Beyond Vassar

All Over This Guy

By Veronika Ruff '01

When Dan Bucatinsky ’87 and Lisa Kudrow ’85 first worked together on the set of the film The Opposite of Sex, there was, as they say, a certain chemistry between them. They laughed at each other’s jokes and appreciated one another’s idiosyncratic thought processes. And then they learned that they shared Vassar.

Now, these two Vassar grads, who did not know each other during their college years, are good friends and again appearing together in the recently released film, All Over the Guy. Bucatinsky, who stars in the film, also wrote the original screenplay and produced the movie. It is based on his stage play, I Know You Are, But What Am I?, which is about a man and a woman who resist falling in love with one another. For the film, Bucatinsky changed only one detail: the gender of a character.

"I changed the female role into a male role for the film, making the central relationship a gay one. But by no means did I have a ‘gay agenda,’ " writes Bucatinsky. "My agenda was to illuminate something universal about men and women, their quest for love and how we run towards and away from relationships."

Kudrow, who is best known for her work on NBC’s Friends, delivers a guest performance in a role that Bucatinsky wrote especially for her. In an email, Kudrow wrote that she "desperately" wanted to participate in All Over the Guy. "I read the script and thought it was so perfectly good," said Kudrow.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar, Bucatinsky spent several years doing New York and regional theater. He went on to perform with such improv and sketch comedy troups as The Groundlings (of which Kudrow was also once a member) and For Play. He has guest starred on television shows including Will and Grace, Cybill, and Chicago Hope, and appeared in the feature films Bounce and The Sky is Falling.

Bucatinsky credits Vassar for its influence on his work. "Vassar shaped the way I think. It has a way of encouraging us to put two and two together in our own particular ways — in my case, in an interdisciplinary major, which allowed me the freedom to take a wide range of courses and then attack one specific topic from that wide range of angles," wrote Bucatinsky. "I look at my work now as a hyphenate — actor-writer-producer — and it’s no wonder I’m still working in that multi- and interdisciplinary way. That was Vassar."