Hello good morning and welcome to another addition to our new series “Inspirations and Influences” in which we invite authors to write guest posts talking about their …..well, Inspirations and Influences. The cool thing is that the writers are given free reign so they can go wild and write anything they want. It can be about their new book, series or about their career as a whole.
Today,we have the pleasure to give the floor to Julie James, writer of fabulous contemporary romance novels.
Her latest release, Practice Makes Perfect (reviewed here) is a best-seller and is getting tons of positive reviews. Here is what Julie James has to say about writing it:
Inspirations and Influences: Julie James
First, let me start by thanking Ana and Thea for the invitation to guest-blog here today. I’m happy to talk about some of the things that have influenced and inspired my writing, so let’s get right down to it.
Well, okay, maybe not necessarily Cary Grant per se (although back in the day he certainly wasn’t somebody a girl would’ve thrown out of bed for eating crackers), more the films of Cary Grant, and others of that genre.
I’m a huge movie buff. Up until about ten years ago, however, my appreciation had been limited essentially to contemporary films. That all changed when I stumbled across the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest American Movies of all time. At the time, I had seen maybe twenty movies on the list. I made it my mission to see all of them. (Confession time: I still haven’t gotten around to The Jazz Singer or Birth of a Nation, but I will one day, I swear.)
Not all the movies on the list were necessarily hits for me (ahem—The Best Years of Our Lives—booorrringg) [cut to Julie James’s father picking up the phone to lecture her on the supposed “genius” of this film], but one of the best things about the list was that it introduced me to the black & white romantic comedies of the 1930’s and 40’s. You know the movies I’m talking about—the ones full of back-and-forth sparring between a heroine and hero who don’t seem to like each other very much (at first), but we know from the get-go that underneath there’s an incredible mental, emotional, and physical attraction.
Those older romantic comedies certainly have influenced my writing. I’m a big fan of all that banter. Why do I love back-and-forth interplay between the heroine and hero? Because to me, it signifies that they “get” each other, and that they see each other as equals. More important than what is being said, often, is what’s being said between the lines. There often isn’t a lot of sentimentality or mushiness in these movies. How can there be, when half the time the heroine and hero can’t even admit to themselves how they feel, let alone to each other?
But that’s the fun part: we, as the readers or viewers, get to watch as that attraction builds and builds, waiting for that moment when it’s going to rise to a boil and spill over uncontrollably. Without the sentimentality and the instant declarations of love, every word exchanged—every look, even—becomes that much more important. As an example, take a look at this photo from a scene in one of my favorite black & white rom/coms, His Girl Friday:
Doesn’t the look between these two speak volumes? Or how about this, from The Philadelphia Story:
Even though, in both scenes, the characters are disagreeing about something on the surface, we can tell there’s a whole lot more going on. It’s the way they’re completely focused on one another. Let’s be honest, is there anything sexier than a man who literally can’t take his eyes off the heroine, try as he might to fight that?
In my books, as in these films, the main characters are often resistant to their attraction, and try their hardest to hide that attraction even after its existence can’t be denied. But we know it’s there. Here’s an example from Practice Makes Perfect:
“So I saw your name in the Chicago Lawyer,” J.D. led in.
Payton smiled. “40 To Watch Under 40,” she said, referencing the article’s title and proud of her inclusion in its distinction.
“40 Women To Watch Under 40,” J.D. emphasized. “Tell me, Payton— is there a reason your gender finds it necessary to be so separatist? Afraid of a little competition from the opposite sex, perhaps?”
Payton tried not to laugh as she tossed her hair back over her shoulders. Hardly.
“If my gender hesitates to compete with yours, J.D., it’s only because we’re afraid to lower ourselves to your level,” she replied sweetly.
J.D. casually leaned against the door and folded his arms across his chest. After eight years, Payton recognized this gesture well— it meant he was about to begin another one of his condescending little lectures. She gave it 95% odds that he’d begin with one of his pompously rhetorical questions that he had absolutely no intention of letting her answer.
