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Comments

E.C. Henry

Great post Billy,

That lady with the web-cam in Wisconsin is a sad case. I wonder what her motivation is?

Your reader's observation concerning Jordan in your first person narrative was an incomplete observation. The real kicker is, is this character interesting or boring? Melvin Uddal in "As Good as it Gets" was self-absorbed, but he was GREAT! So, don't beat yourself up over that person's comment. Beat yourself up if they don't like your story.

Sorry to hear "Friends with Money" lacks plot. Kinda sound like "Oceans 12." Great cast, not a sufficent story to carry the tallent. Totally with you on Katherine Keneer. Wow, what a woman! She can swing it several different ways: beauty AND brains. Now, Jeniffer Aniston I have a lot of pity for. She has all the tools to be someone I would truely admire, but she has yet to have that SIGNATURE PERFORMANCE that evates her above what she is now: a tabloid beauty.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

christina

Interesting observation, the self-awareness bit. I believe self-awareness is a trait that not only makes a good protagonist, but a good friend. My friends that can see themselves in a bigger picture and laugh about it all are my favorites. The ones that can't recognize the connection between their own actions and results frustrate me.

JJ

I don't know, Billy. I read this post twice and still can't figure out how it's about me.

It does seem like catching lightning in a jar when you get both character and story in the same movie, though, doesn't it?

My current obsession is Time Traveler's Wife. That book is amazing for a lot of reasons, one of them being that Audrey Niffenegger developed such complete portraits of both her male and female characters and put them into such an agonizingly perfect plot.

I don't rep her or anything. I just like the book.

MaryAn

Cripes, I must be compulsively anti-narcissist.

writergurl

We're all surrounded by opera singers. You know, those people, be they Sopranos (no, not the tv show) or Tenors, who's entire focus in life is a daily chorus of "me, me, meeee"!

It's unfortunate, but in our instant gratification world, there seems to be a veritable proliferation of those types of people.

chesher cat

JJ,
You couldn't figure out how it was about you because it's about ME!

mernitman

E.C., that's true, the ultimate litmus test of character is, whether self-involved, saintly or monstrous, "do they fascinate us?"

Christina, I'm totally with you there; laugh at yourself and the world does laugh with you (as opposed to, at)...

JJ, I'm a big fan of Niffenegger, and the thing that really blows me away is that she's primarily an artist, and just did "Wife" as a side project while she was having touble with her illustrated book, see:
http://livingromcom.typepad.com/my_weblog/2005/12/picture_book.html

MaryAn: consider yourself blessed!

Writergurl, and not to bum you out further, but what do you suppose the effect of this "culture of narcissism" on today's children will be?...

Chesher, you're so vain, you prob'ly think this comment's about you.

Writergurl

I shudder to think what those operatic types will raise. You can see glimpses of it right now if you dare go to a restaurant that is "family" friendly. The children run amok whilst their "parents" seem to be entirely unconcerned that Junior is being an absolute brat.

Case in point: I went to lunch on Good Friday with my extended family, it was my little twin cousins' birthdays (they're 8, both boys) and it was jaw dropping how one "Mom" allowed her child to behave. This kid HIT his mom, then he ran up and down the servers ramps several times waving his hands in the air, only to crawl under the table and sulk when his food didn't arrive quickly enough for him. After he was coaxed out from under the table, he refused to eat anything but ketsup. After he tired of that, he, then, shoved handfuls of french fries into his mouth, chewing them with his mouth WIDE open. After that, he refused to wait for the server to bring us the check, or to bring the birthday cakes (for the boys) and ran outside to play in the parking lot, next to a busy road. His "parent" ambled after him taking the birthday boys with her so they could all "play". The waitstaff (it was one of those places that sings "Happy Birthday" to you) had assembled for the singing and clapping that they normally do were stopped short when it was discovered that the birthday boys had gone missing. Becuase of this boy's behavior and his "mother's" apparent indifference to it, the birthday boys didn't get to eat their cake for lunch nor did they get the dubious "pleasure" of being sung to by the waitstaff, all becase this woman wouldn't (couldnt?) control her toddler.

