Everyone (well almost) loves a good love story in popular films. Love is one the five core human emotions that we respond to. We are social creatures and thrive on giving and receiving love.
Love satisfies our desire of being needed and worthy. That’s why screenwriters should tap into our propensity for love through screenwriting.
Types Of Love Stories
Not all films about love are immediately apparent as romance tales. Films about love include buddy movies which explore platonic love, bromances which cover brotherly love, certain family films which look at the love between family members (such as parents and their children) and faith/ aspirational films which explore love of a higher being.
Traditional love stories include romantic comedies which track the obstacles of two or more characters to finding love, romances which illustrate the more dramatic side of love, and some tragedies which are about forbidden love, star-crossed lovers or lovers that can’t be together for some reason. The general demographic target for romance films tends to be 18-49 year old females.
Love stories often appears as sub-plots in genre Hollywood movies. The romantic connection between two characters in a romantic comedy is fairly obvious. Let’s take a look at the love connection buddy/ friendship movies.
There is generally a main character and side-kick who acts as a sounding board in these films. One takes the crazy love ride and the other is the voice of reason accompanying the main character on the journey. One possesses the traits the other lacks, so ultimately they both need to change. The need each other to catalyze these changes. Both experience growth, learning and fulfillment.
Themes in love stories
Common themes explored in love films include alienation, fear, self-image/ confidence, being supported and cared for. Many of these movies involve lying, deception or hiding behind a mask. The characters strive to be something they’re not.
These characters want to pretend they are better than they believe until they realize they’re fine just the way they are. Flaws are what make us human. Love stories are journeys of self discovery, self doubt, self identity and self expression.
Love stories are about intimacy and connection. As social creatures, we aren’t designed to be isolated for extended periods of time. Love stories are popular because there are always obstacles in the way of true love; both internal and external. However, love always prevails, even in tragedies where the doomed lovers are permanently separated.
Barriers to love
The external barrier to love can be physical, social, geographical or environmental. Internal barriers to finding true love are internalized responses to a trauma such as feelings of inadequacy, appearance, age, material success or self confidence.
There will always be an antagonist who reinforces these traumas and the supporter who reinforces the healing.
The main purpose of love stories is therapeutic by encouraging us to accept these perceived imperfections and our uniqueness.
isn’t it time to give a little love to your sceenwriting?
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