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Old 02-20-2020, 12:09 PM   #1
socalwriter1
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Default Rom-coms per Scriptshadow

Saw the posts below about Scriptshadow and went over to his site. This caught my attention when he wrote that to show a couple falling for each other requires them to overcome some obstacle together rather than just talking about stuff.

I remember "Before Sunrise" was loved by critics and, I think, by audiences also and that was non-stop talking about stuff. There are other rom-coms that had couples falling for each other via "talking."

Which is more right? His obstacle/active techniques or talking to get to know each other technique or both? I always thought it was the later and that's why his comment caught my attention.
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Old 02-20-2020, 12:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rom-coms per Scriptshadow

I don't know Scriptshadow but I will say this - his way is way more 'right' than yours. All the best/memorable romcoms showcase a couple who dislike each other (eg: 10 Things I Hate About You, The Ugly Truth, Romancing the Stone, Groundhog Day She's All That, When Harry Met Sally) or who overcome a massive hurdle, such as one being betrothed to a giant jackass (eg: The Wedding Singer, Runaway Bride, Sixteen Candles, Some Kind of Wonderful, While You Were Sleeping, Working Girl, Hitch, Say Anything) and usually both (eg: The Sure Thing, Arthur, Jerry Maguire, The Proposal and several of the aforementioned films).

'Talky' romcoms are art-house romcoms. And 'Before Sunrise' was a flop. It didn't even break even, cost $2.5 million and only made $500k internationally.

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Old 02-20-2020, 02:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Rom-coms per Scriptshadow

Quote:
Originally Posted by socalwriter1 View Post
Saw the posts below about Scriptshadow and went over to his site. This caught my attention when he wrote that to show a couple falling for each other requires them to overcome some obstacle together rather than just talking about stuff.

I remember "Before Sunrise" was loved by critics and, I think, by audiences also and that was non-stop talking about stuff. There are other rom-coms that had couples falling for each other via "talking."

Which is more right? His obstacle/active techniques or talking to get to know each other technique or both? I always thought it was the later and that's why his comment caught my attention.
In Before Sunrise, there is a huge obstacle to get over -- they live in completely different parts of the world. They're not sure if they'll ever see each other again. They plan to meet up but it fails. (In between the first and second movie.) Then in the second movie she finds him in Paris when he does a book tour for a book her wrote about their night together, and the obstacle is that he's married/has a kid? (Can't remember now.) And the 3rd movie is they're finally together, but his career has taken off, and hers hasn't, because she stayed home to take care of kids, etc. Can their love survive that obstacle?

So, I think your example is a little flawed. There are a bunch of obstacles in those movies. The Before... trilogy didn't do a good box office, but it was enough of a passion project for the three creators that they were able to make three very good movies. Granted, the movies were for a small, specific audience.
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Old 05-28-2020, 02:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rom-coms per Scriptshadow

Every movie should require an obstacle. Or most of them. It's hard to think of ones we know and like that don't. So that advice is right -- but obvious too in a way.

The whole point of the romantic comedy to me is that the obstacle is that the two leads don't know what the audience already figured out in the first two minutes -- that these two should be together.

Of course there are exceptions to any rule and different ways they play with this convention including them not winding up together but in general that's what movies are and for sure what a romantic comedy is.

If it was just them in love and talking that's just romance. The comedy comes from the 90 minutes of will they or won't they end up together???
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Old 05-28-2020, 02:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rom-coms per Scriptshadow

It's "the drawbridge." The thing -- could be an external obstacle, could just be the people themselves -- that keeps them from giving in to each other for 3/4 of the movie. The trick is keeping the drawbridge credibly closed even while one of the dummies is walking around outside the castle yelling at the other dummy inside to open the ****ing drawbridge.

[I would argue that time is the drawbridge in Before Sunset/Before Sunrise. They know they only have a day or a night before they turn into dumb single pumpkins again so even just talking takes on a certain urgency to it]
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rom-coms per Scriptshadow

Great way to put it.

"Time" is the key to the first two "before" movies. 3rd movie -- that's more the post romantic comedy movie. I love the second one the best. I was a huge indie fan and somehow never saw them until a few years ago and even now that I'm married and dead inside -- I still loved them. So they worked for me even thought I wasn't 22 and looking forward in my life.
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rom-coms per Scriptshadow

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Great way to put it.

"Time" is the key to the first two "before" movies. 3rd movie -- that's more the post romantic comedy movie. I love the second one the best. I was a huge indie fan and somehow never saw them until a few years ago and even now that I'm married and dead inside -- I still loved them. So they worked for me even thought I wasn't 22 and looking forward in my life.
2nd one is my favorite also. I've seen it a couple times.
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Old 05-28-2020, 04:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rom-coms per Scriptshadow

Throughout "Before Sunrise", I was really hoping that that couple would need to overcome the obstacle of being mugged and mercilessly beaten, and having their lifeless bodies dumped in the Danube.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rom-coms per Scriptshadow

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Throughout "Before Sunrise", I was really hoping that that couple would need to overcome the obstacle of being mugged and mercilessly beaten, and having their lifeless bodies dumped in the Danube.
I'm writing a very dark romcom titled Dumped In The Danube. It's about a woman who tracks down her fiance's killer, who dumped the body in the Danube, and falls in love with murderer.

Will she suffer the same fate as her ex-fiance?

Coming to theaters near you in 2021.
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Old 05-29-2020, 07:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Rom-coms per Scriptshadow

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I'm writing a very dark romcom titled Dumped In The Danube. It's about a woman who tracks down her fiance's killer, who dumped the body in the Danube, and falls in love with murderer.

Will she suffer the same fate as her ex-fiance?
No, of course our lovely protagonist doesn't suffer the same fate - not when she dumped her "fiance" in the Danube just to stop his incessant bloody talking.

Don't forget to include an erotically-charged scene in which the police drag Ethan Hawke's bloated corpse out of the water and onto the river-side, and it starts to balloon in the midday sun, so that, when Julie Delpy goes to identify his body, his rotten guts explode and shower her in putrid offal.
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