Lenny Abrahamson Returns To The World of Sally Rooney Novels With The TV Adaptation Of ‘Conversation With Friends’
“I think we stood out for being a bit quieter.”
After the success of “Normal People,” director Lenny Abrahamson has returned with another television adaptation of a Sally Rooney novel - this time, her 2017 debut novel. Known as the “Salinger for the Snapchat generation,” Rooney’s novels have nestled their way into our souls with their internalized characters who toil with each other’s emotions as much as the audience’s.
Streaming on Hulu, “Conversations with Friends” explores a complicated web of relations between four Dublin residents. Its action begins when Frances (Alison Oliver), a 21-year old student at Trinity College, and her best friend and ex-girlfriend Bobbi (Sasha Lane) befriend Melissa (Jemima Kirke), a writer in her 30s. Melissa introduces the pair to her husband Nick (Joe Alwyn), a moderately famous actor.
The two students enter the couple’s world of fancy dinners, holiday homes and book launch parties. Frances begins a fraught and heady affair with Nick. Bobbi develops a romantic interest in Melissa. All the while, an air of intensity and irresolution hangs over Frances and Bobbi’s relationship. Despite breaking up some years before the events of the show they remain close and painfully sensitive around one another.
The show is a meditation on interdependence that shows that “relationships don’t exist in a vacuum,” said Meadhbh McHugh, an Irish playwright who adapted five episodes. So delicate are the relations between the four characters that shifts in one relationship always affects the others.
“It’s messy and entangled, and that can be painful for those involved, but it captures something real about any relationship.”
You can stream “Conversation with Friends” now on Hulu, and you can read more about the show in this NYT article, Deadline article, and Abrahamson’s interview with IndieWire. You can also check out Abrahamson's full reel here.