HOW TO WRITE A HOLLYWOOD ROMANTIC COMEDY

Senior Editor
03.09.10 13 Comments


(“Stop this wedding!  She’s not in love with this guy, he doesn’t even know how to bongo!”)

Today I wrote a list for Uproxx called “How to Write a Romantic Comedy in 10 Easy Steps”.  Here’s an excerpt:

From STEP FOUR: POPULAR SONGS USED IN PAINFULLY LITERAL WAYS
You’re not painting the Sistine Chapel here.  You’re basically rubbing a dog’s tummy.  You know what the dumb animals like, just give it them. And what the dumb animals like is songs they know, delivered in ways they understand.  Therefore, when the couple has sex the first time, you need “Feels Like the First Time” by Foreigner (actual example from Valentine’s Day, btw); when she learns to stand up for herself;“Respect” by Aretha Franklin (Bridget Jones Diary — notice that the link is in Italian and yet you can still tell exactly what’s going on?  Perfect); when he sets off on a journey alone, “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake.  You might be thinking, wait, if he’s taking a journey, why not a Journey song?  No.  You’re being creative again, stop that.  Besides, it’s not literal enough.  The lyrics in the song have to perfectly match what the people onscreen are doing. That way even the stupidest moron in the audience can say, “Oh, I totally get why they’re playing that song!”  If you want to use Journey, you’ll need “When the Lights Go Down in the City” while lights are actually going down in the city.  Go ahead, you can even have that one.

Check out the rest of it over on Uproxx.  And yes, I know I already linked it this morning.  Sorry about that.  Your next post will be up shortly, and it involves Busey.

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