Optimism is NOT Arrogance

Arrogance is the belief that you are BETTER than others. Optimism is the belief that you have the same CHANCE as others. We all have the chance to achieve our dreams. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Story Review: Despicable Me

Wow - it's been a while since I've posted anything, hasn't it?

Well, I gotta get moving now.  If you haven't had a chance to check it out:  I'm on Guide to Literary Agents!  Thanks to Chuck Sambuchino for posting this for me.  Very excited.  See the links to the right for his blog...

I realized the reason I haven't posted anything is that I've been LOOKING FOR A JOB.  Optimistically, of course...well, actually Optimism can go out the window when you have to earn a living and NO ONE WILL RESPOND TO YOUR APPLICATIONS!  *ahem*

Ok, enough bitterness and what-not.  On to the Story Review.

Question:  When is a bad guy NOT a bad guy?

Answer:  When there's a BADDER bad guy!

Despicable Me has just such a hero - a hero that you would normally hate, but grow to love.  You've seen them before - Scrooge is the prototypical anti-hero, but there are many others.

However, in Despicable Me I felt the transformation was too quick, and the despicable part wasn't quite despicable enough.  Take Scrooge for example.  In every representation I've seen and in the book Scrooge is the prototypical jerk-face.  I mean, you really root against him until the first ghost appears and he shows a bit of a weakness.  Until then, he's, well, Scrooge.

Why is this important?  Because the character arc has to be dramatic in order to be felt.  When Scrooge switches at the end (sorry if I've ruined that for anyone), you REALLY feel happy for the guy.  The transformation is SO obvious that it makes you feel really good.

In Despicable Me, Gru jumps ship to the good side way too fast, for my taste.  The transformation was nearly immediate and thus the rest of the movie was kind of a downer.  It became a "cute" movie with a few good laughs and not a great story about the power of transformation that we can all have.

I'd recommend it for home viewing, but not necessarily for the $8-10 you'd pay in the theater.  The minions are terrific, of course, but again, too cute and Gru is too nice to them to get us all riled up about him.  Scrooge never had minions.  He didn't need them.

Anyway, that's all for now, until the next time, Keep Writing with your Head Up!

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