Wednesday, September 7

A Can't Miss Movie for Writers

I stink at watching movies. I have had "The Social Network" home from Netflix for literally six months. I really plan to watch it one of these days! But my kids always rule the TV. I've seen lots of children's movies. But usually I go to bed really early. Also: baseball is on a lot.

This is too bad because I used to watch a lot of movies and in fact had a job (well, freelance gig) as a movie reviewer for a while. It was a two-man column, sort of like a printed Siskel & Ebert, but with more jokes. I wore a weird hat and scarf in my headshot. (Note, I can't find that picture anywhere, but it looked sort of like this.) We would often spend a lot of the column making fun of each other rather than talking about the movie. But we always (eventually) got around to watching the movies and, because it was a city paper we tended to focus on the movies playing at the one arty cinema in Allentown rather than the blockbusters at the multi-plexes in the burbs. This was fine with me, as I really like artsy movies. (I mean: "films." Artsy movies are always "films.") I have my limits of weird to be sure, but I am way more likely to enjoy a film that is two hours of people talking about sadness than two hours of robots blowing things up.

This means that, yes, Woody Allen is still one of my favorites. He hit a rough stretch there of course (understatement!) but he has made some pretty good movies lately. And my choice for recent "can't miss movie" (specifically for writers) is Woody's 2010 "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger." This movie was recommended to me be a writer-friend. It was Sally Keehn, who also lives here in Allentown. (Hi Sally, if you're reading this! You should be proud because I actually got around to watching a movie and chose the one you recommended.) Sally slyly said it was a great movie for writers and would say no more. I can see why she didn't want to say too much because it has some twists that are best left unexplained. It has generally gotten mixed reviews, but man, I really think all writers will like it.

There are a couple of different plotlines, all of which I enjoyed, but Roy (played by Josh Brolin) is the one who writers are likely to connect with. He gave up his previous life (as a doctor) to become a writer. He's written one successful novel and is now faced with the massive struggle known as "book #2." He's going a little crazy, he's under a lot of pressure, and he finds himself in a desperate situation (I hope this isn't giving too much away) where he is considering "borrowing" someone else's brilliance. There's a great twist at the end and so many little scenes of a writer's life that I really related to. Even his apartment (flat maybe? it is set in London) with its leaning piles of books looks exactly like every writer's apartment/house I've ever been in. So check it out! Let me know what you think! I give it forty-five thumbs up.


Amanda Welling said...

aww I love Woody Allen too! :)

sunnynikki said...

I'll have to check it out, I'm not usually big into movies. I can read for hours on end but for some reason can't make it through a ninety minute movie.

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