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A Movie About Writing

Posted by LANNING
Saturday, July 14, 2012 8:52 AM


     From Kate Mulgrew, his ex-wife, stealing and publishing Billy Crystal's novel, to wondering if it were better that the night be moist or sultry, to Crystal advising Annie Ross that it might be better, if you're writing a story about life on a submarine, to know the name of "the thing" into which the captian yells "Dive, dive!" , Throw Momma from the Train is a joyride for writers who've lived with plopping down words on a blank page. If you've not seen Rob Reiner's tribute to Hitchcock generally, and to Strangers on a Train specifically, you must do yourself a favor and see this.

     The coin collection scene still can make me tear up, and Anne Ramsey as DeVito's terminator mother is superbly abominably hilarious. I never noticed it until this most recent viewing, but Philip Pelrman's coffee table book idea, Women I'd Like to Boink, is actually published and is sitting on Crystal's coffee table at the end of the movie.

     If we learn nothing else from this film, it should be that one author's pop-up book is another author's novel . . . is another author's coffee table book???

     Remember, as Crystal advises, "A writer writes, always."

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