Hypothetical Plot Summaries for the ‘Lean In’ Movie


Your ladies’ book club can start planning its next group outing: Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg’s guide to climbing the corporate ladder in the name of feminism, is becoming a movie. In case your reaction, like ours, was, “How in God’s name do you make a fictionalized version of a collection of motivational platitudes?,” we’ve compiled five entirely speculative answers. See you at the 2015 Oscars, Sheryl!

1. A thinly veiled version of Lena Dunham fends off accusations of nepotism and deals with sexist network executives as she becomes a showrunner at age 25. To avoid comparisons to Girls, the fictional series is set in the Mission District, and all four protagonists work at startups.

2. A straightforward Hillary Clinton biopic, but with phrases like “Don’t leave before you leave!” and “Speak your truth!” sprinkled into the dialogue.

3. Rooney Mara’s character from The Social Network goes on to create her own wildly successful app, which funds microloans for women-owned businesses in sub-Saharan Africa through a Candy Crush-esque game (it’s never explained how). The entire second half of the movie is a victory lap through Africa; Mara holds many, many small children, and is very, very morally superior to Mark Zuckerberg.

4. A high-school student from an affluent suburb is inspired by Lean In to run for student council. Defeated by a gendered smear campaign, she starts her own ruthlessly Machiavellian political consulting firm and single-handedly gets the first female president elected. Said female president has no discernible political opinions.

5. A Park Slope mom attempts to reenter the workforce after taking time off to raise her kids. She succeeds in landing a coveted partnership at her old law firm, starts up an affair with a much younger paralegal, and figures out how to be a better mom to her kids, partially by putting the whole family on a gluten-free diet. It is called, obviously, Having It All.