one man wolf pack

different people work to different things. i’m a big white noise person–silence drives me crazy. i usually alternate between albums or playlists on repeat, or i’ll put a movie on and play it to death.

right now, it’s the hangover. i guess i could be embarrassed by how many times i’ve actually seen it by now, but i’m not. there are absolutely genius moments in there that just get better the more i see it. also, watching it with a writing perspective in mind mines even more gold.

addition by subtraction. it really works here.

removing doug (justin bartha) from the picture doesn’t just drive the plot, it makes the rest of the group find a way to band together. as the designated “normal” guy, he allows the other characters to stand out. he’s the foil to phil’s (bradley cooper) smooth coolness, stu’s (ed helms) anxious earnestness, and alan’s (zach galifianakis) well-meaning idiocy. in trying to get the others to accept alan (man-purse, white jeans, and all), and holding phil back from harassing stu too much about his controlling girlfriend, doug is very much the glue that holds the group together.

which is why his disappearing makes the plot work. phil, stu, and alan are essentially forced to become friends outside of doug’s careful handling. as a result, they grow as characters. phil gets his big-brother vibe going with alan. stu finally sees the light and dumps his girlfriend. alan develops a sense of self-worth with his new friends (even if they don’t go for the whole blood-brothers thing).

some other stuff. the check-in scene is a bit stilted. i think it’s the dialogue and/or the editing. just goes to show how hard “natural” conversations really are, and how certain shots spliced together in certain ways don’t always flow. it’s the same with writing and reading. if a scene doesn’t work, it takes the reader out of the story. they become aware that they’re reading someone’s writing, the mechanics and machinery of it.

the deleted scenes. i’m glad they cut what they did. i just finished crunching down on some backstory, and it’s tough. you think it’s all important, but, really, it’s not.

the perfect pajama shirt. also, this one. and because it can never be seen enough, the speech. that little groan alan does at the end is comic perfection. and i’ve heard that people actually use this as best-man speeches at weddings. if so, that’s amazing.

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2 thoughts on “one man wolf pack

  1. Adrienne says:

    When you’re writing, do you see the story in your head like a movie? I find that some books, like The Da Vinci Code, are like cinema on paper: you can easily see how it will translate directly to the screen. I think that was part of its page-turning appeal. On the other hand, I thought Twilight was God-awful for a similar reason: it was like the author was watching the movie of her book in her head and just transcribing the action. I found the movie about as gripping.

  2. actually, i do see the scenes play out in my head. ouch. heh. probably because i have less time to read a book from beginning to end now, while movies come in 1.5 hr spurts and i can multi-task while watching, so my brain is almost geared in this direction now. is this kind of like the chicken before the egg thing? (though, meyer did come up with twilight from a dream sequence..if that’s an argument either way…)

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