Only a writer can understand the unnerving feeling of staring at a blank page for minutes, hours, or even days. This anxious situation is accompanied by a prayer for the perfect words to appear, creating a beautiful and cathartic narrative for the reader. This is the burden of writing, to be a witness and a chronicler. They tell a story that others will then make their own metaphor or fable.
So here are eight movies that celebrate the pros and cons of writing:
Pulitzer prize winner Willam Forrester is haunted by his demons and living in his isolated apartment when he meets Jamal, a young man from the Bronx with a gift for words and basketball. After achieving his school’s highest test scores, Jamal is recruited by an exclusive Manhattan private school. Both will learn from each other and literature will take a whole new meaning.
Screenwriter Charlie Kauffman is hired to adapt a book about a flower collector, John Laroche, a man with a peculiar obsession with orchids. Charlie can’t seem to find the way to take the story to the screen and suffers from severe writer’s block. While searching for the book’s subtext, desire and passion will take over his life.
Three different women, living in three different time periods, are linked through Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. The first is Virginia Woolf herself, fighting her own mental health as she writes the manuscript in the nineteen twenties. The second is Laura Brown, an unhappy housewife and mother who reads the book in the fifties. The third is Clarissa Vaughn, a bisexual editor from New York, who embodies the modern Mrs. Dalloway and is in love with her poet friend who is in the last stages of AIDS.
Calvin is a genius novelist suffering from writer’s block until one day he starts writing about Ruby Sparks, a girl he’s seen in his dreams. One morning he finds the character in his house, like he wrote in the novel. He soon discovers that everything he writes becomes real. At first, he chooses not to write and enjoy his relationship with her, but as issues arise, he beings to wish he could control “the perfect girl.”
This romantic comedy centers on Keith Michaels, an Oscar-winning screenwriter who, after being rejected by Hollywood, takes a job as a writing teacher at a college. His life takes a complete turn after he falls in love with a single mom who’s taking classes there.
Teenage aspiring writer Emilia believes she is a descendant of Arthur Conan Doyle. When she meets the Fishers, a dysfunctional family comprised by a failed writer, his wife, and two daughters, she befriends one of the girls while also beginning an affair with the father.
The Last Word (2008) – Geoffrey Haley
Evan makes a living writing suicide notes for people. When he attends the funeral of his last client, he meets Charlotte, the sister. He lies about his profession and the true relationship between her brother and him. This is an unconventional love story of two outcasts falling in love under the weirdest situations.
Liberal Arts (2012) – Josh Radnor
35 year-old Jesse Fisher has just come out of a failed relationship and is working in a job that makes him unhappy. When his favorite college professor invites him to his retirement dinner, he takes the chance to go back to the place where he was the happiest. He meets Zibby, a sophomore who awakens feelings and passions he thought were long dead, making him rethink his whole life.
Simone de Bauvoir once said that “Writing is a profession one learns by writing.” It involves a lot of work, and writers need guts to expose their inner emotions to the world through their texts. But it’s this act that takes the reader on journeys to exciting universes, where we discover a bit more about ourselves, as the stories touch our spirit.
Translated by María Suárez