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E.C. Henry

I'm not a big fan of the "less is more" as pertains to rom-com dialog. "How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days", which is one of my favorite rom-coms of all-time, has a one line barb exchange between Matthew "Surfer Dude" McConaughey and Kate Hudson in bar that totally falls flat -- in my opinion. When the dialog exchange between those two is VERY stong in all other scenes that they're in together.

I am however very much in the boat of another key point you make in your "Writing the Romantic Comedy" book, which is the supliment your talk with action. THAT'S the corollary fix to the "talkie" rom-coms.

LOVE Richard Curtis. Would love to read a post from you about what it's like to work with a pro like that. What's he doing these days anyway? Seams like we haven't heard a lot from him, and that's a shame.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA


Feel you, man.


EC, You know I'm on the same page with you about adding action and visuals - in this post I was reacting specifically to the scripts overloaded with dialogue that still seem the norm in spec-land.

Gracias, Scott.


My favorite part of Crazy Stupid Love is the big set piece in the backyard, and then they lost me with the speech. It was corny. Not a great movie, but it had some really nice, zany moments.

Eternal Sunshine, on the other hand, was perfect!


Christine: Yeah, they could've wrapped things up more quickly and succinctly after the back yard climax. Meanwhile,ETERNAL... is one of the best rom-coms of the past decade, and one of my favorite movies, period!


Brevity is usually more memorable, but I guess one reason you're seeing more talky scripts is because of a nostalgia for His-Girl-Friday-type banter as opposed to the stereotypical modern romcom where a running scene equals 'a moment'. It may not be true (Wall-E is a great counterexample), but somewhere along the line talkier somehow became equated with sophisticated, and while that's what some writers are aiming for, they're missing the Dorothy Parker wit.

Recently Ive been finding a lot of great romcom moments from TV, like this one from Arrested Development:
M: It's like we finish each other's...
L: Sandwiches?
M: Sentences


Mark: Nice one (I need to investigate "Arrested"again, specially as a feature is in the works). Agree that writers are going for Parker-level clever... but how many Dorothy Parkers are there, eh?

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