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Julia Kelly

Very true- really for any movie- I think that is why Morning Glory, what genre was that?- fell so flat in the end.


Julia: I'd agree about MG - in its home stretch, you find yourself thinking, "So what exactly was all the fuss about, again?" Not the desired climactic effect. I'd characterize the movie as a comedy-drama (with a rom-com subplot).

Just Me

I'd like to see a combination rom com / end of the world script.

Since I have time with both genres, I figure mashing them together would equal them out and make something GREAT.

...Although if there's such a thing as impossible - that might be it.

Just Me

"Since I have a HARD time with both genres..."

It's early on a Sunday morning. Forgive the grammar. I could barely order coffee.


Jess, you have your finger on the pulse, evidently - a fellow reader recently read and recommended a version of exactly that movie, and it looks like it may be in development with some interesting talent attached - the writer is Lorene Scafaria ("Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist"). I'll tell you more about it once they go public with the details.

The only extant take on that kind of mash-up that I can recall is the blackly comedic romantic drama-thriller "Miracle Mile." You might check it out, as it's an L.A. apocalypse movie (and thus may say "hello" to you) and has some great dark moments in it...

E.C. Henry

Another great post by the master of all things rom-com. Haven't seen "The Adjustment Bureau," and have no plans too -- as I see it's premise as choice #2: absurd; as you so listed. "The Adjustment Bureau" needs a good trailer to see itself.

Billy, your rom-com point about "the stakes" between a pair in romantic situation is good one, BUT I wish you would have elaborated further into what "stakes" pertains to rom-com vs. movies in other genres (horror, sci-fi, action-adventure, rom-com). "Die Hard" or "Armageddon" had stakes. BUT those stakes are markedly different then the stakes in a rom-com. THAT'S what I was getting at...

Love reading that you're still putting your imprint on up-coming movie rom-coms. Can't wait for the day when I get some notes on an up-coming rom-com movie penned by E.C. Henry. One can always dream... Stay well my good friend. It's good to hear from you again!

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

Rob in L.A.

Just Me: I haven’t seen this, but i understand that the Canadian film “Last Night” (1998) is an end-of-the-world movie with a strong rom-com subplot. FYI.


@Rob in L.A. Thanks for the tip about "Last Night", never heard of it. Sounds interesting though, definitely going to check it out.

Carolyne Aarsen

I agree that the high stakes in The Adjustment Bureau create high interest. But most romances aren't going to have that intensity. I find that the hardest part of writing romance. Creating a strong motivation for my characters to make choices the reader can get caught up in.


EC: I'm actually suggesting that rom-com writers consider their stakes in the terms that other genres (like the thriller, action examples you mention) routinely do: the equivalent of life-or-death importance.

Ron & Mark: Add me to the LAST NIGHT queue.

Carolyn: Yes, that is the hard part! Though you seem to have dealt with it well in your romance novels. I'm suggesting that rom-com pre-pros take a good look at the stakes they're constructing for their spec scripts, since this is a factor that seems to get consistently overlooked, both in the work of my students and in the submissions at the studio.

Rob in L.A.

Anyone interested in “Last Night” should know that it’s now available for instant viewing (but not DVD renting) on Netflix. That’s not a plug for either the film or Netflix, but just to let you know that the movie is accessible.

Rob in L.A.

Well, inspired by Just Me, I just watched “Last Night,” and depending on how humorous you think it is, you could regard it as a full-blown end-of-the-world romantic comedy (“It Happened One Armageddon”). Although, since the world is coming to an end, the couple don’t have to give up too much to be together or not to be together.

So, this might be a better concept for an end-of-the-world rom-com: The world will come to an end only if the couple stays together. And in order for the world to be saved, the couple must part.

Martin W

Your point about obstacles made me think of "Wimbledon", which is a *terrible* romcom. The big obstacle to the central couple? Her authoritarian father (so far so good), who - won't let her see men? - hates the hero? - has her lined up to marry someone else? - no, "doesn't like her dating DURING TOURNAMENTS". He even likes the hero, who by the way has got together with the heroine on their second meeting, about 15 minutes into the film. Just... everything about the structure is so WRONG.

Phew. I feel beter now, thanks!


Martin W: So happy to be of service.


I happened to love the Adjustement Bureau so much that I 'forgave' the premise. Bill is so right about the magic - scripted and acted - between the two leads. A fab film.

Wish me luck, guys, just starting work on a satirical/sci-fi/romcom. Aaaargh! (though it did work well as a play)


Sasha: Satirical sci-fi rom-com sounds brave and bold to me, so indeed - good luck!

Rob in L.A.

Back to the subject that Just Me posted about. There appears to be yet another end-of-the-world rom-com: "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World," starring Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley, due out later this year.

Required scene: Both knowledgeable about the Earth's impending destruction, one character kvetches to another, who replies.

"Stop complaining. It's not the end of the world."

The other character gives him a look.

"Okay, that came out wrong."

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