Vol. 1, Issue 27, November 18, 2003
The Joy of Liquid Shrimp!
The Voice Of Reason

Hallmark Considers Movie Based on Greeting Card Character

Hallmark is seriously mulling a movie based on its popular "Maxine" character, the curmudgeonly grandmother who stars in the "Shoebox" division of the greeting card giant.

"We're thinking that Hollywood's scripting ability has advanced to the point where it is now possible to make a ninety-minute movie out of a fifteen-word greeting card," said anonymous tipster Gerald Barber, senior vice president at the firm. "The latest Dr. Seuss adaptation has really convinced us this is feasible."

The imminent release of the Mike Myers film "The Cat In The Hat" marks the first time a full-length feature film has been adapted from a book with only 220 different words. After this milestone, creating a movie based on a Maxine greeting card no longer seems as far-fetched as it once did.

"We explored this idea about ten years ago," Barber said on condition of anonymity. "But at the time, it was felt that scriptwriters would need at least four or five greeting cards' worth of text as a starting point."

Maxine, who is drawn by artist John Wagner, has appeared in thousands of different greeting cards and associated merchandise. Her "grandma with an attitude" persona has enticed millions of misguided middle-aged people to purchase gifts bearing such catchphrases as "Older, wiser, and just generally more annoying" and "I've still got it, but nobody wants to see it" for their senior citizen parents. Although there is no evidence that the elderly actually like the gifts, their children are firmly convinced that they do, and give Hallmark millions in sales receipts every year.

"What is brilliant about this idea is that the tie-in marketing merchandise is already on the shelves," said L.A. Times media critic Tom Keratin. "Most gimmick movies, including the 'Cat in the Hat,' have to spend money up front on tie-ins, even for popular books which already have a few toys on the market. Hallmark won't have to do a thing."

There is no word yet on who would be playing the irascible central character, nor what the plot would be about. However, Hallmark has already received 3,000 inquiries from actresses over forty.

"For God's sake, a part!" said Sissy Spacek, racing out the door to deliver her resumé to the greeting card company.

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