Monday, May 11, 2009

is thinking about writer's voice after watching Vicky Christina Barcelona, a Woody Allen film. Every line that came from the actors, including Scarlett Johansen, Javier Bardem (that gorgeous Spanish actor who played the snake-eyed murderous psychopath in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and here is a romantic and fiery Spanish painter), and Penelope Cruz sounded like Woody Allen and his usual hapless love interests, even in Spanish.

I could close my eyes and be listening to Annie Hall, Hannah and her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors as easily as the new film. There were the same neurotic repetitions, the angst, the emotional twists and turns. I'm not just talking the usual Allen themes of fidelity, romantic v. practical love, fantasy, unrequited love and existential longing, but the actual words and inflections felt the same.

Voice is supposed to be consistent in everything from the story an author chooses to tell to the syntax she uses, but it's startlingly true in Woody Allen's movies.

Sometimes this consistency ends up being boring--the writer begins to produce works that seem pale imitations of earlier successes--but other times there remains new turns and twists, new windows into the world view so there is consistency and freshness at the same time. What writer voices are most vivid to you? Chameleon-like? What did you think of this film?

1 comment:

  1. I haven't seen this movie because quite frankly I'm not a Woody Allen fan. A couple of really vivid voices IMO are Sherry Thomas, Julie Quinn and Jennifer Ashley.

    Non romance authors who I think keep things fresh are James Lee Burke and Harlan Coben.

    Also C.S. Harris who writes the Sebastian St. Cyr series which is really mystery with romantic elements. Great books!