Saturday, January 28, 2012

Leap Year

Last night, I had one of those fabulous single girl retreats. I stayed in by myself and watched a chick flick. I had high hopes, but they were dashed. Leap Year should have been a great movie: Ireland, Matthew Goode, falling in love during forced togetherness, Matthew Goode, and Ireland.

But no. Too much slap-stick comedy, not enough affection between the leads, and a mundane reason why she should hate her cardiologist boyfriend all add up to me wishing I had watched a tried-and-true romcom instead of venturing into the unknown. The old guys are a poor imitation of the old men in Return to Me, there's NO WAY she had to go from Wales to the west side of Ireland, and they should have spent more time in his pub. Plus, Matthew Goode badly needs to shave. Ultimately, the notion of a woman proposing to a man is rather dumb, and I don't really think that a guy would walk away without saying a word after a woman proclaims his love for him if he really intends to ask her to marry him ten minutes later.

But it did make me yearn for Ireland as I haven't in years! I swear, if I'm still single in five years, I'm going to grad school in Dublin, no matter the cost. See below for reasons why.

Instead of going to Leap Year for your Ireland or Matthew Goode fix, I recommend a Maeve Binchy novel for the Ireland and a better Matthew Goode road trip movie, Chasing Liberty. Hey, at least there's Venice in that one.

I suppose I'll have to wait until 2013 for a story that does right by the woman-proposes-to-man storyline. I first read the lovely Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society novel a year ago, and when I found out today that a movie is in the works (starring Kate Winslet and directed by Kenneth Branagh) I also yearned to return to Guernsey island. Which I intend to do, at least on the page until the movie arrives.

As a final thought on Leap Year Day and women proposing, I have this romcom script wandering around in my head about a couple that elopes in Vegas on Leap Year Day, and thus only has to celebrate their anniversary every four years. And that's all I've got so far, so don't steal it...although I can't really stop you since ideas are not copyrightable--the way they're put together is.

Which means that Hayden Christensen and his brother are crazy for suing USA Network for "stealing" their idea for a series about a concierge doctor and making Royal Pains. Hayden, if you want the credit, you should go to the network with a pilot, not just a plot line.

And while we're on the subject of movie scripts I'm going to write someday, here's a few more ideas I have bouncing around in my head and off of each other.

The love story of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning; a Victorian romance a la Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice with the added bonus of being "based on a true story." The poet who penned "My Last Duchess" finds his first wife in a reclusive, sickly, home schooled girl, and she begins counting all the ways she loves him and his ability to get her out of the house.

A romcom writer's love story: Oddly, this is partly inspired by one of the most overplayed-on-TBS romcoms ever, The Wedding Planner (featuring, who knew, Pete Sampras's wife as Matthew McConaughey's soon-to-be-left-at-the-altar fiancee). Remember the line when J.Lo says she's a wedding planner because she can't get married herself? Well, this is the same idea, but with a romcom screenwriter who knows all the tricks and turns big screen love is supposed to take and is therefore skeptical when the pattern begins happening in her own life. I see this movie as a fun but also satirical way to comment on the failings and successes of the romcom genre.

Murphy's Law: This is a joint effort with my mom and my sister, planned sometime over the summer. A young woman goes by her last name, Murphy, amongst her mostly male friends, but never seems to have romance in her life. She works in some dinky job (e.g. dollar store clerk) but wants to break free, blah blah blah. I'm kind of drawing a blank right now, but this was a really great story when we originally conceived it. Do you remember any more, Cardigan Girl or Front Porch Friend?

Blarney: A woman living in Ireland reluctantly goes with her girlfriends to visit the Blarney Stone (perhaps on a regular basis? yearly?). She meets a man whose talk is full of flattery for her, but she thinks its just blarney. This movie will also feature a kiss that comes after great obstacles, since the Blarney Stone is notoriously difficult to kiss.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Late-night insomnia being what it is, I try to find new uses for it when it arises. Just now, I looked through every single picture I am tagged in on Facebook. And I noticed a few things.

For one, I never take pictures. I own a camera, but I think the last time I used it was March 2011 to snap two quick shots of a pizza making date. Which, ironically, are not posted to Facebook. If someone had to put together a profile of me based on my Facebook pictures alone, that person would surmise that I only care about vacations (London, Houston--not technically a vacation--Michael Buble concert), holidays (only the 4th of July, if I remember correctly), and my dogs. Oh, and that whole set of family photos.

And looking at my Facebook pictures, I can tell you exactly why I never take pictures, particularly of myself. This is not going to be an "I think I'm fat" rant, although that was the insecure thought that sent me running for my Facebook profile at 3 in the morning.

No. As I look at recent pictures of myself, I have complaints about them, places I want to airbrush or photoshop. My arms that look wide in that horizontally striped sweater, my all-too-prominent acne scars, my ever-widening thighs.

