5 Movies That Inspired Out on a Limb
by A.J. Truman
I’m a movie lover. Always have been. Even though I love reading, I probably love movies a little bit more. Many of my bursts of inspiration come from watching movies. I’ll be sitting there, gorging myself on popcorn, getting sucked into this very specific world, and wondering how I can bring these characters and scenarios into my orbit. From there, my mind will wander and brainstorm away.
For Out on a Limb, four movies in particular inspired me. Now, it’s a long road from watching a movie and getting inspired to finished book. These films may have provided some sparks, but from there, it took the hard work of writing and figuring out my characters to get this book completed.
1) Trainwreck. I had had an idea for Out on a Limb for a little bit, but this movie kicked it into overdrive. It helped give birth to Cameron’s personality. Amy, the titular Trainwreck, parties and drinks and sleeps around without shame. That is, until she meets the upstanding good guy Aaron. That’s how I pictured Cameron and Walker. Cameron was a loveable trainwreck. Like many college students, he was proudly into partying and casual sex. He didn’t believe in relationships, and Walker was the upstanding, uptight good guy who made him reconsider. That contrast motivated the tension and humor in the book.
2) Big Daddy. What would freak Cameron out the most? A little kid. I loved in Big Daddy how Adam Sandler’s character Sonny finds his own unorthodox, immature, yet ultimately responsible way for parenting Julian. I kept coming back to their relationship when writing scenes between Cameron and Walker’s six-year-old son Hobie.
3) Overboard. I’ve seen this movie about 30,485,094 times on cable. Goldie Hawn is the heiress with amnesia who’s tricked into being the mother to Kurt Russell’s four rambunctious sons. (A concept that sounds really creepy when I write it out.) Only one scene inspired Out on a Limb, the one where Annie tells off the sons’ teacher. That stayed in my mind for the gymnastics scene where Cameron has a similar confrontation with Hobie’s instructor. For him and Annie, we see for the first time how much they care about these kids that were total strangers to them once.
4) American Beauty. One of my favorite movies. I didn’t realize how much this inspired me until a recent rewatch. Cameron awakens Walker from the doldrums of his cubicle life in much the same way that Angela Hayes brings the fortysomething Lester Burnham back to life. Of course, Cameron and Walker have a much different, and far less creepy, relationship. And Walker’s ex does bear some similarities to Lester’s wife Carolyn, played by the incomparable Annette Bening.
5) The Devil Wears Prada. While Cameron’s adventures in LA were inspired by real life, this wonderful movie inspired his struggle between professional and personal success. He, like Andie Sachs, had to choose between an all-consuming job in an all-consuming industry and following his heart. Sadly, there is no fabulous makeover montage in Out on a Limb.
Have you ever been inspired by a movie? Share in the comments!
OUT ON A LIMB comes out April 18, 2016. Want to see what else A.J. is up to, as well as get exclusive updates on his upcoming books? Became an outsider. Sign up at ajtruman.com/outsiders.
About Out on a Limb
No looking back. That’s the motto of college senior Cameron Buckley, whether he’s kicking his latest hookup out of bed or plotting out his future as a hit screenwriter. With only a few weeks until graduation, he’s ready to put Browerton University in his rearview mirror and start the life he’s been dreaming of ever since he was a kid. But a chance meeting with a sexy stranger in a bar throws a wrench into his Hollywood plans.
For Walker Reed, no looking back is hard to do when you work minutes away from your alma mater and share child custody with your college sweetheart. Almost fifteen years after graduating from Browerton, he can’t stop wondering how he got here. He has an ex who can’t stand him, a five-year-old son he can’t connect with, and a dead-end job he can’t escape.
When Cameron and Walker first meet, they know the rules. They know their friendship has an expiration date, yet it begins changing them in ways they never expected. As graduation looms, they both know things can’t go anywhere, but they can’t keep denying the feelings pulling them closer, even as an offer from Hollywood threatens to tear them apart forever.
A.J. Truman remembers his college days like it was yesterday, even though it was definitely not yesterday. He writes books with humor, heart, and hot guys. What else does a story need? He loves spending time with his pets and his partner and writing on his sun porch. You can find him on Facebook, Goodreads, or at his website ajtruman.com.