It’s time to start on a new project. A new screenplay, my hiatus is over, and with several ideas swimming in my head I’ve decided to not do another thriller. Or anything with dark overtones. The feature that I’m sitting on was just that and having to think about murder, conceit and deception all day is draining on ones overall je ne sais quoi. So I’ve decided that the next project has to be a lighthearted flick. A romantic comedy or something equally as cheerful.
But not one of those flicks where it’s just some spineless woman with nothing better to do than moan the whole way through. Something with character – something with bite to it. Which brings me back to the classics. Femme fatales and the female actresses of the 40s and 50s. And with the news that Elizabeth Taylor died today, I want to know – Can similar female characters be written in that tone today?
My favorite movie hands down is All About Eve. Released in 1950, it has one some of the best scenes and movie one-liners with a great cast of female actresses playing woman made of steel with strong backbones, quick wit and sense of selves. I can not go on about this film enough.
That was in the 1950s, I am hard pressed to think of a film released in the last five years with such strong female characters. And dialog written so cuttingly, I liked Juno just as much as the next person, but funny word play doesn’t resonate the same emotions as the well-constructed insults and references made by Bette Davis’ character.
There are others like it from that time frame The Women. The 1940s version is a perfect example.
That scene is gold! And when they remade it, there wasn’t anything like it anywhere in the movie. It was a lot of whining and crying from Meg Ryan’s character; not an inch of strength to be found.
I’m currently interested in doing a modern version of a movie in this grouping and am fearful that it’ll fall under the diaster that The Women from 2008 became. Simply put, I understand the difficulty in making such classics relatable to our generation. Where as women (and men) wanted to see such head-strong characters, comfortable with their sexual power and the power they could yield on the opposite sex, today not so much. In Sex and the City, one minute they’d be strong but then alter themselves to adapt to the man they wanted (I will not go into where Carrie blames herself for NOT listening to Mr. Big needing her which is why he didn’t show up to the alter on her wedding day). They strong with each other and in their careers but with men – eh, it flipped back and forth.
Okay, wait, there was Mr and Mrs Smith. A remake done incredibly well; was kick-ass and Mrs Smith knew her worth and once revealed who she was and what she did – didn’t back down. But that came out in 2005…has there been anything else more recent?!? Note to self – it took the premise from the original and then completely reworked it for modern day audiences (because without those fight scenes and serious sex appeal, would the film be what it was?).
So here’s to my attempt at creating a flick with strong, no nonsense women! And doing a rewrite correctly!!!