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‘Labor Day’ a Labor of Love for Joyce Maynard


While she’s out making the rounds promoting the Jan. 31 release of “Labor Day,” author Joyce Maynard no longer sits through the film in its entirety.

“I probably wouldn’t be here if I didn’t love the film,” Maynard said of the film, which stars Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. “But I’ve seen it three times so far … so now I just come in at the end.”

She does that, she said, so she can see the reactions of those in the theater and compare it to her own experience of seeing the characters from her book come to life.

“The first time [I saw the film] I cried for two reasons,” she said. “First, because my book was understood so well and lovingly and true to what I envisioned. And second, because of the quality of the film.

Maynard – like most authors – doesn’t have an “official” say in how her original material is adapted for the big screen. But, she said, over the past couple of years screenwriter Jason Reitman – who also directed the film – showed her drafts of his script in order to get some input from her and to bounce ideas off of her.

She says she’s equally appreciative of the things he decided to keep from the book as she is of the things he added on his own.

“I respect that Jason has taken chances,” Maynard said. “I would love to work with him again.”

“[The film] is very true to the book, but it’s a different medium.”

One major difference between the book and the screenplay is the amount of time each took to complete.

Reitman began working on the screenplay in 2009, but due to scheduling conflicts, it didn’t go into production until June 2012. This gave him time to write and rewrite sections of the script over the course of several years.

When Maynard sat down and started writing the book it went much, much faster.

“It just happened that this story flew onto the page,” she said, noting that it’s the fastest she’s ever written a novel. “The main reason for that is I wanted to see how it would end.”

“Labor Day” opens everywhere Friday, Jan. 31.

© 2020 by Man Versus Movie

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