According to Variety, The Office and 40 Year Old Virgin funny man Steve Carell has signed up as producer and star of a Warner Bros. remake of the 2008 Argentinean comedy Un Novio Para Mi Mujer (A Boyfriend for My Wife). The original film, directed by Juan Taratuto and starring Valeria Bertuccelli (fun fact: she’s married to Vicentico of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs!), tells the story of an unstable couple who opt for an unconventional way to deal with their relationship issues. It was a box office success in Argentina, and made its way around the festival circuit winning several prizes along the way.
The news of the Steve Carell remake is somewhat exciting but you can’t help but remain skeptical. It must be flattering–and financially beguiling–for the original producers of the film that Warner Brothers and buzzed-about Hollywood stars like Steve Carell are interested in remaking this Latin American comedy that, although successful at home, is probably irrelevant to American moviegoers. And the film’s tone and style could work with Carell as a star, since it is an upfront (even a little physical) comedy that would appeal to the mainstream Anglo audience.
But if history can prove anything, it’s that remakes don’t necessarily transfer smoothly from one culture to the other. Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky take on Amenábar’s Abre Los Ojos? Not my favorite, but you can decide. The critically-acclaimed Nueve Reinas was remade and produced by Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney but it was mediocre at best. A non-British black Death at a Funeral? No, but thank you.
Mark Gibson and Phil Halprin have signed up as directors, both writers of the Disney flop Snow Dogs, so who knows what we can expect. Any thoughts?
Watch the trailer for the original Un Novio Para Mi Mujer: