Ben Baur (Jace) with director JT Tepnapa
Lately the producers of the Something Like Summer
movie have been doing cool stuff with Jace’s love for fortune cookies, but if it’s been a while since you’ve read the book, you might be a little confused. What’s this all about exactly? Well, it starts the first time Ben visits Jace’s apartment, where he notices “an inordinate number of paper fortunes lying around, implying that Jace liked Chinese takeout.” Somebody needs a maid! Once they get settled in the living room, the topic is broached:
Ben set his glass on the coffee table, pushing paper fortunes out of the way to do so.
“You sure like Chinese food!”
“Not really.” Jace looked embarrassed. “I just really like fortune cookies. There’s a restaurant down the road that sells me full shipping boxes. I know it sounds insane, but they’re my absolute favorite treat.”
Ben laughed and shook his head. Every time Jace opened his mouth, another eccentricity was revealed. Maybe it was this strangeness that scared potential boyfriends away. After all, Jace was attractive, intelligent, and funny. And he had a steady job. What else could anyone want in an eligible bachelor?
What else indeed? Later in the book, Jace takes Ben on his first international trip. Unfortunately, when landing in Rome, they have a brush with a pair of unsavory brothers, almost losing their luggage in the process. Ben’s bravery and a little quick thinking prevent this from happening. His motivation? He didn’t want to lose the surprise he made for Jace and brought along.
Feeling more like himself again, he dug into his own bag and brought out a small cellophane-covered basket. He handed it over to Jace and waited nervously for his reaction.
Jace pulled away the plastic to reveal a basket full of fortune cookies. They were a little misshapen but came in a variety of different colors.
“Wow! These look amazing,” Jace exclaimed. “I love the colors. Look, a blue one! Where did you get them?”
“They’re homemade,” Ben explained. They were a huge pain in the ass to make, but the expression on Jace’s face was worth it.
“No way! What about the fortunes?”
“Check it out.” Ben smiled as Jace broke one open and tossed half into his mouth.
“Mmmm, good. What’s in my future?” He examined the scrawl on the little strip of paper and raised an eyebrow. “A thousand kisses will soon cover your body.” He raised his gaze from the fortune to look at Ben. “Let’s see if we can make this one come true.”
The scene ends there, which seems a shame, but I have it on good authority that they spent many nights fulfilling this prophecy. Fortune cookies are briefly referenced twice more in Summer, and of course it would be impossible for them not to get a mention in Autumn, which tells Jace’s life story. He’s out having dinner with his sister Michelle and his best friend Greg as this scene takes place:
When the waitress brought their bill, three fortune cookies rested on the plastic tray. Without having to ask, all three were shoved in Jace’s direction. He felt a surge of affection for them both.
“You don’t have to give them to me.”
“Everyone knows what a whore you are for them,” Michelle said with a grin. “Just don’t forget to give us our fortunes.”
Jace felt a little embarrassed, sitting there and eating all three cookies while they watched, but damn if he didn’t love how they tasted! Why were people always going on about chocolate chip cookies or whatever when they could be eating something so wonderfully crisp? Mixing up the three fortunes, he passed them out randomly.
Michelle read hers first. “‘Ignorance is the greatest cause of arrogance, and knowledge the best cure for both.’” She thought about this for a moment. “Well fuck you, fortune cookie!”
Greg laughed and then read his. “‘One doesn’t need to travel to find love, not if one is already home.’”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jace asked.
Greg’s cheeks looked a little flushed. “I guess I’m staying in Warrensburg. What else could it mean?”
Jace eyed him, shook his head, and turned his attention to his own fortune. “‘Never loose your sense of humor.’”
“Loose?” Michelle asked.
Jace double checked. “Loose.”
“Think that’s intentional?” Greg asked.
Regardless, they all started laughing.
I actually got that last fortune in a cookie when working on Autumn, so it seemed appropriate to include it in the story. I kept the fortune for a long time before it disappeared. I suspect Andreas threw it away without realizing it was THE MOST IMPORTANT TREASURE IN THE WORLD! Ahem. We also learn in Autumn why Jace’s apartment was such a mess, and in Spring, I have Jason mention how he can’t stand fortune cookies as a playful way of distinguishing him from his similarly named predecessor. So as you can see, fortune cookies are a fun part of the Something Like… series. I really like that the movie people have taken this small detail and run with it. Today they just announced the creation of special Something Like Summer themed fortune cookies! The fortunes inside will be customized, so maybe quotes from the book, or cheeky references to events? I don’t actually know! But I’m excited. The only way to get them is through the Indiegogo campaign. The bag of fortune cookies will be autographed by Ben Baur, who is playing Jace in the movie. You’ll get a digital photo of him doing so, an HD download of the finished movie and the soundtrack to the film, and access to the weekly production diary. Not bad! The campaign is only running for one more week, so hurry up and get your cookie on!