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From the Big Screen to Small Pages

April 19, 2011

Today I took a break from reading and watched “New In Town,” a romantic comedy starring Renée Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr. To be honest, the movie sort of bombed when it came out in theaters, but I actually enjoyed it. Like most romcoms, it was lighthearted and funny — perfect for a relaxing evening spent curled up on the couch with popcorn + Swedish Fish.

In the film, Zellweger plays Lucy, a Miami businesswoman who is sent to a small town in Minnesota to oversee the restructuring of a local manufacturing plant. While there, she has to make cuts in the company, which seems simple at first — until she begins to fall for Ted (Connick Jr.), the head of the factory’s union coalition.

While watching, my mental light bulb turned on and I realized that “New In Town” would actually make a good romance book! Usually, people imagine their favorite book turned into a movie and pick their “dream cast” to play the book’s characters. But what about the opposite? What if those glimpsed-over, not-too-serious films were turned into books written by our favorite authors? I bet the hype would be much larger, and the film’s popularity would skyrocket! Don’t believe me? Let’s go through the “contemporary romance” checklist: 

  • Small town — Check. New Ulm, Minnesota. Middle of nowhere, population, 14,000…sounds small to me.
  • Cold, work-obsessed heroine — Check. Lucy starts off bitchy and aloof, but later evolves into a caring, empathetic person.
  • Rugged, gruff hero — Check. Ted drives a pickup, wears plaid, drinks beer and has a scruffy beard. Yum.
  • Quirky side characters — Check. Prime example: Lucy’s assistant, Blanche, who “scraps” (scrapbooks) and makes tapioca pudding during her downtime.
  • Humorous scenes that bring the hero/heroine together — Check. Ted takes Lucy crow hunting and she accidentally shoots him in the butt.

I don’t know about you, but this definitely sounds like something Crusie, Phillips (Carly and Susan Elizabeth) or Gibson would write. Since then, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think of other movies that would either make good books or even be better off as books. So far I’ve come up with “The Holiday” and “Heartbreakers,” but I just know there are more out there…

ROAMING QUESTION: What movies do you think would make good books? Why? Who do you imagine as the author?

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 24, 2011 5:15 PM

    hahaha I love to quote that movie. The line about a “double u” and not a w” cracks me up every time. I actually think I would have liked the story more if it had been a book! It had all of the things I like–fun dialogue, some sexual tension, a small town, melting attitudes. Problem? I though Rene Z was TSTL with her little coats, tall shoes, and bitchy attitude. Plus her face makes me think she’s always smelling something bad… maybe if Jennifer Crusie or Linda Howard had written it, I would have liked it much better. They do smalltown funny well.

    I always wish my classic Disney movies were books–like the same characters but novel-form I know it sounds wrong but I get the feeling that if Ariel and Eric were in a romance novel it would be pretty steamy….

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