Gays Reading

Yulin Kuang (How to End a Love Story)

April 16, 2024 Jason Blitman, Brett Benner, Yulin Kuang Season 2 Episode 48
Yulin Kuang (How to End a Love Story)
Gays Reading
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Gays Reading
Yulin Kuang (How to End a Love Story)
Apr 16, 2024 Season 2 Episode 48
Jason Blitman, Brett Benner, Yulin Kuang

Jason and Brett talk to Yulin Kuang (How to End a Love Story) about Lisa Frank fan fiction, underrated 90s rom coms, the struggles of watching cooking shows on TV, how she came to adapt two Emily Henry novels, and much more.

Yulin Kuang is a screenwriter and director, whose credits include The CW’s I Ship It and Hulu’s Dollface. She was once fired from a Hallmark movie for being ‘too hip for Hallmark’ and is the adapting screenwriter of Emily Henry’s People We Meet On Vacation, as well as the writer/director of the forthcoming Beach Read film for 20th Century Studios. She lives in Pasadena with her husband Zack and their orange cat, Eloise.

**BOOKS!**
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Show Notes Transcript

Jason and Brett talk to Yulin Kuang (How to End a Love Story) about Lisa Frank fan fiction, underrated 90s rom coms, the struggles of watching cooking shows on TV, how she came to adapt two Emily Henry novels, and much more.

Yulin Kuang is a screenwriter and director, whose credits include The CW’s I Ship It and Hulu’s Dollface. She was once fired from a Hallmark movie for being ‘too hip for Hallmark’ and is the adapting screenwriter of Emily Henry’s People We Meet On Vacation, as well as the writer/director of the forthcoming Beach Read film for 20th Century Studios. She lives in Pasadena with her husband Zack and their orange cat, Eloise.

**BOOKS!**
Check out the list of books discussed on each episode on our Bookshop page:
https://bookshop.org/shop/gaysreading | By purchasing books through this Bookshop link, you can support both Gays Reading and an independent bookstore of your choice!

Join our Patreon for exclusive bonus content!

Purchase your Gays Reading podcast Merch!

Follow us on Instagram
@gaysreading | @bretts.book.stack | @jasonblitman

What are you reading?
Send us an email or a voice memo at gaysreading@gmail.com

Jason Blitman:

we're starting.

Brett Benner:

Well, no, I'm just, I'm just setting it on because I'll forget. So

Jason Blitman:

I played pickleball yesterday and my, my arm is sore.

Brett Benner:

oh, did you have fun?

Jason Blitman:

Yeah, it was super fun. Uh, the first time I did it, it was, we went to indoor courts and these were outdoor courts and it was a beautiful day yesterday. So I was happy to be outside, but none of us actually know how to play the game. We know like the gist of the rules. But I don't, we don't really score and I, that just doesn't work for me. I, if I'm going to play a game, you know, I was better this time. The first time I was like, no, I need to win.

Brett Benner:

wait, you're saying it doesn't work for you because you need to score.

Jason Blitman:

Yeah. Or I need to know that we're just like dicking around. And so like, because I knew that that's what was happening this time, I was fine. But if we're going to play the game, I want to

Brett Benner:

You want to play? Do you want to play? Yeah, I understand. Yeah, I understand.

Jason Blitman:

You know, I'm, I'm a huge, advocate for listening to a podcast or a book at whatever speed you need to listen to, including my own, if you need to listen to Gays Reading at three X, do it, whatever, I don't care, but I'd never really say listen to the whole thing, but this episode, there's going to be so much. At the end that I just I would just recommend even like Just listen till the end, is all I'll say. Um, this episode is maybe our most chaotic? Uh, Euline Kwong is our guest for her book, How to End a Love Story. And we're all on Pacific Time. We recorded this at like 8 o'clock in the morning. I don't think I'd had coffee yet. Her internet was going in and out.

Brett Benner:

had crazy internet.

Jason Blitman:

It was, it was sort of ridiculous. You know, most of our conversations last for about an hour. This one was like an hour and 40 minutes because it was just like constantly back and forth. So thanks to the magic of editing you will not think that that's the case, but we do get a little slap happy because we're like, Who knows what's going to happen in the world. For those of you who are new to us, thank you for joining Gays Reading, for those coming back, thank you for coming back. And you've heard me say the spiel before, but I will just say, if you like what you're hearing, please share us with your friends. It is very helpful for us. in terms of getting the word for Gays Reading out there. You could find us at Gays Reading. com on Instagram at Gays Reading, um, and wherever you listen to your podcasts. And speaking of, if you can, uh, subscribe or, and, or write us a review and, or give us five stars, wherever you listen, that is also super duper helpful. helpful.

Brett Benner:

Last week we were at Ryan's school in Ohio, Kenyon, shout out to Kenyon. And anyway, one of the women who worked there came up to me and she said, I want you to know, she's like, I just listened to your podcast. She listened to the Bianca Bosker episode. And, uh, she was like, I loved it. And I ran right out and got the book. So that was nice. And I was, it was

Jason Blitman:

It's so funny that that just happened to you because Brette Goldstein, another casting director, Brette, that we love. She shout out to Brette. Hi, Brette. Um, she texted

Brett Benner:

your name.

Jason Blitman:

She texted me this weekend with a screenshot of the Bianca Bosker episode and said, I'm obsessed with her. So Bianca Bosker getting a lot of love.

Brett Benner:

that's so funny. There's two books that come out today also that I just want to give a shout out to. One is, Alan Bratton's Henry Henry. Which, uh, is kind of an updated version of Shakespeare. And then the other thing is Indian Barrel Ground by Nick Medina, which is a thriller. A man lunges in front of a car, an elderly woman silently drowns herself, a corpse sits up in its coffin and speaks, on this reservation, not all is what it seems, in this new spine chilling mythological horror from the author of Sisters of the Lost Nation. I have never read any Nick Mendina, I don't know if you have, but, um, it looks really interesting and it's a beautiful cover. So,

Jason Blitman:

Also, this book came out a couple of weeks ago, but it only just got on my radar and I just got a copy of it. But it's called The Breakup Lists by Adib Khorram. I'm like two chapters in because I really wanted to read it. It's a YA boy meets boy story and it's, it's, it's techies in high school theater and I'm so excited to read it. It's so cute so far.

Brett Benner:

That is so right up your

Jason Blitman:

I know it really is. I love them

Brett Benner:

That was like written for you.

Jason Blitman:

Today's guest is Yulin Kuang. Super cool. She is a screenwriter and director whose credits include The CW's I Ship It and Hulu's Dollface. She was fired from a Hallmark movie for being Too hip for Hallmark, and is the adapting screenwriter of Emily Henry's People We Meet on Vacation, as well as the writer director of the forthcoming Beach Read film for 20th Century Studios. She lives in Pasadena with her husband, Zach, and their orange cat, Eloise, who we learn more about in the episode. I'm Jason

Brett Benner:

And Brett, gaze

Jason Blitman:

this episode of Gays Reading. Uh,

Brett Benner:

Good morning.