“Let me ask you this…” he began.
“…how do you think it would go over if the magazine ran an article called “40 Men To Watch Under 40?” He wagged a finger in her face, answering for her. “You and your little feminista friends would call that discrimination. But then isn’t that, per se, discrimination? Shouldn’t we men be entitled to our lists too?”
J.D. held the door open for her and grandly gestured for her to enter. As she passed by him, Payton noted that Ben wasn’t in his office yet, so she took a seat in front of his desk. As J.D. sat in the chair next to her, she turned to him, coolly unperturbed.
“I find it very interesting when a man, a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, sitting next to me in an Armani suit, has the nerve to claim that he is somehow the victim of discrimination.”
J.D. opened his mouth to jump in, but Payton cut him off with a finger. Index, not middle. She was a lady after all.
“Notwithstanding that fact,” she continued, “I submit that you men do have your so-called ‘lists.’ Several at this firm, in fact. They’re called the Executive Committee, the Management Committee, the Compensation Committee, the firm’s golfing club, the intramural basketball team—“
“You want to be on the basketball team?” J.D. interrupted, his blue eyes crinkling in amusement at this.
“It’s illustrative,” Payton said, sitting back in her chair defensively.
It’s the look that gives it away—when J.D.’s eyes crinkle in amusement—that’s the moment we know what’s really going on: He’s enjoying this. Those might be fighting words coming out of his mouth, but underneath them, J.D. is that boy at the playground who pulls the girl’s pigtail because he can’t figure out how else to get her attention.
One thing I like about dialogue-driven stories, be they books or movies, is the way the tone of the exchanges between the heroine and hero evolves as their attraction to each other grows stronger. Compare the above scene between Payton and J.D. (from Chapter 2), to one that occurs a bit later on, but before the characters have first kissed:
“You know, as apologies go, this one could use a ton of improvement,” she told him. “Is there more?”
“Not really,” he shrugged matter-of-factly. “Well, except that I was thinking… you know, I don’t want to win by default either. So maybe we could call a truce.”
“A truce?” Payton asked. “That’s very magnanimous of you, considering the next play is mine. What do I get out of this?”
J.D. took a step closer to her. “Hmm. How about the satisfaction of being the better person?”
Payton paused, highly intrigued by this. “You would admit to that?”
J.D.’s eyes crinkled in a slight grin as he took another step closer. “In this context, Ms. Kendall, yes.”
Payton considered the terms of his proposal. Higher stakes for her there could not be.
“Alright,” she agreed. “A truce.”
She had to tilt her head back to meet J.D.’s gaze, they were suddenly standing that close. Uh-oh, she thought, this is how it all started last time. She felt that familiar rush and thought about stepping back, but heaven help her if she ever gave an inch to J.D. Jameson.
“I suppose now I owe you,” J.D.’s voice had turned softer.
Payton shook her head. “No, you really don’t.”
He nodded, yes. “I read the transcript.”
“You said that already.”
“You were amazing, Payton,” he murmured, his voice husky.
Goddamn if that wasn’t just about the sexiest thing she had ever heard.
True, they’re still arguing, at least at the beginning of the exchange, but the tone has changed and become more flirtatious. Now compare that with the next scene between the two of them, merely a couple days later:
She heard a voice, low in her ear.
“You don’t have to say it out loud, I already know what you’re thinking.”
She looked over her shoulder to see J.D. standing next her. “You think you know me so well.”
“Then what am I thinking now?” Payton asked coyly. Wait—was she… flirting? No. Yes. To be determined.
“You’re thinking that out of all the brunches in the city, you had to pick the same one as me,” J.D. said.
Payton couldn’t help but smile at that. “Close. I was thinking that if I knew we were going to pick the same brunch, I would’ve had that third mimosa before our parents met.”
