I realised that I have never written a romantic comedy, well I’ll have to change that. Most romantic comedies have to have some silly obstacle that keeps our lovers apart until the finale, I mean there were two movies last year where the obstacle was that the two people are friends (No Strings Attached, Friends with Benefits). Well I’ve got a hell of an obstacle for my star crossed lovers:
We begin with some helicopter shots of New York City with some really on the nose pop song on the soundtrack (probably Empire State of Mind). In a montage we watch our two star crossed lovers begin their days. First we see Mark (played by Aidan Turner) wake up a second before his alarm goes off in his spotless and modern room. Then Kate (played by Greta Gerwig) hits the snooze button on her alarm, her apartment is a mess filled with half finished art project (note that her apartment is still huge by NYC standard). Mark pick out a tailored suit from his vast collection, whereas Kate can’t find anything to wear (crisis!) and she resorts to grabbing something out of the hamper (after smelling a few items and making a face of course). Mark picks up a breakfast sandwich and a copy of the Wall Street Journal from the deli, and Kate buys a copy of The Nation and some granola at her deli. The montage ends as Mark and Kate each get to their separate jobs.
Kate works at an organic food coop. Kate talks to her gay friend Josef (Ryan Gosling) whom she works with. Ryan Gosling is clearly having fun playing the gay friend, but he goes a little too over the top, and it feels a bit offensive. Josef is telling her how she has to come to the party he is throwing tonight, and that everyone from the coop is going, and then he gets serious, and tells her that she really needs to meet someone so she won’t feel so lonely all the time.
Mark on the other hand works as an analyst for a hedge fund. He talks to his best friend Dean (played by a pleasantly plump Jonah Hill). Dean is trying to convince Mark to crash this crazy party he heard about. He says how there will be a bunch of “hippy dippy chicks” there who are all about free love, and he has to go. Then he gets serious and tells him that Mark really needs to do more socializing so he won’t be so lonely all the time.
It is the party and Kate is sitting by herself looking lonely. Josef tries to get her to come dance with him (you should see his dancing, it is hilarious….) but she refuses. Mark and Dean show up. They are totally overdressed and Mark has a bottle of Bollinger Champagne which is not appropriate as everyone is drinking PBR and boxed wine. Mark wants to leave but Dean says something about how hot these chicks are with their birkin socks and daddy issues. Reluctantly Mark joins the party.
Things don’t start well as Mark immediately bumps into a party goer played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse who is wearing a Che Guevara tee-shirt. The party goer makes a snide comment about Mark’s suit, and Mark makes a crack about his tee-shirt. Things begin to get heated and the party goer starts calling Mark a one percenter and Mark calling the party goer a communist. It becomes a shouting match about the merits of Hayek vs. Keynes. Dean finally calms Mark down telling him he is cramping his style.
Later on, Mark is sitting by himself while Dean hits on women. Kate is also sitting by herself while Josef is making out with some dude. They are in other rooms, but decide to leave the party at the exact same time. They literally run into each other as they try to walk through the apartment door. Mark asks if she felt out of place like he did, and she said she is not good at socializing. They walk out together chatting. When they are about to part ways, Mark says he is having a good time and he would love to hang out some more, and Kate agrees, cue montage of the couple getting a few drinks and talking and walking through parks. It is clear that they are perfect for one another. They exchange numbers.
The next day at work, Dean talks about how lame everyone at the party was, but Mark says that actually he found a nice girl there. Josef and Kate have a similar exchange as Josef makes fun of the guys in suits who came to the party, but Kate defends Mark saying that he was actually really nice.
Mark invites her to a bar where he is hanging out with friends from work. It is a very upscale place and they keep ordering bottles of champagne. Kate can’t afford any of the drinks and says how it is such a waste of money, and they should be using all that money for good by trying to help kids in Africa or something. Mark’s friends mock her mercilessly. Mark tries to stick up for her but fails.
Kate then invites Mark to some of her friends and as you can guess that it doesn’t go well. Mark tells Josef that he needs to start a real career not just keep getting menial jobs, which doesn’t go over well.
At work some time later, Dean says how much he doesn’t like Kate, and there is a similar scene of Josef not liking Mark. This is enough to keep our star crossed lover away from each other for a few weeks.
Weeks later Kate is at the food coop and Christopher Mintz-Plasse character is having a political meeting. They are talking about how the financial industry is destroying America and they really have to do something (non-violent of course) to stop them. Kate mostly agrees and it takes only a little bit of prompting from Josef to totally get on board. They decide to do an occupy type protest in front of the biggest hedge fund they can fine.
Mark is at work at his desk when Dean hands him a glass of champagne and says that he has something he wants Mark to see. They go to the building’s patio, champagne in hand. Dean points to the small crowd of protesters below and laughs. At just that moment Kate looks up and locks eyes with Mark. She is heartbroken and runs off. Dean says “wait a second, that wasn’t that girl was it?” to which Mark nods hands his glass to Dean and leaves work.
Mark walks aimlessly around the city, finally stopping and sitting on a park bench. After a beat, a strange looking bald man sits next to him.
The Man “Woman troubles”
Mark “Good guess… oh my God, are you James Carville?”
James Carville “At your service. So what’s the problem?”
Mark “We really like each other but our political views are just so different. But you know all about this don’t you?”
James Carville “I’ve been married to my beautiful Republican wife for almost 20 years. Greatest decision of my life.”
Mark “How do you do it, you guys are just so different”
James Carville “Well the trick is to make your political leaning such a big part of your life that it become a part of your identity, to the point where just hearing slightly different views make you physically angry. Then you just never talk about politics to your partner.”
Mark “What? Really, I was kinda thinking it might be a good idea to take all the emotions out of it, find common goals and then use evidence to figure out which policies best accomplish those goals, giving no thought about the left or right designation of those policies.”
James Carville “Nope, just completely ignore that aspect of your partner’s thinking. That’s the only way to do it.”
Mark “Great, you’ve been a big help, I know exactly what I have to do”
Mark gets up and shakes Carville’s hand and yells “Kate!” and runs. He gets to Kate’s apartment but Josef won’t let him in. Mark pours out his heart at which point Josef of course lets him in.
Mark “I’m so sorry Kate! We can’t let politics get in our way, our love is too important. That’s right, I love you!”
They kiss as the soundtrack surges.
Kate “I love you too! We just had some bumpy spots discovering the plan that Jesus has for our lives. This is all God’s will!”
1) You have to make this movie specifically so I can see Ryan Gosling make out with another guy.
2) James Carville!!!
Classic, Dunn. Love the ending and the Stan Lee / Brody esque speech
That was definitely my inspiration. I realized that Kevin Smith used that wise character putting everything in perspective in almost all his movies. Jersey Girl is the most similar to Stan Lee/ James Carville speech in that it is a famous person, but it also happened in Clerks with Jay and Zack and Miri with Craig Robinson’s character, and somewhat in Clerks II with Randel.