Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Proposal - Guest Author, Rachel Hauck

This week, guest author Rachel Hauck will give a craft review of the new summer movie, The Proposal. I met Rachel in 2002 at the first national conference for American Christian Romance Writers, (now called American Christian Fiction Writers.) She has served in that organization as worship leader, president and now as adviser, and has never lost her sweet, humble spirit. She has since authored some terrific novels, the latest -- Love Starts With Elle.

Rachel wrote the following post to our ACFW loop and I quickly snarfed it up for this blog. I haven't had a chance to see this movie, yet. My husband and I usually reserve the theater for blockbusters, like Star Trek. But I've heard so many terrific things about it, we may have to break that rule. I'm not sure I can wait for it to come out on DVD.

And now, Rachel:

I just saw The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. It was a great movie. There were a few cliche scenes, but the director made them work well for Sandra's character and the setting.

Otherwise, this was a GREAT movie for dialog, pacing and how to raise the stakes. What starts out as a ridiculous set up -- she's a publisher from Canada about to be deported because she violated her green card status, and he's her exec assistant working his tail off to become an editor.

So she pretends they are getting married so she won't be deported. Why would he go along with this? He hates her! But the screenwriter wisely raised the stakes for him, and brilliantly. Lots of times we see stupid reason for raising stakes: she's going to tell he dated the bosses daughter... Big deal.

But the stakes are real, and believable. This is a great movie to discover how to raise the stakes, both private and public.

The dialog was also fantastic. In one scene, Drew and Margaret are quietly arguing and he wants to reminder of what kind of hard woman she is and instead of doing the typical name calling or using the B-word, he says, "you're going to have to quit eating children while they're dreaming."

I loved that line. Why? Because it shows how hard she is and how he perceives her. She's a dream killer for her own gain. Best of all, it was utterly unique. I love dialog and struggle to get unique lines sometimes, but this has inspired me to think and dig deeper!

Best of all the chemistry between Bullock and Reynolds was great. We should strive for that among our protags!

Thanks, Rachel, for the great review and writing tips. Folks, Rachel has a wonderful service for writers called My Book Therapy. She knows her stuff!

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