I feel I must start off this week’s recap with an impassioned plea/open letter to January. So, here it is.
Please go away and let April come back.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on to…
What I Watched
- I’ve Loved You So Long (5 stars): Kristen Scott Thomas stars in this French-language film about two sisters reuniting after the elder is released from prison after 15 years. In my opinion, Kristen Scott Thomas gave the best female performance of 2008 in this film. The film is ultimately a character study; it’s not full of twists and turns and surprises. It’s simply about human beings, but it’s a prime example of how a character study film should be crafted.
- I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (3 stars): I was a bit disappointed in this one, to be honest. I expect some low-brow humor from Adam Sandler comedies, but some of the gags here were just plain stupid at best and extremely offensive at worst. That being said, it does have its fair share of funny moments, and, while it doesn’t always execute well, the movie seemed to have its heart in the right place.
- Rachel Getting Married (2½ stars): I think I know what this movie was trying to be about. But truly odd direction prevented it from ever getting to the core of its message. At times I almost felt as if I was watching an unedited home video of a wedding, which, if you’ve ever seen one, is full of dull, uninteresting and pointless bits of life. For instance, I kept waiting for some sort of subtext in the neverending string of toasts, but it was either far too buried (or I am far too dense, I suppose) or it simply wasn’t there. Same with the reception dance montage. I’m actually planning on reading the script this week to see if something was lost in the translation to screen. All this being said, there is one absolutely fantastic and heartbreaking scene worth seeing. The performances are all great; I just wish the film had been a vehicle for some sort of message more than just performances.
- Adventureland (3½ stars): This was a solid coming-of-age story, sort of Nick & Norah-esque in tone. My only real complaint is that I wish they’d amped up the humor a bit more. It was interesting and good to see a story about people in that weird limbo between college and adulthood. Also worth noting, I loved the last image of the film. It was unexpected and simple and… yeah. It was just really great.
What I Read
I finished reading Gods Behaving Badly, which was a fun little novel by Marie Phillips. I was slightly heartbroken to find that Ben Stiller’s production company optioned the novel back in 2007 to develop into a TV comedy series, as I’d set my heart on some day finagling the opportunity to adapt it for a feature. Right now, IMDB has 2009 as the date attached for the series, but I haven’t heard anything about it, so maybe there’s still hope for me yet!
What I Wrote
I’ve come out of the first weekend of ScriptFrenzy relatively unscathed. Tonight’s been the toughest so far; I only managed to write a measly 1½ pages. But that’s OK. I’m ahead of schedule, and I think I know where I’m going next.
I’ve been battling this story a bit because my main character seems to want to take a lot of fictionalized pages from my own life. I’ve never wanted to be the sort of writer who writes herself. But, then again, I need to let my story go down a natural path, even if that means there are some parallels with my own life, I guess. And truly, any story is going to have pieces of me in it. I know the stories I’ve written that I love best certainly have. They’ve just seemed a little more well-veiled.
It all goes back to writing without inhibitions, I guess. Mystery Man on Film had a piece of art in his latest blog post that I think I’m going to print and frame. It says, “Kill your timid notion.” Which I take to mean, stop being afraid of where your story wants to go, of hurting your characters (or yourself), of digging too deep. Kill your timidity. Serve your story, and do it justice. So that’s what I’m going to try to do this week. Sounds so easy, doesn’t it? 🙂