1. Melvin Udall – As Good as it Gets
One of my fantasies involves me locking myself in a swanky penthouse apartment with a typewriter and achieving fame through misguided, yet romantic, views on women. I’d go about my business with secrecy and demented routine, stopping every once in a while to rid myself of germs and terrorize my neighbor’s dog. My typewriter would click away as I wrote about subjects I could only guess about, as my agoraphobic tendencies disconnected me with the outside world. Yes, life would be simple as a nutcase shut-in, just as long as I had Helen Hunt as my waitress to fall in love with.
2. Isaac Davis – Manhattan
Supposing I landed a job in television, let alone writing for a successful TV show, I would relish every moment of it. At least, until my neurotic scrutinizing need for perfection took over. Then I would question every aspect of my writing style and eventually quit the business in a flurry of misguided anger. I’d tell everyone I was working on a book, the contents of which would be unknown to my friends, family and, um, me. I’d keep a tightly knit group of writer friends around me to keep myself and my writing in check and, most likely attempt to run my wife’s lover over with a car.
3. Barton Fink – Barton Fink
There’s nothing like good old fashioned writer’s block. Not the kind of writer’s block where you’re pacing back and forth across your room, chain-smoking like the guy from X-Files, but the real-life writer’s block that procures — you know, insanity. I’d find a pretty little painting to stare at for hours on end as my editor threatens to break my legs on the other side. Things would be nice, so long as I had a made-up invisible friend to keep me company and inspire me.
4. Andy Farmer – Funny Farm
There’s also the route where I become a writer, don’t go insane, get married to a wonderful woman, and move out into the country. I’d finish my first draft, laughing at every word I put on paper, only to find out that it’s complete crap. Unable to accept the criticism, I would blatantly steal my wife’s story, hand it in, and get famous. Of course, it would ruin my marriage and then I would go completely nuts.
5. Charlie/Donald Kaufman – Adaptation
My most likely route, as I am the most successful narcissistic I’ve ever met. Mostly everything I write involves some aspect of my personality and life, so the idea of implanting myself into my own writing is pretty damn likely. There have been times when I’ve received assignments where the contents are foreign to me, thus I spin them into something different. I could foresee myself getting stuck on a project, masturbating myself into oblivion, and then getting caught up in a murder mystery. As I shy away from the cast and crew of a movie I’ve written, self-alienated, I’ll look back on my life and go: “gee golly wiz, I’m glad I decided to be a writer.”