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Posts Tagged ‘Beauty & the Briefcase

I am Hillary Duff…seriously

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I’m a little bit ticked off. For no real reason really, just kind of annoyed at something I read about a movie that recently came out about

a struggling freelance writer…

who finds

the pitch of a lifetime.

I googled ‘struggling freelance writer’ and it turned up with a quarter of a million results. Advice, tales of woe, how-to books and the like. The thing is, this simple press release for the movie reminded me why I cannot seem to get along with Hollywood. It’s all so predictable. Obviously I won’t be seeing the movie in theaters (or television for that matter), however it did get me to thinking about the plot and the experience it draws on. Incidentally the film stars Hillary Duff and is based on a book written by Daniella Brodsky who is anything but a struggling writer today. My issue initially was that the plot: beautiful writer, romantic comedy, love and what I suspect will be a happy ending (1). Well that’s great…for Hillary Duff and Daniella Brodsky.

(1) I am by no means a newcomer to parenting and I try to teach my kids that sometimes things don’t go the way we want them to. That’s one lesson I try to get across. Its important I think to understand that whatever is happening right now is important. That’s the focus as the rest is in your head. Anyway, I brought some books to read to my little ones as they are getting to the age where they actually have a semblance of an attention span. I break out some Brothers Grimm story and start to read. Now as an American, we all know the Grimm stories fairly well. Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, etc. However, what many folks don’t know is that the original versions of those stories all turn out terrible. Life lessons as it were. I knew this as many have told me, however in my enthusiasm to read to my son I was just thinking of how to enunciate and change voice pitch to make it interesting. So I read to him a story about the Cat and the Mouse who found some fat in a pot and put it away for safe keeping. I had never read this story before but I dived in not knowing what to expect. Basically, said cat and mouse agree to put the fat away for a rainy day and share living arrangements. The cat immediately comes up with reasons to sneak off and eat some of the fat one time, two times and then its all gone. Obviously the mouse was not happy about this. I had completely forgotten that I was reading the story for my son, and wanted to see how everything turned out. Well, if you want to know for yourself you have to read the original Grimm story. I was pleasantly surprised at the ending (chuckle).

It’s clear what I am getting at, and admittedly I don’t have any new angles to this story. Perhaps I am just in a foul mood because Sony is having some logistics issues that affect my economic viability (2). What struck me though is how I could not understand HOW that story in and of itself could be appealing to the masses (like I expect this blog to be). I mean, are people supposed to imagine themselves in this role of a beautiful, talented young person who is striking out to make it, but who ultimately finds both love and financial security? That’s sounds pretty cool, heck I would take it. I don’t mean to take myself too seriously either (though I have been accused of that), but it just seems to me to be a bit far-fetched.

(2)I showed up at Hotlyne as cool as a cucumber, and asked them what was going on with some equipment I ordered (see previous post). Now, I live in Europe and generally people over here don’t live life based on conflict resolution. However, I am an American and we’re taught to stand up, and meet the challenge, and remember the Alamo and stuff like that. So I walk into the store knowing that the first person who makes eye-contact with me will be the one that gets the business. SO I saunter over to the counter, tell homeboy the deal (been waiting 6 weeks), and I just CANNOT wait another day. He tells me something about how a Sony representative will come tomorrow to give a seminar about what happened, but all I want is computing power at my leisure. After communicating this to him he was very calm and cool and told me there was nothing he could do about it. I could hardly contain my excitement as the long-awaited conflict could now begin in earnest. I told him that either I walk out of this store with a bag full of microprocessors or my money. So he gave me my money back. So much for taking my frustrations out on anyone. I went home and had a few drinks with friends…

So while I am writing this post, I got to thinking,

dude, maybe its escapism

so that folks who have no money, no job (i.e. strugglin’) can feel as though there is some good just around the corner. Be happy for them. Are you jealous there, old fella? Just a supply of hope to hold us out until Obama can put out the fires raging in America, let alone the rest of the planet. Then I thought, I know better. Momma used to read stories to me as a child, in her arms and it was good because everything DID turn out right as a kid. Nowadays I don’t have the tolerance for fiction, because I can do better focusing on the myriad idiosyncrasies of reality. So as these thoughts were passing through the synapses, another thought was developing. Yes, that is what it is…a vehicle for Hillary Duff. Now I imagine Ms. Duff (I’m guessing on the marital status as no actress can marry in her prime) is a nice person. I haven’t gotten wind of any drunken bouts, or crotch-exposure, or whatever they do to get my attention, from her. I would guess she is a lot like anyone else, except with a lot more fans, money and a famous profile. More power.

No, I think what gets me is how this is clearly a money grab by Hollywood. Nothing new there, like I said. The formula was clear within seconds of reading the release. Successful story, actress in her prime, rags to riches, love. I guess I am some kind of post-modern curmudgeon. Raised on pop music and bubblegum in the eighties, and now I am trying to live up to the struggles of my parents raising my nine brothers and sisters and me. Really this is just a classic vehicle that really does no harm. I guess I could have done some research, or taken a look at the movie, but it’s really isn’t that deep. The idea stinks anyway that we just don’t want to eat veggies but insist on bubblegum and sweets. Oh well, it seems it has served a purpose for me. The intended purpose I might add and I didn’t even have to watch it. Apparently my frustrations have found their release…but I am still in the midst of MY struggle.

Hey, truth is not only stranger than fiction, its BETTER.

It was a pleasure!