Monday, September 20, 2010

Screenwriting. Shawshank.

So I finished reading that screenwriting book, Elements of Style for Screenwriters? I guess September just must be my month for picking bad books. Not that it was entirely useless, but it was set up like a dictionary of terms, you know, A is for "acts," B is for "binding" or "back to scene" (OR BONER-KILL).

Blah. What I'd really be interested in reading is some sort of inside edition of screenwriting, written by someone like Ari Gold (from Entourage), complete with scathing sarcasm, insults, and profanity. Speaking of Entourage, has anyone been watching it lately? Vinnie Chase with the cocaine and the porn stars and getting DeNiro-kicked by Marshall Mathers? He's off the deep end, y'all. Wow.

Anyway, skip the book unless you really don't know anything about screenwriting.

We watched The Shawshank Redemption last night, or McGillicuddy's Quest as Matt called it once, probably stoned, and unable to remember the real title. In a Film vs. Book smackdown, I'd have to go with FILM on this one. Stephen King has gone on record many times and said that this was a wonderful adaptation of his vision, one that he thought was right on, and I'll second it, even though what I think doesn't mean anything. The changes Frank Darabont made were good ones: the opera scene on the record player, keeping one, single, evil Warden throughout instead of many who came and went, and MORGAN FREEMAN (in the short story, Red was an Irish white guy). I think everyone was well cast in their roles, actually, but Morgan Freeman was beautiful. I love his voice. I think I even watched the Visa commercials he narrated during the Olympics, I love his voice so much.

One other thing that translated well from book to film was the relationship that developed between the two unlikely friends. I always get a little teary when Red finds the treasure at the end and then ends up on the beach. . . it would be so lovely if everyone could.

Which brings me to friendship, as a concept. I was forced to watch I LOVE YOU, MAN the other night. What an uncomfortable hour that was (I left when it got to be too embarrassing and my goose bumps began to hurt from all the clenching and grimacing). Now, I'm all in for uncomfortable humor (The Office, Extras, etc.) or even uncomfortable drama (Punch Drunk Love). I don't know why this film bothered me so much, I mean Paul Rudd's character was such a dolt I was demanding that his scenes be muted about three minutes in, but it was something more than that. The ideology of it, maybe. I have probably five close girl friends, and trust me, none of them know the days of my cycle or specifics of my sex life, nor will they, ever. I'm a Minnesota German, yes, and we can be distant and cold, especially when it comes to intimate details and emotion with others, but there are just some things I'm not sharing, you know? Some things are mine, no one else's. This film made it seem like all women share these things. It also made women look vapid, gossipy, not-smart, and annoying. If I want to watch chicks who are these things I usually just turn on Sex and the City. (STAY TUNED FOR RANDOM, ANONYMOUS COMMENTS THAT LABLE ME A HATER).

Also: you've been dating a guy for eight months who likes Rush and you've never even heard of the band? Dumb. I couldn't even consider marrying someone who wasn't my friend. How were these two even together in the first place? What a bunch of morons.

So if anything, I thought there were funny parts in the film, but there were too many other uncomfortable things for me to enjoy it. Here I am, a woman, critiquing a man-film for its portrayal of women, which was probably an accurate portrayal, just not one that worked for me. Should I be able to sit back and laugh at it anyway since I'm not like that? Should I be pissed off at the chicks who are? Fuck it. I'm Daniel Day Lewis, walking off the stage.

Yes. Me, me, me, I know.