J.D. turned in the direction of their parents and eyed the scene with amusement. “There’s always the bar off the lobby.”
J.D. studied her for a moment. “Actually, I was thinking I might have to sneak off to the bar myself.”
Now it was Payton’s turn to study him. Was that an invitation? Hard to tell.
“That does sound tempting,” Payton said, figuring that answer worked either way.
“Tempting,” J.D. repeated.
His gaze fell to her lips.
Sure, they’re still dancing around the issue—their mutual attraction—but as Payton and J.D. each take tiny steps, being careful to gauge the reaction of the other, their dialogue and thoughts start to be less guarded and become more sexual. Which is one of the reasons I love banter between a heroine and hero—it’s essentially foreplay. And the more heated the banter, the hotter I think the couple is going to be in bed when they finally get there.
Aside from the back-and-forth banter, there are other ways that older romantic comedies have influenced my writing. Some of these influences are subtle, as in the naming of characters. For the hero of Practice Makes Perfect, J.D. Jameson, I purposely chose a first name comprised of initials as a nod to the similarly initial-named hero in The Philadelphia Story, C.K. Dexter Haven. Further, a supporting character, Chase Bellamy, was named as a joke of sorts stemming from Billy Mernit’s book, “Writing the Romantic Comedy,” where he coins the phrase, “The Bellamy,” as he describes it:
“a term—useful to screenwriters and students of the genre, at least—to describe the Other Guy, the one who doesn’t get the girl in a rom-com, the Mr. Wrong… I dubbed him the Bellamy, in honor of the actor Ralph Bellamy, who embodied the paradigm for this hapless role in such watershed screwballs as The Awful Truth and His Girl Friday.”
Other ways I’ve been influenced and inspired by these films are more overt. For example, in my upcoming book, an entire scene is a direct homage to another of my favorite rom/coms, It Happened One Night. I won’t give away which scene in the movie I pay tribute to, although I know Ana has a few guesses…
Speaking of Ana, and Thea, I think I’ve babbled on long enough here… But I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. Also, I’m curious to know—any fans of the black & white romantic comedies out there? What are your favorites, and why? Or for those of you who prefer the contemporary rom/coms, tell us about a good one you’ve seen recently and why it worked for you. A random commenter will receive a signed copy of Practice Makes Perfect—I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Now for the contest: comments are open as of now and contest will run till Sunday noon Central. We will pick a random reader using random.org and post the winner in our Sunday stash. Good luck.
This is it folks. A big thank you to Julie James for the amazing piece and insight into her work.
Stacy ~May 1, 2009 at 3:28 am
Hey Julie and Booksmugglers 🙂 I enjoyed re-visiting Payton & J.D. and seeing their interactions. Fun stuff.
I’m trying to think of ones that really stand out, but it’s waaaay too early right now. I loved “His Girl Friday”. I was a huge fan of “Moonlighting” before they did it. “How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days” was fun, though then it got mopey.
I’ll have to think on this some more, once the caffeine has been injected.
Please don’t enter me in the contest since I already have the book and loved it. Let someone else have a chance to enjoy it 😉
Cindy WMay 1, 2009 at 3:49 am
Hi Guys! Great Post. I haven’t watched too many black and whites, but I love Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The first time I saw it was when my Grandmother was getting up in years and we had to Grandma-sit, while my aunt (she lived with) was out of town. I got it from the library and watched it with her, and just loved it!
I saw What Happens in Vegas recently, and it was pretty darn cute, the chemistry between the two worked and the comedy worked, it didn’t feel forced.
Congrats Julie and I look forward to many more books from you, What’s up next?
ChrisMay 1, 2009 at 4:55 am
Oh, I love those old movies! Mmmmm… Cary Grant… I hadn’t thought about it, but a lot of my favorite reads do have the witty banter thing going on.
