History SoYouWantTo / WriteARomanticComedy

2nd Sep '17 5:04:50 AM XFllo
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The first is that they are attracted to each other. Hollywood typically shows this by just having a beautiful woman show up and the man just be automatically interested because [[TheChick there are no other women in the film]]. In other words, AllMenArePerverts. This typically results in a ShallowLoveInterest situation. So what you need to establish is why the characters' ''personalities'' result in attraction between them. There should be something that the Romantic Lead wants, and the Love Interest is the Love Interest because s/he provides it. Take "UptightLovesWild," for instance (and its occasional Most Logical Exaggeration, the ManicPixieDreamGirl). Built into the trope is the idea of two characters who complete each other by providing counter-balance. The idea that two characters have compatible personalities will help the audience believe that they have reasons (beyond hormones) for wanting to kiss.

to:

* The first is that they are attracted to each other. Hollywood typically shows this by just having a beautiful woman show up and the man just be automatically interested because [[TheChick there are no other women in the film]]. In other words, AllMenArePerverts. This typically results in a ShallowLoveInterest SatelliteLoveInterest situation. So what you need to establish is why the characters' ''personalities'' result in attraction between them. There should be something that the Romantic Lead wants, and the Love Interest is the Love Interest because s/he provides it. Take "UptightLovesWild," for instance (and its occasional Most Logical Exaggeration, the ManicPixieDreamGirl). Built into the trope is the idea of two characters who complete each other by providing counter-balance. The idea that two characters have compatible personalities will help the audience believe that they have reasons (beyond hormones) for wanting to kiss.
14th Jul '17 12:44:54 AM justanid
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Also, consider very well the impression you want the heroine to leave; while the [[MasterCharacterHeroines Persephone]] [[RomanceGenreHeroines "waif"-style]] heroine is [[TropesAreNotBad a valid choice]] whose character strengths get woefully undervalued, there's much to be said for a powerful girl who's more than a match for the guy, as ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' is [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20090508 currently showing us]]. A lot of Romance starts with a strong girl and breaks her; consider one who grows in ways other than merely turning gentle.

to:

Also, consider very well the impression you want the heroine to leave; while the [[MasterCharacterHeroines Persephone]] [[RomanceGenreHeroines [[Literature/{{TCWGTHAH-Heroines}} "waif"-style]] heroine is [[TropesAreNotBad a valid choice]] whose character strengths get woefully undervalued, there's much to be said for a powerful girl who's more than a match for the guy, as ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' is [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20090508 currently showing us]]. A lot of Romance starts with a strong girl and breaks her; consider one who grows in ways other than merely turning gentle.
16th Sep '16 7:05:07 PM slvstrChung
Is there an issue? Send a Message


However, SturgeonsLaw applies, and a lot of those comedies are ''terrible''. Do not despair if you're thinking of writing one, however; the good people at TV Tropes Wiki have sat through many of these and identified what works and what doesn't, and how this might hopefully help your effort be the best it can be. Of course, be sure to check out [[SoYouWantTo/WriteAStory So You Want To Write A Story]] for basic advice that holds across all genres. We also have [[SoYouWantTo/WriteALoveStory So You Want To: Write A Love Story?]] for slightly more detailed, if still generalized, ideas about romance.

to:

However, SturgeonsLaw applies, and a lot of those comedies are ''terrible''. Do not despair if you're thinking of writing one, however; the good people at TV Tropes Wiki have sat through many of these and identified what works and what doesn't, and how this might hopefully help your effort be the best it can be. Of course, be sure to check out [[SoYouWantTo/WriteAStory So You Want To Write A Story]] for basic advice that holds across all genres. We also have [[SoYouWantTo/WriteALoveStory So You Want To: Write A Love Story?]] for slightly more detailed, if still generalized, ideas about romance.



Oh, and, it's a comedy, so you need to be funny. If you lack this talent, do not attempt to write a romantic comedy.

to:

Oh, and, it's a comedy, so you need to be funny. If you lack this talent, can't, do not attempt to write a romantic comedy.

!! A Short Aside on Romance Itself - Or, How to Avoid the Romantic Plot Tumor.

Much of this has already been covered in [[SoYouWantTo/WriteALoveStory So You Want To: Write A Love Story?]], so if you've already read that, you're excused. If not, this might be worth sticking around for.

