Welcome to the Popcorn Dialogues

You have arrived at the Popcorn Dialogues, the new romantic comedy analysis and discussion blog from Jenny Crusie and Lucy March. Feel free to point and click and kick the tires and post your comments, suggestions, and complaints on this post, especially if this blog is missing something you think is important. (No, you cannot have a popcorn machine). Since you’re probably Argh People, Betties, Wiffers, Cherries, or Cherry Bombs, you’ve broken in new blogs before, so that’s pretty much all the intro you need. For those of you who have not been part of the collective insanity of Argh Ink, Lucy March: A Year and Change, Will Write For Wine, the JCF list, Cherry Forums, or He Wrote She Wrote, THANK GOD YOU’RE HERE. The rest of these people are strange.

The blog has three pages: Back Story (the blog concept and its authors), Now Playing (the movie schedule), and the Popcorn Ratings system. There’ll be a Bibliography page as soon as Jenny gets to it. The blogroll right now is just the authors and their major source of information for the movie posts; we expect it to grow as we find more sites we want to recommend on writing in general and rom com in particular. We’re hoping to add the twitter feed to the pull-down menu on the right as soon as we figure out how to get it to work, and we’re planning on putting up a poll so you all can rate the movie, too, but other than that, this is the blog.

The first podcast will be taped Friday, May 28, but it will be a dry run, Lucy and Jenny arguing about how they’re going to do this and brainstorming ways to make the experience most effective. Yes, you’ll be able to put your two cents in the comments. The podcast will go up online on May 29. You can either search for it on iTunes (it’ll automatically update there), or you can come here on Saturday and download it directly from that movie’s post. We’ll start with the first movie, It Happened One Night, on the following Friday, June 4. Comments on the six era posts below are locked because we’re going to use them to introduce each era as it arrives, so we don’t want you garbaging them up with your soft drink cups and empty Good ‘N’ Plenty boxes. We’re trying to keep the place looking nice.

It’s a nice, shiny, new blog. Don’t break it. Thank you.

118 responses to “Welcome to the Popcorn Dialogues”

  1. This sounds like it will be so much fun. Looking forward to it. And the blog is a delight. Clean and spare. Can’t wait to mess it up.

  2. The movie posters are fab. First thing that struck me, which probably indicates I’m getting old, is the younger the movie the crappier it is.

  3. Yay! I’m excited that It Happened One Night is available for instant viewing on Netflix! Can’t wait to watch it again! I love this project because it feeds both my inner book geek and movie geek in one convenient location.

    New shiny blog is just begging for some Priest…

    Breakin’ the blog, breaknin’ the blog.

  4. What a wonderful project! I have not seen most of these movies (except the most recent) so I’m looking forward to watching them and learning from this great group.

  5. It is a good template, isn’t it? Clean and simple and easy to navigate and bright and fun. I liked it because it would go with all the movie posters each week.

    There’s a poll to the right so we can make sure the widget works before we start putting up the ratings polls. Still kicking the tires here.

  6. It’s real purty……But I feel that there should be popcorn up on the top. With butter. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. I’m commenting to help kick the tires. I’m also looking forward to the whole process watching movies and discussion process. My 20 year old daughter who is now a mother herself, my join me in watching the movies. The movie posters are fun to view too!

  8. The font size just shrunk – it was fine several minutes ago, but is now too small. I can zoom in, but I did not need to do that a little while ago.

  9. I put in monsters for the avatars for the commenters who don’t have one. Those little empty silhouettes are just too sad. Plus you guys can turn on a dime.

    Hit “command plus” and everything gets bigger. Everything on the blog anyway.

  10. A shiny new place to visit. Very clean lines. Love the posters. Looking forward to playing.

  11. Thanks, Jenny. I like the little monsters. I have an avatar all set up at Twitter, but haven’t figured it out yet for here. I think my monster is cute – and agree about the sad silhouettes. I can deal with the font size – just helping you kick the tires – so if the font can appear bigger it’s a little easier for the over 40 or 50 folks, but if not, no big deal.

  12. This is going to be a lot of fun. The great thing about the early films is that most of them have been recently restored and have, for the most part been available on TCM or in video stores. A blast for the bibliophile and cinephile alike, cool!

