Tag archive for "Marriage"

Celebrity, Movies

Outtakes: Diane Keaton on Marriage and the Enduring Romance of Scarlett and Rhett

No Comments 07 May 2015

Keaton in white

Keaton in white

I loved talking to Diane Keaton at the Crosby Hotel last Thursday. Since her film, 5 Flights Up, a portrait of a successful marriage, we spent a lot of time discussing the institution that my own father described as “flawed.” It turns out, my canny editors weren’t interested in that topic because Keaton had discussed it elsewhere. Her thoughts on the subject were new to me — and maybe they will be new to you. I found them fascinating. I also enjoyed her essays on beauty, Let’s Just Say it Wasn’t Pretty, which are as associative and deceptively light in prose as the actress is in person. So, here are my outtakes from our interview, which appears with a greater focus on her famous affairs at the New York Observer:

The subject was marriage because in her charming latest film opposite Morgan Freeman, 5 Flights Up, she plays a retired New York school teacher married to a painter. The pair contemplates the sale of the Brooklyn apartment where he carried her over the threshold as newlyweds decades before, a potential move both physical and emotional. While the Annie Hall star, 69, has crossed many thresholds in her life, she has never married – not Allen, not Pacino, not Beatty, although she had long-term relationships with all three.

Reflecting on viewing 5 Flights Up for a second time since its Toronto premiere, Keaton says: “I saw a great marriage. That’s what I saw. I saw a movie with a great marriage and a wonderful lesson for me, Diane, which is that about chasing a dream, chasing a dream.” In the movie’s case, it’s a New Yorker’s monopoly dream, selling a beautiful but flawed apartment – they are not getting younger and those five flights of stairs aren’t getting any shorter – for a place in a Manhattan elevator building. And, Ms. Keaton, a serial renovator who has moved her two adopted children, Dexter and Duke, from house project to house project with the regularity of army brats, can relate to the love of the leap.

And then, like a cliff diver, the native Southern Californian who knows a thing or two about that sport, goes deeper into the subject of marriage: “I felt like that was so applicable to my own life and what was not applicable to my own life was the reality of a great marriage. And that it’s something that now when I think about it [she pauses to consider] I wish that I had been able to understand and be interested in a long-term, reasonably happy, connected relationship with a man. I didn’t get it; because I couldn’t do it.”
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“Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Part 2” Teaser Trailer

No Comments 27 March 2012

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Books, Playdate

From LHJ.com: Book News: Playdate … for Adults Only

No Comments 27 March 2012

Take it off, Ken and Barbie


March 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm, by Cherise Bathersfield

Entertainment journalist Thelma Adams’s novel Playdate, just out in paperback, explores the minefields of modern marriage with humor and sass. But Playdate is no empty romp. In addition to parenting precocious pre-teens, the protagonists—couples Lance and Darlene and Alec and Wren—are dealing with complex issues. Lance, an unemployed weatherman, is married to Darlene, a restaurateur, who maintains an inappropriate flirtation with her restaurant’s financier, Alec, who is married to Wren, a yogi, who is having an affair with Lance. Got that? If that love quadrangle weren’t dizzying enough, a fierce forest fire is menacing their comfortable upper-middle-class California enclave. We asked Adams to talk about the game plan behind Playdate.

You’ve been a film critic and entertainment writer for almost 30 years. How did that experience inform your first novel, which is about marriage and relationships?

I am a married film critic and entertainment writer with relationships. Some of which, I confess, are a little convoluted. This novel began as an idea for a screenplay: What if we melded Warren Beatty’s handsome rootless philanderer in Shampoo with Michael Keaton’s overwhelmed dad in Mr. Mom? It seemed like a funny concept. However, as it turned out, I’m a prose girl. The movie idea morphed into a novel.

With his sensitive nature and commitment to parenting, Lance is the heart and soul of the book. But he’s also having an affair. Was it hard to construct a sympathetic cheater?

