On March 2, 2010, an indie film called Gentlemen Broncos was released on DVD.
The weekend before this release, I obtained a copy and watched it. Not through illegal means – I was actually working at a video store at the time, and we were supposed to watch the movies previous to release to enable us to make recommendations. Yet the majority of the income from rental of this DVD, once it was available to rent, likely came from me. I was obsessed.
For those who don’t know what this movie is about, it follows a boy in a small town in Utah who likes to write stories. He lives with his mom, and they don’t have a lot of money, but they love each other and have each other’s best interests at heart. His mother agrees that they should spend some of their meager income to enable him to attend a writing conference, at which one of his favorite authors teaches some of the classes. He submits his recently finished novella to a writing competition that is part of the conference, and the favorite author ends up plagiarizing his work.
I turned this movie on recently upon seeing it available on HBO (I reluctantly agreed to a cable package to save costs on internet, because I live in the Bay Area, where you would think everyone would collectively agree regular internet access should go for about $20 per month, but instead, we pay too much for internet that’s shittier than the lower-cost internet I was able to receive in hick towns in the midwest). I was feeling nostalgic, and remembered that I had really liked it a lifetime ago (because holy shit, how was 2010 seven years ago, already).
Now, I might like it even more.
One thing I have been dealing with lately is the realization that life is probably never going to feel easy. I was never good-looking enough, and am now too old, to be a trophy wife, which means I’m probably always going to struggle with money. And even trophy wives have to deal with bad sex and pay therapists to help them deal with feeling like a necrophiliac. Life is hard, and other people take advantage of you, and sometimes it feels like you’re never going to get ahead. This struggle is something that this movie acknowledges – freely, and in a way that helps you laugh. And then, it also reminds you that sometimes, life’s not so bad.
The movie also includes Jemaine,
the kid from Sky High & the hilarious Jennifer Coolidge,
and a plethora of other talented actors. If you haven’t seen it, I highly, highly, highly recommend it.
Plagiarism comic: Nina Paley [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
It’s the sixties. Mini dresses and go-go boots abound. Change is in the air. And Sophie Straw is determined to be the next Lucy (as in, I Love…, TV fame). The biggest hurdles standing in her way are her looks, which gain her the title of Miss Blackpool until she turns it down, and the fact that few people consider women funny. So, you know… huge deal.
Funny Girl is the first novel I have read (or perhaps devoured would be a more fitting term…) by Nick Hornby. As such, I cannot comment on how this novel compares to well-known predecessors, such as About A Boy and High Fidelity. But I liked it. Very much.
In Funny Girl, Hornby introduces the writers, cast, and crew of what goes on to become one of the most well-loved television comedies of its’ era. The novel follows them from the beginning, when the show is just an idea that they all think is very good, but which could also very easily have fallen on its’ face, to the reunion decades later. All characters were funny, most were likable, (and those that weren’t likable were still immensely fun to read about), and best of all, human. Hornby’s characters have flaws, and do the wrong thing sometimes, and it is wonderful to read about them through the entire book.
As I have mentioned previously, numerous times, I am a character reader. I don’t care if it has an interesting plot if the characters are mediocre. So the following is hypothetical, but I feel that Funny Girl is that rare treat that will appeal to both types of readers – the plot seekers and the character fanatics – and leave them both satisfied at the end. I may be wrong, but I sincerely hope not.
Have you read Funny Girl? What were your thoughts? Love it? Hate it? Planning to read it? Please let me know in the comments below!
P.S. This book was partially read to fulfill the goal I set for myself 10 Books in 2016 Challenge.
This book comes out on May 17th!
It has horror, and it is funny!
Eighties mentions make it retro,
Help you go back in time…
We got the read!
We got the read!
We got the read!
Yeah, you’ve gotta read…
[Author’s note: Lyrics to be read to the ’80s classic “We’ve Got the Beat” by the Go-Gos]
[Author’s note 2: These lyrics are the sole creation of author Bambi Quim, and therefore are not actually quoting anyone.]
My Best Friend’s Exorcism, by Grady Hendrix, comes out Tuesday, May 17th. And you should read it.
An homage to the ’80s, in general, as well as horror movies, in particular, My Best Friend’s Exorcism is funny, whimsical, and wonderful. Narrated by Abby Rivers, the story details her friendship with Gretchen Lang, which began in fourth grade at a roller disco party, spending a particular amount of time detailing the trial of that friendship in high school, when Gretchen is possessed.
If you are a John Hughes fan (ignoring She’s Having a Baby, which is just awful), if you know who Tiffany, Flock of Seagulls, and Duran Duran are, if you understand the difference between ’80s Madonna and ’90s Madonna (and have maybe even seen Desperately Seeking Susan), or can sing along with the undeniably fabulous rap scene from Teen Witch, you not only should read this book. You need to read this book.
I adored this book, guys. The writing is fairly decent, but it is the references, the slang, and the warm feelings created by evoking an earlier time and an authentic friendship between Abby and Gretchen that makes this book a must-read.
So now that you all know you need to read this book, tell me your favorite ’80s movie, music, or book, in the comments! Then, schedule your Tuesday to make sure you can snag a copy of My Best Friend’s Exorcism.