The inspiration for Matthew Quick’s new novel came in the form of a letter from actor Richard Gere. Well, sort of. In a HarperCollins interview, Quick shared the story of receiving a Free Tibet letter in the mail “signed” by the famous actor. “I immediately realized it was a form letter mass produced by a machine,” he explained. “It was a thrill anyway. I wondered if there were really people out there who thought Richard Gere was personally sending them mail. People lonely enough to pretend.”
His leading man in The Good Luck of Right Now is exactly that sort of soul. Quick thought Gere was the perfect mentor for protagonist Bartholomew, but who wouldn’t want to be mentored by the handsome actor? Gere can climb my fire escape any day. With the release of Quick’s novel sending images of the actor running through our minds, here are some of our favorite film adaptations starring Richard Gere.
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As far as contemporary romances go, Nicholas Sparks writes the stuff of heart-wrenching dreams. So, when Gere starred in the adaptation of Sparks’ Nights in Rodanthe, fragile hearts burst from excitement. Gere plays a surgeon who expertly cut his son out of his life years before and now is struggling to rebuild that relationship. He falls in love with Adrienne (Diane Lane) when the two share a shore house one beautiful and tragic weekend.
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In the 2009 biopic Amelia, Gere plays George Putnam, publishing tycoon and husband to aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart (Hilary Swank). The film chronicles Earhart’s career and eventual disappearance, but it also captures the love that develops when Putnam begins helping Earhart write about her flights. In a move that makes literary girls swoon, this silver fox sweeps Earhart off her feet as he teaches her the ropes of writing a book.East to the Dawn was one of the few biographies on Earhart that screenwriter Ronald Bass used when crafting the film.
3. Primal Fear
The adaptation of William Diehl’s courthouse thriller, Primal Fear follows defense attorney Martin Vail (Gere). Interested only in high publicity cases, Vail jumps at the chance to represent a young altar boy accused of brutally murdering a beloved Archbishop. Once confident in his client’s innocence, Vail grows concerned when the young boy has a psychological break and devolves into a new, far more violent persona. While I typically prefer Gere in romantic roles, I’m not above committing a crime just so Vail can cross-examine me.
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4. Bee Season
Based on Myla Goldberg’s 2000 novel, Bee Season follows 11-year-old Eliza as she attempts to win the national spelling bee. But, on a deeper level, it focuses on the connections between family relationships and religious beliefs. Gere plays Saul, a controlling Jewish father obsessed with his daughter’s gift for spelling. He attempts to coach her with the Kabbalistic teachings he knows so well, but in giving her his undivided attention, he’s blinded to the ways his family is breaking down.
Movie-goers loved the quirky hit Little Miss Sunshine, but for Matthew Quick, it sparked the realization that he was meant to write a certain style of story. “I had a revelation,” he said. “And it went something like this: ‘Q, you love quirky movies about misfits; these are the types of stories that make you happiest; just write them; be okay with that.’ That was it.” Whether by chance or synchronicity, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (the husband-wife team behind Little Miss Sunshine) are currently tapped to direct the film adaptation of The Good Luck of Right Now. Will Richard Gere cameo? We can only hope.
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