I’m co-writing a broad comedy right now and we’ve got an interesting “dilemma” (I’m putting it in quotes because I’m not sure it’s such a bad thing…) where the mid-point of the screenplay is maybe a little bit more of a gut punch than the crisis 25 pages later… it got me searching for movies where the crisis isn’t quite as bad as the MP and Nancy Meyers Baby Boom came up. I hadn’t seen it since the 80s! Basically it’s Diane Keaton as a feminist business woman who doesn’t want kids - she just wants to get ahead at her corporation- but then some distant relative wills her a baby when they die….. then she finds that she can’t “have it all” in the city working that hard while trying to raise a kid, so she quits and moves to rural Vermont and ends up becoming an entrepreneur again with her homemade baby food / applesauce. In my mind I remembered it that she went up to Vermont for all of act two, but actually Meyers keeps her in the city until the midpoint! Really unusual for a fish out of water story…and even more unusual to have the midpoint be “the worst thing that can happen to her”, which is generally the definition of the crisis. Her losing her big corporate executive job would be the worst thing….but then her crisis turns out to be that the Vermont idea is a disaster, the country house is a money pit and she can’t even sell it because there are no buyers. But in many ways the worst has already happened…..that she failed in the business world…yet it still works!! Does anyone know of other movies where the midpoint is a bigger gut punch than the crisis?? I’m still researching this phenomenon - it seems to work in some cases - and I think it’s because you’ve sunk so low with the protagonist at the MP that you’re willing to go along with a less devastating crisis as long as it pulls you down far enough to think “when does she catch a break???” Anyway, my conundrum of the week!

Posted by Paula Tiberius at 2022-05-26 05:42:50 UTC