Is it me, or do most movies and TV shows have at least one writer character? These writers vary. Some are successful columnists or bloggers, while others are struggling writers, and then there’s the rare mega-bestselling author.
Here’s my list of favorite films about writers. (Please visit the IMDB website for additional information.)
- NOT ANOTHER HAPPY ENDING
This oddball Scottish rom-com features a tortured writer and her love/hate relationship with her cute but insufferable editor. Tension ensues. She even gets writer’s block just as she’s about to wrap up her second novel.
Pros: Scottish accents, quirky characters, a writer who “worships her own pain,” starring Karen Gillan (my favorite Doctor Who? sidekick).
Cons: Unrealistic portrayal of the publishing world. (Example: a huge, Oscar-like awards show where she wins the “Best New Writer” category.)
- AUTHORS ANONYMOUS
A “mockumentary” about a Los Angeles-based writing group. Things get messy when the prettiest member of the group lands an agent and a lucrative publishing deal in (almost) quick succession. A couple of characters go as far as to stalk literary agents in a vain effort to catch up.
Pro: Great satire; all writer stereotypes are covered; hilarious characters, especially “John K. Butzin”; darkish humor.
Cons: Unflattering portrayal of literary agents (and famous authors).
- MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
A Woody Allen film featuring a Hollywood screenwriter and literary hopeful enamored with Paris. At the stroke of midnight, he is whisked away to the 1920s, where he parties with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso. He also flirts with a beautiful French girl, the polar opposite of his wealthy and demanding fiancee.
Pros: Time-travel story, gorgeous Parisian views, crisp dialogue; Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams are (very possibly) playing a fictional Woody and Mia (Farrow, his first wife).
Cons: What are the odds that he’d meet all of those famous people? Then again, what are the odds that he would travel back in time? Never mind. It’s fun.
- THE GIRL IN THE BOOK
Dark tale of a New York publishing editor-slash-aspiring writer and her haunting past involving an experimental author.
Pros: Great character development, sad twists and turns, dysfunctional relationships.
Cons: Disturbing depictions of statutory rape.
- A CASE OF YOU
Fed up with churning out books based on big-budget films (novelizations), the hero wants to work on a serious novel, with no success. His luck changes when he meets his muse at a Brooklyn café.
Pros: Oddball comedy, great depiction of Brooklyn.
Cons: Facebook-stalking a girl you barely know just to get her to like you is super creepy (and a weird premise for a rom-com).
- PURPLE VIOLETS
Bestselling author of the “Detective Knight” series decides to switch to Literary Fiction, with disastrous results. His luck changes when he reunites with his college sweetheart. The problem? She’s married.
Pros: Awesome ensemble cast, witty one-liners, great NYC depiction.
Cons: Main character is super whiny. Dude, you’re a successful author with a beach mansion in the Hamptons (from the film franchise) — STFU!
And there you have it. These are (mostly) indie films, but they’re the ones I binge-watch whenever I’m in the mood for a “writers’ flick.” Which ones are your favorites? Comment on Twitter if you have recommendations.
Café Girl out. 🙂