Mike White

Last night’s bedtime movie was “The Good Girl“.

I noticed Mike White in the film – how could you not? – and I appreciated the simple yet convoluted story, but I hadn’t put the two together. Yeah, he wrote it.

He appears in most of the movies he writes: “Chuck and Buck”; “School of Rock”; “Orange County”; and more. I first noticed him in “Chuck and Buck”, appropriately since that was his first lead.

In general, White’s movies are small-scale stories of off-kilter individuals. “School of Rock” is the most famous, probably had the best box office as well. He hasn’t yet written anything that hasn’t drawn me into his world. I’d call “Nacho Libre” the worst thing to come out of his head so far. That’s a pretty good record.

But why doesn’t White’s name come up more often in discussions of today’s best screenwriters? I’d put him up there in the top 20 certainly, maybe the top ten. Why does Charlie Kaufman get all the press?

Beats me. Maybe White needs to seek out the press more often. Anybody else as big a fan as me?

Bonus movie-watching update:

We saw “A Night at the Museum” between the time I started this post and the time I finished. I’d forgotten that Steve Coogan was in it. I just look at him and chuckle.


Well, we didn’t get to see “A Night at the Museum”.

I made lunch for the kids and asked the younger two to clean up a game they’d been playing while I cleaned up and got dressed. Oddly, Child Three complied and Child Two procrastinated. She and Child One wrestled or something.

The movie was scheduled to start at 2:00. At 1:45, I noticed that the game was still out. We waited for Child Two to clean up. The theatre (AMC Saratoga) is about a ten minute drive from here in Santa Clara.

Child Two put the game away and we were off. We lost five minutes to traffic. Then we lost another five minutes trying to find the theatre, and five more looking for parking. It was 2:05 by the time I parked the minivan.

We ran to the theatre, only to find a long line of people waiting to buy tickets. Sigh.

There was no other movie that appealed to us in terms of content and start time, so I thought we’d drive and look for cool stuff to do. We left the Westgate Mall area (the mall’s across the street) and drove south on Saratoga. I though D&J; Hobby was down this way, but I didn’t know exactly where. (My 12-year-old memories were very, very close, but not quite good enough – the theatre is roughly where Hamilton and Campbell join.)

I drove down dull Saratoga to 85, then headed over to take 17 north, but changed my mind and took Bascom, which was a street that I liked to shop on when I lived here. It has a Cosentino and a Trader Joe. As I drove by the Pruneyard, I noticed another movie theatre, so we stopped to check the show times. No dice.

I drove up Bascom to 280, then east to the Bird exit. I showed the kids the Willow Glen we lived in on Fuller. Child One, the only one to really live in that house, was the only one who was even mildly interested. The house looked the same, but had considerably more Christmas decorations on it than we ever put up.

I headed north to show Child Three the Shark Tank (a.k.a. the HP Pavilion these days). It was 3:15 by now, so I figured the crowd and parking lot at Valley Fair would be subsiding.

Nope. Not even close. We spent a nervous half-hour in the Valley Fair parking lot looking for a parking spot. I say nervous because Child Three had to pee so badly that we considered having him use an empty water bottle. There was no place even to pull over and let him go outside.

I somehow found myself in an exit-only lane, so I exited. I spotted a strip mall with the Train Store and figured that was as good a place to pee as any.

Child Three’s moan of relief could be heard from down the hall. All four of us went.

The kids voted 2-1 to walk around a mall rather than go home, so I drove back to Westgate Mall, thus completing a circuit of Campbell, more or less.

We window-shopped, mostly (Child One bought a game) then came home.

Late at night, Elvi and I watched “Hellboy”. No plot holes there….

So Technorati ain’t perfect

Technorati doesn’t seem to gather in all the updates it ought to. As a result, some of the favourites listed on my Technorati Favorites page appear to have been last updated months before the actual last update.

I put a plain old link to those blogs I like to read regularly but which Technorati seems to miss. I see no pattern. I can offer no advice.

Technorati does offer code to plug-in and make the updates appear on my blog, but it’s too ugly.

I’m going to take the kids to see “A Night at the Museum” this afternoon.