Monday, November 19, 2012

A bad movie as a lesson in storytelling

Last night I watched a bad movie. It really doesn't matter which one. It broke a lot of storytelling conventions and as a result ended up as a mishmash of characters and events without a satisfying outcome.

The first problem was that the main character wasn't sympathetic enough. He was a self centered jerk who enjoyed partying a little too much. There were some hints that he wanted to open his own small business, but the way he approached it just showed ignorance and arrogance. Nothing through the movie showed me that he was actually working toward that goal, just talking about it. By the end of the movie I had no idea what he wanted.

The next problem was whose story was it? The main character takes on a sidekick. Who turns out even more selfish and more into partying. Um, am I supposed to care as that kid gets involved in worse and worse situations? Was MC supposed to care? The story sort of wanders back and forth between the 2 of them. Neither one has a significant goal. Neither one achieves anything.

Some of the scenes lasted way too long and told me nothing.

The romantic connection was lame. The woman held out, stuck to her principals. She told him flat out that she didn't want anything to do with his lifestyle. And at the end of the movie, for no apparent reason, gave in. I found that so annoying, on top of all the other disconnects that it made me really hate the whole thing.

Storytelling rules aren't there arbitrarily. They are how a story effects us as people. It's interesting to see what happens when they are ignored.

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