When you base a movie on true events, you make an implicit agreement to the audience. Sure, you can embellish things here and there to make it more cinematic. Fine, you can blend some characters together and compress time to streamline the narrative. But in every story there is a key element that begs to remain untouched; a precious, unalterable detail that deserves to be preserved; a single, foundational element that made the tale worthy of adaptation to begin with.
And in the new Natalie Portman movie Lucy in the Sky—which is based on the story of an astronaut named Lisa Nowak who drove nearly 1,000 miles to allegedly kidnap and murder a fellow astronaut's lover—there are endless juicy tidbits that almost beg for the big screen treatment. An astronaut love triangle! A frantic road trip! An alleged murder plot!
But there is only one piece of the true story that matters: The diapers.
Because here's the thing: Nowak reportedly wore adult diapers during her journey in order to cut down on rest stops. She was later dubbed, rather blandly, the "Diaper Astronaut." Not the "Road Trip Astronaut" or the "Love Triangle Astronaut" or "That Astronaut Who Knows a Lot About Science but Apparently Knows Little About the Ways of Love."
Deep down, all we cared about were the diapers. But Lucy in the Sky has none.
Throughout the entire film, Natalie Portman has no Huggies. She never dons a Depends. The film's director, Noah Hawley, told the Los Angeles Times in an interview this week that the "detail just didn't fit into the story," but he is making a fundamental error in his logic, here. Hawley may be one of the best people working in TV right now, between Legion, Fargo, and that upcoming Cat's Cradle adaptation, if it ever actually happens, but come on, man. The diapers weren't a part of the story. They were the story. The diapers were the nucleus around which the entire thing revolved.
Change whatever else you like, man. Turn Lisa's name to Lucy so you can shoehorn it into a really dumb title. Let Natalie Portman talk in a very phony accent the entire time. Cast Jon Hamm as the object of her affection, which is obviously a lie since literally no human mortal actually looks like Jon Hamm besides Jon Hamm. But at least give us the diapers. The people need Natalie Portman driving very far while wearing diapers. We need it. We demand it.
Lucy in the Sky hits theaters on October 4. But, like, who cares? What's even the point?