November 30, 2012

Role Playing with A Familiar Beast

Earlier this week, I noted this sentence in Hilton Als's recent New Yorker theatre review: "'Cyrano de Bergerac' is a big play that wears its importance lightly; its title character has been a paradigm for many of the conflicted, self-effacing yet principled heroes of our own time." It's been tumbling around in my head alongside A Familiar Beast, the wonderfully taut new novella by Panio Gianopoulos, which has me asking: What constitutes a romantic hero in our time? Does a society (or a generation) get the heroes and heroines it deserves? Do overblown expectations of perfection in relationships, continually fed by advertising and subliminally destructive rom coms, require so much of men to satisfy a search for the romantic hero--and defy expectations of betrayal--that they are often doomed to fail from the get go? And then I wonder how much if any of these problems will dissipate with Generation Y; this in spite of the continued Disneyfication of our society. These are questions I don't know the answers to, and they require more time and reflection than this blog post allows for. But I do heartily recommend A Familiar Beast, so without further ado, here are my picks for a book-to-film adaptation: You Can Count on Me and Margaret's Kenneth Lonergan to direct, Mark Ruffalo as Marcus who is running away from a failed marriage, Jeremy Renner as his deer hunting friend Edgar, with Greta Gerwig and Rutina Wesley as the two women they meet in a pathetic attempt at a night on the town. Can't you see it picking up an Indie Spirit award for Best Film? --Kim


  1. Okay, this got me wanting to read the book!

  2. Also, having just finished Gone Girl, many of your same questions about romance have been running through my head.