Yulin Kuang:

morning let me just make sure my Okay, we've got the microphone. We've got the

Jason Blitman:

Yes. Yes.

Yulin Kuang:

All right.

Brett Benner:

You guys have to.

Jason Blitman:

Brett does the same thing every time.

Brett Benner:

do, but I'm old. I'm because I'm ancient.

Jason Blitman:

Can I tell you all morning long that I'm really sorry about this, but I've been going back and forth between Yulene to the tune of Jolene.

Brett Benner:

Again, cowboy Carter.

Jason Blitman:

I think it's because of Cowboy Carter.

Yulin Kuang:

correct

Jason Blitman:

so all morning I've been like Yulene, Yulene. I've been so excited.

Yulin Kuang:

I'm thrilled. Although I feel like Jolene doesn't have she's got not a lot of places to hide after Kevin Carter.

Brett Benner:

she really

Jason Blitman:

doing just fine before Cowboy Carter.

Yulin Kuang:

Yeah.

Jason Blitman:

But then the other one this morning, which like, I'm sure you don't get very often and like why it's been in my head. I don't know. But it was, Yulin, you learn,

Yulin Kuang:

don't get that one a lot.

Jason Blitman:

no, I'm sure you don't.

Yulin Kuang:

is that?

Brett Benner:

That's that's more set.

Yulin Kuang:

Oh, I don't.

Jason Blitman:

you learn, you change, damn

Yulin Kuang:

wasn't an Alanis girlie.

Jason Blitman:

No, but still, you're a millennial that was on the radio.

Yulin Kuang:

know. I know. I know. But I wasn't very cool. I didn't my mom, I okay, I grew up raised by parents who grew up in the People's Republic of China. And so they really had this belief that pop culture was like a capitalist evil. And so anything that was popular, my parents were like, instantly suspicious of. And so I feel like I ended up not I was like, I can sacrifice music. I don't feel passionately about music. And instead I went towards like fan fiction. That's where my pop culture touchstones all were.

Jason Blitman:

Was gonna save this question for the end, because it's on the list of things I want to talk to you about, and I want it, we

Yulin Kuang:

communist parents are. Okay. Oh,

Jason Blitman:

so in a minute, let's talk about your elevator pitch for how to end a love story. But let's put a pin in that for a second, because what I really want to hear the elevator pitch for is the lost treasure of Lisa Frank

Yulin Kuang:

okay.

Jason Blitman:

so that you, in your bio, maybe you talk about writing Lisa Frank fan fiction.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes.

Jason Blitman:

I need to hear everything. Okay.

Yulin Kuang:

we already begun?

Jason Blitman:

We are

Brett Benner:

We're recording. We start

Yulin Kuang:

We are in media res. Okay. Yeah. No, that's great. I feel like I should say for the record. My parents aren't communists in case The government is listening. No, it's fine. It's fine. It's fine They're pharmaceutical research scientists guys They're

Brett Benner:

them very much. Shout

Yulin Kuang:

love them very much So the Lisa Frank fan fiction was my second book.

Jason Blitman:

Yes. 101 school blues was first. I'm I've did my research.

Yulin Kuang:

Oh, wow. Wow. Thank you so much. I feel so important. Yes, that one was about like how important it is to go to school and like it. I can only assume I was grappling with themes of I don't like going to school. And my parents were like, you will go and you will like it. There was like, a girl turns into a monster because monsters don't go to school. I was like, this is actually elevated for a 1st grader.

Brett Benner:

Was like your Buffy world. My God.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes. So book two was The Lost Treasure of Lisa Frank, and it was very clearly me working through some issues of so in my first grade and second grade, they combined to the classrooms, there was first and second grade kids there. I had this friend, Elizabeth, who was like my bestie and we were both in the same grade and then when we were in second grade, this new girl, Jessica, arrived on the scene. She was a first grader who was young Yulian would like to say, infiltrating our friend group and I did not like that. Anyway, so I was working through these feelings in my Lisa Frank fan fiction, where it was these three Unicorns, they were going to go, there was a map and they were like, okay, we're going to go find the treasure. And there's a line in there that's this, these two unicorns were flying. And then there was this third one that couldn't fly as high. And like throughout the entire book, it's this kind of like me doing like subtle fuck yous to Jessica. But that's the plot of the last, I think they find the treasure, but the real story is about the friendship dynamics that I was trying to unpack.

Jason Blitman:

Do we still talk to Jessica? Is she, are you aware of her

Yulin Kuang:

No, because I moved from Wichita when I was eight in 1998. And so the internet didn't really exist at that point in time. And there are all of these friendships that like I had that I just haven't been able to, I don't know. I'm like, I would love to talk about them more in case,

Brett Benner:

her here today. Jessica, can you come out, please? Yes.

Yulin Kuang:

to make.

Jason Blitman:

That's so funny. In our episode that actually drops today, we talked to Douglas Westerbeak about relationships that you have had on your journey that you like, that, that have had an impact on you, but you never are with ever again. And that's Jessica for you.

Brett Benner:

Those touchstones.

Yulin Kuang:

I would say Elizabeth Moore but yeah I named my diary after her, but yeah, but Jessica was like, Jessica was also there. I don't know. There were a lot of, there were a lot of friendships. Oh, I moved a ton because my parents had this thing where every year they would look up the best public school in the area for my incoming grade, and then they would move us into that

Jason Blitman:

Because of that,

Yulin Kuang:

Because of that and it was unhinged. It was crazy guys I don't recommend it because it gives your kids like extreme attachment issues where they're like yeah So I there's my path is littered with Jessica's. There's also a Jamie. She was like my first editor. She read my Pearl Harbor Book,

Jason Blitman:

how old were you?

Yulin Kuang:

my next book that I was like Fifth or sixth grade, I think and she read that one and she told me it was like, boring and slow. And so I changed my entire I abandoned that effort and I started a new book. And I think about her often too, because I'm like, where are you Jamie of Union, New Jersey? I

Jason Blitman:

your Pearl Harbor book, you would have written historical fictions.

Yulin Kuang:

know, I know. She was right though, because I, famously, the date that will live in infamy was December 7th, 1941. And it was, I modeled it off of the Dear America books. And where they were like diary entries. And so I started it in like June 1938. And so it was too boring and slow. But, it's what it is.

Jason Blitman:

I don't care about your life. Yulin

Brett Benner:

want these people, but I want these people to find you now. That's what's interesting to me. With the publication of the book and, the Jamie or Julia, they're sitting somewhere and they're like I have to reach out. I wonder if she ever thinks of me.

Yulin Kuang:

I think about you all the time.

Jason Blitman:

if one of you is listening to this episode, email us at gaze reading at gmail. com.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes, that would be great.

Jason Blitman:

So we have Jamie to thank for taking historical fiction out of your repertoire and you have found a path to rom coms.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes.

Jason Blitman:

What is your elevator pitch for how to end a love story?

