I’ve always liked the concept of Mike Binder more than I’ve liked the person of Mike Binder (The Upside of Anger, The Mind of a Married Man, Reign Over Me). The guy’s been an almost self-contained industry of writing, directing, acting in, and making his own films for over a decade now (And anybody who directs Blankman and manages to prosper in their career afterwards should really be given some sort of props). There are few writers or directors these days who so consistently tap into middle age anxiety and fear as Binder, and he makes fairly old-fashioned character pieces that are increasingly uncommon these days. It’s just a shame that very little of his output for movies or TV is actually any good.
Still, I’ve always been curious as to see more of what the guy can do when taken away from his Gosh-being-a-financially-well-to-do-married-guy-in-New-York-is-so-frickin’-hard comfort zone. Binder’s taken another step toward that area as he’s just signed on to write the feature film adaptation of the novel The Friday Night Knitting Club, which Julia Roberts attached herself to as a producer and lead actress last November. The book (and film) will tell the story of a single mom (Roberts) who runs a knitting store where regulars gather weekly to talk shop. Once a life-altering event occurs, however, they realized the bonds they’ve formed and slowly, but surely, strains of an original James Blunt ditty written specifically for the soundtrack pop up in the background. No, really, that happens in the book. I swear.
There’s no director attached, so Binder may jump into that slot too, eventually.