When it comes to breakups, few lines are worse than the dreaded "It's not you, it's me" excuse.
But that's the only thing 30-something commitment-phobe Dave can think of when he breaks up with his longtime girlfriend Carrie in the indie movie by the same title.
In "It's Not You, It's Me," writer, director and producer Nathan Ives sought to make "a romantic comedy for people who don't like romantic comedies."
No cheesy speeches delivered by a shirtless Matthew McConaughey here. Instead viewers get the messy, realistic aftermath of Dave and Carrie's breakup, peppered with humor as the voices in their heads come to life and compete to deliver advice.
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The film stars Ross McCall, Joelle Carter, Vivica A. Fox and Beth Littleford.
Park Plaza Cinema on Hilton Head Island will screen the film at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12 and Nov. 14. Ives will talk about the film and answer questions after the showings.
"When we make important decisions in our life, particularly when it comes to relationships, we all have these conflicting voices in our heads pulling us in six different directions," Ives said.
Dave and Carrie each have a different set of mental advisers, from the inner child to the ego-maniac to the outspoken diva.
"It's edgy. Hopefully you can look at it and go 'I've been there. I know that feeling,' " Ives said.
The road to independent filmmaking has been a weird one for the Asheville native, who was a pension analyst, a boat repairman and a musician before he moved to Los Angeles and tried his hand at screenwriting and then directing.
"I was writing scripts with a mind-set of what would sell, what Hollywood wanted," he said. "Finally a friend of mine told me to write what I wanted to write, so I did."
After six months of writing and editing, Ives began raising funds for "It's Not Me, It's You." He sent out 120 business plans, set up 50 lunches with potential backers and even pitched the film to his dentist, who ending up giving him $15,000.
"A lot of indie filmmakers unfortunately have this 'build it and they will come' mentality," Ives said. "We think we're going to get our film done and it's going to be brilliant and we're going to win Sundance and our careers are going to take off. ...That's not really a marketing plan; that's a lottery ticket."
Instead of pinning his hopes on Sundance or selling his film to a distributor, Ives chose a grass roots approach to market his film. So far he's driven 9,000 miles traveling to theaters to attend every screening. He usually conducts a Q-and-A after each show.
The touring, in addition to sales from iTunes and Amazon, "looks like it's working," Ives said. He plans to be on the road most of next year promoting the film.
"As much as I'm building a model for my own film, I'm also trying to build a model for other indie filmmakers," he said. "I think the hardest thing is getting people out to theaters and getting them to watch your movie.
At the end of the day, I felt that what's missing in marketing plans today is that personal touch."
Follow Erin Shaw at twitter.com/IPBG_ErinShaw.