Thursday, November 16, 2006

Love those 1980s Movie Formulas and Stereotypes

It's fairly standard, really......

In Can't Buy Me Love, Ronald Miller wants to be cool in high school. In Soul Man, Mark Watson wants a Harvard scholarship. In Just One of the Guys, Terry Griffith wants to win a journalism contest.

The rest of the story is the same for all 3:

Character wants something. Character is not qualified to get it. An alternate identity, however, is qualified to get it. Character assumes alternate identity. Character achieves goal. Character falls in love with someone "real." Character continues to be "fake." Moral quandaries abound. Love interest finds out about character's secret. Movie reaches emotional climax. Character makes the right choice and reveals true identity. Happy endings commence.

Ronald Miller is a nerd, so he blackmails a girl to make him cool. Mark Watson is too white for the minority scholarship at Harvard, so he paints himself black. Terry Griffith is too female to be taken seriously as a high school journalist, so she pretends to be a boy.

Wow - the 1980s were so easy!

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Was the tag line for "Soul Man" really "He didn't give up. He got down?" Somewhere, some angry sociology student is earning a PhD over this.]


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