Could Chris Rock and Melissa McCarthy end up together?
Chris Rock has had some notable on-screen romantic partners over the years. He engaged in an affair with a slinky Kerry Washington ("I Think I Love My Wife") and was dumped by Robin Givens ("Head of State"). Last week at Sundance, he tried to co-parent with Julie Delpy amid a chaotic visit by her family in "Two Days in New York," the actress-director's sequel to her 2007 indie hit "Two Days in Paris."
But none of those colorful characters compare to the woman Rock next hopes to make his on-screen wife: Melissa McCarthy.
"I'm trying to romance her," Rock said, taking a break last week at a Park City, Utah. The comedian is writing a new untitled script, he said, in which he envisions the "Bridesmaids" breakout playing his wife as the pair indulge in some boisterous dysfunction -- a "Jerry Springer couple," as Rock put it. He said he hopes to persuade the comedic actress to come aboard, and has made some inroads.
It's one of several projects Rock said he is working on as a writer, including new material for a stand-up tour as well as a screenplay in which he'd play, well, a stand-up comedian.
Rock has a small part in this May's "What to Expect when You're Expecting" and will be heard but not seen a few weeks later in "Madagascar 3," the talking-animal toon in which the gang runs amok in Europe. He's also get his moment as a lead in "Two Days," which Magnolia bought at Sundance and probably will release this year.
The film has Rock trying to make things work with his partner, stepping into the Delpy boyfriend role that Adam Goldberg played in "Two Days in Paris." Rock stars as Mingus, an intellectual radio host who often plays the straight man to the loopiness around him (which includes plenty of misunderstanding with Delpy's on screen father, played by real life dad Albert).
"I probably stole a little Nelson George meets Elvis Mitchell," Rock said of his character. "But they're not married and I am, so I combined it with elements of my life, all the relatives coming over, and dealing with the kids."
Perhaps Rock's most high-profile turn at Sundance may have come in a movie he had nothing to do with, Spike Lee's provocative "Red Hook Summer." Rock was sitting in the audience during its premiere and asked the question that prompted the infamous rant from Lee that the studios "know nothing about black people."
Rock said he saw Lee afterward but came away as puzzled as everyone else about why the director went in that direction. "Maybe the altitude got to him," he said, shrugging perplexedly.
Photo: Chris Rock at the Sundance Film Festival last week. Credit: Chris Pizzello/Associated Press