The Rocker: The backstory rocks

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 thoughts on “The Rocker: The backstory rocks”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

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

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

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

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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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