Since I was celebrated for being one of only a handful of my friends who actually went to college, it's hard for me to relate to the pressures some kids face today as they prepare to leave high school for a little bit of higher education. Just being accepted to a college (any college) was enough for my parents to breathe out a sigh of relief. However, that's not the case elsewhere. Universal Pictures is interested in adapting Alexandra Robbins' new nonfiction book, The Overachievers, for Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) to produce through his 21 Laps. Though he hasn't yet signed on to direct the pic, there's a chance Levy might do so as the project starts to come together.
The book, which was published in August, chronicles the lives of several students in a Bethesda, Md. high school as they obsess over the whole college prep process. Based on what I read off Amazon, all the stress causes one girl to lose her hair, while others try to cheat their way into a great college. Then, of course, you have the nutty parents who treat their kids like soldiers heading off to war. Says Levy, "I read the book while I was at the tail end of the 'Night at the Museum' shoot, and it really spoke to certain experiences I had had as a 16-year-old, virtually killing myself to get into Yale." Once again, since I don't even know someone who knows someone who went to Yale, I can't relate. But it does sound fascinating. The goal for Uni and Levy is to transform Robbins' book into a John Hughes-type comedy; one that, I assume, will feature a crop of hot young talent and a hip soundtrack. Personally, I'd rather see this issue addressed on a more serious platform; I've heard stories of kids who attempt suicide because of the pressures they face during this crucial period in their lives. Then again, suicide doesn't sell tickets.