Monday, October 1, 2007

Hang in there little tomato

I have an ever-growing collection of rejection slips spilling out the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet at home. Its weight threatens the stability of the rickety wood floor of my apartment.

Yes, rejection sucks. As writers, we set ourselves up for disappointment every time we send out our work. And if/when rejected, it's easy to become discouraged. Even worst, it's easy to question your worth as a writer. Am I good enough? Am I just wasting my time? Do I even have anything to say that people would be interested in hearing?

The short answer is: Yes, you are good enough. No, you're not wasting your time. Of course you have something to say that's worth an audience. And this is how I know:

Every time my "writerly" faith wavers, I watch a selection from my bad movie list. I have a catalog of Lifetime channel originals and made-for-TV mellow-dramas, B-movies and after-school specials, films starting Jennifer Lopez -- some of these greatest celluloid travesties of all time. These movies, for me, offer more than just a sense of comic relief. Beyond camp value -- the aesthetic of "It's so bad, it's good!" -- terrible movies provide me with, dare I say, feelings of superiority. Their scripts, so poorly conceived, suggest that if people can get paid for writing such crap, surely any of us can find success as well.

Don't believe me? Try renting a few of the following selections and you're sure to have an ego boost. Enjoy!

The Apple (1980): In the future (the 1994 future!) a young folk-duo, presented as a quickly over-killed metaphor for Adam and Eve, are tempted with the dirty apple of musical success by the industry giant Mr. Boogalow. Their love is tested by the draws of glamor, excess, and lots of ugly musical numbers. The Apple was made too early for New Wave, but too late for Disco -- so what we are left with is lots of ratted hair in a roller derby fantasia!

Showgirls (1995): From the creative team that brought us Basic Instinct comes this sad number: a look behind Las Vegas' entertainment industry, where stage dancers can't stop clawing at and squirting lotion on one another. It watches less like a drama, and more like a pubescent boy's mistaken fantasies of who women are. Dialogue includes one whole conversation where two characters express their love of eating Doggie Chow. A true fiction writer's nightmare.

Over the Top (1987): Made back when Sylvester Stallone was a sex god (it's so gross to actually acknowledge that -- what were people thinking back then?). A nomadic big-rig driver must win the love and trust of his astranged son through the awesome power of truck-stop arm wrestling! Most memorable line, and heart-piercing words of wisdom: "The world doesn't meet you halfway," spoken by our hero. This, followed by an 80's power ballad titled 'Meet Me Halfway.'

Boxing Helena (1993): Boy loves girl. Girl doesn’t love boy. Boy proceeds to amputate all of girl’s limbs. He tries to make her love and depend upon him, but she just spits back emasculating insults. Which looks odd when you’re a strangely attractive talking head (literally). Includes a sex scene that is so drenched (no pun intended) with 90's-ism that it's soundtrack is none other than Enigma. Jennifer Lynch, daughter of David Lynch, directed this and no one has trusted her with a camera ever since.



Matt said...

I don't know...I sometimes ate dogfood as a kid, and I think I turned out okay.

Freudian Slip said...

Sylvester the sex god eh? I'm embaressed about those days too...

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