Word came today that the Lionsgate studio has hired a screenwriter to adapt What to Expect When You’re Expecting, which they acquired the film rights to earlier this year. Shauna Cross, the screenwriter behind last year’s Whip It!, is rewriting Heather Hach’s initial draft of the script. It seems that the movie version of the book won’t have too much in common with Murkoff bestselling pregnancy guide other than the title. Instead, the studio promises a film “in the vein of Love Actually, where 5 couples experience the surprises that happen when a stork visit is imminent.”
My initial reaction to the news was something along the lines of “why the hell are they making that book into a movie?” Movies based on books already have a spotty history - for every To Kill a Mockingbird, there’s a dozen Troys and Beowulfs. And those are films based on books that actually had a plot to begin with. Where to pull a plot from a how-to guide for the nine months of pregnancy is beyond my comprehension.
But enough with the nay-saying! Perhaps I’ve been too pedestrian in my view that book-to-movie adaptations need to be tied to silly things like a “narrative” or a “good idea.” Lionsgate just exploded my brain, d0ubling the movie options being wasted on my bookshelves. Here’s a few elevator pitches - totally gratis - for Hollywood’s next big thing. After all, once the other movies in the Expecting Trilogy (The First Year and The Toddler Years) come and go at the local cinema, audiences will be clamoring for the next hot former handbook.
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State Series Quarters Collectors Map as a road trip movie. Two young men explore the country - and discover themselves - in a search for all 0f the state quarters. “Does for quarters what The Sound of Music did for hills.”
Facebook for Dummies as a thriller. Someone who just can’t figure out the super-complicated Facebook is being friended, invited, poked and Farmvilled … to death. The Social Network meets Fatal Attraction. “Who you gonna poke?”
Handbook of Water Purity and Quality as an action movie. “Don’t go in the watershed.”
The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary as a neo-noir film. A down-on-his-luck sleuth (10 points) has all the clues he needs to solve a conundrum (20 points) f0r a femme fatale (10 points). He just has to make sure all the pieces fit. “In a triple word space, no one can hear you scream.”
Eat This, Not That as a slapstick comedy. The Three Stooges meets Julie and Julia. Watch lovable goofballs (movie versions of David Zinczenko, Matt Goulding and pals) have food fights, eating contests and other shenanigans with the best and worst food in America.
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What how-to guide, cook book or technical manual would you like to see as a movie?