We are just past the halfway point of November, and NaNoWriMo insanity is ramping up to a whole new level. Sometimes when you’re struggling to hit your word count, the best course of action is to step away for a little while. Clear your mind. Regroup. And what better way to do that than watch movies… about writers!
I’ve listed four of my favorite writerly movies below. Did I name yours?
(Also, this is our 101st blog post! Oh my goodness! If you need extra time to procrastinate this month… why don’t you wander around our site for an afternoon? Share your favorite post from us with your writing friends and make us smile even more!)
“Stranger Than Fiction”
What writer hasn’t talked to their characters before? And what writer hasn’t killed off their darlings? (Maybe if you write picture books or instructions on how to make souffle.) But what would you do if the darling you were prepared to kill was a living, breathing, real world person? Harold Crick hears voices, but I’ll give you a hint. He isn’t schizophrenic; he’s hearing the author who’s writing his story. Unfortunately for Harold, she’s known for killing her darlings. (This is actually a very sweet and heartfelt film that I recommend for anyone, even non-writers!)
I admit I have not yet read the book to this one, but the movie is fantastic and yes, definitely has its share of cringeworthy moments. This story is every author’s worst fear. (Or one of them at least.) Many authors dream of the day their stories are well-known enough to have devoted fans, but what happens when a fan is so devoted that her obsession cannot be contained? What happens when the author’s next installment doesn’t meet her expectations? If you’re lucky, she’ll write fanfiction. If you’re really, really unlucky… she’ll kidnap you and demand you fix the story.
I’m a huge fan of Johnny Depp and this movie is a favorite of mine. In this film he plays Mort Rainey, an author whose life isn’t going so well in the personal sector. It gets even worse when you add in another example of an author’s worst fear… an accusation of plagiarism by a strange man who shows up on his doorstep one day. Mort knows he didn’t steal the story, but while he sets out to prove it, his accuser gets progressively more threatening and more violent. It isn’t long before his friends and neighbors begin to distrust him as well. It’s no longer just about clearing his name.
“Midnight in Paris”
I’ll be honest… I wasn’t sure what to expect with Owen Wilson playing a serious role, but he nailed this one. This is the writer film I watch for inspiration and all-around good creative feels. Owen plays Gil, a Hollywood screenwriter who would rather write the next great American novel than make it big churning out whatever the studios tell him to. Paris is his muse. He wants to walk the streets, walk in the rain, and imagine the great authors and artists who walked here before him. What will he do when midnight strikes and he doesn’t have to imagine anymore?