  13. Place looks great! Though I would expect a kernel or two at the top.

    Are you guys going to come up with one of those catch phrases for the end of the podcasts? Like the “We’ll see you in the balcony” only maybe “We’ll see you in your pajamas.”

    Actually, that sounds kind of creepy now that I read it back.

  14. Yes, I do need another blog from you in my world. What a great idea.

    I was worried for a second that I broke the poll. The results didn’t show up until I came back to this page.

    And now I need to track down some of these movies!

  15. Since we plan on drinking through the podcasts, the catchphrase will probably be something like “I can’t feel my feet.”

    Most of you are ending up in moderation here because it’s a new blog and the place is still learning your name. Once I’ve approved your first post, from then on it should just post automatically.

  16. Courtney wrote:

    But I feel that there should be popcorn up on the top. With butter.

    I changed the accent color to butter yellow. Best I can do right now.

  17. I’m imagining something along the lines of, “Hey… margaritas and popcorn salt aren’t that bad! The artificial butter flavor kind of sets off the whole lime thing.”

  18. Um, Jenny? I got to the end of the comments and the little box said “YOUR COMMENT (REQUIRED).” And, ever obedient (as you know), I am commenting.

    Is it always going to say that? Because that’s going to be an awful lot of obedience. Just saying.

    can not believe she just challenged us to break another blog…

    Seriously, looking forward to stalking lurking on yet another one of your blogs. With classic movies! And popcorn! And– did you say drinking? Is that another one of those obedience things?

    Geez, I’m going to need napkins. Go ahead, roll the film, I’ll be right back…

  19. The question is: what whine goes with watching a romcom?
    Some of the early 30s films, seems like a dry martini should be sipped, unstirred, whilst watching. These details are important if we’re going to fully imbibe, as it were, the spirit of the thing.

  20. I have no idea why it says “YOUR COMMENT (REQUIRED).” It’s not like any of you are rule-followers anyway.

    The little avatars generate automatically. Feel free to swipe them as needed. I have no idea if you’ll always get the same one here. I just clicked the button that said “Monsters.” Because.

  21. Don’t want to swipe him, just hug him. He’s cute. Maybe take him out for a pizza and a… martini?

    Um, Merry? I know your metabolism is off the charts, what with those pushups you’re always doing and all that, but maybe wait to imbibe the whine until the movie starts? Or at least until the lights dim? Here, have some butter.

    New Philosophy on Life: Always click the button that says “Monsters”

  22. A good whine that goes with any movie: “could you please stop talking already…I’m trying to listen”

    Nice blog. A little too white, but I love the monsters. I hate watching movies alone, and dh won’t watch anything that was made before he was born, but maybe I can get my teenage daughters to watch with me.

  23. This is great! Lovely in its simplicity too. (So far of course.) And helpful too. I hate so many movies, this is going to be a wonderful guide. I will go by the recommendations of Jenny and Lucy followers always.

  24. This should be fun. I wonder how many of these are on Netflix watch instantly so I can watch along with you guys without having to, um, pre-plan. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m also a bit sad over the lack of popcorn in the header, but can live without it.

  25. I have to comment, if only to see what avitar comes up! Some day I’ll learn how to get my picture up, for now I’ll have to be content with…

  26. This is fantastic! I’d do a custom avatar, but well, I don’t know how. If I get time, I’ll dig around. I’m PLANNING on watching when you guys do, but note the PLANNING. I’m starting it as a goal — not sure how abtainable that will be though. I’m making a buttload of afghans, so watching movies is The Way To Go.

    Now I have to go and write down the list in order so I can make sure I have NetFlix lined up correctly.

    Monsters are good. Way better than clowns.

  27. Hello All!

    I WAS able to zoom in, but I do request that the font be bumped up if possible. I love the butter yellow, and the layout is nice and clean and I love the movie posters.

    My reuqest, which I also posted on Argh Ink, is to allow us to comment here on Mondays. My weekends are pretty full, as I have 2 kids. When school starts again, it will be rough to get computer time, but not impossible. Just a thought, since many people have expressed they don’t want to go to the forums. (I’ll go, but don’t want to be lonely).

    I’ve started purchasing and requesting movies from the library. This is going to be a lot of fun.

