Thursday, March 10, 2011

DVD Stack - Watching movies to write better novels.

While this sounds like a just plain awesome idea, my newest phase has some grounding in the actual craft of writing.

When I first began listening to podcasts, I stumbled across Will Write For Wine, hosted by Lani Diane Rich (Lucy March) and CJ Barry (Samantha Graves).  Of course, I thought, "What an excellent concept.  Two of my favourite things.  Let's bang those together and see what falls out.", and listened to them all.  I loved those podcasts, with their dangerously teetering blend of writing craft and drinking games.  Sadly, those podcasts finished up in March last year.  In fact, before I started subscribing.  D'oh.

Stumbling to find something to fill the void, I came across another Lani Diane Rich podcast, this time with the stunningly clever Jennifer Crusie, called Popcorn Dialogues.  In PopD, these two watch a movie, then tear it apart, using the conventions of romance writing craft, to ask why some things work and some don't.  It's really very cool.

They loved ENCHANTED, and tore HITCH into bloody, twitchy little lumps.  They began with 1950's rom coms and are now just heading into a series they've dubbed "Hitmen in Love".

On the website, PopD's catch-cry is "watching movies to write better novels".  So I thought I'd give it a red-hot go.

I've raided the DVD cabinet, and Kmart's bargain bins, and my mum's TV cupboard.  Plus my wardrobe and the space under my bed (I'm one of those people that finds things on the spesh and sekrits them away around my house to give away as gifts.  There's a very good chance 90% of these items won't ever be found again.), and I've collected some romcom DVDs.

Here's what I've got (images from

I like the heroine's dress.  That counts, right?

Although Hugh makes me want to poke a stick in my eye, Drew is a romcom staple not to be sneezed at (PopD enjoyed FIFTY FIRST DATES, for the most part).  And I love music, so this is a good start.  The vest is a worry, but I'll soldier on.
I have a nasty feeling about this one (could be echoes of my cleaning-hate), but I'll give it a shot.

I think I've seen this--I used to get quite worked up about Michael Vartan back in ALIAS days.  As I get older, though, he gets too skinny to float my boat much.  :)

I'm not a SEX IN THE CITY kinda chick, so I'm going into this one blind.   Her dress is also cute.
Didn't McConaughey have some weird off-screen bizzo going on?  Or was that the guy from STARSKY & HUTCH?  Are they the same guy?  I mix them up, mainly because they're not...

RYAN REYNOLDS!  Yum.  With stick.
I don't think I even care if this isn't educational.  I'm in it for the pictures.  Hopefully, he loses his shirt within the first five to ten minutes.

Jack Black.  I like him in SCHOOL OF ROCK, and Tenacious D's TRIBUTE just stuck him with superglue in my book of cool.  Which leads me to...

PopD kinda poked this one with a big bad stick.  They called it 'Meh.".  The most interesting part is apparently where Jude's character admits to having a cow.  Really, Jude is a bit too Hugh-ey for me, so I'm not surprised.  I'm worried I'm going to keep wanting Kate to race to the front of the ship and hold her arms out like she's flying all through this one.

Jane Austen - Check
Book - Check

I can feel the educationment happening already...
Ah, more Drew.  Love the fairytale angle.

Finally, I've found these, which I realise aren't romcoms, but they're going on the TBW pile anyhoo:

I'm quite satisfied just by the title.  I mean, really, how could this one not be fabulous?
This one is THE BOAT THAT ROCKED here in OZ.

They rocked.  They rolled.  Then they sank.  

So, how's my DVD stack looking?  Have you seen any?  Are any of them going to change my life?  Or will they make my eyes bleed?


  1. Oooh I like the sound of those podcasts. May have to check them out.

    As for your DVD choices, I find that it takes alot for me to hate movies - I'm quite tolerant. I mean it's usually only 2 hours of your life, right? And I don't expect to be educated by them. It's escapism for me especially the romcoms.

    Loved Ever After. Drew Barrymore is good in this. And I enjoyed her other two flicks on your list. Never Been Kissed is funnier - it's got her going back to high school *cringe*

    I wouldn't classify How To Lose a Guy in 10 days or Maid in Manhattan life changers. Actually I think I actually missed some bits to these films as I saw them on commercial TV.

    I didn't mind Shallow Hal. It is about seeing inner beauty and that has gives it points just on that.

    Surprisingly I really enjoyed The Holiday - i think Kate Winslett is an amazing actress and her character in this one is the 'nice' girl.

    I think out of all of them The Jane Austen Book club has a cast of characters connecting and using Austen in trying to work out their lives. It really is a great movie and while I hadn't read all of Austen, it was easy enough to follow.

    LOL re Hot Tub Time Machine. With a title like that-it's obviously critically acclaimed *wink*. And what is it with changing titles! though I must admit The Boat That Rocked does sound better ;)))

    Happy viewing. Let us know you go!

  2. Hi Eleni,

    Lovely to see you here!

    Well, I spent some time flying to and from Brisbane this weekend, and guess what? I forgot to toss the right titles on the viewing device. D'oh. Annoying, but not surprising. I pack for holidays like I shop. Without a list and running blind. :)

    So, I watched HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING. I LOVED HTTYD. Sooooo cute, great arcs, solid story, good characters. *love* Can't wait to watch it again with the squids. A Greek Wedding was fine, nothing too stressful, but no epiphany either. I understand why it was so popular back in the day.

    And yes, I think Hal should get bonus points. :)

    Thanks for dropping in, Eleni. See you soon! E x



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