Thursday, October 23, 2008

Book Blog and Reel Review

I finished reading a few books on my trip, and when I got back I watched a movie I'd had on my dvr for several weeks. So let's play catch up and blog my latest!


This is my friend Anna's debut with Medallion and at first I was surprised. Anna's blog is filled with these beautiful, lyrical descriptive passages, but immediately I was thrown into a world of espionage and rogue agents. Once I got over the shock, I held on for the ride...loving both the hero and heroine. This book has got lots of ptq (Page turning quality) and you really are rooting for them even as you keep turning pages to see what the real deal is.

On a personal note...I'm just so damn happy for Anna and this release because she is truly one of the purest, nicest people I have EVER met. So congratulations on a cracking debut, darling!

Creating Characters - How to Build Story People by Dwight V. Swain. You know, I expected something else out of this book. It wasn't that it was bad. It was just that nothing really stuck with me. Maybe the clarity and logic that was Save the Cat spoiled me. But for some reason I just couldn't relate to it.
It happens. Not all craft books resonate the same way for everyone.

And finally, my reel review. I watched an "unknown" film called "Almost Heaven" starring Donal Logue. For those of you who say "WHO?" you'll know him from ER where he played paramedic Chuck, from The Patriot where he played one of the villagers who joined Mel Gibson's militia, and currently he's Damian Lewis's (Charlie Crews) boss in LIFE (one of my must-watch shows at the moment, LOVE it).

The IMDB plot blurb goes like this:

In this quirky and hilarious romantic comedy, MARK BRADY (Donal Logue) is a charismatic, alcohol fuelled Canadian director of a television fishing show filming in Scotland. He's struggling to stay sober and work with the shows temperamental star TAYA HONEYWELL (Joely Collins) - his ex-wife!

Everything that can go wrong does and an awkward incident with a dead fish catapults Mark into the path of feisty local fishing guide NICKI McADAM. He is instantly drawn to her. But are Mark's feelings for Nicki strong enough to keep him away from the bottle and on the straight and narrow?

I loved this movie. I laughed out loud in several places, and thought it really well written. There was a save the cat moment when Mark's exwife Taya gets stung and he very efficiently administers an epipen and calms her even though they are usually constantly fighting. Nicki is GORGEOUS, and her daughter the cutest thing ever. But I think the true gems in this are the characters at the Tweed Valley hotel where they stay...Tom Conti as Bert is hysterical. Even my husband was snickering as Bert attempts a speech after a little too much drink. And Georgina Hegedos as Georgina added great colour.

One of my biggest laughs came from Bert near the beginning where he says, "I have to tell you, I don't like Americans." When his daughter corrects him and says "Canadian", he says, "Oh, Americans without money, you poor soul." Cracked me up. There are little colourful splashes of humour throughout that made it such a pleasure.

If I had one complaint it would be about the ending. As a writer, I would have explored, in a short yet tender scene, Mark with Nicki's daughter close to the end because I thought she would have felt responsible for his accident. There is also a key scene near the end where Mark tells Bert the real story behind his divorce and what his house means to him. This, to my mind, and maybe I'm thinking too much as a category author here, but it really is the black moment. He can't stay. He's not sure he's even capable of love anymore. It was a missed opportunity because it is really poignant and if it had happened between the hero and heroine would have really made it an all is lost scene.

At the HEA, I had to remind myself that she didn't know about it. I did and Bert did, and she didn't, and that made it just the teensiest bit unsatisfying.
But on the whole...really well worth a watch. For a peek of some great highlights, have a look at the trailer.

Worth a mention - the ex-wife Taya is played by Joely Collins, Phil Collins's adopted daughter and Phil does the ending song for the film.

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