It's totally possible for a story to throw its {{Designated Love Interest}}s together with little-to-no backing. The OfficialCouple themselves are StrangledByTheRedString, ending up together largely because the plot says so. ''Romantic comedies are not exempt from this'', because it's not a genre thing -- it's a writing thing. It's what happens when someone tries to write a love story without understanding how romance works. And let's face it: that's most people.

Why ''do'' people fall in love? There are a lot of answers. Each couple will have different ones, at least in the specific details, but it typically comes down to one thing: "This person is someone I want to share the rest of my life with." So, cool, but, how do people decide ''that''? There are a couple of answers.
* The first is that they are attracted to each other. Hollywood typically shows this by just having a beautiful woman show up and the man just be automatically interested because [[TheChick there are no other women in the film]]. In other words, AllMenArePerverts. This typically results in a ShallowLoveInterest situation. So what you need to establish is why the characters' ''personalities'' result in attraction between them. There should be something that the Romantic Lead wants, and the Love Interest is the Love Interest because s/he provides it. Take "UptightLovesWild," for instance (and its occasional Most Logical Exaggeration, the ManicPixieDreamGirl). Built into the trope is the idea of two characters who complete each other by providing counter-balance. The idea that two characters have compatible personalities will help the audience believe that they have reasons (beyond hormones) for wanting to kiss.
* The second is that they have compatible dreams. If you want to share your life with someone, you need to have an idea of what you want that life to be... and, if you do, you can tell pretty quickly whether someone else will fit into it. Think about the dilemma almost every movie superhero faces -- particularly the Creator/TobeyMaguire Film/SpiderManTrilogy, where Peter Parker's life is this sort of incompatibility writ large. Peter is constantly on the run being Spider-Man, the whole ComesGreatResponsibility thing weighing heavily on his shoulders; he can't [[IHaveYourWife avoid putting people he cares about in danger]]; he can't meet his obligations to the people he cares about; he can't show up to class with his homework done; he can't even stay home and watch TV. His definition of "my ideal lifestyle" is very different than that of most people... and it's only after Mary Jane comes to understand this that she's able to date him with any seriousness.

It's all CharacterDevelopment, in short. But CharacterDevelopment rarely goes amiss, even in a romantic
comedy.



What kind of tone do you want to establish? What kind of jokes do you want to tell? [=RomComs=] are typically light-hearted affairs which emphasize the idea that LovesMakesYouDumb and can lead you into all manner of silly, embarrassing situations. However, there is also a trend of {{deconstruction}} where the "LoveMakesYouDumb" trope is PlayedForDrama instead. The resulting laughs are more in the vein of BlackComedy. While this is a bleaker tone to manage, it has the added benefit of being a lot more realistic: while a sizeable amount of the world population has experience in successful long-term relationships, a ''much'' larger demographic, approaching 100%, has experience with ''failed'' ones. Finally, because one of the (typical) goals of dating is to find someone to have sex with, [=RomCom=] has the option to multi-class into SexComedy, which is always a wellspring of amusement.

to:

What kind of tone do you want to establish? What kind of jokes do you want to tell? [=RomComs=] are typically light-hearted affairs which emphasize the idea that LovesMakesYouDumb LoveMakesYouDumb and can lead you into all manner of silly, embarrassing situations. However, there is also a trend of {{deconstruction}} where the "LoveMakesYouDumb" trope is PlayedForDrama instead. The resulting laughs are more in the vein of BlackComedy. While this is a bleaker tone to manage, it has the added benefit of being a lot more realistic: while a sizeable amount of accessible. After all, the world population has experience percentage of human beings who have been in a successful long-term relationships, relationship is rather smaller than the percentage that have been in a ''much'' larger demographic, approaching 100%, has experience with ''failed'' ones.''not''-successful one. Finally, because one of the (typical) goals of dating is to find someone to have sex with, [=RomCom=] has the option to multi-class into SexComedy, which is always a wellspring of amusement.



As the Romantic Comedy is a very common, very popular genre, it's easy to get lazy with it. Unfortunately, the audience will be able to tell if you're just going through the motions. It's also very formulaic in many ways, and can be quite predictable for much the same reasons; try and think of different spins you can place on the situation, or subversions of obvious tropes that you can make (some suggested below).

