Cinerama: The Good Bye Girl

Posted: September 11, 2009 in Cinerama

The Good Bye Girl

By Mike Derderian

A burning wick of a candle gave light to his tiresome face, as the hours passed and morning approached. Awaiting the arrival of a muse, alone he sat throughout the night thinking, contemplating and wandering what to do for time is running out again.

Should he write about “my fair lady” or “the good-bye girl,” confused he was for his thoughts were entangled in a web of dismay.

Parallel to him in another time and place, his editor sat pensively behind her disk gazing at the computer screen wandering why he is late again. What excuse does he have this time?

It’s been almost a year now since they first met. He, a novice writer, and she, an editor, whom he liked and appreciated because of her way of understanding what he wanted to convey through his writings.

Unfortunately this productive collaboration will come to an end soon for she is leaving. So as he sat there with the knowledge that this will be there last joint effort together—where his words and thoughts are mixed with her mentality, experience and editing. Our writer realized that he has grown accustomed to her face.

Before this turns into a novel, I’d like to thank my editor Noor Al Saleh, whom I’d like to call the “good-bye girl” for after this week’s issue, sadly, she’ll be leaving us.

When I first met her, we didn’t have much to talk about, until she became the editor of most my articles; and it was then that I realized that she was a special person.

Working with her for more than a year with all the ups and downs of a writer-editor love-hate relationship was quite an experience that I’ll really miss.

One thing, however, having to bear with my writings is no longer her punishment in life for I’m afraid that will become someone else’s catastrophe.

No matter where she goes, Noor will always be my editor, my friend and most of all, the one who really understood my bizarre mindset.

This all leads me to “The Goodbye Girl.” I chose this film because it is about the relationships and interactions between people; and how sometimes life in its own way helps you find friends through strange encounters.

The movie is a 1977 romantic comedy of a divorced woman’s bad luck incarnated in meeting a real pain in the neck aspiring actor, whom she has to share her apartment with.

This comedy will really make you laugh for it has Richard Dreyfuss portraying Elliot Garfield—the most intolerable person you can ever dream of meeting.

Dreyfuss’ funny charismatic persona on camera, not to mention his excellent portrayal of the eccentric actor in this film won him an academy award at the age of thirty. Until this day his talent for portraying any character fascinates any one into admiration especially if you have seen “A Close Encounter of the Third Kind.”

Marsha Mason plays the role of the unfortunate Paula McFadden, who lives with her only daughter Lucy (Quinn Cummings) after being left by her husband.

Her unpredictable interactions with Elliot is one of the interesting things to watch, for it truly reflects how human relationships develop—reminding me of Noor and myself.

It was in a way related to how Paula first hated Elliot the actor with a real bad attitude and a noisy habit of late night guitar playing while everyone is trying to sleep.

How is that related to how it is at the newspaper? Well, I’m not a very organized person—haphazard is the adjective that might come appropriate to describe a writer with a very bad sense of time—and this is what Noor dislikes about yours truly.

Noor and I had our differences and arguments; however, at the end, we always recognized the things we shared, our love for writing and our dedication to our jobs.

Enough about us and lets get back to the film and to my favorite scene when Paula and Lucy decide to attend the premier for Elliot’s own version of Lear.

Elliot depicts Lear as a hunchbacked man with a woman hairdresser’s accent, an act he was forced into doing by his producer.

Extreme hate, love, sadness and sympathy for those we love, are some of the messages we find in this film, which was directed by Herbert Ross. Being full of emotions, it will light up your day especially when you watch the scene where Paula and Elliot begin to open up to each other and, above all, appreciate each other.

If you’re looking for a laugh—and a few tears on the side—this is the film to watch, however, the best way to watch it is with a person you love.

By the time you read this, The Star’s goodbye girl would be elsewhere contributing her own experience to another young writer, guiding him through the challenging trail of writing.

We all have to change our paths at some point of our lives, and Noor’s path still lies ahead. So, Vaya con Dios, “May God be with you” on this new journey.


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