Watching Movies

I was watching The Proposal the other night. This isn’t a review of the movie, because I don’t want this whole damn blog to be nothing but reviews. But just like that conversation with my mom about pretty/ugly words, this movie also got me thinking.

Since I’ve joined Absolute Write, I’ve become a lot more conscious of the structure and style of things. I don’t know if it’s completely AW’s fault, or I’ve miraculously overnight hit this transformation, but even when I’m reading my favorite books now, I notice awkward sentences and reword them in my mind. I can appreciate a well-written passage for the way its written rather than the story it contains (though I appreciate that as well). And I’ve fallen out of as much love with at least one book because I’ve noticed that while the story itself is wonderful, I can’t get past my dislike of its structure.

What I didn’t know was that the same thing applied to movies.

Note: spoilers ahead.







During the opening scenes, where there’s a montage of both characters, I thought “see, so now we know who they are and what they’re like in fifteen seconds apiece.” When she announces that she has to marry him because otherwise she’ll be deported, I thought, “There’s the defining no-turn-back moment, huh”. And then there’s the meeting with the evil immigration officer so she’s forced to get to know him, even though she still hates him. Then she meets his family and after an Awkward Incident Involving Nudity, begins to break down to him. When she tries on the wedding dress and then sees him with his old flame, that’s the Turnaround Moment. Plot Twist when the immigration officer come to meet them and sits in on the wedding, where because of how she now feels, she simply has to confess the truth. And naturally, he runs after her and girl and boy presumably live happily ever after.

It was like there were two people watching the movie. One was the normal me, who enjoys the occasional rom-com, especially when it’s about book publishing. And the other was this new critical-me, who was checking off boxes on her little mental list. It was very strange. Perhaps it’s because rom-coms tend to head down a formulaic path, but I’m fairly sure this has never happened before.


1 Comment

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One response to “Watching Movies

  1. Incandescent

    I’ve just hit that point too, actually, and I’m not sure whether or not I like it. I’m rereading a series which I paid ridiculous amounts of money to buy, from my starving-college-student-on-minimum-wage-job point of view. Two years ago, the series was OMG Awesome! material. It was this delicious multi-character fantasy quest where the good guys aren’t all good (gasp!) and the bad guys aren’t all bad (double-gasp!), and the characters were So Well Developed.

    Oh jayzus, have I ever been so wrong before?

    The main character’s entire family is murdered by his brother. His brother is out for his blood. He watches his father die, finds his mother’s stabbed-to-death corpse and holds his sister as she takes her last breath, all over the course of around twenty minutes.

    And he never seems to be upset by it. I mean, there’s the obligatory “Why-god-why, my brother is such a tyrant, woe and death upon my kingdom” babble, but there’s absolutely no personal connection to the events…. despite the fact that they’re supposed to be the driving motivation in the story. The MC is just this bundle of MCly adjectives strewn together in an attempt to give the story a center. If you chopped him out of the story, the plot can be summarized as “a bunch of very different people with Quirky But Mostly Functional personalities go across the countryside seeing ghosts, fighting bandits and Generally Being Badass.”

    I don’t like my new-found editor eyes. I really liked this series the last time I read it, and that was after reading George R R Martin. It’s hard to like ANYTHING for weeks after reading George R R Martin — he’s too damn good. But upon rereading two years later, this series I had previously found fascinating is now an onerous thing to read through. I only finished the first book and a few chapters of the second, but I can see exactly how the entire series will play out, and it bores me immensely.

    It also makes me angry, because I spent my money on these books instead of the utilities bill (because I remembered them being OMG Epic!), so now I’m morally obligated to read all of them instead of putting them on the back shelf where they belong x_X

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