I don’t care what they say—every novelist I know secretly dreams of having a movie made from one of their books---and I’m no different.
Despite all the horror stories you hear about Hollywood “butchering” books, I have to think it would be a huge thrill to see one of my stories up on the big screen—or even on a little screen.
My newest book, SAVE THE DATE, comes out from St. Martin’s Press on June 3. It’s the story of a wedding florist/wedding planner whose own cynical view of marriage has her convinced that happy endings only happen in fairy tales. But all that changes when her beloved golden doodle Poppy runs away from her flower shop in historic downtown Savannah—and is inadvertently dog-napped by a handsome stranger.
Cara Kryzik’s business is teetering between success and failure when she’s hired to plan a big-budget wedding that promises to be the social event of the season and her financial salvation. But between a reluctant bride, a pushy stepmother, and a priceless piece of heirloom silver that goes missing on Cara’s watch, she’s got plenty of troubles. Add to that a well-connected new florist in town who seems to be bent on putting her out of business, and Cara is beginning to doubt her own abilities. She certainly thinks she has no time or interest in romance—until that handsome stranger, a historic preservation contractor named Jack Finnerty, keeps turning up at Cara’s weddings.
So far, Hollywood hasn’t actually signaled any interest in making a movie of SAVE THE DATE.
But if and when they do call, I have the casting of the movie all worked out in my mind. All we need now is a producer, a director—and a movie studio with a big fat budget.
So—for the protagonist, CARA KRYZIK, I like Ginnifer Goodwin. She’s warm and pretty in a way that sneaks up on you. And she could do that harried, scrappy thing so well that she’d have the audience rooting for her to defeat her nemesis, get the guy, and come out on top.
For JACK FINNERTY, her love interest, I can see Stephen Amell from the CW series The Arrow. He’s hunky enough to look good in running shorts and a tool belt (not together!), but also somewhat vulnerable—because Jack’s been dumped by his live-in girlfriend Zoey, who’s left him for a Jimmy Buffet impersonator.
Jack’s ex, ZOEY is a gorgeous, self-involved, vacuous blonde Pilates instructor. Calling Margot Robbie, the complete and utter knockout who played Leonardo DiCaprio's trophy wife in Wolf of Wall Street. She is can't-take-your-eyes-off-her stunning and could make you believe Jack would be fool enough to fall for her temporarily.
Cara’s widower father, the brusquely authoritarian COLONEL KRYZIK, would be a great role for Craig T. Nelson. He’s the patriarch on Parenthood probably still best known for playing the lead on the 90s TV sitcom Coach. He would do the emotionally closed-off, old school ruler-of-the-roost really well.
For BROOKE TRAPPNELL, the distracted/reluctant bride, I like Emma Stone, who would do a great job in the role of the spoiled rich girl hell bent on pissing off her daddy.
To play Brooke’s fiancé HARRIS STRAYHORN I can picture Ryan Kwanten. He plays the smoking hot brother of Sookie Stackhouse in the HBO series True Blood. He comes off as kind of a lovable dope that you can't take your eyes off of.
Cara’s assistant BERT is her best friend and right-hand man. I can see him being played by Skylar Astin--he is the cute but not-too-put-together guy from Pitch Perfect. He could do down-on-his luck Bert well with just enough charm to make you root for him to turn it all around.
The villain of the story is CULLEN KANE, the flamboyant, slyly charming and oh-so-put-together florist determined to put Cara out of business in his take-no-prisoners attempt to expand his floral empire. It would be fun to see Rob Lowe in this part.
SYLVIA BRADLEY is a small but key character as the absentee landlord who owns the crumbling downtown Savannah building that houses Cara’s flower shop “Bloom” and Cara’s cozy upstairs apartment. Sharp as a tack and mean as a snake with coke bottle glasses, it would be a great role for Kathy Bates.
Brooke’s mother MARIE TRAPPNELL wants only the best for her daughter, and is in a tug-of-war with her ex-husband and his new wife—her former friend, Patricia. Marie has a kind heart and an innate classiness. I see her being played by Julianne Moore.
In the role of the home-wrecking, gold-digging step-monster PATRICIA TRAPPNELL, it would be fun to see Andie McDowell, who has a great syrupy, authentic Southern accent and is still so enviously gorgeous.
And for LIBBA STRAYHORN, the down-to-earth, horse-loving, old-monied mom of bridegroom Harris, I could see Sandra Bullock. You'd like her and wish everyone else would just cut it out and behave themselves like her. Plus Sandy has a local connection with her house on Tybee Island. Cast party, anyone?
That’s it—now we just need a screenplay—and an option deal. Hollywood? Have your people call my people.