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Must Hate Cats (Part Two)
by Lance Norris

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THEME PARK

Last week we created the form for our movie, the Romantic Comedy. We have a great working title; MUST HATE CATS. Now what we need is our theme, or heart beating at the core of the project. If we don't really have something to say about the human condition, or at least an axiomatic question that we want to pose, what is the point? We're just jerking off. Without a theme we're just writing MUST LOVE DOGS. Entertaining piffle but have the audience brought anything away from watching it?

I'm going to teach you a great way to cheat when trying to come up with a theme for your Romantic Comedy, because it is truly my hope that you will follow my lead and write your own Romantic Comedy one day. First we must start with an axiom. Don't panic, this isn't math class.

Hegel tells us: "Axioms are commonly but incorrectly taken as absolute firsts, as though in and for themselves they require no proof. Were this in fact the case, they would be mere tautologies, as it is only in abstract identity that no difference is present, and therefore no mediation required." I'm not sure, but I'm guessing that Hegel is trying to tell us, it's ok to misappropriate someone else's axioms because they aren't true to begin with..

Somewhere around 1170 a young fella by the name of Andreas Capellanus wrote a couple of books on The Art of Courtly Love at the request of Countess Marie of Troyes. In the books Capellanus discusses the concept of courtly love and gives a very nice list of axioms that I find great fodder for writing the Romantic Comedy. Just read down this abbreviated list and find one that speaks to you. Capellanus is very dead, and I'm sure he won't mind us using his work as a spring board.


Marriage is no real excuse for not loving.
He who is jealous cannot love.
That which a lover takes against the will of his beloved has no relish.
Boys do not love until they reach the age of maturity.
When one lover dies, a widowhood of two years is required of the survivor.
No one should be deprived of love without the very best of reasons.
Love is always a stranger in the home of avarice.
It is not proper to love any woman whom one would be ashamed to seek to marry.
A true lover does not desire to embrace in love anyone except his beloved.
When made public love rarely endures.
The easy attainment of love makes it of little value: difficulty of attainment makes it prized.
A new love puts an old one to flight.
Good character alone makes any man worthy of love.
A man in love is always apprehensive.
Real jealousy always increases the feeling of love.
Every act of a lover ends in the thought of his beloved.
Love can deny nothing to love.
A lover can never have enough of the solaces of his beloved.
A slight presumption causes a lover to suspect his beloved.
A man who is vexed by too much passion usually does not love.
Nothing forbids one woman being loved by two men or one man by two women.

The one that jumps out at me, and don't read too much into it's selection, is 'Love is always a stranger in the home of avarice'. Avarice (from Lat. avarus, "greedy"; "to crave") is the inordinate love for riches. Its special malice lies in that it makes the getting and keeping of money, possessions, and in a stretch, fame, a purpose in itself to live for. How nicely that dovetails into our story about actors in love.

We now have a theme to plaster onto our eyeballs and refer to with each and ever sentence that we pound out of this pig. Love is always a stranger in the home of avarice.

Because we are cleaver bastards and we have Love is always a stranger in the home of avarice as our theme, make note: the name of the production company that employs Diane will be cagily be called "Rapacity". Moreover the movie they are making will be titled, with a knowing wink, "Cupidity". I can already see the scene.


INT. PRODUCER'S OFFICE - DAY

WRITER
It's a retelling of Snow White.

DIANE
I thought Disney did a pretty good job the first time. Where there questions left un answered?

WRITER
It doesn't speak to today's youth.

Diane considers the 50 year-old, ink stained retch before her.

DIANE
And you do?

PRODUCER
You'll love it Doll. Give it a read. It's called "Cupidity".


DIANE
"Stupidity"?

PRODUCER
No, "Cupidity".

WRITER
(as if Diane were a child)
Umm, desire, craving, longing, yearning.

DIANE
Are those synonyms or the four dwarfs that keep Snow White company while Dopey and the others were out working the coal mine?

It's a little rough, but I like the idea. We're cooking now. Love is always a stranger in the home of avarice. That just rolls off the brain, doesn't it?


NEXT WEEK: The Subplot thickens

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Ask a Bitter Man
Every Thursday

Lance Norris gives us his opinions on the state of film, vents about Hollywood, and generally lets his thoughts fly.


Other Columns
Other columns by Lance Norris:

Later On Croutons

Mutants On Parade 11/12/09

Mutants On Parade 11/5/09

Mutants On Parade 10/29/09

Mutants On Parade 10/21/09

All Columns


Lance Norris
Lance Norris, dubbed "Boston's only straight Film Critic" reviews movies for WZLX in Boston.

He has two books entitled Ask A Bitter Man: The Best of 1984 - 1999 Vol. 1 and I've Seen Better Film On The Teeth of Wolverines. which you can buy here


Contact
If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Lance Norris by clicking here.


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