You might know Peter Hedges, you might not. He’s an author, screenwriter, and some time director. He wrote the novel for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, a spectacular flick with a performance by Leonardo DiCaprio that he can never surpass. He also wrote A Map of the World, and he was the writer/director on Pieces of April and Dan in Real Life. His novel work is compared to Tom Perotta and Jonathan Tropper, which may make some folks giddy, but which makes me a little gaseous. To me, it means it’s going to be a novel full of quirky middle-aged folks who think they are intellectually superior to everyone around them, lead boring suburban existences, and suddenly catastrophically overblown incidents come into their lives and totally fuck everything in a whirlwind. At best, you’re looking at The World According to Garp. At worst, well, most of the stuff cluttering the festival circuit.
The big news is that he’s adapting his own novel The Heights for the big screen. The plot sounds very much like Eyes Wide Shut: a Brooklyn Heights couple toddling along in their little mundane day-to-day get involved with their rich neighbor lady. Suddenly, they find themselves in a wild-unbidden crazy world of mystery and danger and intrigue. I don’t know if this is gonna turn all Date Night or The Game, or if this is gonna go apeshit where people are getting chopped up and whatnot. Anyone read the novel?
The only difference is I think Hedges can pull it off. He’s pretty fucking good at doing the whole drudgery with a nice taste of quirk. And I’m hoping it’s more Perotta than anything else. I dug Dan in Real Life alright, but I’m not gonna fawn on it like most of my critical peers.