Since I’m a writer, I want my brain to full of questions and wonder, problems and solutions, but if I’m being real, especially when I’m busy, it’s usually equal parts where my next food is coming from and what that food is, what clothes I will put on myself for the next thing, and that scene from Newsies when Christian Bale sings Santa Fe. Occasionally there is a large philosophical question and that scene from Sound of Music when Captain Von Trapp tilts Maria’s chin up to him in the gazebo, but that’s basically the extent of my imagination.
Morrison and I are working on our own version of a feel good sports movie, (the sports part NOT brought to you by me.) And so, as ‘research’ (read: reasons to not go anywhere on a Friday night when it’s raining 11 inches in a city with basically no gutters) we watched COOL RUNNINGS. REMEMBER IT? It’s hilarious, and so weird, and so colorful, and even poignant. And it’s not even about winning, per se. ‘A gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you’re not enough without the medal, you’ll never be enough with it.’ JOHN CANDY YOU’RE SO RIGHT. We must first make peace with ourselves before receiving medals, if we are to receive medals at all. THANKS JAMAICAN BOBSLED TEAM!
Maybe our politics and security are completely screwed right now, but so far, this award contender season, OUR MOVIES ARE COMPLETELY AMAZING. Everyone go see this beautiful movie:
It’s a throwback to the classic film, a MUSICAL, with DANCING and SINGING, about two people trying to following their dreams, falling in love. No rape. No bombs. No murder. No trauma. JUST LOVE and maybe also a smart exploration of the basic question, how do you keep following your dreams when your dreams keep alluding you?
Me: we got our first screener! We got Sully!
Husband: I’m not watching that.
Me: Why not? It’s supposed to be good! Our friend is in it also!
Husband: Because it’s an actual thing that just happened. We know exactly what happens because it literally just happened.
Me: ….Okay, yeah. Good point.
Me: Yeah. The movie industry is so greedy for story now that the MOMENT that something compelling happens, some studio hires some writer to basically just start transcribing life. And so nothing is interesting anymore unless it actually happened. Imagination is dead.
Me: Okay, but I am going to watch Sully.
Husband: Have fun with that!
Parents and children and siblings and okay well just HUMANS should all see this beautiful movie, about a Dad who chooses to raise his kids off the grid in the Pacific Northwest, and the hilarious and profound challenges that come with his decision. Its story is epic in scope but its moments are tiny and relatable, and the costumes are the world’s best curated thrift store come to life. GOOD MOVIES ARE REAL!!!!!!
For reasons I do not fully understand, but am QUITE stoked about, Mamrie and I have been sent by a film company to Solvang for the weekend, to develop a feature idea we got cookin. Solvang is a little town by Santa Barbara comprised mainly of Dutch Architecture / tiny horses / lavender farms/ assorted tastings. So far the movie idea is TINY HORSE WINE. But really, we’ve got something good up our sleeves, but also really, BLOOD ORANGE BALSAMIC VINEGAR / BLISS.
We watched this beautiful movie last night, Room. Its story is something terrible that you hear about all too often: woman kidnapped, locked in basement or shed of sorts, assumed dead for years, repeatedly raped by her captor, bears his child in captivity. It sounds awful AND IT IS. But Room is told from the perspective of the little boy, and focuses on the heartbreakingly innocent way in which his views his tiny world. When he is born, his mother refocuses her life on survival and the raising of her son, protecting him. They develop a tiny world that contains just the two of them, and they Live. For me it’s a perfect example of how a movie can be about something ultimately awful and difficult, but it can also LIFT US UP AND OUT.
I got to see Star Wars on OPENING DAY with my co-workers in the beautiful historic Chinese theater on IN 3D. There were people there who’d been standing in line for days, people in full costume, people who’d been standing in line for days in full costume, while I was trying to piece together who had the force and who didn’t. It was beautiful, brilliant revamp of the classic that, if I’m being fully honest, I’ve only ever seen one time in someone’s basement. It’s such a MOVIE. Like a classic movie, with struggle, with human connection, with epic adventure, with grounded friendships between robots. There is nothing like it, nor will there ever be. I AM NOT WORTHY.
As we all (me and my Mom) know, each year, Hallmark makes about 900 new Christmas movies, usually starring some combination of DJ from Full House and Claudia from Party of Five and Dawson from Dawson’s Creek. One could spend the entire month of December curled beneath an afghan watching Claudia from Party of Five fall in love, fight then love then accept the love mostly likely in front of a Christmas Tree and STILL have movies to spare. There are just. So many. FIR REAL.
My mom has complained that they are too predictable, that they follow a formula, that sometimes, she wants to be surprised, and says that I should write one of these Hallmark Christmas films. First thought: NO! How BENEATH me! Je suis une ARTISTE! Second thought: getting paid to develop a myriad of scenarios that employ seasonal puns, in which people fall in love and sometimes those people are related to Santa and sometimes those people are James Van Der Beek? DREAM JOB, OKAY FINE. Point is, these movies have a clear purpose. They are comforting in their simplicity, and they are warm in their cleverness. They are the movie version of a nice seasonal throw. And so, I applaud them.
The Festival of Tights, in which Holly, a beautiful, hardworking 33 year old Jewish woman, owner of a control top panty hose dynasty, must decide what’s more important to her: family, or success because you can’t have both and also Santa is her Dad.
We Wish you a Berry Christmas, in which DJ Tanner must face a hard decision: give up on the berry farm that’s been in her family for generations, and move to the big city to be a personal assistant, or stay and fight the bank for what her parents built and also she makes a pie.
The Second Noel, in which teenage Noel, SICK of living in her big sister Noel’s shadow, decides that this Christmas is all about HER, only to learn that jealousy is toxic and that frosting is really hard to get out of Hair.
Gun Christmas, in which a bunch of people sit around with guns talking about their guns and showing off their guns and trading guns NO WAIT THAT’S JUST CHRISTMAS.
A Christmas Movie for Christmas, in which a hard working movie producer finds the love she never thought she’d find on the set of a Christmas movie about two people finding the love they never thought they would find.
Hallmark call me okaybye.
Finally got to see Inside Out last night — the new Pixar movie in which the emotions that live in our head come to life — and it was of course clever and adorable and touching and all of those things. The viewing of course lead to discussion of what emotion characters inhabit our own heads, who’s running the control board. After careful consideration, I’m pretty sure that at my motherboard is a very worried toddler who has great concern for all things ranging from whether or not there’s going to be a large earthquake to whether or not she’s wearing the the right dress or she should really cut back on Goldfish or at least switch to whole grain to what does God think of me?
It’s definitely either her or this little girl who just wants the Ham.