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    Eleanor Catton (adapting Jane Austen)

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annaliterally

Thanks, Billy! This is *so* what I needed to hear today!

E.C. Henry

Dude, can't be sayin' "the race to the airport" don't work -- cuz' I got a rom-com that has that scene in it!!! It's called "Cupid's Helpers" and in my scene, the female romantic interest is going home to L.A. after seeing her romantic interest's hometown, after watching his infaction with an old high school dream girl of his play out after a high school reunion party...

Billy, My spec. script aside, I've notice a couple rom-com movies with "race to the airport scenes" and they never bothered me at all. But Billy, you can always say WHATEVER you want and we'll all love you; you've got a lot of street cred.

LOVE the line, "... I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." Now THAT is romantic. Nora Ephron should feel especially proud of that line. And if it takes a "race to the airport" to get there... Well then MAYBE, in this case, it's worth it.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

Just Me

I'm pretty certain I could never write a Race to the Airport scene of my own free will - unless it was to show how SLOW that actually would be.

Because I am often be late to important things, I have, many times, raced to the airport - not to catch a lover but to catch my flight before it takes off without me. And let me tell you, whenever you're in a hurry to get to your gate - everything else takes its sweet time; the traffic, the ticketing people, the security line, the guy in front of you who forgot he had a Coke Zero in his backpack...and then, to top it all off, your gate is inevitably across the damn airport.

So - if I WAS ever racing to tell the man I love not to leave on that plane, I would probably miss him by an hour.

mernitman

Annaliterally: Synchronicity is a beautiful thing.

EC: I'm always up for seeing a successful exception to the rule, and I bet your spec's "race" will be unique.

JustMe: And see, if your wrote THAT scene into a rom-com , it could be hi-larious.

E

Yaaayyy. a new blog. Finally.

Is the problem with these contrived 3rd act races to the airport the result of a poor setup in the second act, where the writer suddenly feels like they have to put shock treatment on the 3rd act? But, Billy, aren't these contrived cliched rom coms still being bought? scripts like Leap Year, etc where they pretty much just recycle every rom com cliche...

Also, I did notice that Love Actually had a ton of cliches, but got away with it because the writing was so good. What alternatives are there besides that race to (insert location)?...It seems like almos every derivative has been done... just like the lone hero against a mob of highly trained bad guys in the action genre.


mernitman

E: Of course the obligatory BEAT of this climax is a genre staple. I'm simply saying that the airport trope itself, specifically, is shot; it's a self-parodying corpse: so overdone as to require an exceptional tweak for justification.

Thus you'll note that Richard Curtis goes for tongued-cheeked fantasy with his over-the-top version (i.e. everyone in the movie shows up at the airport, as if for a rom-com theme party).

Ultimately, execution is everything. Rom-coms may require the "run" (i.e. the dash to catch the Other) as part of their expected climax, but plugging in the tired Stopping Her From Flying to Paris routine slaps a neon "you can't take this movie seriously" stamp on any romantic comedy written in the current decade. So the burden falls upon the likes of you and me to come up with something fresher.

Rachel Hauck

I always love how you remind us that in a rom-com or any romantic comedy, love must be won.

Also, DETAILS. The more specific characters are about life, each other and love, the more we "get" them and love them, and relate to them, and cheer for them.

Keep blogging!

Rachel

Rachel Hauck

Oops, I meant to say in any rom-com or romantic story... I can type, I CAN type... :)

mernitman

Rachel: Thanks, Rachel. Specificity is one of my favorite words.

Miss Mabel

The rom com run is definitely overused, but as with the Harry Sally example, it's always important to keep in mind that good writing trumps everything.

Morning Glory, which is a sort of rom com between an employer and irascible employee, shows a well handled double rom com run. First, an imaginary "run" when he makes the omelet on air in a desperate bid to show her he's willing to change, and then her run back from the other network to show him--I get it. And they can't use cell phones, cause it's live. It's got an exciting pace to it, and it's touching.

Notting Hill, on the other hill, puts the com back into the rom com run. Richard Curtis proves how much comedy can be wrung from from it, as well as the Last Minute Declaration of Love.

I say, tie a girl to the railroad tracks if you want--just set it up right, and find a way to make it FUNNY.

mernitman

Miss Mabel: Point well taken (I'm a fan of HILL's climax and other imaginative runs well-played)). I will continue to revile and decry, however, the Run to the Airport, now in its acknowledged self-parodic overkill era, since the specificity of its contrivance (Stop that plane!) simply can no longer transcend self-consciousness; it ejects one from the movie's reality and into meta-land. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Rob in L.A.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/06/26/155808227/nora-ephron-filmmaker-author-dies

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