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Archive for June 24th, 2012

Reiner reassmebles ‘Friends’ cast to star in “1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women”

For the next 6 days, we’ll be taking a little detour from the traditional marketing posts you’ve come to know and love on the Marcie Brock blog as I lead by example and follow my own writing prompts for the Author Blog Challenge.

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Day 23 writing prompt:

If a Hollywood agent were to come knocking on your door with an offer to turn your book into a movie and told you that you could call all the shots, who would you have direct and star in it? Write the first paragraph of Roger Ebert’s review of your film.

Yup – I have only myself and my overactive imagination to blame. It was easy enough to compose these prompts when they were theoretical questions to be posed to participants out there somewhere. Deciding to answer all of them has stretched me, mostly in a good way, as I’m sure it has many of the Author Blog Challenge participants.

When it comes to the Hollywood version of 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women, I have to go back to the prompt related to fictionalizing a nonfiction book.

I suppose the best way to turn this book into fiction would be to create a VERY neurotic character who experienced every question at some point during the book. Wow – what a wicked bizarre life that poor woman would have! I suppose we could make her a little more stable by parceling out the oddities to her friends, family members, coworkers, and annoying boss – which is, in large part, where the questions came from in the first place. I certainly didn’t experience all of them!

I rather like the idea of having a fictional alter ego who could go to some of the places I was willing to explore hypothetically but have never dived into in real life. Hmmm … screenplay fodder. I’ll have to put it on the back burner to let it simmer awhile.

So, here we are, a whole 2 weeks later. So much for the “awhile” part. OK, so let’s play along with the prompt. First, you have to know that I’m as severe a movie critic as you’ll ever meet, but romantic comedies are my guilty pleasure.

Directors Short List

In thinking about directors, I’ve got to go back to movies I’ve enjoyed. First there’s Anne Fletcher, who directed one of my all-time favorite romantic comedies, 27 Dresses. However, she’s also responsible for the absolutely dreadful The Proposal. I don’t care which critics liked it or how well it did on RottenTomatoes.com – that movie was sheer garbage. Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds were wasted on a plot that made women look like conniving shrews and men look like imbeciles. Betty White was the only saving grace. While the plot isn’t really Fletcher’s fault, she chose to make the film. Enough said.

Next up, I have to consider Sharon Maguire, who directed Bridget Jones’s Diary, which I liked enough to watch 5 times the weekend I rented it. Nevertheless, I still can’t get past the absolute absence of chemistry between Renée Zellweger and the alleged love of Bridget’s life, Colin Firth’s Mark Darcy. It was after seeing this film that I first made my suggestion that casting directors do a chemistry test between their romantic leads so that during the passionate kiss, they don’t look like they’d rather be drinking poison. OK – I can’t blame Maguire for the chemistry problem. However, besides Bridget Jones, she’s only done one other film. All the rest of her credits are for TV. Moving on.

A film that definitely landed on my Pinterest Guilty Pleasures board was Runaway Bride, directed by the legendary Gary Marshall. Runaway Bride reprised the pairing of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, whom Marshall also directed in Pretty Woman. Sure, who doesn’t love the hooker with the heart of gold? But the further I get away from that film, the more and more distasteful I find it. Maturity or crankiness? Marshall also directed the film version of Frankie and Johnny. It was during that 1991 movie that I decided to pack up my life and move from Tucson to New York City! That … was a good and bad experience. Marshall also has a penchant for the holidays, directing both Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve. Not sure he’s the right guy for my neurotic gal.

Wait a minute. What’s my favorite movie of all time? Princess Bride! And look who directed it – the inimitable Rob Reiner, famous for also having directed When Harry Met Sally, A Few Good Men, The American President, The Story of Us, and The Bucket List – all of which I very much enjoyed. We have a winner!

Casting

As for casting – that one is easy. And predictable. But easy. Jennifer Anniston. Who knows – while we’re at it, why not reassemble the whole cast of Friends to bring to life all the foibles and frailties uncovered in my book?

Jennifer Anniston – Rachel.
#85. Have you ever asked a guy out – or do you always prefer for him to make the first move? Would you rather not date at all than have to be the one to do the asking?

Courtney Cox – Monica.
#561. Do you regularly do spring/fall cleaning?

Lisa Kudrow – Phoebe.
#36. Have you ever put a curse on anyone? Have you ever been cursed?

Matt LeBlanc – Joey.
#938. Did you watch Sesame Street as a child? Did/do your children watch it? Who is/was your favorite character?

Matthew Perry – Chandler.
#335. Do you ever give unsolicited advice? How do you react when offered unsolicited advice?

David Schwimmer – Ross.
#125. Have you figured out what you want to be when you grow up? How did you figure it out? As a child, did you have fantasies about any particular job/career? Does your career bear any resemblance to those dreams?

So there you have it. Rob Reiner directing the cast of Friends in 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women. How can it miss?!

Ebert Gives 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women a thumb WAY up!

Well, they turned Sex and the City into a film – with a sequel – so it was probably only a matter of time until the cast of Friends reassembled on the big screen. Did they recapture the magic? You bet! Led by the always charming Jennifer Anniston, Rob Reiner’s cast hit it out of the park with this delightful conversion of Laura Orsini’s 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women into a contemporary romantic comedy. Smart, witty, and willing to go places few comedies will even hint at, this film seems utterly at home delving into the intricacies of life as a 21st century American woman, all the while capturing the essence of the famed sitcom’s theme song:

I’ll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.
I’ll be there for you, like I’ve been there before.
I’ll be there for you, ‘cause you’re there for me too.

Your book as a movie. Seriously. Who directs it? Who’s in it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Laura

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In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out!

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