Posts Tagged ‘Robert Altman’

You May Now Kiss The Scribe…

September 22nd, 2010 Comments off

Weddings are great. They are tremendous celebrations of love, life and devotion. And they usually include excessive alcohol and cake-fueled  receptions. What could be better?!

I was lucky enough to attend a family wedding this past weekend, and the event went off without a hitch, so to speak. That’s a good thing – for the bride, groom and their families, but wedding mishaps, accidents and unexpected surprises can make for great dramatic fodder in a screenplay. The cinema universe is full of wedding-related stories, from the recent “Rachel Getting Married” to “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Wedding Crashers,” and Robert Altman’s underappreciated 1978 “A Wedding,” to name a handful. After all, drama is conflict – and comedy flows from unexpected or surprising associations/actions – so wedding ‘snafus’ are the icing on the wedding movie cake, to strain a metaphor.

So it’s no accident that so many movies have included wedding themes or plotlines. After all, it’s a loaded subject – ripe for exploitation dramatically, comically or simply as a plot device. Serious wedding-themed films often deal with hidden secrets, or conflicts between generations, while comic films involving nuptials frequently emphasize timing or character. Occasionally, there’s a film which combines comedy, drama and insight along with a wedding theme. “The Graduate,” anyone?

The romantic atmosphere at weddings feels contagious – though in a good way… Pairings often occur, it seems, at these emotionally-charged celebrations, suggesting that well drinks and blaring music can make strange bedfellows (literally). It’s subject matter begging to be written down: no matter what wedding you attend, someone invariably tells a tale of excess at a previous wedding that will seem unbelievable – until stories surface from the current event. Weddings are like the Rites of Spring. And what’s wrong with that?!

So next time you’re at a wedding, look around you. Everybody at your table or sitting beside you on a church pew probably has a wedding story. Have you written yours yet?