— by RACHEL COYNE —
Nobody does overwrought Southern drama quite like Tennessee Williams. And despite the fact that the man has been dead for over 20 years, we’re about to get a brand-new work from him.
Williams’ screenplay for “The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond” was written shortly before his death in 1983 and somehow managed to disappear.
Some tenacious worker bee in Hollywood managed to uncover it and what producer would say “no” to creating a never-before-seen work by a beloved literary genius?
“The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond” stars a nearly unrecognizable Bryce Dallas Howard (she’s a brunette!) as a feisty Southern belle who cares little about social conventions (the best kind of Southern belle there is). Her wild ways and shunning of conformity have made her a bit of a pariah in her affluent social circle, so she hires a handsome-but-poor boy to act as her escort to various functions. And as if that wasn’t scandalous enough, she actually falls in love with him — and isn’t shy about voicing her jealousy when his interests start to turn elsewhere.
Then there are these diamond earrings that have been in her family for generations and are worth as small fortune. When her aunt reluctantly lets her wear them to a party, and one goes missing, you can imagine how easily and quickly the accusations start to fly.
Judging by the trailer alone, it seems pretty clear why “The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond” took so long to resurface; this obviously isn’t going to be a classic like “A Streetcar Named Desire” or “Cat On a Hot Tin Roof.” Some might even argue that it would have been wiser to leave it buried, rather than have it mar Williams’ name by being his last known work. But when you have the extensive repertoire of Tennessee Williams, tacking a mediocre melodrama at the end of it isn’t going to do anything to sully that name.
Also starring Chris Evans, Ellen Burstyn, Will Patton and Ann-Margret, “The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond” depends on the kindness of strangers on Dec. 30 (limited).
Follow Rachel Coyne on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TheOpinionatedB.