It pains us to say this, but it looks like Wes Anderson may officially be out of ideas. Earlier this week it was announced that everyone’s favorite American Express cardholder (apologies to Ellen and Tina Fey) was signed up by Universal and Imagine Entertainment to pen the script for My Best Friend, a remake of the 2006 French film Mon Meilleur Ami. As of yet he has not agreed to direct the film, but apparently that isn’t off the table.
We’ve always loved Wes Anderson; his perfectly framed shots are complete things of beauty. And his cadre of repertory actors always manages to produce at least one scene of wistful melancholy perfection. But even hardcore fans like us can admit that after last year’s misfire The Darjeeling Limited, it felt like the misfit families and protagonists of Wes Anderson’s universe had almost worn out their welcome.
It’s a marvelous idea for Mr. Anderson to branch out of his comfort zone. Perhaps doing so would invigorate his creative juices. But this isn’t branching out. My Best Friend sounds like The Life Aquatic with priceless artifacts instead of stop motion animation. The plot, about a middle-aged and misanthropic art dealer who realizes he has no friends, and, spurred on by a wager from his female business partner, tries to recruit a cab driver to be his best friend, is positively Andersonian. Seriously, if you can’t imagine Bill Murray and Luke Wilson in the two lead roles, you’re just not paying attention.
Mr. Anderson should take a cue from your contemporaries. Darren Aronofsky is going to direct a Robocop remake, David Gordon Green did Pineapple Express, and even Max Fischer followed Heaven and Hell with something that was set in the outback. (Or so he said.) Come on, Wes! You can do it. How about you do a stuffy period piece, mawkish biopic or slapstick comedy? Try anything! Then when it inevitably fails, you can always go back to the well and everyone will love you for it all over again. Hollywood loves a good redemption story.