Ah, “Shopgirl”

I just finished watching the movie adaptation of Steve Martin’s novella “Shopgirl,” and, um, loved it. Anything to do with writing, even if it’s just an adaptation, always seems to hook me. These kinds of movies force me to randomly slip them into the DVD player and gape at them. See “The Hours”, “Adapation”, “Le Divorce”, “You’ve Got Mail”, and “Something’s Gotta Give” for examples of this.

And not only do they hook me, but they also make me want to write. See “Proof” and  HBO’s miniseries “Elizabeth” for examples of this in addition to the previous ones. Perhaps it’s just the good writing all around. But now, as I’m sitting here slumped on the futon (because it’s actually impossible to sit upright on a futon without wedging a pillow behind your back), anxious to write because “Shopgirl” has reawoken that daily urge to write, I feel intimidated to do so. I also feel inspired to write something equally simple and quiet, as my other writing strives to be. Quiet. Something quiet, but interesting enough to legitimize its existence in writing. As my fellow workshoppers like to ask halfway through a workshop, “But what makes this day in the character’s life so important?” And I often want to answer, “Isn’t it obvious? I felt compelled to write it, so clearly it’s important.” Ah, but such an answer doesn’t go very far beyond explaining the story as a personal exercise.

Alas, I shall return to staring at “Shopgirl” and then probably play a game or two online and then stare at my laptop some more and then go to sleep. And maybe, I’ll slip some writing in there somewhere.

“It’s like a battle between motors and horses. Like technology versus horse.” ~ Donald Kaufman “Adaptation”



  1. You know, Seinfeld almost wasn’t Seinfeld because they said it was a show about nothing. So definitely there’s an audience and an interest in things that are seemingly “about nothing” or not full of drama. I think it makes for the best writing, to be sure. 🙂

  2. Kristen and I watched Stranger Than Fiction, which was about writing a book/living your life. It wasn’t the best movie, but with the way the book (in the movie) ends, you could tell they were trying to say the movie wasn’t the greatest movie ever either. Seems like a movie you’d enjoy.

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