Friday, 30 October 2009
Well, there we are! All done! It's been… emotional. Far, far more emotions than any one man should experience in such a short space of time.
First and most importantly, an enormous THANK YOU to everyone who's donated, we've raised far more money than I ever thought I would, it's humbling and fantastic. The JustGiving page stays active for the next 5 years, so there's plenty of time to donate if you've enjoyed the blog, enjoyed the misery, or just want to give to a good cause. If nobody had donated, I wouldn't be sat here now. I'd be asleep. Lovely, lovely sleep.
So, I woke up today hating romantic comedies. 24 hours and 12 films later, what have I learned? What does every self-respecting romantic comedy need to be, well, a romantic comedy?
1) Have supportive, tolerant parents. Every RomCom protagonist needs someone to talk to about their complex feelings, be it their best friend or their slightly creepily over-attentive and over-enthusiastic parents.
Films of note:
Failure to Launch,
Big Fat Greek Wedding
2) The wacky best friend is practically a must-have. Unless the protagonist's sole raison d'etre is to have their loneliness cured by a dash young Hugh Grant, they need someone to explain their over-complicated feelings to so we, the audience, particularly the male audience, have some idea what's going on. And if that friend is a cheeky rebel, or, even better, a slut, then they manage to make our hero look good, so much the better.
Films of note:
Pretty much all of them. Except the Sandra Bullock oness
3) When in doubt, fall over. It makes your heroine seem vulnerable and lovable, without having to bother with tiresome words.
Films of Note:
Pretty much all of them. But especially Sandra Bullock. She does almost nothing but.
4) Women ARE funny… but not in RomComs
Just my opinion obviously… but pretty much every line I laughed at in the past 24 hours, and there were more than I expected, were delivered by the male characters. Lazy writers. Bad writers!
5) Happiness cannot last. Sooner or later, make everything go BADLY WRONG for your characters, then make them SUFFER. Apparently the more moping and self-pity, the better. For some reason this is entertainment. Be careful though, you can take this too far, like in 27 Dresses for example, which really was a wall-to-wall miseryfest.
Conversely, My Big Fat Greek Wedding was oddly misery-free, but I found myself missing it. Like eating nothing but pudding. Which sounds like a great plot for a romcom, come to think of it.
Failure to Lunch.
6) Remember: mismatch your couples!! The more extreme the better. If people hate each other the second they lay eyes on each other, the more passionate they'll be when they get together. Right? I'm sure this trick was unpredictable the first time. I'm also pretty sure this isn't how real life works.
7) Looks ARE important. If people hate each other, why do they kiss in the first place? Even when they're, well, weird looking, you'll never find Timothy Spall seducing Zooey Deschanel, to pick a random example. Apparently, nobody wants to see that. Although it sounds intriguing.
8) Don't just write the name of the film up in boring white-on-black titles. Have 'fun'!! Make your title bounce around the screen before coming to rest. Words like "fat", "launch", "perfect" and, er, "Congeniality" are especially ripe for stretching and squeezing. Don't be shy!!
9) Don't forget to say the title of the film at some point. This is vital for trailers. It doesn't matter how awkward and crowbarred it feels. Only a strange obsessive would notice that this happens in EVERY SINGLE FILM. EVERY SINGLE ONE.
Actually, except My Big Fat Greek Wedding. And When Harry Met Sally. But it did in the others, honest.
10) If you're a man: Be rich. It's just easier. It also helps if you're Hugh Grant, which you invariably will be.
11) Set your film in New York. Don't believe me?
27 Dresses, Sex And The City, Two Weeks Notice, Picture Perfect, When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail … I'm sure there are many many more that I haven't tonight, and almost certainly never will.
What else have I learned? That watching films for 24 and a half hours straight will make you feel really, really sick.
I've also learned that although a lot of romantic comedies are, well, awful, there is definitely a knack to them… not a formula as such, but the guidelines are there for a reason, because they work, and hats off to the people who write them because they really know what they're doing.
They're not a patch on really great sci-fi writers though.
And finally, what was my favourite film of the night? Well, let's put them into order, because I've written enough tonight, and I can no longer focus.
1. When Harry Met Sally
2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
3. Miss Congeniality
4. 27 Dresses
5. Love Actually
6. PIcture Perfect
7. Failure to Launch
8. Two Weeks Notice
9. You've Got Mail
10. Sex And The City
11. Bridget bleedin' Jones
Aaanyway, yes, that's enough I think. Again, thank you to everybody who's donated and shown encouragement, sorry everything went a bit weird around the dark patches of Gigli and Bridget Jones, I hope you've enjoyed reading the contents of my brain as it spilled out onto these pages, and I'm off to bed now.