A Thing or Two (or Ten) about Scriptwriting – ‘Legally Blonde’ dynamic duo return to the Pollock for classic teen comedy

Karen McCullah, Matt Ryan and Kirsten Smith COURTESY PHOTO
Karen McCullah, Matt Ryan and Kirsten Smith

Ah, now here’s the life. When Karen McCullah sits down with her long-time writing partner Kirsten Smith to work on a script, they usually do it poolside at Karen’s Hollywood house, sipping on mimosas. (Unless they’re working on the plot of a movie, then the mimosas usually wait. Champagne is good for writing dialog.) That working environment was well-earned: Ms. McCullah and Ms. Smith wrote some of the best loved comedies of the last decade, from their breakthrough hit “10 Things I Hate About You,” the hilarious “Legally Blonde” (now a Broadway musical!), and “The House Bunny,” which showed off Anna Faris’ comedic chops.

The two will return to UCSB this Thursday for their second sit-down chat at the Pollock Theater for the Carsey-Wolf sponsored “Script to Screen” event, hosted by Matt Ryan. Their last trip to UCSB featured a screening of “Legally Blonde.” This time they return with “10 Things I Hate About You,” their high school rewrite of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” starring a young and still unknown Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. They will screen the film, then talk about the making of the script, their first successful collaboration and the start of a beautiful friendship.

Read More