Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Movies to Watch to Pick Apart the Story

These are movies I have watched dozens of times. Some are traditions to watch during holidays or important events. But as a writer I see them as trophies to the profession. Lots of story, strong character introductions and development. Lots of plot. Plot twists. Motivations for plot. Arcs. Everything.
 There are flaws in everything, but these I found great films to study. 
And watch. 
Go watch them. 

Character arcs and motivations are clear, concise character development, quickly attached to characters in short time.

Love Actually
Story builds from separate characters and climax is a crescendo of all character arcs woven to one fixed location. Everyone has a favorite character in this movie. Mine's the prime minister (Hugh Grant), but of course I like the author (Colin Firth) as well. Tugs at heartstrings; story never gets old no matter how many times I watch it. Christmas tradition movie.

The Fifth Element
Fast pace in caring about characters and story. 
Fun, cult classic. Never gets old.

Watch for core values in characters and how they're affected by others. Good character internal/external conflict.

The Negotiator
Motivation becomes the plot twist. I obsessed over this movie in my teens. Bought soundtrack to reenact scenes in my bedroom. Nerrrrrd.

The Usual Suspects
Speaking of plot twists and motivations...this movie.

Murder of Crows
And this one.

The Holiday
If Jude Law didn't sell you, the sweet story of internal conflict meeting external conflict will leave you in happy tears. Talk about gumption.

Rise of the Guardians
Character conflict, motivations, story. It's beautiful. Another blog mentioned the man in the moon being a horrible idea. It didn't affect me as much, but I slightly agree after reading their argument. They made "him" too omniscient. But watch this anyway if you like stories about finding meaning in circumstances.

Gawd. That swallow. All fangirls know this scene and we rewind it every time. Character dilemma. Lots of internal conflict. And a pretty blue alien.

Run Fatboy Run
Heartwarming comedy about how far characters will go to achieve their desires.

The Kid
Cute story, character conflict, fast attachment to protagonist, great character introductions and quick, powerfully shown personality traits.

The Wedding Date
I just saw this movie last night. No joke. Why didn't I see it sooner!? Clear personality traits shown on the spot, fast care for protagonist, secondary protagonists are equally strong. Motivations, plot moves smoothly. Fun, sweet. Resolution weak.

As Good As It Gets
Motivations and plot. How characters change each other. Effing Jack Nicholson, just watch it.

The Croods
My kid's favorite movie. It's fast-paced and precise with characters and story. To the point with every scene building to an explosion of emotion and you don't realize you're a part of the family until the point of no return.

The Lego Movie
A tear jerker.
Not kidding.

Happy endings for everyone. Antagonist included. Lots of motivations to drive plot. Main anta and secondary anta, with primary prot and secondary prot. Fun mayhem.

Just Go With It
Don't be sick of Adam Sandler just yet. This one's a sweet take on a French play. Internal conflict and romantic tangles with hindrances. You'll love it.

Flushed Away
K.M Weiland talks about characters who believe a lie. Prot is happy in his lie and you watch him realize the lie isn't all great.

The Patriot
I take this movie seriously. Powerful motivations in all characters. And a huge reason to despise the antagonist right away. Small intervals of humanity and humor to attach audience to prots. Watch plot driven by passion. But watch because it's the Revolutionary War.
No bigger motivation than the people dictated by a king overseas.

Hope this list helps. Leave me a comment! Also I wanna know what movies you love.

What's your favorite movie? Why should a writer watch it?

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