Writing On Spec

An award caliber procrastinator discovers a new and dangerous pursuit to keep him from actually writing another script. Why another Blog? I love to talk screenwriting. I love to talk story. I live in Richmond, VA. It's almost easier to get produced than find another screenwriter here. We are the anti-LA.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Emotional Timebombs

I recently watched "The Thing About My Parents". It's a new flick by Mad About You creator Paul Reiser. I like him as a stand-up comic and as a writer/actor, so it wasn't hard to plop this in the Netflix queue.

The cast is good as well, Elizabeth Perkins, Peter Falk and a small part by Olympia Dukaukis. The story is about a father and son getting to know each other (I won't go into a ton of details, rent it and see for yourself).

I didn't really read much on the flyer about it, just threw it in and watched. No expectations whatsoever.

The story had it's funny moments and some real tender moments. The tough thing for me, however, was the bonding between father and son. My dad died when I was 9. I don't remember anything about him. I have pictures and my mother's stories, but that's it. It's a peculiar thing when you become a parent - at least for me - now I see myself as a father and I'm realizing how much I've missed the relationship with my father.

What's funny - and poignant - is that if somebody brings up fathers and discovers that mine died while I was young, I don't feel anything, but there are certain situations (and films for sure) that will just well-up those deep emotions.

One such occassion, quite peculiar and unexpected, was during Armageddon. My father was in the Air Force (retired) and so at the end of the movie, when they have the 5 planes fly over and one peel off, I just burst into tears. Being the manly man I was at that age (20 something) I had to wipe back the tears and choke it up, but it was disconcerting to not be able to control my emotions.

If you're lucky, you're able to put your characters into these situations in your stories. Things that touch them in ways they are unaware of.

The Thing About My Parents is a touching film that I know got made based on Reiser's credits and not the Hollywood machine. There is no draw for this film whatsover in the logline, much like the current "sunshine", it's all in the character interactions and the bond you create with them during the 90 minutes of screen time.



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