Yulin Kuang:

the elevator pitch for this is it's about a screenwriter and a novelist and they are connected by some very tragic events that happened 13 years prior when they were in high school. He was the homecoming king, class president, and she was the editor in chief of the school paper, overachiever type. And then one night her younger sister dies by suicide by walking into traffic. And he is the one that is driving the car that hits her. And he shows up to the funeral, he's very promptly ejected we don't want you here. And then, 13 years later she is a YA novelist, and her books are being adapted for television. And he is a screenwriter, and he is the number two in the writer's room that is doing the adaptation.

Jason Blitman:

You talk about romance books, like earlier romance books as a catalyst for you falling in love with the genre, how did you get into those?

Yulin Kuang:

In 7th grade, this girl Kathy, in my homeroom class, had this book, and I could tell it was, like, not like other books. It was It had this blue cover, and these swoopy gold letters, and it was Halfway to Heaven by Susan Wiggs, which is a historical. That awakened something within me. And I was like, wow, what am I feeling? What am I experiencing? And so I read the sequel. There's a sequel with the sister. And that was I was like, this is a complete set. I can sense it's not a safe place for me to continue down this road, because it'll awaken something within me that I am not ready to examine. And so I carried on with fan fiction for many years. And then in the year 2016, I was looking for escapism in literature for some reason and I remembered that feeling across time.

Jason Blitman:

Something that is addressed in your book is that it is not having that awkward teen phase. And Helen complains to Grant that he didn't have that awkward teen phase that forced him to develop a rich interior life to compensate.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes,

Jason Blitman:

Feel like this is what you're describing, that you did have that rich interior life.

Yulin Kuang:

I sure did. I didn't have a lot going on in my exterior life, guys. I had piano lessons on Fridays at 7 p. m. every day of middle school through high school, and I think it's because My, my parents were like if we let her out into the world she'll I don't know, get into trouble. And so instead I was raised like a quaint Victorian child and just sat in my room thinking about the things I would do if I could only do them.

Jason Blitman:

And now you have this weird closet of dresses.

Yulin Kuang:

Yeah, strange. And journals, so

Brett Benner:

'cause you're a big, you were a big journalist and you still journal, correct

Yulin Kuang:

I do. I like to write down all my thoughts so that they don't all end up on the page.

Jason Blitman:

Do you have a in case of death game plan for them?

Yulin Kuang:

I don't know, roll the dice. I won't be around. Publish them if you want, my, my sister, I have a much younger sister. She's 14 years younger. She and I did this weird bonding thing last summer where she came to visit. We were, we didn't set out to do this. We, I was going to like, take her around LA. But then I fell ill with COVID. And so we read through all of my middle school and high school diaries. she wanted to know what it was like when she was first born, which was when I was 14. And I was, I was like deeply resentful of her birth. And so I was like it's been over 10 years since all of this happened. I obviously don't feel this way anymore. So yeah, why don't we take a look back roll back the time machine and see what that, what the Kwang household was like when you first came into the world. And

Brett Benner:

And the hormones raging at the time

Yulin Kuang:

the hormones raging. She got very into like certain love triangles of like very nerdy circles of my seventh grade class. And it was like a really, it was probably one of the more meaningful things I've done in my life. Bizarrely. We've called it the great catch up because it was this first time where. It was like she was my teenage sister was reading my teenage words and usually when you have that big age gap, you can't close it because you're never at the same stage of life at the same time. But because we had these diaries, it was, I felt like much closer to her at the end of it. And it was very strange.

Jason Blitman:

And she was able to then experience that through you.

Yulin Kuang:

and also like connect on a level of Oh, our parents, this is how our parents changed. And this is how they stayed the same when they were raising her. And so it was an interesting, I don't know, should be studied in child psychology.

Brett Benner:

Her perception and your perception of how things were. That's crazy. That's really great.

Jason Blitman:

I love that. I know I was very much an indoor kid when I was

Yulin Kuang:

Yeah I call it being an inside girl. I was an inside Girl. We, at a certain point, when all the kids are playing outside and then you go inside and you just don't come out again. Is that what you mean when you say you were an indoor kid?

Jason Blitman:

Oh yeah. And also just I literally, I would, write plays and watch movies and

Yulin Kuang:

what were your plays about?

Jason Blitman:

I, there was an adaptation of Snow White, there was this nice Jewish boy wrote an adaptation of A Christmas Carol. But the one that I'm kicking myself about is I started writing this thing that I called Wheels with a Z at the end. it was like my take on Starlight Express where everyone was going to be on rollerblades. the idea was it's the wheels inside your head and it was an early version of what would be inside out. And I was like, if I actually created this,

Yulin Kuang:

million, multi million dollar idea. Okay, what I'm curious about, because I too did a Christmas carol adaptation in my fan fiction days, and that was as a kid who we were in Wichita, Kansas for five years, so there was an evangelical bent for a while, and then we moved to New Jersey, and my parents put me in Catholic school for a year, which was an inoculation. It was like, never mind about all of that, just overdose on religion and maybe you

Brett Benner:

Good God.

Yulin Kuang:

But, from that, I also found a Christmas carol, so I'm very curious, what drew you to that story, Jason?

Jason Blitman:

I think I had seen other theatrical adaptations of it and I was also aware of the concept of public domain and so

Yulin Kuang:

So savvy!

Jason Blitman:

yeah that's why it was like, okay, I could do a fairy tale. I could do a Christmas Carol, and I think it was that simple. I don't know if I liked the idea of like transformation and just like changing for the better and Under learning empathy. Maybe that's like a big theme in my life is I appreciate people who can put themselves in other people's shoes and then change for the better. Maybe.

Yulin Kuang:

that's nice. Mine was James Potter from, it was Marauder's Era fanfic, and it was, he had become like, jaded and cynical and for some reason that was really my id. I was like show me a jaded cynical man And let's take him on a journey Which is not the hero in how to end a love story like at all I would not say he is jaded and cynical but maybe I should write a jaded and cynical man for another book

Brett Benner:

And what softens him? That completely is it. Who's that special woman that, is the

Yulin Kuang:

or three ghosts

Jason Blitman:

or three ghosts,

Brett Benner:

Yes,

Jason Blitman:

three ghosts of women pastor, men pastor, whatever.

Yulin Kuang:

Exactly.

Jason Blitman:

It's also funny just thinking about like the past and the way that Grant was the sort of ideal person to Helen when she was. in high school. Looking back on my high school experience, most people that were that, that were the prom king or homecoming king or whatever, that was where they peaked.

Brett Benner:

Yeah,

Jason Blitman:

And I'm grateful to have not felt that, even though I was jealous of them when I was a kid.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes.

Jason Blitman:

I'm sort of Glad that wasn't me then.

Brett Benner:

have you guys now have you ever gone back to a reunion?

Yulin Kuang:

Yes, I did. And I got blackout wasted at my 10 year high school reunion and had to be broken out of the bathroom and then taken to the hospital where I was given Yeah, I was repressing some memories, I

Brett Benner:

you really were

Jason Blitman:

Was this before or after you re read the journals?

Yulin Kuang:

This was before. This was before. This was in the year 2018, and for anybody who was at the Watson Hills High School reunion in New Jersey that year I have many apologies to issue. Jessica, I'm sure I said weird things to you.

Brett Benner:

Wow

Yulin Kuang:

Yeah.

