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You don’t need a pitchfork and demons, just take someone away from someone they love – that’s enough

You don’t need a pitchfork and demons, just take someone away from someone they love – that’s enough

Yesterday I posted about the first four Romantic Comedy Beats, as defined by Billy Mernitt: the Set Up hookup bars Shreveport, the Meet Cute, the Sexy Complication and the Hook.

In When Harry Met Sally, it’s when the two of them have sex – re-introducing the theme that men and women can’t be friends

  1. Swivel: Second Turning-point

This is the moment after the hero and heroine have become closer, when their conflict comes back again, in a different form. In Prudence, it’s a new conflict: Ace turns out to have an old flame, Berenice, who’s coming to visit him. This is also a reiteration of the old conflict, because Berenice is everything Prudence is not: driven, successful, glamorous and very very humourless. If Prudence is Ace’s opposite, Berenice is terrifyingly suitable (this is often a device with Mr/Mr Wrong).

Note: Jilly Cooper always has a scene, before this second midpoint, where the hero and heroine have an idyllic day together. Nothing romantic has happened yet, necessarily, but they get away from all the other characters and share their innermost hopes and dreams. I love this device so much that I shamelessly borrowed it in The Out of Office Girl, with Alice and Sam’s day out at the beach. Then you can plunge them down to earth with a new iteration of the conflict. In the case of Alice and Sam, it’s a surface misunderstanding that’s really about the deeper conflict between them (see my previous post on Inner and Outer Conflicts). (далее…)