Monday, January 5, 2015

TODAY'S NUGGET: Postcards from the Edge (1990) - Funny + Drama

[Quick Summary: A funny, addicted actress stays with her stage mother while filming a movie.]

I had stupid preconceived notions about this script. I was wrong.

Carrie Fisher really make the tough stuff look easy.

I especially liked how her comedy deepens the point of the drama:

- Funny and Uncomfortable:

ex. "Suzanne and Doris go into the kitchen. Jack stands awkwardly beside Sid, who continues watching TV.

JACK What're you watching there, Mr. Roth?

Sid points to the TV as he watches, in explanation of what he is watching."

- Funny and Romantic:

ex. SUZANNE: "Are you sure I didn't...sleep with you?
JACK: Sleep, yes.
SUZANNE: Kiss?
JACK: What? Here? Now?
SUZANNE: No. Then. That night.
JACK: See if this rings a bell.

Jack goes to kiss her. Suzanne starts to resist, but her need for affection and his charm overwhelm her. They kiss gently, shyly.

SUZANNE: It rings something, but I don't know if it's a memory bell, or --
JACK: --How about this?

He kisses her again, this time more passionately.

SUZANNE: It certainly reminds me of something I should've done before.
JACK: It reminds me of something I want to do later, so I can look back on it after that."

- Funny, with Ongoing Mother-Daughter Tension:

ex. [Suzanne goes into Doris' bathroom cabinet]

"DORIS (O.S.): Who's there?

Suzanne rolls her eyes. Great. Caught in the act and she didn't even do it. The light flips on and Doris stands there.

SUZANNE: Hi, Mama. I was just looking for some Aspirin.

Doris eyes her daughter suspiciously.

DORIS: Did you find it?
SUZANNE: Yes.
DORIS: Good.

They eye each other. Suzanne exits. Doris follows."

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: The funny bits make the drama better.

Postcards from the Edge (1990)
by Carrie Fisher
Adapted from her novel

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