Brett Benner:

See, I always wanted I would never go back because I had a horrible high school experience Like middle and high school was awful for me and I was bullied mercilessly But enough that you always like you remember that person you know what I mean

Yulin Kuang:

Your body remembers you.

Brett Benner:

your body remembers who those people are and what they are and it is You trauma in a lot of ways that I'm like 56 years old and I still remember like Brian O'Korn who traumatized me and like captain of the wrestling team and it was awful all these years later and if I said to you that I have gone down a deep dive on Facebook and looked him up and seeing what he looks like now but it's exactly what you said Jason where there is this little bit of schadenfreude of like y'all peaked and and I feel But I don't know that I could ever go back. I don't know that I literally could stand in a room and, and it's what you create in your mind. It's so big and probably for all those people was nothing. It was just them being dicks

Jason Blitman:

Social media has changed that too, right? I think being able to see these humans.

Yulin Kuang:

Yeah,

Jason Blitman:

way, you don't have to like face it.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes, it fulfills that scratch where you're like okay, that person, I wouldn't trade my life for theirs,

Brett Benner:

Not at all. Not at all. Ah, it

Jason Blitman:

You,

Yulin Kuang:

I wish I could obliterate that memory from like, all of the class of 2008.

Jason Blitman:

But what's interesting is, oh, you mean that memory of you being at the reunion?

Yulin Kuang:

Yeah

Jason Blitman:

Yeah. Though what's interesting is you go on to talk about spinning personal wounds into gold. Yeah. Why do you think that's, why is that like an easier place to start? Or is it your way of dealing with that trauma? Is it your,

Yulin Kuang:

I have to believe all this emotional cutting is worth something. I think, I, yeah I was I feel like I have always examined what I felt like were the ugly things in my brain that I couldn't quite, you know, Or I didn't have the language or I felt like too ashamed to deal with it in regular life. And this goes back to the Lisa Frank fanfiction, right? Those were my ugly feelings about a friendship dynamic that I put into this story. And I think that has always come naturally to me is looking at the things that I feel slight shame about. And then just go opening a vein and what's that going to do?

Jason Blitman:

that said, and related to reunions, Helen's least favorite thing about herself, is that she cares about what other people think.

Yulin Kuang:

Oh, yeah, I do share that with her

Brett Benner:

relatable.

Yulin Kuang:

I abhor how much I care it's terrible Because I would love to be like a real free spirit artist That's like fuck you to the man and like all these things, but i'm like no I really care. I really care about how you perceive me. You can you could hurt me so easy

Jason Blitman:

Yeah, it's funny. I was just telling Brett my birthday is on, is Saturday, and I hate getting the attention. And yet, if people don't wish me a happy birthday, I like, I don't want to say I feel offended, but I also feel like, unworthy of the

Yulin Kuang:

Absolutely

Jason Blitman:

Even though I really don't want it.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes, my birthday is on Friday, so we're one after

Brett Benner:

Look at that.

Yulin Kuang:

is this an Aries thing? I don't know

Jason Blitman:

maybe.

Brett Benner:

No, I feel the exact same

Jason Blitman:

Let's say it's an Aries thing.

Yulin Kuang:

Yeah.

Brett Benner:

it's also a sag thing. You guys, it's also a sag thing.

Jason Blitman:

that's great. You could be included too.

Yulin Kuang:

Yeah. I go by Enneagrams and because I find them useful when I'm constructing a character to give them an Enneagram because that one is a personality typing thing that tells you what they're like when they're healthy and what they're like when they're unhealthy. And I find that helpful during a three act structure to be like, okay, what are you like at your most toxic and that's what you'll be like in act three. And that's fun. So I gave Helen my Enneagram type, which is Enneagram three, the Achiever, who cares deeply about how others perceive.

Jason Blitman:

That's interesting. Do you think that's something we can grow out of? Or that's just who we are?

Yulin Kuang:

I think you can. I think first of all personality typing is bullshit and you, your people are complex. But we also love to categorize. And you show me any quiz and I'm like, yes, which one am I? And so it's yeah I do know people who have changed their Enneagram types over the years because I keep this notes app on my phone of like my friend's Enneagram types. So that if I. Choose a certain type of Enneagram for a character. I can look at my little notes app and be like, okay, which friends am I? How would this friend react in the world? But I have some friends who were like, before this traumatic thing happened to me, I was a eight. And then after this thing happened, I became a one. And I'm like, that's so interesting. Trauma changes you.

Jason Blitman:

Yeah. No, I

Yulin Kuang:

But maybe growth does too.

Jason Blitman:

Sure. No, I think a lot. There are. I think that the idea of just like outside forces, whether it's trauma or growth or just change in general, what that means and how we then respond to it.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes.

Jason Blitman:

Fascinating. We should all do our

Yulin Kuang:

Oh my god, I would love to know what you guys

Jason Blitman:

Enneagrams. Let's do it. We'll do it. And

Brett Benner:

I think we'll do it cause

Jason Blitman:

when we air this episode, we'll talk about it.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes. It is the longest quiz. It is the longest personality quiz in the world and it's questions of the Yeah. It's different from the attachment styles quiz which was more like, how's your relationship with your mom? And I was like, like laughs for five minutes. But I found it

Jason Blitman:

journal number 17.

Brett Benner:

Know, but speaking of that, I love that element of the book that you had this relationship that you, that she had this relationship with her parents. Talk a little bit about that because that is such a great, with both of them, but especially with her mother, which, she refers to as a prickly complicated love.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes. Yes, it is. It's a

Brett Benner:

You obviously can relate.

Yulin Kuang:

To tell a story that felt emotionally true. And I think this was maybe coming off of a reaction. I was extremely online in the 2010s. And so I was on Tumblr absorbing a lot of conversations about good representation and at the time, it felt like a lot of it was around the idea. We want to move away from stereotypes, Asians get so much model minority rap and that's actually a bad thing. It's a trap and it is a trap. But the answer became oh, we have to show people who are flunking and like stoner Asians and Asians with good relationships with their parents. And I was like, okay. I'm trying to write this and I, none of those movies got made But so I wrote this book because I was like what story would I tell if I didn't have to convince anybody to let me tell it first?'cause maybe nobody will ever see it. So the stakes are like me, what will please me? And I was like I. I am a mentally ill, high achieving Asian, so let's just turn that lens inward a little bit and see how we got here, you

Jason Blitman:

like, I took the quiz about it. It's official.

Yulin Kuang:

It's real. Yeah.

Brett Benner:

can give you facts and numbers.

Yulin Kuang:

exactly. And so I was like what does that actually look like? Because I think I, I just wanted to explore what that was, what made me the way I am, and then maybe push it a little bit even more in a more toxic direction. And this is what came out.

Brett Benner:

Oddly, I don't think it it reads as toxic as you might think it is. Like I, I think it's I, certainly it's toxic, but I think it's relatable. I don't think, yeah, I don't think it's as far as you think it is. Whatever

Jason Blitman:

think it like, it's complex.

Brett Benner:

Yes. Yes.

