Thursday, June 26, 2014

Chatting About Authors Anonymous



Image courtesy of dvdsreleasedate.com

Hey, y'all! Today Beth Ellyn Summer and I are chatting about Authors Anonymous. As writers, we might have gotten a little excited over this movie, and hope you enjoy listening in(reading in?) as we chat about it. 


**Warning: Some minor spoilers are below.**


Leandra: First!! A movie about a writing group! Aah! I have you to thank, Beth, for me first hearing about Authors Anonymous. I am super intrigued by real life writing groups(I might be trying one out next month) so getting to sit down and 'see' one in action was a treat. It was so funny, and I'm pretty sure I had this goofball smile on my face most of the time, especially as things came up that we writer's often deal with. Like Henry's writer's block, poor guy. I really liked his and Hannah's characters. They seemed more real to me, as the others(Colette, Alan, William, & John) felt a bit over the top-- but were so hilarious b/c of it!


Beth: Thanks so much for asking me to join you, Leandra! And I hear ya, I couldn't stop smiling throughout this whole movie. So relatable on so many levels! (Henry's wall of rejection!) Admittedly, independent films are a rarity for me, since I'm a rom-com, earned-a-billion-at-the-box-office type person. But that being said, I loved how authentically the writing process is portrayed in Authors Anonymous. And the all-for-one-one-for-all (gone horribly wrong) aspect had me in stitches! Then there's the fact that William was played by Jonathan Bennett (Lindsay Lohan's crush in Mean Girls!)--this made me so happy.


Leandra: Ah-ha! I knew I'd seen him in something, but couldn't think what. He's a cutie! ;) And, oh yeah, that downward spiral of jealousy once Hannah got an agent/book deal/movie deal-- especially on Colette's part, brrr! Speaking of Colette, one of my fav scenes in the whole movie is when she's reading from her manuscript and she uses-- what? Like five or six adverbs in a row? Lol! I loved that they showcased something that's a big 'no-no' in writing by taking it to the extreme.


Beth: Yup, Colette basically made every mistake in the book, pun intended. Her writing was...well...expressive, to say the least :) Another scene that had me cracking up is when Alan, the eye doctor/writer, finds out a real live agent is coming in for an eye exam. When he had him reading his wife's manuscript instead of an eye chart I about fell over laughing! Out of the whole gang of authors, whose novel would you want to read the most? I gotta go with Hannah's, Sleeping on the Moon. To get picked up that quickly there has to be something amazing about it!


Leandra: Yes! I wish we could have heard more of it besides just that tiny snippet of conversation she read out loud. That, and Henry's story, I'd have love to have heard his. But Hannah's would definitely be my top pick. Tho I will say one thing that bugged me about Hannah's character: That she couldn't name a single favorite author. The way they portrayed it was almost like she didn't read at all(did you get that feeling too?) And just b/c she didn't go to college and read all the classics(of which there is no shame in) doesn't mean she wouldn't be reading something! B/c I'm a firm believer that to be a writer, you have to be a reader. So there's just one small pet peeve of mine about the movie, I guess. And I thought I really didn't have any! Okay, so: John K. Butzin... =)


Beth: YES! I'm with you 100%. I liked how Hannah started off. She was adorably quirky. But then as she developed, her character kind of perpetuated some theories that success can come easy for people who don't read/work hard (then there's what happened with the super famous author!), so I definitely wish she'd stayed more likeable/sweet throughout. Oh, good old John K. Butzin! Always referring to himself in the third person. I thought having his character go the self-pubbing route was hysterical. Of course, we all know self-pubbing can be awesome! But when the house is called "U R The Publisher" that might be a giant red flag, lol! The movie also touched on superstitions a lot of us creative types have. Can't say I have any writerly quirks though, not the way Hannah did with the number 4!


Leandra: John K. Butzin was certainly something else! Though I have to say when it got to his book signing where NO ONE showed up, I was absolutely cringing for him. That's every author's worst nightmare! I thought Dennis Farina played that part so well-- how his face would light up when someone was walking up, how he'd nod and smile trying to catch their attention... and then they'd just keep on going by. It was so sad! Though in all honesty, a book signing in a hardware store is probably not a good idea. Unless your book is set in one, yanno? =) But there were so many hilarious moments in this movie and I super enjoyed watching something that was tailored to writers. We need more like it! So thanks so much for chatting w/me, Beth. This was fun!  


Beth: Yup. I've always said I'd love to watch a reality show about people querying/getting pubbed, but sadly I don't see it happening any time soon! So this movie was the perfect balance of entertainment, and the brutal realities of the writing world--all those highs and lows told through super fun characters and great moments! Thank you so much for asking me to join you, Leandra! I had a blast! :)


Beth writes girly teen fiction about makeup, boy bands, and media internships. Her main character is a lot better at achieving the perfect smoky eye than she is. Beth learned the art of revision when she interned for Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon. That's where she saw with her own eyes that it can take up to a half hour and lots of revisions to perfect one monologue joke. She lives on Long Island and loves it, but wishes there were more vegetarian restaurants. Wheel of Fortune is her happy place.

www.BethEllynSummer.com
Twitter: @BethEllynSummer

46 comments:

  1. I shall check this movie out. Sounds like quite the hoot :)

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  2. Okay, where do I find this movie?
    If it's an indie, it won't be playing anywhere near me. :( I live in the boonies.
    If I can't stream it, I probably can't see it!

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    1. at first it was a streaming/select theaters thing but now you can buy it on Amazon, I believe :)

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  3. Aww! That looks like a super fun movie! There's no way it will come to our tiny theater. :( That's one I'll have to add to the Redbox list for when we move back. Thanks for posting about it!

