Thursday, December 30, 2010

Romance - the missing ingredient in the modern American rom-com

My favourite quote about "Love and Other Drugs," from this article whose link reads "Anne Hathaway's breasts are way distracting" -

"Removing Maggie’s and Jamie’s pajamas, however, does little more than make us wonder what, if anything, Hathaway eats, and how often Gyllenhaal goes to the gym."

Some may call me a bit of a prude, but I think a good romantic comedy shouldn't have lots of wild sex in it. Lots and lots of sex on screen is neither romantic nor funny. The romance is in the waaiiiiting for the physical contact, the wondering about whether the physical contact will happen, and when, and how.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ever heard of Kirsten Smith or Karen Lutz?

Didn't think so.

But I bet you've heard of:

10 Things I Hate About You
Legally Blonde
Ella Enchanted
She's The Man

Ms. Smith and Ms. Lutz - I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

OK,OK, they wrote "The Ugly Truth" as well.... so it wasn't exactly my cup of tea... still.... I'm printing this picture and putting it up on my bulletin board. Is there any better inspiration for an aspiring screenwriter? I think not.

I leave you with this:

To remind me of how much I loved Anne Hathaway before she became famous and starred in the most depressing, artificial, Hollywood attempt at a rom-com I've seen in a very long time.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Meet the screenwriters

So you've seen "Hearbreaker" and had a lovely laugh... time to meet the screenwriters:

Laurent Zeitoun, Jeremy Doner, and Yohan Gromb. Laurent Zeitoun has a writing credit for "I Do" as well, another brilliant French rom-com which one of my screenwriting teachers had used as an example in his class on the genre of romantic comedy. Thank you gentlemen for crafting such a satisfying story!

Next, I highly recommend you rush to see "The King's Speech." It doesn't often happen that a brilliant script is then developed by a fabulous director and a heavenly cast, so enjoy every moment of it. The audience clapped at the end, and I can't remember the last time that happened at my local cinema.

And may I introduce, if you please, the screenwriter of this extraordinary film: David Seidler.

'Tis the season to watch movies

I've been watching so many movies lately that my blepharitis is back, yep - I'm the crazy lady sitting in front of you in the cinema who throws her head back every 20 minutes so as to put in her eyedrops.

To summarise my cinema experience so far...


You'll also be humming that song from "Dirty Dancing" all the way home. What could be better?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Teenagers get a bad rap

Reasons I love having teenagers:
(Dedicated to Froggie who is such an amazing High School teacher because she really loves teenagers)

They can give you a lift to the DVD shop when you can't drive because you had a couple of gin and tonics but you really need to watch "While You Were Sleeping."

They never heard of "While You Were Sleeping" so they cuddle up next to you on your new sofa and watch it with you.

They do chores. Even if you do have to (sometimes) ask several times and cajole a bit more, they can still DO the stuff - dishes, garbage, getting the milk from the corner store, laundries, mowing the lawn.

They sleep in. During the summer holidays the house is completely and absolutely silent until 11am. At least.

They are different from you, and that means they introduce you to a lot of stuff that happened in the world that you didn't know about, like Rosalind Franklin.

They generally have fabulous senses of humour, and because they know you really well by now they are able to make you laugh at your own peculiarities. Of which I have many, and which I need to laugh at more often.

When you argue you can use rational explanations to discuss the problem. And when things get too crazy for logic and one of you says something you regret, you can come back later and apologise and forgive.

You no longer have to supervise their personal hygiene.

You pretty much know who they are by now, so you can stop worrying so much about They go to school, they come back, they muddle through like we all do.

You can start to let go of that crippling feeling that people are judging you and that your children are reflections of how good a parent you are. Kids grow up, stuff happens, move on.

They bring their friends over to the house, and these friends are full of energy and life and general good cheer. And they are different from you, in so many different and wonderful ways, so it reminds you how amazing life is. No need to conform, colour your hair pink and wear really thick black eyeliner and study photography and hairdressing and molecular biology and bake cupcakes and live it up.

They are full of surprises, no more predictable milestones that have been written up in boring child development books but truly UNIQUE milestones that are all about the fully rounded individuals they are becoming.

Let the adventure continue!!!!

P.S. At the risk of totally overdoing the "I'm Jewish and don't celebrate Christmas" thing, I did want to link to this great post by a Sydney blogger I love. She sums up my feelings with much more wit and humour than I did, and generally her blog is a great, fun read.