When I was growing up, if I had commmited even ONE of those acts, my butt would have been locked in the car, sans lunch, and probably with a warm bottom from my Dad's hand being applied to it in a very vigorous manner.

MaryAn

Writergurl, I'm one of those restaurant patrons who would say something like, "excuse me, madam, do you plan to correct that child any time in the near future or are you planning to wait until he robs a 7-Eleven?"

Writergurl

Oh, I've tried that a time or two... usually, the response if someone getting all bug eyed and in your face screaming at you about how it's THEIR kid and none of your damn business.

SIGH.

I couldn't very well say anything to the woman in the story above, as she is friend of my cousin and the aggravation that would have been caused by my speaking up simply isn't worth it. Opera singers stick together when they think an outsider is messing with them.

Lucy

Writergurl, it's that type of parent who gives us all a bad name, really gets on my nerves. But hey, it's ok - cos that kid probably had ADHD or something, right!?! ; )

What's particularly ironic is that when I had my first child I was only 18, just a girl really, with no life experience and no husband. I was told by multiple people (including my grandparents!) I was "letting myself and my family down"... My son's never behaved like that in public - or at home for that matter either. EVER.

writergurl

Oh, Lucy, I don't mean to disparage ALL parents, it's just the operatic ones that I loathe! Amazingly, (well, not so amazing, our family is strict about manners and such) neither of the twins has ever behaved in such a way either. They behave for the most part, say "thank you" and "please" and don't act like hooligans, most because they know they'd better or else some adult in the family is gonna be correcting them.

MaryAn

and when they yell at you, you smile sweetly and sympathetically as you say "oh, I see, my apologies to you kid, I totally get him now"

lizriz

Just jumped on to say that I absolutely LOVED "Friends with Money," and I didn't feel like it was missing anything.

What I find curious is that a film like "Friends with Money" has much more authentic story and character development than say "Crash," but "Crash" is the darling. Do you think that's just Racism (with a capital R) being considered more Important (with a capital I) than our day to day more mundane struggles?

mernitman

Hey Lizriz: Thanks for bringing it back to ME (and what you might think about me and how I feel about me in that regard, etc.) -- although I was enjoying the way this blog had turned into an open forum on the do's and don'ts of motherhood --

I think you're spot on about the (supposed) Big Issues v. Smaller Issues thing. I loathed Crash precisely because it got away with murder (e.g. horrifically contrived plotting, implausible characters, massively simplistic, reductivist theme-work, etc.) in the name of Importance. But time, that wonderfully impartial judge, has an interesting way of righting such balances in the long run (just to cite one example, nothing might seem more trivial than the "will our daughters be married?" issues of upper middle-class society in late 18th century England, but Jane Austen's doing quite well, thanks, in 2006, while many of her more "serious-minded" writing contemporaries have completely vanished from memory). So it'll be interesting to see how/if Crash endures, and what Friends will look like, as time marches on...

MaryAn

Why do some Rom Coms withstand the test of time and others not, Billy? Or.. do I just need to finish the book?

Writergurl

Hey buddy, YOU started it.

Ok, ok, maybe I did but you know what I meant...

:)

Maryan, I refuse to have a battle of wits with unarmed people. Hence, my decision not to have the conversations describe above.

mernitman

MaryAn: Wow, thanks -- you just gave me a perfect kick-start for another blog post. But in the meantime, sure, keep reading :-)

Bill Sebring

(Great writing, Billy.)

markenfarklesparkle

just for the record... i took all those pix from friends with money...
sometimes what I do... besides being an big braggert... I think friends without money, are way more interesting. Yes it was way fun to watch those actresses work, viewing them through my peep hole box with a lens... but Simon Burkhardt, who plays francis's husband...was the real treat... great actor.. promise we will be seeing lots of good shite in the years to come.

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