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Top 25 Movies About Writers (11 to 15)

15. The Sell-out Tabloid Journalist
Michael Gold (played by Jeff Goldblum) in “The Big Chill” (1983)

He abandoned the radical journalism his old friends identified him with in college to become a sleazy and unfaithful tabloid reporter. Quitclaiming one’s “true path” is not necessarily a foreign concept to many people (particularly in the current economic crisis), but throwing your friend under the bus for the sake of “People” magazine isn’t anything to be proud of. Nonetheless, his lack of integrity and allegiance is befitting to an archetypal tabloid writer. Not only are people predisposed not to trust said reporters, his penchant for dirtiness is reflective in his personality as well: you definitely don’t want to be in a room alone with him as a female or leave your lady left with him either. After all, he proves he has no limits on his female prey—or leaves any grace time after you die. At the end of the day, he gets the job done.

14. The Comedic Puppeteer
Peter Bretter (played by Jason Segal) in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (2008)

After heartbreak, humiliation and poor sexual decision-making, former “Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime” music composer decides to hit the treadmill and tackle his true calling: the Dracula musical, performed by puppets. His brilliance is less about the absurdity of his work, but more about his pride. He hesitates to perform one of his songs at a local Hawaiian bar, but has no qualms with performing it in a theater full of Angelenos. Confidence is key—no matter what you’re writing for and even if you are a grown man in a full bodysuit.

Stoller, N. (Director), & Apatow, J. (Producer). (2008). Forgetting Sarah Marshall [Motion Picture]. United States: Universal Studios.

13. The Hostage
Paul Sheldon (played by James Caan) in “Misery” (1990)

If you are to learn anything from this famous romance novelist, let it be to not overstay your welcome—or at least get the hell out before your zealot host goes psychotic. Keep fans at arm’s length, otherwise altercations involving a typewriter may ensue. Furthermore, Paul never abandons his “profanity” or style even though he was under a life-threatening house arrest situation. Paul was also smart enough to learn from his mistakes, which is generally a good rule of thumb in any sense: he refuses to write a personal memoir on his stay with Annie. Sometimes reliving a traumatic event isn’t best for one’s own wellbeing, and unfortunately for Paul, he learned the hard way not to put fans’ needs before his own.

Sheinman, A. (Producer), & Reiner, R. (Director/Producer). (1990). Misery [Motion Picture]. United States: Columbia Pictures.

12. The Mysterious Memoirist
Captain Daniel Gregg (played by Rex Harrison) in “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” (1947)

'The ghost? But he’s not even alive!' you may impugn. That’s the beauty of film—you don’t have to be alive to truly excel at anything. Customary standards just don’t apply in the imaginary world of movies. Sam Wheat was a great lover (and ceramicist) as a ghost. Dr. Malcolm Crowe, although unaware of his untimely departure, was a pretty good child psychologist—I mean, he put up with Haley Joel Osmond’s whispers of “I see dead people,” blah blah blah. James and Lily Potter really pulled through as parents postmortem when their son faced certain death by means of a He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named dark wizard. And Carol Anne Freeling will be the first to admit poltergeists are not to be taken lightly. Ergo, of course a ghost can be a great writer. After all, Captain Gregg is so humble that he lets some home-intruding woman take all the credit for it. In her defense, she didn’t have much going for her anyway considering the majority of her social interaction derived from a dead man she never even knew.

11. The First Nonfiction Novelist
Truman Capote (played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman) "Capote" (2005)

“Sometimes when I think of how good my book is going to be, I can't breathe.” Is it possible to have any more confidence in one’s own writing? Never heard of it. Furthermore he even goes on to establish his own genre: the nonfiction novel (or at least he claims is his own).

Truman becomes so unduly consumed by his subject, that it beings to affect every aspect of his life, and ultimately prohibits him from ever finishing another book. Despite the incredibly sinister story he is investigating, he develops a bizarre empathy for one of the murderers and crosses the strict boundary of never becoming emotional attached to a story. And the voiceover of the opening lines of the article (which he later decided to expand into a book) are spine-chilling.

“On the night of November 14th, two men broke into a quiet farmhouse in Kansas and murdered an entire family. Why did they do that? Two worlds exist in this country: the quiet conservative life, and and the life of those two men - the underbelly, the criminally violent. Those two worlds converged that bloody night.”

Even though Hoffman as Truman is only one of many interpretations of the real-life writer, the man truly transcends as a cinematic character beyond his past film portrayals—and has an Oscar to prove it.

Baron, C. (Producer), Ohoven, M. (Producer), Vince, W. (Producer), & Miller, B. (Director). (2005). Capote [Motion Picture].       United States: Sony Pictures Classics.

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