The first ever WriteMovies Romance and Comedy Award has a winner! It’s been great to read all the scripts that were entered, and the standard was extremely high, as it usually is – but there can only be one script that takes the top spot…
There’s just one week to go until we announce the winner of our first ever Romance and Comedy Award! To celebrate, we put together lists of our favorite films from each genre… and now it’s the turn of the hybrid rom-com genre!
Once again, this isn’t comprehensive and we don’t necessarily think these are the best comedy films. They’re just our favorites, and we think that there’s lots to learn for writers by watching them…
1. THE BIG SICK
No genre is more plagued with clichés than romantic-comedies, and avoiding them is a big problem for even the most experienced writers. They’re not a problem for THE BIG SICK, however, which somehow manages to tell a story that is both moving and funny without falling back on any of the usual tropes. It helps that it was based on the real-life romance between its writers Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani (who also starred in the lead role), but the care and originality of this script always shines through – and was rewarded with a nomination for Best Original Screenplay in 2018.
2. ROMAN HOLIDAY
A classic of the genre, William Wyler’s tale of a princess escaping her guardians and roaming Rome (see what we did there?) with an American reporter has a rare kind of charm. Having Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn (in her only Oscar-winning performance) in your cast certainly helps, but the script is a wonderful work of art, winning the Academy Award for Writing in 1953. It wasn’t until 1992 that the real writer was retroactively given his award, though; Dalton Trumbo (brilliantly portrayed by Bryan Cranston in 2015’s TRUMBO) was blacklisted at the time.
3. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY
Another Oscar nominee for Best Original Screenplay! It’s almost like good writing shows… WHEN HARRY MET SALLY is smart, funny, and original, and introduced the world to a lot of new concepts about relationships. If you ever doubt its importance in the canon of romantic-comedies, just go and watch something in the same genre from the 1990s and you’ll find this film’s fingerprints (both Harry’s and Sally’s) all over it; FRIENDS, the biggest sitcom of all time, is a notable example!
4. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S
The second film to star Audrey Hepburn on this list, which just goes to show how she excelled in these kind of roles. This one was adapted from the novella of the same name by Truman Capote, so there was already a great writer behind it before George Axelrod got his hands on it – but strangely enough, the part was originally written and tailored for Marilyn Monroe, who was Capote’s first pick but turned the role down. He apparently hated Hepburn in the part… but we’ll disagree with him there. There’s a difference between writing a novella and a screenplay, and while those differences didn’t make BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S the most faithful adaptation, it certainly made it a great film.
5. SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
This one might prove a bit controversial – although perhaps not quite as controversial as when it beat out SAVING PRIVATE RYAN for the Oscar for Best Picture. Still, it also won Best Original Screenplay for Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman, and with good reason in our opinion. Charming, witty, and romantic, it ticks all the boxes for a rom-com that we can think of. A big plus, of course, is that it’s about the greatest writer in history, and that definitely helps win our approval too.
HONORABLE MENTION: MOST OF HUGH GRANT’S MOVIES
No, this doesn’t include PADDINGTON 2 (although we’re a big fan of that as well). You know what we’re referring to: most of Richard Curtis’ output, with a few others thrown in for good measure, including ABOUT A BOY, NOTTING HILL, FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, and LOVE ACTUALLY. We’d have loved to have included them in the main list above, but unfortunately they all cancelled one another out and it was impossible to choose between them.
Parting is such sweet sorrow… and we can’t bear to say goodbye to our Winter 2020 Screenwriting Contest just yet. So as a result, we’ve decided to give this contest a one week extension!
You’ve now got until Sunday March 8th to submit, giving yourself a chance to win great prizes from us here at WriteMovies – not to mention the prestige of becoming one of our winners!
We’ve talked enough about what the contest prizes are in our newsletters and articles – but if you need a reminder, there’s $2000 up for grabs for our Grand Prize winner, plus a year of free script development and guaranteed pitching to industry for our top three scripts!
Our Director, Ian Kennedy, will be sharing some of his Hollywood/LA diary with us over the next few weeks, with news of meetings at major studios and with elite producers, giving you insight into what goes on behind the scenes at WriteMovies. Make sure you don’t miss out, so you know how we present our winners to industry.
And in the meantime, put yourself in the best possible position by entering our contest! The window of opportunity is still open… for the moment. Click here to submit by Sunday March 8th for your chance to win the WriteMovies Winter 2020 Screenwriting Contest!
Last week we celebrated Valentine’s Day with a list of our favorite romance films that all writers should watch – and now, with our Rom-Com Award recently finished, we’re doing the same for comedy!
As with the last list, this isn’t comprehensive and we don’t necessarily think these are the best comedy films. They’re just our favorites, and we think that there’s lots to learn for writers by watching them…
1. MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL
A month ago today we lost a comedy legend with the death of Terry Jones. He and the other members of Monty Python may have produced the most outrage with LIFE OF BRIAN, but they produced the most laughs with their tale about King Arthur and his bumbling knights (both directed and co-written by Jones). MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL might not have a traditional structure – instead resembling a series of sketches – but it’s a great lesson in how to spin surreal situations into jokes. And, you know, how to just be really, really silly.
2. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
Wes Anderson’s films might not be for everyone, but if there’s one we could recommend, it’s this one. The winner of four Oscars (and nominated for a further five including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay), this madcap story about murder and a missing painting is packed with a zany kind of energy. Funny but also poignant, it walks the difficult line between comedy and drama by offsetting its quirkiness with a big dose of charm.
3. SHAUN OF THE DEAD
Zombie-horror has often had a sense of humor (just take a look at THE EVIL DEAD), but this offering from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost takes it to another level. There are so many smart moments in here that it’s impossible to list them all out, but at the heart of all the comedy is the most fact that the protagonists have the worst possible response to a zombie apocalypse: to head down the local pub and wait for the whole thing to blow over.
First zombies, now ghosts – it turns out that a lot of things that are usually scary can often be funny too! Even 36 years later, GHOSTBUSTERS is still a treat for the eyes with its colorful special effects, and as one of the first films to blend comedy with science-fiction and horror elements, paved the way for other genre-bending films to follow. Plus, who can resist the charm of a film where the final battle is against a giant man made of marshmallow?
Who needs a plot when the jokes are this good? AIRPLANE! doesn’t have much in the way of a story, but for anyone looking to learn how to make people laugh, this is the absolute paragon. With nonstop jokes from start to finish, some of them were bound to land – even if we’re not sure if the plane will do the same. Rarely have words been used so effectively in the pursuit of humor!
SPECIAL MENTION: ANYTHING SO BAD IT’S GOOD
Some films are funny for all the right reasons… and some are funny for all the wrong ones. Here’s a shoutout to all the films that went wrong somewhere and made us laugh without meaning to.
It seems like just yesterday that we were announcing the third WriteMovies genre prize: the Romance and Comedy Award 2020. But the final deadline is already here – you’ve got until the end of this Sunday, February 9th, to submit your scripts!
If you’re feeling in a funny mood or a romantic one with Valentine’s Day coming up – or even a bit of both – then this is the contest for you. We’ll be accepting scripts in the romance, comedy, and rom-com genres – so if you think you’ve got what we’re looking for, make sure you submit by the deadline!
There are great prizes to be won, too. Our winner will receive two sets of Development Notes from our expert script analysts, further advice to fine-tune their work, and guaranteed pitching to industry. Plus, all submissions receive FREE, automatic entry to the Winter 2020 Screenwriting Contest!
The winner of our last genre prize, the Horror Award 2019, was MONGER by David Axe, and he also walked away with the Grand Prize in the Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest: $2000! If you’d like to follow in his footsteps, then this is your chance.
WriteMovies has been helping writers succeed since 1999, and we’d love to help you, too. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to get your script out there. Click here to submit to the Romance and Comedy Award 2020 by this Sunday, February 9th!
Happy New Year from everyone here at WriteMovies! The first deadline approaches for our latest genre award – the Romance and Comedy Award 2020 – with just a couple of days left for you to enter at the standard price!
At standard entry for this contest, you can submit a screenplay, stageplay, or TV pilot for just $39, or a book or video game script for $49. But you’ll have to move fast – the standard deadline is this Sunday, January 5th!
The successor to our first two genre prizes – the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Award 2019 and the Horror Award 2019 – the Romance and Comedy Award is here to celebrate more great writing. We’ll accept scripts that belong to either genre, or which are romantic-comedies.
And don’t forget that in addition to some great prizes, including development notes to help enhance your work and guaranteed pitching to industry, you’ll also get FREE, automatic entry to the Winter 2020 Screenwriting Contest too. The winner of our Horror Award 2019 also took the Grand Prize of $2000 in our Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest – so give yourself the same chance and enter today!
We can’t wait to see what you’ve got for us. Submit by the end of Sunday January 5th for standard entry – but if you’re not completely ready yet, don’t worry. The final deadline is February 9th, so there’s still time.
Click here to visit the contest page and submit your work. We can’t wait to see what scripts you’ve got for us!
Our celebration of great writing continues with our latest genre prize. After the great success of our Sci-Fi and Fantasy and Horror awards, we are proud to announce the first ever WriteMovies Romance and Comedy Award!
Do you like to make people laugh with great comedy? Are you a fan of stories about enduring love and relationships? Or do you like to blend the two into that most classic of genres, the rom-com? Then this is the contest for you!
The WriteMovies Romance and Comedy Award is here to celebrate scripts that lift our spirits through laughter or inspire us with passionate love – or a bit of both! We’ll be accepting scripts in the genres of both comedy and romance, plus the crossover genre of the romantic-comedy.
The winner of this prize will receive:
- Guaranteed pitching to industry
- Two sets of Development Notes to help take their script to the next level
- Further advice to fine tune their script from our experts
Plus, every entry to this award will receive free, automatic entry to the WriteMovies Winter 2020 Screenwriting Contest!
So it’s time to get writing. Standard entry to this award lasts until Sunday 5th January, with the final deadline on Sunday February 9th! Click here to visit the main contest page and submit your script!