Everyone Has Reversals

Story Lessons, Big and Small (Warning: Spoilers!)

May 27, 2008

One Bride's Redemption

Well, I'm newly engaged. Thank you. You're too kind.

To celebrate, let's talk about
27 Dresses, which I finally rented! I think there's a lot to like about this rom-com. I did laugh; thank God. And I liked that the hero had real choices to make (beyond "Hmm, do I pick the schmuck I came in with, or the mensch I just met?").

I also thought it was smart to have the rival/villain (the lying bridezilla sister) be redeemed in the end. Personally, I don't think enough villains get a shot at redemption these days. And I'm wondering if partly that's because it's tough to do.

So I present, for your consideration, 3 Easy Steps to Redeeming Your Rom-Com Rival (a la
27 Dresses):

1. Have the hero humiliate/punish the rival in a way that’s over the top (suddenly we feel badly for the rival, and upset at the hero – the hero doesn’t do this!). This creates sympathy for the rival, while providing a handy "darkest hour" for the hero.

2. Have the rival take responsibility for their actions, and have them acknowledge what it is that has led them to behave this way. Understanding + accountability = potential for change... and we'll hope they do.

3. Have the rival support the hero in the end. That's coming full circle, baby.

Now, go. Use this guide for good.

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