Alex and Emma
June 20, 2003
Based on a short story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky known as “The Gambler,” Alex and Emma is a film that updates the 19th century tale for modern times by putting Luke Wilson and Kate Hudson in a 21st century setting.
Wilson plays Alex, a novelist with a gambling problem. He’s suffering from writer’s block, and decides to try to solve the problem by taking an enormous risk. He accepts a $100,000 advance on his next novel so that he can pay off his gambling debts, and at the same time agrees that he will complete the book within a 30 day deadline. If he fails to complete this task, his publisher will own everything else he writes for the rest of his life.
In order to complete the book on time, he hires a lovely stenographer named Emma (Hudson). Not only does she assist with the transcription, but she also inspires him to make his novel a love story as the two fall for one another.
Bearing a marked similarity to the little-seen 2002 Neil LaBute film Possession, the love story between the characters in the book will also be played out onscreen, this time by Sophie Marceau and David Paymer. In the case of Alex and Emma, though, the story will be played out more as a romantic comedy, while Possession was a straight romance. A strong factor in Alex and Emma’s favor is the fact that it’s directed by Rob Reiner, who has done a wonderful job with numerous romantic comedies in the past, including The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, and The American President.
Kate Hudson also is no slacker where recent romantic comedies are concerned. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days was a breakthrough success, scoring a terrific $23.8 million opening weekend and exceeding $100 million by the time it was all said and done. About the same time, Luke Wilson’s Old School found some sleeper success, so he is definitely a name on the rise as well. Both Wilson and Hudson are highly charismatic, so the potential for fantastic chemistry is definitely there. Alex and Emma is a film with a lot going for it, and offers some female-targeted counter-programming amongst the summer popcorn fare. (Kim Hollis/BOP)
Comparison films for Alex and Emma
|Sweet Home Alabama
|How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
|Dr. T and the Women