Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fictional writer: Kathleen Turner's Joan Wilder

Joan Wilder one of my favourite tongue-in-cheek heroines. She's also a writer--a romance writer who becomes embroiled in adventures straight out of romance novels. The films,
Romancing the Stone (1984) and The Jewel of the Nile (1985), poke fun at the Fabio-era, bodice-ripper romances popular at the time.

Wilder's "Fabio" is Jack T. Colton, played by Michael Douglas, a scoundrel and unlikely hero. Each film concerns the hunt for treasure--or rather, Colton's hunt for treasure, and Wilder's nobler hunt for her sister (Romancing the Stone) and fulfillment as a writer (The Jewel of the Nile).

These films are very funny as well as being great adventure romances. While they parody romance novels it's in a very affectionate manner. Perhaps "homage" would be a better word than parody: while there's a lot of action, in the end these films embrace what they truly are--romances--and give the audience glorious happily-ever-afters.

The Jewel of the Nile has always been higher in my esteem for several reasons: I watched it before Romancing the Stone, Danny DeVito gets a funnier role, and Joan Wilder has a lot more spunk. It's also got a kick-arse sound track. Billy Ocean's "When the Going Gets Tough (The Tough Get Going)" was on high rotation on the record player when I was a kid and I just adore it.

Now, over to you: Who are your favourite fictional writers?


  1. I've never seen either of these films - they sound like a lot of fun, really. Will have to Netflix them...

  2. Great song choice! I'd totally forgotten about that song. And those movies, which I also totally loved. :-P

  3. Kathleen Turner plays another fictional author in a romance. She wins a 'fan' competition by writing a page in the style of her favourite author and goes to Paris. There she gets a bump on the head and thinks she is the character - mayhem ensues (as does romance)!

    From SF, there's Heinlein's Jubal Harshaw in "Stranger in a Strange Land" who is interesting, almost as an anti-author (cynical exploitation of his readers), but I can't think of any others from that genre.

    If journos count as authors, then there are heaps!

  4. Celia I'd reckon you love them.

    Brizmus, how awesome are the films :D

    Rob, what was that movie? It sounds awesome!

  5. Fun movies.

    One of my favorites is Kilgore Trout.