Say Anything is the ultimate guy gets girl movie. Ah yes Lloyd Dobler (John Cusak.) that slacker guy, who nobody thought would amount to much of anything. Diane Court(Ione Skye) was certainly taken by surprise as much as her Dad James(John Mahoney) disliked this matchup. I like Lloyd because I knew some of these guys in school. Lloyd’s character personifies the type of character I root for. He gets the girl in the end.
I was born in the early sixties. In that era, I discovered TV and a lot of old movies. Casablanca happens to be one favorite. Odd that I chose that, because Humphrey doesn’t get the girl in the end. These were the types of movies I was weaned on. As I hit my teens, my generation was being courted by movie marketing. Yes, the teen movie genre blasted off. Before my era, not many coming of age movies were made. There they were though and we had a whole host of them and our hero always ended up with the happy ending. The Sure Thing(More of a college movie, but what the hell.) Say Anything, Better Off Dead, Some Kind of Wonderful(Girl gets guy here.), and many more. The television shows and movies I watched had those old fashioned themes of the Good Guy wins and he eventually gets the girl.
I am not ashamed to say I am a romantic at heart. If some wish to call me a metrosexual, here’s the barf bag. Hell, I’ll admit it I am and why not, I’m a Taurus. We Taureans are all about the romance thing. This is who I am and I will not apologize for a part of my personality I have embraced and become comfortable in. Part of why I write romantic themed plays or scripts has a lot to do with things that I went through in my own childhood. I was that geeky nerd and shy fellow, who had trouble even talking to himself let alone a girl.
When I first dabbled in script writing, most were plays and a lot were mysteries. I was weaned on The Barnstormers Theatre in Tamworth New Hampshire, where the mystery was king. The summer I first set about writing my own stuff, I counted 6 mysteries that were produced that summer and what did I write? A murder mystery set on a boat. It was horrible.
Later in college, I dabbled in other stuff. One was a dark piece about an incident that happened to me. I needed to write it to let the incident go. I always say writing is cathartic for me, even when I don’t mean it to be. After that I was looking to write something light. I chose the romantic comedy and some of it was teen oriented where the guy gets the girl. I switched to writing movies at this point for this genre.
My first full length play was a romantic comedy called “Crossing The Bridge,” about a screenwriter who is forced to write his next script with a Script Doctor. The conflict? The Script Doctor happens to be the girl he had a crush on in his youth. My second, called “Most Likely To… was not a romantic play, but there were two romances going on in the story. It takes place at a disastrous high school reunion. It entails a mob informant who comes out of the Federal Witness Protection program to his reunion to catch up with the girl he’s always had a crush on. The second romance is a married couple. The Husband is an FBI Agent. He married a girl from his class many years ago. He’s always working and their marriage has taken a real toll as a result. The reunion helps them realize what’s been missing as they work back to each other. My third play, Pigeons By The Charles, is set through a ten to fifteen year stretch. Two friends meet in college years and help each other through their rotten love lives. Suddenly they realize they both really like each other and feelings develop. Eventually they get together in the end after many years, but it is a struggle for them to get there. The One movie I wrote “Derby Double,” is a little more controversial in nature, because I dabble into the IRA conflict. I set it in the 1980’s to make it work, but the two main characters worked together to bring down the IRA and eventually fall in love.
People have accused me in the past, that what I write never happens or why does the guy have to save the girl. Or that the girl is just there as eye candy. The latter I will whole heartedly defend. These are strong women I write as I grew up with two extremely strong female characters in my own home. These women I write don’t take crap and they aren’t looking to be saved. The guy doesn’t always save the girl in my scripts. Sometimes it’s the girl that saves the guy. This happens in my soccer movie Derby Double. Three times the female lead saves the hero from certain death. Then again it helps that she’s an Emma Peale type, which is what I was going for when I created her.
In this tumultuous era we are living in now(Which I hope is changing now.), I think it is time to start bringing these romantic types of movies back. Although the way the arts have taken a hit, I wonder where our movie making is going now or our theatre is going.
I plan on continuing this type of theme when it suits me. Here’s to the guy getting the girl, the hero winning and the happy ending. After four years of unrest, the happy ending movie would be a refreshing change, don’t you think.
As I end this post, I would love to hear your comments on this topic. Drop me a line and let me know how you feel about this. Yes, I am expecting to be chided for my metrosexuality, so be it as Mark from “Pump Up The Volume” would say. By the way he gets the girl in the end too.