College Movie Moms

New Line Cinema recently announced that it had acquired the screen rights to Andrew Ferguson’s best selling book Crazy U: One Dad’s Crash Course In Getting His Kid Into College. Set to star as the crazed dad is Will Ferrell. Thanks to publishing deadlines for my book College Bound and Gagged, I was too swamped to read beyond the wonderful reviews of Ferguson’s book, but I am thrilled to see this great writer get a screen deal.

What’s even more exciting is that Hollywood gets it. The stress and humor of college search and seizure is slowly becoming a recognized theme in film and television. From ABC’s The Middle to NBC’s Modern Family, parent-child conflict and higher education anxiety is front and center.

Ironically, last month a friend asked me, “Who would play you in the film adaptation of your book?” After I finished laughing, I unsuccessfully struggled with an answer. Yesterday’s announcement made me think a little harder. And that’s when it hit me. It was difficult to come up with one actor to cover all of the phases I went through as a college-bound mom. Sure, Meryl could do it, but she’s still coming off of that recent Oscar sugar high. So, at the risk of going all Sybil on you, I came up with the perfect actors for each scene of my college-bound journey.

SCENE 1: Stressed and Clueless Mom—Tina Fey à la Liz Lemon.

She’s frazzled and clueless. Eventually she’ll get the bus where it needs to go, but the journey will be long and hilarious.

SCENE 2: Do It Yourself Test Prep Mom—Martha Stewart.

Okay, she’s not an actor, but her homemade flashcards would be the prettiest on the block. Shhh….I feel a line of dorm decorations coming on.

SCENE 3: Essay Completion Drill Sergeant—Madonna.

I know, her acting has been questionable, but have you seen those biceps? That woman is disciplined and no one has a better work ethic. She’s hired!

SCENE 4: Embarrassing College Tour Mom: Kristen Wiig à la SNL.

From her Target Lady accent to the one-upping Penelope, she could singlehandedly embarrass any child on the college visit.

SCENE 5: Put Other Parents in Their Place Mom: Julia Roberta à la Erin Brockovich.

Some of those bragging parents need to be verbally slapped down off the bleachers. Julia’s got the chops to stand up for the underdog in her “Big Mistake—HUGE” Pretty Woman way.

SCENE 6: Voice of Reason Mom: Meryl Streep à la It’s Complicated and Mama Mia!

I know I’m back to Meryl again, but she’s my favorite and we have the same hair. Plus it’s my book. Authors are allowed to dream you know.


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