First, I haven’t written on this site in a long time. I’ve been dealing with Real World Stuff, so excuse me.
Second, I haven’t watched the Variety “Actors on Actors” interview between Dev Patel and Octavia Spencer until today, even though it’s been out since December of last year, the beginning of Oscar season. But I knew about it, and I knew about that picture from Patel and Spencer’s Variety photoshoot promoting the interview, and even then, I knew there was a film to be made with these two people as the leading actors.
Just look at them! Does this or does this not look like the poster for the best romantic dramedy of the year? It literally writes itself!
Yes, I know she’s 46 and he’s 26, so there’s literally a 20-year age difference, but that’s why this would be a romantic dramedy, wouldn’t it? The film would be all about this sensible 40-something woman with a stable job, a few good friends, but empty home life (maybe a divorcee, a widow, or perhaps just someone who thought she’d be an eternal bachelorette, unlucky in love) questioning herself for falling for someone she’d never think she’d fall for–a man in his 20s. The film would be all about her reckoning with societal standards, the opinions of her friends and family (both good and bad opinions), and finally with herself as she goes on the journey towards unlearning societal shame and going full-throttle with this man who, despite his age, has an old soul, clearly a soul that has been on Earth several times before.
Speaking of Patel’s character, his reaction to the whole thing would be to view it, as an old soul who is in its last incarnation on earth probably would view the situation, as a delightful surprise on his journey from the cradle to the grave. He’d see in her something he doesn’t see in the women his age, which is why he would have never kept a serious girlfriend around throughout his life, to the point where his some of his more unobservant family members might have started thinking he’s either gay or a player. His parents just wonder what magical girl it’s going to be that will finally grant them with the grandchildren they’ve always wanted but believe they’ll never get. In Spencer’s character, he’ll see a maturity that comes with getting knocked down by life and getting back up, having vulnerability, and having life experiences that girls his age haven’t had yet and probably wouldn’t know how to cope with. (Not to say that girls in their 20s aren’t vulnerable, but the girls that keep throwing themselves at Patel’s character wouldn’t be the brightest bulbs in the box; if I was writing this, the girls that would see him as a hard-to-get prize would be the girls who think all he needs is a good night in the club and some Cristal to loosen him up.)
Has Patel’s character himself had the life experiences Spencer’s character has had? Well, not in this lifetime, he hasn’t. But because his soul is so wizened beyond his body’s years, he can identify with the struggles and triumphs of the older set. But he would think it’s funny that it would still come as a sweet surprise to him that he, as a 20-something, desires older women. But him being who he is, all he needs to do is think about it for a second, but two and two together, and laugh about how obvious it is that of course, an old soul would desire an old soul.
Screenwriters, you may use this idea and all of the character building I’ve provided in this post, as long as you give me an “story by” or “based on a concept by” credit. Just something so I can get a small royalty check when this unseats the next Julia Roberts movie as the Oscar-worthy rom-dram of the season.
The interview itself backs up this imaginary tale. In it, you see how they both respond to each other in a warm, gentle, loving way. Now hear me–I’m not saying they’re dating in real life; the vibe is much more of profound respect, admiration, and dare I say maternal on Spencer’s part, which is something Patel himself points out about her personality–BUT, qualities such as mutual respect and admiration are a part of true love as well as deep friendship, right? These same qualities could be the building blocks for some talented screenwriter out there to write this script with Patel and Spencer specifically in mind.
In short, I’d watch this film in a heartbeat. Perhaps it could even help me get over my own ageist issues when it comes to dating either above or below my own age bracket. Also, I’d watch that other film I pitched featuring Patel and model Imaan Hammam. Basically, I’d watch any movie that treats both Patel with the respect he deserves as an actor. Ditto for Spencer. Come on, Hollywood–MAKE THIS MOVIE!
Got other movie ideas for Hollywood you want me to write about? At me on Twitter @moniqueblognet.