The Cat Person Movie Adaptation seems to have missed the point of the Viral Short Story. While the short story, written by Kristen Roupenian for The New Yorker in 2017, sparked conversations about gender, sex, and privilege in relationships, the early reviews and trailer for the film suggest that it may have sacrificed complexity for a more straightforward thriller narrative.
The New Yorker short story, which went viral in 2017, delved into themes of power dynamics, bad communication, and the fear of hurting men’s feelings. In 2021, it was revealed that the story drew inspiration from a woman’s real-life experiences, sparking ethical debates about whether the author should have disclosed this information to her readers. The movie adaptation, however, does not seem to explore these additional layers of the story.
The trailer shows Robert becoming increasingly threatening and Margot feeling the need to buy a weapon for self-defense. While the original story did not take this turn, the film’s tone shifts from ambiguity to a heavy emphasis on the threat of male violence. Several early reviews from the film’s premiere at Sundance describe it as powerful, but others find it disjointed and missing the point.
Set to release on October 6, and with a star-studded cast including Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman, the film’s treatment of the source material remains to be fully judged. However, the early signs suggest that Cat Person may be missing the point, with its focus on the threat of violence overshadowing the story’s exploration of miscommunication and power dynamics.
The story’s enduring cultural impact and ongoing discussions make it a significant touchpoint. As such, the film’s treatment of the story deserves to be closely scrutinized.
Check out the Cat Person movie trailer below:
Photo credit: Sundance Institute via YouTube.