Meesa meejahoor

I am what Meg calls a meejahoor. Recently I have been constantly trying to read four or five books at the same time and watching movies when I come up for a breath of non-literary air. I think this is because I was deprived of English-language books and movies (or at least of selection) in France and I'm now so inundated with them that I gave myself and get in over my head. Read/viewed within the past week:

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - it's a reread, but an interesting one, what with all I've learned in book 5. I like it when Sirius tells the gang, "If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."

Mr Darcy's Daughters - I couldn't get all the way through this. I tried, but I've finally come to the conclusion that I can't read sequels written by other people. They never have exactly the right voice, and there's an odd tendency to put modern concepts into Jane Austen books. This very dumb book does it too. I'm not disputing that there were homosexuals then, but there aren't openly gay characters in Austen's books, and putting them there feels all wrong. It's like published fan fiction.

Diary of an American Au Pair - A bit of travel-fluff. I love travel-fluff. I like the trend of Bridget-Jones-single-gal novels when I need something light to read, and it's even better when there's culture shock to boot.

A Mighty Wind - I went to see this with my parents this weekend, and no one in the theater laughed as hard as we did. I think Best in Show was slightly better just because it had fewer characters to keep track of, but this was still mighty good and had fun music. "I think Crabbeville in autumn would look quite magnificent."

Writing the Novel - It was a book about writing novels. It made me feel a lot better about having no idea what I wanted to write about and reaffirmed some of the things I'd read elsewhere:

"Characters take on a life of their own and insist upon supplying their own dialogue."
"It's encouraging to note that we're in the majority, that most writers have been obsessed with the idea of becoming writers before the nature of what they might write about revealed itself to them. [...] The identification of self as writer comes for most of us before we know what sort of writer we'll be or what we'll write about..."
"I learned quickly that my self-image as a writer was stronger than my self-image as a potential great novelist. I didn't really care all that deeply about artistic achievement, nor did I aspire to wealth beyond the dreams of avarice. I wanted to write something and see it in print. I don't know that that's the noblest of motives for doing anything, but it was at the very core of my being."

The Professor - Lovely. Will eventually have a post all to itself.

Shanghai Knights - Not as good as the first one, but what sequel is? Still pretty enjoyable. "I'm a thirty year old waiter/gigolo. Where's the future in that?"

Greenfingers - Not spectacular, but rather cute. It's a movie about inmates in a British prison who discover a love for gardening.

Farm Fatale - I can't stop reading this woman's books, even though I don't really like them. I don't know who I do like in the fluffy-single-girl genre, so I just keep reading what I know, even if I don't like it. Any suggestions?

Zazie dans le métro - I'm in the middle of this one, but it's already overdue so I'm afraid I'll have take it back to the library before I finish. A little girl comes to Paris, wants to ride in the metro, the metro's on strike, she runs away... not a whole lot of action, but the dialogue is interesting because it's written the way people talk, with "cexé" for "ce que c'est" and things like that.

America's Sweethearts - Bof. Lots of dislikable characters. Julia Roberts was okay. "I really want to play a character like a The Terminator. The Hispanic people are crying out to see a deadly, destructive, killing machine that they can embrace as their own."

Kate & Leopold - This must be Meg Ryan's last single-gal-in-the-city romantic comedy. She should have stopped before this one. She was too old for the movie and too old for Hugh Jackman and Liev Shreiber. She can still make divorced-mother-of-three romantic comedies or branch off into something else, but I really don't want to see her doing this anymore.

Plus, she looked like she was going to cry during the whole movie.

Plus, I hate time-travel.

In the director's cut, there's a scene at the beginning where Meg Ryan's character is doing media research on a movie and someone claims that your main character doesn't need to be likable all the time. Meg Ryan doesn't agree, and he argues that she probably isn't likable all the time. She responds, "I'm not the protagonist in a major motion picture." But she is. And she's not likable. So it doesn't work.

Victoria's Daughters - I just started this last night, so they've only just been born. I'm quite liking it, though. I do like a bit of non-fiction from time to time.

srah - Tuesday, 22 July 2003 - 7:03 PM
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Comments (9)

gravatar srah - July 23, 2003 - 12:17 AM -

I would just like to point out that it's the book-content that is fluffy... and not the single girls. Although they may be.

gravatar Mer - July 23, 2003 - 10:32 AM -

2 questions for ya:

-Does The Professor end more happily than Villette? (And when I write my screenplay adaptation for Villette, will you help with the French? Ok, so that makes it 3 questions.)

-I'm so glad someone felt the same way I did about Meg Ryan in that stupid movie. NOT likeable. Absolutely didn't deserve all the fuss being made over her.

gravatar srah - July 23, 2003 - 10:43 AM -

I haven't read Villette, but The Professor seems to end pretty happily. He isn't an extremely likable character either, but I suppose CB was better at writing female protagonists.

It's funny, because as I was reading it, I was thinking that I should write a modern book based on The Professor, then decided there was too much French, but that I liked all the French. So it would have to be a movie with subtitles rather than a novel.

I'd love to participate!

gravatar Matt - July 23, 2003 - 3:04 PM -

I think I finally just got what meejahoor means.

gravatar Lisa - July 24, 2003 - 10:41 AM -

Hey there, followed a link from Mer to here... I have to say, I haven't been crazy about Lawrence Block's fiction, but I just read Writing the Novel too, and it was like rediscovering that I'm not alone in this crazy writer thing. :) I love his approach to writing.

gravatar katie - July 27, 2003 - 5:29 PM -

I'm glad you liked The Professor. However... I have to argue that Villette doesn't have a definitively unhappy ending. It has an uncertain ending. That's what makes you feel unsatisfied with it - it's so uncertain. Quite unusual for the genre and era, but CB was a forward thinker.

Srah, you should read Villette. It wasn't my favorite Bronte novel, but I remember thinking that the prose was just a beauteous joy to read.

gravatar katie - July 27, 2003 - 5:30 PM -

PS - I don't get it. What's a meejahoor?

gravatar srah - July 27, 2003 - 9:17 PM -

Media whore.

gravatar katie - July 28, 2003 - 8:31 AM -


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