Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rom Com is *snaps fingers*

Watching one rom com trailer after the next, I've become struck by how formulaic and (seemingly) easy it is to make a rom com movie. You put two attractive leads with no character flaw/a quirky character flaw opposite one another, add a few funny, less attractive friends, a nice locale (or a house, if your movie is not outdoors-oriented) and an accidental push into the same boat together (entirely by chance of course) and of course a happy ending, et voila, you've got yourself a typical 21st century rom com!

I can still remember when rom coms were fresh and a novelty (You've Got Mail, Notting Hill, My Best Friend's Wedding, When Harry Met Sally - funny how they all seem to involve either Meg Ryan or Julia Roberts). Now it seems that there's a new generic rom com out every few months or so, with every one of them feeling as tiresome and familiar as the one before it (Made of Honour, When in Rome, 27 Dresses, Leap Year, and so on and so forth). I think the only recent rom com that I truly enjoyed was (500) Days of Summer which went where no other rom com dared to go: the pain and bitterness of heartbreak. Another good untypical rom com is Dan in Real Life. Who knew Steve Carrell could play a mopey, reluctant rom com hero so well?

Since it seems mind-numbingly easy to do, let's see this disillusioned crackpot take a shot at it, shall we. I don't expect my take to be as good as (500) Days, but let's see if we can at least get it above the generic level...

A boy and a girl meet over the Internet. On a gaming forum to be precise. They live in different cities. To make things more complicated, both boy and girl are in their own relationships. Suddenly and serendipitously both boy and girl's relationships go awry and they need to escape. Girl decides to go on a road trip for the weekend and gets the serendipitously crazy idea to ask boy to come along (despite being so far away from one another, but hey, it's cinema).

So what's different from this one...? Let's see if 'expectations' will do the trick. In the forums she'd singled out his opinions as those belonging to someone who's a bit more culturally aware than the other forumers, and maybe she'd thought that he would be a pleasant distraction (yes this is naughty, but doesn't this urge happen to people in real life too? That's why relationships get wrecked). He expects her to be a geeky nerdy male (now they don't know each other's genders - that's entirely possible on a forum, no? ;P) with whom he just wants to hang out and do and talk guy stuff.

Then lordy oh lordy, they meet.

See thing is, boy isn't as bright as he sounds. He's the sort who thinks a little differently from the way he acts and speaks, which is incidentally like a typical selfish dude. And of course for she, she was supposed to be a BOY. The last thing he needed on his timeout with his girlfriend of three years is another girl to mess things up for him. And she isn't perfect either, she's pesky, fussy, a neat freak where he's sloppy and lazy. The road trip becomes a nightmare of sorts.

Oh how the cliches roll on one after another! I want so much to cliche-end this, but I dunno if I should. See I can mess things up by having them absolutely hate one another's guts and good riddance I know better than to trust Internet strangers and I'm so lucky to have my current boyfie/girlfie but... if this were to be a typical rom com they will end up falling in love and it's just a little unrealistic (or maybe not).

I'm more interested in which ending will give a sort of... I dunno, a closure that gives a little something for the people who watch it to take home with them when the movie ends. When (500) Days ended I felt as if I'd seen both the bright and the dark side of love and both have equal chances of happening to you and you need to accept it all if you want to let yourself fall in love. I don't want a happy, shiny, overly polished rom com the likes of Valentine's Day or The Ugly Truth, but at the same time I want my leads to end up happy without travelling the cliched, oh-they-end-up-falling-in-love trend. But if that were to happen then... this won't be a rom com but a buddy road trip movie!

Okay, so maybe it's not as easy as I thought. Respect for Marc Webb = Level Up!

I can't resist from doing a little casting, so very briefly, here goes. I have no idea who I should cast as the lead female... she has to be the sort of female in her 20s or 30s who can look both cynical and happy (this rules Amy Adams out... I can't imagine her to be cynical, the sweet little thing). Anne Hathaway has already been in some rom coms, Zooey Deschanel would only bring comparisons of (500) Days. Let's go the unusual casting route and pick... Sandra Oh! I love her snark. For the boy, I'm going to go for Sam Worthington, despite his penchant for being wooden. I don't get it - he was pretty good in Somersault. No signs of the Woodman anywhere till he got into Avatar. Anyhow he has the dumb jock kind of look that will make it interesting to see what will befall these (very weirdly paired) two. Second choice would be Elisabeth Moss. I love her in Mad Men and it'll be interesting to see how she would fare in a rom com. I know most people will want to go for either January Jones or Christina Hendricks but Miss Moss is just as good (and attractive) as the rest of them.

Here's a look at some upcoming rom coms (as a reward for bearing with my ramblings):

(Yes for Natalie Portman, but seriously, Ashton Kutcher?)

(Rachel McAdams is infectious)

(Sounds like it could be a little tragic..)

(Emma Stone is adorable!)

(This one actually looks like kind of good...?)

And of course a song to accompany the (nonexistent) trailer of this (nonexistent) movie idea:

So as usual, drop any ideas, whether you want to watch this or not, or if this is utterly rubbish (it probably is, anyhow), or if you have a great idea to end the story without getting anyone killed) into the comment box below. Thanks and peace outtt.

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