shot of sass, served on (n)ice

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sliding Doors: Chicago

For a year between undergrad and grad schools, I ventured to Chicago. It’s where I met M, and though we should have hung out more while living there, we totally did not. In fact, I didn’t do a whole lot while I was in Chicago, other than stare out the big window that looked onto State Street and maybe go to breakfast every now and then. Granted, sometimes that breakfast was at midnight, but still. I wish I had done more, a lot more. I was in a long-distance relationship with, let’s be honest, a Tool. He had a giant leash around my neck that extended across several states, and dumb, early twenty-something me failed to get out the scissors (hacksaw? what?) and cut that shit loose.

But. I wonder, had I made a series of different choices then, where would it have led my life? I could be looking at a very different set of circumstances than what I have now, which are: a husband, two kids, two dogs and a house--all in the very same state where the Tool resided. Happiness. My Chicago inaction led me here. Would more action have led me down a very different road? Or is it just fate that we end up where we do.

So what I’m proposing for the movie of my life is Sliding Doors: Chicago. Pretty easy set-up, what with the El Train and all.


  • Penelope: Keri Russell (Felicity, The Waitress), just because I love her so darn much. She can do quiet and contemplative, but throw in the right amount of snark.
  • The Tool: Bradley Cooper (Wedding Crashers), because he can totally play it well and we won’t be sad to see him go.
  • M: Kate Winslet, who will keep her accent, not because M has a British accent, but because that’s funny.

Writer/Executive Producer

  • JJ Abrams: I’m sending him back to his angsty roots, but the alternate plotline/fantasy element should speak to his current interests.


  • Whoever does Grey’s Anatomy will be in charge. 


  • Small-town girl moves to Chicago for an “art” program, let’s call it. Controlling Tool of a long-distance boyfriend keeps her on a metaphorical leash. She struggles with decision to stay with him or cut him loose. Mulls her future(s) while riding the El Train, one days steps off the train and into a different reality. the world where she’s free and on her own. Plot then follows two threads (easily distinguished by our star’s amazing new hair style, which she will obviously have to get after breaking up with the Tool). Thread A, she keeps on doing what she’s doing, stuck inside and whiling away her days with Oprah and online grocery orders. Thread B, she gets out there into the big city and lives a little. BFF M remains steadily by her side regardless of life course, prodding her to open up and figure out what she really wants. Which will be…? Where is our character’s heart, regardless of the love in her life: in the big city, or back in the small town?

3 tips left at the bar:

almost anonymous said...

I want to watch Sliding Doors again.

Don't know who does the composing, but I can totally hook you up with the music editor of Grey's ;) (She did Crossing Jordan when I worked on it.)

I feel similarly about the semester I spent abroad. Why didn't I go do more? Of least get more sandwiches around town or something.

penelope said...

Yes, I totally want to watch SD again, haven't in a long time.
Ha, I appreciate the music hook-up!

When I went to London, we had so much stuff scheduled for us, and I'm grateful, because I probably would have hid, just the same, or not been nearly as adventurous. But, I do regret not taking that plane to Ireland, like some in our class did. Or staying longer and taking a train to some other countries. I'm a bad combination of stingy and cautious. :) But, I'm good at being a homebody, at least.

niki said...

Love this pitch, Pen! So very glad you ultimately ditched the Tool.

(And Felicity - love her.)