This continues our series about resources that have helped me (and may help you) as an aspiring author, I want to recommend something a little outside of the normal blog-and-website fare. In this moment where everybody is spending more time at home, more low-key evenings with our families, many of us are watching just a little more TV. I recently stumbled across two mid-2010’s movies about the emotions and challenges of writing.
Mild Spoilers Below, but nothing that isn’t apparent in the first 10 minutes of each film.
Starring Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory) and Chris Kline (Sweet Magnolias), this mockumentary follows a local writing group that begins to fall apart when one member becomes an overnight success. With subtle, dry wit, the characters personify a laundry list of what not to do, an exercise in bad-writing-habit-bingo. It’s a bittersweet comedy, as each member of the writing group is undone by their own dysfunction. Some pick themselves up. Others don’t. If a slow-burn tragicomedy sounds like your cup of tea, Author’s Anonymous may be for you.
Not Another Happy Ending
Not Another Happy Ending follows the relationships between new author Jane Lockhart (Karen Gillian, Dr. Who, Guardians of the Galaxy) and the two most influential men in her life: her father (Gary Lewis, Gangs of New York) and her publisher (Stanley Weber, Outlander). Jane’s breakout novel draws heavily from her painful relationship with her father, but her fame and her message ultimately lead to reconciliation. There is a tension between what is best for Jane’s writing and what is best for her life. Can she write without the pain? Happy Ending is not all angst – I laughed out loud several times.
As writers, we believe in the power of fiction, in the ability to create empathy and understanding through story. While these films are dramatized for effect, I personally saw myself or potential versions of myself at certain moments. Perhaps you will too. You can find both of these on Amazon Prime as of this writing (July 2020).
Obligatory disclaimer: Everything on this blog is my personal, unpaid opinion, nothing more or less.