Coming soon: The Hillary Is Totally Awesome Movie?

posted at 1:51 pm on January 3, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Even before Barack Obama won re-election in November, speculation had begun over the Democratic primaries for the 2016 presidential cycle.  Hillary Clinton has received most of the mention and a majority of support so far, but her relatively thin resume combined with the debacle at State she oversaw might make it difficult for her to gain enough credibility, let alone the questions over her age and health that the past few weeks have produced.  What Hillary needs is a narrative changer that will focus on her highlights and overlook her actual performance, something on a grand enough scale to actually change the narrative after Benghazi and blood clots.

I suspect the studio exec that fails to green-light this project will never eat lunch in Washington again:

One of the hottest political screenplays in Tinseltown is about the outgoing secretary of state, and it’s by a 39-year-old newcomer writer from South Korea.

Dubbed “Rodham,” Young Il Kim’s screenplay follows a 20-something Hillary Rodham as she’s trying to decide between her career and boyfriend.

This is, after all, the Clintons, so the stakes are of historic proportions. Her job? The youngest attorney on the House Judiciary Committee working to impeach President Richard Nixon. Her boyfriend? Bill Clinton, who was trying to launch his political career in Arkansas.

How good are the odds that this project gets its green light?

This isn’t a history book. It’s Hollywood. And just last month, the script came in at No. 4 on Hollywood’s all-important Black List, an annual poll of nearly 300 film executives about their favorite scripts. Films that have made the list in the past: “The Social Network,” “Juno” and “The King’s Speech,” among others.

It’s not history, but that won’t be a problem for Hollywood, which routinely flunks in the subject.  Don’t get me wrong — I like the biopic genre, even occasionally when the subject of the film is still alive, as in Coal Miner’s Daughter, one of the genre’s best.  Most of the time, though, the films are either tedious hagiographies based on rumors and legend, or are too self-consciously attuned to modern sensibilities to be taken seriously.  The Babe with John Goodman is a great example of both failings.  When Hollywood gets history right, it’s usually by accident.

In this case, the interest in a Hillary Clinton biopic is almost certainly no accident.  It’s true that she’s a public figure as Secretary of State, but so was Condoleezza Rice, whose life story is at least as interesting, and yet Hollywood has had no interest in her story, nor Colin Powell’s or Madeleine Albright’s, for that matter.  The Clintons’ story would certainly make for an interesting cinematic take of the turmoil of the impeachment episode, but that’s not what this script will address.

Instead, it seems we’ll be treated to a story about a false dichotomy, since Hillary in the end pursued both the boyfriend and a successful legal career apart from her husband, in order to paint her as … what, exactly?  Just the same as every other professional who has to balance career and personal considerations?  There are plenty of young lawyers in Washington of both genders who don’t end up being partners in prestigious law firms at the age of 32, especially after failing the bar exam in Washington DC, which appears to have influenced her ultimate decision to stick with Arkansas, where she passed the bar.

If the project gets green-lighted soon and finds funding, we can probably expect a release date of … oh, early-to-mid-2015.  That won’t be an accident, either.

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