11. The Fake Zemeckis

The next two minutes of the film are taken up by the ending of a movie within the movie. We return to the janitor at work, who has apparently decided to help fill in the time while eating lunch (or perhaps dinner) with at least part of a movie he watches on a big screen in a classroom.

The classroom details provide no good clues about the type of classroom it is. However, we can see the DVD/BluRay box on the desk where he eats and therefore learn that the movie is entitled “Order Up!” The closing seconds of it switch to take up the full screen, so we no longer see the janitor, and we discover that the movie is directed by Robert Zemeckis and produced by Gerald Kramer. I searched IMDB for Kramer and came up with no one, which is surprising, because IMDB tends to come up with everyone and anyone in film production, even an idiot former friend of mine from college who worked as a stand in for several years in the 00s.

In an interview I linked to previously, Kaufman said he meant no offense toward Zemeckis and chose him as the director in part because it seemed like a movie unlike what he’d typically create. He also said the mini-movie is more like the work of Nancy Meyers. Meyers has written several hits, including “Private Benjamin,” and the “Father of the Bride” movies, and most recently directed “The Intern” with Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway. She’s also the highest grossing female director of all time.

There’s not much more to say about this stupid little movie, other than the fact that the couple soon rewrite their meet cute story to appropriate some details from this movie. That leads me to think that the original origin story could have been lifted from something else that the janitor watched or read — I’ll be on the lookout for it.

The scene that follow focuses on the story about Jake’s diligence pin. The young woman declares it a lovely dinner and says it’s time to get on the road, she then starts clearing in table. In contrast to the dizzying cuts of the dinner, the camera stays stationary here, allowing us to see that no one ate a bite as she takes away full dishes and platters of food.

There’s no diligence pin in the book, so it’s another Kaufman invention and a very interesting way of giving his character more depth. I have a unique understanding of this diligence vs acumen discussion because I have twins, and they fall into the two camps. My acumen child is all innate ability and charisma. He can bullshit his way out of and through anything and he’s rather proud of it. My diligence child was left wanting to get into the gifted classes with his brother for many years and his hard work finally paid off last year. Now he’s the far better student. So, I’m basically in agreement with the parents here, diligence is something to be proud of and could have greater rewards in the long run But I get Jake’s point of view too, because there a back hand to the compliment — a sense that you really aren’t that smart and might be a bit of an imposter pretending to keep up.

This scene ends with the mother declaring that it’s now time for Jake’s favorite dessert, leaving his girlfriend to declare “lovely!” again and feel a bit defeated. It will be awhile before they’re on the road — perhaps years, given how you interpret the action ahead. She’ll need to get used to it.

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