With He’s Just Not That Into You and now Think Like a Man, the film industry has seen that it can make money from mining the nonfiction section of the New York Times best-seller list to fuel the romantic-comedy genre. Imaginary rough-but-sensitive Irish men, you are no longer needed! This week brings the opening of What to Expect When You’re Expecting, a book spawned from the terror that author Heidi Murkoff and her husband felt about parenthood, which basically details every awful thing that can happen during a pregnancy. The big-screen adaptation is an overstuffed rom-com about five interconnected couples getting ready to have their first babies. (It also apparently features Chris Rock’s PG-13 version of #realtalk.) Though the reviews haven’t been good, What to Expect is the summer’s first overt nod to female moviegoers, and the source material is basically a starter’s guide for a large section of this country’s parents, so it’s likely it will perform well enough.
With that precedent set, here are four more nonfiction life manuals, some more expected than others, that seem ripe for rom-comicizing, plus a head start for Hollywood in imagining how it could be done.