July 17, 2010

The John Edwards bio is "an extraordinary story filled with motivations, decisions and consequences that would have lit Shakespeare up."

Aaron Sorkin is making a movie of Andrew Young's "The Politician: An Insider's Account of John Edwards's Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down."

Would the John Edwards story "have lit Shakespeare up"?
Yes. John Edwards is a grand tragic hero with fascinating flaws.
Yes. Shakespeare loved to apply his gifts to tacky, melodramatic tales.
No. Shakespeare was too high class for that sort of muck.
No. John Edwards didn't reach a high enough height for Shakespeare to care about his fall.
  
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41 comments:

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

First vote!

kalmia said...

None of the above. There is nothing even remotely interesting about John Edwards. His story is banal.

Borepatch said...

Shakespeare would have written this as a Comedy, not a Tragedy. The Bard oft wrote of villains and knaves.

Meade said...

"John Edwards is a grand tragic hero with fascinating flaws."

wv: "witepink" - The American Everyman, he was John, Duke of Witepink

AllenS said...

Edwardspeare

A short story, where nobody lives happily ever after.

WV: fooditi

traditionalguy said...

Come on guys. Edwards was an electoral vote state away from being VP in 2004 and later a probable President in 2012. He was also a favorite of many insider Dems going into 2008 because faced with a Muslim and a Clinton he was the winner of the "none of the above" vote. His method of delivering the lies people want to hear is a story in itself. Then he forgot to keep his pants zipped up.

EDH said...

Aaron Sorkin, who's had his own travails, evidently has a soft spot for others who screw-up their lives and marriages, and considers them a good source of career advice about directing.

edutcher said...

Sorkin is the guy who gave us 'The West Wing'. He'd love to rehabilitate the Breck Girl. After all, he's a white Obama.

PS Master Will wouldn't have gone near the story, that sort of thing happened all the time back then. And Elizabeth is no Lady Macbeth.

Hillary, amybe.

Meade said...

traditionalguy said...
"Come on guys. Edwards was an electoral vote state away from being VP in 2004.."

That's right, tradguy, and I'm sure I don't need to remind you that it was I and a mere football stadium's worth of southwest Ohio voters who stood in the breach on that historic rainy day.

chuck said...

Edwards could be a prettier version of Falstaff in a small comic role. But there is nothing extraordinary about the man. Money, ambition, hypocrisy, and lust are common themes.

Sheepman said...

If Shakespeare used Edwards it would be as a minor character. Perhaps for comic relief or as an oily villain.

HDHouse said...

I doubt it. The guy who wrote this would not be impressed.

When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth's proud livery so gazed on now,
Will be a totter'd weed of small worth held:
Then being asked, where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days;
To say, within thine own deep sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame, and thriftless praise.

Shakespeare would roll over in his grave before he would be "lit up"

Kirstin said...

Tom Cruise might make a good John Edwards.

Flexo said...

Edwards is nothing more than an Aaron Burr wannabe.

MrBuddwing said...

Tom Cruise might make a good John Edwards.

Funny you should say that, since Aaron Sorkin also gave us "A Few Good Men" (Nicholson to Cruise: "You can't handle the truth!").

Word verification: nogie.

Sokmnkee said...

The book was a fantastic read! Andrew Young might need security guards for himself and his family, but I'm glad he spilled the beans about this tool.

MamaM said...

All Pucked up. Fey too.

"Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

traditionalguy said...

Meade...But did you walk through snow and sleet to get to the polls? Seriously, that was a fine job you Cincinnatans did when we needed you the most.

Chip Ahoy said...

Shakespeare would have to do a little rewriting, with an eye to including a twin, a mistaken identity, an ironic death of the wrong person. Also the characters would have to learn something and change.

Brian Day said...

Tom Cruise might make a good John Edwards.
An interesting choice. It might work. I would choose Will Ferrel. He can play it as comedy (Anchorman), or straight (Stranger Than Fiction).
wv: defric

Richard Dolan said...

It's hard to imagine a bardified, Edwards-themed play as anything other than a kind of MacBird parody. Edwards seems to lack the capacity for self-knowledge, otherwise known as having a conscience, that is essential to making a Shakespearean play work.

c3 said...

Well, if they can do a movie on Harvey Pekar I guess...

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Edwards wasn't important enough.

Had he become Veep, or attorney general...

David said...

Shakespearian tragic heroes arouse awe and desperate sympathy, not contempt. Edwrds is not the stuff of tragedy.

But El Bardo might have some fun with Rielle and Elizabeth in a comedy. John Edwards would be a minor player in that performance.

Starring Lady Gaga as Rielle, and Kathleen Turner as Elizabeth. Also featuring Bruce Jenner as John Edwards.

