About The Two-Body Problem
I kept turning the pages, savoring the dialogue and the story and the sunny south of France. It’s something irresistible, as hot as it is smart, a trip to a place where art and math meet dreams and desire. Though comparing it to anything else seems almost ludicrous, consider My Dinner with Andre, but with sex, jokes, hot women, and math. Or Swingers with triple the IQ.
—Steven Strogatz: Professor of Applied Mathematics, Cornell University, author of The Calculus of Friendship, contributor to the Opinionator Blog
of The New York Times.
It’s fun to pick up a book so full of such simple and complex pleasures: beautiful, young, friendly women and sunny, sandy, French beach life; mathematics made easy with enjoyable elucidation, yet our Puritanical demons can happily exult in the final, agonizing pain of the just deserts served at the unsettling conclusion of this brilliant little masterpiece.
—Les Blank: Director, Burden of Dreams; Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe.
Original, probing, and funny, taking us through a symmetry of breasts, the sex of numbers 2 and 3, and a "splendid isolation of work" competing with love, marriage, and cell phones.
—Ella Thorp Ellis: Author, The Year of My Indian Prince.
The Two-Body Problem is a delicious mix of sensuality, farce and metaphysical mathematics. And yes, that's as rare as it sounds.
Humanizing math may be the job of teachers, but making it seductive
is the province of artists.
—Ira Hauptman: Professor, Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance, Queens College, and playwright Partition and Starry Messenger.
The Two-Body Problem is an adventurous movie romp set on the beaches of the South of France. Sexuality, the craft of Writing, and the mysteries of Mathematics – all strangely converge to make a smart and sexy movie, with unpredictable characters that you’ve never ever seen before in any film.
—Robert Zagone: Director, Read you Like a Book.
Very amusing. Comedy turns to tragedy when Art triumphs and Mathematics fails, but we can't always insist on a happy ending.
—Andrew M. Lewis: Chair, Department of Mathematics,
Virginia Commonwealth University.
In The Two-Body Problem Thomas Farber and Edward Frenkel have created a mesmerizing story about a writer and a mathematician as they examine their lives, their passionate dedication to their respective careers, and their equally passionate desire to find a woman (women?) who can fulfill that other non-professional need. This is certainly worth reading—and seeing!
—Barbara Oliver: Director/Actor, Founding Artistic Director,
Aurora Theatre Company.
The script of Farber and Frenkel is first of all a good story about beautiful young people on a beach. At the same time, it has an interesting and original subtext: Mathematicians often have a direct, almost physical experience of the beauty of deep mathematics. Alas, most people don’t have the preparation to share this, and many are put off math early in their lives. Since one of the young people on the beach is a mathematician able to talk in a charming way about math, the script is able to make a connection between physical and mathematical beauty that should help non-mathematicians understand, and perhaps even share some of the mathematician’s pleasure.
—David Eisenbud: Professor of Mathematics, University of California,
Berkeley; former President of the American Mathematical Society.
The Two-Body Problem is incredibly well written, engaging, and relatable—and the drama really kicks in in the third act, when a former girlfriend arrives on the warpath!This thoughtful exploration of the ups and downs of relationships between both lovers and friends is reminiscent of Sideways, but set against the beautiful backdrop of the beaches of Southern France.
—Jon Silk: Vice President of Production, Lin Pictures.
What really impresses me is how naturally the authors manage to integrate genuine mathematics with the development of the plot. Judging by the screenplay, the authors have set out to write a film of ideas, rather than a film of action. What makes the script so original is that the ideas are mathematical, and they are authentic ideas, beautifully and clearly presented. The contrast with the brief and superficial allusions to game theory in the film A Beautiful Mind, not to mention the endless cinematic references to the "butterfly effect", could not be more refreshing.
—Michael Harris: Professor of Mathematics, Université Paris Diderot.
The Two-Body Problem—playing against the stereotype of the cloistered,
awkward scientist--centers on a mathematician/playboy as comfortable
with a pick-up line as with the number line."
—Jordan Ellenberg: Professor of Mathematics, University of Wisconsin;
author, The Grasshopper King; columnist, Slate Magazine.
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