If you're looking for a helmer who has a gift for mixing sad and sweet, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. And that seems to be the way DreamWorks is thinking, as Variety reports Dayton and Faris have entered into negotiations to direct The Good Luck of Right Now, which is based on the latest book by Matthew Quick, writer of the novel Silver Linings Playbook.
With The Weinstein Company's Silver Linings Playbook movie picking up a whopping eight Academy Award nominations last winter, other studios were quick to try and tap into this kind of success. This led DreamWorks to look over Quick's other books for something begging for a movie adaptation. The studio purchased the rights to The Good Luck of Right Now while it was still just a manuscript. Since then, Jennifer Lawrence won the Best Actress Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook, and by March DreamWorks had lined up celebrated screenwriter Mike White to turn The Good Luck of Right Now's manuscript into a compelling but likely dark comedy.
The story of The Good Luck of Right Now is said to focus on four outsiders, who are all grieving. Through their pain, they bond, forming an unexpected family. Early on it was reported that the protagonist may be a bi-polar man, caring for his mother who suffers from dementia. While none of this sounds terribly funny, remember that Silver Linings Playbook focused on a pair of mentally ill people, and Little Miss Sunshine, which made Dayton and Faris famous, involved a suicidal uncle, a mute teen boy, and a hard-drug using grandfather who fatally overdoses during the film. Basically, comedy can come from very dark places.
Little Miss Sunshine was Dayton and Faris's feature debut, and it was a major hit. Not only did the $8 million indie bring in an incredible $100 million worldwide, but it also scored four Academy Award nominations, and took home two, one for Best Original Screenplay and the other for Best Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin). For some reason it took them six years to bring us a follow-up, the 2012 dramedy Ruby Sparks. This film fared less well, making just $9 million worldwide, though critics generally liked it. But with the support of DreamWorks, The Good Luck of Right Now could well be the project that will make Dayton and Faris directors to watch again.
The pair are also attached to helm I'm Proud of You, an adaptation of reporter Tim Madigan's book about his friendship with Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood fame. The story is said to begin with Madigan "at the end of his rope," but then things change when he met a gentle man with noble TV dreams. Dayton and Faris signed on to the project in September. However, it's unclear whether this biopic or The Good Luck of Right Now will roll into production first. While we wait for the shooting schedules to shakeout, revisit this wonderful Mr. Rogers music video.
Are you crying? This vid gets me every time!