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Wonder Woman: In Praise of Little Moments

Whether we’re writing screenplays, plays, novels or short stories, look for the little moments that reveal character. Last week I saw Wonder Woman. The action is big and there are many great moments in the movie. There is one moment, however, that I keep thinking about. 

OBLIGATORY SPOILER ALERT: This observation doesn’t affect the plot but I found it inspiring as a writer. Okay? Okay.

Diana is in London. Early on, she’s excited to spot a baby in the street. They don’t have those where she comes from. Soon we’re shown the Pretty Woman Trying On Dresses Montage. It’s the classic fish out of water set up. Nothing new there but fun enough.

In London, it’s clear she has great empathy for the wounded returning from war. (Note: we also see nurses caring for the wounded as they get off the ship.) This reveals character. One funny moment sticks with me more than others. I’m so glad the filmmakers took the time to show us this little bit extra.

As she’s leaving London, Diana tastes ice cream for the first time and enjoys it very much. She goes back to the vendor (whom we cannot see) to say, “You should be very proud!” Giggles and sweetness. That one line reveals character and a value of her culture, too.

Unlike the dark knight, in Wonder Woman we have a hero who is as innocent as she is powerful. In that tiny moment more than any other, the character charmed us. From the trailers, it looks like Spider-Man Homecoming strikes this same chord. 

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was lifeless because it had only one relentless tone. It would have done better if somebody had a sense of humor to punch up the script. (The Lex Luthor character was reviled in the reviews but Jesse Eisenberg stopped that film from becoming completely airless.) The heroes in Batman V. Superman had no small moments to charm us.

Suicide Squad, though not as terrible as its reviews, ultimately failed for me because I didn’t really like anybody enough. We all want someone in the story to cheer for and with whom we can, on some level, identify. 

I would watch Wonder Woman again someday just as I’ve watched Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man multiple times. The successful journeys do not pitch one relentless tone. There’s humor, action, heart and pathos. Those are fun roller coaster rides and that’s what I strive for in my entertainment, whether I’m watching it, reading it or writing it.

~ Want a ride on a roller coaster? See what I write at AllThatChazz.com.



Filed under: publishing

One Response

  1. Yes the script gave everyone so much to work with. Even the Pretty Woman dress montage “How do your women fight in this? Is this what they wear to battle?” Even the running joke about Chris Pine being average. Brilliant self-depreciation that makes us like them all a little more.

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