But the funny thing is, those are the same things I complained about in the older pictures, snapshots from two or three years ago. At that time, I'm fairly certain I also had moments when I thought I was fat, but I look at them now and think, "Wow. I was so skinny. How could I have ever thought I was fat?" I just can't comprehend it.

Now, yes, I have gained weight between those two time periods, but I don't think this phenomenon is indicating that I will continue to constantly get larger and only appreciate photographs of myself several years after they are taken.

On the contrary. It actually makes me appreciate the more recent photographs more right now. I compliment myself on a hair day well captured on film. I remind myself that I had a terrible cold that day, so who cares if I went a little light on the makeup?

And finally, I look at who else is in the picture with me. Mission companions, old friends, new friends, puppies, a mom, a dad, a brother, a sister, mere acquaintances. Since I'm never the one insisting on photographs, I know it was the other person who demanded that photograph. They wanted a picture. Of me.

Not because I have perfect skin. Not because I have an impeccable sense of style. Not because I am famous or have a famous boyfriend. Not because I have a popular song on the radio or a popular movie in the theaters or a popular show on TV. Not any of the reasons that the "beautiful" women of the world get their pictures taken.

No. But because those people (and puppies) have spent actual time with me and love doing it and want to remember doing it when they're not around me. (The feeling's mutual, by the way.) And all of the sudden, I'm not looking at the photograph as myself, hyper-critic and something-of-a-perfectionist that I am.

I'm seeing myself the way they see me and the way I see them in return.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gilmore Guys

Well folks, I reached a decision. I figured out who my favorite Gilmore Girls boyfriend is. And before you say, "Duh, Luke!", let me tell you that he was a given.

Because "Duh! He's Luke!"

But lately I've been catching spurts of the series posted on, often in the form of episodes I haven't seen before. (I know, I shudder at the thought, too.)

In junior high, I lived for the Gilmore gals. Although my family did not have at home access to the WB at the time, my best friends supplied my addiction by taping each episode and delivering it to me at school the following day. It was like Hulu mixed with DVR, but before either of them existed.

So when Rory told Dean, "I love you, you idiot" next to his green pickup truck at Chilton, I was there.

When Tristan said his final goodbyes during the every-series-has-a-Romeo-and-Juliet-episode episode, I was there.

When Jess stole a kiss from Rory at the Independence Inn during Sookie's wedding, I was there.

And when Dean and Rory broke up at the 24-hour dance-a-thon, I was also there.

And when we got to take a nerdy trip to the University of Connecticut the summer after eighth grade, you bet your life we tried to buy cornstarch at a local market and played "1, 2, 3, He's Yours" with an actual person named Kirk in the vicinity and took pictures of the guy named Dean at Six Flags and held what I consider to be the first official Gilmore Girls fan convention.

I have to admit that I haven't seen many of the Logan episodes, and sure the guy is good looking and has that whole bad-boy-from-good-money thing going for him. And sure, he paid for Rory to spend Christmas in London with him. Yada, yada, yada. I'm telling you right now, Logan can never win this argument in my mind because I have no 13-year-old emotional connection to his character.

Which means it's basically a Celebrity Death Match between Dean and Jess. And you might be surprised who wins.

The first inkling came when I recently rewatched the "Bracebridge Dinner" episode, featuring everyone's favorite recurring character, Rune. (Not. Well, the episode does feature him, but no one likes him.) This episode features both Dean and Jess, but circumstances being what they are, Rory finds herself on a sleigh ride with not her then-boyfriend Dean but her hopefully-soon-to-be-boyfriend Jess. And that was the first moment when I realized that at 13, I was right to like Jess over Dean. Because Jess could read. And did so of his own volition. Unlike Dean who was spoon fed Anna Karenina.

And then there was the "Oasis" episode, a.k.a. the episode where Lorelei and Rory get a crazy neighbor who lives at the 21st century equivalent of a tiki bar mashed with one of those crazy game kiosks in the mall. Okay, so I think Dean and Jess actually get into a fight in this episode, but that doesn't lessen the fact that Jess comes running to turn off the water at Crazy Neighbor's house when she can't do it herself. And then turns it back on with a grin when Rory says Dean will be coming over to fix it any minute.

The final nail in the coffin? Today I watched a never-before-seen-by-me episode entitled "Luke Can See Her Face," wherein Luke buys himself a relationship self-help book ON TAPE and realizes Lorelai is his It Girl. Jess also makes an appearance because his mom is about to get married to the uber-weirdo T.J., and while in town he admits to Luke both that (1) last time he saw Rory he told her he loved her and (2) he didn't want to come because he might run into her.

So, there you have it. The three things I want in a guy.
1. He reads of his own volition.
2. He fixes (or unfixes) things when I need him to do so.
3. He can't get over me.

Hey, at least it's better than the list I had when I was actually in junior high. That one was totally shallow and mostly based on Tom Welling.
1. Must have blue and/or green eyes.
2. Must be taller than me.
3. Must not be a Yankees fan.

But here's the rub, kids. The basic problem of economics: scarcity. What if guys of the reading-fixing-liking me type already ran out? What then?