Posts Tagged ‘Jessica Darling’

Dakota and Elle

April 3, 2012

I’ve envisioned each of them as Jessica Darling at different times.


Dakota Fanning photographed by Cedric Buchet for Wonderland, May/April 2012


Elle Fanning photographed by Venetia Scott for Self Service, Spring/Summer 2012


I’ve Never Experienced This Before

September 9, 2011

The fans of Megan McCafferty‘s novel SLOPPY FIRSTS are wowing me. They are incredibly smart, funny, articulate, fun and passionate. I always knew this — heck, I’m one of them — but the outpouring of support, faith, thoughtfulness, and enthusiasm they’ve bestowed upon me and the Sloppy Firsts Movie Team is something I’ve never experienced before now. The onslaught of advocacy is due to the “Dream Casting Contest” we launched in celebration of the novel’s 10th Anniversary. The winners won access to the Director’s Video “Bible” we’ve created to communicate my vision for the film. Megan has been encouraging the winners (congrats to Karen G. and the 164 winning commenters!) to post their comments and notes to the exclusive video glimpse into how I see the movie.

The overwhelmingly positive reactions from the fans reminds me of what an honor it is to bring Jessica Darling and her story to the screen. There is great responsibility in this job, but the support from the SF community further ignites my great passion for doing the job with grace and mastery. I may not personally know the thousands of Sloppy fans, but I feel very connected to them and regard them as a community of wise, passionate folks who are by my side, cheering me on. I can’t wait to make a great film for them.

Enter Our Sloppy Firsts DREAM CAST !

September 1, 2011

SLOPPY FIRSTS celebrated its 10th Anniversary on August 28, 2001. Megan McCafferty, the series’  amazing author, has been commemorating the occasion with contests, giveaways, interviews, etc. The West coast SF team and I wanted in on the fun!

We have been busting bootie to get SLOPPY FIRSTS to the silver screen (I adapted the script last spring and am attached to direct… have been hustling towards this goal for over five years) and wanted to support the series’ triumphant milestone! We teamed up with Megan to launch the Dream Cast for SLOPPY FIRSTS Contest and provided the contest’s prize: a chance to view the exclusive video introduction to the director’s vision (that’s me!) of SLOPPY FIRSTS. It’s like a video Bible/guidebook/mission statement of my approach to the project that I’ve been in love with for years.

HOW TO ENTER: Suggest ONE actress to play Jessica Darling and ONE actor for Marcus Flutie in the comments section of this Facebook post by Megan. If you don’t already, “like” Megan’s page, you’ll have to do that first to gain the ability to engage with the page. Then rally all your friends, family, acquaintances, frenemies, crushes, boyfriends/girlfriends, exes, teachers, neighbors, baristas, mailmen, etc. to “vote” by “liking” your comment. The casting choice that gets the most “LIKES” is THE WINNER.

Do this by 11:59PM EST on Monday, September 5th.

The person who submitted the winning choice and every person who “LIKED” it gets THE SECRET PASSWORD:  a code that (for a limited time) will provide access to a video put together by me and the rest of creative team at the heart of the SLOPPY FIRSTS movie.

OR just go to there and LIKE all your favorite pairings… I know I have!

Short, Simple Review of “Crazy, Stupid, Love”

August 4, 2011


Laughed and cried.

Remembered that Steve Carrell is one of the top 20 most likable onscreen actors. Ever.

Was spellbound by Ryan Gosling. Again. Oh boy.

Would watch a whole whole movie about the Jacob and Hannah characters in a heartbeat* (The roles were played by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.)

Am impressed by Analeigh Tipton, who plays the teenage girl. Putting her on the potential Jessica Darling list.

Recommending the movie if you want an earnest, sweet, funny movie with good performances and a thoughtful pace.

*The friend who saw the movie with me articulated this first. He deserves the cred. Congrats, Jarrod, this is your first AC blog shout-out. Your medal is in the mail.

The Hunger Games

December 9, 2010

I read it in two days. I understand all the adoration and obsession for this young adult sci-fi book. I devoured it and am now hankering for the  next installment. This time I don’t think I can sit tight for the library’s copy… I need to borrow a friend’s so I am not waiting. Generally, I find the premise and world fascinating and am 100% rooting for our heroine Katniss.

That said, Stephen King said “shoot-it-if-it-moves videogames in the lobby of the local eightplex; you know it’s not real, but you keep plugging in quarters anyway.” I felt his critique, which meant I was utterly entertained and happy to feel the formulated “big moments,” but I never got emotionally rocked by the story or as deeply attached to Katniss like I did with Sloppy First‘s Jessica Darling.

We’ll see what happens when I read the next novel in the series, Catching Fire.

Goodbye Perfect, Hello Sloppy

July 14, 2010

PERFECT FIFTHS by Megan McCafferty is the final book in the five book “Jessica Darling” series aimed at young adult women. Finally reading this book was a big deal for me. I’ve been holding myself back from cracking it open for more than a year.

I starved myself for so long for lots of reasons.  When it was published, Gabe (my producer) and I were in the midst of trying to option the first Jessica Darling novel, SLOPPY FIRSTS, so that I could write the adaptation. When I first read the first two books while in grad school, I knew immediately that I wanted to them into a film. Five years later, it scared me to know how Jessica’s story ended in PERFECT FIFTHS without knowing if my story with her was going to begin. It’d be heartbreaking enough not having the opportunity to bring Jessica Darling to the screen. I didn’t want to deepen my understanding of this character while mid-turning point in my “relationship” with her.

