Male lead in romantic drama?

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  • Male lead in romantic drama?

    What are your thoughts on a male protagonist in a romantic drama? In a female dominated market most seem to follow a female protagonist with their love interest being their source of change. Have any films with a male protag having their source of change being their love interest worked well? My protag for this idea im working on is very proactive at making his relationship work with his love interest and eventually overcoming his flaw so i feel it'd work better, but ultimately it is a guys arc (she has an arc and is a huge part, but isnt the protagonist)

  • #2
    Re: Male lead in romantic drama?

    I almost think that's the only way anything romantic can work anymore.

    Write it for a guy and you can get away with all the mushy goo and people will think you're innovative. Look at Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Swingers -- guy who can't get over a breakup. It's hard to pull that off from a female POV without a lot of criticism/backlash.

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    • #3
      Re: Male lead in romantic drama?

      What romcoms have you been watching? Just a few that spring to mind, with male protags:

      Four Weddings & A Funeral, Notting Hill, (let's just say all Hugh Grant films), 500 Days of Summer, Silver Linings Playbook (drama romcom), The 40 Year Old Virgin, There's Something About Mary, Splash.
      @hairingtons

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      • #4
        Re: Male lead in romantic drama?

        Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind / Pretty Woman / Ghost / Ladyhawke
        Know this: I'm a lazy amateur, so trust not a word what I write.
        "The ugly can be beautiful. The pretty, never." ~ Oscar Wilde

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        • #5
          Re: Male lead in romantic drama?

          Crazy Stupid Love (mainly Carell, but also Gosling)
          "I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.-- Peter De Vries

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          • #6
            Re: Male lead in romantic drama?

            I would say plow ahead with the idea. The fact that you haven't (or perceive that you haven't) seen too many movies like it:
            a) Is a fallacy. You'll soon find countless examples (already mentioned in this thread)
            b) Is a plus, in my mind. I'm sure if you feel it is something unusual, you probably have an unusual take - and that's golden.

            I wouldn't go too much into whys and hows of romantic comedies. These kind of sub-genres, in fact, become ossified when you can recognize the tropes. You're enjoying them more as a ritualistic thing than as a genuinely fresh entertainment.

            Take into account that the kernel of the romantic comedy goes back all the way to the 1930s - where it was a 'way-out' to play the romantic drama of late silent movies - that were pretty melodramatic. By way of comparison, take any romantic comedy from the 30s /40s and compare it any comedy from the 50s/60s -- not to generalize BUT you'll find the earlier comedies feel more fresh and sharper than the latter.

            In the movies with romantic male leads that were mentioned, and I would include early Woody Allen as well, the male lead quote-unquote 'acts' like the strong female leads from the 30s comedies, f.i. Likewise, female leads in romantic comedies today quote-unquote 'act' more forcefully and pro-actively than the male leads of romantic comedies ever (not a movie but I'm thinking of 'Crazy Ex Girlfriend')

            The question is whether: a) you're really tapping into a unique male p.o.v. and
            b) to craft your protagonist in such a way that allows him to crystallize the comedy through action. As an example, the Hugh Grant type role shows this by way of verbal diarrhea, Woody Allen protagonists do it through absurdist witticism

            Also, you need to translate it into today's style. Or have a great new take on the old style. The Steve Carell movie, for 2016, I would consider it slightly 'aged' already. I would really look for a style of comedies no older than five years as a guide.

            Then again, all these considerations go out the window if you really have a fresh take.

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            • #7
              Re: Male lead in romantic drama?

              Are we talking romcoms or specifically romantic dramas?

              In regards to romantic dramas exclusively, there's Love Story which, while both characters anchor the movie, still leans towards Ryan Oneal's side of things. A Walk in the Clouds also features Keanu Reeves as the protagonist. There's also Some Kind of Wonderful by John Hughes.

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              • #8
                Re: Male lead in romantic drama?

                Good point. Duh. The title of the thread is romantic drama but we all went to the idea of a romantic comedy. That should tell you something about the male mind.

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                • #9
                  Re: Male lead in romantic drama?

                  How many female lead romantic dramas began as spec scripts instead of novels?

                  Lots of romantic comedies began as specs, but I can't really think of a romantic drama that didn't begin as a novel (or stage play).

                  - Bill
                  Free Script Tips:
                  http://www.scriptsecrets.net

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                  • #10
                    Re: Male lead in romantic drama?

                    Originally posted by martin View Post
                    The title of the thread is romantic drama but we all went to the idea of a romantic comedy.
                    No, not all.
                    Know this: I'm a lazy amateur, so trust not a word what I write.
                    "The ugly can be beautiful. The pretty, never." ~ Oscar Wilde

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                    • #11
                      Re: Male lead in romantic drama?

                      Originally posted by Anthony94 View Post
                      What are your thoughts on a male protagonist in a romantic drama?
                      It worked for me in The Notebook (2004).
                      Last edited by Clint Hill; 09-21-2016, 07:11 AM.
                      "If you're going to have a story, have a big story, or none at all." — Joseph Campbell

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                      • #12
                        Re: Male lead in romantic drama?

                        Originally posted by TigerFang View Post
                        It worked for me in The Notebook (2004).
                        That reminds me ...

                        The Reader (2008)
                        Know this: I'm a lazy amateur, so trust not a word what I write.
                        "The ugly can be beautiful. The pretty, never." ~ Oscar Wilde

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                        • #13
                          Re: Male lead in romantic drama?

                          That's kind of like five of the same thing, isn't it?

                          Originally posted by hairingtons View Post
                          Four Weddings & A Funeral

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