How to Make a Good Romantic Comedy by Drew Barrymore

Photo: Gene Page/Courtesy of Warner Bros.

1. Don’t make a chick flick.
I hate chick flicks. I’d never do a romantic comedy that’s just a chick flick. I mean, I am a girl, but I like boys and their sense of humor. I like heavy on the comedy instead of heavy on the schmaltzy— films like The Wedding Singer that are very boy-friendly.

2. Set the film against a specific backdrop.
You always have the boy-gets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-back formula, but it’s boring to me when it’s set somewhere random. It has to be set in a specific world, whether it’s baseball like in Fever Pitch or Hawaii like in 50 First Dates.

3. Don’t just work with beefcake.
You don’t necessarily need sexual chemistry. I like funny guys instead. [Hugh Grant] has a very weird sense of humor. He’d say something and I’d think, Wow, I can’t stop laughing and he just insulted me in this awful, witty way.

4. No matter how ridiculous it gets, never wink at the camera.
Even with something like 50 First Dates, which was, um, extremely unrealistic, you have to give it some level of tonal reality, so the audience can just relax into the story line instead of saying, “You can’t do that!” The tone lets you get away with everything else.

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Drew Barrymore still believes in happy endings. Isn’t that sweet?

How to Make a Good Romantic Comedy by Drew Barrymore