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Hard to disagree when you put it so eloquently and convincingly. Excellent, thank you.

E.C. Henry

Dear rom/com therorist (a.k.a. Billy Mernit),

Thanks for going into "Stranger than Fiction." The rom/com angle for this film doesn't appeal to me at all. I thought the rom/com stuff would come from the Thompson/Farell pairing. Perhaps THAT would be a more interesting one.

Dustin Hoffman ROCKS! He's probably my favorite actor of all-time. Every roll this man plays sparkles. The fact he's in this movie, may push me over the edge to see it.

As for your theory... Yeah sure, the deeper side of our nature is looking for something we've lost or don't have. Opposites do attract -- TO A POINT. Sometimes we are attracted to the absurb, just because its different, but genearlly I don't think such an attraction lasts very long, nor is it a stable/rational one.

Your main point, "opposites attract really means: love happens when we see a part of ourselves in each other, gloriously alive and reinterpreted" is a GREAT ONE. I think you should save that one, and use it later should you ever decide to write a sequel to "Writing the Romantic Comedy."

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

alisa kwitney

It's stuff like this that makes you my rom-com rabbi, Billy.

I also think of it as the perfectly wrong/perfectly right contradiction: The person who appears to be the worst possible match for you is actually the best possible. It can't just be the nether parts that fit -- the holes in his head have to fit the pegs in hers, and vice versa.

p.s. I think Maggie Gylenhaal is becoming to indie rom com what Meg Ryan was to mainstream.

p.p.s. I'm dying to hear what you thought of Marie Antoinette, unless I missed it here. I thought the film lost its point of view after (SPOILER ALERT FOR HISTORY DROP OUTS) Marie and the king finally do the deed. It wasn't a case of the director being too free with history, I felt -- but a case of her letting the surge of historical detail drown the story she was trying to tell.

Ann Wesley Hardin

I like your theory, Billy. It's about inner fulfillment--making each other whole by rejeuvenating those dehydrated parts within--rather than needily clinging to someone who has something you never had to begin with.

The former invigorates, while the latter sucks the life outta you. No one wants that in real life, and why should we enjoy watching it on film? So yeah, to create characters who complete each other in this manner, using this unique and hopeful spin on the Opposites Attract tool, I agree would make a most memorable, enduring romcom--on screen and off.

You know, I always avoided writing opposites in my stories. Always HATED the device because I didn't believe it could realistically lead to a happily ever after. But now I believe it. Wow. You really are Da Man on Da Mountain!


This is the first I've read from your site and I enjoyed it very much-thanks for the insight, eval, reveiw breakdown. It was super.


Thank you, Danny.

(Screenwriters might enjoy taking a look at Danny's blog:

EC: Well, okay, then.

Alisa I have always wanted to be your rom-com rabbi.

I had similar reactions to MARIE, though I thought the visuals throughout were stunning.

Ann you making me blush...

Welcome, Sillypants! I wish I knew more people with names like yours.


I love you Billy! You are awesome with the way you weave the words of every story you tell. I love writing rom com and you are my hero. Thanks for this beautiful and inspiring blog.


I almost forgot to comment on your post about love and chemistry and opposites attract! I think many men are like Will's Harold character and are attracted to the physical first. If they are wise, they move to seeing the inner soul of the woman and that is when love can happen.

Thanks again Billy. Your book Writing the Romantic Comedy is always by my side....even at night in bed :)

Miriam Paschal

Sometimes opposites attract because what's really happening is that each person finds a matching neurosis in the other. The ideal match of opposites is when you find the yin to your yang. Together the two of you make up one whole.

The yin-yang symbol is the best example of why opposites attract. Within the white half is a little black and within the black is a little white.

In "Sacrament" Clive Barker postulated that we all used to be perfect beings until we split in half. Since then, each of us has been looking for our other half.


Welcome DebbieB and thanks so much for your kind words; happy to be sharing your bed ;-)

Miriam: Neurosis no, yin-yang yes, absolutely, the former leads to rom-tradge folie a deux.

Good for Mr. Barker, but Aristophanes got there first; he saw "the search for love as one half of a self looking for its other half"...

Oh and hey, ever seen HEDWIG? There's a great animated number on this theme in it, called "The Origin of Love."


I didn't read this cause I want to see the movie and I hate when I know too much about a movie before I see it but I wanted to say hi anyway.

That probably should have been more than one sentence.

Hi Billy!


I have this to say:

Males of the twenty-something variety orbit around the planet of lust.

And it makes them do retarded, *retarded* things.

like yelling the word, "yeah!" at me as I try to muck my way through an East Village monsoon. Why is that the only word that comes to thier mind? Why do they yell it? WHAT IS GOING ON IN THEIR BRAINS?! need to write a romantic comedy about the inner workings of the male and female mind. What would it look like?

i'm serious. this is a genius idea. trust me. geniuses don't lie.


Hi Brooke!!!

Jess: The answer to your first question is, it's their Little Brains talking...

I do need to write that rom-com. In fact -- oh, I just wrote it! Why are you trying to give me an idea I've had forever? (That's right: geniuses STEAL.)

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