Thursday, May 31, 2007

In Which I Pre-Judge a Movie That Hasn't Been Made Yet

This does not set my heart aflame with sweet anticipation:

Universal Pictures will develop a remake of the 1939 comedy "Midnight" as a star vehicle for Reese Witherspoon scripted by Michael Arndt, who won the Oscar for "Little Miss Sunshine."

Stuber/Parent partners Mary Parent and Scott Stuber will produce with Witherspoon and her Type A Films partner Jennifer Simpson.

Arndt hatched the idea, which prompted the producers to team.

"Midnight" has "long been one of my favorite films, and it is easily one of the best comedies of the '30s," Arndt said. "Being given the chance to update the film with Reese in the lead is simply a dream come true."

In the original, Claudette Colbert starred as a destitute young woman in Paris who becomes a pawn when a wealthy man tries to get rid of the gigolo wooing his wife. John Barrymore also starred in the film that was directed by Mitchell Leisen and written by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder.

When I think about it logically, it's not a bad idea to remake Midnight and Reese Witherspoon is not actually a bad choice for this kind of film. It's just that the thought of a perfect, gossamer-light Mitchell Leisen comedy being remade in 2008 gives me the willies.

At least it sounds better than Diane English's long-delayed, perhaps now-un-delayed remake of The Women. Maybe I'm missing something, but why would someone want to remake The Women? The interesting thing about the play, and the movie, is the central gimmick of having an all-female cast. But that gimmick could be used without paying for the rights to The Women (there's no copyright on the idea of using only women). But apart from the infamous sexism of Clare Boothe Luce's writing -- she conceives of women as a bunch of animals who exist only to fight over men -- the plot just isn't that interesting. (When the story was remade with men in the cast, as The Opposite Sex, it became obvious just how dull the plot is.) So why not do an all-female movie with a new, fresh story?


Unknown said...

Apparently, Fran├žois Ozon's "Eight Women" was the result of the director wanting to make a version of "The Women" (and it uses the same gimmick), but ended up being based on a different play.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes dull movies are the best subject for remaking--see Ocean's Eleven.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you why they are not interested in a new fresh story for "The Women" remake.

Somebody would have to write it.