It’s April A-to-Z month! Interested in signing up? Unfortunately it’s too late. I know! But even if it it, check out the 1500+ bloggers signed up and striving to complete this month-long challenge. They need YOU to cheer them on!
NOTE: Changes are happening! I’m no longer filtering these movies through the W-story structure, because it’s too rigid. Instead I’ll be using Jami Gold’s Basic Beat Sheet. BUT if you liked Mary Carroll Moore’s W-story structuring method, you can find info all about it here.
Disclaimer: This is MY version of a plot break down. You might decide I’m entirely wrong and spewing nonsense, and that’s cool. It’s all relative.
Also SPOILER WARNING.
For my S movie – can’t believe we’re at S – I chose The Seven Year Itch because I like Marilyn Monroe and I wanted a light-hearted, funny enough movie and I got it. 🙂
Gotta chop it up now!
Inciting incident: Mr. Richard Sherman’s wife and young son, Ricky leave for summer vacation on the exodus of married women and their children out of NYC. Ricky forgets his paddle for his kayak and Richard makes a note to get it sent up to him via mail. All in all he’s a straight-laced guy who has no plans to be a “summer bachelor” while the missus and son are on vacay. But when he meets his temporary apartment guest, ‘Marilyn Monroe’ or Miss whatever-your-name-is, Richard is succumbing to her young beauty and falling back on his bad smoking and drinking habit.
End of the beginning: Richard has been ignoring ‘MM’ in the apartment above, and having a struggle against his baser desires (seriously, dude was having full-on chat with his phantom wife). Then ‘MM’ almost kills him with a potted tomato plant and he invites her down for a drink…also he decides to drink and smoke to calm his nerves.
Pinch point #1: After they drink and make merry, ‘MM’ finds out Richard’s married and she’s delighted (because a married man would never try to molest her *eye roll*). On his best behavior up until the end of the night, Richard breaks out the he-wolf and tries to steal a kiss from ‘MM’. She’s totally cool with it, but he has a breakdown of guilt and kicks her out (gently).
Midpoint: Richard goes to work and he’s having this mental breakdown. He even asks his boss to let him have a 2-week vacation to be with his family (and avoid the temptation that is ‘MM’). He’s an editor at a well-to-do publishing company and one of his author clients is a psychoanalyst, Dr. Brubaker, and he ends up getting a quick, free consultation from the shrink in the house. Worried that ‘MM’ is blabbing about what happened last night, Richard hypothesizes all these crazy situations. He copes by smoking to an access and drinking whenever he can. Deciding to come clean to his wife about his late-night guest and what didn’t happen, Richard calls her at where she’s vacationing in Maine but learns she’s having fun and that she suspects nothing. In a better mood he heads home for the day, planning to avoid ‘MM’ tonight.
Pinch point #2: Only he gets a thought that his wife – who’s bumped into an old colleague of his, a stud of an author called Tom MacKenzie – is having fun with Tom and forgetting about him. So in a fit of (crazy) jealousy, he calls down ‘MM’ for a night out and they go eat dinner and watch a picture and then there’s that famous scene where ‘MM’ stands over the subway grate and catches a warm upward breeze. ‘MM’ kisses Richard, and he decides to kiss her back. All friendly, but Richard starts to play with the idea of cheating and becoming the ‘summer bachelor’.
Crisis: With her room being so hot, ‘MM’ asks to stay in Richard’s apartment for the rest of summer – at least at night so she can sleep without the heat. He’s caught by the janitor entertaining, and afraid the janitor’s going to blab he has to kick out ‘MM’. But she ends up sneaking back into his apartment and he decides to let her sleep in his (and his wife’s) bed while he regulates himself to the couch.
Climax: Richard wakes up and has this crazy thought that his wife is on the morning train back and the janitor told her after all. That she busts down the apartment door and shoots his cheating heart with a gun. He starts to panic and search for a smoke. ‘MM’ lights him up and talks him through the feint. She’s surprised when he confides in her and says that she could fall in love with a sweet, tender, shy guy like him, and she can’t believe his wife trusts him around woman – that she could be so naive that he couldn’t be wooed away by another woman. And then she goes to the kitchen leaving Richard on cloud nine. Then he tumbles down from nimbus land when he answers the door to Tom MacKenzie. Richard starts flipping out about his wife sending Tom for a divorce and that he won’t let her go and ignores Tom’s reasoning that he’s really here to personally deliver Ricky’s paddle. Richard then punches Tom and knocks the poor big lug out cold. The janitor strides through and Richard demands he drag the unconscious Tom out, and then he tells ‘MM’ he’s leaving and that she can spend the next 2 weeks in his family air-conditioned apartment alone.
Resolution: Then Richard grabs his son’s paddle, tells ‘MM’ to call his boss (or was it answer if his boss calls) and tell the man that he’s taking that 2-week vacation anyways and using it to spend the time with his wife and son.
Are you secretly in love with MM too? I’ve watched 3 of her movies and all within the last 2 months – she was so talented.