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"An idea for a romantic comedy", 8 days ago, 7:51 PM #1
MK_Wizard

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Everyone who knows me knows I love positivism which includes romantic reconciliation, happy endings and hope that things can get better.

I have an idea for a big project which will happen years down the road, but I want an opinion on it first. It's a couple who's been together for 29 years, but their marriage is really on the rocks and decide to divorce. However, when the husband is on his way to the attorney's office to get the papers, he gets into a car accident. The good news is that he comes out of it ok. The bad news is that he suffered one injury: he hit his head and now, he's suffering from a unique form of amnesia that causes him to think and see world as he did when he was an 18 year old college student and he acts as such. This includes seeing his wife the way he did when they were dating in college. To not traumatise him or risk making things worse, the doctor has clinically prescribed everyone including the wife and friends to play along until the husband's memory gets back.

What do you all think? Sounds like a good story?


See the post on page two to see the new idea!
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8 days ago, 7:58 PM #2
lirvilas
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MK, I’ll be frank: That sounds like a low-end Hollywood production, possibly straight to video. Either the couple wasn’t that badly estranged—which lowers the stakes—or the wife would pass this off as a last-ditch stunt and refuse to play along. I just don’t see it, the coincidence of accident and side effect is too fantastic.

But then again, rom-com was never my thing.
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8 days ago, 8:00 PM #3
MK_Wizard

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Heh. I admit that maybe it does feel that way and it is still in the works. However, I kind of like these sappy type of stories. With splitting up being such a fad and such, I kind of felt having a story that reminds people how they came together would be fun, but I am cool with it not being for everyone.
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8 days ago, 8:13 PM #4
BeeMKay

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There's a version of this (with the femae suffering amnesia) done in a k-drama: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighteen,_Twenty-Nine
First episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlAMdrxI1T4

I think that the plot of your idea is as workable as all other love story plots... the question would be, what will you add to your version that makes it special? The extra spice that will make your readers stay with the story?
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8 days ago, 8:16 PM #5
MK_Wizard

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Well... without giving too much away, I intend to show that the issues that lead to the divorce ironically get tackled during the amnesia and reliving the past doesn't just make the wife think about her life decisions that lead her to this point. The friends think the same way and realise they can't blame other people or their relationships for their failures or wasted dreams.

Plus, it's not a re-enactment of the past. The path is diverging and there is still the underlying question of what's going to happen when the amnesia ends? And even though people are doing what they should have done before, the past is not changing. The present is still now. With that said, what are they going to do when the charade ends?
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8 days ago, 8:17 PM #6
Owlsy

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I actually like the potential and intent here.

However, would have to agree with lirvilas about the whole low-end hollywood rom-com feel though. It gives me pretty strong "17 again" vibes. Then again, I'm also not a giant rom-com fan.

I don't know if you'd need that specific amnesia as a plot device. A near death experience alone would be enough to get your main character to rethink a lot of things. Maybe he reflects on his life and realizes how happy he was in those college days and wonders how he could regain that happiness, maybe it makes him act differently. Maybe after hearing that he almost died, the wife is also sobered and causes her to rethink a lot of things. It depends on why they grew apart as well. It's not as whimsical, but it could be more believable

But this is just how I would approach it, some may like your approach much better. I love the potential and ideas you've got here. Romantic reconciliation is a great theme and I'd love to see more of it. Good luck!
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8 days ago, 8:19 PM #7
MK_Wizard

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I was thinking near death... but it's been done to death. I wanted to show more than just reliving the past. I want to show actual addressing of the mistakes. Near death is good for some stories, but not this one. At least not for me.
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8 days ago, 8:21 PM #8
GMan003
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The setup seems very contrived. Amnesia makes you forget, there's nothing I know of that would make you just not notice three decades of aging in a person. And is he also supposed to just ignore thirty years of global change? The internet, cell phones, quite a few political changes, some fairly substantial social changes (LGBT rights, to name but one). There's no feasible way he could fail to realize something was tremendously wrong. And "just play along" isn't a normal treatment for concussion-induced amnesia - although there are some elderly-care facilities that try to imitate the 60s, to comfort people with age-related dementia, but that's a condition nobody expects to be reversed.

I can see some promise in the general concept, but executing on it is going to be a minefield of logic problems and plot holes.

Also I could have sworn I've heard a plot very similar to this before, but damned if I can remember where. Although I think in that one they both got amnesia?
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8 days ago, 8:22 PM #9
BeeMKay

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Those are good elements,though I'm not sure that would be enough to make you stand out from similar stories.
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8 days ago, 8:23 PM #10
MK_Wizard

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I see. That's cool. I guess it's one of those things you have to see and not just look at the synopsis of.

Merged Doublepost:

I also get that the new technology and such is going to be weird, but I intend to have the entire process be too long. Just long enough. If there's one thing I learned about my big projects, it is not to make your stories too long.

Plus, let's take things with a pinch of salt? I know it's exaggerated, but hey, I'm just trying to have fun here.
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8 days ago, 8:28 PM #11
Owlsy

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I figured the car crash would be considered a 'near-death' type of experience. But you're right, near-death experiences is a pretty common trope, so is amnesia though to be fair. I don't think that's a bad thing though!

