Tuesday 29 May 2012

Movies I Can't Wait To See: Seeking A Friend For The End of the World

I liked this trailer about a month ago when I first stumbled upon it, but the more I view it, the more I like it.  An end of the world premise is not an unusual one in movies today, but making it a comedy and having Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley hooking up (I assume) is definitely not something you see all the time.  Although Atonement could have been much different with that pairing ...

In Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, a meteor is destined to crash into Earth in three weeks and there's nothing that can be done to stop it.  People quit their jobs, marriages break up and Patton Oswalt (who I loved in Young Adult) sleeps with anything that moves.

Dodge (Steve Carell) and Penny (Keira Knightley) use their time to go on a road trip:  she's looking to reunite with her family and he's looking for a highschool sweetheart.

It's anyone's guess what happens in the end (I'm guessing end of the world crisis suddenly averted - all bets open 'til Friday), but from this trailer it looks like the journey to 'end of days' features a lot of funny moments and at least one trip to TGIF.  And if you can end the world scarfing down potato skins and green bean fries, then it can't be all bad.

What movie are you waiting anxiously to see this summer?

Monday 28 May 2012

Writer Stuff - These Three Things ...

Anne MacFarlane did a great session at our local Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada meeting last month.  It was about "what makes a book great?" and she examined The Hunger Games, which is one of my favourite books in the last few years.

Near the end of the session she had us do an exercise to figure out what could make our books great.  

  • Write down three of our favourite books
  • Figure out what these three books have in common
My faves were Bridget Jones Diary (Helen Fielding), Persuasion (Jane Austen) and About a Boy (Nick Hornby).  Clearly, I have a little bit of a chick-lit theme going on.

After thinking about all three and what they had in common, I realized that in the context of that particular story, each one of the main characters felt like they didn't belong - they were outsiders.

Bridget Jones - she's not in a relationship and doesn't have a real career and yet everyone else (except her core group of friends) has those things.  She feels like she's fallen behind.

Anne Eliot - she doesn't fit in with her family at all.  They're either vain or vapid (or both) and when Captain Wentworth returns and everyone loves him, she feels like she's outside looking in, since she kissed him off years ago and now has to avoid him.

Will Lightman is a jobless thirty-six year old living off his father's success as a one-time songwriter.  Without a job or a family, he's completely on the outside of society, until he meets 12-year old Marcus who is also having a hard time fitting in.

Why do I like characters who don't fit in?  I suppose that's a question for my therapist (probably should get one of those).  But when I look at my own writing, I definitely see that same theme play out.

What are your three books and what do they have in common??

Thursday 24 May 2012

Shag of the Week - Channing Tatum

Do you think this spray-tan
 makes me look fat?
I'll admit that I'm normally the kind of girl who goes for the "beta" guy.  You know, Jason Bateman, James McAvoy, Paul Bettany ... not likely to be in a movie where they're running around killing people, but certainly the kind of guy you want to have by your side if you're picking out a new couch for your living room while bantering with you about your love of faux-suede.
But once in awhile I get a little craving for an "alpha" ... and Channing Tatum, in all his shirtless glory, often has to be called up from the farm team to fill that void.  I remember first seeing him in "Step Up" and thinking he was charming ... but as the movie roles piled up (She's The Man, Dear John, The Vow) I realized the wardrobe department must have to get their "men's tanks" through some kind of wholesale discount - cuz there's a lot of 'em.

Is it me or am I ROCKIN' this tie clip ...

My three favourite Channing Tatum movies are The Vow, 21 Jump Street and She's The Man.   But I'm waiting anxiously for the release of Magic Mike to see if it makes a dent in my top three.  And who knows?  Maybe the tearaway pant will be his new "go to" wardrobe staple.  

A girl can dream ...

Movies I Can't Wait To See - Safety Not Guaranteed

Watching upcoming movie trailers on IMDB is a huge timesuck, but every once in awhile a trailer shows up and I'm stuck wondering "what am I going to busy myself with while waiting for this to come out!!??!!"

Case in point ... SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED. 

Fun fact - apparently this classified ad actually appeared in a newspaper.  The guy at that newspaper must see some crazy-ass stuff!

First off, it has Jake Johnson (slacker sexy), who I'm a HUGE fan of now that I'm addicted to New Girl on Tuesday nights.  Secondly, it's a romantic comedy.  I will watch just about anything that's a romantic comedy (I've seen Cutting Edge 2 and 3 ... seriously, I'm not picky).

So now I will watch this trailer about 8 gazillion times and hope that it opens in Halifax, because if I have to wait for this thing to come out on DVD it's gonna kill me!

(Please note:  If you know of any activities that I can pass the time with between now and June 8, please send immediately)

Mr. Darcy Sans Pants

The question of "when did you know you want to write?" comes up once in awhile.  I always hate this question because I don't have the same answer as most people, who apparently starting journalling their inner thoughts in the womb (waterproof keypad I suppose) ... and I always feel a bit inadequate that I came to the decision much later in life ... and for a much shallower reason.

When the BBC released their version of Pride and Prejudice, I hadn't even heard of the story.  I'd heard of Jane Austen, of course, but only because I'd seen Sense and Sensibility and thought it was quite fantastic and so I thought this Jane Austen person's miniseries might be worth a look.

It was six hours long.  Six hours!  And I was glued to my seat the whole time in what I like to refer to as a "full-on Darcy trance." The lake scene was replayed dozens of times that weekend, mostly while I scarfed down Cheetos and Diet Coke, and I literally fell in love with Colin Firth (his public relations manager has since wrote me to tell me it's not actual 'love' and that I should stop sending photos .. and invitations to dinner ... and hair clippings ... ). 

After that I started concocting all of these stories that were just various takes on the Mr. Darcy character.  Of course in my versions he had a tendency to run around without pants a lot, but everyone has their own "vision" of a story.

Since that time I've stopped thinking of stories where Colin Firth figures prominently and actually moved onto writing real stories.  I've joined a writing group, started and stopped several novels, got some critique partners and finalled in some contests. 

But it really was Colin Firth who got me started on the whole thing (and Helen Fielding had her part too by showing me the way with Bridget Jones). 

And even though my path to writing isn't as pure-hearted as some of my colleagues, I know I'm on the right path.  It doesn't matter how I got here ... I'm just glad I found it.  Because let's be honest ... those "Colin Firth without pants" stories are not going to write themselves ...