    Oh, one technical thing. I share a WordPress thingy with some other Cherries, and on our blog we have formatting buttons, for things like italics, blockquotes, bold, etc, in the comments area. I have a good idea who set them up. Would you be interested?

  28. Oh! My monster is the same one I had over on another blog! Too COOL!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  29. Ooh, very excited about this! I haven’t seen most of the movies, so I’m going to try to play along.

    One comment about template. I really like it, except for how faint the font is on the widget titles on the sidebar: “Recent Comments”, “Pages”, “Polls”, etc. They need to be darker.

    And I don’t see why we can’t have a popcorn maker. You can borrow ours from the CB (Cherry Bomb) Bar and Grill, if you’d like. Louis makes excellent popcorn.

  30. Love the idea, can’t wait to listen to the podcasts. (Had to comment just to see which monster I get.)

  31. All set for my test drive. We already have a popcorn machine over at the B&G and lots of napkins … it’s necessary, trust me. Oooh, stadium seating and cool rocking/reclining seats. Also, the concession stand has nonpareils. What more can we ask for?

    I’m a big classic movie fan, so this will be fun.

  32. Just wondering (and I may have missed this somewhere in all the excitement) are we going to proceed in chronological order? (Hope not).

    Either way, wot larks!

  33. Now I have to comment just to get a monster!
    I was going to comment [whine] the RSS feed didn’t work, but then on the second try it did, so [unwhine].

  34. Susan, the first nine months are in chronological order, a sort of historical survey of romcom. If we keep going after that, we’ll have theme months: romantic comedy-mysteries, romantic comedies about romance writers, romantic comedies with Robert Downey, Jr. in them (I work with Lucy March and she’s going to insist), etc. But let’s see how the first nine months go first. No, do not start making lists. When we get close to the end, if we’re still interested in theme months, we’ll do the list-and-poll thing here we did on Argh.

    Yes, I will extend the comments through Tuesday. The new movie post is going up on Wednesday now, so that’s no problem.

    I think your monsters are tied to your IP address, but I’m not sure. They are cute little buggers.

    I’ll look into the commenting menu, but we really want to keep this simple. Ditto making the print darker on the sidebar, but again, we got the template for free and while it is somewhat customizable (did you see the butter yellow in the header?) a lot of it isn’t. Hence the problems with the twitter feed.

    I’ll think about popcorn in the header. I like it simple, but we can experiment and then hit reset if we don’t like it. It’s such a CLEAN blog.

  35. Friday nights at the movies. Good thing I broke down and bought a new DVD player over the weekend. (One of my dogs retaliated on the other one.)

    I like the look of the blog. The white background makes me think of a movie screen right before something is projected.

    Our local movie theater serves a choice of beer and wine. It used to be a lounge and the community theater, realizing the Keys are a drinkin’ crowd, wisely kept the license. I still go for soda. The flavors of Paul Mason and non pareils (SnoCaps) don’t mingle well.

  36. It say comment(required) because you can’t leave an ’empty’ comment. Not because your required to comment at all.

    Also I love the site! I’m a bit afraid of being the one to break it though. Seems like I show up and things break sort of like Daisy click click.

    I am interested in that wine (not whine) recommendation. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. As one who is techno-impaired, I want to thank you for setting this up for all of us. I bought a DVD player over two years ago, and it is still, unopened, in the box. Dear son-in-law, who is a techno-GOD, will be setting it up for me this week, and I’ll be able to view in my own home the films I’ve bought, but only watched at other people’s homes.

  38. Thank you thankyou thankyou!
    Ok. Will try REALLY hard to not suggest other lists to make. But I AM going to start lists of lists to suggest when we’re ready. Because I’ll forget later. ๐Ÿ™‚
    It is a clean blog.

  39. I’ve got all the Depression-era comedies added to my Netflix queue. Quite a few are available on InstantPlay – yay!

    Also, I can’t believe how many of those old movies I’ve already seen, mostly through on-campus film societies while I was in college.

  40. I get a monster?! That’s fabulous! I’d come back just for that, but I am so easily amused it’s tragic. It’s very clean and pretty too. Thank you for putting so much work into this – we really do appreciate it.

  41. Sorry about the delay in approving comments. I went to the office supply store and DSW. Either one of those is good for an hour at least. And once you’re approved, you’re approved forever unless you try to sell Cialis, so this will be much smoother once everybody’s commented and gotten his or her monster. I am loving the monsters.

