Just a few ideas. (Nathaniel Grann for The Washington Post)
Just a few ideas. (Nathaniel Grann for The Washington Post)

This is exciting! “Lean In” the movie!

Nell Scovell of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” fame (who helped with the book in the first place) is penning the script. It will, according to Deadline, be “not a biography of [Sheryl] Sandberg; rather, Scovell will hatch a narrative film from the themes contained within the book. Sandberg will donate her proceeds from the project to her foundation.”

Exciting! I am picturing basically the exact opposite of Steve Harvey’s “Think Like A Man” (which, full disclosure, I loved).

Here are a few suggestions, depending on genre.

ACTION:

EXT. MASSIVE CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS – DAY

Savvy team of YOUNG FEMALE PROFESSIONALS, in sensible low heels, led by HARDENED PROFESSIONAL VETERAN and DEADPAN TECH LADY, approach the building and enter the lobby.

INT. MASSIVE CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS – CONTINUOUS

The team stare up, cock their weapons.

CLOSE-UP OF: CEILING

It is made of glass.

HARDENED PRO

You ready to smash this ceiling, ladies?

DEADPAN TECH LADY

I think it’s time to kick some GLASS.

Murmurs of agreement.

They begin firing at the ceiling. Mayhem. Shards of glass are falling everywhere. Executives on the upper floors are running around and panicking, dropping their CIGARS and OLD BOYS CLUB MEMBERSHIP CARDS.

One DEVIOUS MALE EXECUTIVE is standing on the edge of the hole in the ceiling, looking down. HARDENED PRO climbs up the wall to reach him.

HARDENED PRO

You said I’d never make it, Geoffrey. You said I couldn’t have it all.

DEVIOUS EXEC

No, I can explain! I never meant to call you a ‘pom-pom girl’ — Sheila, you don’t have to do this–

HARDENED PRO

I think it’s time for you to LEAN IN…

She pushes him over. He plummets down through the HOLE IN THE GLASS CEILING.

HARDENED PRO

…[MOTHER-VERBER]

FEMALE PROFESSIONALS walk away from the building as it explodes.

ROM-COM

EXT. BOOKSTORE – DAY

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL WOMAN bumps into a YOUNG PROFESSIONAL MAN. They both drop all the books they are carrying.

YOUNG MAN picks up a copy of LEAN IN at the same time as YOUNG WOMAN does.

YOUNG MAN & YOUNG WOMAN, simultaneously

Is this yours?

They share a moment.

MONTAGE OF THEM RUNNING ALONG A BEACH, SHOULDERING RESPONSIBILITIES, BUYING A DOG, LISTENING TO MUSIC, VOTING, BEING RAINED ON, BALANCING WORK AND LIFE.

EXT. BOOKSTORE – NIGHT

Rain pours. Sexy movie rain. Everyone is soaked. They look good, but nothing they are wearing is excessively transparent, because that would be disrespectful.

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL WOMAN

(sobbing)

I thought I was leaning in, but what I was really doing was leaning out! Leaning nowhere! Leaning away from everything that mattered … everyone I loved.

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL MAN

Don’t leave before you leave.

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL WOMAN

I don’t want to leave at all. I want to make my partner … a real partner.

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL MAN

Then let’s start talking about it.

They lean in FOR A KISS as the screen fades to black.

WES ANDERSON

EXT. SOMEONE’S METICULOUSLY RENDERED CHILDHOOD – DAY

A ukelele cover of “London Calling” plays, for some reason.

For some reason, everyone is wearing girl scout uniforms, including PRECOCIOUS YOUNG SHERYL, who is playing under a ladder and throwing a tea party for her dolls.

PRECOCIOUS YOUNG SHERYL

Did you know that’s not a ladder? Well, it’s not a ladder. It’s a jungle gym.

DOLL says nothing.

PRECOCIOUS YOUNG SHERYL

(plunking DOLL down at the tea party table)

Remember, you have to sit at the table!

Never mind.

SUPERHERO MOVIE

EXT. LABORATORY – 20 YEARS AGO – DAY

LADY SCIENTIST sits next to RUBE GOLDBERG DEVICE FOR ROCKING A CHILD TO SLEEP. Her baby, PHOEBE HENDERSON, smiles in her sleep rocked by the machine.

Suddenly, a BIG RED LIGHT starts flashing.

LADY SCIENTIST

Oh no! Phoebe!

