Tuesday, December 1, 2009

TODAY'S 2nd NUGGET: Great family comedy

Today I covered a four quadrant family comedy, a rarity for me.

The script was well written and the premise was simple: X lives in a house. Y wants the house and forces X out by hook & crook.

The great thing about this script was how the writer took situations we all know and exaggerated it mightily so we're all laughing. But did not exaggerate so much that it's out of the realm of possibility and truth.

Ex. The uptight protagonist drags the green, peace loving, annoyingly calm antagonist toward the courthouse. The only problem is that the antagonist has a herd of animals that follow him and make noise wherever he goes - in conversations with authorities, inside the courtroom, in tense moments.

Now this is great comedy for the family because we all have experienced: 1) pets in places they should not be; 2) annoying neighbors; and 3) wanting to drag them to court.

The comedy grew out of A) CLEAR, B) CONFLICTING goals for the characters and C) a dash of unpredictability.

This writer had me hooked without bloodshed, or cars blowing up, or CGI. The bonus is that this probably can be done for a low budget, with a no name actor, & will likely do well at the box office.

WHAT I LEARNED: They say comedy doesn't translate overseas. However I think that applies to comedy heavily dependent on language. Stories like this one that relies on slapstick and visual conflict will get a laugh no matter where it's shown.

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