Sedaris Goes To Sundance

The highly acclaimed humorist is a reluctant movie subject—until the Oregon-filmed 'C.O.G.'

By John Chandler January 23, 2013

Jonathan Groff stars as Samuel, the David Sedaris character who finds himself working in the apple industry in Oregon.

Last fall, various local news agencies reported on a film crew shooting at orchards in and around Forest Grove, Hood River and Sauvie Island, as part of a cinematic adaptation of a David Sedaris short story. The movie, titled C.O.G. and based on an essay from Naked about Sedaris's time spent picking apples in Oregon, premiered this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival, and has earned a fair amount of buzz, mostly thanks to the enthusiastic green light of Sedaris, who has heretofore refused to let Hollywood have a go at his literary back catalogue in order to protect his family. Apparently fortune favors the bold, because young writer-director Kyle Patrick Alvarez pursued Sedaris until finally convincing the writer with his lone film, Easier With Practice, an adaptation of a story by Sedaris's fellow This American Life contributor Davy Rothbart.

But how's the movie? Mixed, it would seem:

Screen Daily: "A compassionate light drama about the uneven path we all must take on the road to self-discovery, C.O.G. offers one lovely, heartfelt scene after another."

The Hollywood Reporter: "Alvarez’s script never develops teeth or a discernible point of view. It just continues sputtering along on low fuel."

The Wrap: "Fans of the uniquely dry and wry wit of David Sedaris’ writing and spoken-word recordings will be thrilled to know that C.O.G., the first screen adaptation of his work, gets his voice just right."

Considering Sedaris's lofty popularity level around these parts, C.O.G. will undoubtedly get a screening somewhere in Portland soon, and we'll be able to make up our own minds.

For more on Portland arts and culture, sign up for our weekly On The Town newsletter, subscribe to our RSS feed, and follow us on Twitter @PoMoArt. Visit our Arts & Entertainment Calendar for our editors’ event picks.


Filed under
Show Comments