Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Five: Movies for writers

Last night a scene from Wonderboys was stuck in my head after getting stuck in a purgatorial pit of doom, and it got me thinking.  What writer am I most like in that movie?  I'm feeling a bit blocked like Professor Tripp, but I'm not caught up in the geneology of horses, so that's good.  I use to have red cowboy boots like Hannah, but also I'm a bit naive still like dear James.  Hopefully, Robert Downey, Jr. will come around and steer me in the right direction.

This got me thinking about writers in movies in general, and thus the Five Movies for Writers (when I got to thinking about this, I had way more than five, but alas).

1.  Wonderboys - I love this movie.  I love how it nails the academic and writing worlds.  I love the memorable lines and characters.  Every writer should watch it.  From imdb: An English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in.

2.  Romancing the Stone - Joan Wilder getting out from behind her typewriter and having an adventure of her own.  Who couldn't love that?  What writer didn't  want to bundle up a manuscript and take it to your editor over drinks? From imdb: A romance writer sets off to Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister, and soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure.

3.  Her Alibi - There are some awesome 80s writer movies, but this one takes the cake because it has Tom Selleck. From imdb: A writer of BAD detective novels is in full writers' block. He pretends to be the alibi of a beautiful woman who was arrested for murder at first thinking her innocent, but as she shows more and more interesting abilities (such as knife throwing) he begins to doubt his first assessment.

4.  In the Mouth of Madness - For you horror movie fanatics, what if your book had a bigger effect than you imagined?  Also one of the most original horror movies I've ever seen. From imdb: An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational

5.  The Shining - I'm pretty sure an entire manuscript of "All work and no play makes jack a dull boy," would land you in Slushpile Hell.  From imdb: A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.


  1. I have not watched any of these movies (it's a tragedy, I realize), and am definitely checking WONDERBOYS. It sounds wonderful.

  2. One of my faves that your didn't mention is
    Irreconcilable Differences with Shelly Long, Ryan O'Neal, and Drew Barrymore. I love the moment Shelly Long sees her reflection and goes home and starts writing and writes a bestseller.

    Romancing the Stone is one of my all time favorite writing movies.

  3. Thanks for the recommendations. WONDERBOYS here I come.

  4. Good ones. Have you seen Ghostwriter directed by Roman Polanski. OMG, great thriller. A must-rent!

  5. Emy, that is a tragedy!

    Margie, I can't find a copy of that movie anywhere and I've never seen it! However, a movie with Shelley Long that almost made the list (and also boasts Steve Guttenburg) is Don't Tell Her Its Me

    Leslie, lmk if you like it!

    Catherine, no! I wanted to see it, but the only rentals around here are at redbox and its not in there:( Must sign up for netflix.

  6. Loved Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile. Watched them countless times growing up. I definitely need to check out Wonderboys and Her Alibi. And I swear it is not just to drool over Downey and Selleck!

    Catherine-I've really wanted to see Ghostwriter, but wasn't sure if it was any good. Thanks for the recommendation!

  7. I have a ridiculous amount of love for Wonderboys. When I saw Bob Dylan in concert, he played "Things Have Changed" and I absolutely spazzed out.

    There's also a small Canadian movie called Cole which I quite like: