There’s nothing I like better than a good writer’s block flick, and this one is high up on my list favorites. I like it even though it follows the film industry’s tried and true formula for writer’s block movies which goes something like this:
1)Protagonist has many personal problems and an inability to commit to a healthy, loving relationship. Also has a wicked case of writer’s block.
2)Protagonist experiences an ever-intensifying series of hard lessons because of his/her unresolved issues and inability to grow up. The consequences for not writing also intensify.
3)A major crisis ensues which forces the protagonist to confront his problems, and experience personal growth.
4)Protagonist falls in love, kisses someone.
5)Final scene shows protagonist smiling with new book published.
On its way to getting to that final smile, The Wonder Boys is completely entertaining and truly funny. Michael Douglas has the central role as the chronically stoned, blocked professor, and his problem is a second-novel graphorrea (inability to stop writing), following a wildly successful first novel. He has three thousand pages written but he can’t focus it or finish it. Basically he can’t commit to what the novel will actually be (or to the woman he loves), so he just keeps writing. It doesn’t look like he’s blocked because he writes so much, but none of the work it gets him closer to the finish.
The film also includes a pre-Spiderman, depressed Toby McGuire, and a substance- abusing, gay Robert Downey Jr. Check it out.