Esmé Weijun Wang on Turning the “Meet Cute” on Its Head
In Conversation with Mychal Denzel Smith on the Open Form Podcast
Welcome to Open Form, a new weekly film podcast hosted by award-winning writer Mychal Denzel Smith. Each week, a different author chooses a movie: a movie they love, a movie they hate, a movie they hate to love. Something nostalgic from their childhood. A brand-new obsession. Something they’ve been dying to talk about for ages and their friends are constantly annoyed by them bringing it up.
In this episode, Mychal talks to Esmé Weijun Wangb about the 2004 film Closer, directed by Mike Nichols and starring Clive Owen, Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, and Jude Law.
Subscribe and download the episode, wherever you get your podcasts!
From the episode:
Esmé Weijun Wang: I often see this question in advice columns where people ask, should I tell my partner that I cheated on them? Like, I don’t plan on ever doing it again and it will only hurt them. I feel like that’s a common question I see in the advice columns, and it speaks to me of this question of “is the truth always the best course in a romantic relationship?” It’s very relevant to this movie where everybody seems happy.
Mychal Denzel Smith: It’s very relevant, and this movie doesn’t have an answer for you. I don’t think that there is an answer. There’s only like what you desire and what you and your partner talk through and negotiate.
Esmé Weijun Wang is the author of The Border of Paradise and The Collected Schizophrenias. She received the Whiting Award in 2018 and was named one of Granta‘s Best of Young American Novelists of 2017. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and lives in San Francisco.