Jason Blitman:

So much of the book is but also this like meditation on adolescence and what we go through when we're young and our parents and, peer pressure. And there's so much I couldn't believe how much I related to so much of what Helen was saying about her childhood or her, coming of age time. I was like, I give into peer pressure still too. Like it's a thing.

Yulin Kuang:

It is. It's powerful.

Brett Benner:

And what I loved, what I really, and I said this to Jason early on, cause he knows I'm not a rom com person generally, although I love watching them. I love a rom com movie, especially like the older stuff. But I have to say what I loved about this for me is because you were handling all these different things and it wasn't, there is a central love story of course and like the will there won't be and what's set up, but it is because of all these other things. It was the relationship with her family. It was the fact that you launched this thing with a horrible Incident that takes place that made it much more complex so that is what I really appreciated about it That's why like I it works and I will say that to people who may not normally gravitate towards a romance or a rom com that this is something that I think they could

Yulin Kuang:

Thank you. Thank you so much.

Jason Blitman:

very much on brand for me. And so when I heard from Brett that he was loving it, I was like, yes, that means it's really good.

Yulin Kuang:

That makes me so happy because I really did want to please both audiences here a little bit where I I think there are just people who love romance, right? And I think that's the bucket that I fall in. But I think that sometimes Hollywood can flatten the curve. The term rom com into just like kissing and jokes. And so that's when you get those kind of like low stakes Oh no, we're stuck in a bake off or something like that. And those movies should exist, like I don't think everything should be like heavy and awful all the time. But I do think, you talk about sleepless in Seattle. That's a movie that begins with great suffering. This is a kid calling in to a radio station to be like, my dad needs a new wife because he's really sad. And. I think that the best romances can take you on that emotional journey from like these depths of sadness and end in a place that's hopeful and I'm, I don't know I really feel strongly that is what romance should be.

Jason Blitman:

and I will say, listen, the cover is adorable. It's beautiful, but there I've interviewed a cover designer before, and she's talked a lot about how it's part of her job is getting it on a shelf next to books that will inspire people to pick up that book too. and I look forward to people who wouldn't usually pick this up on the shelf, pick it up because everyone's. And you should pick it up anyway.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes, we had a quite a journey with this cover. I will say we had a different cover that was like approved and made it to apparently some galleys, like somebody tagged me on Instagram. It was, let me see if I can, I don't know, is this okay for me to show you?

Jason Blitman:

Sure. I don't know.

Yulin Kuang:

it's

Brett Benner:

it's only us.

Jason Blitman:

tell us.

Yulin Kuang:

So it was like, So this was the original cover. It was more of a, I would describe it as like a Rebecca Searle painterly cover, where it's Los Angeles, hillside, Silver Lake Hills, and then there was like blue and pink clouds and it was very kind of simple and minimalist. There were no people on this cover. And I really loved this cover, and so did

Brett Benner:

I gotta be honest. I

Yulin Kuang:

my editor. Yeah, I loved it too. My editor loved it. My agent loved it. I loved it. And then sales said no. Sales said that you couldn't really tell what the book was about. And they were right. They were right. Like you, you look at that cover and you go, okay, I think it, maybe it's set in a place with palm trees and houses. And it, makes me sad, but also I understand. And that's the tension. I call it the Elphaba Glinda tension, where at my core, I want to be a green witch who's I'm in it for the art. And then somebody has to be like, I will make you popular. And that's how we ended up with the very pink cover

Jason Blitman:

I can't believe we just got

Brett Benner:

for gaze reading. Oh my God. You're so unreal. Shout out. God, we should have a sing along.

Jason Blitman:

you're like,

Yulin Kuang:

Oh, I would

Jason Blitman:

to. defy gravity.

Brett Benner:

Yes. Yes.

Jason Blitman:

yet, no good deed goes unpunished.

Brett Benner:

But something has changed within you. Something in your anagram.

Jason Blitman:

Oh, that's so interesting. What good insight scoop. Okay, you, in talking about rom coms, you just gave an example of getting stuck in a bake off?

Yulin Kuang:

Yes,

Jason Blitman:

There is something that I could have brought up at the beginning, and we probably could have talked about this for an entire hour. Something that is mentioned in the book is Grant has very specific feelings about watching Bake Off, because he says, what is the point if you can't taste the food? And I, first of all, I can relate to that so deeply, because that's why I don't like watching Top Chef.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes.

Jason Blitman:

But Bake Off, it's a lot more about personalities and a vibe.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes.

Jason Blitman:

How do you feel about this?

Yulin Kuang:

I agree with you. I agree with you that it is much more about the personalities and the vibes. However, I don't think Grant developed the rich interior life that you and I did, Jason. He didn't

Jason Blitman:

an outdoor kid.

Yulin Kuang:

it. Yeah. He's an outdoor kid. He didn't download seasons upon of Bake Off and watch them all. No, he was out there

Brett Benner:

Catching a ball.

Yulin Kuang:

real world. Catching a ball. Yeah.

Brett Benner:

Running

Yulin Kuang:

Drinking beers.

Jason Blitman:

I have said, I wish there's a I wish there was the Top Chef restaurant where you can taste dishes that were, like, made famous on

Brett Benner:

They do it. They do it in LA. It's a whole thing. They did it last year for when

Jason Blitman:

Yulina and I are going.

Yulin Kuang:

Yeah, let's go!

Brett Benner:

your consideration, Netflix did this whole thing where they had 10 of the chefs and you would go to, it was like a Netflix restaurant with all the chefs preparing their, their different dishes. I don't, maybe they'll do it again this year. Cause it was done around for your consideration that they set up this thing.

Jason Blitman:

Yeah, but that's very exclusive.

Yulin Kuang:

That is very exclusive, but, Grant probably has access to those things,

Jason Blitman:

not talking about Grant. I'm talking about

Yulin Kuang:

I know, yes, I know, you and me, we could probably, I

Brett Benner:

You could drive up. It's just for medical

Yulin Kuang:

the three of us, we

Brett Benner:

You just made a, I went on, I actually looked it up. Like you went to the website, made a reservation. It was like going to open table. And so yeah. Maybe they'll do it

Yulin Kuang:

think we could. We could wrangle an invite between the three of

Jason Blitman:

Yeah.

Brett Benner:

But you would think they would even, they could do that as a rotating, they could do that all year round. It

Jason Blitman:

Yes. This is what I'm saying. People would

Yulin Kuang:

they ought, we would. But isn't the premise of Top Chef like they'll get their own restaurant?

Brett Benner:

And most of them do so many of them are

Yulin Kuang:

busy?

Jason Blitman:

I know. But It should be someone essentially doing like a, not a knockoff cause that's not, but using the recipe and just cook and making it right. It's not like

Yulin Kuang:

I feel like you could maybe get all the losers of Top Chef together, because the

Jason Blitman:

just almost took a

Brett Benner:

I know you did. And by the way, I don't know that's a draw for people. Come taste the loser's

Jason Blitman:

Well, no, it's like the top five or

Yulin Kuang:

would go, I would

Jason Blitman:

no, I would go to, it's still better than my cooking.

Yulin Kuang:

the winner's got their own restaurant,

Brett Benner:

you'd call it. Yeah. You'd

Yulin Kuang:

why they're not available.

Brett Benner:

And you'd call it runners up

Jason Blitman:

Or not Top Chef.

Brett Benner:

because the runners who take the food out. So it all is like playing on words.

Yulin Kuang:

I feel something in my body when you say the runner's up. Like, when I feel like going into that restaurant would make me feel not good about myself.

Jason Blitman:

To close the loop on Bake Off slash you making a wicked reference, I just want you to know that there is a Great British Bake Off musical.

Yulin Kuang:

Oh,

Jason Blitman:

started in the Edinburgh Fringe, and there's a cast recording of it on Spotify that you could listen to the songs. It is so cute, and if you're a fan, I think you'll appreciate it. So that's my PSA. It's literally called the Great British Bake Off musical,

Brett Benner:

wow.

Yulin Kuang:

wait, is it is it Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry or is it the crew and who are the hosts?

Jason Blitman:

They are fictional hosts

Yulin Kuang:

Oh, yeah, but are they playing those ones or are they not playing those? Are they like, they've made up totally new ones?

Jason Blitman:

yes, it is a fictionalized version of Paul Hollywood and a fiction, it's like Joe Starstruck,

Yulin Kuang:

Got it. Got it.

Jason Blitman:

right? Something like that. But it's so cute and it's authorized. And so the, like the theme music that you hear, they like set lyrics to it. And anyway, it's adorable. Highly recommend.

Yulin Kuang:

I will be checking that out later today.

Brett Benner:

did they do like waitress when you went and you could buy pies in the theater? They come down with like trolleys during intermission with all these different little pies you could buy, which were like mid, but it did smell amazing.

Jason Blitman:

I appreciate that Brett says mid, because he has teenage children,

Brett Benner:

that's where I get all of my

Yulin Kuang:

All your references?

Brett Benner:

suss. Like my daughter's always saying these things and I'm like, what does that mean? The latest thing is edging. And I was like, wait, does that mean what I think it

Jason Blitman:

Inappropriate!

Brett Benner:

Yes, and I said that too, but it doesn't mean that it just means like it. It, so I, she's what do

Yulin Kuang:

What does it, wait, I

Brett Benner:

edging. And so she's it's so edging. And so I was like, what does that mean? I almost want to call her. And I almost want to call her

Yulin Kuang:

you're being taken for a ride because edging means

Brett Benner:

I know what it means. Yes. It

Jason Blitman:

I'm looking it

Brett Benner:

would

Jason Blitman:

on Urban Dictionary

Brett Benner:

It would pertain to how to end a love story. Some of these scenes,

Yulin Kuang:

That is true. Emily Henry told me that my book was edging as the book and that was, I didn't need another blurb after that.

Brett Benner:

wait, let's get into that for one second. Cause I got to move off this with my daughter because it's awkward. And to wait to just say, so how did the Emily, how did that come into your realm? All of this with Emily, Henry, how did that all happen? I

Yulin Kuang:

Her books were sent to me for consideration. So it was we were match made by our respective industries, where it was this person and this person, we think you guys would do well together. And I know there were other people up for those jobs as well. So they lobbed her manuscripts into the The email inboxes of several screenwriters and I was 1 of the ones that said yes. And then luckily she said yes to me back. That mutual selection process worked out and then we sold people we meet on vacation 1st and I adapted that 1. Just as a screenwriter we got Brett Haley attached to direct it. And then they came back to me and they said, do you want to do a do you want to do beach read, but also as the filmmaker? And I was like, yes. well, Actually I said, I wanted to do it as only if I could also direct it. And luckily they said yes. And yes, so that is how that came to be.

Jason Blitman:

How fun. So I'm obsessed that what you described is basically like dating. You said yes and then she said yes and then you fell in love and lived happily ever after. Which leads me to we have to talk about dating because there is something that happens in the book. How much do I want to give away? We're spoiler free. This is not a spoiler, but let's just say someone gets asked on a first date by using a Google form.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes.

Jason Blitman:

And I don't want to give away more than that, but are there unique ways that you were asked out on the day or that something

Yulin Kuang:

so nice that you think people asked me out on dates.

Jason Blitman:

married now? So something had to, there was a, you have to

Yulin Kuang:

did happen. The piano tuners have arrived. I just wanna tell you in case you hear piano keys happening in the

Jason Blitman:

that was the beginning of your story.

Brett Benner:

I did

Jason Blitman:

piano tuners have arrived now he's my husband.

Yulin Kuang:

My husband and I met in college. He was studying art and I was studying creative writing and international relations and politics because for a brief moment in time, I thought that I wanted to become a White House press correspondent because I had watched so much of the West Wing and also Gilmore Girls. But that was not the case. So I, I kept writing all these screenplays and handing them off to other people to direct and then they kept fucking it up. So I was like, I'm going to do it. And so I stayed over spring break to shoot this short film that was about my breakup. I had recently gone through a breakup and my cinematographer was a girl from the local film school Point Park, but she became an RA. And so she was no longer available. So I got off the phone with her, and I cried, and then I walked into the hallway, and in my memory, Zach is wearing a camera around his neck. Unbeknownst to me, at that point in time, he had also been dumped by his girlfriend, and his girlfriend His friends and his ex girlfriend were all in Florida on spring break, and he had stayed behind, not going to that trip anyway. I was like, Zach, you know how to use a camera. And he said, yes, I do. And I said, will you shoot this short film for me? And he said, yes. And then he started sending me these very funny pictures. highbrow obscure references for my little short film. So he was like, have you seen La Jetée? And I was like, no, I haven't seen La Jetée. It's a photo roman. And I was like, what does that even mean? And he, and I watched it and I was like, wow, this is so deep. This is I like a bunch of film nerds flirt. And he was like, Oh, you should really watch the Royal Tenenbaums. And I was like, what's that? He introduced me to my first Wes Anderson proper, I think. And so I was really impressed with him. God, I'm so easy. Just show her some French New Wave and a Wes Anderson film and she's just there. She's ready.

Jason Blitman:

no, but I'm sorry. I asked you about like creative ways of that romance spark. I guess I didn't quite say it that succinctly, but you have that. How dare you don't take that away from yourself.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes, you're right. I do have that. That was my dating. That was my dating. And then we broke up. We we broke up for basically my senior year, he was a year older than me. He was I'm gonna stay behind, not for you, but I'm gonna be in Pittsburgh. Cause he was from Pittsburgh as well. And I was like I'm going to move to New York. And he was like, I'm going to move to New York. And then I was like, actually, I'm going to move to LA. He was like, I'll move to LA too. And I was like, this is too much pressure. So I imploded it. And then we moved out to LA. And then we had these friends who were like, do you want to live with us? And they didn't know Zach and I had previously dated. So we both looked at each other and played this game of chicken, where we were like, I'm not going to not live here because of you. So we moved into the same apartment. And we were like sharing a wall while we were broken up. And I was dating somebody long distance as well. It was a whole, that was a whole saga. But then we got back together.

Jason Blitman:

This novel sitting in your drawer somewhere, right?

Yulin Kuang:

Somewhere. I'm waiting. I'm waiting. It's a working title. Whenever you're ready. I'm not yet ready. Just tell that one

Jason Blitman:

Oh my God. I know. Seriously. It's they say, write what you know, but also you're like, wait a minute. That's too, I know too much.

Yulin Kuang:

We gotta save some things. Do I want to see Goodreads reviewers telling me that my love declaration is stilted and awkward? We've gotta save some things for reality

Jason Blitman:

It's funny you saying stilted and awkward and like thinking of the Google form and a small romantic gesture to get someone to go on a date with you. It was what March, 2017 when they said like the world, the Mayan calendar was gonna end and the world was gonna end. It was something Oh, not 2017. No, it was like 2012, something like that.

Yulin Kuang:

Oh, yeah.

Jason Blitman:

It was before I met my husband and I met him in 2014. So it was before that.

Brett Benner:

Known true love. I'm going to die.

Jason Blitman:

So I sent an email to a friend who I was we were like hanging out a lot and going to dinners and doing activities. We were basically going on dates. And I sent an email that was like, if the world is actually going to end, I don't want to not ask you out on a date. So can we

Brett Benner:

god, that's so sweet.

Jason Blitman:

How stupid.

Brett Benner:

That's so

Yulin Kuang:

so great! The stakes are super high, too! That's a good movie!

Brett Benner:

That is. You had me at hello. Yeah. Oh my god, that's so sweet.

Jason Blitman:

I know. And then it like didn't, it was a bad, it was a bad experience. It was like, it should not have crossed that line. And that was. He said yes, But then I was just like, oh wait, this was a mistake and now that it was a bad thing

Yulin Kuang:

So it didn't

Brett Benner:

were like, let it all end now.

Jason Blitman:

I know

Brett Benner:

Bring on

Jason Blitman:

but then I met my husband. I was sitting next to him on a plane and That's how we met. So I was like, okay, I got my Meet cute that I wanted when I'm never gonna find a better meet cute. So I had

Yulin Kuang:

that's very Nora Ephron approved,

Jason Blitman:

Oh my God, so Nora Ephron. When we got back to New York and it was winter and we were in our winter coats and meeting up for the first time again on Houston and Lafayette was like, that was like the peak Nora Ephron moment. So I, it's anyway.

Yulin Kuang:

beautiful. I love that. A

Jason Blitman:

Do you have a favorite? Whether it's Nora Ephron or like a favorite rom com?

Yulin Kuang:

favorite rom coms. I have a lot. I try to, I try not to anchor too much to the nineties rom coms just because everybody loves them so much. And I agree. But I think it's a, If we keep trying to make them over and over again, the art form will never push forward. And the thing I always try to remember is that film is possibly one of the newest art forms that exists. It's like less than a hundred years old. And so we can't possibly have exhausted all that the rom com is capable of in the nineties. However favorite romances. Okay. There's a 1920s silent film called Sunrise that is a very bizarre premise. And it won like an Oscar for artistic excellence back in the twenties. So that's if we're looking at the very beginning. And then one of my favorites that is more recent. There's one. I think it's called at my French is horrible. A whore to pre I want to say it's like Audrey Teto. It's a French film. She plays a gold digger. Who is like up at this hotel. She's with a much older man and then on her birthday, that guy like falls asleep. And so she's like, okay, I'll seduce a young, hot millionaire. And she does. But it turns out that guy's actually the barman. And then her kind of Sugar Daddy is he breaks their engagement because he's found out that she's cheated on him, so then she she tries to run off with the barman, but then she finds out he's got not a cent to his name, and then that man becomes Like a kept man to an older woman at the hotel so that he can keep up with Audrey as she's like trying to find her next sugar daddy and then It's like this very french kind of sex comedy But also like deep and profound and it's about these two people who are searching for connection And and a sense of stability. I love it. It's I think the english translation is priceless but it's one of my favorite rom coms.

Jason Blitman:

I appreciate that you're giving credit to the non 90s rom coms, because there is more than that. Just for the sake of documenting it, I will say, shout out to You've Got Mail. It is deep, deeply rooted in who I am.

Yulin Kuang:

And okay, here's an underrated 90s romcom that I loved so much that I put it into my fanfiction profile. It was Runaway Bride, and it was not, it doesn't exactly hold up. I don't know that it exactly holds up. But Richard Gere is so charming

Brett Benner:

He's, oh my God.

Yulin Kuang:

He is so good and like his chemistry with Julia Roberts, obviously phenomenal. We've already talked about Pretty Woman. This is their lesser known sequel, not sequel, but like reteaming, right? There's this part where he like rolls out from under a car and he's his heart man is great. He has a cat named Italics. And I was convinced for so long that when I got a cat, I would name it Italics. Instead, I named my cat Pretty Woman. Eloise after Eloise at the Plaza. But, a lot of people on Goodreads think I use too many italics in my book, so it's like an homage to Richard

Jason Blitman:

That's so Funny. For me, my underrated 90s rom com is Must Love Dogs. I don't know

Yulin Kuang:

I don't know that one.

Jason Blitman:

It's Diane Lane and John Cusack and Christopher Plummer and and Stalker Channing. And it's so random, but I love it. And

Yulin Kuang:

Christopher Plummer in a romantic storyline?

Jason Blitman:

Yes. He's not the lead, but he does have a romantic secondary plot. It's probably terrible. It probably, it's like a 20 percent on

Brett Benner:

Yeah. I would be interested to see what you think of it now. Like just with life, what

Jason Blitman:

It's just like a, it's like a, it's sweet. It's something to have on, while you're doing the dishes, like that

Yulin Kuang:

Yeah,

Jason Blitman:

But you've inspired me to reach out and broaden my horizons of

Brett Benner:

see I loved all those working title films, like Four Weddings and a Funeral, like Notting Hill I was obsessed with

Yulin Kuang:

is so good.

Brett Benner:

And then of course Jerry Maguire, just because, that whole thing Bald Like a Baby, just, I'm just a girl, oh that was Julie Roberts, that's Notting Hill when she says I'm just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love me,

Yulin Kuang:

No, but Jerry Maguire has one of the best me cutes because they're like an insta family where they're, it's like Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger and they're holding the kid's hands and he's linked to them and he's looking up at them and it's so cute. It's great.

Jason Blitman:

I just want to say also shouting out to OG playwrights who then had their plays adapted into movies like Cactus Flower and Barefoot in the Park. They're great, fantastic

Yulin Kuang:

in the Park.

Jason Blitman:

They're great rom coms, they're great plays, and Cactusflower, if you've never seen Cactusflower, it's so good. It's Goldie Hawn's debut. Fantastic. Highly recommend. And again, it's just like these that

Brett Benner:

butterflies are free. That was another one with Goldie on, do you know butterflies

Yulin Kuang:

heard of that one either.

Brett Benner:

Where she plays this flighty girl and she meets this guy who lives on another floor who's Paul, who's very uptight.

Jason Blitman:

Also a play.

Brett Benner:

Yes.

Yulin Kuang:

I love that. I love a play. I need to see more plays.

