The thought occurred to me this afternoon, as My Lovely Wife and I were digging in to the Blu-ray set of the first season of "Mad Men." And digging it we were, and My Lovely Wife noted, "It's interesting just how much this show has already seeped its way into the culture. That new dress I bought to go to [Event X] is very much in the style of what a lot of the female characters are wearing here—its neckline, the cumerbund effect at the waist..."
Right. Absolutely. And Revolutionary Road, the Sam Mendes-directed film opening this winter, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio...is a 50s-set story about a disaffected couple...living in a conformist Connecticut suburb...and the husband's a self-loathing low-level ad man...the wife's an unfulfilled mom growing in neuroses...and so on.
It won't even matter whether Mendes can nail the precise note of despair that Richard Yates so terrifyingly rings throughout the massively great novel on which the film is based. Hell, 90 percent of the people who see Road won't even be aware of the novel's existence. Hell, 90 percent of the people who see it will well believe that the film is derivative of..."Mad Men." But see it, and talk about it, the "Mad Men" contingent will.
And that's why the film will be a hit. Let's check back in a couple months and see how right I was.