We all know the book is better than the movie, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love spending two escapist hours in the dark with characters we first fell for on the page. Here are four new releases we’ve read, loved, and are now dying to pair with popcorn and a big screen on a hot summer day:
Landline, by Rainbow Rowell
Rowell’s main characters tend to be verbose, expressive, funny, and sharp, and all I want is for her to find time in her busy noveling schedule to write us some romantic comedies that we all know would be Ephron-like in their warmhearted, articulate humor. She should start here (right after completing the screenplay for Eleanor & Park), with this post–wedding day romance with a sci-fi twist. Georgie McCool has watched her TV-writing career eat away at her family life with soft-spoken husband Neil and their two daughters, culminating in her choice of work over joining them at Neil’s family Christmas. Enter a magic rotary telephone with the power to connect present-day Georgie with the college-aged Neil she fell in love with. Delicately, call by supernatural call, she tries to pull her marriage back from the brink. If you think there isn’t a desperate “running to the airport” sequence involved, then you better think again.
The Vacationers, by Emma Straub
Sun-drenched locale + big, multigenerational cast + secrets and rifts and damaged people who are barely holding it together = a movie I want to see hit theaters in summer 2015. Straub exploits the close quarters of her setup—a Mallorca vacation house, filled to the brim with variously screwed up people—for every drop of comic tension (and tension tension) it can provide. I want to fantasy cast every character (the 60something husband, just fired from his high-powered magazine job for an idiotic act of sexual indiscretion; the college-bound daughter, checking boxes on her growing-up-too-fast bucket list), and I definitely want to spend two vicarious hours on the Mallorcan coast.
One Plus One, by Jojo Moyes
Moyes’ smash-hit novel Me Before You would cause death by weeping were it to hit the big screen (that’s not to say that it shouldn’t!), but her follow-up is a romance that even the tenderest of hearts can survive. Jess is a house cleaner and struggling single mom to two beloved odd ducks, her angsty teenaged stepson and math prodigy daughter. When her daughter is offered an academic opportunity with the power to change her life, Jess is desperate to make it happen. Enter her most difficult client, a disgraced computer genius with whom she shared hate at first sight. Eager to run from the pressures of his own crumbling life, he agrees to drive Jess and her kids to a faraway math tournament, where her daughter can compete to win the money she needs for school. Any romantic comedy fan worth their salt knows what’ll happen next, but we moviegoers want to see it for ourselves.
All Fall Down, by Jennifer Weiner
So many actresses we want to cast, only one Allison Weiss, the overachieving protagonist of Weiner’s latest diabolically readable novel. Weiss is one of those women who appears to, in magazine-speak, “have it all,” but the cracks are showing: her perfect husband feels far away, her lovely daughter is a brat, her parents’ declining health is leading to an inevitable reversal of their roles. Allison’s big fall comes when her spiraling addiction to pain pills lands her in rehab, where she has to learn humility before she can start to heal. Though darker than many of Weiner’s earlier books, All Fall Down retains the light hand and sense of humor that’ll launch it to the big screen with ease.
What book do you want to see adapted into a movie?