Booklist’s lovely review of Lord Sebastian’s Secret compared it to You Can’t Take it With You. I had to look up the reference, and I discovered a 1938 Frank Capra film based on a play by Moss Hart and George S Kaufman. It won an Oscar for Best Picture. Wow, thanks, Booklist!
I can see some similarities between the stories. In the movie, Alice Sycamore (Jean Arthur) falls for banker's son Tony Kirby (James Stewart). But when she invites her high falootin’ prospective in-laws to dinner, they’re shocked by her odd family. Lionel Barrymore chews the scenery as grandpa. Spring Byington is an aspiring playwright, and Ann Miller plays hapless ballerina sister Essie. The heroine’s father Paul (Samuel S. Hinds) gets them all arrested because of his penchant for making unlicensed fireworks and disturbing the peace.
Lady Georgina, the heroine of Lord Sebastian’s Secret, has the same sort of problem. Her family is quirky – her father obsessed with the ancient Saxons and reincarnation, her mother a dedicated breeder of pugs, her sisters pushing the marriage hard so they can get away to London. Sebastian handles them all with ease, however. And nobody gets hauled off to the drunk tank and a night of recriminations in the book.
The comparison did make me wonder though. Who would I choose to play the characters in Lord Sebastian’s Secret, in that other realm of reality where it became a movie? That’ll most likely never happen, but even so, here’s my dream cast.
Lord Sebastian was easy; he reminds me of Chris Hemsworth in a number of ways. For Georgina, Lily James has the right combination of beauty and sweetness. I could totally see Imelda Staunton as Georgina’s mother; she’d handle the mob of pugs with aplomb. Hugh Bonneville would do well as Georgina’s father; he’s had plenty of experience playing an English peer, after all. For Georgina’s sisters, I decided on Elle Fanning for Emma and Morgan Lily for Hilda. Pretty and spirited. Finally, the Bollywood great Amitabh Bachchan would be ideal for Mr. Mitra, dignified and assured amid the mayhem.
Lord Sebastian’s Secret comes out January 3, not much longer now!
Barnes and Noble https://goo.gl/tbjADh