Do the same writing rules apply to films as to novels? Film director Nancy Meyers – What Women Want, and It’s Complicated – told Grazia magazine [January 18, 2010] the top six things she thinks women want at the movies. Do they apply to romantic novels too?One. Cast a lead man who looks like a nice person. “Most women’s husbands and boyfriends don’t look like movie stars. That’s why I cast Jack Black as Kate Winslet’s love interest in The Holiday.”
Two. Romance doesn’t always mean boy meets girl. “Women want films with substance humour, which also reflect their own lives.” She cites The Devil Wears Prada, where the romance is between the woman and her work, her relationship with her boyfriend didn’t really matter.
Three. Don’t sideline the women. She is disappointed with some romcom films. “A couple of years ago, all the romantic comedies were guys with guys, films like Wedding Crashers or Knocked Up”. Four. Less can be more. Movies don’t need to be big productions with massive budgets. She cites the classic 1960 comedy-drama The Apartment which was filmed in 30 days. “These days, audiences are used to getting something new and more dazzling every second, so film-makers forget about the basic things they really need – the romance and the comedy.”
Five. The age of the leading lady is irrelevant. “For It’s Complicated, it wasn’t like I decided to return to people in their fifties, the age I focussed on in Something’s Gotta Give….I just base films on myself, what want to see.” Six. Make the ending happy. “A happy ending is a universal desire – but that doesn’t mean your hero and heroine have to end up living happily ever after together.” In It’s Complicated, the two characters have the chance to talk about why their relationship didn’t work the first time round, many couples who split up don’t get that chance.
‘Nancy Meyers: The Bloomsbury Companion to Contemporary Filmmakers [UK: Bloomsbury] Buy now
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Writing romantic comedies: tips from Nancy Meyers #amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1Ak via @SandraDanby