Phil Lord and Chris Miller have all but proved that they can do no wrong, making hits out of sure-fire dud concepts like The LEGO Movie and 22 Jump Street. They have all the clout in the world at this point, and the search has been on for their next project for some time now. After wisely turning down Ghostbusters 3, they were reported to be working on a TV reboot of Greatest American Hero. But as for their next film project, Deadline’s scoop-bot Mike Fleming Jr. reports that L & M are “developing with an eye to direct” a Graeme Simsion novel called The Rosie Project.
The Rosie Project centers on Don Tillman, a professor of genetics who may suffer from Asperger’s and has never been on a second date until he embarks upon The Wife Project, designing a questionnaire to help him find the perfect partner: a punctual, non-drinking, non-smoking female who will fit in with his regimented lifestyle. When the unorthodox and free-spirited Rosie appears on the scene, it is clear that she fits none of his selection criteria, but she still may just be the perfect match to help turn his life around.
The novel was first published in Australia and the UK, and became a publishing phenomenon there. The author is also an unlikely story; an IT consultant, he decided in his early 50s he was going to learn how to be a screenwriter, then a novelist. It is working out pretty well for him.
A free-spirited woman turns a by-the-book man’s life upside down? This sounds like every romantic comedy ever. Just replace “Asperger’s” with “insurance company risk assessor” and you basically have Along Came Polly. There has to be a scene in there where the free spirit throws the straitlaced guy’s phone into a body of water while he yells “My whole life was in there!”
Of course, if there’s one thing Lord and Miller excel at, it’s taking Hollywood-conventional sounding projects and turning them into self-referential masterpieces, and with their track record I have no reason to doubt them here. Also, if there’s two things they’re good at, it’s the self-referential thing and also back rubs. Phil Lord especially I hear has the grip strength of a Romanian gymnast.
I was reminded of this clip. I am sorry.