Thursday, July 09, 2009

Dan Elish's "The Misadventures of Justin Hearnfeld," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: The Misadventures of Justin Hearnfeld by Dan Elish.

The entry begins:
Who would I want to star in my novel, The Misadventures of Justin Hearnfeld, if it were turned into a movie? I’ll answer like this: it almost was. Well, not quite. But there was a long weekend in the fall of ’07 where it looked like the movie rights were going to be bought. What happened was my literary agent hooked me up with a movie agent, who fell in love with the book and sent it out en masse. Within hours, I was being forwarded these wildly enthusiastic emails from producers.

“I love this!” one said.

“Oh, my God!” gushed another. “Yes!”

One (whose name I won’t mention) was so excited it looked like the whole thing was a lock. All she needed was approval that Monday morning from the studio head. Apparently, that studio head didn’t exactly share her enthusiasm. Just like that, the emails stopped coming. Seventy-two hours after it began the ride was over.

But for those three days I spent a lot of time thinking about the movie version of the novel. The book tells the tale of a slightly hapless, slightly horny, highschool English teacher who gets stuck teaching at the New York City private school that he attended and detested as a boy. “Good-bye, Mr. Chips meets Portnoy's Complaint meets The 40-Year-Old Virgin in contemporary Manhattan” – that’s how Kirkus Reviews described it (much to my delight), and I was happy to note that all the reviews took note Justin’s general good heartedness.

So the movie? Well, sometimes the most obvious answer is the right one. In this case, Judd Apatow to direct with...[read on]
Read an excerpt from The Misadventures of Justin Hearnfeld, and learn more about the author and his work at Dan Elish's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Misadventures of Justin Hearnfeld.

My Book, The Movie: The Misadventures of Justin Hearnfeld.

--Marshal Zeringue