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October 7, 2013

Felony of the Week: The Jack and Susan series

Are you a movie-lover? Then the “Jack and Susan” trilogy are the books for you. It’s not that they’re important or great literature or Significant Contributions to the World’s Understanding of Film History – far from it. But every aspect of these three books, from their oddball structure (about which more in a minute) to their snappy dialogue, from the wacky sidekicks to the cinematic settings, is drenched in a passion for the Moom Pitchers.

Specifically for the screwball comedies of the 1930s. The Jack and Susan books are in fact set in three different – and very different – decades, but our two protagonists move from one to another with their characters and their relationships to each other essentially untouched (and essentially derived, in pretty exquisite entirety, from, say, Bringing Up Baby). Jack and Susan are always 27 years old. They always acquire at least one small dog who enjoys to bite the wrong people’s ankles. And they are always destined for each other, but haven’t quite figured this out yet.

Wouldn’t that make a terrific series of films? Ryan O’Neill and Farrah Fawcett were at one point attached to the project (check back later this week for more on this), but – with all respect – they would have been pretty thin beer: Jack and Susan are, eternally, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. There is, sadly, no leopard, but there are a glorious plenty of witty ripostes, dastardly betrayals, fistfights, ruined suits, fabulous clothes, nefarious villains, and cocktails.

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