Movie Article

'Fear' Benefactor

Which unfilmed novel deserves a shot on screen? Check out the latest Ask the Critic question and post your own

IS SHE ISADORA? EW critic thinks Gyllenhaal has the right stuff for Jong's 'Flying'
Image credit: Maggie Gyllenhaal: John Spellman/Retna
IS SHE ISADORA? EW critic thinks Gyllenhaal has the right stuff for Jong's 'Flying'

Which unfilmed novel deserves a shot on screen?

What novel has never gotten the film adaptation it deserves? — Molly
It's startling to consider that no one ever made a movie out of Erica Jong's Fear of Flying. Then again, you can imagine how the Hollywood of 30 years ago might have screwed it up — by turning Jong's sexy and searching 1973 novel into a reductively righteous anthem of liberation, and by taking the ribald comic juice out of her search for the perfect ''zipless f---.'' Fear of Flying would now make a luscious period piece. The time has never been more right to resurrect the first heroine of do-me feminism, and to look back, with decades' hindsight, at the era that formed her: the messy, questing, do-what-you-please early '70s. And who would play the brainy but libidinous Isadora Wing? Here's a candidate: Maggie Gyllenhaal, who badly needs a role that could tap the playful sensuality she showed in Secretary.

Originally posted Dec 09, 2005 Published in issue #854 Dec 16, 2005 Order article reprints