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    1. Yup, the Redbox is where I rented it at. I bet you have one long movie list for when you get back, lol!

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  4. Interesting! I love seeing movies about writers and writing!

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  5. This film sounds really fun. I've belonged to two critique groups, one of which folded a few years ago, the other's been going since 2009 with lots of attrition (pretty common apparently). I LOVE indie films--they tend to be more literary with deeper relationships. If you're looking for some other great indies, try The Station Agent, Lars and the Real Girl, and Sunshine Cleaning.

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    1. The Station Agent is a new one to me, but I've heard good things about the other two. And 2009 sounds like a pretty good running so far! =)

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  6. I hadn't heard of this movie until a couple of days ago when I was in Hastings and a preview came on the TV's they have in there, and I stood in the middle of the aisle, completely transfixed and laughing my rear off! I definitely need to pick this up--and maybe make my writing group watch it with me :)

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    1. haha yes this is a perfect bonding thing for your writing group!

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    2. Oh, yeah, that would be a blast!

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    3. I think there's a movie night coming up in our future!!! :)

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  7. Dear Beth & Leandra --

    I just have to write and thank you for such a positive, upbeat, and fun review of Authors Anonymous. I am the writer of the movie and I'm pleased to say that I also wrote every scene you mention in your hilarious exchange (there was about 15% Improv on set, most noticeably the scene where the five writers try to guess the word that William changed).

    Authors Anonymous was in theaters for a week last April, but mostly it's been VOD and now the DVD is out--RedBox and Amazon are the two best places to go. Even if you've seen the movie already, it's worth another rental to check out the commentary with myself, director Ellie Kanner, and producer Hal Schwartz.

    Personally I've never been a member of a writing group, nor would I ever, but I did run a writers conference in California for 12 years, so I saw a lot of wannabe authors chasing their dreams.

    We shot for three weeks in August 2012 around Los Angeles and the entire cast was a delight. All six "writers" clicked together immediately and it was a thrill to see my script produced. The only sad note was that AA became Dennis Farina's final movie--he died that next summer. What a great guy he was.

    Anyway, I ramble. Just wanted to write and share my appreciation for your exchange about Authors Anonymous. I chased my dream of writing for years, but there is no greater feeling than catching a dream. Good luck!

    David Congalton
    San Luis Obispo, CA

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    1. wow thank you so much for reading this, and for dropping in to tell us this! that is amazing about the improv with William's word change...I own the movie so I'll have to go back and rewatch that knowing it was improv, and also rewatch with commentary. Dennis Farina was such a brilliant talent, so sad he passed. You answered so many questions I had (particularly the writer group one--genuinely assumed you'd been in one!) thank you so much for sharing this with us!

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    2. You're welcome! My own favorite scenes are (1) Henry and Hannah at the Fitzgerald apartment. Henry is based on me and Chris Klein did such an amazing job and (2) The meeting of the writing group immediately afterwards where poor Henry is discussing his characters, but really talking about his hopes for Hannah. Breaks my heart every time. Oh, and I used to have a wall of rejection letters, but I ran out of space.

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    3. Yes, thanks, David, this is such a neat surprise! Thanks for telling us about some of the background and your fav scenes. And I didn't know Dennis Farina had passed! I hated to hear that. I'm glad that your dream happened, and appreciate the encouragement that ours will someday too. =)

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  8. Looked up the movie on Wikipedia. From the description, I think your deduction about Hannah not being a reader was correct.

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  9. LOVE this movie! I watched it with my critique group and we were howling with laughter. Thanks for giving it such a nice review!

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    1. The only thing better than watching this movie, would definitely be watching it w/your cp group. =)

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  10. I really want to watch this now, sounds fabulous!

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  11. A writing movie!!!! This is a must see with my lovely critter. Thanks for the conversation.

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    1. Welcome! And have a fun movie night when you get to it. =)

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  12. Well now I have to see this.

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    1. Yup, get the kidlets to bed one night and you and Bob can do a movie night. Though if your hubby is anything like mine, he might die from the lack of bombs going off and gunfire. ;)

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  13. I MUST see this movie!!! A movie about writing, plus Kaley Cuoco is awesome, plus the writer is from my hometown (where, by the way, my own book is set!) ... too good to pass up! Thanks so much for the great rec!!

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    1. Kaley is amazing...she's so adorable and funny!

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  14. I haven't heard of this movie but I have to see it! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, ladies!

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  15. Holy cow, I can't believe the screenwriter actually responded! That's awesome! I can't wait to see the movie now. Have a great weekend. :)

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    1. I know!! And you too, we're headed to St. Louis in the morning for the weekend. To the zoo and a farm. I hope the hotel has a nice pool!

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  16. This is new to me, too, sounds great!

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    1. I'm glad we could put it on you radar, Marcia!

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  17. I saw a preview for this on On Demand and wanted to see it. I need to see if I can check it out from the library. Is it on DVD yet?

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    1. I got mine from Redbox, but when I checked online through Wal-Mart it looked like you could pre-order it, and it would ship in August. Hope that helps!

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  18. Oh man! I haven't heard about this movie. How could I have not heard about it? I'll definitely check it out when it comes on DVD. Thanks for your commentary. It was fun. :)

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    1. Glad I could help spread the word! It's such a cool movie.

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  19. I'm excited to see this one! It look super cute. :)

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  20. Thanks for recommending this movie, because I would probably never have come across it otherwise. I found it available On Demand from my cable company, and talked my family into watching it with me. We all had some giggle moments. Very fun!

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    1. Oh, good! I'm glad you all enjoyed it. =)

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  21. I had no idea this movie was out. I'll see if Amazon has it.

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