Friday, August 20, 2010

When I grow up I want to be Tina Fey

I finally got around to seeing the movie Date Night, and thought it was so great, but partly because it spoke to my life.
There is a scene in the movie where Tina has to dress as a stripper, and she finds a bustier, and explains that she chose it because it covered her c-section scar.

There's another scene where she talks about her fantasy.. and it's her, alone in a quiet hotel room, eating a sandwich in peace..

As a parent of small children, that made me laugh because it's so true. Sometimes all you want is a day of nothing, no noise, no demands, just quiet.

In this silly movie, with the somewhat ridiculous premise of a couple mistaken for thieves and on the run from gun toting baddies, they somehow found these wonderful moments of real truth, and it made the movie for me.

It's the grounding in truth and realism that can make a ridiculous premise work well. Watching the movie I realized that as I'm writing this historical horror, I need to find something real about all my characters, something that makes them really human and relatable...

That's what we try and do with all our characters, of course, but the more different our world, and the more far fetched our premise, grounding our characters and making them really relatable, is the key to making it all work.

As much as I always want to rely on plot, right now, I'm focusing more on my characters, knowing I can always fix plot later.

Did anyone else see Date Night and love it as much as I did? Anyone else slightly underwhelmed by this season of Mad Men?


Maureen McGowan said...

I thought that movie was really funny, but it didn't stick in my head as much as it did yours. Likely, because I'm not a mom of 3. ;) I loved the stuff with Mark Wahlberg, too.

But I have to disagree on Mad Men. They certainly seem to be doing the slow build thing, like last season, where you're not quite sure what the season's about, yet... But I'm loving the character stuff... Pete and his father in law. The asshole cigarette guy humiliating Roger because he knows he can... Don and the prostitute. Don and his California family... Don and his secretary. I loved that, to my memory, she was the first person to ever say out loud, "You're not a good person," to Don. Oh, and the Peggy being hit on by a bohemian lesbian thing was interesting, too. And that that strange little kid is back and obsessed with Sally now, instead of her mom... I'm loving it.

Molly O'Keefe said...

We just rented it the other night - laughed till I cried. When she puts her mouth guard in and he says "oh, so we're not fooling around?" and then she says - "no, I can rally." That was taken right out of my life. Right. Out. The Mark Whalberg stuff - I am going to spend some time thinking of all the really specific reasons that guy is the hottest thing ever. It's not just because of his looks - no there's a whole he'd hurt you and make you like it - vibe about him. Was that too much?

Anyway - I agree - Date Night worked because they tapped into something very real and funny and honest - mostly because those actors are all those things.

We watched all the Mad Men in a row - and I think that is a show made for back to back watching - taken in episodes - i can see the underwhelming complaint. All together though - there's much more at play. Don's a sad character and repugnant this time around. I'm in.

Eileen said...

Ooh. I was just wondering what to put at the top of the Netflix queue. I guess it's Date Night!

I think I know what you mean about making the characters relatable. Please don't drum me out of the corps here, but I don't read a lot of historical novels just for that reason. I don't relate to their problems and issues. Whether or not to put my mouth guard in? That I TOTALLY relate to! Don't even get me started on the night splint for my plantar fasciitis. :-)

Sinead M said...

I loved the mouth guard bit, and the way both Tina and Steve Carrell would look at other people making out with such a wistful look...

Such a fun movie..

As for mad men, I'm watching it, but not with breathless anticipation...

Maureen McGowan said...

Yes, that stuff in Date Night was very good. And they really seemed like a couple.

As for our differing love for Mad Men... Well, I think we both know that if we drew a Venn Diagram of the things Maureen loves and the things Sinead loves, while there would be a huge cross over bit in the middle, there are things on the edges. Horror/action stuff on your side. Slower, character sketch stuff w/o much plot on my side.

Speaking of that... I went to see the movie I Am Love the other night. Sinead, you would HATE it. Me? It held my interest for 90 minutes. Captivated me, actually... still, I won't be recommending it to most people. Almost nothing happens until the very end.

Stephanie Doyle said...

First - historical horror. That sounds freakin awesome. I don't know why but the idea of people knowing less about how things worked I think makes them more vulnerable to fear.

And crime back then was so intense because people just weren't accostomed to crime like we are now.

.... but back to the blog. Didn't see Date Night and probably can't relate the same way.

What does relate Molly is the Wahberg comment. He's bad. He's a guy who can knee cap someone in one moment and then have hot sex with you the next. That makes him ENTIRELY hot (although it really shouldn't.)

I won't comment about Mad Men since I failed to get into season 3... but on a positive note ABC Family is re-running FNL from season 1. DVR is already set.

Eileen said...

AND he has a sense of humor! How can you beat that? Hot, dangerous and can laugh at himself.

Simone said...

I loved Date Night! And I don't have kids! I laughed the whole way. "In my fantasy I'm alone in a hotel room... eating a sandwich... drinking a Sprite." And he's like, "That's awful!" lol.

That part where he puts on her glasses and they pretend to be self-important New Yorkers - I laughed so hard my stomach hurt.

I heart Tina Fey.

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