The relationship between a mother and son has been explored many times in cinema – often to great comic effect. As a general rule, the mother is seen as an interfering, oppressive force, cramping the style of an immature male who just wants to do what he wants to do. The upcoming adaptation of the William Sutcliffe novel, Whatever Makes You Happy, looks as though it will take that trope and build on it in interesting and original ways – something further suggested by the casting of some truly stellar performers.
The story looks at three mothers who are long-time friends, having bonded while their sons were in grade school together. The sons, now 28 years old, reside in New York City, avoiding responsibility as much as they avoid calling their respective mothers back in the suburbs. When the sidelined matriarchs decide to visit their wayward offspring unannounced, they discover that their own lives are in as much need of attention as those of their sons. Essentially, it’s a simultaneous coming-of-age tale for two generations – where those ages are ‘growing-up-time’ for the sons, and ‘empty-nest-time’ for the mothers.
The novel is adapted for the screen by Cindy Chupack, who will make her directorial debut with the film. It is the announcement of the initial casting, however, that adds to the excitement surrounding the project.
Susan Sarandon (Jeff, Who Lives At Home), Allison Janney (Mom) and Stephen Amell (Arrow) have all signed on, with Elijah Kelley (The Butler) also in talks to appear. Clearly, the script must be really quite something. Sarandon and Janney are both towering comedic talents of deservedly legendary repute. Individually, they elevate any project they are involved in to a whole other level of quality and together, they are a powerful force to be reckoned with. Stephen Amell is an actor whose abilities we have seen swiftly mature during the three seasons that Arrow has been on the air. He has grown steadily from appearing sometimes stilted to fully inhabiting his character and bringing subtlety and nuance to his performance.
With anticipation building, the question now becomes, who will fill the rest of the roles? There are three mothers and three sons, so which actress will join the ranks of Sarandon and Janney, and who will buddy up with Amell and (possibly Kelley)?
It seems that Radiant Films International is hoping to sell the rights to Whatever Makes You Happy at the American Film Market this week, so we should look forward to hearing about further casting decisions very soon.
Source: The Wrap