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David Sedaris' 'C.O.G.' trailer: From short story to big screen -- VIDEO

C.O.G., the first-ever movie adaptation from the brilliant essays of author David Sedaris, now has its first trailer.

Jonathan Groff (Glee) plays David, the character based on Sedaris, who decides to join the working class after graduating from Yale, moving to Oregon to work on an apple farm. Convinced he has life all figured out, he knows he will be a god among the small-town nobodies — but he is shocked to discover how backbreaking the work can be. What follows is a classic coming-of-age story, with a dash of Sedaris’ dry wit and refusal to be anything but exactly who he is.

Based on a short story found in Naked, the author’s anthology of autobiographical essays, the film also stars Troian Bellisario (Pretty Little Liars), Cory Stoll (House of Cards), and Casey Wilson (Happy Endings).

Sundance 2013: David Sedaris gives 'C.O.G' the thumbs up

In C.O.G., the first-ever movie adaptation of a David Sedaris story that premiered last night at the Sundance Film Festival, there’s a scene in which a proselytizing Christian named Jon (Denis O’Hare) counsels Samuel, his young fine-crafts protege (Jonathan Groff) — and non-believer — that only God can make him happy. “[Happiness] is not going to drop in your lap,” he says. “You have to ask for it.”

If Samuel’s only half-listening, it’s advice that 29-year-old writer/director Kyle Patrick Alvarez took to heart. He pursued Sedaris — delicately but aggressively — even showing up at one of Sedaris’s book readings in Irvine, Calif., to present the best-selling author and NPR humorist with a copy of his first movie, 2010’s Easier With Practice. The gamble paid off. “I liked Easier With Practice and then I just liked how enthusiastic he was,” said Sedaris, who chatted with reporters after seeing the movie for the first time. “There’s a way that people [in Hollywood] talk and you just get the idea that it’s just bullsh-t, and he didn’t sound like that. He seemed like the real thing to me; he seemed like an artist.”

In the movie, which is based on a story from Sedaris’s 1997 collection, NakedC.O.G. stands for Child of God — Groff’s conceited college student heads to Oregon to “get his hands dirty” on an apple farm and see how the other half lives. But his intellectual prowess quickly proves a liability and his real education to the ways of the world is alternately helped and hindered by the farm’s curmudgeonly owner (Dean Stockwell), a romantically interested co-worker (Midnight in Paris‘ Corey Stoll), and Jon, who builds clunky jade clocks shaped like the state of Oregon. READ FULL STORY

Sundance 2013: How 'C.O.G.'s young director finally convinced David Sedaris to go Hollywood -- EXCLUSIVE POSTER

Do you like apples? Do you like apples? Well, Kyle Patrick Alvarez convinced This American Life humorist David Sedaris to allow the 29-year-old filmmaker to adapt one of his essays. How you like them apples!

Hollywood had been knocking on Sedaris’s door for years, and he’d always turned suitors away. But Alvarez, whose promising first film, Easier with Practice, was based on a 2006 GQ article by another public-radio raconteur Davy Rothbart, took a more personal approach: he went to a Sedaris book signing. “I waited in line with everyone for him to sign my book after he read,” says Alvarez. “I tried not to be aggressive, but I gave him the a copy of my first film and said there were some things I’d like to talk to him about. I was incredibly anxious about it, but fortunately, he really liked the movie.”

They began exchanging emails, with Sedaris asking Alvarez why he specifically wanted “C.O.G.” — which stands for Child Of God — an essay from Naked, Sedaris’s best-selling 1997 collection. “It’s not like I went through every Sedaris story and tried to find the one to make into a movie,” says the 29-year-old, who also wrote the screenplay. “I liked this story. Had he not written it, and it was another writer, I would still have been incredibly interested and tried to make it into a film. There’s a coming-of-age aspect to it that I felt was really unique and particular.”

Apples, it must be said, do play a major role, as the exclusive Sundance poster reveals below. Glee‘s Jonathan Groff stars as an incredibly naive and condescending recent college grad who runs smack into the real world for the first time when he ventures West to work on an Oregon apple farm. “He starts out as this judgmental guy who thinks everyone’s going to be in awe of him, but then through the story learns how to appreciate people that he sees different than himself,” says Alvarez. “To me, the process of being humbled is very interesting.”

Click below for the exclusive C.O.G. poster and to learn about Alvarez’s greatest worry when the movie debuts next week. READ FULL STORY

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