Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wendy French's "Full of It"

Wendy French's novels are sMothering, Going Coastal, After the Rice, and the recently-released Full of It.

Here she sketches the plot of the new novel, then explores the casting for a possible film adaptation:
The plot of Full of It is as follows:

Lauren Peterson has a brand new life, but no idea what to do with it.

After calling off her engagement, she's single for the first time in years and ready to take on the world. Instead, she discovers that starting over isn't all it's cracked up to be.

When a spinster aunt she barely remembers bequeaths her a house in Portland, Oregon, Lauren intends to fix it up and flip it for a tidy profit. However, her big mouth (which is always a step ahead of her brain) has other ideas, and before she knows it, she's moving in.

As Lauren takes on the task of making the house into home, she discovers plenty of surprises and colorful neighbors to shake things up. From faulty wiring and a new sinkhole in the living room, to the salty curmudgeon next door, Lauren's new life is heading in unexpected directions. Her friends and family think she's making a grave mistake, but for the first time ever, it might not be Lauren's mouth, but her heart that will finally come out ahead.

When writing, I see the characters and action taking place in my head, sometimes with a soundtrack, so the concept of a movie adaptation certainly has appeal. If I were to cast Full of It, I might do it a little like this:


This is my fourth novel and, strangely enough, if I imagine an actress playing any of my narrators, I always think of Eliza Dushku. She seems to be able to balance sarcasm and vulnerability very well, which would be a nice fit for Lauren. Other choices would be Julia Stiles, Rachel McAdams or Zooey Deschanel, all of whom can cover the sarcastic angle and can also play frazzled when necessary, which is important.

Patty Melt

As the kooky next door neighbor with a bit of an edge, I'd love to see someone like Kathy Bates (though she's too young) or Gena Rowlands. There's brassiness to the character, as well as tenderness, and I think Ms. Rowlands would be excellent.


The love interest/taxidermist is on the sensitive side and I picture someone like Henry Thomas (of E.T. fame), Ryan Gosling or an Orlando Bloom-esque fellow. A gentle guy who can come through in the crunch.


He's only five and I can't think of any actors in his age group, but he's a bit of a sweet smartypants, like Jonathan Lipnicki in Jerry Maguire. An unknown little guy would be nice.


I can see Lauren's beautiful best friend, who is a bit distant at times, being played by Claire Danes.

The transition to film may never happen, but it sure is entertaining to think about the possibilities....
Read more about Full of It at Wendy French's website.

--Marshal Zeringue