A romantic-comedy loosely based on a true story is scheduled to be filmed in various locations throughout Maui this summer.
Multi-award winning writer, actor and producer Joanne Rose, a native of Melbourne, Australia and permanent Los Angeles resident, started writing the script “You Had Me At Aloha,” while living on Maui in 2015.
“I had so much inspiration while living on Maui,” Rose told Maui Now. “It’s such a beautiful place and I got a lot of good stories from there.”
A city girl at heart, the film is about a girl moving to Maui and adjusting to the laid back lifestyle. “It was eye-opening to come to such a beautiful place like Maui and relax. I’m a typical city girl and I brought a lot of that with me, and that’s not how people on Maui live,” she said.
“It was refreshing to know I could just let loose and be okay and not be in the constant state of doing,” she added.
Rose says she writes stories that help inspire and empower women. She tells Maui Now that she dated a musician from Maui while living in LA, and when her boyfriend wanted to move back to Maui, she went with him. “It was a good move for him but I wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t ready for Maui,” Rose said.
However, her short time on Maui inspired her to write the film. She said she would sit at a Starbucks in Kīhei and write the script. “Unfortunately our relationship ended, but the script doesn’t have that. It’s a fantasy with some reality as well.”
Also inspired by the music scene and the beauty Maui offers from the beaches to breathtaking sunsets, the film allows the leading role to relax, de-stress, and find love.
“Maui is so laid-back and beautiful and it retaught me to see the beauty in nature,” Rose said. “I wonder how many people from big cities actually go through this and put it into a story and are in a state of gratitude.”
Rose does plan on moving back to Maui while filming gets underway this summer. She says filming will last under a month and be filmed at various locations but will primarily take place in Kīhei.
She also tells Maui Now that Antonio Sabàto Jr. from “General Hospital” and several other TV movies and series, will play the male lead. She said there are various other actors interviewing and that there will be local casting on Maui at a later date.
“I want to make the film as real as possible,” she said. “I want to film at Kahale’s and have Hawaiian actors with speaking rolls so people can build on their acting reel.”
Rose tells Maui Now her goal is for the film to be played at the 2019 Maui Film Festival and that the film will mostly likely be played on the Hallmark channel but is in talks with the film possibly being a Netflix movie.
For casting information and more on Joanne Rose, click here.