I spent this past weekend in a state of geeked-out bliss; both days were spent touring the Newseum in Washington D.C. I met the friend who accompanied me in 2008; we worked together on our university newspaper and she’s my go-to girlfriend for nerdy journalism stuff. We drove down bright and early Saturday morning and couldn’t wait to explore six floors of journalistic history. It was interesting and engaging and enlightening and inspiring; the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo gallery was humbling and the 9/11 Memorial gallery was heart-breaking. I came away from the experience just being proud to be included, in any small fraction, in the company of the amazing men and women who have come before me and paved the way for me to sit here and write about how awesome it is to be a journalist. One exhibit that I particularly enjoyed was a video loop of clips from movies throughout the years that depicted reporters and photographers both fictional and historical and it got me thinking about some of my favorite silver (and small) screen characters who struck a chord with me. In no particular order, here’s a handful of the women I’ve watched and thought, “I wish that was me.”
Letters to Juliet (2010) | Amanda Seyfried as Sophie
Sophie is a young fact-checker for The New Yorker, but she dreams of being a published writer. When she travels to Italy with her fiancée for a pre-wedding honeymoon, she discovers a woman trying to find her soul mate that she has been separated from for over 50 years. Sophie tags along as she and her grandson search for the man and decides to write about it. I loved Sophie’s inquisitive nature and how I immediately related to this quote: “I think it's a story worth telling.”
The Devil Wears Prada (2006) | Anne Hathaway as Andy
Poor Andy came to New York to be a journalist and somehow lucked into the job a million girls would kill for; junior personal assistant to
Meryl Miranda Priestly, the fashion tyrant who runs Runway magazine. While I didn’t envy Andy’s day-to-day trials and tests (like fetching scalding hot coffee, walking the dog, and tracking down an unpublished Harry Potter manuscript), I was quite bitter about how a “regular” girl was able to talk her way into such a high-profile job, one that would open a million doors for her if she made it to one year. Plus, the clothes.
Never Been Kissed (1999) | Drew Barrymore as Josie
At 25, Josie is the youngest staff member ever as copyeditor for the Chicago Sun-Times. Jealous already. While my high school experience wasn’t quite as scarring as hers, I would relish the opportunity to go “undercover” to do some exposing and sleuthing. It was an interesting assignment to say the least—but no force on Earth would get me to go back to prom.
Gilmore Girls (2000-2007) | Alexis Bledel as Rory
I wasn’t even 1/8 as devoted to my schoolwork as Rory was, but I was on my high school paper and my college paper and I would’ve loved to get a kick-ass job right out of school like she did; covering Obama’s campaign trail, not a bad deal. I hope to someday work on location like that, instead of sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week.
How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days (2003) | Kate Hudson as Andie
Composure magazine’s resident “how-to” girl, Andie Anderson didn’t become a journalist to write about shoes, dressing for your body type, getting out of traffic tickets, or how to drive a man so insane that your “relationship” only lasts 10 days. She’d rather write about famine and poverty and politics. Honey, you go chase that dream and give me your job instead, ‘k?