I’m going to stop you before you get a chance to say it, okay?
Yes, I know that ‘in theory’ sitting around watching movies in a leopard-print onesie while consuming copious amounts of scones might be slightly counterproductive to the writing process. I can see how one might potentially make the argument that surely typing on your laptop versus propping it up on your stomach – even as it burns like the fires of Mordor because you’re on your fourth consecutive episode of Veronica Mars – could be beneficial.
And I see where that argument is coming from, I do. One must be. One must do. Not just think. But here me out…
Surely half of writing is thinking, non? I spend hours thinking up new characters, new subplots, maybe a new idea altogether before jotting them down in a new desktop folder. Sure, perhaps that is why I have piles upon files of half written stories and screenplays, and an infinitely smaller collection under the title ‘completed.’ In my case, creativity doesn’t always produce productivity – clearly. However, I would like to make the argument that creativity is and of itself an accomplishment.
You heard me, daydreaming is a good thing. It’s okay to get lost in your own head. Or maybe a book that you didn’t write. Or a movie. Inspiration has a funny way of finding you no matter what you’re doing. Or not doing. No judgment.
So here is a list of movies that make me want to write. Right after I finish re-watching them for the third time. And maybe one more scone.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
I only recently watched this film, and it’s pretty quickly jumped the queue in my favorite films of all time category. Robin Williams is the magnetic John Keating, an English teacher who comes to an all boy’s school to not only teach poetry but also encourage his students to ‘seize the day.’ It’s a brilliant coming of age story featuring an incredible cast (young Ethan Hawke, anyone?). With characters shouting lines of Whitman and chanting their own rhymes in caves, the real question is how could you not want to write? Nuwanda forever.
Stuck in Love (2012)
This one is a bit of a cheat as well, focusing on three writers in one family dealing with the idea of love. It’s occasionally a bit too neat, and maybe a tad creepy but I didn’t say this was a list of my favorite films. And as far as wanting to go out, live life, and write my own international bestseller, this Josh Boone film will do the trick. Plus, I may be a little in love with Lily Collins and Logan Lerman in this one. I’m not sure I could choose.
The Godfather (1972)
Now this selection is entirely to do with envy. As my favorite film (I’m sure you never would have guessed…), watching The Godfather is a bit like aspiring to be the future prime minister of Canada. A lofty goal, but an inspiring one nonetheless. Witnessing a reluctant Michael slowly take over the ‘family business’ (ie. organized crime) from his father, Don Corleone, makes for a fantastic novel, screenplay and a cinematic masterpiece. Colour me green.
Easy A (2010)
There is a no mafia involved, but high school can get pretty rough as Olive (a breakout role for Emma Stone) soon finds out when she lets a few white lies turn into a ‘reputation.’ The script is charming and incredibly smart, two things I think people tend to ignore when dealing with romantic comedies (particularly those aimed at a younger demographic). Will Gluck’s script is one that makes me have faith in the genre. Plus, maybe write in it.
Whatever Works (2009)
With all the trademark neuroticism and fast-paced dialog, this Woody Allen film follows a life-long New Yorker, Boris (Larry David), who after failing to commit suicide, allows a young, religious Melodie (Evan Rachel Wood) to stay with him. The script itself was written in the 1970s, and is certainly a more comedic take on life as opposed to his other films like Match Point (2005). For me, Whatever Works really works because it’s so odd. Allen notoriously plays with the fourth wall in order to really engage the audience. Personally, I’m all in.
There we are, some of my go-to films I watch to get me in the creative zone (after I finish the scone). I was going to say ‘creative mood’ so it wouldn’t rhyme, but that would have been an entirely different post, wouldn’t it?