    Edited to add: Do NOT put Cialis in your comment, even as a joke. You’ll end up in the spam folder and even after that you’ll get moderated. I just had to approve my own comment.

    Go Akismet, that’s what I say. Oh, and put more than two links in your comment, and Akisment throws you in the spam tank. I visualize Akismet as a very large bouncer with no sense of humor but a burning desire to protect the blog. Akismet is our friend.

  42. *sigh* My comments have now been approved and I have forgotten what I put here before. Ah well. I like the new blog and look forward to much wine and snarky movie watching…

  43. *Oops!*

    Okay, ‘found’ my old comment as well as Jenny’s new warning. Sooo..What I want to know is can I cozy up to this friendly neighborhood Bouncer, Akismet?

  44. This is a great idea. I’m especially stoked as one of my suggestions made the list. I hate to admit that I’ve seen more of the older films than the recent ones. Maybe this will kick start my movie viewing.

  45. Love the website (the white is good), planning to have friends over every Friday to watch the movies together, so grateful you’re doing this. Really just commenting to get approved and be assigned my monster!

  46. The idea is genius, the site looks great, the movies are wonderful — I can’t wait!

    Plus, monsters. What’s not to love?

  47. I’m excited for this! Has a nickname been coined for the followers yet?

  48. @ AngelFire: We’ll call him “Kiz.” I think he’s ripped.

    @ Jennifer B/B: My kids will be watching classics through the years. I had three doubious looks last night when I put on Romancing The Stone, by the end, I had true believers. I love it when the ‘rents are cool. ๐Ÿ˜€

  49. Hoosier Cherry, a.k.a. Annie, spake thusly:
    Has a nickname been coined for the followers yet?



  50. @JulieB Kiz is most definitely ripped! ๐Ÿ™‚ And he secretly LOVES romantic comedy movies and he studies romcom novels for romantic tips!!!!

    @Merry shhhh..!! SlutKitties Unite!

  51. I tried to leave a fairly dull “oh, I am so excited” comment just because I wanted to see my monster. But then it took me to a blank screen so I’m not sure if it worked. Oh, God, what if I am the one who broke the new site?

    Anyway, if I DIDN’T break it and this is a duplicate (sort of) comment, my apologies. If I DID break it … even more apologies.

  52. My husband’s Netflix list is going to change from War Movies to RomComs. THAT ought to mess with their recommendations!

    I don’t see anything about monsters but I sure hope I get one. I mean Merry has one, so we all have to have one now.

    If the blog breaks, just blame it on Lori.

  53. I just had a conversation with a friend last night about how romcoms have been my least favorite genre for the last decade or so (well, maybe second least favorite, after pointless gorefests) because they are so formulaic and the humor feels so overdone, so I’m looking forward to revisiting some old favorites on this list and trying some unseen films to give them a chance to change my mind!

  54. wow. it’s very white here, isn’t it? blink, squint.

    so, how does one keep popcorn butter out of laptop keyboards?

  55. Ah. Not that I have a problem with being a cute purple heart-shaped monster, but I could have sworn I was a gravatar girl. May have to experiment (with more comments).

  56. it is a very white blog, but that’s kind nice right now because it reinforces the brand-spanking-new feeling.
    so excited for the movie critiques to begin!

  57. Also – could we get a printable version of the “now playing” list? I’d like to stick it on my fridge.

  58. Let me see what I can do, Lauren. There’s a printable PDF at the bottom of the Now Playing page. However, that list is undoubtably going to shift some as movies become unavailable or we miss a Friday and have to move all the dates down. Your best bet is always going to be to check that page.

    Lucy’s trying to get the Twitter feed fixed so if there’s something up there about a cat’s crotch, it’s not from us, it’s from the original programmer. Lucy got rid of the cat’s crotch. Now she just has to figure out how to get our Twitter account in there. I love this template, but that twitter feed is a nightmare.

    Also, the poll is screwed up, although I love the yellow Lucy put in there, so if it suddenly disappears and comes back as something else, don’t be alarmed. LUCY ROCKS! She got those damn italics out of the poll.

    We’re still under construction here, so patience.

