While I was waiting out the tornado warning on Monday night (it’s more dramatic to say, “While I was waiting out the tornado on Monday night,” but it never came near us, and you can’t start with “while I was waiting out the flash flood warning on Monday night”), I read stories out of the 2001 O. Henry prize winners collection. One story I read was called “The Smoker,” by I-forget-who (David Schickler). It’s a truly bizarre little story about a teacher at an all-girls college prep school who is invited to dinner at his star student’s house… so that her parents can propose an arranged marriage between them. And there’s backstory about the guy at a boxing club and other little tidbits that I won’t give away, other than to say, it’s a good story. I really liked it.
So, the next day, I was in screenwriting class, and the instructor told us our second screenplay would have to be one we adapt from a short story. I thought, Ooo, “The Smoker” would be really interesting as a film. And I sort of tossed it around in my head during the week, when I should have been focusing on other things, like the first script we have due, etc.
Anyway, yesterday I was updating (disastrously, as it turns out) my Hollywood Stock Exchange portfolio, and I decided to check into picking up a little Owen Wilson stock in advance of The Life Aquatic — a movie that I am both ridiculously excited about and certain I will be disappointed by. Lo-and-behold, what’s on Owen Wilson’s film schedule after TLA but “The Smoker!” With Natalie Portman. I’m completely sure that Owen Wilson would not have been who I pictured for that role, but… it’s a very interesting choice. Most of the problem is that I can’t, in anyway, picture Owen Wilson boxing — he’s adorable, but he’s a self-proclaimed wuss. Still, combined with seeing the preview for “The Life Aquatic” tonight for the first time (trailer here), my Owen-love is back at full tilt.
And that’s all I have to say for myself today.