Movies About Writers and Show the Story
April 24, 2014 2:21 PM   Subscribe

Hey Everyone, Can you think of any movies that are about a writer and also show the story that the writer is writing in the movie? Thanks!
posted by sunnyblues48 to Media & Arts (39 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I think the canonical example here would be Adaptation.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:24 PM on April 24, 2014 [10 favorites]

Stranger than Fiction, Will Farrell and Emma Thompson
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:33 PM on April 24, 2014 [6 favorites]

Moulin Rouge would fit, I think.
posted by tautological at 2:37 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think Basic Instinct.

Also, I'm wondering if the sitcom 'curb your enthusiasm' counts...especially when they were doing the Seinfeld reunion.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:37 PM on April 24, 2014

Shakespeare in Love (and, for that matter, Hamlet).
posted by Etrigan at 2:38 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by AtoBtoA at 2:49 PM on April 24, 2014

Ruby Sparks!
posted by jabes at 2:49 PM on April 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Providence, directed by Alain Resnais. Great movie -- the writer's story is shown as he drunkenly imagines and revises it over one solitary night. The second half of the film shows him sober the next morning, being visited by the actual family members upon whom his characters were based.
posted by newmoistness at 2:50 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Bridget Jones' Diary
posted by mochapickle at 2:50 PM on April 24, 2014

Romancing the Stone - the main character is a romance writer, and in the end she turns the story of her adventure into a bestselling novel.
posted by mochapickle at 2:54 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Alex & Emma," from about 10 years ago. The leads, Luke Wilson and Kate Hudson, also appear as characters in the book he is writing.
posted by LaurenIpsum at 3:00 PM on April 24, 2014

Swimming Pool, a nice little thriller.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:15 PM on April 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

Technically "Get Shorty," but it's a story about a mobster who discovers the movie business, and, after the plot plays out, has decided to write a movie... which is the movie we just saw. So.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:21 PM on April 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Sorry this one is a tv series too: the Book Group keeps wandering into scenes of the group members' novels as they write, with characters played by the other members of the group.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 3:32 PM on April 24, 2014

The Muppet Movie is ostensibly about how they wound up making the Muppet Movie. (The original one. Not sure if the newer one is similar or what)
posted by aubilenon at 3:35 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Her Alibi, Tom Selleck & Paulina Porizkova
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:36 PM on April 24, 2014

Gentlemen Broncos. And this one offers so much! Teenager writes a sci-fi epic, takes it to a fantasy writing convention, where his idol, a successful sci-fi novelist who has run out of ideas, steals it. So, you get a depiction of the story as imagined by the kid, as well as a depiction of the novelist's re-interpretation. And, on top of that, a local no-budget video company (whose owner also went to the fantasy writing camp) "buys" the right to film the teenager's original manuscript -- so there's a third version of the story to see. Hilarity ensues.
posted by fikri at 3:41 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Shakespeare in Love and that Jane Austen biopic starring Anne Hathaway come to mind for me!
posted by Hermione Granger at 3:53 PM on April 24, 2014

Stranger Than Fiction?
On preview, what Eyebrows McGee said!
posted by maryrussell at 4:11 PM on April 24, 2014

'Barton Fink' doesn't exactly fit the plan, but it's got that Barton Fink feeling.

William Shawn, the old New Yorker editor, said: "Never publish a story about a writer writing a story."
posted by ovvl at 4:26 PM on April 24, 2014

Synecdoche, New York
Le Mepris (Contempt)
8 1/2
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 5:15 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's a bit of a stretch, but you could include The Hobbit movies in this category.
posted by TwoWordReview at 6:05 PM on April 24, 2014

Another stretch, but maybe Wonder Boys?
posted by HumuloneRanger at 6:48 PM on April 24, 2014

I love those - not the movies about the writer writing, but where the real life of the writer and the fictional world are interwoven.

DECONSTRUCTING HARRY - short stories (or maybe short movies) with Woody Allen doing the classic Woody Allen thing (not the new rambling through Europe with big-lipped young women thing).
THE FALL - a guy is making up a story with the help of a little girl. Amazing, amazing work and apparently the girl's stuff is all ad-libbed, making the fictional stuff more amazing.
BARON MUNCHAUSEN - OK, he's a baron/storyteller, not a writer, but he's telling the story as he goes along

(This was actually why I hated SUCKERPUNCH. The mini stories don't have any bearing on the main plot - which is a shame.)

My favorite of this is a book about a writer where he drops into short stories to express how he's feeling, but the movie version skipped all the short story stuff. (World According to Garp)
posted by Gucky at 7:00 PM on April 24, 2014

The Dutch film Ober (Waiter)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:16 PM on April 24, 2014

posted by Ideefixe at 7:51 PM on April 24, 2014

posted by dreaming in stereo at 8:45 PM on April 24, 2014

The Singing Detective basically fits. Its been awhile since I've seen it, but a difference would be the novel is already written and while recovering in the hospital the author tries to remember the plot of the book and dictates it out loud, mostly to himself.
posted by Green With You at 9:21 PM on April 24, 2014

Might Barton Fink fit? Great film.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:25 PM on April 24, 2014

The Player
posted by jojobobo at 1:32 AM on April 25, 2014

The Inner Life of Martin Frost.
posted by jbickers at 5:34 AM on April 25, 2014

I don't know if this counts, but Forgetting Sarah Marshall has a character working on a play, parts of which are shown in the movie itself.
posted by SeedStitch at 6:06 AM on April 25, 2014

Throw Momma from the Train might be a stretch, but it is a delightful little gem.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 7:02 AM on April 25, 2014

Seven Psychopaths is a movie about making a movie called Seven Psychopaths, but I can't recommend it.

I dont recall if the movie includes the writer's story, but Misery.
posted by Billiken at 9:07 AM on April 25, 2014

The Big Picture

Bullets Over Broadway, kind of
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:40 AM on April 25, 2014

Stand By Me?
posted by Chenko at 10:36 AM on April 25, 2014

State and Main shows "writing" or more correctly rewriting of a screenplay, but although a typewriter is a minor plot element, most of it is discussion amongst characters. It fits the second criteria because you do see some of the filming of the screenplay.

It is not, however, metafiction, a term more properly applied to things like Adaptation. Your question is unclear as to what you mean by "showing" and whether you want it integrated into the top-level story.

Another movie about moviemaking is The Player, and while it deals with the concept of story, I don't think it shows writing as such. It is, however, about a writer (on one side of the plot).
posted by dhartung at 1:25 PM on April 25, 2014

Gucky... what? I know Sucker Punch isn't a great movie, but every one of the mini-stories was directly related to the acquisition of one of the objects Babydoll needed to break out of the asylum.

As to the OP's question... yeah, Adaptation.
posted by lhauser at 6:02 PM on April 27, 2014

I just remembered: "Karaoke," a british TV miniseries by Dennis Potter, who created the aforementioned "The Singing Detective." Karaoke is the story of a playwright who is working on the editing stage of a TV version of his play "Karaoke," a kind of London gangster story, maybe noir, which is partly set in seedy nightclub that features karaoke and prostitutes. By an apparent coincidence, though, he finds himself inside his own play, witnessing regular people acting own lines he wrote. This was made in '96, and the cast will astonish you.

Karaoke is tied to a followup miniseries called "Cold Lazarus," which is set in a strange future, but features frozen people having their memories (of the events of "Karaoke") extracted by scientists.

Karaoke/Cold Lazarus were Potter's last works, as he wrote both following his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer which took his life before they were produced jointly by BBC and Ch4.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:09 AM on September 3, 2014

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