Having finished Fox Fire, I’m forging straight on to my next novel. I’ve been writing off and on for fun since High School, but I have almost no experience in actually finishing novels (I love being able to put “almost” in front of that now). This next is called Chasing Clouds, and it is a romantic comedy for Young Adults, with a fantasy twist.
Chasing Clouds is going to be short, paced like a movie – which means the inspiring moments most often come while watching some of my favorites.
#6 500 Days of Summer
As the movie will tell you in the beginning, this is not a love story. It’s a moving on story. It’s a story on how to deal. Without giving too many spoilers; you get to see Summer from the hero’s perspective in several ways, through different lenses. We see how he fell for her, how he hated her, how he missed her, and how she was totally bad for him… and good for him. Plus it’s super funny – a Romantic Comedy for guys.
Why I Wish I’d Written It: The comedic element. The non-traditional format; the story is non-linear, showing which “Day” it is with each new scene, telling us how long it’s been since the first day he met Summer. The theme of the movie as it follows this character, being a romantic movie that guys can totally identify with that isn’t just about “winning the day and the girl”.
Adapted from Neil Gaiman’s YA Novel, this is a bright-eyed young man who is swept up in an epic fantasy adventure, all in the name of love. Neil is one of my favorite authors, first because of his pure skill with words, but secondly because of the beauty in his ability to genre-bend.
Why I Wish I’d Written It: I love the Romantic Twist, as we watch the hero grow up. The plot itself, the magical elements of the setting, are seamlessly tied up in the romance which develops throughout the story. This delivers an emotional punch that I am, frankly, jealous of.
My favorite modern romantic comedy. That genre (distinctive from “chick flicks”) is a dying art, and Hitch is one of the best examples of the past decade. Not only do we get to see a likable side of Will Smith that we don’t get from his usual “Swagger Sci-Fi Hero” characters… but the movie is exceptionally well-written. It takes the basic idiot plot (where the emotional pinch is supplied by a character’s dishonesty) and makes it into something plausible and believable. This is one of the classics of our generation, a movie I’m sure will be watched for ages.
Why I Wish I’d Written It: It’s constant laughs from the very start, and remains engaging throughout. The dialog is fun and snappy. We get to see a vulnerable side to all four of the characters who we are hoping to see end up happy, which endears us to them. (I guess Sara’s friend is another, so that makes 5 people we’re invested in.) It accomplishes all of this in record time. Best of all, I just love the mood; it’s a great UP movie.
#3 Source Code
Newest movie on this list, Source Code was a delightful surprise. I expected just another thriller, something Bourne-esque. I got a whole lot more from it. This movie started off interesting, and had me at the edge of my seat. It’s like Groundhog’s Day meets the Twilight Zone, or the Matrix, and somehow squeezes a charming romance into everything that is going on. I was sobbing by the end; always an endearing quality for a movie, especially when that sob is a happy one.
Why I Wish I’d Written It: The concept is different, the thriller element mixes well with the romance, and it pulls off a 9/11 patriotic element without coming off cheesy, which I was surprised to find myself totally loving.
#2 Stranger than Fiction
The narrations about the hero’s life grabbed me from the get-go, especially the fun little quips about Harold’s watch. I love the atmosphere created by the music and the little computer menus that hover around Harold. I was never the biggest Will Ferrel fan, but this movie caught me by surprise when I found that I really loved his character and performance. Another movie that gets me sobbing pretty hard-core, especially a moment toward the end with the author hitting her keyboard. If you go watch it, you’ll know what I mean.
Why I Wish I’d Written It: The concept is fantastic; a man can hear the voice of the author who is narrating his life, and through the narrative discovers that his death is eminent. Once again, I LOVE a good genre-bend. There are a lot of really adorable endearing moments, especially when Harold brings Ana “Flours”.
#1. Definitely, Maybe
Ryan Reynolds plays William Hayes, who is going through a divorce. His daughter wants to know the story of how her mother and father met, so he decides to tell her the whole story from the beginning – changing the names of the girls he dated so that she’ll have to guess which one is her mother.
I have this thing where I’ve always enjoyed watching Ryan Reynolds on screen, but that he always gets these crap parts. This is a movie where he doesn’t. He gets to play the lead role, he fits into that role perfectly, and the story is wonderfully written. While it is clearly a Romantic Comedy, I love how the story becomes about so much more; his relationship with his daughter.
All of the movies on this list are some of my favorites of all-time, but this movie retains the most re-watch-ability. Lines like, “Dad? I can’t believe you smoked… and drank… and were such a slut. But I still love you,” get me every time. Having been through divorce, it’s a powerful moment when you can feel that love from someone close again.
Why I Wish I’d Written It: We really get to grow with the hero, to watch his development as he charges into the world as a confident graduate with huge ambitions, and learns that the world (and romance) doesn’t work the way he expected. The bonding story with he and his daughter is moving, and in the end I am totally convinced that he ended up with the right one.