Jason Blitman:

So we've been talking ad nauseum about our favorite rom coms and something that comes up in the book is the concept of living out someone else's rom com. And how do you think one can stay the main character of their own story?

Yulin Kuang:

I feel like I feel like that's such a theme even in rom coms, right? To feel like you're not the main character, you're the side character. So sometimes I wonder if people who are like, I just don't feel like I'm the main character of my own life. Are you even on a, are you on a different level? Like you're like, I'm so like the main character that I'm I've lost myself in the performance. I but in terms of all that, I think it's just a matter of knowing what you want and going for it, right? That's what a protagonist does, I think. I love writing about like obsessive, hungry, ambitious women, probably cause that's who I am. And I think that it's harder to get stuck with those characters because they know what they want. And if they feel stuck for some reason they'll find a way out. And I think that can be inspiring, don't take it too far. Don't accidentally land in a psychological horror, but but having a healthy dose of self determination,

Jason Blitman:

I've never really thought about it like that, but the idea of knowing what you want and going for it when I was living in New York, I had so many people who were like, Oh, I wish I could do it. I'm jealous of you. And I would always be like, Girl, move! I understand that life is hard, but if that's a dream of yours, do it! And I think suddenly it's it's easier to feel like you, you can have main character energy when you are being bold and making those choices. And if you're not, you're like watching life happen around you. And maybe you are in turn not feeling like a main character. Grant talks towards the end of the book, again not a spoiler, just this is who he is as a character that he's had the kind of career that if his 22 year old self went to his IMDb page, he would, he could drop dead tomorrow knowing that he's achieved life ambitions. I have one tattoo and I got it when I left college. And the point of me getting it was to never forget where I came from and never forget what sort of those initial dreams were. And I always reflect back and just think have I hit those milestones and yes, continue to grow and continue to aspire for greatness, but don't forget that like you did it, you know, and I think we all can have a little refresher of that.

Yulin Kuang:

Yes. Remember, look how far you've come.

Jason Blitman:

Yeah, in general. We're very excited for you, Youleen.

Brett Benner:

It's

Yulin Kuang:

Thank you.

Jason Blitman:

Youleen Youleen. You're getting that so much lately, I'm sure, I'm sorry.

Yulin Kuang:

No I, I mean, it introduced me to Dolly at an earlier age. The fact that people would sing that.

Jason Blitman:

Look at me, being so on the nose. Embarrassing.

Yulin Kuang:

good. I like it.

Jason Blitman:

Congratulations on the book and all of the things that are happening in your world. I hope that your 22 year old self

Yulin Kuang:

She would be thrilled to see where I am now. And she would also probably write like the Christmas Carol fanfic where I'm jaded and cynical now. And I need people to pull me back to myself.

Jason Blitman:

I can't wait to read your adaptation. Amazing. And this has been such a

Brett Benner:

Lovely. It's

Jason Blitman:

Happy birthday!

Yulin Kuang:

Thank you. Happy birthday to you.

Jason Blitman:

Thank you.

Brett Benner:

You Aries kids.

Jason Blitman:

thank you for being here. A few

Brett Benner:

rollercoaster of a conversation.

Jason Blitman:

rollercoaster a few things to say. Thing one, not that we're, not that we do like fact checking on this show, but I just was curious to look, and Must Love Dogs has 37 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. I said 20%. It's a little bit better than I thought. It's still very charming, and I still agree that it's a good movie to have on when you're like, washing the dishes or folding laundry. It's very sweet. I also, Think we can post a photo of the book cover that Yulin shared with us on our Instagram page. So go look at that. And we also talk about enneagrams. And Brett and I have since taken the enneagram tests. And I I am Enneagram Type 3, the Achiever, the same as Yulin. There's a lot of information out there about it, but the one sentence is, Focused on the presentation of success to attain validation.

Brett Benner:

you think it's accurate?

Jason Blitman:

Terrific. Yeah, maybe. Do you want to share yours?

Brett Benner:

Yeah. Yeah. I am Enneagram number nine, the adaptive peacemaker. it says they're motivated by a need to be settled and in harmony with the world. Yeah. You

Jason Blitman:

Do you think that's accurate?

Brett Benner:

know what? I think some of it's very accurate. And there were other parts where I was like, clearly I didn't answer some questions probably correctly. There were different parts of it that I was like, Oh, that makes sense to me. That makes sense to me. That makes sense to me. So

Jason Blitman:

Yeah.

Brett Benner:

it's really fascinating.

Jason Blitman:

something else that was cut from the episode is Euline talked about even more rom coms that she loves so much. There's a little Easter egg at the end of the episode. So if you want to hear that, stick around. But otherwise see you next week.

Brett Benner:

See you next week.

Jason Blitman:

Have a great rest of your day. Bye.

Yulin Kuang:

Okay, I have one more. I have one more. It's a period, it's a period film, so it's not really a rom com, but, it's called Far From the Madding Crowd, and it's,

Brett Benner:

Thomas.

Yulin Kuang:

a Thomas Hardy, it's a Thomas Hardy novel, it has Matthias Konertz, who I love, he, that man knows how to look at someone, okay, he's also in Rust and Bone, which is

Brett Benner:

and he's in something else right now that, oh my God, what is it that he's?

Yulin Kuang:

Matthias.

Brett Benner:

Yeah, I gotta look up. He is hot. I gotta look it up.

Yulin Kuang:

really good at the smolder. He's good. but that has one of my all time favorite. So like the premise of Far From the Madden crowd is he's a farmer and she's this kind of haughty girl and he proposes to her and she's you couldn't handle me. And he's I disagree, but agree to disagree. And he's I have, I have prospects, but then his prospects all fall apart because one of his overeager sheepdogs is. Drives his entire flock of sheep over a cliff and so he is like he's invested in these sheep and so now he has nothing anyway Years past she inherits like some aunt's property But there's a fire on her property and he's just passing through but he helps save the property from a fire And then he shows up and he's wow, how our fortunes have changed. You're rich. I'm poor and then he's like I sure could use a job and she's like, why don't you like You And so he does that, and he's watching her get wooed by every man in the county. And it's awful for him, but he's just there, And she like, fully marries another guy. and on the night of their wedding, there's a terrible storm. And her husband is drunk. So she goes out there to secure the tarps on the bottom the bales of hay before the lightning strikes them. And Mattia Skonerts is also out there, securing the tarps. And at one point, they're on top of a bale of hay, They're both pulling the tarps and there's so much sexual tension. And then at some point she's like trying to drive him away and they're wet. And, but then it gets to be too much. And he's I have to leave. And she's no, why would you ever leave me? And he's I would never leave you if you asked me to stay. And so she like asked him to stay. Oh God, I'm just thinking about it. And I don't know, her husband dies. There's like a whole thing. And then

Jason Blitman:

I'm so excited to watch

Brett Benner:

I know

Yulin Kuang:

the ending kiss is one of my favorite kisses because movie kisses because I think they capture it in one shot, which is always nice because then you get that feeling of like in 24 frames per second. I'm living it rather than like it going too cutty. it's a good one guys. It's a good far from the madding crowd.