Monday, December 14, 2015

TODAY'S NUGGET: Man Up (2015) - The Seven Rom-Com Beats

[Quick Summary: After being mistaken for his blind date, woman debates telling the guy the truth.]


a) Produced rom-coms are now rarer than hen's teeth,
b) This is a terrific read, and
c) Writer Tess Morris is a fan of Billy Mernit's Writing the Romantic Comedy (as am I), and used it while writing this script,

I decided to see if I could find those 7 rom-com beats.

(WARNING: I've tried to stay away from spoilers, but THERE ARE SOME.):

1) The Chemical Equation: Setup - Nancy is fun, but lacks fun in her life.

2) Cute Meet: Catalyst - Nancy runs off a train to return a book to a stranger, but meets the stranger's blind date, Jack, instead.

3) A Sexy Complication: Turning Point - They go to a restaurant where Jack reveals trust issues. Nancy likes him...should she tell the truth and perhaps lose him? (internal conflict)

4) The Hook: Midpoint - Jack finds out, is mad, but they need to return to the restaurant together.

5) Swivel: 2nd Turning Point - At the restaurant, they run into Jack's ex. Nancy helps Jack unload some emotional baggage.

6) The Dark Moment: Crisis Climax - Nancy and Jack argue over desires and part ways.

7) Joyful Defeat: Resolution - Nancy and Jack reunite.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: I was pretty much able to find the beats without referring to the script.  For me, that's the hallmark of a well defined, clean structure.

Man Up (2014)
by Tess Morris

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