  59. Ladies, it looks fabulous. I *love* the fluffy, clean white with kernels of color – especially the buttery yellow. Very appropriate.

    October ’10 and January ’11 (holy crap are we already looking ahead to 2011??) look like they’re going to be my favorite months. I can hardly wait!

  60. I like the white, too. Each post is going to have a movie poster in it, so the white with touches of butter yellow is a good background for that. Plus the monster avatars are little splotches of color. I know there was talk of needing popcorn in the header but I think that’s too on-the-nose. I like the simplicity here.

    Although now I’m thinking about floating popcorn kernels like the Bun-o-Matic bunnies.

  61. Yay! They have four of the first six available on DVD at my public library. That should make playing along a lot easier.

  62. This should be lots of fun. I wonder what Netflix will think when all these classic rom-com movies are reserved? Bwa ha ha …

    I love the site, even though I answered the poll as “tragically flawed” because the popcorn machine comment was just too funny.

    I must remember to go check iTunes for your podcast. I wonder if “It Happened One Night” is rentable from iTunes … hmmm. Thanks, McB, for that suggestion. I’d completely blanked out on it.

  63. Ok, my OCD knows no bounds.

    Hulu.com is not going to be a good resource. The only full length movie they have available from the list is HIS GIRL FRIDAY. All of the other films have links to trailers, except for: BORN YESTERDAY, A NEW LEAF, AVANTI, HOUSE CALLS and GROSSE POINT BLANK.

    Hulu… why hast thou failed me?

  64. Totally excited for this! Especially the older flicks that I’ve never seen.

    Is it weird that I’m disappointed I missed the cat crotch?? I have a curiosity for the bizarre ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also I love the monsters! I’m almost thinking about using a different email because they’re so cute!

  65. “It’s a nice, shiny new blog. Don’t break it.”

    Umm, can we break it when its not so nice, faded and old? Just asking.

    And if you’re not from the previous collective insanities – what is wrong with you, what took you so long to get here?

  66. I luv It Happened One Night. Rented it when I was 11 and still love it 20 yr later. Plus i’m commenting cuz I want a monster avatar. I am pms so it seems wildly appropriate.

  67. Oooo, pretty.
    What monster will I be?
    I read something about movie posters, but I don’t see them. Did i miss them or do they come later?
    Can’t wait for your thoughts on some of my favorite movies: How to Steal a Million, While you were Sleeping, and 10 Things I Hate About You. Some other good ones on the list, too, but these I know by heart.

    Hoosier Cherry and Merry (and anyone else who cares): If we still need names, I hereby nominate Poppies.

  68. Oh, wait, nevermind about the name. It seems we’re …SlutKitties? Did I read that right?

  69. No, no, the slutkitty thing was from a different name for the blog. It won’t make sense on this one.
    And the movie posters were here for the first day, and then I redirected them with new dates. The first one will come back on Monday.

  70. Finally! A place where my minor in Comparative Literature – Film Studies can bloom. Before now, I was kinda limited to knowing how to hook up the tv/dvd player at my house.

    Here’s hoping I’m not the one who breaks it!

  71. Beautiful site but I have to squint at the little letters in the comment boxes. Maybe it is time to get to the eye doctor for reading glasses.

    As for snacks, I’m on a chocolate chip cookie kick. The perfect mixture of salty and sweet and with a glass of milk it’s even good for you. Just play along with me folks. But when we go to the theatre around the corner from our house we get the popcorn because THEY USE REAL BUTTER!! OMG it is so good. Even better when they sell refills for half price. yummy.

    The list takes nine months to get through. Hmmm. Makes me wonder if there’s gonna be a Popcorn Dialogues baby join us. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

  72. I believe that is “control + ” for us PC users – at least it worked for me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  73. Hi, everyone! I’m new, but have been lurking at Argh Ink for a few months.. I’ve been a Crusie fan for years and more recently of Lani Diane Rich, too.

    The movie list lured me out to join the conversation. Y’all seem smart, funny, and fun. Can’t wait to get started discussing “It Happened One Night.”

    P.S. Will we be seeing a lot of Kiz the Bouncer? He sounds yummy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  74. I am so obnoxiously excited about this, it’s a little scary. I cannot wait for the podcasts to start.