There's a bit of stigma around story stereotypes, but I think you can make an awesome story even with common tropes though, all about the execution!
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8 days ago, 8:29 PM #12
JammyTheBirb
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It could work, depending on how you write it. But that would definitely be the make or break factor, because the concept has definitely been done a lot. I've read the gender flipped version in a Sophie Kinsella book? Or a book by a similar author. Anyway, the idea was very similar.
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8 days ago, 8:30 PM #13
MK_Wizard

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Owlsy:I figured the car crash would be considered a 'near-death' type of experience. But you're right, near-death experiences is a pretty common trope, so is amnesia though to be fair. I don't think that's a bad thing though!

There's a bit of stigma around story stereotypes, but I think you can make an awesome story even with common tropes though, all about the execution!


Thanks. I also accept that it is exaggerated, but hey, look at every story out there. Aren't they all a little exaggerated? If we did everything realistically, that wouldn't be fun. It's all meant to be fun. I mean, think about it. A guy who's forty acting and dressing like he did when he was 18. It's all about fun and joy.
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8 days ago, 8:33 PM #14
Eaton Pye

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To be frank, I think a fairy and a magic spell would be a more credible premise than 'amnesia' of that character. Since the amnesia is not like real amnesia, it opens up the questions Lirvilas raises and many others, and there's no real answer except "I say so." Better off with magic, it nips all that in the bud. If you stray into the real world for a moment, what about consent? How is an organized campaign of lying to someone not transgressive? How can a doctor formulate a professional opinion on whether that's more traumatic than being informed of reality if the condition is unique? If the guy thinks like an 18 year old, why does he want to be with a middle aged woman? Etc. Etc.
I don't think you want real-world issues intruding on your rom-com, so better to go with a fantasy premise.
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8 days ago, 8:39 PM #15
MK_Wizard

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I get that this amnesia doesn't exist and I do sort of have an explanation as to why he sees everyone as they were when they were 18. When your brain is "broken", it makes you see things that aren't really there. It's a pseudo-scientific explanation, but it's the one I got. I get that the whole things seems very fantastical and unrealistic. Then again though, is Austin Powers realistic? Does IT address real world issues and stuff? It doesn't. It's one big exaggeration and people love that.

Like I said, I get that this setting isn't for everyone and I am taking what I need from all of this including the negative feedback ;)
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8 days ago, 8:39 PM #16
swamp
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I'd also consider the fact that your lead is now functionally an 18 year old, which may Bring Back the Spark, but means he's probably not ready for a mature relationship. Especially since an adult woman would easily seen as taking advantage of somebody with brain damage.

The second chance trope common, but I find magic is a better start than brain damage. (Which, realistically, would almost never cause convenient memory loss with no intellectual problems or emotional issues) it also works better to put the characters on a level playing field.

And you don't need brain damage or magic to do a romance about rediscovering passion. They could win a cruise, find an old diary, get trapped in a mineshaft.

Also, the failure of most relationships is more than just boredom. Losing the initial passion is normal, so what will they do different when it happens again? What went wrong? Did they lose shared interests? Get burnt out by jobs they hated?
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8 days ago, 8:42 PM #17
Kelsey -Nutty- P.
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As someone who knows someone who did get into an accident and does have amnesia... I'm really not all about this idea at all. Regressing back 30 years, a doctor's diagnosis to "play along" ... I dunno about any of it. I think like others are saying, it raises not only questions in plot and being believable, but in ethical senses as well.

If you want to do a story about reconciliation, there are many, many ways to approach it. I like Eaton's fantasy idea; fantasy in modern settings has been done, sure, but it's still a fun direction to take. That'd also eliminate the need to research a real condition like amnesia.
8 days ago, 8:42 PM #18
J-son

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I agree with Lirvilas, but I also agree you can take any bad or average idea and make a phenomenal product out of it if you have the vision and can execute it properly.
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8 days ago, 8:43 PM #19
MK_Wizard

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Like I said, the issues do get resolved, but I don't want to tell this story before it is told. Maybe I didn't use the right setting to tell it. I appreciate that people are iffy and I have to confess, the idea is to give that initial reaction, but it's one of those things you need see to get how it works. A part of me is also feeling sheepish that the reaction is not totally positive here.

But it's cool. I will still take what I need here and just chalk it up to making it all work ;)

Merged Doublepost:

I'm also sorry if I spurred any negative energy here. I was actually just trying to propose a funny whimsical idea. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt anybody.
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8 days ago, 9:07 PM #20
MissElaney

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Now bear in mind that I did enjoy your other work,

Honestly when I read it

I fucking cracked up because I felt like I was reading one of those chain emails that your 64 year old mother sends you about like, the one where the couple wanted a divorce and the wife is like "okay but first carry me to bed like you used to do every day" and then you find out she has cancer and shit

Now, you can make even the classics sound unflattering and dumb because it's all in the execution. Perhaps if you figured out the narrative conflict in structure here and figured out what was at stake and why you as a reader should care it'd be less Hallmark Channel and more ... better

But yeah dude it's a chain email right now.
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