Sam Mendes Hauls A Trailer Down REVOLUTIONARY ROAD!
Published at: Sept. 29, 2008, 7:43 p.m. CST by mrbeaks
Richard Yates's REVOLUTIONARY ROAD isn't just one of the greatest books I've ever read, it's also one of the most beautifully written. And when you consider that its spiritual-decay-in-suburbia aesthetic has been emulated by everyone from John Updike to Matthew Weiner (who's been refreshingly aboveboard about its influence on MAD MEN) over the last forty-seven years, this is probably why people are still being dazzled by it today.
I don't know how Sam Mendes plans to compensate for the absence of Yates's voice in his much-ballyhooed big-screen adaptation (btw, that anticipation is mostly for the post-hypothermia reunion of Leo and Kate, not for the novel's popularity amongst those damned elites), but if he can't find a way to suggest the inner turmoil of the characters (and this anxiety accounts for a huge chunk of the book's prose), he's just going to have another gorgeous looking movie about not much at all.
It's disconcerting when I hear people bemoan Yates's novel (generally without having ever read it) as another "dark side of suburbia" yarn. If done right, that's not what this is at all. Watching the new trailer (unburdened at last by Mary Hart's hilariously inappropriate narration!), I get the sense that Mendes, um, read the book and liked it?
Look, we're not going to "yea" or "nay" this sucker until it screens this November. The film opens commercially on December 26th. As ever, I am pulling for Mendes.
(Good or bad, if this movie bombs out with audiences, consider this quote from Yates's biographer, Blake Bailey: "Most people don't like reading about, much less identifying with, mediocre people who evade the truth until it rolls over them.")