My Idea for a Romantic Comedy
I overheard a girl talking one day, and she said, “I just want to find a bad boy, but I want him to be nice.” Then all the other girls nodded their heads like, “uh huh, you said it!” It made me wonder if more girls thought like that. The classic stereotype is that girls like a ‘project’ — someone who they can change for the better. Like a tiger hungry for the chase, or an artist eager to sculpt, some women want to work a little for their reward. Then I came up with an idea for a romantic comedy.
The main character is a guy who’s too nice. He always falls into the ‘friend zone’ with girls. He brings them flowers, he calls them on the phone, he consoles them when they’re breaking up with their jerk boyfriends. But for some reason he has trouble attracting girls. He’s just too selfless.
Then his friend convinces him to act like a bad boy.
“Girls like bad boys, right?”
“So why don’t we make you a scum bag.”
The main character objects, “Wait wait, you want me to act mean? Then I’ll have to act that way for the rest of my life!”
The friend says no, “Only until she changes you to be nice. Then you can be the nice guy you are, and she gets to take all the credit. She’s going to change you into yourself.”
The camera zooms in on the main character’s realization. “Change me into . . . myself!”
Cut to a montage where the friend is trying to make him mean. He trips little kids with ice cream cones. He insults and marginalizes women. And he leaves a little bit of milk at the bottom of the carton while putting it in the fridge. He’s a bad boy.
So he tries to pick up a girl he’s had his eye on for a while, and she is actually very attracted to his bad boy image. She finds it strangly irresistible, yet horrifying. He goes too far, and hurts her feelings. She’s upset with him. Then he apologizes, and she sees that as a glimmer of hope that she can change him.
Cut to yet another montage, this time of her changing him to be nice. They go out on dates and she helps him to stop cutting people off in traffic. She teaches him to write to his mother. And she even gets him to start a charity for kids. Now she’s finally changed him to be the nice guy she wants him to be.
But there’s a problem, his friend comes along and accidentally reveals that this was all a trick. That he was really a nice guy to begin with. The girl gets upset and runs off. The bad boy, now has to find her and make up. Somehow he convinces her, perhaps by hopelessly admitting that he loves her, and he wishes he had never done it. Or maybe she talks to the charity for kids he started, and she forgives him. Then they live happily ever after.
Or ninjas come out and kill everyone. I haven’t really decided which I like better.
Maybe the title could be, “Michelangelo” to use the sculpting theme, or maybe “Scum Bags” to accentuate the bad boy aspect. I know it seems like a simple idea, and maybe it’s already been done before, but I just think it’s kind of funny. Here’s a guy who’s changing into someone because he thinks a girl will change him back into himself. And it follows the exact formula for a romantic comedy movie. The conclusion could be something like nice guys finish first, if they are truly nice inside.
Or, perhaps a different, but less cliché ending:
The girl changes the boy, but not back into his nice guy self. She changes him into a selfish man. She shows him the difference between being mean and selfish, and helps him to stand up for himself. She shows him the virtue of selfishness that is so attractive and healthy for relationships, and gives him confidence. He realizes that simply being a giving person makes him a target for being used and abused. By being truly selfish for the long term, he is more greedy to love her, and keep her for himself. He realizes just how very important she is to him in his life. And he realizes that he truly loves her much more than he ever thought he could.
Oh well, maybe one day I’ll write a draft.