Saturday, November 28, 2020

Elinor Lipman's "Rachel to the Rescue"

Elinor Lipman was born in Massachusetts and is the author of more than a dozen novels. Her first one, Then She Found Me, was published in 1990 and was adapted into a film starring Helen Hunt, Bette Midler, and Colin Firth. She won the New England Book Award in 2001, and her novel My Latest Grievance won the Paterson Fiction Prize. She lives in Manhattan, as well as in upstate New York.

Here Lipman dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, Rachel to the Rescue:
I don’t think about casting a movie while writing a novel because movie dreams are pie in the sky. (Of my 12 novels, many were optioned but only one, Then She Found Me, made it to the screen, thanks to Helen Hunt. ) But if pressed, I would come up with the maybe-surprising choice of Halley Feiffer to play the title role in novel number 13, Rachel to the Rescue.

Why? Because she is funny; because she can play naturally, innocently gee-whiz funny; funny-insecure and funny-appealing. When I saw her in the movie she co-wrote and starred in, He’s Way More Famous Than You, she played a needy, on-the-skids version of herself, yet lovable. I’ll never forget her character bicycling down Broadway in a red sundress, singing “My Vagina,” as if the topic was G-rated, sunny, and fit for a church choir. Rachel of the novel is Jewish; Halley played Sophie Greenberg in The Squid and the Whale, okay? Her Twitter bio includes the description by the New York Times (again, she’s so good at self-mocking and dry wit) “A specialist in unhappiness and delusion.” She is beautiful, but could drab herself down to just the right degree to be a believable Rachel, whose doting lesbian roommates play matchmaker for her with the pleasant wine merchant down the street, Alex. Who’d play Alex? How about the nice Harry Melling who played the good-hearted Harry in The Queen’s Gambit?

And who’d play Shoshana Gottlieb, Ivanka Trump’s (as herself) Hebrew coach? Lady Ga-Ga, please.

And of course Alec Baldwin as Ex-President Donald J. Trump.
Visit Elinor Lipman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue