Tag Archives: Octavia Spencer

We need the romantic dramedy starring Dev Patel and Octavia Spencer pronto!

Y’all, I’m late. In more ways than one.

First, I haven’t written on this site in a long time. I’ve been dealing with Real World Stuff, so excuse me.

Second, I haven’t watched the Variety “Actors on Actors” interview between Dev Patel and Octavia Spencer until today, even though it’s been out since December of last year, the beginning of Oscar season. But I knew about it, and I knew about that picture from Patel and Spencer’s Variety photoshoot promoting the interview, and even then, I knew there was a film to be made with these two people as the leading actors.

Photo credit: Variety

Just look at them! Does this or does this not look like the poster for the best romantic dramedy of the year? It literally writes itself!

Yes, I know she’s 46 and he’s 26, so there’s literally a 20-year age difference, but that’s why this would be a romantic dramedy, wouldn’t it? The film would be all about this sensible 40-something woman with a stable job, a few good friends, but empty home life (maybe a divorcee, a widow, or perhaps just someone who thought she’d be an eternal bachelorette, unlucky in love) questioning herself for falling for someone she’d never think she’d fall for–a man in his 20s. The film would be all about her reckoning with societal standards, the opinions of her friends and family (both good and bad opinions), and finally with herself as she goes on the journey towards unlearning societal shame and going full-throttle with this man who, despite his age, has an old soul, clearly a soul that has been on Earth several times before.

Speaking of Patel’s character, his reaction to the whole thing would be to view it, as an old soul who is in its last incarnation on earth probably would view the situation, as a delightful surprise on his journey from the cradle to the grave. He’d see in her something he doesn’t see in the women his age, which is why he would have never kept a serious girlfriend around throughout his life, to the point where his some of his more unobservant family members might have started thinking he’s either gay or a player. His parents just wonder what magical girl it’s going to be that will finally grant them with the grandchildren they’ve always wanted but believe they’ll never get. In Spencer’s character, he’ll see a maturity that comes with getting knocked down by life and getting back up, having vulnerability, and having life experiences that girls his age haven’t had yet and probably wouldn’t know how to cope with. (Not to say that girls in their 20s aren’t vulnerable, but the girls that keep throwing themselves at Patel’s character wouldn’t be the brightest bulbs in the box; if I was writing this, the girls that would see him as a hard-to-get prize would be the girls who think all he needs is a good night in the club and some Cristal to loosen him up.)

Has Patel’s character himself had the life experiences Spencer’s character has had? Well, not in this lifetime, he hasn’t. But because his soul is so wizened beyond his body’s years, he can identify with the struggles and triumphs of the older set. But he would think it’s funny that it would still come as a sweet surprise to him that he, as a 20-something, desires older women. But him being who he is, all he needs to do is think about it for a second, but two and two together, and laugh about how obvious it is that of course, an old soul would desire an old soul.

Screenwriters, you may use this idea and all of the character building I’ve provided in this post, as long as you give me an “story by” or “based on a concept by” credit. Just something so I can get a small royalty check when this unseats the next Julia Roberts movie as the Oscar-worthy rom-dram of the season.

The interview itself backs up this imaginary tale. In it, you see how they both respond to each other in a warm, gentle, loving way. Now hear me–I’m not saying they’re dating in real life; the vibe is much more of profound respect, admiration, and dare I say maternal on Spencer’s part, which is something Patel himself points out about her personality–BUT, qualities such as mutual respect and admiration are a part of true love as well as deep friendship, right? These same qualities could be the building blocks for some talented screenwriter out there to write this script with Patel and Spencer specifically in mind.

In short, I’d watch this film in a heartbeat. Perhaps it could even help me get over my own ageist issues when it comes to dating either above or below my own age bracket. Also, I’d watch that other film I pitched featuring Patel and model Imaan Hammam. Basically, I’d watch any movie that treats both Patel with the respect he deserves as an actor. Ditto for Spencer. Come on, Hollywood–MAKE THIS MOVIE!

Got other movie ideas for Hollywood you want me to write about? At me on Twitter @moniqueblognet. 

Olympic-sized “Rogue One,” “Luke Cage,” “Hidden Figures” trailers promise awesomeness

The Olympics is like the Super Bowl in that lots of big properties reveal their big trailers. Three such trailers were released during the Rio Olympics: Luke CageRogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Hidden Figures. Let’s take a look at each.

