When he learns the one that got away is getting married, a man sets about winning her back, with the help of the fiancé’s ex, only to fall for her as well.
At 32 words the logline has the basic elements:
An inciting incident: “When he learns the one that got away is getting married,…”
A protagonist with an objective goal:”…a man sets about winning her back…”
A strategy for achieving his objective goal: “…with the help of the fiancé’s ex,…”
And a midpoint plot twist:”…only to fall for her as well.”
The midpoint plot twist is an element that distinguishes the project from “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (1997) with which it will inevitably be compared. It also sets up an interesting dilemma for the protagonist and hints at his character flaw. Maybe his pursuit of the one who got away is a vanity project. Or maybe, like Shakespeare’s Romeo, he’s in love with being in love. Is either woman really the right one for him?
This is a movie I would like to see to find out the answers. Best wishes with your writing!
I think yqwertz has a point in that if the mc’s character flaw is fickleness, this isn’t necessarily resolved at the end. However, I think that it could be easy enough to rectify that by suggesting that his character flaw is that he’s stuck in the past or idealistic. It would have to be carefully written to ensure that at no point did he seem fickle though.
I don’t think a romance film has to have a happy ending – even if I agree in part that the audience might expect it. Titanic, Shakespeare in Love, Atonement, Never Let Me Go, Blue Valentine, Romeo + Juliet – all films that could fall into the “romance” category and all end tragically. Love is complicated and it doesn’t always end well – I don’t think anyone would dispute that – so while an audience might want it, if you’re making a film that truly reflects the nature of love then an audience shouldn’t be surprised if it ends unhappily ever after.
I don’t see why fickleness can’t work as a character flaw. Although I’m not sure that is his subjective personal problem issue in this story. And isn’t it possible that the protagonist and the fiancé’s ex have the same subjective issue to deal with? After all, the groom-to-be is the one who got away from her. If she didn’t have some emotional investment in her ex, why would she cooperate?
Whatever, the focus of a logline is on the objective goal the character wants to achieve, not the subjective problem he needs to resolve.
I agree with yqwertz that modern audiences have come to expect a Happy Ever After ending for romances. But I also agree with mikepedley85 that there can be exceptions. And I would add to his list “The Fault in Our Stars”.
As a comedy, the story might work. In a romance audiences expect HEA (Happily Ever After) endings. However, the man’s main character flaw, at least the one visible in the logline, is fickleness. So, even if the man and the fiance’s ex (who has the same character flaw) are together at the end, why should the audience believe it is HEA? Comedies (including romantic comedies) can work without a believable HEA ending.