Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Question: About That Movie

Okay, so the producers called. They've had some new thoughts.*

Making a movie about your whole life would be difficult. The casting, the locations, the research of it all. Too much. Instead, they want to make a movie about your week. Starting last Saturday and going in to today. There's no script yet, we'll get to that later they say, but they want to talk genre so they can get the right screenwriter and director lined up. Was your week a buddy comedy? A French tragedy? A coming of age sex romp?

If it was MY movie (and it's not, it's yours), I would describe the genre of my week as a bittersweet domestic comedy. Not laugh out loud screwball type, just ordinary people presented with the challenge or dramatic conflict of this new baby and adjusting to that. The characters adapt, maneuver around each other. More dramatic tension is brought when one of the kid characters insists he's sick but the dad sends him to school and then the kid barfs in class but he's oddly proud of that. Meanwhile the dad has never been home from work this long in his life and needs to adjust to that. The baby screams a little but mostly just looks gravely concerned all the time. There's also the triumphant bike riding scene, the possibility that new friends for the parents have emerged, and the rather tedious shopping for pants scene that didn't really need to be in the movie at all, actually. No tragedies, no thrilling capers, just a bittersweet domestic comedy.

But again, it's not my movie, it's yours. So the question is:

In the movie of the past week of your life, what is the genre?

And don't worry, you don't have to elaborate if you don't want. Just say, like, "Tragic adventure made by Belgians" or something and leave it at that if you want. More mysterious anyway.

And congrats to Team Rowley!


* This is something I often heard during some very abstract, preliminary, and disorienting talks last fall about Conservatize Me film rights. These talks happened and don't get excited because they happen all the time with tons of books. The movie has not happened. Nor has world peace or a Mariners world series title. I give them all equal odds.


Also, I've changed comment moderation so that I don't have to approve them. Most comments are just fine. Just don't swear and get all gross and don't be mean. Common sense. Pretend you're at a dinner party.



Scott Chicken said...

Well, given the events of Sunday, mine is going to have to be physical comedy highlighting the pain and suffering of the onset of middle age.

We'll start the storyboard off Sunday morning with our hero getting up happy and excited, eating breakfast, maybe dorkily whistling a happy tune as he loads his bike on the car and drives off to Woodinville. Tension will mount a bit as he sets off with his friends on the ride, but it's nothing exciting, just a friendly ride on a beautiful morning. Then WHAMMO! Pedestrians, dogs, flipping, impact, pain...we'll have to tart up the trip to the hospital a bit, maybe throw in an ambulance and a busty EMT to get that "Mother Jugs & Speed" feeling going.

Then the rest of the film is our hero recovering. There's the funny scene where the eye doctor squirts every liquid in the building in his eyes and laughs as our hero screams, the blurred vision scene as our hero attempts to compose a text message while his eyes are dilating and the screen is getting blurrier and blurrier, and lots of amusing moments when he does something seemingly innocent (like, oh, sticking a fork in a raw potato and squirting potato juice in his face) that results in excrutiating pain.

The conclusion is reality it would end with him going out of town, but the movie should probably end with him buying a new helmet and going for a ride. More life-affirming that way...

Christopher said...

Definitely some sort of Sci-Fi drama, ala "Twelve Monkeys", where my character keeps encountering truly horrible situations being experienced by others around him: cancer, miscarriages, disease, death, suicide-by-drug-overdose - but manages to avoid having any of these sad, unfortunate occurances happen to him directly.

Unlike Bruce Willis' character, however, he is completely powerless to prevent any of these occurances, and he is forced to stand by helplessly as the world continues to unravel around him.

Deciding he may in fact be the bringer of such misfortune, he decides to run away to the desert, but accidentally ends up at a large music festival instead, where all it does is rain for three solid days.

Realizing it is impossible to avoid his fate, he reluctantly returns home, to find those who previously experienced the hardships and losses for which he feels responsibility and guilt, have moved on with their lives, leaving him to ponder the existential workings of the universe.

The end.

Tina Rowley said...'s a romantic comedy that stars Andie Macdowell and Gerard Depardieu. Only they're a real married couple from the beginning. The movie is nine hours long and eight hours of it is a prologue that shows - over the course of, say, three years - how much they weren't getting in contact with their immigration lawyer, and shows them doing stuff like not getting their papers together and ordering pizzas and having a baby. Once an hour during the prologue, Andie Macdowell and Gerard Depardieu have a small scene where they whisper fretfully to each other in bed at night in the blackness how they need to call their lawyer and get their stuff together.

Then the last hour of the film is where the action really kicks in. The first forty-five minutes of the last hour of the film is like The Bourne Identity, only all the franticness is about finding divorce papers from first marriages. The tone of the film turns on a dime when they begin the actual immigration interview, pivoting from a Bourne Identity feeling to a Like Water For Chocolate feeling. Magic realism is in the house. They bring a refrigerator-sized box to the intervie filled with sensitive legal material which, if inadequate, will cause Andie Macdowell and Gerard Depardieu to be shot on sight. The officer ignores the refrigerator-sized box and instead gives them a pony and they ride away into some rainbows and eat coffee-flavored eclairs that give them the power to fly. Then Andie Macdowell and Gerard Depardieu fly up to a house they've been building up on a cloud, and they find that it has passed final inspection, so they move in.

That is the movie of our week.

Thank you for the congratulatory shout-out. It's good!

Anonymous said...

Mine would be a Domestic Comedy/Buddy Film. We open on practially the hottest day ever in Seattle and we are hosting a birthday/pool party for our daughter who is turning 7. Everyone is really kvetchy, but grateful that there is something to do with the children that gets them to stop whining about how hot it is, but barely any of the grown ups get in the pool. They just kvetch. Our hero gets irritated and kvetchy in response to this behavior and the time constraints of the party, since half the party has to head straight to their baseball game right afterwards and the being late somehow does not feel like an option.

Enter VERY good friend of our hero who is in town for a tragically short amount of time. Only our hero and her friend have not seen one another for 10 years. (really) Happy reunion occurs, many laughs, really excellent food is eaten in a restaurant with a patio that overlooks Elliott Bay. The weather cools off and it is beautiful and heartwarming and full of good humor and a daughter who somehow magically does not dissolve into a puddle of crankiness at dinner, but instead is charming and funny.

Really, that is the movie. We shouldn't include the rest of the week. We will stick with Saturday for the whole movie. The rest is pretty much regular parenting and our hero sitting at a keyboard typing things about sick people. Oh, and daughter learning how to skate on awesome retro old skool quad skates that she got at her birthday party. We could work a cute learning to skate montage in there somewhere.