Or in This Case Lack Thereof

I’m having a hard time finding good stories lately. I don’t know, maybe I’m pickier or something.

Last four movies I saw, for example:

  • The Transporter—an action film, no story, no story expected, no biggie; and damn good action so there you go.
  • White Oleander—can’t put my finger on it, but I didn’t like this story; it’s not the story itself, but the way it was told…just didn’t work for some reason.
  • Frida—saw this one last night, and I must give it the break that I had high expectations; I normally love movies about artists; but this one wasn’t really about her as an artist; but it wasn’t really about her as a cripple, or a bisexual, or a betrayed wife either. I’m unsure if another hour would’ve made it a better movie, a different lead, a different screenplay. Again, I can’t put my finger on it. Good but not great.
  • Femme Fatale—last night we were going to “double feature” 8 Mile, but they were checking tickets at the door of the actual theatre, so we went into this one. This one was very weird. It tried to be cool and smart and mess with your head, but again, it just didn’t pull it off. Good idea, bad execution.

Also, I saw The Shipping News on DVD. Now that’s based on a Pulitzer-winning book, so there you go. They could’ve dealt better with the frontstory in the movie, though, and easily made it an hour longer (and that much better).

And books:

  • Requiem—supposedly one of the best non-linear stories, but not only scattered like crazy, where you couldn’t keep ahold of one thread until it came back around again, but the actual threads were too weird to have much continuity within themselves. My non-linear story theory is a little bit different.
  • Travelling Mercies, by Anne Lamott—was great, really great, for the first half, then it got more and more whiney until I had to give up about 2-3 chapters from the end. When your wife is truly suffering, in true pain all day long every day, you just can’t stand to hear some self-absorbed middle-aged woman go on crying about how her son puts her out or she has bad hairdays sometimes.
  • If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things—Ok, two huge caveats—1: I’ve met the author and heard him speak and I know he’s a very cool, humble cat. 2: I’m only .25 the way thru it. But only one thing has happened yet. It reminds me of what Chuck was saying in Lullaby, the best way to forget something is to get lost in the details. Oh yeah, apparently the whole book is only one day…But it’s ok, all British stories are slow for some reason. Must be the weather.