Specifically, it's also very easy for reasons to keep the lovers apart until the very end to come across as being contrived or unconvincing; if the plot is demanding that the lovers be kept apart, then the reasons for this should be natural and logical, and should stem from the characters themselves rather than outside contrivances.

It's also common to set up a LoveTriangle situation with the Protagonist, the Love Interest and RomanticFalseLead, someone whom the Protagonist must compete with in order to win the LoveInterest. Be careful with this character, because they often operate more as a plot device (they're essentially a tool to keep the characters apart) than a character in their own right. Making a RomanticFalseLead can be difficult to pull off. Making him/her too much of a JerkAss (or a bland, boring non-entity) will result in the audience wondering why the Love Interest is with the RomanticFalseLead sees and, consequently, whether the Love Interest is even worth persuing (since he/she obviously has poor taste in romantic partners). On the other hand, making the RomanticFalseLead too much of a nice guy will result in the Protagonist coming across like a selfish JerkAss for trying to destroy a healthy relationship. Furthermore, having a RomanticFalseLead seem like a nice guy but suddenly [[DerailingLoveInterests reveal themselves to be a jackass]] can come across as inconsistent (and unbelievable). There is a middle ground, however, wherein RomanticFalseLead is a convincing romantic rival but also has enough flaws to justify being rejected. This middle ground can be quite tricky to find though.

Be wary also of setting up a RunawayBride situation as well, where the LoveInterest dumps RomanticFalseLead at the altar to be with their true love; unless you really play it well, this might seem less an affirmation of ThePowerOfLove, and more an illustration of the LoveInterest as Heartless Bitch (or, less frequently, Heartless Bastard) - s/he couldn't have let their future spouse down in a less publicly humiliating and destructive fashion?

to:

As the Romantic Comedy is a very common, very popular genre, it's easy to get lazy with it. Unfortunately, the First off, don't be lazy. The audience will be able to tell if you're just going through the motions. It's also very Plus, rom-coms are formulaic in many ways, and which can be quite predictable for much the same reasons; try result in a high level of predictability. Try and think of different spins you can place on the situation, or subversions of obvious tropes that you can make (some suggested below).

Specifically, it's also very easy for reasons to keep Almost all rom-coms don't have the lovers apart OfficialCouple get together until the very end to end. But the reasons that keep them apart can come across as being contrived or unconvincing; if unconvincing. If the plot is demanding that the lovers be kept apart, apart (and it is), then the reasons for this should be natural and logical, and should stem from the characters themselves rather than outside contrivances.

It's also common to set up a LoveTriangle situation with the Protagonist, the Love Interest and RomanticFalseLead, someone whom the Protagonist must compete with in order to win the LoveInterest. Be careful with this character, because they often operate more as a plot device (they're essentially a tool to keep the characters apart) than a character in their own right. Making a RomanticFalseLead into a character in his or her own right can be difficult to pull off. Making him/her too much of a JerkAss (or a bland, boring non-entity) will result in the audience wondering why the Love Interest is with the RomanticFalseLead sees in the first place -- and, consequently, whether the Love Interest is even worth persuing pursuing (since he/she S/he obviously has poor taste in romantic partners). On the other hand, making the RomanticFalseLead too much of a nice guy appealing will result in the Protagonist coming across like a selfish JerkAss for trying to destroy a healthy relationship. Furthermore, having a The obvious answer is to have the RomanticFalseLead seem like a start off nice guy but suddenly pull a HeelFaceTurn... but this can come across as inconsistent, unbelievable and [[DerailingLoveInterests reveal themselves awfully convenient]] characterization. Try to be a jackass]] can come across as inconsistent (and unbelievable). There is a find the middle ground, however, ground wherein RomanticFalseLead is a convincing romantic rival but also has enough flaws to justify being rejected. This middle ground can be quite tricky to find though.

rejected. Doing this is ''way'' easier if you've done any of the sort of CharacterDevelopment discussed earlier.

