There’s nothing quite as magical as a movies about writers! Silver screen stories that try (and sometimes succeed!) to capture the magic of what it means to be a writer. Some day I’d love to do this as a countdown of my twenty favorites (although then I would have to pick a single favorite, which would be almost impossible). In the meantime, here are three that I love dearly in no particular order:
1) A Love Song for Bobby Long
Some part of me thinks this movie and I were fated to find each other! I stumbled across it almost by accident, finding it in the used DVD bin at my local video store. Seeing that it revolved around four of my favorite things (the South, decrepit old houses, John Travolta and Scarlett Johanssen) I couldn’t not buy it. Looking back, I can see how watching this movie kicked off a sequence of events which eventually led to me to publish my first novel. Although you can’t completely see the writing theme from the clip below, trust me, this movie is all about authors — what they do, what they’ve done, what they might yet accomplish. Like life itself, this film is also full of poignant humor, wonderful music and unforgettable characters.
I love this movie on many different levels, and for many different reasons. It captures so well the angst of being a writer (and a human being), the need to translate pain into words and put it down on paper, and the desperate hope that what you’ve written will touch someone enough to get published. It’s also about getting on with life, finding things that make you happy, the importance of friendship and (of course) wine. Virginia Madsen is absolutely luminous, Paul Giamatti is funny, sweet and at times infuriating. This is a story that neither glorifies humain frailty nor villifies it. It simply says here we are, perfect in our imperfections. And that’s what being a writer is all about.
3) Isn’t She Great
I first saw this one on cable television when I was home sick with the flu. I liked it so much that I watched it twice more that day, and I laughed so much that I was practically well by the time the day was done! This movie speaks to the glamour-hound in all of us, the secret (or not-so-secret) part that craves the spotlight, adulation, and waves of applause. It also shows a great example of an author who’s not afraid to self-promote! I have no idea what Jackie Suzanne was like in real life; Bette Midler’s Jackie was fiesty, funny and brave. Nathan Lane is sweet and inspiring as Jackie’s husband and biggest fan. Stockard Channing is glorious as always, and has the best line in the film: “If a man bought me those pearls, not only would I have sex with him, I would enjoy it!”
Do you have a favorite Silver Screen Scribe Story?