LesleeMay 1, 2009 at 6:10 am
Oh gosh I loved this post. I love black and white movies!!! Cary Grant, yummy! I love Arsenic and Old Lace which is so fabulous!!!! I watch it several times a year and even got married on Halloween (inspired by this)! I also love a little known gem by Frank Capra with Jimmy Stewart and Lionel Barrymore – You Can’t Take It With You! It is fabulous but not a typical romance. As for contemporaries, I love So I Married an Axe Murderer! It is at heart a romance and a comedy. I also love The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates.
AnaMay 1, 2009 at 6:16 am
HA! The Walls of Jericho scene! The Walls of Jericho scene!
Hey Stacy – did I ever thank you? It was your review of Just the Sexiest Man Alive that made me discover Julie James!
Chris – thanks for the comment.
Leslee – being the Capra-maniac that I am, I adore You Can’t Take it with You and I am more a Jimmy Stewart person that a Cary Grant one.
aztecladyMay 1, 2009 at 6:38 am
Ana, I’m with you.
Mind, Cary Grant had enormous sex appeal, but Jimmy Stewart has that everyman quality, coupled with intelligence, vulnerability and intelligence that gets me each time.
carolyn jeanMay 1, 2009 at 6:56 am
Oh, thanks for the excerpts! Don’t enter me – I already have this on deck and I can’t wait to read it even more now after these.
This was like a helpful little writing lesson. The ratcheting up of the flirtation within the argument, this sort of banter as foreplay. Great stuff! No wonder your books just crackle.
hagelratMay 1, 2009 at 7:55 am
nice post, I am enjoying a revival in my love of old B&W rom/coms and noirs after a long time away.
KatiMay 1, 2009 at 8:42 am
*waving* Hi Julie!
First, Ana and Thea, I own (and have re-read twice) PMP, so no need to enter me in the drawing.
But I wanted to say hi to Julie. You know, my friend and I have just started a once a month film club for our many, many friends whose film education is woefully pitiful. We started last weekend with Casablanca. I’d forgotten how many genuinely funny parts there were in the movie.
I also adore His Girl Friday, you’ve gotta love the rat-a-tat-tat pace of the dialog, it’s just so well done.
Another of my all time favorite B&W movies is Some Like it Hot. The chemistry and the fabulous dialog. Marilyn Monroe was a fabulous comedienne. I also love Gentlemen Prefer Blonds. It’s a hilarious movie, and well, the costumes are just sumptuous.
Thanks for reminding me of some really great flicks!
Julie JamesMay 1, 2009 at 8:58 am
Hi everyone! And happy Friday! Ana and Thea, thanks again for having me here.
Stacy: OMG, what time do you get up in the mornings, girl? Another “His Girl Friday” fan– yeah! I’m not sure about “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days,” though… But I know a lot of people love that movie so I think I’m in the minority. How about “Ten Things I Hate About You?” Similar title, and one I thought was too cute.
Cindy: Breakfast at Tiffany’s– yes, a classic. Definitely. Interesting bit of trivia: my film agent produced that movie. Dick Shepherd. He has some interesting stories about working with Truman Capote. Although they aren’t half as interesting as his stories about working with Alfred Hitchcock…
What’s up next for me is another contemporary romance, still a comedy (I think) but with a suspense subplot. It’s about an FBI Agent and an Assistant US Attorney who team up when she inadvertently witnesses a high-profile crime. They have a bad past, so they don’t get along at first… LOTS of verbal sparring.
Hi Chris! “Mmmm…. Cary Grant.” My sentiments exactly. 😉
Leslee: Thanks! And thanks for the great suggestion– I’m not familiar with “You Can’t Take It With You,” so I’ll definitely have to check it out.
Ana: Okay… so you know I can’t spill the beans yet on the scene from “It Happened One Night.” But I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. 😉
azteclady: I’m a Jimmy Stewart fan, too. But in The Philadelphia Story, it was Cary Grant I was pulling for to get the girl… I think I’ve been a sucker for CG ever since North by Northwest (I know that’s not a rom/com, but still.)
