I'm all for documentary filmmakers making the occasional fiction film, particularly if it helps them fund another non-fiction film later on. But why must so many of the fiction films documentarians choose to make be trashy romantic comedies and teen dramas? Case in point: according to Variety, R.J. Cutler is set to direct an adaptation of Melissa de la Cruz's sex-filled Hamptons-set young adult novel The Au Pairs. A few reviews I've seen of the 2004 publication, which spawned a few sequels (Skinny Dipping, Sun Kissed and Crazy Hot) recommended it for fans of Gossip Girl.

Cutler is best known recently for his Oscar-shortlisted doc The September Issue, which takes a behind the scenes look at the production of every mailman's least favorite issue of Vogue magazine and its powerful editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour. Previously he directed the Oliver North campaign doc A Perfect Candidate. Other films Cutler has been involved with include D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus' political documentary classic The War Room and Lauren Greenfield's acclaimed film about anorexia, Thin. He also produces relatively serious reality series, such as Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days.
So what's he doing helming a movie based on a book about a trio of teenage girls partying on the beaches of Hampton while taking care of rich people's children? Well, honestly, I'm hoping he can bring an interesting perspective to the story, which Drew Barrymore is producing through her Flower Films shingle (He's Just Not That Into You). After all, he's been through the glamour of the fashion industry and he created the award-winning teen reality series American High, which aired on PBS back in 2000. I'd love to see The Au Pairs shot in the verite documentary style that Cutler is accustomed to.

Of course, it could also be another The Nanny Diaries, which was helmed by former documentarians Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. Or, even worse, it could be as bad as Barbara Kopple's teen drama Havoc, which also showed no signs of its director's documentary background. Joining Barrymore and her partner Nancy Juvonen as producer is Leslie Morgenstein, who has previously had a hand in the film adaptation of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and the TV series based on Gossip Girl. So yeah, this will probably be solely for teen girls and not of much interest to us regular Cutler and documentary fans.
categories Cinematical