I once asked author Jennifer Weiner a question on Twitter about whether she feels the need to incorporate social media in her books now, as opposed to her first book that came out in 2001 before the days of Facebook and Twitter. She kindly tweeted me back, stating that she actually does because a book set in the present would feel 'tone deaf' without it.
Ah, yes, I can see that. I knew she'd have good advice.
I started to wonder if technology solves too many problems and that could be a big problem for writers because our characters need obstacles, after all! But, luckily (for writers) technology fails sometimes ['She reached for her cell phone only to see that the battery was dead. Damn iPhone! Her only choice was to walk three miles in her favorite Manolo Blahniks to the nearest rest stop. But then, a car pulled up. She'd never take a ride from a stranger...unless the stranger looked like Joe Manganiello, which he did.' Yes, luckily for writers (and the girl in this story that I just made up), technology fails sometimes. Ahem. Can I get a hubba hubba and a hallelujiah?]
So, in the spirit of Roses, here's to ~
1/ technology ... when it works
2/ and when it connects writers with questions to established authors with answers
3/ and technology even when it doesn't work - because that's when blog posts are born ... and story lines too, if you're nasty ... and crafty.
How would some of my favorite movies of the 80's and 90's be different with today's technology?
The scene: When Aunt Edna dies, the family drives to her son Normy's only to find that he is not home. So, they leave her there, tied to a lawn chair. It was the early 80's and they did the gracious thing at the time ... they left a note, pinned to her sleeve.
Today: They'd do the right thing by Normy ... they'd text him. "Hey, Norm, your mom is waiting for you at your house. She insisted we carry on. SMH"
2. Ferris Bueller
The scene: Ferris poses as Abe Froman to score a table for lunch at a snooty restaurant. The mean mustached gatekeeper apparently has no idea what Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago, looks like but he doubts he is a young man in a white t-shirt, sweater vest and leather jacket. But, as you recall, Sloane's phone call with that exact description gets them in.
Today: The mean mustached one reaches for his iPhone, Googles 'Abe Froman,' finds some magazine article with a photo of a middle-aged bald man, kicks Ferris & co. to the curb. Poor Ferris. ... Unless, Ferris comes up with a way to alter Google images in a matter of minutes while the mustached one looks away. It could happen (in a movie). If anyone can do it, it's Ferris. Save Ferris!
3. Something About Mary
The premise: Thirteen years after a prom nightmare, Ted is still obsessed with Mary. On the advice of his best friend, he hires a private detective to track her down.
Today: He'd already be friends with her on Facebook. Next.
4. Pretty Woman
The premise: A successful businessman is lost on Hollywood Boulevard and must ask a prostitute for directions.
Today: He pulls out his phone, pulls up the map, the blue dot, his hotel, directions and, well, you know how it goes. What prostitute? What movie?
5. Sixteen Candles
The premise: High school sophomore Sam's birthday is completely forgotten by her entire family amid the excitement over her sister's wedding the next day.
Today: Someone, anyone, even the grandparents would have seen it on Facebook.
6. When Harry Met Sally
One of my favorite scenes, not that scene:
Marie takes her Rolodex out of her satchel and starts to look through it.
Marie: All right, wait. Here—here we go, Ken Darman.
Sally: He’s been married for over a year.
Marie: Really? Married.
Marie takes Ken Darman’s Rolodex card and dog-ears a corner of it and places it in a section at the back of the box.
Today: They'd already know Ken Darman is married (Facebook!) and instead of flipping through a Rolodex, Marie would scroll through her friends on FB and contacts on LinkedIn.
7. Working Girl
The premise: Staten Island secretary Tess McGill poses as her boss Katharine Parker to get a look at Jack Trainer before she's supposed to meet him.
Today: Tess would have no need to get dressed up, go to the party, say she's Katharine, meet Jack, sleep with him and then realize who he is the next day at the meeting. She would already know what he looks like (the Google machine!) and like the way of the record player and iDVD, there goes the premise and entertaining hijinks of a good girl from the SI.
The scene: Cher is stranded, gets mugged & with no cell phone, must call her stepbrother from a - ew - payphone.
Today: Cher is stranded, gets mugged & with no cell phone, must call her stepbrother from a - ew - payphone. BUT her cell phone would not have been the size of a five dollar foot long. Other than that, yup, Jane Austen is timeless.
Thanks for reading!
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