Was Julia Roberts pigeon-holed into a career she didn't want? Did motherhood and a break from Hollywood change her? Or, does she simply have a much different eye for projects to produce than projects to star in?

Variety reports that Roberts' Red Om Films has grabbed the rights to a nonfiction book called In the Neighborhood. Written by Peter Lovenheim, the book focuses on his concern over the disappearance of community. When he realizes his suburban hometown is lacking it, he decides to get to know his neighbors better. But rather than simply befriending these people, he proposes sleepovers and boop fests. "His goal: to facilitate something more than the feeling of strangers living with strangers in modern suburbia." It will hit shelves this April.

The sleepover party is the latest in a really diverse list of projects set up between Roberts' Om and Reliance Big. There's Jesus Henry Christ, where a petri dish boy follows Post-It notes hoping to find his biological father, My Mother the Cheerleader, about a 13-year-old girl whose mom is part of a group that harasses the first black student after court-ordered integration during the Civil Rights era, Mallory, a look into the life of English mountaineer George Mallory, and The Journey of the Destination: The Journals of Dan Eldon, the story of a young photographer who chronicled Somalia's famine until he was chased down and murdered by a Somali mob at the age of 22.
Now sure, Roberts has occasionally picked up projects we weren't quite expecting -- especially the one-two punch of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Full Frontal back in 2002, or my favorite Roberts film, Closer in 2004. Nevertheless, there's a different feel to the projects she's picking up through her shingle. It's quite history and world-based, with a slight flair for strangeness with Jesus Henry and sleepover social theory.

It makes me wonder what her acting career would have been like if it followed the same vein...
categories Movies, Cinematical