Saturday, March 3, 2012

TODAY'S NUGGET: #38 WGA Script of All Time - American Beauty (1999)

[Quick Summary: A depressed suburban dad in a mid-life crisis changes course after he becomes infatuated with his teen daughter's classmate.]

This is how you say "feel sorry for me" without saying it:

CAROLYN: "Oh! Oh! And I want to thank you for putting me under the added pressure of being the sole breadwinner now --

LESTER: I already have a job.

CAROLYN (not stopping): No, no, don't give a second thought as to who's going to pay the mortgage. We'll just leave it all up to Carolyn. You mean, you're going to take care of everything  now, Carolyn? Yes. I don't mind. I really don't. You mean, everything You don't mind having the sole responsibility, your husband feels he can just quit his job --

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Great dialogue shows how the character feels.  But it's still show, not tell.

American Beauty (1999)
by Alan Ball

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