Monday, March 15, 2010

Attention film-makers: Crossworders are not oddballs!

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cruciverbalists-oddballs Have you seen the film No Reservations (2007)? A by-the-book rom com, except for a significant fact.

The leading lady is a crossword solver.

Each day she sits with her colleagues at the lunch table, armed with a pen and crossword grid. While the others laugh and chat, she is immersed in the crossword with a glum expression. She is also unkempt, unfriendly, has no "life" and no boyfriend. She is in therapy.

Along comes the hero. As it happens in such films, they spar then become friends. The lady grows cheerful and beautiful. After predictable twists, the movie moves towards the inevitable happy end.

Once Love enters the lady's life, she is never again to be seen solving the crossword.

In All About Steve (2009), the heroine is a crossword compiler for the (fictional) paper Sacramento Herald. She is also socially inept, clingy and spouts random facts to anyone within hearing range.

She gets so besotted with a man Steve (whom she has barely met) that she writes her next crossword themed entirely on him, titled "All About Steve". The crossword when printed frustrates the readers. (The paper obviously follows The Hindu's model of allowing anything by the setter to get published without checks.) She is fired from her job for this crossword.

Now unemployed, the lady stalks the man all across the country and gives him the creeps.

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Any cruciverbalists up for a dharna against such unflattering stereotyping?

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6 comments

Rajani said...

Very interesting observations...

hridayramshenoy said...

Funny yea. But somehow i think you are mistaking correlation for causation. The fact that the socially inept person or the stalker happen to solve/set crosswords doesnt mean that crosswords caused such behavior.

Shuchi said...

@Rajani: Thanks!

@hridayramshenoy: I sure hope so :)

My non-crossword friends have responded with "What's your argument? Crossword freaks are like that."

maddy said...

Any cruciverbalists up for a dharna against such unflattering stereotyping? :)

Shuchi, rest assured. Justice has already been meted out. The Razzies, which celebrate the worst in film making had nominated All about Steve in 5 different categories. The panel of judges must have been huge crossword fans.

Sandra Bullock incidentally won the worst actress award for this movie giving her the unique/dubious distinction of being the worst and the best (Oscar nod for The Blindside )actress of this year

Shuchi said...

Thank you maddy. That gives me great solace :P

Saw the video of Sandra Bullock's acceptance speech? Pretty sporting of her. She actually showed up at The Razzies to collect the award.

maddy said...

@Shuchi - Yeah, her Oscar acceptance speech was pretty cool too. One of the highlights(the other being Mo'Nique's ) in an otherwise drab event. I really liked the way she said " and thanks to everyone who was kind to me, when it was not fashionable" or something to that effect...

I didn't read too much into her showing up at the Razzies though. Must have been a PR stunt. These people don't even breathe in public w/o asking their image consultants

P.S - apologies for the off topic post. Even more apologies if I sounded cynical :)