Monday, April 11

I love this country!

SERIOUSLY, people, this is soooo worth registering for the New York Times Online if you haven't already. Which I cannot imagine you have not.
By MIREYA NAVARRO Published: April 10, 2005 MALIBU, Calif. AFTER making a fortune with his skateboard company, World Industries, Steve Rocco could have lived anywhere he wanted. He chose Paradise Cove, a woodsy neighborhood on a cliff overlooking the Pacific, where he bought a home for nearly half a million dollars and then spent more than $1 million replacing it with a Craftsman-style cottage. But Mr. Rocco's place is not exactly on millionaire's row. Paradise Cove is a mobile home park.
I mean, the photo alone is worth the time it takes to sign in and all. And while you're there, check out this review of Fever Pitch, which says it all for me: To begin with, "Fever Pitch" is a memoir, not a novel. It's about Mr. Hornby's obsession with soccer, and in particular with the London team Arsenal, virtually every match of which Mr. Hornby has attended since 1968. His version of fandom is not so much a pastime as an affliction, along the lines of an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Team loyalty, he writes, "was not a moral choice like bravery or kindness; it was more like a wart or a hump, something you were stuck with." The book, which is divided into short sections labeled with game dates, has no overt plotline and simply follows the ups and downs - downs mostly - of Arsenal's fortunes and Mr. Hornby's psychic well-being, which turn out to be much the same thing. When the producers Amanda Posey (who, as it happens, was a producer of the first "Fever Pitch") and Alan Greenspan (who also was a producer of "High Fidelity") decided to try again, they approached the screenwriting team of Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, writers of, among other movies, "City Slickers" and "A League of Their Own."

"They didn't say it couldn't be about soccer," Mr. Ganz said in a recent telephone interview. "They just said Americanize it."

Americanize to Mr. Ganz and Mr. Mandel meant turning it into a romantic comedy - a kind of love triangle in which the male character has to choose between his girl and his obsession - and they then set about finding something for the male character to obsess about. They didn't immediately rule out soccer, Mr. Ganz said, and for a while they also considered football - American football.
Anyway, of course the film sucks and Nick Hornby will probably never have another novel made into an American film. But what do you expect when Alan Greenspan is your producer?

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