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Schlaflos in Seattle? Germans can't sleep there? I guess Romantic Comedy is transatlantic so long as it's not so uniquely American that international audiences can't relate. But we'll go there another time --

E.C. Henry

So are you writing your own rom/com MaryAn, or are you studying what's already been done?

Because if you're writing your own, you need to find that unique magic within your own story and amplify it to its maximum potential. And if that's the case, put in what what you find to be romantic, and what you find to be funny. Then trust that others will feel the same.

Billy's already said a lot about what's already out there, and he's right. Especially with combing genres.

Billy: I really like what you added about masculine rom/com's. I hadn't thought of it that way before.

Still, I wish you well MaryAn. Hope you master the genre and create something truely special.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA


E.C., I wrote a disasterous Rom Com a couple of years ago. I don't have the stomach to fix it. However, what I want is to become a better screenwriter and be familiar enough with different genres to know what I'm good at, be able to identify what works, and if the shoe fits, incorporate elements of different genres into what I already write which is increasingly heavy, and sometimes very dark, drama. Look at thriller stuff after I get a better grip on Rom Com. Hey, it's a learning process.

Bill Sebring

The same but different: I tend to love romantic comedies where the protagonist *doesn't* get the girl—"After Hours" and "Manhattan" are both favorites.


Me too, Bill: that short list includes "Chasing Amy," "Annie Hall," and "Shakespeare."


I loved Brit flick (think it was a remake of a French or Danish RomCom) THE ONE AND ONLY, where a high flying footballer's wife falls for a kitchen fitter but is pregnant by the footballer and the kitchen fitter has just adopted an African child who does not speak english. This is topped off by mutual friends who can't stop shagging in the soup aisle on Asda (the UK equivalent of Walmart). Classic. This inspired me to write my own Rom Com which I pitch as Boy Meets Girl with The Waltons Gone Wrong...Plus Salami.

E.C. Henry

MaryAn: Who told you your rom/com was a disaster? Write from your heart, girl. When it comes to rom/com's live the life. Write the stuff you would like a guy to tell you, or you would like to express to someone else, then just minupulate the circomstaces that drive to those memorable, romantic moments.

Anyone with passion for the opposite sex can write rom/coms -- I'm convinced of that.

Most of writing is trial and error. Write what you like, and let the rest follow.

Mernitman and Bill: Are you serious? Why do you like movies where guy doesn't get girl? Isn't life filled with enough negative reinforcement already?

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA


Lucy, that's all news to me, but it certainly sounds intriguing (i.e. not your average rom-com).

E.C. -- It's not about "negative reinforcement." Why should all romantic comedies promote happy fantasy? It can be deeply satisfying when a movie in this genre is true to life, where, as you know, things don't always work out fine.

The larger point is this: the ending of a good romantic comedy is not there to affirm that every great romance must end with the couple united for life. The real happy ending of a rom-com is there to affirm the significance of the relationship. Annie Hall, Chasing Amy and Shakespeare in Love all feature endings that say, "this relationship was the most significant one in these characters' lives; they learned valuable lessons from it; they've been changed and transformed by it, for the better." Boy didn't "get" girl, forever? Perhaps he wasn't supposed to. But he loved and was loved, and what he "got" was wisdom.

I'm good with that.


i happen to remember the point when tootsie hooked me.
Long before totsie there was the sage advice "dont look back." It is also true that, when lost, we humans tend to wander around in very large circles, so that, one may faithfully follow that good advice, and still find themselves moving, "Back to Love Canal".


uh-jim: ah! Return to the Love Canal -- at the Syracuse Playhouse -- I wonder if Jeff and Michael ever figured out the necktie scene...

and just before the shot of the show's marquee is arguably my favorite laugh in the movie: do you remember Michael, right after his life's been ruined, walking through the park, watching a struggling mime -- and then pushing him over? (michael walks on, slowly, deep in his funk, the mime miming outrage in the background)...

Write Procrastinator

Sometimes it's chemistry, other times it's perceived chemistry or the audience being able to project themselves into the characters.

I don't think it's a coincidence that rom-coms with exceptionally gorgeous people don't do as well as when the leads are just "cute" or more everyday people.

Dialogue is important too. Ask non-screenwriting friends what their favorite rom-coms are and I'll bet they can recite five lines from five different scenes, verbatium.


Billy! I was just showing that scene to my 22 year old son today! He said "why are you watching that crap?" and I showed him the mime -- no background on story or character -- just the mime scene. He's still laughing about itl


WritePro: all seconded in part 2, to come...

Though as MaryAn just proved, sometimes no words can be just as memorable.

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