She tries to save the baby and get out of the lab. But it’s too late. Before she can reach the child, she is ENGULFED in SOMETHING GREEN THAT TAKES LOTS OF CGI and DISAPPEARS.

The whole lab fills with an eerie, green light.

Baby Phoebe sleeps peacefully.

INT. PHOEBE’S HIGH SCHOOL – PRESENT DAY

Phoebe is a smart, well-adjusted teen. She is taking neat notes in a science book with her left hand while writing her name as MRS. PHOEBE HENDERSON-DAVIES  in cursive with hearts on it with her right hand. NICK DAVIES, a TOTAL HOTTIE, smiles shyly at her.

Her FEMALE BEST FRIEND BUT LATER NEMESIS looks on, enviously.

BEST FRIEND

I wish I could do what you do.

PHOEBE

Do what?

BEST FRIEND

You know. I don’t know how you balance things.  Schoolwork, life. You seem to … have it all. 

PHOEBE

I wouldn’t say that.

NEMESIS
I’m really glad we are such good friends. Like Tina says, there’s a special place in hell for you!

PHOEBE

(giggling)

And you!

CUT TO:

EXT. HIGH BRIDGE – NIGHT

Phoebe is on the edge of a bridge, grasping NICK DAVIES in one hand and a book labeled FASCINATING NEW SCIENCE INSIGHTS in the other. They are both hanging, about to plummet off the edge, and it is all she can do to hang on to them. Her BEST FRIEND (NOW NEMESIS) stands above her menacingly, holding a cat under her arm.

NEMESIS

Drop one!

PHOEBE

No!

NEMESIS

Drop one or I’ll shoot!

Phoebe lets the SCIENCE INSIGHTS fall. Her NEMESIS laughs a sinister laugh. She shoots. NICK plummets into the dark water.

NEMESIS

Balance THAT!

PHOEBE
No!!!!

EXT. DARK SHACK ON A CLIFF  - NIGHT

Phoebe climbs up the cliff, panting, exhausted. OLD WOMAN emerges from shack.

PHOEBE
(faintly)

Are you my mentor?

OLD WOMAN looks approvingly at PHOEBE.

OLD WOMAN

What you need is training.

TRAINING MONTAGE as PHOEBE learns techniques for success and hones her work-life balancing skills. At some point in this montage she literally juggles a baby. The baby falls. The old woman catches it and shakes her head.

OLD WOMAN

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

PHOEBE

I don’t … I don’t know.

OLD WOMAN sighs. Then she lifts an X-WING out of a nearby swamp. And keeps lifting! Attached to the X-WING is a BOOK DEAL! and attached to the BOOK DEAL! is a GIANT HOUSE and TWO WELL-ADJUSTED KIDS!

PHOEBE
I don’t — I don’t believe it!

OLD WOMAN

(nodding)

I just succeeded. Did you like it? Was my success LIKABLE for you?

PHOEBE
Yes!

OLD WOMAN
Then we’re halfway there! But remember … lean in. 

PHOEBE

(nodding)

Lean … in?

OLD WOMAN

Lean in.

EXT. SHACK OF OLD WOMAN – DAY

NEMESIS, now clad entirely in cats, stabs OLD WOMAN through the heart.

PHOEBE

No!!! There is a special place in hell for you, Nemesis!

NEMESIS

You too!

PHOEBE
Why are you covered in cats?

NEMESIS

Because I don’t have a personal life! I just have a professional life! So, like, I have a lot of cats? I guess? It’s a trope, okay?

They duel. Somehow they wind up demolishing an entire city, because that’s what we do to raise the stakes of superhero movies nowadays even though we never cared about any of the people in the city and the loss of life is off-putting.

They wind up back on THE BRIDGE. Phoebe has been juggling a toddler this entire time.

She loses her balance, tossing the child too high. Her Nemesis laughs and catches it.

NEMESIS

Not so work-life balanced after all, are you?

PHOEBE
Don’t you see, it’s not like that! I never said I could have it all! I was frank about it!

NEMESIS

(stunned)

What?

PHOEBE
You never listened! (pause) Nemesis, you forgot something?

NEMESIS

Nothing! I forgot nothing!

PHOEBE

You forgot to LEAN IN!

She pushes Nemesis off the bridge, grabbing the baby.

EXCITED TOWNSFOLK

I’ve never seen a woman balance a career and a family like that! She really has it all!

PHOEBE
Please stop saying that.

Go nuts with it, is I think what I’m saying! I can’t wait!

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.