So, David Mamet is set to both write and direct a big-screen version of the The Diary of Anne Frank for Disney.
Let that stew a bit.
Yes: Mamet — the guy who wrote Glenggary Glen Ross, State and Maine, The Spanish Prisoner and Heist, among other films — is set to tackle the life of a teenage Holocaust victim hiding from the Germans in her father’s office building.
I have no problem with a movie based on The Diary of Anne Frank. It’s been done several times before, but it’s a story that really needs to be passed on frequently. It has to survive generation after generation. And I love David Mamet — he has an impeccable writing style, and he’s so cool that when he goes to bed, sheep count him. But somehow I don’t see him writing a movie about Anne Frank. It’s too bizarre. His signature rhythm doesn’t befit the material. And how is he going to fit his untalented wife and Ricky Jay into this film, anyway?
You know what? It’s cool. With Mamet penning the screenplay, Anne Frank gets away clean. There’ll need to be a card game going on in her father’s office while she’s hiding.There’ll be a lot of profanity. Anne will trick the Germans, who’ll think they’re way ahead of her and trick her, only to realize that she’s anticipated their trick, and double tricked them. Mamet’s Anne Frank will never see that concentration camp. She’ll be cruising the Atlantic, slam-bang on the breezoad, tweeting, “Coffee is for closers, Scheißkerl,” while a group of German soldiers are scratching their heads.
Hell, if we have to have revisionist history, let Mamet do the revising. After all, it’s not a lie. It’s a gift for fiction. As long as Michael Bay ain’t doing it, I can’t get too worked up.