Monday, May 12, 2014

TODAY'S NUGGET: Bride Wars (2009) - Satire = Action That is Disproportionate to the Situation

[Quick Summary: Two best friends with the same wedding date try to ruin the other's big day.]

Why, oh why, didn't they use the original script for this film?!

I liked it very much because of its satirical bite.

[I greatly wish they'd kept to the original, and not softened it to "comedy with romantic elements" territory.]

What is satire?
Satire (n.) - The use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc. 
Here, Emma and Liv are the best of friends...until their weddings end up on the same date.

Then each one sabotages the other person's plans for the big day.

Notice how the writers use Emma and Liv's absurd and irrational response to show their selfishness (their vice).

ex.  "EXT. PRINCE STREET BOUTIQUE - LATER

The Jubilant Blonde hangs a display.  The CAMERA REVEALS Liv and Emma through the glass wearing huge pasted, homicidal smiles.  She gestures for them to come in.

INT. PRINCE STREET BOUTIQUE - SIX HOURS LATER

Emma and Liv look haggard. They pace and smoke feverishly.  THE CAMERA CLOSES IN on the The Jubilant Blonde's big mouth.

JUBLIANT BLONDE: I SAID NO!"

In these two short scenes:
-  Liv and Emma enter the shop with inappropriate zeal ("huge pasted, homicidal smiles").
- We can assume from "six hours" that they've overstayed their welcome.
- "Haggard", "pacing", "smoking feverishly" tells us they're losing the argument.
- All this foolish angst...for a wedding? Yes...that's the whole point.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Satire really needs action that is disproportionate to the situation.

If a character's action is terribly exaggerated, it's easier to see his/her vice or folly.

Bride Wars (2009)(original spec)
by Casey Wilson & June Raphael

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