Reese Witherspoon is all about that Female Stuff lately. Which is to say: She’s working almost exclusively on movies that see women front and center, often women who challenge the status quo and/or casually slit people’s throats.
In the past year alone, she produced Gone Girl, that movie that dared to ask, “Can on-screen ladies be flawed, or nah?”; starred in and produced Wild, where she played the badass and brilliant Cheryl Strayed, a woman who embarked on an adventure by herself after ending a marriage, had casual sex without bursting into flames, and walked offscreen as a—gasp—happily single woman; filmed Hot Pursuit with Sofia Vergara, a questionable movie that I will continue to feel questionable feelings about until I see it; signed on to star in an as-yet-untitled Peggy Lee biopic; and is set to produce a female-focused YA series, Reconstructing Amelia. Reese has also spoken out several times about her desire to improve the cinematic landscape for women, and drunkenly mused about the pronunciation of Cara Delevingne’s name in an elevator, which makes her my personal hero on both counts.
Reese’s newest project fits right in with her… feminassaince (no? okay, no). Through their production company Pacific Standard, Reese and Bruna Papandrea will produce Luckiest Girl Alive, based on Jessica Knoll’s eagerly anticipated debut novel, out May 12. Yes, in a trend that’s becoming frighteningly widespread, Luckiest was optioned as a movie before it was even published. Seems risky, no? What if the book just consists of 400 pages that read “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?” Whatever, I trust you, Reese.
Coming Soon has a plot summary for Luckiest:
“Luckiest Girl Alive centers on Ani FaNelli, a twenty-eight-year-old New Yorker who appears to have it all: a sought-after position at a women’s magazine, a wardrobe to kill for, and a dream wedding with her handsome fiancé on the horizon. But behind that veneer of perfection lies a vulnerability that Ani holds close and buries deep—a dark trauma from her past resurfaces only to give her a chance to confront her most shocking secret of all—but not without unraveling her meticulously crafted life.”
Sounds sort of Gone-Girl-esque, actually, which is appropriate considering the fact that Simon & Schuster’s Sarah Knight, who acquired and edited this novel, also acquired and edited Gone Girl and Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places.
In a canned but still charming quote, Reese (hopefully) confirms the book has actually been completed and she’s actually read it: “Luckiest Girl Alive is the kind of book that grabs you and doesn’t let go. [Scary! Let go, book!] The hero of the book is a wily, intelligent, complex narrator. This character and the thrilling narrative that she drives are exactly the kind of story our company, Pacific Standard Films, wants to produce. We are thrilled to be collaborating with Jessica and Lionsgate to bring her debut novel to the screen.”
So who else wants to get drunk and talk about feminism with Reese Witherspoon? Is that an appropriate thing to launch a Kickstarter for?