Wonder Boys (2000)

The paper crash

You’re not like my other teachers, Professor Tripp.” ~ James Leer
You’re not like my other students, James.” ~ Grady Tripp

One of my favorite movies is another film about writers and writing, Wonder Boys, with an eclectic ensemble cast, is a wonderful (pun intended) tale about writing, teaching, loving, and surviving. Survival is the big one in this, for me, or perhaps persisting is the better choice of descriptors; to me, all of the characters are persisting at something, not always winning, but not always failing, but always and ever persisting.

Some of my favorite actors are in this film, most notably Robert Downey, Jr. and Frances McDormand, and this is my favorite film that Tobey Maguire has ever done, and one of my favorites of both Michael Douglas and Katie Holmes. I love the interactions and connections between people, how that even at points in each character’s lives when they feel at their wit’s, and writer’s ends, they impact others around them. I also completely relate with the pressures of expectations from others, and more weighty, the expectations we set on ourselves, especially to create.

I love the rare film that celebrates friendship. There are plenty of films about love, but so few about friendship. This film to me, above everything else, is about friendship…and writing. Oh, Wonder Boys also has a stellar soundtrack, featuring songs from Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Leonard Cohen, among others.


Things Have Changed :: Bob Dylan

Watching the Wheels :: John Lennon

Waiting for the Miracle :: Leonard Cohen

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