Do You Know These Top Secret Romance Movie Plots
If we sit and think for a moment about our favorite movie I bet that we can come up with several movies that are similiar but not the same. Movies, and novels, often have plots that we’ve all seen before.
Leo Tolstoy — ‘All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.’
If you really wanted to boil it down, all movies and novels are about journeys, a journey about a person or a group of people and how they interact with nature or self or others. Joseph Campbell called it The Heroes Journey.
I’ve listed 10 different plot devices below that seem to be common to romance movies. Some of the movies may belong in one more categorie, and there are others that I haven’t listed. So the next time you watch a movie see if you can pick out which plot device they’re using.
1. FairyTale – Beauty and The Beast
The fairytale plot device is when a traditional fairytale is retold in modern terms. Beauty and the Beast is a perfect example. A beautiful woman falling in love and changing a beastly man.
2. Cougar – Lost in Translation, American Beauty, The Graduate, Harold and Maude
A classic May/December romance between an older woman and a younger man, although it can be flipped. Examples include Lost in Translation, American Beauty, Harold and Maude, and who could forget The Graduate.
3. Office romance – A Novel Romance
Almost every Hallmark Movie. Man and woman forced to work together and then falling in love. My personal favorite is A Novel Romance!
4. Mail-order bride – Sleepless in Seattle
Used in the past in a lot of Western romances, but a more modern day version is where our lovers meet through some form of electronic means such as email or a dating site, or over the radio.
5. Forbidden Love – Moonstruck
Forbidden love, the classic Romeo and Juliett plot device. Two lovers forbidden by circumtances from hooking up. Examples include West Side Story, Moonstruck, and Underworld.
6. Class Warfare – Roman Holiday
Clash of the clashes. One of our lovers comes from money and one from the other side of the tracks. Roman Holiday is a classic example, but it’s been used frequently in PIXL and Hallmark movies.
7. Sex Worker with Heart of Gold – Pretty Woman
Sex worker with a heart of gold. Need I say more. Pretty Woman takes this literally, but Coyote Ugly and Flashdance are two other examples where the sex worker isn’t really a sex worker.
8. Shakespeare – 10 Things I Hate About You
Lots of movies are based on Shakespeares plays. Examples include She’s The Man, The Lion King, Kiss Me Kate, Forbidden Planet, and Romeo Must Die.
9. Fling/Vacation – How Stella Got Her Groove Back
The Fling plot device is used fairly frequently also. A one night stand that turns into something more. Other examples include What Happens in Vegas, Dirty Dancing, and Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants.
10. Friends – When Harry Met Sally
Friends discovering that they are really meant to be together. This is another favorite Hallmark Movie plot device, usually twisted to friends in the past who went seperate ways. Other examples include The Sure Thing, Annie Hall, and Chasing Amy.
Nikki Caine writes short spicy romance stories. Check her out on Amazon.