Tag Archive for storytelling

Good fun and entertainment

I did a blog yesterday on Drunk Writer Talk about how Will Farrell, Jack Black and John C. Reilly’s “comedy doesn’t get respect” number during the Oscar ceremony reminded me of how genre fiction doesn’t either… And how I’m learning to be “okay with that”.

And on that same vein, I wanted to tell everyone about two really fun movies I saw the other night. I know I mostly talk about indie and/or foreign films — but that’s mostly because I’ve seen a lot of cool movies ahead of their release dates, because of the 45 or so films I see every September at the Toronto International Film Festival. And if I loved them… I want people to know about them.

Doesn’t mean I don’t go to see tons of commercial films, too. (That don’t need my “help”. LOL)
I went to the movies on the weekend with pretty low expectations for two films and loved them both.

Music & Lyrics and Ghost Rider. I guess Ghost Rider surprised me more than Music & Lyrics but both were better than I expected.

Music & Lyrics probably wouldn’t have worked as well with different actors, but Hugh Grant, in particular, was perfectly cast. I loved how the entire movie pokes fun at 80’s pop songs (not to mention current baby Pop Divas) and all those early videos which were so, so cheesy. But at the same time, it wasn’t mean spirited about it and Hugh’s character wasn’t completely pathetic. Sure, he’d given up on trying to be great, but he was still earning a living at what he loved –performing music — and seemed pretty content with his life. Of course, as in all great genre storytelling, he was a better man by the end of the film and had rediscovered his passion for music.
I actually liked the Drew Barrymore character too and think she was well cast as someone a little ditsy and vulnerable whose confidence has been seriously shaken. And at the same time, Drew has that seductress thing about her, so you could wonder whether the Campbell Scott character was right about her. (LOVE him by the way. Have never seen him do anything not interesting.)

After seeing that perfectly satisfying little dessert of a movie, I actually snuck into Ghost Rider (don’t tell on me) not really expecting to like it and prepared to walk out early if my expectations proved true. But I really enjoyed it. I’m not normally into those comic book type movies but the religious element added a deeper layer to the premise and I thought the story was well told. And seriously. We do not see nearly enough Wes Bentley on the screen these days. He makes an AMAZINGLY sexy evil demon dude.

It is called "Grey’s" Anatomy

Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen this week’s Grey’s Anatomy, read no further.

I am a big fan of this show. Big fan of Shonda Rhimes. That woman can write. She’s one of my new heros. I thought last night’s episode (the past weeks’ little trilogy of episodes) was great.

It’s not that I thought they’d kill off Meredith. Like I said, the show’s called Grey’s Anatomy. It’d be hard to kill off Dr. Grey. But the show has killed off some very likable and sympathetic characters in the past, so the very slim chance she might actually die made me just a tiny bit scared.

But really, we didn’t need to think she might die in order to be interested in that episode. The fact that she gave up fighting in the water and why. The horrible things her mother said to her. Derek’s obvious commitment to her. (especially since we’ve been given reasons to doubt him in the past.) Addison’s obvious sadness in realizing Derek’s feelings for Meredith. The deepening of the Christina/Meredith friendship. “You’re the one person I wanted to tell.” And that little bit with Denny and Izzie at the end? Heartbreaking and not entirely predictable. Because of everything else going on, I thought she was about to say something nice to Callie. With hindsight, that little encounter with Denny was obvious, but there was enough misdirection (at least for me) that it was a tender, heartwrenching little surprise.

Yes, in that episode the “will Meredith live” question was almost the frame for the other subplots, not the main plot, so it didn’t matter that we all knew she’d live.

And having her nearly die seems like smart writing to me. I mean, Meredith’s character needs to change and evolve. But she’s deeply scarred. You can’t make a deeply scarred character simply do a 180 without motivation. This past sequence of events culminating in a near death experience may provide a believable catalyst for her to change. (Assuming that’s where the writers take it.) Much more satisfying than her changing simply because she falls in love. (Not that her falling in love isn’t satisfying… (That scene last week when Derek was carrying her out of the water just about killed me.) I guess I just like to see a character grow for reasons other than love. Especially when the character isn’t capable of love unless they change. (Guess that’s why I sucked at writing romances…)

I’ve heard some critics of this show say they find Meredith’s character whiney. I don’t agree. I love her character. I love all the characters on the show. They’re flawed. They’re 3 dimensional. And this latest group of shows where we saw more about her relationship with her mother and how that holds her back, explains much of her “malcontent” nature, if in fact she has one.

Can’t wait to see where they take her character and this show.