My favorite plot lines

2 Feb

So lit teachers always say you can trace back almost all works of fiction to seven basic stories. These are important to think about as a writer and a critic of films (ok, a movie-watcher). Here are a few of my favorite plot lines, probably not included on the real list.

1. Woman seeking self. This could usually also be called “Dump the Chump” because we all know, it’s hard to discover yourself while tied down to an idiot, which is the kind of man she’s dating in the beginning.

Conveniently, the woman usually finds love along the way. Or at the end she reasserts herself as not needing a man to be happy, which I can’t prove is true one way or another but I sure like to think is true. One thing I do know, most of these ladies could have found happiness a lot earlier with a puppy.

See: Eat, Pray, Love (that’s one book and movie), Tangled, Anastasia, Elizabethtown, Free Willy (ok, men looking for self, but still)

2. Get contacts, I’m a model, now you love me. It’s the basic beast to beauty plot line. Girl is nerdy, or gasp- smart, guy doens’t notice her, then she gets contacts and plucks her eyebrows and boom. She’s a babe and he’s in love. This gives a glimmer of hope to the homely looking girls out there- stop looking for men and start looking for a makeover.

This is not realistic, because I have contacts and they don’t work that kind of magic. It’s also sending a mean message to women: if you’re not beautiful, he’ll never notice you.

See: Ms. Congeniality, Princess Diaries, She’s All That

3. You and your BF are meant for each other but one of you doesn’t know it yet. Very similar to #2, but with obvious BFF/BF chemistry. You have been besties with someone of the opposite sex your entire life, you’ve never been able to fit in with the girls. Then puberty strikes, or college or one of you dates someone else and the other realizes the obvious feelings.

It takes the rest of the movie for the clueless best friend to realize you are meant for each other. Even your parents are ultra supportive of this relationship for a change. The other person figures it out just in time for a kiss before the credits.

See: The Lizze McGwire Movive, Made of Honor, any episode of Friends, any episode of Dawson’s Creek, Step Up 3-D (yeah, I went there)

What are you doing fool? This is forbidden!

4. Love on the wrong side of the tracks, aka forbidden love. Two people fall in love and their friends/family do not approve. It seems so hard, yet so passionate. Star-crossed lovers pulled apart by the unjust society in which they are forced to live.

Both fortunately and unfortunately or me, my family has no real enemies. My parents are pretty laid back and keep the blood feuds to a minimum. As nice as that’s been, it makes it hard for me to rebel and date someone who I’m supposed to hate.

See: Romeo+Juliet, Pocahontas, Avitar, Titanic, Moulin Rouge

5. ROOOOOADTRIP! (You have to say it like that too) A bunch of friends go on a roadtrip. They argue, they usually leave someone behind, but in the end they all realize how much they love each other. This doesn’t have to be a roadtrip, it can also be a vacation or a situation they are forced to spend an extended amount of time together.

As much fun as I’ve had on every road trip I’ve ever been on, none of them have taught me significant life changing lessons.  Well, maybe that one.

See: On the Road, The Hangover, Crossroads, The Sex in the City Movie, A Goofy Movie


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