Or perhaps a new Disney cartoon: "Mirror. mirror on the wall . . . "

William said...

I didn't read the Andrew Young book, but there's a kind of reverse Othello-Iago vibe. Young is the honest courtier, and Edwards is full of evil plots and strategems that are carried out just for the sake of carrying them out. I get the sense that Edwards got more satisfaction from the debasement of his loyal follower than he did from the seduction of Rielle. Or anyway that what Young thought.....Shakespeare would not allow Edwards to speak in iambic pentameter.

reader_iam said...

Meade:

A huge coffee-cup toast and thanks to you and that stadium's worth of fine Ohio residents!!!!!!!

***
As for the bio project, if Shakespeare comes back to life and writes the movie, I'll consider watching it. Barring that, I think I'll just go back to forgetting that John Edwards exists.
***

I've always wondered, how weird would it be to watch a movie about your own dad while he's a alive and you're still young? If you were in your 20s, as Edwards' oldest daughter is, would you go see it? Or at least rent it?

Kev said...

(the other kev)

I just hope they can get Janeane Garofalo to play Amanda Marcotte.

Trooper York said...

"I just hope they can get Janeane Garofalo to play Amanda Marcotte."

Really? I was thinking Ruth Buzzi.

A.W. said...

Well, to be fair to Sorkin, wasn't he behind "The American President" which was low propoganda on one hand, complete with liberal "common sense" that gee, if we only banned guns no one would be able to kill anyone! Peace forever! But all those criticisms aside, it was one of the better movies of that kind of theme.

Could you make something grand about this kind of thing? absolutely. will sorkin do it? i don't know. if it tries to make silky pony into a man of substance, i would say "no."

JAL said...

JE was a walk on part.

jamboree said...

He's cheesy in a uniquely American way, so I'm thinking a more appropriate choice from the past would be Mark Twain or de Tocqueville.

traditionalguy said...

Johnny Edwards hit the wall we all must hit sooner or later between 45 and 55. He could not get away with being favored and promoted because he is youthful and attractive anymore. The trick used on him by Rielle was to easy. She told him that he was still youthful and attractive. Lady Edwards lost him when she started to make him look like he had an old wife. "You look marvelous Johnny" would be a good Title.

Trooper York said...

John Edwards= Lorenzo Lamas
Elizabeth Edwards=Roseanne Barr
Andrew Young=Matthew Perry
Rielle Hunter=The Crypt Keeper
The Baby=Chuckie

jamboree said...

@traditionalguy

Except Rielle looks pretty old for her age. I remember when the pics were first published, it was kind of like the reaction that Al Gore got regarding his choice of masseuse. (i.e. "Would he really hit on that? I guess so.") Tipper stayed pretty attractive for a political wife - all things considered. She never got that bitter and/or brittle look.

Al Gore was once technically physically attractive, but his deeper vibe was always fussy and vain which is most definitely not attractive, especially in a man.

And then after he lost the election, he really went off into the Land of the Crazy-Eyed. Probably didn't help his mental condition in the long run that he was indulged by the likes of Steve Jobs and the Nobel Prize Committee.

John Lynch said...

I think Shakespeare is so great because of his works' universal application rather than John Edwards' story being great because we can apply Shakespeare to him.

Shakespeare is for everyone, John Edwards' life is his alone.

Seven Machos said...

Gary Hart had far more pathos.

Also why this Edwards schmuck and not Dan Quayle?

meep said...

If anything it would have to be comedy [as nobody has [yet] died]

....but a comedy where the jilted wife is dying of cancer.... is not going to be terribly funny.

So it may have had to be left to a Restoration playwright. Those guys went for the gutter.

Lucien said...

Shakespeare my ass: Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain.

Geoff Matthews said...

Let's remember. John Edwards was a Senator for 1 term, ran for the VP once, and an lawyer who uttered some of the most manipulative lines ever.
He's a blip in history.

Methadras said...

John Edwards is the type of douche bag you hope would fail and then kick him in the fucking teeth because he's finally at an elevation that you can get your foot to reach his mouth with. Fuck him and fuck his life. He deserves none of it and I'm glad to see him disgraced.

Megaera said...

In Shakespearean terms, John Edwards is Malvolio: a third-rate personality with nothing to offer, but who, due to an imagined invitation to greatness, fancies himself great and rides to an amusing fall. Exit spitting venom. But in Elizabethan drama terms, as a tragic character, you might think of him more as Marlowe's Edward II--a purely decorative, disastrously shallow thinker, prancing and flailing, surrounded by hard men and deeper players who had no scruples when it came time to rid themselves of him. In my view the Silky Pony was a minor character and not worthy of an entire play, but as a Malvolio-type bit he would have been an extra amusement in a comedy -- a tiresome distraction in a tragedy.