It occurred to me our two movies this month represent these categories. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is drama. Crazy people in an insane asylum. Screams drama, right? He's Just Not That Into You is billed as romantic comedy--a group of young adults filled with angst over their romantic problems. Their situations are silly and over the top and funny. But there's a darker side to their problems, as you'll find in most romantic comedies. The balance is necessary, or the film turns into an...um...Jim Carrey movie. LOL As for our Cuckoo's Nest, well, have you ever seen Jack Nicholson not be funny? He lightens a serious situation with some really comic lines.
So, basically we need to mix our drama and our comedy in the right proportions to come up with a winning combination. Whether it's in a movie...or a book. I never really thought about it before, but subconsciously I've been doing this all along in my writing.
Asking For Trouble is romantic comedy. I've mixed an inept uncle (the hero) with his precocious baby nephew, and thrown in a heroine who saves his butt on more than one occasion. The resulting situations are funny. (At least I hope they are.) But underneath runs a thread of heartache for both characters because they feel their life goals are simply too different to find common ground, despite the love they share. A little tragedy mixed with the babysitting mishaps. Without the drama, my book would have turned into a Three Stooges episode.
I also write romantic suspense. Some of it can be pretty dark. In A Deadly Love, a serial killer is cutting the hearts out of women--literally. But there's a giant dog who constantly digs holes in the neighbor's yard and a grandmother who wears tie-dye and has some great one-liners. They make the reader smile. (I hope.) Again, a little balance to keep the reader entertained while they bite their knuckles, wondering who the killer will strike down next.
So, do you like your romantic comedy with an underside of drama...and vice versa? Or is mixing genres not your thing?
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