.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Just Saw [Insert Movie Title Here]...

...or how my MFA in screenwriting ruined any chance of enjoying a movie like a normal person. If I apply what I've learned to existing films, would it have made a better film?

SPOILER WARNING: Please be advised, I plan to discuss plot points in detail so if you haven't seen the movie and don't want the surprise ruined, stop here.

My Photo
Location: California, United States

Monday, January 09, 2006


Logline: To avoid arrest for immorality, Casanova betrothes himself to the virginal Victoria but soon his affections turn toward Francesca, a strong willed, educated writer of heretical philosophy.

The Good Idea: A luxurious, costume romantic comedy for people who enjoyed Shakespeare in Love.

Why it worked.

Classic romantic comedy structure. We see the lovers meet in Act I and discover each is betrothed to someone else. Each has their deception they must maintain as they pursue each other. They separate at the end of Act II when their deception is revealed and reunite in Act III after a chase scene.

There is enough charm to cancel some incredibly gaping holes in logic. Structurally, every setup had a payoff and every payoff had a setup. It's an enjoyable movie if you don't think too hard and embrace the silliness of its contrivances.

Why it didn't work.

Casanova is known for his male libido. However, once he falls in love with Francesca, his ability to seduce women never becomes a complication or obstacle in his quest for her. For a man who gets around, very few people seem to recognize him.

The setup for his rescue from execution in Act III is barely one line in Act I. To recall this line in Act III is asking a lot and is confusing until Casanova's mother makes the connection for the audience.


Post a Comment

<< Home