Haythe, Justin 1973-
HAYTHE, Justin 1973-
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Grove/Atlantic, Inc., 841 Broadway, New York, NY 10003.
The Honeymoon (novel), Atlantic Monthly Press (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Pieter Jan Brugge) The Clearing (screenplay), Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2004.
Also author of short stories.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
A screenplay for the remake of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
Justin Haythe's debut novel, The Honeymoon, is the bizarre story of a mother-son relationship. Set in the year 1972, the story concerns Maureen Garraty, who leaves her very wealthy husband after two years of marriage because she finds him boring. She travels with her teenaged son, Gordon, to London where, although unqualified, she treks across Europe while writing an art guide. Gordon, nineteen years old, has little education, but his experience taking photographs for his mother provides him with enough skill to land a job. Gordon falls in love with Annie, an older and sexually experienced woman who works in a deli. They marry quickly but delay their honeymoon for a year so that Maureen and her friend, Gerhardt, can join them in Venice. When the wedding takes place, and Gordon learns that his mother and Gerhardt are also planning marriage, his jealousy becomes apparent. When Maureen, who has not accepted her son's marriage, viciously attacks new daughter-in-law Annie, Gordon does nothing to stop her. Writing in Booklist, critic GraceAnne A. DeCandido said that Haythe's writing "is shapely and crafted; the characters glow, except for Gordon, which may be the point." A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that "fans of Patricia Highsmith will enjoy this noirish novel, with its European setting and cast of morally ambiguous characters."
Haythe has also collaborated with director Pieter Jan Brugge in writing the screenplay for the film The Clearing, which stars Robert Redford, Helen Mirren, and Willem Defoe, and which was inspired by a hostage-for-ransom situation that was in the headlines in Brugge's native Netherlands for more than two hundred days. The film is set in Pittsburg, where millionaire Wayne Hayes (Redford) is the missing husband and Arnold Mack (Defoe) the kidnapper who lives at the other end of the economic spectrum. Arnold is seeking revenge against Wayne because Wayne's successful car rental company was the reason Arnold lost his job. A subplot involves Wayne's wife, Eileen (Mirren), who suspects that Wayne may have gone off with Louise Miller (Wendy Crewson), the woman he has been seeing. FBI agent Fuller (Matt Craven) investigates and discovers that Wayne continued the relationship long after Eileen thought it had ended. The two woman eventually meet as they try to determine Wayne's whereabouts. Mark Halverson reviewed The Clearing for CelebrityWonder.com, calling it "a gorgeously photographed postcard of the American dream, inscribed on the flip side with the price it exacts from us all—winners, losers, and even those of us somewhere in between."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2004, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of The Honeymoon, p. 950.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2003, review of The Honeymoon, p. 1415.
Library Journal, January, 2004, David A. Berona, review of The Honeymoon, p. 156.
Publishers Weekly, March 8, 2004, review of The Honeymoon, p. 48.
Washington Post Book World, April 13, 2004, Chris Lehmann, review of The Honeymoon, p. C4.