I have just found out that the film/TV rights to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine have been bought up by Reese Witherspoon’s production company. Whilst I am a fan of Reese Witherspoon (I loved what she did with Big Little Lies and her Instagram is just lovely – plus, she’s Elle Woods!) it doesn’t prevent the fact that I am a little nervous about an adaptation of a book which so quickly found a special place in my heart.
My biggest fear is that they will change the setting of the book to somewhere in the US. Whilst the themes of Eleanor Oliphant are completely universal and I feel that people everywhere can connect to her, there are some quaint elements of the story that are so uniquely British that I fear we would lose them if Eleanor were to become an American. The Tesco shopping, bus rides around Glasgow, trips to the pub, Sammy’s Irn Bru (which isn’t even legally allowed into the US!) and the unglamorous British way of life are all aspects we may lose should Eleanor move stateside. This was one of the reasons I feel that the film of The Girl on the Train was so lacklustre in comparison to the novel, it wasn’t able to truly capture the miserable London commute and our often pessimistic (without being too tragic) outlook on life – I really don’t want this to happen to Eleanor, her story deserves better.
I know that Ms Witherspoon is an avid reader, and really enjoyed the faithful adaptation of Gone Girl on which she was a producer, so can only hope that she does the book justice and perhaps keeps Eleanor at home in Blighty.