You know you are watching a movie with a meaningful message when the opening screen fills with these inspiring words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” What follows is a hilariously funny, charming, and slightly sexy film called Muffin Top: a movie that addresses important issues like body image and self esteem and is brought to life by a super-talented cast that includes Cathryn Michon, Tony Award winner Marissa Jaret Winokur, David Arquette, and Melissa Peterman. I was fortunate to catch the premiere and meet Cathryn Michon herself – the writer, director and star of the movie. Ms. Michon and I talked about the essence of Muffin Top, body image messages, why it is essential that women have larger roles in filmmaking, and of course, the costumes! Here is my conversation with Cathryn …
MKG: What is the message behind Muffin Top? What are you hoping to say to women and men with this story?
CATHRYN: Muffin Top is a great Girl’s Night In movie. That makes you laugh and get inspired to be kinder to yourself, because you are beautiful. It goes very well with wine and chocolate! We really want the takeaway from Muffin Top to be, “love yourself NOW, not 5 lbs from now.” We all came together to make a truly funny and romantic movie because we believe that comedy really helps open your heart to looking at yourself in a more loving way.
MKG: What do women need to know about their bodies and feeling good about themselves?
CATHRYN: We need to remember that these media images that make us feel so insecure about our bodies are photoshop cartoons, not real women. Even supermodels don’t look like their magazine covers in real life.
MKG: You start the movie with a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. What role has Eleanor Roosevelt played in your life?
CATHRYN: I’m just deeply inspired by her resilience and determination to have high self esteem despite being a shy and private person. She was a great thinker and a role model for compassion.
MKG: It is remarkable that you made an independent film with a primarily female crew and cast. How important was that to you and for the film industry? Can you share some of the statistics about women in the film industry?
CATHRYN: 4% of feature films are directed by women, only 12% have even one woman writer and only 15% of films have women in significant speaking roles; this despite the fact that women buy 52% of theater tickets. Best way to change it? Support a film like Muffin Top, watch it, tell your friends about it on social media. Vote with your entertainment dollars. We are On Demand right now, all platforms direct tv, Amazon, cable iTunes and more. You can get all the listings at muffintopmovie.com.
MKG: How about the costumes? Did you have a costume designer? What role did the clothing play in this story?
CATHRYN: We had an AMAZING costume designer, June Suepunpuck, who created a world class look for this very fashion conscious film. I don’t ever want to make a movie without her. She created that amazing Oscar dress, all that feather work, it’s genius. A crazy Oscar dress that is beautiful yes, but kind of crazy. She will win her own Oscar one day, I predict …
I think we should all do what Cathryn encourages us to do: support Muffin Top – watch it and tell our friends about it. And be kind to ourselves. So much good will come of it! You can find Muffin Top here: Video on Demand.
Note: Turning Fashion Inside Out and Melissa Kaplan Guarino were not compensated for this endorsement. All opinions are my own.