Having both committed to developing more female-led stories, and with that goal in mind, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman will once again bring their respective production companies together to deliver an adaptation of Truly Madly Guilty – the bestselling novel by Liane Moriarty. This will be the second time the actresses have collaborated in this way, for a Liane Moriarty adaptation – their first being the upcoming HBO series, Big Little Lies.
The source material tells an intimate tale of a group of adults, a few children, and a Sunday afternoon barbecue – but it is through these relationships that Moriarty examines the fundamental truths that bind us, and divide us, in equal measure.
From the author’s website:
“What if they hadn’t gone? That’s the question Clementine Hart can’t stop asking herself. It was just an ordinary backyard barbeque on a Sunday afternoon. They didn’t know their hosts that well. They were friends of friends. They could so easily have said no.
“But she and her husband Sam said yes, and now it’s two months later, it won’t stop raining and they can never change what they did and didn’t do that beautiful winter’s day.
“Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One yapping dog. It’s a quiet Sunday afternoon in the suburbs. What could possibly go wrong?
“Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on some of the most fundamental relationships in our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how too often we don’t appreciate how extraordinary our ordinary lives are until it’s too late.”
There are, as yet, no indications as to who will be writing and directing this project, but it would be heartening to see the producers-actresses hire some women for those tasks. It is all very well creating projects that deliver good roles for women to play onscreen, but women need to have those opportunities to shine behind the camera, too. Of Witherspoon’s biggest productions to date, only Hot Pursuit was not directed by a man (it was directed by Anne Fletcher).
With their previous Liane Moriarty adaptation – Big Little Lies – having been directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, Truly Madly Guilty would be a great opportunity for Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon to do even better, and hire some more filmmaking women behind the scenes. Whether or not that comes to pass remains to be seen for this developing project, but we’ll definitely be keeping our eye on it.