Here's another movie for you that touches on aspects of writers and writing…
and brings up the question of comedy vs. tragedy.
A Woody Allen movie, Melinda and Melinda.
Neither Bart nor I had seen it and we watched it a little while ago. We both enjoyed it.
It begins with people in café, one of them is Wallace “Inconceivable!” Shawn. Shawn is the advocate of comedy. A playwright who believes that escapism of the horrors of our lives from the incidental to the insurmountable is the true human condition…laughter to be able to survive.
The other view is that people are looking for a catharsis through tragedy, that comedy is a light meal, but the real dish is served as a hearty tragedy…one that we can learn from if we digest it.
What happens in the movie is this: Someone at the table tells a simple story of a woman who crashes a dinner party, which supposedly happened to a friend. The debate rages: is this a comic situation or a tragic event? It depends on the action, of course. So each of the writers begins to craft what happened.
You then “bounce” back and forth between the two stories of Melinda the accidental party guest and what ensues afterward, being interrupted by a “No no no…” and then you’re back in the café for a bit. It’s quite clever. Will Farrell is in this one. And he’s not “Will Farrell.” Once again he proves that he can do something other than Willfully embarrass and make a fool of himself. He’s “normal” and tender, sweet, sympathetic, etc. Bart figured out that Farrell is Allen in this picture. Yup. All of the lines that would have gone to Woody had he starred in this one went to Will. The personality and traits of the character totally matched one of Woody’s lovable, troubled neurotics. Farrell did a great job.
It’s worth seeing, for the performances, the “dual” story and its discussion about tragedy/comedy and the nature of writing. Granted, it’s not going to present you with any deeply profound insight. But it’s smart, fun and worthwhile.