Maybe I'm the exception, but having dealt with every one of these
personality types in writer groups, I found this movie to be hilarious
This movie is exactly why I don't tell my friends what I write. "If she
can do it, I can do it."
Then put in the work and prove it, jackass.
I have watched this movie twice already, on Netflix, and I will be
buying a copy to watch on days when I need to be reminded to ignore the
professional jealousy of those around me. Trust me, it's just not worth
telling people what you write. Pen names are the way to go.
These are the characters, as I saw them, and as I know them to be in
1. One woman is a dim-witted, spoiled narcissist who barely makes time
to write, yet she tells everyone she's a "writer." She looks at
pictures of herself while she does yoga, to get inspired.
2. Her husband, who doesn't actually write, but keeps a tape recorder
handy so he can record his "brilliant" ideas, which are usually just
character names that he finds clever, or half-baked plots. In other
words, he's not a writer. The "idea" doesn't write the story, and is
absolutely worthless unless you're fleshing it out in the book, and he
3. A sweet guy who loves classic literature, like The Great Gatsby, and
takes his own writing very seriously. He submits manuscripts to
publishers and agents, and keeps all of his rejection letters on his
wall. He admits at the beginning of the movie that he hasn't written in
4. A narcissistic war veteran who idolizes Tom Clancy and thinks his
manuscript is good enough to become a movie. Also, he holds a
self-published book signing at a hardware store. (I know someone who
threw her own self-published book signing at an IHOP.)
5. A guy who's in love with being a writer. It gives him an identity.
But he's only written three pages of what he calls a manuscript, and
instead of writing the rest of that book, he just revises those three
6. The girl who makes writing a priority, but hasn't read any of the
classics, and hasn't gone to college. But she's the one who lands an
agent, a book deal, and a movie deal. I've seen the movie twice and I'm
fairly certain that she's the only character who doesn't trash anyone
I understand why people who haven't belonged to a writers' group may
find the movie boring, but it was the only piece of fiction I've ever
seen that captured the delusional narcissism of a writers' group.
As soon as one person in the group gets successful, the claws come out.
"She doesn't deserve it." "It's because she looks good in a miniskirt."
""I'm the better writer, it's not fair."
She also put in work, and put her writing first. It doesn't matter who
you've read or what you've studied. If you don't finish your
manuscript, you will not be successful.
I hate to say that writers are this unlikable in person, but we are.
I revised my review to say this -- I am both traditionally published,
AND self-published. I read other reviews that thought the movie took
digs at self-publishing, but I didn't see it that way. There ARE people
just like John K. Butzin, who don't know how self-publishing really
works, and get scammed as a result. His goal isn't to make a living
with his book, but to see it on the big screen someday, and to "get
published." His character was the funniest and most realistic, to me.
Although, on some level, it's incredibly sad, because guys like him
actually exist. I watched this movie with a writer friend and Dennis
Farina said many things that made us look at each other and mention
names of people we knew. Again, it's actually sad, but it felt so good
Ten bright, glowing stars from me.