The writer’s life is often glamorized on screen, but sometimes it hits close to the bone. Life as a writer can be full of ups and downs and the amount of films that exist depicting what it’s like to be a writer is a testament to this! We’ve put together a list of memorable movies about being a writer available to view and enjoy right now.
Stand By Me (1986)
Everyone who has watched this film fawns over the performances of its young cast, even if some of those careers were cut far too short. However, some people tend to lose track that the framing device of this whole film is one of those boys, now grown into a man, writing about the summer he went to go see a dead body and all of the chaotic events that got wrapped up into it. We even get stories within stories, like when the boys try to tell each other tales around a campfire.
Stand By Me is available for streaming on fuboTV, DIRECTV, Spectrum On Demand, AMC Plus, and the AMC+ Roku Premium Channel.
The Tender Bar (2021)
This is the most recent of the films on the list. The Tender Bar is a great book-to-movie adaptation of J. R. Moehringer’s coming-of-age memoir of the same name. The movie was directed by George Clooney and stars Tye Sheridan as JR, the single child of a working-class mother and absentee father who’s expected to become a lawyer but really wants to be a writer, and Ben Affleck as his bar-owner, literature-lover uncle. This is Affleck at his best and the movie is a super inspiring story of the struggle of a young, poor writer beating the odds.
The Tender Bar is available for streaming on Prime Video.
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
You can’t say songwriter without writer. This whole film is a recounting of the life and times of Freddie Mercury and Queen. While the focus is on Freddie, it also highlights the creative process of bringing words to the page and to a rhythm.
Bohemian Rhapsody is available for streaming on Hulu, FXNOW, fuboTV, DIRECTV, and Spectrum On Demand.
Wonder Boys (2000)
This film focuses on an English professor who wrote the Great American Novel and rested on his laurels for years. Now he has to contend with his ex-wife, his editor, and ensure that a promising new writer can actually produce a piece of work that will be truly inspiring.
Wonder Boys is available for streaming on platforms like DIRECTV, Max Go, and Spectrum On Demand.
Finding Forrester (2000)
This film may be recognized by some for Sean Connery’s memetic line delivery of “You’re the man now, dog!” but the overall film is still a fine watch. An inner-city youth makes his way to college and soon struggles with his English courses. Frustrated, he decides to strike up a conversation and eventual friendship with a reclusive author whose book is featured in the syllabus.
Finding Forrester is available for streaming on the Roku Channel and Pluto TV.
This film takes the anthology nature of its namesake book series and weaves them into a narrative about a vengeful writer whose tales all come true. It’s a good and spooky experience with some appreciable practical effects.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is available for streaming on fuboTV, DIRECTV, and Spectrum On Demand.
Now, this is the film to show any aspiring writer before they get too big! Even though this film greatly precedes social media, it does a wonderful job at showing just how over the top some fans can go when it comes to their favorite author and the work of that author. It should also be mentioned that Stephen King was inspired to write the book this film is adapted from after experiencing one downright disturbing interaction with a fan during a book signing.
Misery is available for streaming on HBO Now, Max Go, Cinemax Amazon Channel, DIRECTV, HBO Max, and Spectrum On Demand.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
This film is largely to thank for the resurgence in knowledge of Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” Robin Williams plays an English professor tasked with teaching poetry and he does his damnedest to instill a joie de vivre and some passion within a bunch of private school boys who are likely destined to careers in the world of business and finance. Watching this film might be just the thing someone needs to reignite that fire to scribe and create!
Dead Poets Society is exclusively available for streaming on Amazon Prime.
Barton Fink (1991)
This Coen Brothers film is about an esteemed east coast playwright who gets the chance to write for studio films during the Golden Age of Hollywood. What starts out as hope for something bigger, better, and more prestigious for Barton soon reveals itself to be a memorable swirling mass of disrespect, anarchy, double-talk, and lots of fire.
Barton Fink is available for streaming on Hulu.