Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Losing the fun

The more practice I get at screenwriting, the harder it becomes for me to enjoy watching movies and TV. I find myself constantly analyzing the story structure and dialogue. I suppose this is a good thing for my craft, but it's making it harder to enjoy stuff.

I also find it harder to be pissed off by bad material, because I see it more objectively, examining its structure, rather than its aesthetic value. I'm not sure if that's an upside, exactly, but there you have it.

Actually, this happens a lot more with stuff I've seen before than with new stuff, thankfully. But it means it's harder to go back and enjoy my favorite stuff without automatically starting to tear it apart.

Random question of the day: What line of dialogue, story beat, or other element of a movie did it take you surprisingly long to figure out? For me, the most memorable was in The Princess Bride. We start off hearing about how Westley always replied to Buttercup with "As you wish," but really meant, "I love you." After she pushes him down the hill (in the guise of the Dread Pirate Roberts), he shouts it out to let her know who he really is. And then, much later, in fact the very last line in the movie, after the Grandson asks if the Grandfather could come back and read him the story again tomorrow, he says, "As you wish."

I swear, I saw the movie dozens of times before I realized that the "As you wish" = "I love you" actually applied to that last line. I understood before that he was referring to the "As you wish" bit from earlier in the movie, but not that he really meant "I love you, Grandson" when he said it. Now every time I think of that scene, I tear up. Seriously. I had to stop writing this entry a minute ago to rub my eyes. I know, I'm real manly.

Anyway. What's your answer?