Tuesday, October 01, 2013

"My Girlfriend's Boyfriend": what happens if you write a novel about a romantic rival, and get it published?

It sounds obvious what “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend” has to be about.  A triangle, yes.

Actually, it’s a little more than that.  The film by Daryn Tufts starts with credits that are annoyingly slow as a hand propelled by a hairy male wrist prints the names on notecards.  But then we are introduced to Ethan, play by Christopher Gorham, who cannot be the first “scribe”.  Gorham, recall, was the lab technician with powers in the UPN series “Jake 2.0” from 2003-2004.  He hasn’t aged much at all.  Here, he is a fiction writer trying to get published, and getting turned down.  That’s understandable enough, except that I wondered why he didn’t try the Web.  There are cell phones in the film, so we know that the time is present day.

Ethan meets a girl, Jesse Young (Alyssa Milano), in a coffee bistro in Salt Lake City (the film never refers to Mormonism but the mood is there – and Mormons don’t take caffeine), and soon meets her shy brother, David (Tom Lenk), who curiously has been hired to do a chewing gum commercial which, despite his awkwardness, goes viral.  Jesse then meets Troy Parker (Michael Landes), also in the commercial writing business.

All of this presents some irony.  Ethan says he has to consider giving up writing and getting into a more sales-oriented career to make enough money to have a family.  He could write ditties, too.  But curiously, he doesn’t lean that Jesse is also dating Troy (who could have owned the wrist writing the credits).  He’s ready to propose marriage (may LDS sealed) on a bluff with a spectacular view of Salt Lake.  He has once sudden ace up his sleeve to finally get published and become an A-List author for supermarket bestseller lists.  He writes a novel “Troy Meets Girl”.  I have to say that I was impressed with Ethan’s attentiveness and romantic passion. I’m not capable of it.

How to people feel if they believe that romantic rivals secretly write novels about them?  It’s an intriguing thought.

The official site is here.   I saw the 2010 film (84 min) on Netflix, but it can be rented on YouTube for $1.99.

The Washington Post has mentioned a different film “Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend” which is a stand-up comedy video, also available on Netflix but it must be looked up with the prefix of Mike’s name, which I didn’t know when I found the other film.  I’ll try it another time.  This duplicate title concept occurred with "Lee Daniels' The Butler".  But it's usually OK for films to have the same title. 

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