DreamWorks Options an Eighth Grader’s Diary as We Ponder Our Inferiority


Middle school was a rough time for us all, but besides getting bangs or taking a restorative trip to Claires every once in awhile, it’s doubtful that many of us took any large measures to make our lives better. Enter the patron saint of eighth grade girls, Maya Van Wagenen, who had the unusual idea to take a 1950s advice book and apply the tips to her own situation.

By following such tidbits from Betty Cornell’s Glamour Guide for Teens, like wearing pearls and white gloves, considering a girdle might be a good option on bloaty days and always being open and kind (and keeping a diary about the endeavor, smart girl), Van Wagenen was able to break out of her shell and become popular. The diary is to become a book called Popular: One Geek’s Quest for the Impossible. And at the tender age of 15, Van Wagenen’s book and the 50s guide are both being optioned by DreamWorks to become a film.

Per Deadline, The script will be penned by Sex and the City and The Carrie Diaries showrunner Amy B. Harris, which will add a generous dose of modernity to the 50s rules set forth by Betty Cornell. Already, can’t you see those white gloves paired with crop tops? Though the guide Van Wagenen used was outdated, it clearly worked in her favor; the lessons about treating people kindly and examining social cliques allowed her to rise to the top without tearing people down.

Maybe this is a Mean Girls minus the Plastics? But with a girdle.  All I know is that when I was in eighth grade, the popular girls all wore matching Abercrombie cardigans and plaid skirts and ate Pick Up Sticks chinese for lunch every day in the quad. So fetch.

In childhood, Samantha had a Mary Katherine Gallagher-esque flair for the dramatic, as well as the same penchant for Lifetime original movies. And while she can still quote the entire monologue from A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story, her tastes in film have luckily changed. During an interview, director Tommy Wiseau once called her a “good reporter, but not that intimidating if we’re being honest.” She once lived in Chinatown and told her neighbor Jake to “forget it” so many times that he threatened to stop talking to her.

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