In a lot of writing classes, people like to write about their triumphs and the wisdom they’ve gained and how they’ve overcome adversity and gotten in touch with how special they are. I hate this! I only want to hear stories of failure and humiliation and defeat (with a few exceptions for stories that begin with the humiliation and stay there for a good long time). I don’t want to hear about how you’re so special. I want to hear about how you thought you were special and then one day in your late teens or early 20s, you realized you weren’t and how that felt.
A friend says: “When comparing Woody Allen to Albert Brooks, I thought Brooks was better because he was willing to be unlikeable. Woody always wanted our sympathy and made himself out to be likeable even if neurotic and a nebbech (or nebbish.) Brooks on the other hand was quite willing to allow himself to play the asshole without redeeming qualities. This is of course a problem for all actors, but since Brooks and Allen both played Jewish “types” Brooks exhibited greater courage.”
“Regarding Brooks, lost in America, modern romance and real life are all superb. In both modern romance and lost in America, he really comes off as a total unredeemable selfish jerk. You would enjoy modern romance in which he refuses to accept that the object of his affection has no interest in him anymore. In Lost in America he convinces his wife that they should drop out of the high priced west L.A. lifestyle, cash in their savings, buy an RV and take off across America. Real Life is is satire on the PBS series an American Family. In my opinion all are exceptionally funny films, certainly as insightful as anything Allen has made (and I like Woody Allen films)”