Hollywood picks up 1970s pickup classic

LOS ANGELES - Hollywood has picked up "How to Pick Up Girls!" - the men's paperback self-help classic from the 1970s that went on to become a sacred text of the Internet-driven "seduction community."

In a statement Friday, Los Angeles sales and distribution house The Exchange said it has optioned Eric Weber's book with the goal of producing a feature film.

Weber, a writer and director who scripted a 1978 TV movie version of his bestseller, will develop the project as an executive producer. No director has yet been selected.

"The pill, the (Rolling) Stones - a lot was new in New York when I started interviewing women for 'How to Pick Up Girls!'" said Weber in the statement.

"Plenty has changed since then, but just as much has stayed remarkably the same. It's going to be a lot of fun showing that on screen."

Published in 1970 with more than three million copies in print, "How to Pick Up Girls!" promised shy and hapless men "the pick-up system no girl can resist" using such compelling opening lines as "Are you French?" and "Didn't I meet you in Istanbul?"

In recent years, it found a new audience among self-described "pickup artists," who swap advice on online forums known collectively as the "seduction community" and documented in the 2005 best-seller "The Game" by journalist Neil Strauss.

A concept trailer for "How to Pick Up Girls!" posted on Vimeo.com a year ago starred Weber explaining the ropes to his lovelorn twenty-something son, only to upstage him when a younger women enters the picture.

A one-time New York advertising copywriter, Weber once claimed the best pickup line of all was: "I'm writing a book on picking up and I'd like to ask you a few questions."