Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007

I just saw “National Treasure” with my parents for the first half of our Goodbye-’07 Blowout Celebration, to be completed with a dinner—at 4:30!!—at the local favorite “Ye Lion’s Den.” I particularly love Ye Lion’s Den. It has waiters dressed in “olde English” costumes, a merry Jokester who comes by at completely the wrong time to do card tricks, and a medley of the same Simon & Garfunkel songs (without words) playing over and over, day in and day out. The best part is that the restaurant is downstairs, so you must go through a building entrance to get to the restaurant, and when you open the door a little animatronic person (dressed as a knight, with a bow and arrow he aims at you) says, “Halt! Who goes there? Be ye friend or foe?” Every, every, every time.

I will put up with a lot of nonsense for good food. If they didn’t have good food, no amount of being able to mock something would make up for it.

So “National Treasure” was fun. There was some pretty crappy dialogue, laden with clichés and tired phrases, but hey, it’s an adventure movie, and a sequel, at that. One senses there was nobody going over the script with a fine-tooth comb. (“Fine-tooth comb”: cliché, or tired phrase? Hmm. I’ll go to One of its definitions: a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse, as sadder but wiser, or strong as an ox. [Ah ha, "cliché " and "tired phrase" are the same thing. I knew that, didn't I?] So I guess that “fine-tooth comb” isn’t so much a cliché, because it’s not a phrase, it's an object [and what a pleasant object, at that: a comb one uses to remove lice]. Just a boring, overused metaphor. [I do love parentheticals in my blogs. {Parentheticals within parentheticals are even better, though.} Please forgive the overabundance.]) So, back to my point: no one read through the script and said, “Perhaps you can find another way to express that point.” I don’t have the script in front of me, but the thought hit me several times that I would write those phrases in a first draft of a script as “placeholder dialogue,” what I write down because I know that’s the point I need to make, the structure I need to have in place, in order to get to the next point; but it’s not particularly clever or original and I need to go back to change it to make it clever or original, or at least not so placeholder-y. “National Treasure” was laden with placeholder dialogue.

It’s getting time to leave for our 4:30 dinner reservation. I should note that we as a family are not QUITE that boring; we wanted a reservation for 6:30 but were told we could have 4:30 or 9:00. Even I don’t want to go to dinner at 9:00. So my parents and I will have a raucous New Year’s Eve celebration that lasts until, oh, 6:00 and then return home and make it like any other night. I’ll write on my screenplay and probably do some exercise in front of the TV and maybe even give myself permission to end early and read. Whoo! Somebody will call the cops.

1 comment:

Lilita said...

Hey, glad to see you're updating and blogging and all that. Melissa said she talked to you at the family party and wanted to know if she was allowed to read my blog, too. So I guess that means you are on the special invited guests list! Good luck on the screenplay since the writers' strike means that there is going to be a huge demand to fill that vacuum as soon as it all sorts itself out. And who better to fill a vacuum than you??