Carolyn Jean: thank you! I don’t know about the writing lesson part, though… I just kind of throw this stuff out there and hope at least some of it makes sense. 🙂
hagelrat: Thanks for dropping by! Enjoy the revival!
Melissa @ Melissa's BookshelfMay 1, 2009 at 8:58 am
I just have to say that I LOVE Cary Grant, too, most especially in His Girl Friday! That’s one of my favorite classics! He’s definitely a good inspiration 😀
Julie JamesMay 1, 2009 at 9:07 am
*waving back* Hi Kati! So glad you dropped by!
A film club is a great idea. And what an excellent first choice. Casablanca… it doesn’t get much better than that.
I haven’t seen Some Like it Hot in years, although I think I remember having a crush on Tony Curtis after watching it… I’ll have to check it out again. And I’ve read the book “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, although I haven’t seen the film. Thanks for the suggestions!
Julie JamesMay 1, 2009 at 9:09 am
Hi Melissa– thanks for dropping by! Sounds like we’re definitely on the same page with CG… 😉
Guest-blogging over at The Book Smugglers (and a giveaway) « The Julie James BlogMay 1, 2009 at 9:18 am
[…] The Book Smugglers–Julie James on Inspirations and Influences […]
Maya M.May 1, 2009 at 9:27 am
Impeccable inspirations! All other actors will always trail Mr. Grant (I can’t believe he was originally ‘Archie’) in my ‘favorites’ department.
I already am the happy owner of PMP – no need to enter my name! 😀
Gerd DuernerMay 1, 2009 at 11:02 am
I love that post. Good to see that people still do appreciate the classic romantic comedies.
“Philadelphia Story”, brilliant choice, love that picture with Katherine Hepburn fit’s her character to a t. She’s a sassy one.
Lubitsch’s “The Shop Around the Corner” is an old classic I love to watch, not downright romantic funny I guess, but James Stewart has always been a favourite and Lubitsch is generally great, his movies show a good sense of humour. I do like most of Howard Hawks work (not so much straight romantic stuff there) for usually portraying modern, headstrong women that tend to be more than just a accessory for the hero. But despite loving to watch old black & white stuff I have a hard time to think of some romance titles on the spot, apart from the usual suspects, that is.
Contemporary romances I liked: Both “Music & Lyrics” and “The Wedding Singer” are movies I simply had to love as an 80’s guy; “A Very Long Engagement” is moving, romantic, filled with a serious, at times dark, humour; “Imagine Me & You” and “Wedding Date” are sugar coated delight IMO, oh and naturally “Amélie”, the absolute feel good movie; I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked “Definitely Maybe”; Then there’s “Dan in Real Life” with the always enchanting Juliette Binoche; “Lars and the Real Girl” is odd but charming and I absolutely love the dialogue in “Kissing Jessica Stein”.
I could go on for pages (mostly with 80’s style teen comedies I always love to return to, I would file “Ten things I hate about you” in that category though, so it’s not really a decade thing) but let me close with an all time favourite romance (no comedy): “Desert Hearts” *sigh*, so beautiful.
TracyMay 1, 2009 at 11:25 am
Great post Julie – and thanks for inviting her Ana and Thea!
I discovered a love of old black and white movies when I lived (temporarily) with my grandmother when I was a junior in high school. I didn’t know many people in town when I first moved so those were my entertainment. I can’t think of comedies, but I think most of Audrey Hepburn’s were great – she gave great banter. And not a black and white film but one of my favorites with the witty banter is Charade with Cary Grant. Loved that one.
Dottie TaylorMay 1, 2009 at 11:43 am
I love the banter of the old romantic comedies. Arsenic and Old Lace, Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story…to name but a few. I also LOVE Breakfast at Tiffany’s..well almost anything with Audrey Hepburn..Charade, Wait Until Dark etc., all the old Tammy movies, and more recent ones would be Pretty Woman, The 40 Year Old Virgin, High Fidelity — has you can seen romantic comedies are sweet on my list.
