Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"Anonymous" Review

It's not what you think. You see, last night my writing group had a movie night. I've posted over and over on the benefits of having a writer's group, and I believe that. My group, in particular, rocks the awesome. Of course, I might be a little biased there.

Anyway, the movie we were waiting with baited breath for is Authors Anonymous. Check out the trailer here and you'll have an idea why.

I probably don't need to tell you that the flick was full of cliche characters, stereotypes and less than gentle barbs aimed at the author's unusual and often quirky psyche. All of the above is true. Despite that, I enjoyed the  hell out of the viewing. I laughed, I cried a little, I shifted uncomfortably when I recognized a painful grain of truth inside the satire. A good time, if a somewhat awkward time, was had by all.

So, despite the cliche, the movie is a fun to watch peek at the crazy that sometimes clings to authorly types.
If you are a bit sensitive about stereotypes, however, it might not be for you. They hit them all with a big ol hammer of obviousness.

I do wish that a few more of the characters were likable. Even a little likable. I wanted more than the one obvious hero's admirable if awkward journey to redeem all authors a little bit. I wanted more of them to rise above, and really, they barely pulled that off with the protagonist. Watching a writer's group turn on each other and slowly implode was painful, funny as hell, but still a bit hard on the psyche.

So my review would be four stars out of five, if you're an author. Really, non writerly types will probably find little to love here. Authors Anonymous reminded me of a Christopher Guest film, without Guest's genius. It's a smile-worthy mockumentary but the target audience is pretty narrow.

And if you have a hard time poking fun at yourself, you might end up really cringing/hating this one.

If, like me, you enjoy a little discomfort and can suspend offense for the sake of humor, you'll probably really enjoy it.


  1. I'm glad to hear this. Honestly, this is EXACTLY what I was hoping for from the movie. Now I just have to figure out how to see it :P

  2. I really enjoyed it. I get the feeling I probably should have been offended, but it was good fun. :)

  3. Hi Frances--

    Thanks so much for taking the time to watch and review Authors Anonymous. I'm the screenwriter on the movie and I used by 12 years as the director of a local writers conference to create the characters. I take your reservations about the film to heart, but I submit there's still a happy ending for Henry as we fade away and that's what I've wanted all along. The feedback from writing groups has been exceptional because they embrace my message--there is no shortcut to writing success. You've got to do the work.


    David Congalton
    San Luis Obispo, CA


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