Stephenie Meyer is ruining Rom-coms too now…
Written by Sarah
Although, I suppose, there’s not that much left to ruin anyway.
I am a sucker for old romantic comedies—and I mean old, like Bringing Up Baby or It Happened One Night—which is why I’m so hard on modern rom-coms. The formula isn’t THAT hard (quirky person + staid person + outlandish circumstance = rom-com) yet Hollywood has driven this staple of studio fare into the ground over the last twenty years. The most recent rom-com I really loved was Love Actually and it’s not like that movie was 100% a comedy. I have a script called And Then the Zombies Came about a couple of development interns at a Hollywood studio who lock their bosses in a closet with ravening zombies when they attempt to remake The Princess Bride with Gerard Butler and Jessica Alba.
You know my stance on Stephenie Meyer. She has NO TASTE. The woman is missing the “discerning” gene. So of course she’s producing actual movies now, not just her Twilight movies. Her first venture is a production called Austenland, adapted by Shannon Hale from her eponymous book. Co-writing and directing the project is Jerusha Hess, wife of Jared Hess, who directed Napoleon Dynamite. Jerusha co-wrote that film as well as Nacho Libre and Gentlemen Broncos, which is seriously one of the WORST movies I’ve EVER seen. The Hess family is still in the doghouse with me over that one.
I’m divided on this project. On the one hand, I’m all for women backing other women making movies. And Hess and Meyer are Mormon, and if you think being conservative in Hollywood is tough—try being Mormon. It’s nearly impossible not to lapse and have any kind of career at all (consider Ryan Gosling, a lapsed Mormon with an awesome career, and Jon Heder, an observant Mormon with no career). The Hesses, so far, stick to making PG and PG-13 fare. They’re upholding their beliefs in a very unsympathetic industry that is about to make a big and expensive musical movie mocking their faith (The Book of Mormon is coming to theaters!). That isn’t easy and while I don’t necessarily agree with those beliefs, I admire the personal fortitude that that represents.
On the other hand, Jerusha Hess is the co-author of one of the most APPALLINGLY AWFUL movies I’ve ever sat through. I’m still making it up to my friend T, who accompanied me to the cineplex on that ill-fated day. Plus you have Stephenie Meyer, she of ZERO TASTE, who has already reduced bloodthirsty and ass-kicking vampires to sparkling examples of limp-wristed “manhood”. Meyer has said that Twilight was heavily influenced by Wuthering Heights, which tells me that she didn’t understand that book AT ALL. (Also, it was inspired by a sex dream she had about a seventeen year old. Why isn’t anyone else creeped out by that?) So I’m not sure how much faith I’m supposed to put in her when it comes to the delicate workings of Jane Austen. What will she do to poor Mr. Darcy?
File photo from Wenn.com