Julie — I have to say I love the excerpts from your books and can’t wait to get them in my hot little hands. Thanks Julie and Book Smugglers.
LaurijeMay 1, 2009 at 12:27 pm
My favorite FAVORITE movie ever is A Letter to Three Wives. I’ve watched it dozens of times and Lora Mae and Porter still break my heart and put it back together, and the dialogue just sparkles. It’s divine.
Julie JamesMay 1, 2009 at 12:44 pm
Thanks, Maya! CG is definitely a tough standard for anyone to live up to, although come to think of it, there’s another “CG” I’m a big fan of: Clark Gable.
Gerd: great comment! So many wonderful suggestions there. I do like “The Shop Around the Corner” and also really like the modern re-telling, “You’ve Got Mail.” Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have such great chemistry. Can you believe I haven’t seen Amelie? I know, I know, I need to rectify that. Nor have I seen Desert Hearts, but with your glowing recommendation, I will have to check it out.
Hi Tracy! I can’t believe this– a Cary Grant movie I’m not familiar with! Hold on, let me imdb “Charade” right now… OMG, it’s Audrey Hepburn, too– how have I missed this one?? I’ll have to check it out ASAP.
Dottie: so nice to see you here! You mention so many good films, including one of my all-time favorite contemporary rom/coms, Pretty Woman. I mean, who doesn’t love that movie?
Laurije: Okay, I wasn’t familiar with “A Letter to Three Wives” so I had to imdb that one as well… I LOVE the premise of this movie. It’s definitely going on my to-watch list.
veedeeMay 1, 2009 at 1:51 pm
Thanks for introducing me to a new author!
Stacy ~May 1, 2009 at 2:32 pm
Early, Julie, early *g* Actually “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” isn’t my fave, but there were parts I liked. I think it’s more cuz Matthew & Kate are so darn cute.
Here’s some more – “How to Marry a Millionaire” with Lauren BaCall, Marilyn Monroe and was it Betty Grable? “My Man Godfrey” – I loved that movie! I didn’t think
William Powell was all that sexy but him & Carole Lombard have such chemistry. And didn’t she play in another movie where she pretends she’s dying? And of course, “Sabrina”, with Bogart, Hepburn and Holden. Swoon…
I heart book gossipMay 1, 2009 at 2:39 pm
Bringing up Baby – with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn will always be my favorite black and white movie. Its so cute. Please count me in for the contest.
Stacy ~May 1, 2009 at 2:39 pm
Oh and Ana, I’m so glad my review turned you on to Julie’s books. You made my day 🙂
Off to the Cheecake Factory and “Obsessed” – definitely NOT a rom/com!
KammieMay 1, 2009 at 5:52 pm
I think I’ve missed some good movies. 🙁 I haven’t seen many of the ones mentioned here. More recent movies I really enjoyed with romance and laughs are A Fish Called Wanda, There’s Something About Mary and Pretty Woman.
Great dialog in your story. I love how they banter back and forth!
Julie JamesMay 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm
Hi Stacy: welcome back after an early start! Can you believe I’ve never seen the original Sabrina? I’ve seen the remake, though, with Harrison Ford, Greg Kinnear and Julia Ormond. Probably doesn’t compare to the original, so I should check the Hepburn version out. Hope you enjoy Obsessed!
Hi veedee! Thanks for dropping by!
I heart book gossip: Bringing Up Baby is another great classic– that actually made the AFI’s Top 100 Films. Cary Grant plays a bit against type there, which I love.
Kammie: Thanks! That’s okay– you named some great contemporaries there! Glad you enjoyed the dialog.
Bridget3420May 1, 2009 at 6:36 pm
Sounds like a great read
Nicole DMay 1, 2009 at 7:05 pm
That was fantastic! I can’t wait to read this book!