Be wary also of setting up a RunawayBride situation as well, where the LoveInterest dumps RomanticFalseLead at the altar to be with their true love; unless you really play it well, this might seem less an affirmation of ThePowerOfLove, and more an illustration of the LoveInterest as Heartless Bitch (or, less frequently, Heartless Bastard) selfish and flighty - s/he couldn't have let their future spouse down in a less publicly humiliating and expensive, destructive and publicly-humiliating fashion?



* ''Anime/EurekaSeven'' is one of those rare shows which combine dramatic romance with action and do it well. If you're looking to cross rom com with sci fi or action, give that a look.

to:

* ''Anime/EurekaSeven'' is one of those rare shows which combine dramatic romance with action and do it well. If you're looking to cross rom com rom-com with sci fi sci-fi or action, give that a look.
look.

* And finally, the subversions.
** ''Film/ILoveYouMan'' styled itself as the first "bromantic comedy," and lived up to its name. It's about a dude named PEter (Creator/PaulRudd) who realizes he has no one to be the best man at his wedding to Zooey (Creator/RashidaJones). Thus, he sets out to gain himself a best friend, in the form of Sydney (Creator/JasonSegel). It plays the entire plot structure of the romantic comedy straight (the MeetCute, the SecondActBreakup, the RaceForYourLove) between Peter and Sydney, but without any (intentional) HoYay.
26th Feb '16 10:35:18 AM Morgenthaler
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** ''TheresSomethingAboutMary'' (which is very funny) and

to:

** ''TheresSomethingAboutMary'' ''Film/TheresSomethingAboutMary'' (which is very funny) and



** ''LoveActually'' also deserves a big mention here, often being subversive and playing with tropes. For example one of the couple is about a guy in love with his best friend's wife and even though he doesn't get her it fits perfectly.

to:

** ''LoveActually'' ''Film/LoveActually'' also deserves a big mention here, often being subversive and playing with tropes. For example one of the couple is about a guy in love with his best friend's wife and even though he doesn't get her it fits perfectly.



** There's a reason the works of Creator/JaneAusten are still read today, over two hundred years after they were first published; they're witty, insightful and, of course, romantic. ''PrideAndPrejudice'' seems to be the most popular one (both in novel form and in adaptations) but her other works, such as ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'' and ''{{Literature/Emma}}'' also have much to recommend them.

to:

** There's a reason the works of Creator/JaneAusten are still read today, over two hundred years after they were first published; they're witty, insightful and, of course, romantic. ''PrideAndPrejudice'' ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'' seems to be the most popular one (both in novel form and in adaptations) but her other works, such as ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'' and ''{{Literature/Emma}}'' also have much to recommend them.
18th Dec '15 9:03:00 PM nombretomado
Is there an issue? Send a Message


There's tremendous symbolism in the fictional union of Man and Woman, or so claims [[TheSevenBasicPlots Christopher Booker]]. By putting the focus on the love itself on a backdrop of any other plot, the Romance genre distills the symbolism to its essence, showing us two characters who overcome both internal and external obstacles to ultimately come together in the bonds of True Love. Some might even say that it's the job of the Romance genre to be at least that predictable.

So messing with the basics can make for a less satisfying work... maybe even a flawed work (go read Booker's ''TheSevenBasicPlots'' for more info on this). Still, there are possible ways to subvert the traditional elements of the Romance:

to:

There's tremendous symbolism in the fictional union of Man and Woman, or so claims [[TheSevenBasicPlots [[Literature/TheSevenBasicPlots Christopher Booker]]. By putting the focus on the love itself on a backdrop of any other plot, the Romance genre distills the symbolism to its essence, showing us two characters who overcome both internal and external obstacles to ultimately come together in the bonds of True Love. Some might even say that it's the job of the Romance genre to be at least that predictable.

So messing with the basics can make for a less satisfying work... maybe even a flawed work (go read Booker's ''TheSevenBasicPlots'' ''Literature/TheSevenBasicPlots'' for more info on this). Still, there are possible ways to subvert the traditional elements of the Romance:



[[TheSevenBasicPlots Christopher Booker]] invests a lot of symbolism in his idea of The Comedy, which to him means a pair of lovers kept apart by either (1) the Antagonist or (2) the Hero, while the rest of the cast suffer from general confusion and misunderstanding that keeps them from getting into the proper and fulfilling relationships they're destined to enjoy. Once the Hero or Antagonist comes around (Booker claims it's ''usually'' a HeelFaceTurn that ends a comedy, though occasionally the Antagonist is driven off rather than redeemed), everything is brought to light, everybody finds their proper mate, and there's just a general rejoicing, as though a blight has been driven off the land.