Luke Cage

First of all, it looks incredible. If I’m being completely honest, I’ve never tuned into a Marvel Netflix production, either because I didn’t know the lore or, quite frankly, I just didn’t care. But the updated ’70s blaxploitation take on Luke Cage is both reminiscent of past awesome crime fighters like Shaft and extremely timely to what’s going on today.

Everyone has mentioned the imagery of the unkillable black man in a shot-up hoodie providing both commentary and relief from the constant deluge of black men and boys being killed by police or overzealous, racist men. But seeing that imagery in motion, just in the trailer, says so much without Luke Cage every saying a word. Also, the story itself seems to be told in such a way that someone like me, who has a hot-cold relationship with keeping up with all comics except for Archie Comics, can come into it fresh. It engages the audience whether you know about Luke Cage from the comics or not. That kind of treatment of comic book lore is gold, since you can’t always assume your audience knows everything about every character, especially if that character hasn’t become part of the collective consciousness in the same way Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man have.

Overall, this is a WIN for me. I’ll check out the series once it drops, despite my own squeamishness of hearing/seeing broken bones.

Rogue One

As Marv Albert would say, “Yes!”—this is ticking all of the boxes for me. I think from now on, I’ll lessen my usage of “diversity” and starting using the word “inclusion” more, because the rebooted Star Wars series (yes, rebooted—let’s just admit that the prequels are out of canon now) is showing other movie franchises how inclusion is done. You don’t just hire actors of color to be sidekicks, MARVEL MOVIES. You hire actors of color for substantial roles and treat them just like any white actor. You create characters that actually represent and empower your audience, not just appease them with some paltry offerings. Somehow, Marvel seems to do better at inclusion with their television shows and Netflix series than they do with the actual movies. Even stranger is that Marvel and Lucasfilm are now under the same Disney umbrella, so you’d think some cross-pollination with casting tactics would have happened already. Marvel needs to take some notes from J. J. Abrams, stat.

Anyways, we’ve got talented actors doing talented things in this film. Even cooler is that the central character is a woman. Also cool is that Darth Vader finally looks cool again (once again, proof that this is a completely rebooted series). We also have some disability representation with Donnie Yen’s blind Jedi or Jedi-adjacent character. But will Yen’s character dip too far into the “mystical Asian kung-fu master” trope? Because if there’s one potential issue I see, it’s that. We just have to wait until the movie comes out. The other potential issue: Forrest Whitaker’s odd accent. But on the whole, Rogue One looks like it’ll proudly carry on the awesome legacy that began with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Hidden Figures

The film looks like it’s going to be one along the lines of 42 and Race in the sense that it’s going to be a feel-good film that also manages to teach the audience a historical lesson about overcoming discrimination to achieve excellence. But this film is also a reversal in practice for Hollywood, an industry that has ignored a story like this until now.

This role is something Taraji P. Henson should have played long before now, and its these types of roles Hollywood should have cast her in. What I’m saying is that usually, this type of “feel-good” role featuring a female character from the 1960s usually goes to a white woman, because in the ’60s as in today’s time, whiteness allows a certain privilege, meaning the character won’t have to deal with any sticky issues like race.

However, turning attention away from the history makers and achievers of the time only keeps black movie narratives stuck to the Civil Rights Movement. While that part of the ’60s is wildly important, there is more to the black experience than just misery. We didn’t exist just in the south; we existed all over the country, doing all kinds of things, including sending a man to the moon. Stories like this should have been lauded decades before now, not just now that Hollywood is slowly waking up to what many call in jaded tones the “diversity trend.”

On a much more shallower note: much like Whitaker, I’m unsure of Janelle Monaé’s accent in this film. I’m assuming she’s portraying a southerner; as a southerner, I’m always…disturbed by bad southern accents in films. There is an art to the southern accent not many non-southern actors have mastered. They always want to take it to that Scarlett O’Hara level, and not all southern accents are remotely like that. (I hated writing this paragraph, because I’m a loyal member of Electro Phi Beta…but I can’t lie about the accent.)

What do you think of these trailers? Give your opinions in the comments section below!