We know that Netflix's ultra-popular romantic comedy The Kissing Booth was based on a popular Wattpad story turned best-selling novel, and that Set It Up is based on every overworked assistant's daydream. However, a new Netflix movie, Like Father, is based on something a bit more personal: writer-director Lauren Miller Rogen's own family experience.
Rogen — who also wrote and starred in the film For A Good Time, Call — makes her directorial debut with Like Father. The new Netflix movie, which debuted on August 3, stars Kristen Bell as Rachel, an ambitious workaholic who gets stood up on her wedding day. Instead of embarking on her honeymoon cruise with her new husband, her long-estranged dad Harry (Kelsey Grammer) joins her instead. Hilarity, chaos, and heart-wrenching conversation ensues.
Rogen — whose husband Seth Rogen has a part in the movie — was definitely not left at the altar, nor did she have to embark on a cruise with an estranged parent. Yet, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the director revealed that the script for Like Father came from an intensely personal place.
Rogen revealed to the outlet that when she wrote the film, her mother was about "six or seven years" into her early onset Alzheimer's diagnosis, which left Rogen very "angry and depressed."
Still, it was important for Rogen to show the lighter side of darker circumstances.
"I think that I, without really meaning to, made that movie that has these high highs and low lows, and sort of worked out my own journey through writing it, and created a world that I think — I hope — that most people would relate to," Rogen told Entertainment Weekly.
Alzheimer's also comes up in the film, when Harry reveals to Rachel during an argument that his longtime friend and partner died of the disease. "It’s important to me to incorporate [Alzheimar's] into storytelling, because it’s important to me to make it part of the national conversation," Rogen explained to EW. "It’s such an epidemic and, honestly, a crisis in our country. So I think the way to change that is making it part of our media, so it normalizes and it becomes something that we always talk about."
In honor of her mother, Rogen and her husband founded the organization Hilarity for Charity, which, according to their website, is "dedicated to raising awareness, inspiring change, and accelerating progress in Alzheimer’s care, research, and support through the engagement of millennials."
Though Rogen's mom may have partially inspired Like Father, Rogen recently shared a photo with her own dad to Instagram. Apparently, the title of the movie also reflects her relationship with her dad.
"Brought along a special guest for #LikeFather press this morning. Sometimes I fight how LIKE my father I actually am, but let’s be honest— he’s one of the true greats and I couldn’t be luckier to have a Dad like him!"
Like Father is streaming now on Netflix.