Making Lance sympathetic without demonizing his wife Darlene was one of the great challenges of the book. Personally, I am the daughter of a relatively sympathetic cheater. My dad was no saint, but he was no demon either. I was a daddy’s little girl who adored her father, and growing up we had this kind of very easy, affectionate, unconditional love. And then, when I was in my early twenties, I discovered that I’d lived in a house where a pattern of infidelity on my father’s side gutted my mother. Being daddy’s little girl was suddenly a difficult position to have within the family politics. And, on top of that, when I found out about my father, I was still crying over a post-college live-in relationship with a serial cheater with whom I was crazy in love. That’s a long time ago, but fidelity, and understanding how infidelity molds a family, and a relationship, has been central to a lot of my writing. In the end, I came to understand my father, which is not exactly the same as forgiving, through my love for Lance and [his daughter] Belle. Continue Reading

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Criticism, Movies, Oscar Race

TIFF11 day two: Take This Waltz

No Comments 10 September 2011

Michelle Williams,Seth Rogen,Sarah Polley,Marriage,Comedy,Bittersweet

Williams and Rogen get out of step

 A TIFF Discovery!

Michelle Williams follows up her brilliant Blue Valentine performance with another emotionally rich, clear-eyed and candid portrait. She plays Margot, a young Toronto wife who’s having trouble sticking with her marriage to Lou (a touching Seth Rogen) — especially after she gets a whiff of the rickshaw driving artist Daniel (Luke Kirby) who lives across the street. Written and directed by Canadian Sarah Polley (Away From Her), this is a sexy, funny-sad women’s movie about fidelity and individual identity and what we often don’t talk about when we talk about marriage. It pulls no punches, yet radiates empathy and humor. Sarah Silverman steps in as Margot’s alcoholic sister-in law who calls the pretty pixie on her shit — basically saying that marriage, or coupling, is not a solution to a personal feeling of emptiness.  For me, the hard-won truth echoes a line from my novel, Playdate, when the philandering stay-at-home-dad Lance considers walking out on his wife and life and starting over but realizes that he would probably end up under a different roof with a different woman and maybe even a new cat but essentially recreate the same mess if he doesn’t own up to who he really is in his current marriage.

Polley has created a touching, funny, original film — the inane scene in the water aerobics class is just one in a series of refreshing set pieces. It’s a Toronto International Film Festival find that’s currently on the market — and while this may not be the kind of role that earns Williams another Oscar nomination, she certainly holds the movie together without one sticky false emotion. Men and women are bound to have different reactions to this film — even sisters may disagree — but the discussion it inspires will be revealing about the depth of the film, and the emotional state of the viewers.  Definitely, take this waltz.

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Author-to-Author: Sarah Pekkanen

No Comments 11 May 2011

Sarah Pekkanen,mother,wife,author,novelist,emily giffin,the opposite of me,Oprah pick,Something Borrowed,Marriage,Washington DC,West Virginia,attempted rapeInsightful Maryland novelist – and mother of three boys – Sarah Pekkanen creates breathtaking fiction in her witty, weepy take on contemporary marriage, Skipping a Beat. Having made the O “Pick it up Now” list, and been described as “original, soulful and engaging” by no less than Something Borowed author Emily Giffin, this novel should not to be skipped.


Thelma: How old were you when you came out of the closet as a writer?

Sarah: I began to write books and send them off to publishers in elementary school. I still have a few of those old books, written on three-ring-binder paper and tied up with red yarn. I think my masterwork is The Lost Gold, which is pretty much a rip-off of the Nancy Drew mysteries. I was in awe of Nancy and her speedy little roadster.

T: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

S: Probably a teacher. I’ve always been drawn to kids, because they say the most outrageous things, and they have a completely fresh way of looking at the world.


T: OK, every one always wants to know: How long did it take to write this novel?

S: Skipping a Beat took about a year, and I popped out a baby (my third son) mid-way through the writing. He slept on my chest while I wrote many a chapter. Continue Reading

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