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Movie magic – what makes us fall in love

Sep 9, 2015   //   by Kelly Malloy   //   Films, Finding inspiration, Writing Tips  //  No Comments

Falling in love with a movie is a pretty powerful thing. We will often hear the comment “I love that movie” and although we associate love with romance, this doesn’t have to be the genre of film we fall in love with. It’s interesting to take a close look at the movie’s we love and try to unlock the recipe for movie magic.

Here’s a few movies I ‘love’ for varying reasons:

  • Jurassic Park
  • Speed
  • Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet
  • Bridget Jones Diary
  • Love Actually
  • Scream
  •  Up
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • The Dish
  • Muriel’s Wedding
  • The Talented Mr Ripley
  • Something about Mary
  • My Best Friends Wedding

I love all of these movies for very different reasons. For example, I love how all the stories in Love Actually are beautifully entwined. I love My Best Friends Wedding because it reminds me of when my best friend and I watched the movie for the first time in America together. I love The Dish because of it’s fantastic Ozzie story telling. I love Jurassic Park for it’s originality and suspense.

Love comes in many forms and the same can be said for movies so it’s always interesting to take a look and think about why you actually ‘love’ a movie? There are many factors which need to combine and compliment each other to make a movie work:

The script: The script is the bones of the movie and needs to be strong and able to hold the movie up. The story is what is making this movie happen and when it’s a story that effects people, that’s when magic happens. It could be the a belly-shaking comedy or a horror flick that knocks your socks off. When there is a good story happening people will respond.

The director: This is the person responsible for making the words on paper translate and connect with an audience on the big screen. The vision the director carries for the script is ultimately how we as an audience ‘see’ the movie.  If this vision doesn’t mesh with the story, it can cause some of the meaning of the script to be lost through confusion.

The actors: Just like when you read a novel and have a picture in you mind on how the characters look, the same goes for screenplays.  The trick is not only finding an actor that compliments the character but there must, must, must, must, must!!!! be chemistry between the actors.  Chemistry involves the audience.

The music: It can not be downplayed how important the music is in engaging the audience and setting the scene.  The soundtrack to Love Actually is one of my favourites as it’s so obvious how much thought was put into the selection and placement of every song.  I even used some of the original scores at my wedding I loved it that much! Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet appeared in someways to be almost written and directed around the music with the soundtrack matching the movie in popularity and sales when it was released.

Despite all of these things, sometimes there is just something about a movie that you connect with and ‘love’ while the person sitting next to you loathes it.  Even when all these elements combine, sometimes there is just that ‘something’ missing that you can’t put your finger on and does not allow you to connect to the story.

Movie magic happens for different people for different movies and perhaps it just all comes down to taste. Some of us like chocolate, some of us like vanilla and some of us, like Steven Spielberg, appreciate ALL of the flavours with his quote “Every time I go to a movie, it’s magic, no matter what the movie’s about.”

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