18 June 2007

If Movies Were Books, Part 2

If you haven't read the first 9 movies, they are here: Part 1

What I was doing in my first post was looking at how various movies compare to the current state of the paranormal romance genre. I listed 9, and here are the next 9 movies I could think of that had both paranormal and romance elements:

Love Potion #9: I debated putting this one on the list, but the light paranormal gimmick, I thought, and the fact that the heroine underwent a geek to chic transformation, made this one worth mentioning. I don't remember the romance part of it that well except that the hero and heroine didn't get together until the end because the heroine in particular was distracted by how sexy the Love Potion made her. She therefore overlooked the cute that was the hero. So I think...more of a chick lit romance than straight paranormal romance? But its structure did seem to mimic a genre fiction novel pretty well.

The Mummy: Action, adventure, attractive and smart protagonists, bickering, worldbuilding, the eventual growth towards love despite the worlds of difference between them, the villain trying to "get" the heroine in a sexual manner -- and being hot -- yep, it's a paranormal romance! This one, along with Just Like Heaven from my last post, seems to most closely mimic the structure and progression of today's available novels more than a lot of other movies I watched, hoping for just such a story.

Princess Bride: Princess Buttercup had a bit of the TSTL about her, don't you think? The separation after a youthful declaration of love...meeting again as adults and batting through a spot of Big Misunderstanding...the villain, like in the Mummy, chasing after the heroine, albeit for dynastic reasons rather than sexual ones... Yep, I think we have ourselves another paranormal romance novel on our hands. The editor would probably request that the plot be edited so the hero and heroine could spend more time together, and could you please drop hints that Inigo will find love in the sequel? Probably with the daughter of someone who killed his father. That would be fitting.

Shrek: The only animated entry on my list, although many of the Disney fairy tales follow a typical paranormal romance pattern as well. The hero is sent to rescue the heroine even though he's not the "prince" and is only supposed to deliver her to the villain. Yet instead they fall in love en route, with a big misunderstanding/black moment that sends the heroine into the villain's arms under the mistaken impression he's not a villain and that marrying him will remove her curse...and the hero into a sulk. Sound familiar? Luckily, with the help of the characters involved in a secondary romance, the day is saved and true love prevails.

Sleepy Hollow: I wanted to include at least one movie with Johnny Depp, just because. The hero is sent to investigate grisly deaths (cop hero!) and the heroine is a young, innocent "witch", the daughter of a suspicious secondary character, and the target in a villainous murder plot. With the spooky atmosphere and level of violence, not to mention some hero backstory angst, this could definitely work as one of a growing number of horror romances being published today.

Spider-Man 1&2: My husband's favorite. The romance moves on a more "epic" scale, with "epic" meaning over the course of a longer span of time and with the hero and heroine in and out of other relationships. Peter, unless he's in costume and is actively saving lives, is a bit of a beta, which I love but I also know alpha is more popular in paranormal romance novels.

Original Star Wars Trilogy (Han & Leia): While these movies are definitely space opera and notromance and wouldn't be released by a traditional romance publisher if they were books, the Han & Leia relationship did have those classic sparks -- Han is the hot, cynical rebel. Leia is the driven, intelligent heroine. They bicker and then kiss with at least some of it happening on screen.

Underworld: We have a young, beautiful, confused protagonist being introduced to the dark, dangerous world of vampires and werewolves because of prophecies regarding bloodlines. We have the cynical, tough protagonist who is sent to eliminate the innocent but instead ends up falling in lust/love. Now which do you think is which? I included this one because I enjoy the turnabout in the male/female roles in this movie.

What Women Want: The hero is a charming cad who, through unusual and not very well explained paranormal circumstances, develops the ability to hear what women are thinking. This humanizes him and gives him the needed push to become a worthy hero for the heroine, who is a talented, attractive career woman. If this were a paranormal romance novel and I were reviewing it, I'd complain about the worldbuilding, but the plot would be consistent with other novels in the genre.

That makes 18 movies total I examined as to how they'd fare as paranormal romance novels. Which movies did I miss? How are these movies like and unlike books being published by today's romance publishers? Which movies "feel" like paranormal romances to you? Share your favorite movie finds!

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