I’m a big David Sedaris fan, and while the humorist has had many books and essays optioned over the years, director Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s adaptation of C.O.G., from Sedaris’s 1997 book Naked, is the first one to actually make it to the big screen. It’s crazy that everyone involved in the film is so unknown, considering Sedaris readings regularly sell out theaters and that he’s arguably the most well-known humor writer in the world. Of course, Hollywood people are more used to adapting graphic novels, because those have the pictures in them, and often contain words like BANG! and ZAP!
This autobiographical comedy is the first-ever screen adaptation of the work of acclaimed writer David Sedaris. Jonathan Groff (Glee) stars as David, a young man who plans a summer in the Northwest with his friend Jennifer (Troian Bellisario of Pretty Little Liars), working on a farm. But when Jennifer unexpectedly bails on him, David is left to dirty his hands alone and jump into a series of misadventures that will take him to unfamiliar – and hilariously uncomfortable – places.
The hardest part about adapting a well-known persona like Sedaris is casting. I hated that they cast Jason Schwartzman as Jonathan Ames in Bored to Death, and it basically ruined the whole show for me. I’m trying not to play armchair casting director on COG, to which Sedaris has reportedly given his blessing, but Groff seems way too clean and put together and classically handsome to play a guy who’s famously awkward, lisping, and slovenly. Luckily they won’t have this problem when they make a movie about me, because they can just cast Tom Hardy and have him bulk up a little. (*tears phonebook in half, vigorously thrusts hips*)
Everything about this seems way too clean. And really? Did you have to go with the sensitive acoustic indie rock soundtrack? I know Sedaris got started on NPR, but you don’t have to make every frame of the goddamned movie look like it comes with a pledge drive license plate frame. Did Win Win get pinned by Little Miss Sunshine? This is so Sundancey I’m afraid if I watch it I’ll start to grow leather patches on my elbows– OH GOD IT’S ALREADY HAPPENING! (*lights flannels on fire, dives out window*)
C.O.G. opens in limited release September 20th. I get irrationally happy every time Corey Stoll shows up in something.