James L. Brooks Tells Vulture the New Title for His Upcoming Film...For Now


Back in March, the New York Times chronicled Columbia Pictures’ exquisite agony at James L. Brooks’ inability to settle on a title for his forthcoming comedy, which stars Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson. At the time he was begrudgingly using the working title, How Do You Know, but wasn’t conceding that it was final. Now Brooks tells Vulture that he finally has a title he's happy with, at least this week: Everything You’ve Got. “Titles make me nuts,” grouses Brooks, taking a break from editing his new movie. “I have a terrible time with titles.”

The name derives from the plot, Brooks explains: "Two people meet on the worst nights of their lives, and they’re being tested by adversity. I think the thing about life is, most of us reach that point where life can't be the same when this thing happens. It's just then when you have to give everything you've got and pray that it’s enough.” The title is specifically cropped from one of Witherspoon's line of dialogue. "She says [to Rudd], ‘I mean, if you can't give everything you've got to whatever your doing right now, then you'll never be able to give everything to anything.’ She's speaking about herself, but the thought illuminates a point in his life, too.”

However, a reaction to this title emerges that one really should keep to oneself but can't: Doesn't Everything You've Got seem even more cryptic than How Do You Know? At this, Brooks deflates a bit. "Really? Well...Then there might actually be a third title coming soon."