Tuesday, July 9, 2013

TODAY'S NUGGET: A Knight's Tale (2001) - A Funny Scene of Writing a Love Note

[Quick Summary: A peasant sneaks into the nobles-only jousting circuit.]

This is a solid script.
From The Canterbury Tales it is ripped.

This was my favorite scene.
Funny and vulnerable, see what I mean?

(William's friends give him heat,
Which makes his efforts all so sweet.)

"William strides in with purpose. He holds a ROSE.

CHAUCER: Yes sire!
WILLIAM: I need to write a letter.
CHAUCER: Alright...To who?
WILLIAM: Jocelyn. Make it, Dear Jocelyn. Then put in a bit about her beauty, how her eyes are amazing and then a poem or two.
CHAUCER: A love letter then?
ROLAND: No, a bill for lodgings and beer!
WILLIAM: Finish it with a bit to bring a tear and melt her heart, alright?
CHAUCER: No. I won't. Not a love letter.

Chaucer goes back to his notes leaving William incredulous.

WILLIAM: Why not?
CHAUCER: Because. Your love letter must come from your heart, not mine.
WAT: William. If you like, I'll kick master Geoff until he agrees.
CHAUCER: Kick me, fong me, I won't do it.
WILLIAM: Fine. I'll do it. Will you scribble it for me at least?
CHAUCER: Certainly.

William sets a clean piece of parchment in front of him.

CHAUCER: On parchment?
WILLIAM: What else?
CHAUCER: Vellum. Parchment is for edicts, decrees and death warrants. Vellum is for bibles, pardons and love letters. Scented of course. I have one sheet.
WILLIAM: Good. Vellum. My dearest Jocelyn...I miss you.

Chaucer frowns, but dips his pen and prepares to write.

WILLIAM: Hold! Is that wrong?
CHAUCER: Your letter. It's up to you.

Desperate not to make a mistake, William looks to the others. Wat and Roland both shrug.

WAT: Say something about her breasts.
ROLAND: Yes, you miss her breasts.
CHAUCER: Look above her breasts, William
WILLIAM: I miss her throat?
CHAUCER: Higher! To the heavens.
KATE: The moon at least. Her breasts were not that impressive.
WILLIAM: The moon. Hmm...It is strange to think...I haven't seen you since a month. I have seen the new moon...but not you.  I have seen sunsets and sunrises, but nothing of your beautiful face.

He looks to them. They're stunned. Finally:

CHAUCER: Very good, William."

WHAT I'VE LEARNED:  William's discomfort is funny
+ Willingness to put forth his emotions is romantic
= Funny AND romantic AND moves the story forward.

A Knight's Tale (2001)
Written & directed by Brian Helgeland

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