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    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Same As It Ever Was Same As It Ever Was

Did anybody see the movie Ruby Sparks? It’s about a writer whose first book is considered a work of genius and as a result he is paralyzed and can’t write a second book. He is also heartbroken and unable to get his romantic life going again. Enter Ruby: real woman or figment of his imagination? The movie is getting mixed reviews but I really liked it even if Zoe Kazan, the screenwriter actress who stars in it,  has five strikes against her: she’s under thirty, she has what my mom calls a lovely figure, she’s the child and grandchild of famous Hollywood screenwriters, she went to Yale, and in real life she dates her hot co-star Paul Dano. Oh, and she’s a really good writer and actress. And I still like her fucking movie.

My favorite movie about a writer is Misery. What’s yours?

54 Responses

  1. fantastic mr. fox

  2. Midnight in Paris – simply because it brings to life all of the greats I spent the past year teaching to 11th graders in American Lit.

  3. You Can Count On Me

  4. Tie between Adaptation and Wonder Boys (because of RDJ)

  5. hmmm, I’m a big fan of Wonder Boys and most things Michael Chabon. I’m sure there are others, this may require some thinking, hard to do after a good Malbec.

  6. Stranger than Fiction, because it’s As Good as it Gets.
    And As Good as it Gets, because it’s… yup.

  7. stranger than fiction.

  8. I would choose Neverland – as much for the exquisitely made costumes as anything else.

  9. Little Women, of course.

  10. Stranger than Fiction (but they should have let him die at the end). Adaptation is a close second.

  11. Wasn’t her dad/gran-dad a turncoat? Surely that must make you feel better. In general I object to movie about writers, especially when they are about writing somehow. I’d rather see a writer fall in love/save the world etc. But Adaptation is rather good.

  12. I think Girl Interrupted

  13. I just introduced my girls to Little Women and they wrote plays and made costumes for days, new material to add to the growing stack of spiral notebooks full of handwritten novels and memoirs.

  14. Hard to pick just one. (Story of my life.) I liked Wonder Boys more than I’d thought I would. And Stranger Than Fiction was lovely.

  15. Funny Farm with Chevy hahahaha, Chase, I love when they get lost hahahaha and then hahahaha and when she eats the hahahaha and the office chair hahaha, bird, the snake in the pond hahaha and the center of town, the tree (I’ve been to the town where it was filmed) and then the motel, and the agent, the book and the ice skating and the fucking mailman, he’s the best hahahaha….jeez what a way to start my day. Thanks betsy hahahaha.

  16. I haven’t seen many of the ones people have mentioned, but my favorite movie about storytelling is Secondhand Lions (including the alternate ending). Does that count?

    (my favorite movie about librarians is Desk Set)

  17. My favorite is The Wonder Boys. Every minute is perfect. Well, except for the ingenue. Katie Holmes is never quite convincing.

  18. My favorite is probably Stranger Than Fiction. Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, and Will Ferrell in a non-manic role… Ruby Sparks has similarities to it.

  19. Toss up – As Good As It Gets and Misery (too!)

  20. Secret Window. No one does writer bedhead like Johnny Depp.

  21. Wonderboys. I want that bathrobe.

  22. Capote. The Shining. Misery.

    There’s a Family Guy episode where they act out 3 Stephen King books. Laugh till you cry.

  23. Romancing the Stone.

    Nobody under the age of 40 interests me much these days. Their lives are too hypothetical. The older you get, the less room there is for error. That’s so real.

    • Are you ‘THEE Joan Wilder’…love it.

    • I’ve found that the older you get, there’s a lot more room for error. As in who gives a shit.

      • Vivian, for what it’s worth, that may have come across wrong. I meant the older I get, I don’t give a shit, not that I didn’t give a shit about your comment. I know, I know, you don’t give a shit. I still love your books though.

  24. Henry and June. Anais Nin and Henry Miller (and Uma Thurman). Very regular type love triangle.

    • I had just started reading Henry Miller when that film came out. Make that inhaling Henry Miller, and getting into Charles Bukowski. I was already an aficionado of Anaïs Nin since my high school senior year. It was 1989, and I was on my own in Boston, away from home and family, but not short of friends, working in the Combat Zone, putting in my hours as an incipient alcoholic, and writing, writing, writing. It was the best and worst of times.

  25. Deconstructing Harry.

  26. I enjoyed Midnight in Paris far more than I thought I would. I am not a fan of Owen Wilson, nor did I like the shallow over-the-top cliched character of his wife (and her family) in the movie (shame on Woody for writing such a cardboard character), but still I adored the movie, flaws and all.

    The ode to Paris was a large part of the charm for me, true. I was pleasantly surprised by the fantasy elements/time travel…and OH SUMPTUOUS THE PERIOD COSTUMES.

    I also adored: I Capture the Castle (though I preferred the book), Dead Poets Society, The Squid And The Whale, and Bright Star (a Jane Campion film about Fanny and Keats…visually stunning [and again the period costumes are beyond lovely], but the musical score slays me with its beauty. Just listening to the movie… the poetry and music score flattens me.). And, of course, Misery is a keeper.

    I haven’t been here in a long time (been busy and mostly offline), but I hope this finds you well, Betsy.


  27. Can’t say I have one, but a couple of Deppsters were fine: The Libertine, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

  28. Stand By Me.

  29. “Barton Fink”

  30. has anyone seen Lovely By Surprise? (Auston Pendleton is in it and i have to admit i have a thing for him! he’s like an Irish Gene Wilder). It’s about writer’s block, which i know Betsy you don’t believe in (or to that effect) but for me it’s not lack of creativity but courage. eeeeyahikes!

  31. The MUSIC MAN – Did I ever tell you I’m a Barbershop Quartet singer? On another tack, would you like me to send you a poem about the M.F.A.?


  32. wonderboys!

  33. Sunset Boulevard and An Angel at my Table

  34. Movies about writers cause me to drink too much.
    I’ll keep trying them, though.

    Gotta love the scenes in Finding Forrester, as the kid reads his words and all we hear is music-growing-turgid, and all we see are faces-in-rapture. Oh, to write a passage that makes the literati cum.

  35. I can’t think of a favorite, but I saw this recently:

    Starting Out in the Evening, starring an elderly Frank Langella. Anybody else seen that one?

    It’s been ages since I saw this, but I remember being smitten by a young Hugh Grant and Judy Davis as Frederic Chopin and George Sand in Impromptu. I remember it because that day was one of two times in my life that I’ve hitchhiked.

    I go the movies rarely, and they have to be eye-candy on some level to make it worth my while.

  36. Oh Misery was goood.

    I loved An Angel at my Table. Just beautiful.

  37. Out of Africa, The Way We Were, The Hours

  38. I just saw this movie yesterday. I’m hoping Zoe Kazan is terrible in the kitchen, or in bed, because no one person should have this much talent at 28.

    And what’s up with all the writer-focused films coming out these days?

  39. Definitely movement is on the cards when the Chariot appears.

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