Last night, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Sandra Bullock would team up with Anne Fletcher, the woman who directed her in The Proposal, to make a movie described as being “in the vein of the 1978 Paul Mazursky film An Unmarried Woman and Saturday Night Fever.” Come again? An Unmarried Woman is the story of middle-aged Manhattanite, played by Jill Clayburgh, who has to make her life over after an unexpected divorce, at a time when divorce was still relatively taboo. (The tagline for An Unmarried Woman is, “She laughs, she cries, she feels angry, she feels lonely, she feels guilty, she makes breakfast, she makes love, she makes do, she is strong, she is weak, she is brave, she is scared, she is … an unmarried woman.” See it!) Saturday Night Fever is, of course, about disco dancing. The two movies have about as much in common as Christine O’Donnell does with witches (Guys, she has nothing in common with witches!) What on Earth is this movie going to be like? Let’s see if we can’t read too much into this and figure it out!
“In the vein of An Unmarried Woman and Saturday Night Fever” could mean a number of different things. Maybe it’s a gritty, realist, seventies-era period film? Nope! The film is reportedly set in the present day. Maybe there will be dancing? Given Fletcher’s résumé, that seems likely; she got her start as a choreographer and oversaw the “Age of Aquarius” scene in The 40 Year Old Virgin before making her directorial debut with the great teen-dance flick Step Up. So we’re talking about a movie with a dancing divorcée. But will the dancing divorcée be, like Clayburgh’s and Travolta’s characters, occasionally serious and sad? Not very likely with Bullock and Anne “27 Dresses” Fletcher teaming up on a script co-written by the woman responsible for The Wedding Planner. But if there’s no sadness, why compare it to Saturday Night Fever, which had a number of genuinely dark moments (see, in particular, the scene on the Verrazano)? Why not just compare it to one of the other myriad, lighter dance movies out there, like Shall We Dance or Strictly Ballroom? You see where we’re going with this. We can think of only one reason: There must be disco. Either the Saturday Night Fever reference makes limited sense (which, obviously, is possible!), or Bullock will be playing a dancing divorcée who loves to do the hustle on light-up electric floors. White bodysuits really are due for a comeback anyway.