One of Rob Reiner's greatest gifts to film is his brilliant study of young boys in 1950s America in '80s hit 'Stand By Me.' Reiner revisits the years of his youth again in 'Flipped,' a story about two eight-year-olds feeling the unforgettable sensations of first love in the suburbs. Based on the novel by Wendelin Van Draanen, Madeline Carroll and Callan McAuliffe are Julie and Bryce, neighbors drawn together despite significant differences.

Reiner shows us both points of view -- views we might have wished for as kids wading through the soggy marsh of crushes and heartbreak. 'Flipped' is quality entertainment for kids and it's a heart-tugging walk down memory lane for older folks. Moviefone sat down with the legendary director to discuss his films, his father, and first loves.
One of Rob Reiner's greatest gifts to film is his brilliant study of young boys in 1950s America in '80s hit 'Stand By Me.' Reiner revisits the years of his youth again in 'Flipped,' a story about two eight-year-olds feeling the unforgettable sensations of first love in the suburbs. Based on the novel by Wendelin Van Draanen, Madeline Carroll and Callan McAuliffe are Julie and Bryce, neighbors drawn together despite significant differences.

Reiner shows us both points of view -- views we might have wished for as kids wading through the soggy marsh of crushes and heartbreak. 'Flipped' is quality entertainment for kids and it's a heart-tugging walk down memory lane for older folks. Moviefone sat down with the legendary director to discuss his films, his father, and first loves.

'Flipped' is set in the '50s. Do you have to be a certain age to relate or understand?
All the feelings about first love are true in the '50s, '60s and now. We all remember how powerful and overwhelming those feelings are. You can take the kids to see the movie and they'll enjoy for certain reasons, and adults will take a lot away from it too. It'll be a rich experience for them. I try to make my films so that they appeal to everyone.

'Flipped' is like 'Rashomon' for the pre-teen set. We watch two perspectives unfold as Julie and Bryce parse their growing relationship. How'd you get the balance right?

Yes, it is like 'Rashomon,' and I don't think I've seen a film like it since... at least one that shows different two points of view of the same event so clearly. To me it was really interesting. Some people might think 'Oh, we have to see everything twice?' But for me, I'd be dying to look through the peephole and see what she was thinking. It was really difficult shooting it, though, keeping it straight. We'd be in the middle of a sequence and I'd be yelling,"Whose story is this? Julie or Bryce?" You know how you shoot a film out of sequence? Well we'd be shooting out of sequence making two versions of the same sequence! Even the continuity girl was confused! We had a devil of a time.

Julie is such a strong-willed girl. She does everything in her power to stop her favorite tree from being taken down. She is a real individualist and early 'green' activist.
Back then there was no eco-movement, but people liked being outdoors more than we seem to now. People loved outdoors and nature. And if she were that age today she would be a leader in the green awareness movement. She loves nature.



Yours is an incredibly varied body of work. Is there a common thread that connects your projects?
I try to make movies that reflect the human experience. That goes for every one of them -- 'When Harry Met Sally,' 'The Bucket List,' and 'The Princess Bride.' That's fun to me. It's a common thread throughout my stories, but it goes beyond that. They are all the same story. They are stories about men and women, and they're realistic. You know what I've discovered? That women have greater individuality; they are more intelligent and focused than men. Men run around like idiots. What good is that? A woman takes charge and makes things work. I don't know what my real life would be like if I didn't have my wife Michelle in my life. I want to make films that embrace life and show us that life is precious and life has value.

Also they are about people who live on Earth! A film doesn't have to be 3-D – it has to have a great story. 2-D becomes fully dimensional with a great story.

Is there some project you would really like to do but can't for any reason?
I would really like to make a musical! You can't really say 'Spinal Tap' was a musical. I'm interested in Next to Normal, by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey. It's a Pulitzer Prize and Tony award-winning play about a dysfunctional family that has the most glorious, beautiful music, and that's what a great musical needs.

How is your father [Carl Reiner]?
Oh, he's great, thanks for asking. He's 88 and he's still writing every day. He and Mel Brooks have dinner and watch TV together every night since years ago.

'Flipped' opens in select theaters on August 27.