My dearest Julie alerted me to this bit of news today, which, for my benefit, she phrased in the following way, “Did you hear they’re making a movie of Revolutionary Road?” All the headlines about it seem to focus on DiCaprio and Winslet reuniting for the first time since Titanic – I guess that’s the way to get more readers.
But Julie knows that it’s the other approach that’ll get my attention, as I care more about the novel than about the actors. And, because I do, they seem miscast, at least when measured against the Frank and April Wheeler of my mind.
The book is, well, not the most uplifting. I once made the “mistake” of suggesting it to a book club which I had recently joined, for the simple reason that it is a life-changing book. I neglected to mention that the change isn’t necessarily positive, at least not immediately. The immediate change is to make you cynical and morose at the same time.
Here’s the first sentence. “The final dying sounds of their dress rehearsal left the Laurel Players with nothing to do but stand there, silent and helpless, blinking out over the footlights of an empty auditorium.” In other words, if Shakespeare says all the world’s a stage, Yates says, “Yes. And we’re under-rehearsed amateurs without talent or audience.”
When Julie told me the news, I thought, “How on earth could Hollywood even try to make this into a movie?” But it turns out it’s a BBC production, so there’s hope.
SPOILER AND BAD PUN ALERT
Because Yates doesn’t go for a cliff-hanger ending, he goes for a coat-hanger ending.