How is it that none of David Sedaris’ work has been adapted for the big screen yet? The prolific humorist has always been protective of his essays, especially ones in which his family plays a large role. (Perhaps Sedaris saw Running With Scissors as a cautionary tale). But back in 2010, Sedaris gave the go-ahead to writer-director Kyle Patrick Alvarez (Easier than Practice) to make a movie of “C.O.G.,” a narrative piece from Sedaris’ 1997 collection Naked, and it’s now slated to start production this October, Indiewire reports. “C.O.G.,” which stands for “Child of God,” is based on an episode from Sedaris’ 20s when he and a fanatical Christian attempted to sell stones cut into the shape of Oregon at a local fair.
I could see a number of Sedaris’ essays being turned into comic, Wes Anderson-ish indies. Here are some others that I’d love to see in theaters:
Santaland Diaries: Of course we had to include what is arguably Sedaris’ most popular essay, and the one that launched his career. It’s a laugh-out-loud tale about his stint working at Macy’s as one of Santa’s little helpers.
“The Smoking Section” from When You Are Engulfed in Flames: Can audiences sit through a two-hour movie about a middle-aged man trying to quit smoking in Japan? Absolutely, especially if the only audio were of Sedaris reading this essay out loud to a series Lost in Translation-like images of Tokyo.
“True Detective” from Naked: This story casts Sedaris and his sister as amateur sleuths. It’s not particularly cinematic, just hilarious.
“Repeat after Me” from Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim: You can get way meta by making a movie of this story about not wanting your story to be made into a movie.
“The Understudy” from When You Are Engulfed in Flames: The unbelievably crass babysitter at the center of this character study would be a great role for a beautiful actress who wants to pull a Charlize Theron in Monster and go full-on trailer park.
But really, very few of Sedaris’ essays are well suited for the movies, although I do think his body of work would make for a great half-hour HBO series. Which stories would you like seeing on screen?