Thursday, November 5, 2009

5 More Favorite Movies About Writing and Writers

I wrote a post awhile back about my Top 5 Favorite Movies About Writing and Writers. Since then, I've been much more attuned to just how many movies seem to focus on writing and/or writers in some way. Here's a "P.S." to my last post:

Something's Gotta Give. Diane Keaton plays Erica Barry, a slighty neurotic, control-freak-y independent woman who happens to be an extremely successful playwright. She's battling a case of writer's block when she meets Harry Sanborn (the endlessly brilliant Jack Nicholson), a music mogul and bona fide ladies' man who finds himself a reluctant long-term guest at Erica's beach house. Their first awkward encounter (did I mention that Harry is dating Erica's much, much younger daughter, played by Amanda Peet)? turns out to be the spark that Erica needed to complete her latest show-stopper. Inspiration can come from the most unlikely situations.

Finding Neverland. This is a personal favorite because it stars my two favorite actors, Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. The film tells the story of how writer J.M. Barrie became friends with the Davies family, and how his relationship with the boys inspired his best-known work, Peter Pan.

Secret Window. I'll look for any reason to mention Johnny Depp, but this film deserves a particular mention. I thought this role was an interesting choice, even for Depp, who prides himself on his quirky, challenging film roles. Depp plays Mort Rainey, a fairly successful writer who is hard at work on his next novel. He is visited by a strange man, played by John Turturro, who accuses Rainey of plagiarism. Based on Stephen King's short story.

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. Who says you can't make a living from writing? Julianne Moore (another one of my favorite actors) plays Evelyn Ryan, a plucky housewife in the 1950's who supports her 10 children almost exclusively on her winnings from writing commercial jingles. Her husband, played by Woody Harrelson, comes to resent her success, but in the end, Mrs. Ryan defies the odds and does what she has to do for her children. Based on a true story.

Stand by Me. I could have easily made a list made up entirely of Stephen King movies (he does seem to use writers as the protagonist quite a bit, doesn't he?), so I tried to keep them to a minimum. Stand By Me is one of my favorites of any genre, but the fact that it's about a writer doesn't fully hit you until the end. In case you aren't familiar with this movie (which is probably about 10 people in the world), it's a touching coming-of-age story set in the late 1950's. The incredible cast of River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell, and Kiefer Sutherland make this film what it is. Four friends (Phoenix, Wheaton, Feldman, and O'Connell) go for one last camping trip before school starts, but with a twist--this time, they set out to find the body of a young boy who'd disappeared. Wheaton plays Gordie, the future writer and sensitive soul of the group. Classic. Enough said.

Are there any that I missed that you feel should be added? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. I love you choices great Movies !!
    My favorite though are Secret Window and Finding Neverland.
    Check out my page if you ever get a chance

  2. I loved the Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio! Don't know if you've seen 500 Days of Summer, but it's an interesting movie with a non-linear storytelling device and the main character is a greeting card writer.

  3. Susan--Glad you agree! I think "Prize Winner" was sorely overlooked by many audiences, but I just loved it. Never saw "500 Days of Summer", although the title sounds familiar--didn't that come out not too long ago? I'll have to add that to my Netflix queue!

  4. Jessica, you have a very cool blog!
    Glad you liked my list. Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!