My life as film

How would your life look, dramatized? What if someone took all of your words and actions and experiences and threw them together into a two-hour biopic? Who would play you?

I thought about this today as I saw a tongue-in-cheek suggestion from one loyal reader to a screenwriting friend about turning my blog into a movie. Ridiculous, yes. But if it ever were going to happen, what would it be like? We discussed this a little at work a few months ago. Somehow, I was pegged with Bill Paxton. Not bad. Not great.

Of course, that’s the underlying theme in my life. Nothing that’s going to make the papers, or glue a film audience to their seats – either good or bad.

What makes a personal history interesting is the unpredictability of it. Biographies of famous musicians are only interesting if there is a complete breakdown at multiple points. Same with an author, actor, politician, etc. Hardships need to fill up 50% of the story. You can’t sell a history that goes from good to better and stays there. The necessary downfall of personal depression is required for an interesting sell.

Johnny Cash was unpredictable, did a lot of drugs, and pulled himself out of nowhere on his own, regardless of who stood in his way. His story is one of love, of hardship, of overcoming barriers. Same with Ray Charles. Truman Capote was an inherently interesting person, and his struggles and clashes made for interesting watching. They didn’t go into his background pre- and post-In Cold Blood. Because it was probably a life of privilege, of safety and “sure things.”

The greatest lives are all tempered with extreme highs and extreme lows. Those are the stories that we want to hear. Personally, I wouldn’t ask for a life of extreme highs and extreme lows. I’d rather live comfortably, experiencing slight highs and very few lows. I enjoy stability. Comfort. Predictability.

I think I speak for most of us when I say my life is not eventful enough to adapt into film. But really, whose life is that adaptable? Even the most famous hardships have been altered to become more interesting. Characters are merged; experiences moved around – nothing is exactly what it seems.

But that’s fine. I’ll take it. I enjoy living a life that has dropped into place at all the right times.

Who would play you?

This was lovingly handwritten on October 26th, 2006