It Had To Be Us, a romantic memoir by Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence, has been adapted for the screen in a short film titled CAKE: A Love Story. A private screening for cast and crew was held on May 21 at the Metropolitan Room in New York City. Filmmaker Misha Zubarev hosted the event. Zubarev wrote, produced and directed the film with V. Ulea as co-writer and co-director, and Vad Chariton composed the musical score based on Zubarev’s original song “Remember the Day”. This Ariella Media production is currently being submitted to national and international film festivals.
The story deals with the reconciliation of two people who were divorced and estranged from each other for almost twenty years. Although the film deviates from the book, it pays tribute to the spirit of the original source. Richard Vernon and Debra Lord Cooke portray Harry and Elizabeth, who were married for twenty-four years before their divorce. Nancy Lombardo and George Bettinger play Elizabeth’s friends.
Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence (not their real names) live in the same Colorado town where they were born in the early 1930s. They raised a son and a daughter there and have seven grandchildren and one great granddaughter. A former educator, Elizabeth now reviews films for various publications as well as for an online website. Harry, once a hardworking engineer, has managed to play golf almost every day since retirement (even achieving a hole-in-one on a very special day). In addition to a passion for movies, Harry and Elizabeth enjoy making each other laugh and reading aloud – especially from the works of Charles Dickens, Ruth Rendell, Martha Grimes, and Dave Barry.
"I loved it!" ~ Debbie Reynolds, Actress
"Screenplay worthy!" ~ Scott Smith, The Pueblo Chieftain
In his review of this movie, film critic Richard Jack Smith writes, “As a hopeless romantic, I instantly warmed to the connection made by Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence. Their stunning memoir It Had To Be Us took chances that traditional love stories don’t. For one, the characters come across as idiosyncratic and well developed. Also, there’s Misha Zubarev’s filmmaking sensibility in translating this narrative to the big screen. A collaboration with V. Ulea on script and direction, Cake: A Love Story reveals hope at the end of a long breakup.”
"What an incredibly written story! I am not sure I have enough accolades to describe this true story. Elizabeth and Harry (not their real names) is a couple with a past, to say the least! Their distinctive interpretation of their lives is such a fascinating slant on authorship.
"The book is written in a "He Said/She Said" format. When reading these memories by each of them, it is obvious that men and women certainly view situations differently. I truly believe that, no matter your preferred genre, you will enjoy this book. It Had To Be Us is a marvelous pick-me-up, fast-paced rendition of how lives can come full circle! "You will be thrilled if you take time to read this book!" ~Brenda Talley of The Romance Studio
"My husband Pat and I read IT HAD TO BE US and we both think it should be a movie, so we'll be waiting for a sequel because we can't wait to find out WHO loves WHO more! We're fascinated by the format: Harry remembers -- Elizabeth remembers. I was 'hooked' on reading IT HAD TO BE US when I first read the 'teaser' paragraph about Elizabeth finding a light on and then Harry, in disbelief, deciding she needed 'looking after.' It was great. What a fantastic LOVE STORY... one that happens only once in a million years!" ~Lola Griesan
A Genuine Love Story...
2007 Psyche Award
The Romance Studio
The Pueblo Chieftain printed a feature article on the story of the original book, screenplay and finally an award-winning movie. Read entire feature article here. Below, Betty Jo and her granddaughter, Marie, display the article.