by Gina Sestak
No, this is not another post about the Pennwriters Conference. Great as it was, that subject has been done to death. I do want to mention one thing, though. Last Saturday's keynote speaker, Jonathan Maberry, kept sneaking away to write tens of thousands of words to meet a midday Monday deadline. How many of us could have managed to participate in the conference with that looming over our heads? It seemed more like the kind of thing a writer would do in a movie than in real life.
That got me thinking about how writers are depicted on film. Awhile back, I mentioned one of my favorite writing movies, Stranger than Fiction (2006).
Writer Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson) spends her time working out her plot and putting it into words, much to the dismay of her protagonist Harold Crick (Will Farrell).
Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) also came across as authentically as a novelist in Romancing the Stone (1984).
The scene in which she is scrounging her apartment for a tissue is priceless. I don't know about you, but that certainly looks a lot like my writing life. For those who haven't seen the film, the heroine finds herself thrust into a real-life adventure like the ones she writes about - complete with a romantic hero (Michael Douglas) - when she has to go to South America to rescue her kidnapped sister.
Romance novelist Mary Fisher (Meryl Streep), on the other hand, lives in a mansion on a hill. She-Devil (1989) pits her against Ruth Patchett (Roseanne Barr), an average housewife, in a battle for Ruth's husband Bob (Ed Begley, Jr.) and romance meets reality when his kids come to stay.
Not all writers on screen are female, of course. Norman (Craig Sheffer)'s autobiographical A River Runs Through It (1992) tells the story of two young men growing up in Montana.
Perhaps my all-time favorite writer on screen is Mary Call (Julie Gholson), whose beautifully written narration powers Where The Lilies Bloom (1974), the story of a girl's struggle to conceal the death of her father.
Unfortunately, youtube doesn't have a trailer for it.
How about you? Who's your favorite writer on screen?