I haven’t decided on whether this is the greatest news for teen films in a while or the worse anyone could imagine.
If you’re a girl between the ages of 15 and 35, you probably remember “Sweet Valley High.” The long running series about twins living in Sweet Valley, California, this was the series one grew into from “The Babysitters Club.” Originally created by Francine Pascal, the series eventually turned into a machine operated by ghost writers and running for 20 years before eventually calling it quits in 2003. At one point, the books even spawned a short lived TV series so it comes as little surprise that at some point it would be considered for rebirth but it never occurred to me that the birth could be so potentially unwelcome.
According to THR, Universal has picked up the rights to Pascal’s series to be adapted by none other than Diablo Cody. Cody’s track record may be full of high school drama but I simply can’t imagine what her take on the series will look like. Will Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield go from the popular girls to quirky teen outsiders who see the world through adult glasses? Sure, that could be fun but it’s not exactly “in the spirit” of the original (though if I remember correctly, the Wakefields were always bringing people together).
I’m not close enough to the source material to care either way but I would love to see another teen comedy on level with Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You. Not sure Cody with her unique brand of quirky kidspeak is the one to provide it but I’m hopeful.
Director: Tim Blake Nelson (O, The Grey Zone)
Writer: Tim Blake Nelson
Producers: Bill Migliore, Tim Blake Nelson, Edward Norton, John Langley, Kristina Dubin, Elie Cohn
Starring: Edward Norton, Edward Norton, Tim Blake Nelson, Keri Russel, Susan Sarandon, Melanie Lynskey, Richard Dreyfuss
MPAA Rating: 14-A (UK)
Running time: 105 min.
Like Adaptation, Leaves of Grass clear gimmick is the use of a high caliber actor for two very different characters within the same film and indeed force them to work together as the story calls for it. While I enjoyed Leaves of Grass for what it was, it didn’t do a whole lot in terms of bringing anything to the proverbial table. If anything, it took an interesting concept and really dumbed it down. Not that there aren’t a lot of things to like, but Edward Norton is better than this film gives him credit for and Tim Blake Nelson seems to continue to wallow in his mire of mediocrity.
Norton plays both of the two Kincaid Brothers. Bill is a clean-cut, intelligent professor of philosophy with an offer to teach at Harvard; Brady is an Oklahoma hillbilly who’s chosen career path is that of a highly skilled pot farmer/dealer. When Brady gets into some rough criminal/financial trouble (the potentially deadly kind), he fakes his own death in order to get Bill to finally agree to come back to Oklahoma – a world Bill left years ago and promised himself he’d never return. Once back in town, Bill realizes he’s been duped but reluctantly agrees to stay (partly due to a new found love interest) and even more reluctantly goes along with a scheme that sets himself up to pretend to be his brother so that when his brother commits an out of town crime against a rival drug lord, he can claim he was in town the entire time. Of course a series of minor mishaps ensue which spiral more and more out of control and possibly dooming the unlikely duo.
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This little project has been trucking along at the bottom of my radar for a little while now but I admit that my interest was more out of curiosity than expectation. That was true until today when I saw a new trailer for the film which explains that it’s the story of Rick and Roddy, the most famous twin male strippers of the 90s. They’ve been out of the limelight for a few years but they’re ready to stage their big come back. Potential? Definitely!
Directed by AJ Meadows, White Tiger: The Story of Rick and Roddy stars Scott Hutcheson as Rick, one half of the stripping duo, along with a few other individuals I don’t recognize. Admittedly, I didn’t laugh out loud at the trailer but it did give me a few chuckles, especially the bit about having purchased new g-strings.
Not too much information on the film which has recently wrapped but it looks promising. Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.
Trailer, care of WAMG, tucked under the seat!