Monday, September 19, 2011

Minnow: "The Romantics"' Biggest Fish

This weekend I watched The Romantics, which has the loooooongest list of executive producers and producers that I have ever seen. 

If I were an SNL writer, and thought that my audience would be familiar with such overly long credits, I'd make a short film that would never actually begin because the opening list of producing credits would eat up all the film time.  I'm amused just thinking about it (insert wry smirk here).

Anyhow, the film was written and directed by Galt Niederhoffer, and based on her novel of the same name.

Once I realized this, I watched with more interest, because I knew the author's ex-husband a decade ago. 

And then, after the 100-or-so producing credits, while the opening scene introduced a Hilfiger-esque Woody,

I remembered how the cast had cupcaked its way into a J Crew catalogue, and cried, "Cliche!"

But!  I'm very glad that I did make it through the film, not because of Anna Paquin's perfect ponytail, or the artfully scubbed white-wood staircase risers,

certainly not because of Katie Holmes' valiant attempt to portray a successful "writah!" (her drafts of her maid of honor speech wouldn't make it past a first-year composition class, let alone a Paris Review article),

but because

of glorious fourteen-year-old Minnow.  

Played by Glee's Dianna Aragon, Minnow is younger sister to the bride, and her scenes steal the film.  One of my favourites comes when she goes to the attic to lovingly but sneakily try on her sister's wedding dress. (See opening image.)
The dress rips (see the film if you want to know why), and Lila, the bride (Paquin), athletically and angrily chases Minnow through the grand old house.

Here are the pages from the novel:

I might have a read, because I am certain that I can imagine more realistic Yale English majors than the ones portrayed in the film.  But Minnow has winnowed her way into my imagination and there, she happily resides.

1 comment:

Susan Tiner said...

Well, this is a mixed review, but I'll probably still try the film. Minnow sounds like fun.