So merry Christmas dear bloggie friends of mine, all my love, Eleanor from your commentbox.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Great article

One of my favourite writers - Marjorie Ingall - just wrote this article which perfectly summarises what I went through as my kids were growing up.

Only last night, over dinner, 19 year old Miss CB was reminiscing about the strange way I reacted to the "Madeline's Christmas" television episode she loved.

It also reminds me of another writer I adore - Journeymama - who wrote an angry post (well, as angry as I've ever seen the peaceful, gentle, loving Rae) a few years ago after having discovered that someone had told her children about the toothfairy's existence.

The line between truth and fiction is so very thin in childhood, but then that's what makes it so magical.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quick catch up

I caught the bus home from the city today and discovered that it was a Christmas bus. This one was even more fabulous than the one photographed for the article, it had twinkling fairy lights in the windows, glittery mistletoe and berry decorations on the tops of the benches, plastic snowflakes hanging from the sparkly streamers which covered every single pole and handle, a fully decorated Christmas tree set up in the luggage compartment with assorted presents, and the green automatic ticket reader had a red skirt on it.

I was the only one on the bus, and I immediately had that totally illogical feeling that everyone waiting outside for their own bus was looking through the window at me and thinking "Look at that Jewish lady sitting on the Christmas bus all by herself, hahahahaha!!"

Then two women popped their heads in and asked the driver if their daughters could hop on to have a quick look even though it wasn't their bus. These two girls were delighted with the bus, and you could tell how happy the driver felt as he watched them admire his handiwork (I had shyly said "Nice decorations" as I got on). As the girls left he gave them each a little rag-doll as a present, how nice was that??!!!

I really enjoyed that bus-trip (40 minutes and I was still grinning as I got off at my stop), which was surprising as I've been quite the Grinch lately. It's just that everybody at the shops, the hairdresser, the doctor, the dry cleaner, the petrol station, the vet... they all want to know how my Christmas preparations are going - "Finished your shopping yet? There's so much to do, isn't there?" and it just really starts to ANNOY ME THAT EVERYBODY TAKES FOR GRANTED THAT I BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS THE MESSIAH AND THE SON OF GOD.

There, I'm sorry. I'm hanging my head in shame. I swore I'd be nice and bite my tongue but I just couldn't help it.

So, as I said, that bus cheered me up.

In other news I have a fab, easy recipe to share with you. To make up for my rant above (oh look, Eleanor used capital letters, oooo, she must be REALLY angry) I'll go so far as to say that this makes a lovely addition to a festive meal, whether you live in the northern or southern hemisphere.

Take some sweet potatoes (you know, the orange kind) and peel them. Then continue using the peeler to peel the entire potato into shavings, arrange the shavings in one layer (as much as possible) on a tray lined with baking paper. Pop into oven at 150 degrees for 15 minutes, now mix them around and return them to the oven and keep moving them around every 5 minutes or so until they magically become crispy sweet potato chips. No oil, no fuss and tastes great with a glass of white on a summer's evening (had that tonight, hence am slightly intoxicated), also fab dipped in guacamole, but imagine they'd be awesome with the full roast meal as the snow softly falls outside.

I got a new sofa and armchair, and yes the delivery-men DID say "You're lucky we managed to get this to you before Christmas, I bet that's a relief" and no I did NOT question their interest in baby Jesus and his connection to my purchases of furniture. Ahem. So what I wanted to tell you was... oh right... this is a very big and exciting decision - to get new furniture for the lounge room, because we had our previous sofa for 16 years, purchased when I was pregnant with Master CB. I dripped breast-milk on that sofa, the kids used it as a trampoline when I was too exhausted to stop them any more, and Master CB peed his pants on that sofa more times than I care to remember. In fact, one end of the sofa was officially called "the pishy corner" and Miss CB would ensure that none of her friends ever sat on it. My mother remembers visiting us and being quite surprised to hear Me, Mister CB and Miss CB all yell in unison to Master CB "Not on the sofa" as he started to settle down for an evening of Wiggles viewing. "Not on the sofa" then became a popular catch-phrase with my parents which they liked to use with each other from time to time, just for a laugh, you know.

Oh, that reminds me of the time that I walked into the house with the kids and discovered that we'd been robbed. So I went back outside and called the Police and they came into the house with me, without thinking about it I placed Master CB on the sofa, and then as I was talking to the policewoman I saw him sitting on the sofa with a wet patch emerging, I let out a shriek and lunged for the sofa and I remember the look of shock on the policewoman's face as she said "Oh no, did you have a secret stash of cash in there?"