives (Paul Dano), an aspiring writer down on his luck, when Louis moves into town looking for a place to stay.
Louis discovers his new roommate is an “extra man,” who serves as a social companion to rich widows.
Henry brings Louis into his world, showing him the ropes of mingling with high society.
In a recent interview with the Herald, Kline said Henry is a witty character that has been noted as one of his funniest roles since his Oscar-winning performance as Otto in 1988’s “A Fish Called Wanda.”
“The Extra Man” was directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini.
Pulcini said he made the film because, “I felt that Hollywood doesn’t really make comedies for grown-ups anymore.”
Did the grown-ups like it?
Gary and Stacey Sarver, of Bradenton, did.
“It was very good,” Gary Sarver said. “Though, it had some interesting parts to it.”
Like cross-dressing and painted-on socks.