I have been absent lately. I’m sorry. But I’m going to try and write more again, and the first thing I’ll do after my brief hiatus is one of my favorite types of posts: a bad movie idea.
You see, I have this super power that allows me to quickly turn most anything into a really awful, yet awfully believable, movie idea.
A bad movie post is also very appropriate because last year I made four very beautiful (and disturbingly realistic sounding) bad movie ides for the holidays. This time, there is no theme besides being a movie that is sad and sadly realistic. I give you
This Town Isn’t Big Enough
Raymond Eugene Cornelius (working name, I’m sure producer’s would want to pick something sexier) is a happy-enough New York man who is average in most every way; he’s in his late 20’s, been through some relationships he views with a mix of nostalgia and slight pain, works a decent job that affords him enough to survive and, occasionally, indulge. The only thing that seems to set him apart — and something he prides himself on — is his name, which is unique from start to finish.
Or so he thought.
One day while joking with a friend, he decides to google himself. Only when he googles “Raymond Eugene Cornelius” the person who comes up isn’t him; it’s another man located just north of New York. This other Raymond is a few years older, with a life that sounds more exciting and — gasp! — unique.
The discovery of this second, and in some sense original, Raymond Eugene Cornelius throws our protagonist into a spiral of depression and shame. The thing he had prided himself about most was his name, his very identity, and now he has discovered that someone else has possessed this aspect of him (and more) his entire existence. In a way, his being is a shame. So, of course, he decides to take action.
He decides the other Raymond Eugene Cornelius must die.
Raymond 1 travels to this other city and stalks Raymond 2, planning what he’ll do to this man who has stolen so much from him — only to discover the man he has come to kill is, by all accounts, a great person. Raymond 1, using an alias, befriends Raymond 2, and slowly learns his nemesis is a pediatrician who volunteers at the local homeless shelter and is a devoted single father of two. Suddenly, Raymond 1’s plans are thrown into chaos as he realizes he loves (whether platonically or romantically will depend on whether the Director wants an Oscar or not) Raymond 2, the man who stole his identity.
Raymond 1 battles his feelings, but eventually he decides he can live in the shadow of this other man, and if he wants to be an individual he should strive harder.
Unfortunately, the world has other plans.
In the climax of the movie, Raymond 1 is confessing his story to Raymond 2, who is shocked but also expresses how he reciprocates Raymond 1’s feelings; he says that, even though Raymond 1 only associated his uniqueness with his name, he possesses so many other virtues (which I haven’t really figured out yet, as the basic plot makes Raymond 1 pretty blatantly a psychopath). Raymond 1 flees afoot, ashamed, and Raymond 2 follows. As Raymond 2 is in the crosswalk, he hears a horn and the sound of wheels turning that he had missed: a semi-truck is coming! Raymond 1 turns back in time and observes the danger his friend is in, and desperately pushes Raymond 2 out of the path of the speeding vehicle.
Raymond 2 recovers from his fall and goes to Raymond 1 (this is getting confusing), finding Raymond 1 is dead.
And so it goes that Raymond 1 dies saving the man who, until that moment, he had blamed for his lack of identity, and, for the first time since Raymond 1’s birth, the world does indeed only have a single, unique Raymond Eugene Cornelius.
And hey, maybe this sounds a bit ridiculous, but I want you to think: is this more ridiculous sounding than movies like Her, about a man who falls in love with his phone’s OS, which is getting a number of prestigious nominations? Really? Not really!
Spike Jonze, I look forward to your call/email/hastily scribbled post-it note asking me to be your new idea guy.
Thanks to the wonderful Jules at Go Jules Go, I became aware of something wonderful, the Pi Day Pie Challenge. The short is this: Pi Day is March 14th (3.14). A pi pie is a pie made in honor of Pi Day, and it is extra delicious because it is the tastiness of pie with the awesomeness of math. It’s practically algebraic!
Prior to this I had only made about four pies in my life, and only the last — a pumpkin pie I made for a dinner with friends that had fresh, garden-grown pumpkins — was a success, so I immediately was wary going into this. However, I had something on my side: Pushing Daisies, and a pie discussed in that show, a “tart apple pie with gruyère baked into the crust.” Gruyère, for those who don’t know, is a wonderful cheese. Pushing Daisies is — well, let me explain.
Pushing Daisies was a show that aired a few years back with a short first season, that was cancelled in its second season. And it was magnificent. I will not deny that the second season wasn’t nearly as good as the first, but that’s partly because the first seasons was practically perfect. It was the story of a pie maker and his childhood sweetheart, whom he could never touch because it would kill her (again), as they assisted a private detective solve murders, often aided by the pie maker’s single employee who secretly loved him. Sound weird? It sort of was.
Pushing Daisies had everything; romance, comedy, drama, action, and mystery, and instead of being overloaded by any of these elements it came together to form a cohesive and unexpectedly wonderful creation (like a cheese, apple pie!). It somehow managed to be better at any of those aspects than 90% of the television that focused on merely one or two of them. More than anything, it had heart and it had magic. If there was a reason the second season failed it was because it tried to force what seemed to come so easily to the first. The first season of Pushing Daisies is probably my favorite season of any show ever because of how amazingly well crafted and thoughtful it was.
In the show, the sweetheart has two aunts who are recluses that love cheese, and she can’t see them so she tries to help them by giving them pie laced with homeopathic mood enhancers and, more importantly for this, cheese baked into the crust. I used this crust recipe but augmented the filling so it was a bit more substantial, plus I only had winesap apples, which are actually not tart. The end result was this: the filling was fine, but the crust is delicious. It’s so good. Even the dough was so delicious that I couldn’t stop raving about it, and the smells that wafted from my oven as it cooked were intoxicating.
You know how when you’re in grade school the most common retort to something like, “I love this pie!” is, “If you love it so much why don’t you marry it!”? Well, I would marry this pie crust. I would. It’s basically like the flakiest, moistest, most perfect cheese puff pastry I’ve ever had.
This pie is an ode to pi and a requiem for Pushing Daisies. It’s the Pushing Daisies Pi Pie. It’s simply heavenly. And because it’s so delicious, it will, like the show, probably not be around for long, but my life will be better for having experienced it.
In the spirit of the holidays, over the next three weeks I am bringing you, my sparse readership, a gift. A gift that will linger in your minds far longer than any other gift I would’ve given you would (for the record, alternate gift ideas included head cheese and whatever has been growing in my closet). That’s right: four — you read correctly, four!!! — of my famous movie ideas* to enjoy in the privacy of wherever you’re reading this from.
*All famous movie ideas copyright Relatively Awesome Productions, Est. 2023. Stealing any of said ideas will result in punishment as seen fit by the Honorable Justice Gregory. Continue reading