ChristineMay 1, 2009 at 9:47 pm
Please don’t enter me in the giveaway. I won a copy of Practice Makes Perfect from Stacy (thanks again, Stacy!) and just finished it a couple of nights ago. What a fun and sassy read. I enjoyed it so much, I’m ready to go out and pick up Just the Sexiest Man Alive!
I can totally see how the kind of intelligent and sassy banter in PMP was inspired by some of the dialogue in these classic old films. What a neat post.
Pam PMay 1, 2009 at 9:48 pm
I love the old classic movies, watched every Cary Grant and probably most of them watching late night TV, hard to pick a favorite.
One favorite comedy/mystery was The Thin Man, featuring Nick and Nora Charles, he a former detective, she his wealthy wife – lot of fun and chemistry between these two, great bantering.
Julie, you really should watch the original Sabrina with Audrey Hepburn, that remake can’t compare.
Donna SMay 1, 2009 at 10:34 pm
Great post. Recently I really liked 27 Dresses and Made of Honor.
oranniaMay 1, 2009 at 11:09 pm
That was a wonderful post Julie thank you! I haven’t watched many of the old romantic movies…I seem to end up watching war films instead 😳 I’ve only seen Jimmy Stewart in Shenandoah (I hope I spelt that right), which is a great movie!
Ana & Thea – I just wanted to say I love the theme of these posts, they are so interesting!
Julie JamesMay 2, 2009 at 7:38 am
Hi Bridget and Nicole: thanks for dropping by!
Christine: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed PMP! I’ll keep my fingers crossed you enjoy JTSMA as well…
Pam: I really liked The Thin Man, too. And you’ve convinced me– I need to check out the original Sabrina.
Donna: I really liked Made of Honor, too! Patrick Dempsey was perfect for that role.
Thanks, Orannia! Haven’t seen Shenandoah– another one to add to the list!
Teresa W.May 2, 2009 at 9:13 am
Sounds like a fun read, I also enjoyed watching the older movies!
LeslieMay 2, 2009 at 10:48 am
Hi Julie –
Thanks for the excerpt! I love all the old b/w movies. Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn had some great chemistry together. The movie Adam’s Rib had them playing married lawyers who are on opposing sides in a case.
Julie JamesMay 2, 2009 at 5:01 pm
Hi Teresa and Leslie! Leslie: Adam’s Rib is a great pick! Love those fighting lawyers… 😉
KristieJMay 2, 2009 at 9:39 pm
I can’t think of any black & white romantic comedies off hand to answer your question, but I did enjoy reading your post *g*. That’s one of the things that really gets high marks from me – good and witty dialogue between the hero and heroine – and not meaning so sound like I’m sucking up – but you do it very, very well.
PetaMay 3, 2009 at 2:26 am
A tough question! My husband and I have started what we call “Cinema Sundays” where we watch old films that we’ve missed. It Happened One Night was one we watched a couple of weeks ago – great film and the dialogue was to die for so I’ll be interested to see what the nod to it is in the book. Not all the films are black and white but we have recently watched, and really enjoyed, The Philadelphia Story, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, Some Like it Hot, Sabrina, To Catch a Thief and Roman Holiday. I’m sure that there are plenty more I could add to that list!!
I would confess that if it’s got Cary Grant in it (and sounds half decent) then it gets added to the list! I’ve manage to pick up a couple of new films to add to the pile from this great list so thanks to other commenters for that!
Julie JamesMay 3, 2009 at 7:33 am
Hi KristieJ: Thanks for dropping by! And thanks for the compliments–glad you enjoy the dialogue!
Peta: “Cinema Sundays”– that’s an excellent idea! And you list some great films. To Catch A Thief–loved that one, too.
Oh– and to those of you who suggested Charade– I watched it the other night and liked it a lot. Thanks for the recommendation!