Which Romantic Comedy Film Should Be Adapted for Broadway? | Playbill

Polls Which Romantic Comedy Film Should Be Adapted for Broadway? With Valentine's Day just around the corner, Playbill.com took to social media to ask readers which romantic comedy film they would most like to see adapted as a stage musical.

Down With Love

Sarah Weissman: Not sure if I answered this earlier but DOWN WITH LOVE! Campy, cute and more progressive than it seems. Imagine the costume palette…

Sara Rae: Down with Love! Please for the love of all that's holy!


Starring Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, the 2003 film "Down With Love" tells the story of Barbara Novak, a feminist advice author whose newest book encourages women to free themselves from love, enjoy sex without commitment and focus on their careers. Notorious ladies' man and journalist Catcher plans to undo Novak and expose her as a fake by falsely luring her into a seemingly perfect relationship. His plan fails, however, when he begins to fall in love with her. The film concludes with the cast singing "Here's To Love," which would also work well for a stage adaptation. Set in 1962 in Manhattan, the film evokes the style of films from the 50's and 60's and won several industry awards for Best Costume Design. The potential for wonderful costume and set design in the theatre would be limitless, and with Ewan McGregor having recently made his Broadway debut, perhaps he would be tempted to return to reprise the role of Catcher for the stage.


The Notebook

 Alyssa Nichols: The Notebook? That would be interesting with music

Terry Singletary Goodrich: Yes, the Notebook

Jay Victor Saucedo Ruiz: THE NOTEBOOK


"The Notebook," the 2004 film starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, has undoubtedly become one of the most-loved romantic stories of the early 21st century. Based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks, the story follows a young couple, Noah and Ally, who fall madly in love one summer on vacation in South Carolina in 1940. An argument caused by Ally's family prompts their break-up and her return to the city. Unbeknownst to 17-year-old Ally, whose mother is hiding the letters, Noah attempts to write to her for a year. Deterred from the lack of responses, he enlists to fight in the war; meanwhile, Ally falls in love with another soldier who is eager to marry her. It is at this crucial crossroads in the story that Ally is reunited with Noah, returned from the war, and she must make the ultimate decision as to whom she chooses. The various locations - the South Carolina Island, the war zone, the present-day nursing home from where the story is narrated - would make for an interesting stage adaptation. 


When Harry Met Sally

Hope Weiskopf: When Harry Met Sally

Jean Lohrius: When Harry Met Sally

Shea Fairbanks-Galaudet: Definitely When Harry Met Sally!


Numerous Playbill readers were eager to see "When Harry Met Sally," the classic 1989 romantic comedy film, adapted to the stage. The story follows the title characters, played by Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, through 12 years of chance encounters in New York City. The "deli scene" from the film has become one of the most memorable in movie history and is often referenced in popular culture to this day – the scene takes place at famed downtown lunch spot Katz Delicatessen, where Sally loudly and unabashedly fakes an orgasm. The various Manhattan locations, the iconic lunch scene and the cult-like status of this film would make for a great Broadway or Off-Broadway musical stage adaptation.

Love Actually

Al Elizabeth: Love actually. Xmas show for adults.

Joseph Awad: Love Actually…need I say more?

Bill Wolfe: I think LOVE ACTUALLY would be incredible…great story, lots of characters, and it's all about love…


Undoubtedly one of the most-loved holiday-season films, the 2003 movie is set in London around Christmas time and follows numerous stories of love and friendship. The British film, which was nominated for two Golden Globes, starred Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Hugh Jackman and Liam Neeson, among many others. The film's structure, following the various characters and storylines, is one not often seen in stage musicals; additionally the story's ending, in which the eight loosely related tales come together, would make a wonderful finale onstage. 


500 Days of Summer

Charlotte Smith: 500 Days of summer would be brilliant. I've been planning it out in my head for years.


"500 Days of Summer" was a 2009 off-beat romantic comedy about a woman named Summer, played by Indie film darling Zooey Deschanel, who doesn't believe true love exists, and the young, earnest, down-to-earth Tom, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who falls in love with her. Premiering at Sundance, the independent film became a "sleeper hit" at the box office, far exceeding its modest budget. Tom's obsession with the band The Smiths drives much of the story and would make for an interesting musical score. The story's non-linear structure, of moving backwards and forwards through time and memory, could also be captivating.


Moulin Rouge

Amy Daskilewicz: Moulin Rouge would be an absolutely DECADENT addition to Broadway's lineup

Trevor Townsend: Moulin Rouge.

Mitchell Randall: Moulin Rouge for sure! It's long overdue.


Baz Luhrmann's 2001 musical film "Moulin Rouge" was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning two for best art direction and costume design. Set in Paris in 1899, the film follows the bohemian lifestyle of the colorful characters performing at the famed Moulin Rouge cabaret. Luhrmann recently directed a stage adaptation of his 1992 film "Strictly Ballroom" in Australia, with plans to tour the production internationally. A part-time New York City resident, perhaps the talented and multi-award winning director of "The Great Gatsby" would be tempted to bring his popular Paris-set musical to the Broadway stage in the future. It would also be an excellent opportunity to see the return of both Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman to Broadway, reprising their roles from the film.


50 First Dates

Katie Wallace: FIFTY FIRST DATES!!! What a great musical comedy that could be!


The romantic comedy film starring Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler was a box-office hit when released in cinemas in 2004. Set on the island of Oahu, "50 First Dates" follows the relationship between Henry, a womanizing local and the unique Lucy. Henry shows no signs of settling down or committing to a serious relationship until he falls for the lovable Lucy, but the new apple of his eye suffers from a memory impairment syndrome that makes it impossible for her to remember anything beyond 24 hours. Determined to spend his life with her, Henry embarks on the challenge of making their relationship memorable in the long-term. The Hawaiian location would make this a visually entertaining stage show; however, the most potential lies in the music. The soundtrack to the film featured some classic love rock songs by The Cure, Sting, The Flaming Lips and The Thompson Twins, combined with numerous Reggae tracks. The combination of contemporary rock and island-style music would make for an interesting contemporary musical.

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