  75. That’s so weird. Green is my favorite colour. And my hair is standing on end right due to repeated attempts to pull my brain out by the roots. (Stress…….)

  76. Jenny (that sounds wrong, I really feel like I should say Ms. Crusie)- I know you’ve had to mention the “Control + to enlarge the font” thing several times, but I just have to say that for the only semi-competent computer user that I am, this has been SO helpful! I’ve been enlarging everything, online newspapers, email, and my online life is so much easier now! Thanks!!

  77. I just saw the popcorn avatar on Twitter and love it. Is there a hold on comments there?

  78. Ooh! I want a monster! XD

    Lovin’ the look and feel, it’s perfect.

    I was wondering whether or not there will be transcripts of the podcasts or if volunteers can transcribe? (But that’d be an awful lot of work too so I don’t expect to hear anything other than “Gods, no, do you have any idea how much work that would be, woman? We have books to write!”)

  79. BJ, we’re still working out the Twitter stuff. I don’t think we’re going to be using the PopcornDialogue Twitter, so it’s a placeholder for right now, just in case we need it.

    No, there won’t be transcripts. But I think they’re easy to listen to. We need to get Lani in here to explain podcast stuff. She’s the techie, I just run the blog.

  80. Love the whole idea of this – can’t wait for the first movie/podcast.

    My one comment – I have trouble reading the comments on these pages. Although the initial post is in a nice geriatric font, the comments are really small (or maybe my eyesight is really bad). Anyway – is there something I can do about that here in my browser, or should I just keep my magnifying glass handy?

    Looking forward to tonight’s movie.

  81. I love the idea of the floating kernals…

    As a side note – since this blog obviously has me thinking popcorn – have you ever tried tossing mini marshmallows into your buttery, straight-from-the-microwave popcorn? It’s nommy…

  82. Ooh, me! I have a suggestion! ๐Ÿ™‚ Could we get a calendar feed for the movie schedule? Would love to import it into Google Calendar.

  83. I was reading the Depression era posting and wanted to back up one post. I couldn’t find a next/previous link to get there. Then I scrolled down far enough to notice the footer. So, my ask would be, could you put a next post/previous post linkage under the posting but before the comments?

  84. Possibly Lucy can but I think you’re going to have to just scroll. This is an extremely low rent production here, so there’s no fancy programmer or efficient Mollie to play with the HTML. Lucy is very good at HTML, but there’s something about this template that if you move one thing, everything else goes sideways and then she screams and the site shows only code and two hours later we’re back up but that’s 120 minutes she’ll never see again. We never did get the Twitter feed to work.

    As for me, I just found clip art for drink umbrellas on Martha’s Stewart’s site. That’s my kind of contribution. Pictures and words.

    Go here for umbrellas. Later on, I will probably be designing Popcorn Dialogues Drink Umbrellas. Moving the “back” button? No.

    Sonja: Calendar feed? No idea. I’ll ask Lucy.

  85. Hey, guys. Jenny called me in for the tech stuff.

    Basically, it’s like she said – this is a lovely template, but it’s easily broken, and the guy who made it doesn’t support it, so I’m hesitant about futzing with it too much. So the back button stays where it is; I know just enough to do a lot of damage.

    I did look at the code for the comments, but couldn’t easily figure out how to make it bigger. That’s gonna take some time, and you’re right – this comment font is really small. I will look for it, but my time is limited, so in the meantime, I know that most browsers have a way to make it bigger to view, usually with a keyboard shortcut. If you can do that until I get it figured out, that’ll get you through.

    As for the calendar feed – again, it’s a time thing. We’ve got the list and dates out there, so if anyone wants to take initiative and create a Google calendar everyone can share, that’s awesome, but right now, I’ve got two kids home from school and classes to teach, so I’m kind of strapped for time at the moment. If anyone wants to create a shared calendar and give us a link, we’ll put it on the site, but other than that… not right now. Sorry! ๐Ÿ™‚

  86. Everything still looks tiny to me, but I have command+ buttons on my keyboard can make it as large as I want it, so it’s fine.

    Windows is different and somebody posted what it was and I’ve forgotten now. Control + maybe? Anyway, readable type is a keystroke away.

  87. Oh, and we’re at 117 comments here, so I’m sending you all to the Depression Era post to chat.
    Don’t break the blog. ARGH.