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The Rocker: The backstory rocks


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You always hear these stories about these kids who move out to LA to pursue some cockamamie dream of becoming famous screenwriters.

Famous screenwriter! Hahahahahahaa!

Or maybe just working screenwriters.

Screenwriters? Working? Hahahahhaaaa!

They sleep on couches and they eat ramen noodles for dinner and they try to write, and they deal with the fact that no woman in town wants to date them after they let onto the fact that they’re sleeping on couches and eating ramen noodles for dinner.

They support themselves working 80-hour weeks answering phones for jerks (see also: Swimming with Sharks), they get coffee and make dry cleaning runs, they get paid to read scripts that they know they could have written better. And they they try to maintain as much non asshole-ness as possible in an industry full of assholes.

The whole time, these kids keep writing. They write some bad scripts. They write some good scripts. They finish one script just as the exact same story is being produced. They finish another script and people they love crap all over it. Jealousy is a beast and in LA, people are even jealous of those who haven’t yet succeeded. Just the possibility of success, it seems, is a very threatening thing.

Years later, one of those screenplays hits.

Some call it being in the right place at the right time. Some call it dumb luck. Some of us know that it was ten years of never giving up and always believing in yourself.

That’s the story of my cousin. His name is Ryan Jaffe. He got a call one day saying, “Hi, you know that movie you sold us? The Rocker? We start shooting next week in Toronto.”

It’s out in theaters now.

It’s not Rocky, it’s not Dr. Zhivago. It’s two fun hours at the movies, and hey, Salon liked it and Ebert and Roeper gave it two thumbs up and I’m so very proud of him.

The way I see it, if you can’t shamelessly pimp your own family’s accomplishments on your blog, then you’re no damn good.

Yay Ryan! May this be the first of many.

35 shards of brilliance… read them below or add one

Heather August 24, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Congrats to him!


Average Jane August 24, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Ooh, congratulations to your cousin! I saw the movie at one of the preview screenings and liked it a lot. My husband and I will probably pay to see it again.


Suzy August 24, 2008 at 6:37 pm

Liz, I’m going to see it tonight and will be doing a podcast of it this Thursday at Popcorn Mafia dot com. Maybe he can call in? I have no idea how podcasts work except for the chat feature but anyway, thought I’d ask.


Kristin - The Goat August 24, 2008 at 8:10 pm

I bet he is just thrilled to bits!! How great – Thanks for mentioning it, I’ll be sure to look for the movie.


anna August 24, 2008 at 8:25 pm

Congrats to him–especially for not letting this city get him down or make him doubt himself! That’s fantastic.


María August 24, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Congrats to him!! I’m gonna go see it tomorrow. :)


Auntie Fred August 24, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Thanks Liz…we are all really, really proud of him.


trifitmom August 24, 2008 at 11:57 pm

pretty coooool


Lady M August 25, 2008 at 12:17 am

Congrats to your cousin! That’s a tough business. Here’s to many more movies in his future!


Mom's Lifesavers August 25, 2008 at 12:23 am

The movie looks really funny!


Rachel August 25, 2008 at 12:52 am

Hey, pimping your family accomplishments is what it’s all about! Your cousin wrote a freaking movie! I get excited (and blog about) when my son poops after prunes.


Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy August 25, 2008 at 1:06 am

Cool beans! This movie actually looks really funny, one of those guilty pleasure movies that you don’t want to admit made you pee your pants laughing, but it did. I certainly will be seeing it myself (but on DVD because do I ever get to go to the movies–NO!). Good for him, just goes to show you, don’t give up cuz you never know when all your hard work will pay off!


BHJ August 25, 2008 at 1:27 am

Well I’m glad this post had such a happy ending because I was about to give up screenwriting and become a poet.


Kelly August 25, 2008 at 1:36 am

Way to go!


Anissa@Hope4Peyton August 25, 2008 at 2:38 am

That’s fantastic!! Congrats to him.


mothergoosemouse August 25, 2008 at 4:48 am

Two fun hours at the movies? That’s exactly why I go to the movies.And Rainn Wilson – I’m definitely there.Congrats to Ryan!


kittenpie August 25, 2008 at 8:57 am

Hey! Congrats to your cousin!


Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog August 25, 2008 at 11:47 am

Congrats to your cousin!!!! What a thrill for your whole family.So I can say that a I know a girl who has a cousin who wrote a screenplay, thereby I am practically famous too, right? :)


Kmommy August 25, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Awesome!! Way to go cousin! :) Pimp it all you can! I’m sure you are very proud :) It looks good too :)


willtherebecake August 25, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Looks like good writing runs in the family. Congrats to Ryan!


maria August 25, 2008 at 2:43 pm

We went to see it this weekend, and while it left me realizing that Yes, indeed my youth is dead, it was a very funny movie. Congrats to him.


Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels August 25, 2008 at 2:46 pm

wow, go Ryan! Congrats!


Kat August 25, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Congrats for him. That is actually one of the few films out right now that I ACTUALLY want to see (and not because your cousin wrote it).


FishyGirl August 25, 2008 at 4:41 pm

Now I’m looking forward to it even more! Yay cousin Ryan!


Neil August 25, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Congrats, Ryan. And for the record, I never have eaten ramen noodles. That is a cliche. Too salty.


Amy Urquhart August 25, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Hey that’s terrific! Congratulations, Ryan!


Vicki August 25, 2008 at 8:09 pm

That’s awesome!!


Russ, Anna, Pepper and Vesper August 25, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Congrats to Ryan!!!! Will definitely try to go see that one this weekend. What a story of true determination and the movie looks really good. Thanks for pimping out your fam!


GIRL'S GONE CHILD August 26, 2008 at 3:24 am

Super congrats to your cuz. That’s so very awesome.


Zip n Tizzy August 26, 2008 at 8:38 am

That’s Excellent!I will Netflix it, because that’s how I watch movies these days…What a super talented family you all are. Congratulations!


veep veep August 26, 2008 at 10:39 am

That’s so great! Forever it shall be known as the movie Liz’ rockin’ cousin wrote. ;)


Mom101 August 26, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Your support is amazing. Thank you all so much. No doubt Ryan is checking in (I know you’re there Ryan!) and he thanks you too.


Ryan August 27, 2008 at 12:05 am

I do thank you. Hopefully in 5-10 years I will be lucky enough to thank you again. Mom-101 rocks!


the new girl August 27, 2008 at 4:16 pm

What a great story about the story.I love me a behind-the-scenes thing.


Anonymous August 28, 2008 at 11:44 pm

What a great story! And Hooooooray for your cousin, who proved that persistence can win (along with talent, of course). I’ve heard mixed reviews of the movie, but it looks fun (and the only serious thumbs down I heard was from someone who likes Very Serious movies). I’m game to see it, even moreso now that I know I’ll be supporting a Minnesota Boy.


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