Why isn’t this a Doris Day movie? Perhaps because Rock Hudson would never have accumulated old washing machines and bowling balls in the garage; and Doris Day’s anger never lasted longer than a bubble bath. Otherwise, Doris Day could have played this pretty, perky, 53 year old wife who breaks dishes, gets so mad at her husband she can barely speak, gossips with girlfriends, keeps herself trim, honks twice every time she drives past her sister’s house, and is everybody’s favorite third grade teacher in Parker, PA. And of course Doris Day would have redecorated the house after Rock Hudson moves into the next door neighbor’s bachelor house — during the break up phase. There is never any doubt that boy and girl will end up …. married.
Increasingly, the essay, the critique, the report and the annunciation are being reconfigured in the form of fiction.
Michael Crichton has mastered this form. His Next is more than a story about the re-distribution of genomes; it is Critique, Satire, Farce and Science Report, with:
- just the right amount of irony in representing jerks, like Brad the idiot nephew who attaches to underage teens, and relies on his rich uncle for jobs, cars, and bail;
- just the right amount of irony in depicting the social-emotional infantilism of scientists who can’t navigate their way out of their self-made moral sinkholes;
- just the right amount of Hollywoodability in scenes with children, animals and cars;
- just the right amount of Doris Day type silliness in domestic showdowns between a sorry husband and his forgiving but disciplinary wife: here Blondie accepts the half-son, half chimpanzee Henry has brought home from the Lab, welcomes her role as Mommy, and scolds Henry for not thinking ahead.
- just the right amount of mad British eco-alienated humour to work its way into the next Cadbury or British Air commercial…
In some possible Doris Day movie about a perky blonde secretary and a rich executive bachelor there is a perpetual secretarial pool typing out Nora Roberts novels in time to Sinatra or Liszt. There is no Nora Roberts. There is a pool of Nora Roberts, a herd of Nora Roberts, a barn full of Nora Roberts….
And on the Nora Roberts farm, there is no plagiarism, no copyright, because there is no original.