When we got the rights, Gabe promptly read the fifth book. I continued to deprive myself. I had to write the screenplay and the screenplay only would cover book one…not the ten years covered in the span of the series. My perspective needed to be contained to the present, the “now,” of the screenplay. I could lie and say that I did not want to know how Jessica’s friendships played out ten years later or who Jessica was going to become after that pivotal year documented in SLOPPY FIRSTS because I wanted to preserve clarity in my perspective on Jessica at 16… but really, I didn’t want to know how Megan ended (or began?) Marcus and Jessica’s relationship in the final novel. Together? Not together? Letting the question be unanswered fueled my devotion to capturing how it (their love) all began in the first place.

Then, I finished the screenplay.

And just like Marcus Flutie, PERFECT FIFTHS became a forbidden fruit in my life. I wanted it. Oh, man, I wanted to read that book. I’d heard the rumors about the book’s story and form and even heard Megan discuss the differences in a book signing. And, of course, I was dying to know how Marcus and Jessica were doing.

BUT I also knew that those pages were like black rhinos. Precious, endangered species. That book represented the last time I’d ever experience a new Jessica+Marcus moment. The number of never-before-read interactions between Jessica and Marcus were quantifiable – 255 pages. Did I really want to pillage the last remaining treasure chest?

So I waited a while longer… put the book on the nightstand. Put it back on the shelf. Put it in my bag. Put it back on the shelf. Started a biography on Grace Kelly. Didn’t finish the biography on Grace Kelly.

Finally, after a successful week of shooting in LA, feeling so happy and proud to be a director, and, buzzing about the impending “release date” of the SLOPPY FIRSTSscreenplay, I felt it was time. I was ready for the final chapters.  Ready to see how Megan, who knows Jessica and Marcus better than anyone in the world, ended their story. Ready to know who these characters I love became while I was busy re-telling their story for the screen. So with Gabe sitting next to me on our way to the shoot in Miami, I opened PERFECT FIFTHS.

And I loved it. For any fan of the series, it was brimming with insider callbacks and references that remind you why so many of McCafferty’s readers consider Jessica Darling a best friend. I appreciated the change in voice — told in 3rd person instead of 1st person diary entries as the previous books — for finally giving me a peek into the hilariously honest, surprisingly insecure, and surprisingly confused brain of my favorite poet/addict manwhore Marcus Flutie. I don’t think I ever loved Marcus as much as I did in this book… you might say the same for Jessica.

I read, and I laughed and cried and gasped and stupid-grinned ear-to-ear and tried not to skip ahead to the end. Yet, when I got to the final pages, I slowed down, savoring the last time each word would be new, forming a new sentence, a new thought, a new plot point, a new reveal, a new reason to love both these characters. I am so glad Megan wrote this last book.

As for the SLOPPY FIRSTS of it, I think in saying goodbye to Marcus and Jessica in PERFECT FIFTHS, my devotion to these characters is renewed and my instincts on why they are worthy of the silver screen is yet again confirmed. Let’s hope I’m not the only one.


November 26, 2009

Before the Thanksgiving festivities of the Bowles’ home got hub-bubbing with five grandchildren under the age of 10, 3 more Bowles sisters (LAB’s the youngest of 4), all of their hubbies, a redheaded mother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Bowles, a cat named Minka (that’s got a mean pyscho feline stare) and best friends visiting from other states (that includes me), I finished reading Megan McCafferty’s FOURTH COMINGS from my air mattress at the foot of Leigh Anne’s bed.  And I immediately want to get the next (and final) book in the Jessica Darling series, PERFECT FIFTHS.

The Marcus and Jessica love story is in my top ten of ficitional romances probably because it feels far from fictional.  My own experiences in love could be a novel, and Megan’s that good; she knows the power of forbidden love in teenagerdom.  See her recent dissection of TWILIGHT.


FOURTH COMINGS takes place over a week that starts with Marcus proposing to Jesica and ends with Jessica’s rejection of his hand. It’s final pages are a letter from Marcus to Jessica.  Megan has never done this before — the previous novels are written in Jessica’s first person, diary entry form.  But everything is different now.  Marcus and Jessica’s relationship has taken a hairpin turn in it’s destiny and for the first time since they unsuspectingly connected to each other they are separate.  Jessica is letting go of Marcus for the first time ever.  In response, Megan finally gives us Marcus’ voice, a glimpse into his perspective. It’s a brilliant cliffhanger and a genius transition into the 5th book, which is written in third person.

His final words to Jessica are achingly beautiful because of their honesty and pain. After a story of how the Asian calligraphy tattoo he got when he was a druggie didn’t say ‘forever’ as he thought but translates to ‘whatever,’ Marcus says:

“My proposal to you could not have been more sincere. But it seems that my life is imitating badly executed skin art, turning my intentions for FOREVER into something else altogether. And so I’ll let you go, and let it be.

Whatever, Marcus”

From my air mattress, I saw Marcus and Jessica are grappling with the very un-Disney reality that sometimes just because you love someone and they love you, it’s not enough.  For all the unforgettable sparks Marcus and Jessica have provided us fans, this truth is just as worthy of our admiration.  It’s akin to Megan NOT letting them get together at the end of book one.  I love Marcus and Jessica so much because they are real.  And them parting is heartbreaking but it is real.

The next book takes place three years later for the duration of one day.  A meaningful day.  It’s the day Jessica and Marcus run into each other at an airport having not seen, heard from, or spoken to each other since Jessica’s answering of his proposal.

I want to read it immediately but I’m also scared to.  It’s a precious commodity: the last available NEW Jessica Darling material on the planet… for now.

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