Chris Nashawaty
October 19, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

What Happens Next

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Marc Norman
publisher
Harmony Books
genre
History, Nonfiction, Movies

We gave it a C

Marc Norman must be tired of being ”the other guy” who won an Oscar for writing Shakespeare in Love with Tom Stoppard. In this ambitious history of screenwriting — he kicks off with 1915’s The Birth of a Nation — Norman drily chronicles Hollywood’s least glamorous craft. The usual suspects are all here: golden-age greats Preston Sturges and Billy Wilder; New Hollywood auteurs Francis Coppola and Paul Schrader; and whiz kids Charlie Kaufman and Quentin Tarantino. But What Happens Next feels sluggish, like the script for a bloated three-hour epic that should have taken 90 minutes. C

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