I belong to a movie group that meets monthly in one another’s living rooms to discuss a current film. As soon as I read that this month’s host had chosen The Words, I thought uh-oh. Most movies about writers get it so wrong, with their scenes of furrowed brows on smooth, comely faces; crumpled pages littering the floor; and ta-da: a finished manuscript.
In Little Women (the version with Winona Ryder and Gabriel Byrne), Louisa May Alcott puts down her pen, and ties up the finished pages with a ribbon. The End, just like that. Or, in the case of The Words, -end-.
But I don’t bring this up to slam the movie, although almost every aspect of it disappointed me. Instead, I’d like to explore a question that’s been on my mind since walking out of the theater: What makes it so hard to hold onto ardor and enthusiasm and creative curiosity?