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screenwriting and comedy structure

Wouldn't it be great if we could find the magic formula for screenwriting and comedy structure?  Two effective movies, both starring Jack Nicholson, are Something's Got To Give and About Schmidt.  The latter movie has enough comedy in it that I would put it in this category also.

 

These kinds of movies can show you the structure of comedies.  Still, writing is a personal creative outlet and so how you structure your own comedy can be "copied (or made fresh)" from earlier movies that succeeded in making you laugh by adding your own, original and unique voice. 

 

In technical terms, there must be an Act One, Act Two, and Act Three--beginning (to about 30 pages), middle--layering of conflict (for comedic purposes), and resolution of conflict(s) toward the end.

 

More comedy movies where you can pick and choose what worked for you:

 

Sleepless in Seattle.

You've Got Mail.

When Harry Met Sally.

Only The Lonely.

Laws of Attraction.

Two Weeks Notice.


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