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Warner To Adapt Novel 'Calling Me Home,' Described As 'Driving Miss Daisy' Meets 'The Help'

by Tambay A. Obenson
March 12, 2013 7:23 PM
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Calling Me Home

When I first read this news, I literally laughed out loud, anticipating your reactions to the news! And maybe also to laugh to keep from crying...???

So here's the 411: Warner Bros has picked up the film adaptation rights to a novel by Julie Kibler, titled Calling Me Home, which is being described as a cross between Driving Miss Daisy and The Help.

Not my words; that's how it's being reported.

Are you still there? Still reading? Yes?

Alright, let me finish...

Roy Lee and his Vertigo Entertainment are attached to produce the adaptation of the novel whose synopsis reads:

Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a favor to ask her hairdresser Dorrie Curtis. It's a big one. Isabelle wants Dorrie, a black single mom in her thirties, to drop everything to drive her from her home in Arlington, Texas, to a funeral in Cincinnati. With no clear explanation why. Tomorrow. Dorrie, fleeing problems of her own and curious whether she can unlock the secrets of Isabelle's guarded past, scarcely hesitates before agreeing, not knowing it will be a journey that changes both their lives. Over the years, Dorrie and Isabelle have developed more than just a business relationship. They are friends. But Dorrie, fretting over the new man in her life and her teenage son's irresponsible choices, still wonders why Isabelle chose her. Isabelle confesses that, as a willful teen in 1930s Kentucky, she fell deeply in love with Robert Prewitt, a would-be doctor and the black son of her family's housekeeper--in a town where blacks weren't allowed after dark. The tale of their forbidden relationship and its tragic consequences makes it clear Dorrie and Isabelle are headed for a gathering of the utmost importance and that the history of Isabelle's first and greatest love just might help Dorrie find her own way.

So what do you make of all that? I suppose I can understand the Driving Miss Daisy meets The Help comparison, but I haven't read the book, so I can't say if there's much more to this story than meets the eye, or that simplified description.

It seems like an interracial love story (between Isabelle and the black son of her family's housekeeper in 1930s Kentucky) is the base upon which the rest of the narrative is built. My guess is that the funeral which Isabelle wants Dorrie to drive her to is that of the black son (now an old man) whom she had a "forbidden relationship" with in the 1930s. Dorrie appears to be having problems in her own life, so how exactly this trip to Cincinnati, as well as who/what awaits them there, and the history of Isabelle's past interracial relationship, will "help Dorrie find her own way," is a mystery to me.

If you've read the book, feel free to chime in; although you may want to open your comment with "Spoilers" for those who don't want to know how the different story strands connect in the end.

Calling Me Home is the author's debut novel and is said to be inspired by real-life events in her own family. It was published exactly a month ago, and was reviewed well.

The book alternates between the past and the present, as you'd expect.

Warner Bros is currently in search of a writer to adapt the novel.

But surely, they must know that selling this as Driving Miss Daisy meets The Help is a sure-fire way to instantly turn off a large portion of the black audience. Then again, a project like this may not be one that will be targeted at black audiences.

So stay tuned...

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  • Sunny | August 10, 2013 6:50 PMReply

    You got it wrong....lots more twists with the story than you have guessed. Read the book - you may be surprised.

  • Ms. Mooks | March 14, 2013 7:54 PMReply

    Sounds interesting. Don't see the comparisons to "The Help" or "Driving Miss Daisy" though. Curious as to how its gonna turn out. Not bothered by the subject matter. I'm so over with having this SAME discussion day in & day out---YEARLY! BTW: "Django Unchained" was the shit. Don't care who was "offended" by the plot. Can't wait for the sequel.

  • brownie | March 14, 2013 4:41 PMReply

    No way will I pay to see this shit! Boy they are really longing for the days of slavery and jim crow. I did not pay or go to see the help either. I will not pay for such lunacy.

  • QBN | March 13, 2013 7:34 PMReply

    Really?? C'mon son..after Django did what it did, I want more stories about us rising up to kill off evil White folk, not this BS..

  • Ashunda | March 13, 2013 2:36 PMReply



  • Ashunda | March 13, 2013 2:36 PMReply



  • Donella | March 13, 2013 2:33 PMReply

    Would love to see the Wayans family do a parody of the Helping Miss Daisy Drive the Green Mile movies. Haven't read the book, but I think I've already guessed the end.

  • Donella | March 14, 2013 11:48 AM

    LOL @ stanky money. The Wayans are more brilliant than people realize.

  • CC | March 13, 2013 4:23 PM

    Speaking of the Wayans family, Keenen in particular, they do have the juice and the MONEY to pull off your parody, and it would be a success. Did you know they've made nearly ONE HALF of a BILLION dollars over the course of their career? I'm talkin HUGE stanky money.

  • sandra | March 13, 2013 10:16 AMReply

    I hope it bombs.

  • mawon | March 12, 2013 10:22 PMReply

    And it'll get all the awards. Lord have mercy.

  • brownie | March 14, 2013 4:47 PM

    Anything that belittles black people will always be a success...

  • LeonRaymond | March 12, 2013 9:31 PMReply

    We say all this and watch Black audiences show up in droves!

  • Aaron | March 13, 2013 12:05 PM

    The majority of the black diaspora don't have enough sense to know when they are being given a backhanded compliment or a straight up diss. This film is another straight up diss to black people because it is always during back economic times White Hollywood pulls out the white superiority propaganda garbage films to make white audiences feel better that they are no blacks.

  • Miles Ellison | March 12, 2013 8:59 PMReply

    But surely, they must know that selling this as Driving Miss Daisy meets The Help is a sure-fire way to instantly turn off a large portion of the black audience. Then again, a project like this may not be one that will be targeted at black audiences.

    You would think. But a lot of black people watched (and liked) The Help. A lot of white people loved Driving Miss Daisy. There is probably a large audience that wants early 20th century interracial relationship porn.

  • Sweeta | March 12, 2013 8:45 PMReply

    Oh Gee! I was just saying to my friend yesterday that I would just LOVE to see a movie combining "Driving Miss Daisy" and "The Help," BM/WW interracial relationship and all! It's a frickin dream come true! Just so disappointed that I didn't put it to paper before this author did, but she probably knows more than me about the time and the characters anyway. Oh well...guess I have to get working on my "Birth of a Nation" meets "Gone With The Wind" script before someone beats me to it.

  • PhredG | March 13, 2013 6:05 PM

    LOL!!! Oh those DARKIES! How they DO carry on!!! I'll just have to put this in my BlackFolksWorkin' file. Not sure how it'll be cast but, I'll wait for the dvd. Just like I'm
    doin' wit DuhJANGO.

  • CC | March 13, 2013 10:43 AM

    Sweeta, I just have to let you know that you dropped a diamond in the mix. Your whole comment, as short as it was, spoke a thousand words... and cracked me up. However, I think you should know that your interracial relationship line might have stepped on a few toes up in here. **looking around the room at our "liberal" politically correct crowd**

    But that Birth of a Nation comparison was priceless.

  • mawon | March 12, 2013 10:20 PM


  • Alex | March 12, 2013 8:23 PMReply

    What are you stirring about Tambay. Ugh.
    Sounds great. Driving Miss Daisy is a fantastic film.

  • Mark | March 12, 2013 7:49 PMReply

    OK. This doesn't sound as bad as I feared.

  • Miles Ellison | March 12, 2013 10:25 PM

    It sound exactly as bad as it probably is.

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