Screwball comedy is an ailing genre. It’s great that comedy and drama alike have come to be rooted largely in sincerity—humanity has a necessary place in every story, and the contemporary embracing of this notion is definitely quite valuable–but sometimes, we long for the simple, face-value, wacky comedies. But Lunatics, the developing Steve Carell film (an actor tailor made for screwball comedy) looks to fit right into this beloved genre.
Based on the upcoming novel by humorists Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel (who will be adapting the screenplay), Lunatics follows a pair of dissimilar soccer dads who start a mundane argument at their children’s game that sets off a course of catastrophic events that inevitably effect the entire world. Carell will play Philip Horkman, a simple, kindly pet-shop owner and part time children’s soccer referee.
His counterpart in the story, Jeffrey Peckerman, is an irate, hot-tempered father of one of Horkman’s players with the mindset that everyone but him is out of his mind. Peckerman engages Horkman in an argument over the game (anyone from the suburbs knows how seriously people take their kid’s soccer games), which somehow triggers a set of disasters worldwide. Horkman and Peckerman will be at the center of this zany turn of events, which, according to Comingsoon, will involve “the police, soldiers, terrorists, subversives, bears, and a man dressed as Chuck E. Cheese.”
And that’s about as screwball as comedy gets.
Lunatics the novel will be released Jan. 10.