Saturday, September 09, 2006

Why I'd Never Be Able To Write Pretty Woman

Warning: Possible spoilers for a book I won't mention and also Pretty Woman.

Just finished a great book that had, in my opinion, a major flaw. One of the characters, who is killed before the book really starts, appears to be a crooked cop through most of the novel; but it turns out the guy was undercover and he was nice the whole time. Now the reason I think this is a mistake. The realization that this cop may be dirty takes a harsh toll on the main character of the novel. The guy is just destroyed. It's really heartbreaking. You don't want the character to go through his misery - and the writer knows this. So, he makes sure the seemingly dirty cop turns out to be a good guy. I think this negates the impact of the protagonist's struggle. If I had written this novel, the cop would have remained dirty, it's more interesting. To me, ensuring the cop is a nice guy is almost equivalent to the ending of Pretty Woman. There's no way a rich guy like Gere is going to sweep Julia Roberts away to marital bliss - but that's what the audience wants. If the movie ended with Gere saying, "Relationship? Are you fucking nuts? You're a whore. I picked you up on Hollywood Boulevard. I kiss you, all I taste is dick," well, it wouldn't have been as big of a hit. The difference between me and the writer of the great book with the major flaw is that I'd write the "taste like dick" ending, while he'd be much smarter and write the fairy tale ending.


Christa M. Miller said...

Did you see The Descent? It was a great movie - except for the end, which was badly Americanized. I found out later that the original British ending had been cut - but was available on YouTube. It made a LOT more sense for the movie, even though it was darker. I can only hope the DVD restores it.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Oh My God.

This is pretty much what I would say.

Taste like dick - ha!