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Monday, January 4, 2010

When did I start writing movies??

I like stories.

I like to tell 'em, I like to listen to 'em – I just like stories.  I used to introduce myself, years ago, as having come from a long line of bullshitters and storytellers.  When I travel, when I choose work, it's important to me – it really, genuinely matters – that I be able to come away with stories to tell about where I've been and what I've done.  If I can't do that, then it almost feels as if the entire experience is wasted – there was nothing learned, nothing worth remembering, nothing worth sharing with people.


When it comes to actual writing, or trying to create fiction, I have a major, major stumbling block:  I can't plot to save my life.

Silly stories, serious stories, if it's already happened I can tell you about it – but when it comes to building a tale from scratch, all I usually can manage are scenes: visual tidbits, snippets, but nothing you could put together and make a novel out of.  I usually have a hard time coming up with any sort of plot for anything longer than, say, one of my blog posts.

This appears to have changed.

An article over on Entertainment Weekly pretended to review the movie Sherlock Holmes, barely, and then jumped straight to a speculation on what it might be like to see Robert Downey, Jr. in a film with Johnny Depp.

My brain combined this with another recent movie review, this one more in-depth, over on the Redbox Blog, which funnily enough also mentioned Depp:

Like Johnny Depp, his fellow acting eccentric, Downey doesn’t let the fact he’s much more talented than the material give him pause or shame—instead, like Depp, he lets his quirks fuel memorable performances even in blockbuster popcorn fluff. Downey’s wild/warm eyes and self-amused smirk are still here, dancing him through familiar action-movie routines. The result is that both actors have created a new sort of Movie Star: the Magnetic Weirdo.

The author of the first article invited readers to come up with their own ideas for movies starring the pair; my brain made the jump from "magnetic" to "charismatic", added the word "leader", and I suddenly had the following:

  • Imagine a comedy, starring Downey and Depp as a pair of cult leaders/commune heads/self-help gurus.
  • They are squared off in a massive rivalry that amounts to a popularity contest, trying to outdo one another in ratings/book sales/followers/believers/the girl.  The characters cannot STAND each other, I'm guessing largely because they're too much alike but can't see it themselves.
  • Hmm, the formula demands that at some point they be thrown together and forced to cooperate, let's see, against federal authorities/uptight fundamentalists/a third competitor in their market/an actually dangerous guy as compared to these two wannabes.  Or maybe they're on a "find yourself" kind of outing that goes wrong and leaves them stranded together.
  • Hilarity ensues.

My brain is actually starting to percolate on this.  I mean, can you just imagine one of them as a sleazy "sincere" type offering to listen to all a lady's troubles while not-so-secretly checking out her ass?  And the other as a completely out-there airheaded flake who is utterly convinced of his own Deep Understanding and Cosmic Wisdom?

The beauty of it is, I'm not sure which actor would be better in which part.  I can see either Downey or Depp completely nailing either role.

Your thoughts?


  1. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  2. Thanks so much! I was trying too hard with earlier posts to try and keep Fiddly Bits devoted to marketing henna. It's hard to really be creative when you have to deal with that kind of restriction.

    I have so few readers I'm happy to hear from every single one of you. Thanks for the comment!