If you compare her novel, To Die For , based on the real-life case of the young wife who persuaded her 15-year-old lover and his friends to kill her husband, to the far superior movie starring Nicole Kidman and Joaquin Phoenix, one key difference is that the film has some perspective on its chocolate spider of an anti-heroine (a sizzling portrayal by Nicole Kidman), while Maynard seems to think that it sure would be nice to be so loved that you could talk someone into killing for you. And that brings us to this story, in which Adele (a game but pasty-looking Kate Winslet), a depressed and fragile single mother, is unreservedly loved not just by her 13-year-old son Henry (Gattlin Griffith)and by Frank (Josh Brolin), the escaped prisoner who takes her hostage (but in the most gentlemanly way possible, performing all kinds of handyman chores, teaching her son manly throwing skills, and making the aforesaid pie). Even (spoiler alert) the ex-husband (Clark Gregg) has to chime in as well with the ultimate fantasy of the wife left for the babysitter a confession that the ex-wife was just too beautiful and deep and all-around fine for him to handle. The narrator is the now-adult son (Tobey Maguire), looking nostalgically back on end of the summer of 1987, when his efforts to cheer up his mother included a Husband for a Day coupon book. Maynard has said this was inspired by a gift from her own son, and conveys no understanding that this might be evidence that she should be more careful about boundary issues or that it is parents who should care for children, not the other way around.
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