“One for the Money,” two for the NO!

You know how 99 times out of 100, the book is always better than the movie?

And you know how every time you face disappointment when you have high hopes for the film adaptation and it sucks?

This time, the movie hasn’t even begun FILMING yet, and I am already incredibly let down.

Firstly, I’m disappointed because I had planned on writing the screenplay and my friend Emily (shout-out!) was going to direct it.  Now, we’re forced to re-plan our lives because someone beat us to the punchline??

If you’re reading this and you’ve never read (or heard of) the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich, I suggest you peel your eyes away from your screen and dart to the nearest Borders.  I read the entire series (“One for the Money” through “Finger Lickin’ Fifteen”) this past summer.  Within a span of, like, three weeks.

Once you start the first one, there’s no way you can put it down.  The series follows Stephanie Plum, a spunky woman from New Jersey who gets laid off from her job as a lingerie buyer.  After selling most of her possessions to help pay her rent, Stephanie turns to her cousin Vinnie, owner of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, for a job as a bounty hunter.  There are some saucy love triangles, a crazy grandmother and a plus-sized hooker named Lula.  Interesting much?

Anyways, my friend and I had made it our life goal to bring this book series to the big screen in order to avoid the crippling disappointment when someone else did so and screwed it up.

Unfortunately, someone decided to do just that by casting Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum.  Anyone who has read the series can tell you that Heigl is not AT ALL right for this role.  Her past film credits include “Knocked Up” and “The Ugly Truth,” both of which, well, sucked.  In my (biased) opinion, Sandra Bullock would have been perfect for the role.  In fact, I just Googled “Stephanie Plum,” and Sandy’s smiling face popped right up.  Give the people what they want!

While the film doesn’t have a director yet, it’s screenwriters are Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith. Both women co-wrote “Legally Blonde,” “10 Things I Hate About You” and “The Ugly Truth.”  The fact that I am being beaten by these, clearly, Oscar worthy screenplays is killing me inside.

As if it’s not bad enough that TriStar claimed rights to the film when I was a mere four years old, now that they’re FINALLY getting around to making it, it’s being miscast.

All I can say at this point is Betty White better play Grandma Mazur or else…

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Salinger and Caulfield, untouchables

There are many reasons why “The Catcher in the Rye” has never been made into a movie, and it certainly shouldn’t happen against the wishes of recently deceased author J.D. Salinger.

Take a look at this letter written from Salinger to an admirer in 1957.  In the letter, written six years after the book’s release, Salinger explains that no actor is fit to play Holden Caulfield.

In his own words:  “And Holden Caulfield himself, in my undoubtedly super-biased opinion, is essentially unactable.  A sensitive, intelligent, talented young actor in a reversible coat wouldn’t be nearly enough.”

Of course now, a mere two days after Salinger’s death, message boards are filled with suggestions of who should play Holden in a movie adaptation.

The first three suggestions I read?  Justin Timberlake, Zac Efron and Taylor Lautner.  I immediately died a little inside, then became filled with rage.  Sure, JT provides a good laugh on SNL every once in a while, but that’s just the point. If you’ve been a member of a boy band and/or sung about genitalia in a box, you are not suited to play such a role.  And Zac Efron?? I sincerely hope that was not a serious suggestion. Same for the Twilight kid.

I honestly believe that this novel would not translate well to film.  I don’t think anyone would necessarily be able to capture the characters and the storyline the way Salinger did in writing.  Certain things get lost in translation, and I sincerely hope it doesn’t happen in this case.  Some things are better left to the imagination, and I truly believe that “The Catcher in the Rye” is one of them.

What are your thoughts?

I Am So Into This Movie

“Girls are taught a lot of stuff growing up.  If a guy punches you, he likes you.  Never try to trim your own bangs, and someday you will meet a wonderful guy and get your very own happy ending.”

Ah, the chick-flick.  While some people are afraid to admit their undying devotion to the romantic comedy genre, I myself am willing to shout it from the rooftops.  I am a chick-flick lover.  Say Anything is pretty much my favorite of all time, and if that isn’t the essence of a chick-flick in its prime, I don’t know what is.  I was able to add to my ever-growing list of romantic comedy faves this past weekend when I saw He’s Just Not That Into You.  Not only was it entertaining, it managed to provide some serious insight in 129 minutes.

The film opens with Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin), a cute and spunky young woman who, after getting set up on a date, spends the entire week thereafter obsessively waiting for the guy to call.  When he doesn’t, she changes her obsession with him to an obsession with herself—mainly with what she did wrong.  Her infatuation leads her to the place where he hangs out after work, and while Gigi doesn’t find her guy there, she manages to run into his buddy.  Alex (Justin Long) ends up giving her some pretty intuitive advice about men and how their minds (or lack thereof) work.

There are several other plotlines involving a slew of characters whose lives are all intertwined in one way or another.

Beth (Jennifer Aniston) and her boyfriend Neil (Ben Affleck) have been together for seven happy years, and while she wants an engagement ring, Neil is anti-marriage.  When Beth’s younger sister walks down the isle, she presses the issue even more, causing a strain on her relationship with Neil.

Ben (Bradley Cooper, a.k.a. my future husband.  Seriously, check your mailbox soon for your invite to our wedding…) feels like he was forced into marriage with wife Janine (Jennifer Connelly).  When he meets temptress Anna (Scarlett Johansson) at a grocery store, he seriously begins to question his happiness.  (And that’s putting it nicely, because Ben is pretty much a tool).

Kevin Connolly and Drew Barrymore round out the cast, although Barrymore deserved more screen time than she got.

Before I go on, let me just fill you in on something about myself.  I am a movie lover in general, but I am a sucker for movies like this one.  I am also the kind of person who, when I latch on to a new movie, I seriously latch on.  I might see it multiple times before it comes out on DVD, I buy the soundtrack, the book, and hell, if there’s an action figure, I just might buy that too.  Ok, not so much the last one, but you get what I’m saying.

In my opinion, the best scenes in this movie are the ones in which Gigi and Alex interact.  I’m not going to spoil anything for you in case you haven’t seen it, but I do want to share a few gems with you.  Among Alex’s words of wisdom are:

“If he treats you like he doesn’t give a shit, it’s because he doesn’t give a shit.”

“An excuse is a polite rejection.  Men are not afraid of “ruining the friendship.”

“Don’t get tricked into asking him out.  If he likes you, he’ll do the asking.”

““Hey, let’s meet at so-and-so’s party/any bar/friend’s house” is not a date.”

(NOTE:  I am hereby reemphasizing what I said earlier about the workings of the male mind…)

So while I might be getting a little bit behind on my political philosophy readings in the near future due to the fact that I will be occupying my time reading the novel He’s Just Not That Into You, I am strangely okay with it.  It’s the price I pay for being a movie/chick-flick/romance freak.

In closing, I will leave you with some parting words from Gigi herself:

“Maybe the happy ending is this, knowing that after all the unreturned phone calls, broken hearts, through the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment, you never gave up hope.”