November 30, 2005

Between the Sheets

C.D. Payne's coming-of-age novel about a sixteen-year old trying to lose his virginity, Youth in Revolt, will begin production in '06 says Digital Spy. --Kim

November 22, 2005

Follow the Yellow Brick Road...

Think you know everything you need to about "The Wizard of Oz" after watching the movie 17,000 times growing up? "Studio 360" takes you over the rainbow to learn more about the life of Oz's literary creator, L. Frank Baum, the making of the film, and lots more. Click here to listen to the show, which includes reflections from Salman Rushdie, Neil LaBute and others. -- Amy

November 18, 2005

Pauper Production

A new adaptation of Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper is in the works from producer Mark Gordon and screenwriter Jeffrey Hatcher, reports --Kim

Tiptoe through the Tulips

Dark Horizons reports that a Tom Stoppard adaptation of Tulip Fever will be rewritten by Peter Flannery and filmed in East Europe to save money. The adaptation was originally to star Keira Knightley but filming in Britian became too costly and production was halted. --Kim

November 14, 2005

Assault with a Dudley Weapon

Thanks to Amy's "VCR Alert" I caught Part 1 of Masterpiece Theatre's The Virgin Queen last night and it is sublime. The costumes, cinematography, and set decor are absolutely gorgeous. Anne-Marie Duff is magnificent as QE1, while Tom Hardy (Band of Brothers, Layer Cake, Marie-Antoinette) steals every scene as Robert Dudley, the queen's volatile and manipulative paramour. Frankly, if the Earl of Leicester had been half as hot in real life, he might've succeeded in his attempts to marry the queen. --Kim

November 12, 2005

"P&P" Naysayers....?

The Jane Austen Society apparently has their petticoats in a twist over the new "Pride & Prejudice" film starring Keira Knightley. Check out the controversy here.

I've seen the flick and I have to say I think they're way overreacting. Shocking yes, but even in Jane Austen's time, people DID think about sex and occasionally even engaged in it. Regardless, their ability to find lascivious sybolism in the film is a ridiculous stretch. Sometimes a pig is just a pig. -- Amy

VCR Alert

Is that the rousing cry of trumpets heralding the next Masterpiece Theater presentation? Why yes, indeed. Don't miss part one of The Virgin Queen this Sunday night at 9 p.m. on PBS. (Part two airs on Nov. 20th.) I'll be curious to see how this one rates next to the Cate Blanchett feature film. -- Amy

November 10, 2005

'Not That Into' This Idea

Drew Barrymore's production co., Flower Films, can now be held responsible for bringing "He's Just Not That Into You" (based on the bestseller of the same name) to a theater near you. From Zap2It:
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the storyline for the movie will involve an advise columnist who falls in love with one of the women who seeks his advice.
It sounds like an awful idea. So far neither Drew nor Adam Sandler are slated to star in the project. I'm thinking Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson? Or maybe Bill Murray and Lindsay Lohan? Your casting picks? --Kim

Keeping an Eye on Leo

Romancing the Tome reader Caryn passed on the news that Aviator star Leonardo DiCaprio's production company is planning to adapt Malcolm Gladwell's two best-selling works The Tipping Point and Blink for the big screen. The newly-single actor (yes, in case you haven't heard, he and his long-term love, model Gisele Bundchen, are splitzville) will purportedly star in the film. --Kim

November 9, 2005

Battle Over Bleak House (or Why We Love England)

Brits bicker over whether or not they'll bother to watch the new soap-opera style Bleak House on BBC. (Culture Vulture Blog, The Guardian UK) --Kim

from the Archives: Bleak House Gets Soaped

November 7, 2005


NPR's Studio 360 devoted an entire hour Sunday night to a discussion of Melville's Moby-Dick. By far, it's worth downloading a copy of playwright David Ives' hysterical (and strangely in depth) two-minute recap of the book as told from the perspective of a surfer dude. It's totally gnarly, man! -- Amy

Lost Wuthering Heights Adaptation

An early silent-screen version of Emily Bronte's novel of passion and lost love starred some of the most popular U.K. actors of the 1920s. BBC News reports that the long lost film is being pursued by The Bronte Parsonage Museum. The most famous WH adaptation, released in 1939, starred Laurence Olivier as the tormented Heathcliff. --Kim

Lion's Tale

The L.A. Times recently took a look behind the scenes of the upcoming Chronicles of Narnia film, which premieres Dec. 9. It's getting me psyched to see it! -- Amy

November 2, 2005

Tristram Shandy

The Onion A.V. Club reviews Michael Winterbottom's new adaptation of Sterne's Tristram Shandy. (via Return of the Reluctant)

"Pride & Prejudice": Worth Every Penny

On behalf of Romancing the Tome, I'm giving the new "Pride & Prejudice" movie starring Keira Knightley a ringing endorsement. Yes, I'll admit I arrived with only half an open mind to last night's "Girls Night Out" screening of the film in Los Angeles. Ever since I heard that this adaptation (which premieres on Nov. 18th) was in the works, I had a "Why bother?" attitude. After all, how could anyone improve upon (or even come close to rivaling) the BBC mini-series starring the unforgettable Colin Firth? How could a movie capture all the brilliant humor and knee-buckling romance in just two-and-a-half hours? By the end of the screening, however, I would have gladly watched it two more times in a row without interruption.

Think of this movie as a companion piece or supplement to the BBC miniseries. It doesn't necessarily outshine that version, but it definitely measures up in its own right. I like to think of it as a "quick fix" alternative for those times you simply don't have six hours to watch the miniseries straight through. There are no egregious edits in condensing the story, and the film offers up portions of dialogue from the book that weren't included in the BBC version, giving it a fresh new appeal.

The movie delivers a more rustic, unpolished, and I daresay realistic depiction of life as Austen might have known it. (Unkempt hair, manure in the streets, etc.), and there's a startling contrast between the Bennetts' rural existence and the posh surroundings at Netherfield and Pemberly.

Knightley plays a younger, perhaps more sassy version of Elizabeth Bennett than was played by Jennifer Ehle in the miniseries. As Mr. Darcy, Matthew MacFadyen (a.k.a. "He who is not Colin Firth") took a while to grow on me -- but isn't that the point, really? By the end, just the very sight of him made me damn near fall out of my chair into a blob of smitten-flavored Jell-O. True, there's no shirtless "dip in the lake" shot of Darcy like we saw from Firth, but there are plenty of other swoon-worthy moments to keep romantics satisfied. Beautifully directed, the last 30 minutes, in particular, elicited plenty of audible sighs from the audience, from Bingley's endearing proposal to Jane, to a vision of Darcy so stunningly beautiful that you may need defibrillator paddles to revive yourself. Seriously. Don't miss this one. -- Amy

November 1, 2005

NO, this is not

...just an excuse to post another pic of Jake Gyllenhaal. I take my non-job seriously, people! Jarhead author Anthony Swofford talks to the Seattle Post about his book's film adaptation (which stars Jake Gyllenhaal). --Kim

Paris Is for Lovers

...and filmmakers too. The Hollywood Reporter reveals that the sidewalk-cafe strewn city has already seen 29 weeks of shooting this year, leaving underachievers London, Rome, and Dublin in the dust. Marie-Antionette, The Da Vinci Code, and Munich are just three of the foreign films to have been shot in Paris. It doesn't hurt that city officials are sweetening the deal by offering cash incentives to movie moguls considering a French connection. ("Paris sizzles as capitals vie for prod'n," Hollywood Reporter) --Kim

Update: "Unrest spread across troubled suburbs around Paris in a sixth night of violence..."