So if you want to invest your story with symbolic roles and relationships, and especially if you want to rise to the level of Shakespeare with three or more couples who through misunderstanding and confusion can't get together until the end, then set yourself down for a long read with Booker's ''TheSevenBasicPlots''. (Long, long, ''long'' read. But it's good stuff.)

to:

[[TheSevenBasicPlots [[Literature/TheSevenBasicPlots Christopher Booker]] invests a lot of symbolism in his idea of The Comedy, which to him means a pair of lovers kept apart by either (1) the Antagonist or (2) the Hero, while the rest of the cast suffer from general confusion and misunderstanding that keeps them from getting into the proper and fulfilling relationships they're destined to enjoy. Once the Hero or Antagonist comes around (Booker claims it's ''usually'' a HeelFaceTurn that ends a comedy, though occasionally the Antagonist is driven off rather than redeemed), everything is brought to light, everybody finds their proper mate, and there's just a general rejoicing, as though a blight has been driven off the land.

So if you want to invest your story with symbolic roles and relationships, and especially if you want to rise to the level of Shakespeare with three or more couples who through misunderstanding and confusion can't get together until the end, then set yourself down for a long read with Booker's ''TheSevenBasicPlots''.''Literature/TheSevenBasicPlots''. (Long, long, ''long'' read. But it's good stuff.)
19th Sep '15 4:09:16 PM nombretomado
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Similarly, ''ElfQuest'' has a strong with a well-developed rival during the first graphic novel, and continues to build on the relationship long after the pair is "[[HappilyMarried married]]" (it's complicated). During the far-reaching story, there are moments of culture clash, of separation; the rival throws some new obstacles their way, and we even get to see the main pair as they raise twins. But just the first graphic novel alone would be a good study.

to:

* Similarly, ''ElfQuest'' ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'' has a strong with a well-developed rival during the first graphic novel, and continues to build on the relationship long after the pair is "[[HappilyMarried married]]" (it's complicated). During the far-reaching story, there are moments of culture clash, of separation; the rival throws some new obstacles their way, and we even get to see the main pair as they raise twins. But just the first graphic novel alone would be a good study.
13th Sep '15 4:25:05 PM nombretomado
Is there an issue? Send a Message


*** ''FourWeddingsAndAFuneral''
*** ''NottingHill''

to:

*** ''FourWeddingsAndAFuneral''
''Film/FourWeddingsAndAFuneral''
*** ''NottingHill''''Film/NottingHill''
6th Jun '15 4:59:39 PM ShinyTsukkomi
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* EurekaSeven is one of those rare shows which combine dramatic romance with action and do it well. If you're looking to cross rom com with sci fi or action, give that a look.

to:

* EurekaSeven ''Anime/EurekaSeven'' is one of those rare shows which combine dramatic romance with action and do it well. If you're looking to cross rom com with sci fi or action, give that a look.
2nd Jan '14 9:38:27 PM nombretomado
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** There's a reason the works of Creator/JaneAusten are still read today, over two hundred years after they were first published; they're witty, insightful and, of course, romantic. ''PrideAndPrejudice'' seems to be the most popular one (both in novel form and in adaptations) but her other works, such as ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'' and ''{{Emma}}'' also have much to recommend them.

to:

** There's a reason the works of Creator/JaneAusten are still read today, over two hundred years after they were first published; they're witty, insightful and, of course, romantic. ''PrideAndPrejudice'' seems to be the most popular one (both in novel form and in adaptations) but her other works, such as ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'' and ''{{Emma}}'' ''{{Literature/Emma}}'' also have much to recommend them.
2nd Dec '13 11:14:08 AM nombretomado
Is there an issue? Send a Message


*** ''[[BridgetJones Bridget Jones's Diary]]''

to:

*** ''[[BridgetJones ''[[Literature/BridgetJones Bridget Jones's Diary]]''
This list shows the last 10 events of 27. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=SoYouWantTo.WriteARomanticComedy