Getting the Romance Arc Just Right

Unfortunately, this article is talking about how to go from platonic to romantic in your screenplay or teleplay and not in real life. We’re hoping that somebody will try it in their very own real world, though. And if you’re the one, please let us know how it goes.

Meanwhile, in the Wonderful World of TV and Film:

romance today

by Eric Owusu

Things change. That’s merely a fact of life. Roles, jobs, relationships, they all undergo some sort of growth, regression, or metamorphosis. A particularly popular relationship that writers love to change and audiences love to see change is the friendship that becomes something more. We’ve seen it in several rom-coms – You’ve Got MailDefinitely, Maybe, and What If – a friendship between two people develop into something seemingly brought together by Cupid and Fate.

Because no two rom-coms are the same, there isn’t a set formula for how to take a pair of inseparable buddies on a journey that shows them how perfect they are for each other. But when writing your friend-to-love bird screenplay, keep these tips in mind.

Establish Their Romantic Incompatibility

First things first, show your audience your two buddy characters and the world and circumstances they live in. One of my all time favorite romantic comedies is Kevin Smith’s 2008 Zack & Miri Make A Porno. In it, the title characters are long-time friends and roommates who come up with a plan to make easy money by starring in an adult film. They’re such good friends, we learn from dialogue between the Zack, Miri, the people they went to high school with, and their friends, that the assumption is that it won’t be weird for them to have sex on camera and continue being only friends.

Zack and Miri actually are good buddies who are 100% comfortable with each other. They discuss their personal sexual interests, bathroom habits, old crushes and a slew of other things it wouldn’t be strange to hear two friends of the same sex talk about. From the jump, we see two buddies who don’t seem interested in the other romantically. When establishing your friends, be sure to solidly paint the picture of their relationship in a way that’s clear and pointed. If they’re just friends, make them appear as such. If they already have some romantic tension, make that evident as well.
Introduce Us To Their Friends

Mutual friends of the pair we’re going to see become a couple can be very helpful supporting characters in a romantic comedy screenplay. The friends are the ones who whisper in the friendly couple’s ear, asking why they’re not together or suggesting that they should be together. In the beginning of Zack and Miri, Zack’s friend and coworker Delaney asks why Zack and Miri aren’t and have never been together, with Zack explaining that they’ve been friends for too long. Later, Delaney helps Zack realize that Zack’s been lying to himself about his feelings for Miri. During the filming of the porn scenes, Zack and Miri’s co-stars tell them how great they look together and how real their acting looks….

Read it all at SSN Insider