Having scraped the bottom of every available barrel (often multiple times) from the fiction, historical and biographical sections of their local libraries, Hollywood scriptwriters are now turning to more unusual areas to source their material.
The calendar has already proved a popular choice, with the team behind last year's rom-com Valentine's Day set to wheel out not only a sequel, but another 24-hours-to-get-a-kiss slushfest with the forthcoming New Year's Eve. Depending on its success, we could soon see annual releases of films with titles such as Mother's Day and September 25th.
Now we are seeing moves into the reference book category. Last week it was announced that the pregnancy guide What to Expect When You're Expecting is to be given a strange silver-screen overhaul, with Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz and Brooklyn Decker linked to the project. According to reports, Kendrik's character will "reunite with an attractive old flame after a turf war between their respective food trucks, and they embark on a funny, poignant journey together".
Not entirely blown away by this storyline (particularly the "turf war with food trucks" element), we thought we'd help out Tinseltown's weary writers with a few ideas of our own.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
A cross between Reservoir Dogs and Snow White, this action adventure sees seven dwarfs - each possessing a skill from Stephen R Covey's successful self-help manual - attempt an audacious bank heist for a mysterious criminal mastermind known only as "Sleeping Princess". But trouble strikes when they discover that their individual talents aren't enough on their own to complete the robbery. Will Mr Proactive's excessive assertiveness blow their cover? Will Mr Think Win-Win blindly overlook any potential dangers? Or will the team realise that only when they combine their expertise can they overcome the odds?
Delia's How To Cook
When the chauvinistic mechanic Micky O'Hanrahan first meets the restaurant critic Delia Goodyear, he knows it's love at first sight. However, due to an implausible mix-up, Delia only feels the same because she has mistaken him with a renowned Michelin-starred chef. Wanting to keep the ruse going to maintain her affections, Micky must ditch the spanner for the spatula and quickly learn his way around the kitchen. Barely able to boil an egg, he has to start with the complete basics before eventually going on to compete in the World Cooking Championships in order to win her heart.
In a dystopian, post-apocalyptic future, the human race has been enslaved by a technologically advanced alien army and forced to become mute, with use of both the spoken and written word punishable by grisly death (probably with lasers). Led by the dark, brooding and leather jacket-wearing Lex, a gang of slaves breaks free. Realising that only through language can they reunite the masses to defeat their oppressors, they head off in search of mankind's only hope, the last remaining Oxford English Dictionary. Possible sequel: The Encyclopaedia.
Dating for Dummies
Based on the highly successful series of instructional and reference books (even down to the shocking yellow colour and use of cheap fonts on the film poster), this eye-wateringly predictable rom-com sees either Jennifer Aniston or Jennifer Lopez or Jennifer Love Hewitt, or whoever, play the owner of a dating agency who has helped countless couples find love without ever meeting the right person... blah blah blah, she ends up with Gerard Butler.
The Wealth of Nations
Adam Smith's opus magnum is magically transformed from drab economic text to international espionage thriller. When the fictitious Eastern European country of Vladopolistan starts making its productive labour more productive overnight, the CIA agent Logan Steele smells a rat. Going against the wishes of his corrupt boss, Steele must disable the illegal production of goods and services and reveal the mysterious superpower behind the "Invisible Hand" before it's too late.