Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Michelle Gable's "A Paris Apartment"

Michelle Gable graduated from The College of William & Mary. When not dreaming up fiction on the sly, she currently resides in Cardiff by the Sea, California, with her husband and two daughters.

Here Gable dreamcasts an adaptation of The Paris Apartment, her first novel:
As some point, every writer imagines his or her book on film, right? Not me. I guess that’s what happens when you merge a spreadsheet-loving finance dork and a writer in the same body. I am way too practical for that level of fantasy.

But that’s absolutely no fun at all. So since you asked, I’ll let myself dream…

A Paris Apartment takes place in the City of Lights during two times periods: the present day and the Belle Epoque. The modern-day protagonist, April Vogt, is a smart and no-nonsense kind of gal, both in mannerisms and appearance. She sees herself as tight and structured:

“And that, April thought, was more or less how she was thrown together. Straight, dark, and tailored, made entirely of clean lines.”

Because of this I immediately picture Jennifer Garner. Though she is more beautiful than April imagines herself, Garner would make an excellent Sotheby’s continental furniture expert. She is capable of serious as well as funny and has played many smart but unsure and bumbling characters. April is often awkward, especially in the company of handsome French attorneys!

April’s husband needs to be coiffed and slick, not to mention chiseled. Jennifer’s real-life spouse Ben Affleck might make a perfect Troy Edward Vogt III, even if his coloring is slightly off. After all: “April liked her men one way: big, sandy-haired, and American.” Or so she tells herself. Nathan Fillion also comes to mind.

I’m not too familiar with French actors but in my head Luc Thébault, the salty Parisian attorney April must contend with, resembles Ed Weeks, also known as Dr. Jeremy Reed from the hilarious comedy The Mindy Project. I wonder if Weeks can do a French accent? Also, how can I get Mindy Kaling involved?

Courtesan Marthe de Florian, our Gilded Age narrator, would be brilliantly portrayed by Marion Cotillard. Helena Bonham Carter could also bring the woman to life.

The late, great portraitist Giovanni Boldini is a prickly sort (“that pig Boldini” as described by several). The actor must be able to pull off surly, disheveled, and attractive all at the same time. Robert Downey, Jr. and Guy Pearce both have strong Boldini potential.

I don’t know what director might best serve A Paris Apartment but mostly I see the book as a compelling HBO, AMC, or Netflix-type series or mini-series, where April and Marthe’s stories can be told over several episodes or seasons.

I guess I’m not so practical after all – my mind is already working on the supporting cast. So, should I write the script or do you all have someone for that?
Visit Michelle Gable's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Paris Apartment.

--Marshal Zeringue