Slowly but surely, Neil Strauss’ The Game has become a generation-defining book. A journalist who was utterly inept with women, Strauss chronicled his adventures in the community of pickup artists, men dedicated to perfecting the pursuit of the fairer sex. The book was such a mesmerizing bildungsroman that you have to believe at least some of it was invented: Strauss became a master seductionist, flirted with Britney Spears, became Courtney Love’s roommate, and bedded roughly half the women in Los Angeles. But five years after its publication, I don’t know any guy my age who hasn’t read it. (Coincidentally, I don’t know any woman my age who doesn’t utterly despise The Game.)
It’s no surprise that The Game has been bopping around Hollywood since it’s publication, but the potential film might be inching closer to actual production: The Wrap reports that Lionsgate has signed Ari Sandel to direct, while the script is currently being rewritten. Sandel directed the totally awesome Oscar-winning short West Bank Story (which you can view in its splendiferous entirety here.)
There’s no denying that the story has the potential to become a shallow sex farce. In fact, there are plenty of people who would argue that the story is already a shallow sex farce. The Game is, after all, the story of a bunch of dudes (many of them helpless dorks) who become ladies’ men using simple methods any old joe could figure out. The fact that they all adopt fake pickup artist names like “Style,” “Mystery,” and “Tyler Durden” gives the whole thing a faint whiff of superherodom. Hence the reason the book has become such a cult phenomenon: It’s a catchy “This Could Be You!” phenomenon.
But the book has its sober side: Strauss’ teacher, Mystery, suffers a complete nervous breakdown late in the book. (Mystery later hosted his own VH1 reality show, The Pick-Up Artist. Thanks, VH1.) More surreally, Strauss enters in an agreement with other pickup artists to live together in a Utopian pickup mansion called “Project Hollywood,” which descends into Lord of the Flies-style chaos.
What I’m trying to say is, there’s the possibility for some true insanity in this movie. PopWatchers, do you think that Sandel could be able to carve The Game into a real film? Do you have any friends who still try to impress girls with magic tricks? I do. A bouncer recently put him in a headlock. Unrelated.