Movies with Writers

Editing is the hardest part of writing, in my opinion. I’ve been looking for something of the cinematic variety to help motivate me.

Do you have a favorite writer movie or television show? Something that motivates you when you need to put your word count in, or slog through miles and miles of red ink?

I have several that I like (I’m sure no one here will be surprised to find out that most of them are period films), but there are a few that I’ve been watching lately.

Murder, She Wrote might be a tv show, and a defunct one at that (holy crap, the hair in this show!) but it’s got some great story lines and really, does anything beat Angela Lansbury playing detective? Infinitely practical, unwilling to take crap from anyone, and the author of several best sellers, Jessica Fletcher is exactly what I want to be when I am her age. While her character may have come late to the noveling game, she sure isn’t wasting any time. I watched this show on and off as a kid, and on my current rewatch on Netflix, I’m not even through the first season yet but she has three books to her credit. I wish I could be that prolific!

Of course, the fact that we have the same chosen typewriter only ups my estimation of her. 🙂

cover image for Murder on the Home Front.

A new film to catch my eye lately is a British production that aired on PBS in the states (also on Netflix streaming). Murder on the Home Front features a fledgling journalist/aspiring writer during the London Blitz. Through happenstance, she ends up working for the medical examiner, getting first hand experience in crime and investigation as they track down a serial killer who is using the bombings for cover.

Quirky and fun, but also dramatic and dark in places, Murder on the Home Front is one of those stories in which the main character is changed by their work; a sort of adult take on the classic coming-of-age story.

Oh, and there’s some great costumes, too.

Eugenia at her typewriter, pondering the mysterious was that move her family and “friends.”

Speaking of costume dramas, another favorite that I finally broke down and purchased was The Help. In a way, this one falls into the same category as the above, in which the main character is changed by their work. But isn’t that the outcome of all good stories, that the hero(ine) grows and changes? In The Help, however, in however small a way, Skeeter manages to change her small slice of world, or at least shake it up enough that change is possible. Her work makes an impact, for better or for worse, and her journey as a writer isn’t just hers, but that of the people around her and her entire town. In some way, isn’t that what every writer wants? Every person? For their work to mean something?

Do you have a favorite? I know all of mine are set at least 20-30 years ago. Do you have a recommendation that is more contemporary? Or is there a classic that you think I’ve missed?

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