Saturday, January 8, 2011

Unbelievably Common Dramatic Elements & Devices.

A good screenplay sometimes seem very sui generis: unique unto itself.

There's a lot of work to make that seem so. But only a little examination shows that movies use very similar devices to keep the audience interested. The uniqueness of a good movie, you might say, is a nicely-achieved surface effect: what's unique is the facade, seldom the architecture beneath it.

The Closet is a clever comedy. A boring accountant is about to lose his job--and thus stop being able to pay his alimony to his ex- wife and child support for their rather distant son. So the accountant's neighbor cooks up a scheme to make everyone think the boring accountant is gay--hence un-fire-able.

That simple initial situation and offbeat stratagem then instigates a bizarre series of events: trying to get people to disrobe at work, repeatedly making spaghetti with tomato and basil sauce, wearing a condom hat, buying chocolates for a coworker.