The brilliant Mindy Kaling in her book, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me??” does a funny riff on the Seven Rom-Com Archetypes. Over the last two years I have been writing a Rom-Com, “The Billionairess”. My screenplay is inspired by “The Millionairess”. When I went to see the movie "Nine" I was struck by the resemblance of Sophia Loren and Penelope Cruz. I loved the movie by the way. ...When I left the movie theater I sat in Starbucks and sketched out a film idea I had inspired by the George Bernard Shaw play "The Millionairess". While I was writing I thought about the archetypes I hoped to break and the ones I love. My heroine is very modern businesswoman. “The Billionairess” has her own jet, runs several corporations, lives at 740 Park Avenue and turns a rundown Chinatown café into an upscale boutique hotel in a New York minute. She has the best of everything. I like flipping the romance formula to be between a rich powerful woman and a poor independent man.
I would like Epifania to be a woman of color. According to Forbes magazine, the richest man in the world is Mexican Carlos Heidi Slim whos net worth is $69 billion dollars . My ideal leading lady would be Halle Berry, Penelope Cruz or Salma Hayek. Each actress is delicious in her own way but all three are beautiful, sexy, funny and smart. The actresses having an Oscar win or nomination adds a touch of class.
I have thought a moment or two about my favorite romantic leading men. Boris Kodjoe, Gil Marini, Joe Mangianello and Adam Rodriquez. If the leading men are not panty creamer’s it doesn’t work. The first charge a producer should make to the casting director of his or her Rom-Com film, “Don’t bring me men. Bring me giants”. Cynthia Heimel sums it up nicely in “Girls Guide to Chaos”. "All women are either girls, women, or men. And all men are either men, boys, or hairdressers [...]”
Speaking of archetypes why are Indian men always cast as geeks, manservants’ or sidekicks in mainstream movies?
The challenge in writing the Rom-Com is to solve a romantic dilemma and take the audience on the fantastic unpredictable journey along the way. To quote Westley from “The Princess Bride”, “This is true love – you think this happens every day?”