Is '40 Days of Dating' just a big-screen version of 'New Girl'?

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Image Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

When it was announced that the people behind viral website 40 Days of Dating — which featured his and hers daily blogs between two long-term friends as they tried dating each other for 40 days — had gotten a movie agent, the rollout seemed inevitable, and now it’s official: The story of Jessica Walsh and Tim Goodman will be a movie, written by Lorene Scafaria (Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist) and directed by The Vow‘s Michael Sucsy.

Ugh. I’ll be happy to be wrong, but right now, even reading that news seems exhausting — I just can’t imagine a not-insufferable two hours full of will-they-or-won’t-they between two twee adults caught up in the cuteness of their own story. Perhaps 15 years ago it would be intriguing, but the girl who just can’t help but fall in love and the guy with commitment issues are such well-worn tropes that I’m already checking my watch years before I get to the theater. And then I realized the real issue: I’m already watching this story unfold on a weekly basis, and it’s called New Girl.

Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson seem like no-brainer casting for the film version because they are already playing these characters in 30-minute increments. Deschanel’s  character is quirky, flighty, and looking for the real deal (no matter how much she might deny it); Johnson’s Nick is a commitment-phobe who gets in his own way with girls. Deschanel’s character is even named Jessica!

High points from the blog — like an ill-fated trip to Disney World, fights in cabs, and weird confusion about maybe-exes — are exactly the kind of hijinks-ready situations that Nick and Jess find themselves in on a weekly basis. If Tim and Jessica were at a dinner party and started playing True American, would anyone be surprised?

Perhaps this means Warner Bros. is smart and there’s an audience for the movie; people love wondering what the next step is for Nick and Jess, so why not Jessica and Tim? Spoiler alert: After their “experiment,” Jessica and Tim don’t wind up together (probably because Tim sounds like the absolute worst), so it’ll be interesting to see if this will be a rom-com of the future where the couple doesn’t, in fact, ride off into the sunset … or if, as I suspect, the story isn’t over yet. Happily ever after or not, the girl who is just bein’ quirky is quickly coming up on her expiration date. Will fans want to check out a big-screen version of this tale long after the small-screen version of the pairing comes tumbling down?

Are you a fan of 40 Days of Dating? Did it feel like New Girl: The Blog? Is this movie just 40 Days of Jessica waiting to happen?

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