Warning! Mild Ghostbusters and Be Kind Rewind spoilers ahead!
This is a silly post for a silly subject.
Ghostbusters is a key movie for Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind: not only is it the first movie the Jack Black and Mos Def characters remake—”swede”— but the two movies actually share the same plotline: friends going-into-business.
Anyone can graph a simple story if he or she will crucify it, so to speak, on the intersecting axes I here depict:
“G” stands for good fortune. “I” stands for ill fortune. “B” stands for the beginning of a story. “E” stands for its end.
A much beloved story in our society is about a person who is leading a bearable life, who experiences misfortune, who overcomes misfortune, and who is happier afterward for having demonstrated resourcefulness and strength. As a graph, that story looks like this:
This story shape describes most comedies, especially romantic ones:
In the case of the going into business story, it goes like this:
- friends go into business to wild success (good fortune)
- business gets shut down by government agency (misfortune)
- the community rallies behind the friends to save their world (good fortune)
- Friends get kicked out of Columbia, go into business for themselves, land on the cover of Time magazine, etc.
- Walter Peck from the EPA comes down and shuts down the power grid and all hell breaks loose
- the mayor gets the Ghostbusters out of jail, NYC rallies behind them, and they kick Gozer’s ass
Now Be Kind Rewind:
- Jack Black erases the tapes, so he and Mos Def have to record their own movies, and everybody loves them
- the lawyers from the MPAA come to shut them down (and the developers want to tear down the building!)
- the ‘hood rallies, they make the Fats Waller documentary together, and they have the screening in the building so the developers can’t tear it down
It’s a great plot because it has great American themes: friendship, capitalism, and community.
Okay. So this post might not pass the “so what” test. I’ve had a couple margaritas…sue me.
Can anyone else think of other “going into business” plotlines?