Last weekend I went to see Woody Allen’s latest movie, Blue Jasmine. I was struck by the similarities between this movie and my book Team Charlie. Both stories are about a mentally ill main character who has been thrust into the real world. While Jasmine’s state of mind is different from Charlie’s, her delusions are no less daunting. There is an excellent review of Blue Jasmine written in Entertainment Weekly by Owen Gleiberman. In his review, Gleiberman ends his piece by writing that the “greatness of Blanchett’s acting is that she shows you how madness doesn’t just destroy Jasmine but, in some terrible way, fulfills her destiny.” These same words could have been written about someone portraying Charlie’s life.
In Team Charlie, it is clear from the start that Charlie is a black-and-white movie buff. These old movies play a role in the way Charlie sees his life. What you may not have noticed at first glance is that most the names and places in my story are drawn from character actors and places in selected old movies. The White Way Hotel, for example, is taken from the Marx Brothers’ Room Service. Edward Horton, Una Merkel, and Glenda Farrell are all well-known Hollywood character actors. I liked the idea of these classic characters and places mingling with Charlie’s modern life. Are you a classic movie fan? How many other characters and places can you find in Team Charlie that have been so named?