We were already pretty wary about Tina Fey's new film, Taliban Shuffle , which has her starring and producing a movie based on wartime correspondent Kim Baker's novel of the same name. And this latest news doesn't exactly improve things: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa have signed on to direct.
Not that these two are untalented, but most of their experience comes from more light-hearted fare. Their most famous directorial vehicle was Crazy Stupid Love, a movie remembered mostly for a shirtless Ryan Gosling (swoon). Even their most controversial film, I Love You Phillip Morris, was a bit of a traditional romantic comedy — sure, it's a love story between two male prison inmates, but it ends on a happy note.
In contrast, Taliban Shuffle is more of a black comedy. There's no love story, and if you've been keeping up with the news lately, you know that there's no happy resolution for everyone. It's a wry comic tale of a journalist's culture shock, but it's not exactly Bridget Jones Goes to Kabul.
Still, there's a chance the movie could go pretty well. Ficarra and Requa are certainly talented directors, and I Love You Phillip Morris showed that they can handle darker subjects.
But trying to put a bright face on war is a lot different than trying to make a criminal con artist your protagonist. For Taliban Shuffle, the mood will inevitably be a lot different than their usual rom com projects. In fact, there are some things from their movies that should be outright avoided: no shirtless dudes, no makeover scenes, no happy endings.
Essentially, there's a lot of mistakes to be made in this movie. Hiring Ficarra and Requa on as directors isn't in and of itself a bad decision, but it's yet another red flag for this movie. Putting a rosy rom com sheen on a black comedy about Afghanistan and Pakistan isn't exactly the best idea for this movie (not that they plan on doing that, but still).
There's a lot of talented and smart people working on this movie, so let's just hope they keep from being just Crazy Stupid.