If you're unaware of the film (really?), the story is basically that Cal (Steve Carell) is getting a divorce from his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), as she feels the excitement has left their marriage. She ends up seeing a man named David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon), while Cal is taken in under the wing of a player named Jacob (Ryan Gosling). Meanwhile, Jacob also begins a more serious relationship with strong-willed Hannah (Emma Stone), which might turn around his player days.
First and foremost, I should tell you what year I'm moving it down to. And that would be... 1940. It's a bit of a rough time period to have a story with plot points that center openly around pre-marital sex and/or one-night-stands, but let's go for it anyway.
CSL, to me, is a film more about its characters and their relationships and interactions than anything else. Because of wit these characters have, the dialogue they have to give out, and the independent women vibe it gives off, I went with director Howard Hawks, who I think could make this film an even bigger spectacle than it already is. Can you imagine how he would handle the already brilliant backyard scene at the end of the second act?
For the cast, I'm looking at some pretty big names here, a couple of them teaming up again from Hawks' own His Girl Friday of the same year. So let's look at it.
Cal Weaver (Originally Played By: Steve Carell)
This was one of the tougher choices, as it's hard for me to think of an actor from this time who does the equal parts schlub, drunk, comedian, and leading man to root for. But looking back on roles such as from It's a Wonderful Life and Harvey, I had to go with James "Jimmy" Stewart. Everyone loves good 'ol Jim, and I've seen him pull off everything this character requires (and more).
Emily Weaver (Originally Played By: Julianne Moore)
Julianne Moore plays a character here who obviously has a flawed past and wants to move on with a stronger future... but has trouble severing ties with the man who was once the love of her life. And she can have a bit of a sharp tongue while still being likable. I went with the leading lady from His Girl Friday, Rosalind Russell.
Jacob Palmer (Originally Played By: Ryan Gosling)
This one was a no-brainer to me. Gosling plays a womanizer; a smooth, cool player that oozes charm and charisma, but also someone who could keep up with a Hawksian-esque female. This isn't the first time this connection has been made, and although the character is supposed to be a little younger than this, I had to go with Cary Grant.
Hannah (Originally Played By: Emma Stone)
This was the hardest one for me. (Spoilers if you haven't seen CSL.) She had to be at least a decade younger than whoever played Julianne Moore's character in order to pull off being her daughter. And in the same respect, she had to at least look similar to that chosen actress. And then it had to be someone who could appear in a Howard Hawks movie, all the while keeping up pace with Cary Grant. And I think I pulled it off... I think. I'm going here with one Susan Hayward, who not only has the matching red hair as Stone, but a somewhat similar deep voice.
David Lindhagen (Originally Played By: Kevin Bacon)
David Lindhagen is a man with a toothy smile and good looks. He's a man that Julianne Moore essentially left Steve Carell for. He has to have a balance of smarm and charm (schmarm?), but he's not in and of himself an unlikable person. And to go that extra mile, it's an actor that everybody knows because he's seemingly been in everything, so that when you finally see him, it's like "Oh my God!" Therefore, I went with Humphrey Bogart.
And that's about it! There are other side characters, like Carell's son, his first fling (Marisa Tomei is prominent in the trailer and on the poster, but she's not primary in the movie), and his babysitter (and the babysitter's dad), but I didn't think I had to go that deep into it. So what do you think? Do you think this lineup would work? Would you see it?