In 1986, twenty-five years after his death, Ernest Hemingway’s ninth and final novel was finally published. See, the catch was that he never actually finished it while he was alive, so there had to be some serious editing and arranging done to push a publishable version out to print. The problem is that a lot of scholars have seen the work that had been done so far (reported to be on the order of 200,000 words) and blew their academic tops when the published novel ended up only being 70,000 words. They insisted that the editing process had, to put it politely, completely missed the point and generally shat the literary bed. It may have been the literary world’s equivalent of the Star Wars prequels.
Back in 2008, a film adaptation was made, though it has sat on the shelf for a couple years now waiting for an actual release, which now seems to be happening sometime in early 2011. It features Jack Huston as the protagonist, Mena Suvari as his lohvah (that’s how you have to pronounce it once a film surpasses a certain level of pretentiousness), and Caterina Murino as, well, his other lohvah. And maybe Mena Suvari’s lohvah too. The trailer is below.
Look, I don’t know anything about the novel, but this movie looks terrible. Screen International calls the film “a boundaries-breaking erotic drama.” Really? Boundaries-breaking? What boundaries are being broken down by overly serious rich white people screwing in a villa on the Mediterranean?
“Erotic drama?” Funny, that’s exactly the sort of phrase I used to look for on the back of the VHS boxes in Hollywood Video when I was sixteen and didn’t have Internet access. “Erotic drama” is one of the most perfect indicators of a film’s quality in four ways. First, the film will suck. Second, it won’t actually be dramatic. Third, there will be some nudity. And fourth, it will not be erotic to anyone who has ever actually had sex.