It’s been interesting to see people’s different takes on that scene.
Some people think, "We didn't need that, we got it, it felt too preachy." Others are like, "Oh, my God, I’m so glad that scene exists, that's exactly what we've been thinking about and talking about." I'm glad the scene exists, too. Well, I wanted to be as truthful as possible, and I wanted to have a movie that had scenes as ridiculous as butt-chugging and also as heartfelt as any real conversation you have with your kid.
I wanted people to be moved, and to feel something.
I feel like this movie feels modern because it's coming from the female perspective, and we haven’t seen that.
That's not to mention the film's sex-positive tone and general attention to female friendship over male attention.When the daughters are talking to each other and people are responding and saying, "Well, they sound so real, that's how they actually talk," I feel like that’s how I talked to my girlfriends in high school and that’s a long time ago.We made it modern in that we used technology in the way that teens use it now, but the actual core of the messaging in the movie, that is something that hasn’t been talked about or shown, really, in this way, and that's what makes it feel like more of a modern movie.And then also the idea that [Mann's character] Lisa said — "I'll worry about society tomorrow, I'm thinking about my daughter.” That's the issue, right?That's the idea of "I want to be progressive and I want her to do whatever she wants and I trust her to make the right decisions, but we live in a really dangerous world where often women are hurt, and I don't want that for her." I wanted to show that.What was great about the cast was that they were amenable to all these changes — they really embraced them.They could feel how the work was getting better when they made these changes.That scene was really important to me, and I really fought to make sure that that scene existed, and that it existed with two moms of the two daughters in question both having two completely different points of view in how they're reacting to their daughters making the pact.So I made that scene bigger and wanted to get out, I hope not in a preachy way, all the thoughts and ideas that I’ve had thinking about the double standard [of women who are supposed to be virginal and vixen-like].Originally the script had three dads instead of two dads and a mom, and so when Hayden and Jon started working on it, they changed one of the dads to a mom, the Leslie Mann character.Then when I got hired on and I came in and used my female perspective, given that I’m a lady, and infused the things that I’ve experienced and know about this thing we call life and put my mark on it. It was really the specificity of the [high school] girls.