Tuesday, May 27, 2014

TODAY'S NUGGET: 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) - Delivering the Romance in Act 3

[Quick Summary: Bianca cannot date unless her shrew of a sister, Kat, also dates. Bianca enlists others to get Kat a date, and chaos ensues.]

I wish I saw more romantic scripts that delivered in Act 3.

Act 1 - These are usually good.  Plenty of spark. Plenty of moxie.

Act 2 - Obstacles galore. Good growth! Can't wait for the finish.

But Act 3? It either/often:

- falls to trite forumla ("I love you." "I love you more." I die inside.)
- OR goes off the rails ("I hate you." "You're evil."  NOT romantic.)
- OR limps to a weak end ("I do not want to go on." "Yeah." My heart weeps in disappointment.)

The romance in 10 Things was tricky. 

Acts 1 and 2 worked beautifully.  Act 3, however, faltered for me.

Let's take a look why:    *Spoilers ahead*

- Patrick admits to Kat that he was paid to date her.
- Later, Cameron admits to Kat that Bianca was behind the whole dating scheme.
- Kat confronts Bianca, who confesses all the misunderstandings.
- Kat and Bianca finally become friends.
- In front of the whole class, Kat reads a poem she wrote. She tells Patrick," "I hate the way I don't hate you, not even close, not even a little bit, not even any at all."
- Patrick gives her a guitar for her dream band and admits he fell for her.
- They joke, they kiss.

I liked it all, except the line from the poem. 

I know she's trying to say, "I forgive you", but not hate him even a little bit?

The romance fizzles for me...maybe because that line kills the tension?

Hmmm...now that makes sense.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Don't resolve the tension all the way, even in Act 3.

Romance needs tension!

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
by Karen McCullah Lutz & Kirsten Smith
Based on "Taming of the Shrew" by William Shakespeare

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