Rom-coms - the Final Frontier.
I'm fascinated with how hard rom-coms are to write.
Billy Mernit describes the rom-com plot essentially as "why 2 people should be together."
But oh, how that often fails in the movies.
I recently found Popcorn Dialogues, a podcast/blog by two highly acclaimed, award winning, romance authors Jennifer Crusie and Lucy March. (And, oh yeah, they've both taught romance writing for years.)
Every Friday night, they watch a classic rom-com movie & simultaneously host a Tweet chat (#PopD). On Saturday, they post an hour long iTunes podcast analyzing & rating the structure, romance & comedy.
The goal is to see how the romance does/does not develop in the film.
I was very surprised how many good movies suck at romance, but are still considered "classic rom-coms."
I've listened to #1-9 so far, & love the nuggets hidden within:
- Farce usually squashes any romance (Bringing Up Baby)
- If the romance isn't there, all the craft in the world can't save it (Pillow Talk)
- Wanting to be together isn't enough. You must show the characters relating & connecting.
(every single movie)
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: The mistake too many screenwriters make is that the man (usually) doesn't show that he "understands the woman."
Now THAT'S romance.
Please adjust accordingly.
('Cause if you don't, Crusie/March won't sell you the movie rights to their books.
Just kidding. I have no idea if the movie rights are sold.
But if they're not, they should be.
Preferably to me.)