With there being more than six months between its acquisition and this potentially big item, any and all development on The Marriage Plot has been conducted behind closed doors — except, obviously, until now. Variety reports that producer Scott Rudin is angling toward Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland) to direct, having already put him in early talks for the Sony-backed Jeffrey Eugenides adaptation.
The latter’s novel, published just last year, is an ’80s-set story of three recent Brown graduates trying to find their place in the world and, along the way, getting into a love triangle. The lead, Madeleine Hanna, is “a bookish English major” who finds parallels with a relationship that forms between her and two friends, Leonard Bankhead and Mitchell Grammaticus — two very different friends, of course. After they all graduate from college and make decisions about the direction of their lives, things only become more emotionally tangled.
If you ask me, that sounds perfect for Mottola. Memories of Paul might have you forgetting — though I’d certainly hope that’s not the case — but Adventureland, Superbad, and TV’s Undeclared show an extremely deft hand at capturing the developmental phases of life, and that’s just what I’d expect from this kind of story. The only question, then: Where does this leave the film he co-wrote with Campbell Scott? Probably on the wayside for now; while unfortunate, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
You can read a longer synopsis below (via Amazon):
“It’s the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels.
As Madeleine tries to understand why “it became laughable to read writers like Cheever and Updike, who wrote about the suburbia Madeleine and most of her friends had grown up in, in favor of reading the Marquis de Sade, who wrote about deflowering virgins in eighteenth-century France,” real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead—charismatic loner, college Darwinist, and lost Portland boy—suddenly turns up in a semiotics seminar, and soon Madeleine finds herself in a highly charged erotic and intellectual relationship with him. At the same time, her old “friend” Mitchell Grammaticus—who’s been reading Christian mysticism and generally acting strange—resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate.
Over the next year, as the members of the triangle in this amazing, spellbinding novel graduate from college and enter the real world, events force them to reevaluate everything they learned in school. Leonard and Madeleine move to a biology Laboratory on Cape Cod, but can’t escape the secret responsible for Leonard’s seemingly inexhaustible energy and plunging moods. And Mitchell, traveling around the world to get Madeleine out of his mind, finds himself face-to-face with ultimate questions about the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the true nature of love.”
Do you think Mottola is the right person for The Marriage Plot? Would his involvement raise your interest?
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