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Eric D. Snider

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Eric has been a film critic since 1999, and a beard wearer since 2008. He holds a degree in journalism and used to work in "the newspaper industry," back when that was a thing.

Pitch Meeting: I Don’t Know How She Does It

Perhaps you saw the trailer for I Don’t Know How She Does It, recognized that it was based on a popular novel, and assumed the story of how it became a movie ended there. But no! There are always meetings, discussions, machinations, and schemes. Join us now as we peek behind the proverbial curtain and present…

The Pitch Meeting for I Don’t Know How She Does It

STUDIO EXEC #1: Listen up, fellas! This pretty li’l lady here has a movie pitch for us!

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: Good afternoon, gentlemen. This movie would be based on a book–

STUDIO EXEC #1: Whoa, whoa, slow down, egghead. A book?

STUDIO EXEC #2: Those usually don’t make good movies. They’re pretty wordy.

STUDIO EXEC #1: Unless you mean “comic book.”

STUDIO EXEC #3: Or unless it was written by J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, or someone that we can compare to J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer in the marketing.

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: Actually, I don’t really like this term, but it’s a “chick lit” book.

STUDIO EXEC #2: Or unless it’s chick lit! I was just about to say that. Please, continue.

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: It’s called I Don’t Know How She Does It, and it was a huge bestseller in the U.K. and America.

STUDIO EXEC #1: Sold!

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: Don’t you want to know what it’s about?

STUDIO EXEC #1: What else is there to know? It was a bestseller, it’s chick lit, and it appeals to women.

STUDIO EXEC #3: It’s about a modern woman who lives in a big city, right? And she has hilarious adventures that the audience can sort of relate to but that are also wildly unrealistic and based on cliches?

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: Well, yes.

STUDIO EXEC #1: Sold!

STUDIO EXEC #2: As a general rule, we don’t make movies for women.

STUDIO EXEC #3: Women don’t go to the movies.

STUDIO EXEC #1: At least, they don’t go to the movies we make.

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: Maybe if you made movies they were interested in, they would–

STUDIO EXEC #3: Shh, quiet. The men are talking.

STUDIO EXEC #2: As I was saying, we don’t usually make lady movies — but we make an exception if they’re based on a book that a lot of women bought.

STUDIO EXEC #3: If there’s one thing women DO like, it’s movies that are based on things they’ve already read or watched!

STUDIO EXEC #1: Now, what’s your name, darlin’?

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: Uh, my name is Aline Brosh McKenna, and if you wouldn’t mind not calling me–

STUDIO EXEC #2: Aline Brosh McKenna! Why didn’t you say so?!

STUDIO EXEC #3: You wrote the screenplay adaptation for The Devil Wears Prada, the greatest girl movie in the history of film, at least in terms of box office, which are the only terms that matter!

STUDIO EXEC #1: You also wrote 27 Dresses, starring America’s sweetheart, Katherine Heigl!

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: Yes, I did. Thank you.

STUDIO EXEC #1: If we’d known we were dealing with a true professional here, we would have taken you more seriously! Sorry about that!

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: It’s all right.

STUDIO EXEC #1: So this story, it’s about a woman who finds love in the big city?

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: No, she’s already happily married with two kids.

STUDIO EXEC #2: And then they die!

STUDIO EXEC #3: And she falls in love with the hunky mortician!

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: What? No! None of those things!

STUDIO EXEC #1: Then what?

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: She’s happily married with two kids, and she also has a high-pressure job. The movie is about how she juggles all of those things. It’s about what it’s like to be a modern mother. You know, “I don’t know how she does it.”

STUDIO EXEC #2: Hmm.

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: That’s the title.

STUDIO EXEC #2: Ah, right.

STUDIO EXEC #3: Is that all?

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: Well … basically.

STUDIO EXEC #1: Eh, it doesn’t matter, the ladies will flock to see it, especially if we put someone they love in the lead and have her wear nice shoes.

STUDIO EXEC #2: Katherine Heigl!

STUDIO EXEC #1: No, she’s booked for the next three years. Remember? We tried to get her for that romantic comedy about the supermodel who falls in love with the hunky DJ.

STUDIO EXEC #2: Oh yeah, Beauty and the Beatz.

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: Gentlemen, I don’t have a horse in this race, but I heard that Sarah Jessica Parker is looking to branch out from Sex and the City.

STUDIO EXEC #3: Really! Interesting!

STUDIO EXEC #1: I wonder if audiences will accept her in the role of someone who cares about anyone other than herself and anything other than social status.

STUDIO EXEC #2: It would be a stretch for her. But this wife-and-mother character, the one who we don’t know how she does it, she makes enough money to wear stylish clothing, right?

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: I would assume so, yes.

STUDIO EXEC #2: Good. That’s probably enough to get the Sex and the City fans into the theater, and then we can gently ease them into the idea of Sarah Jessica playing someone who isn’t an awful human being.

STUDIO EXEC #3: Just one other thing. Maybe this is a spoiler, but do we ever find out how she does it?

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: I beg your pardon?

STUDIO EXEC #3: I Don’t Know How She Does It. Do we ever find out?

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: Well … not really. I mean, there’s no magical formula for juggling a husband, kids, and a career. That’s the point.

STUDIO EXEC #3: I see. So we’re setting up a sequel, where we finally solve the mystery.

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: No, there’s no mystery–

STUDIO EXEC #1: A sequel! I like it!

STUDIO EXEC #2: It’ll be called Here’s How She Does It!

STUDIO EXEC #3: The Secrets of How She Does It!

STUDIO EXEC #1: I Know How She Did It Last Summer!

STUDIO EXEC #2: Remember When I Didn’t Know How She Did It? Well, I Found Out!

STUDIO EXEC #3: Now I Know How She Does It, But I Don’t Know Why!

STUDIO EXEC #1: We’ve got at least a trilogy here. And that’s not including the reboot! Well done, sweetheart!

ALINE BROSH McKENNA: (to herself) I don’t know how I do this.

STUDIO EXEC #1: Yes! That’s another good one! You’ll make it in this business yet!


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Tags: I don't know how she does it, Katherine heigl, Pitch meeting, Sarah jessica parker