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Writer/songwriter/teacher/script consultant Billy Mernit can often be found walking Venice Beach.
Recent Activity
mernitman is now following JLM
Apr 1, 2014
No romantic comedies will be produced or released in America from this day forward, studio heads announced today (the first of April, 2014). "No one in this country has any interest in seeing a movie about two people falling in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2014 at Living the Romantic Comedy
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind The tenth anniversary of its release seems an appropriate moment to celebrate the existence of this Charlie Kaufman-Michel Gondry collaboration, a film that arguably increases in stature as time goes by, and to emphasize... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2014 at Living the Romantic Comedy
I came upon this quote in the January issue of The Believer, in an interview with the writer Ann Enright. Because I'm in the midst of writing a novel, and it so beautifully articulated a truth that I have to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2014 at Living the Romantic Comedy
[Note: This post has been updated to reflect reader response and my own second thoughts.] Will the decade of 2000-2009 come to be seen as the last heyday of the traditional rom-com, before the genre turned truly 21st Century (Hello,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2014 at Living the Romantic Comedy
Due to confusion at the front desk, when they’re supposed to be connecting me to the management to clear up the problem with the restaurant bill, they connect me instead with my own hotel room. Inexplicably, a woman answers. I’m... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2014 at Living the Romantic Comedy
Can this marriage be saved? All you need is a Netflix subscription, apparently, according to this latest study done by a pair of psychologists and their research team at the University of Rochester: Discussing five movies about relationships over a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2014 at Living the Romantic Comedy
It's that time of the year again. Everyone who's got a beating heart knows that as soon as February rolls around, there's a major holiday to be reckoned with, one that's come to symbolize the meaning of love and romance... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2014 at Living the Romantic Comedy
In the wake of this past year's "the genre is dead!" trope making the media rounds, we now have some statistics - actual facts and figures - to support the "why" of it all. Due to the enterprising efforts of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2014 at Living the Romantic Comedy
The act of writing is an act of optimism. You would not take the trouble to do it if you felt it didn't matter. - Edward Albee But what about those times when hope fails? When you feel that it... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2014 at Living the Romantic Comedy
The Best in Romantic Comedy 2013 This was the year the genre was officially declared dead, and while that claim has been exhaustively debated and refuted here, there’s no disguising the fact that 2013 was certainly in no way a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2013 at Living the Romantic Comedy
You’re the most important person in the world, aren’t you? I know I am. Given the nature of the human condition – the ravenous “I” at the center of any individual’s perception – the survival of romantic love, with its... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2013 at Living the Romantic Comedy
I was trying to avoid the whole thing, honestly, because so many other people were blogging and snarking and ranting about the subject, but now a friend has sent me the definitive Most Delightfully Mean-Spirited Takedown of Love Actually Ever... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2013 at Living the Romantic Comedy
If you’re looking for a holiday gift for someone in The Industry – and by that I mean anyone working in movies, television, theater, even in dance or the music business – the new biography Fosse by Sam Wasson has... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2013 at Living the Romantic Comedy
Barbara Stepansky, one of 2013’s five Nicholl fellowship winners, is a former student of mine, and her winning script Sugar in My Veins was developed in my screenwriting Master Class at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. As the Nicholl, presented... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2013 at Living the Romantic Comedy
Angela Guess of the useful and inspiring website L.A. Screenwriter has been running a series of posts she calls “the un-rules” (i.e. flexible truisms) that working screenwriters have found most helpful in their careers. And she asked me to do... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2013 at Living the Romantic Comedy
Full disclosure: Besides being a longtime Richard Curtis fan, I did notes on a draft of About Time while it was in development, so I can’t claim objectivity. But it’s worth noting that on the page, the script made this... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2013 at Living the Romantic Comedy
Given that supposedly, the romantic comedy is dead and yet inexplicably, they're still being made and people are still going to see them, the question for pre-pro and pro screenwriters alike is: How does one craft a romantic comedy that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2013 at Living the Romantic Comedy
A little late to the ongoing schadenfreude-laced pity party, the Hollywood Reporter has announced “R.I.P. Romantic Comedies: Why Harry Won’t Meet Sally in 2013.” But despite the attention-grabbing headline, they’re wrong: Harry has already met Sally at the box office... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2013 at Living the Romantic Comedy
[Today being the 7th anniversary of Sven Nykvist's death, I'm republishing this earlier post on the great man's work.] Ingmar Bergman: Most of all I miss working with Sven Nykvist, perhaps because we are both utterly captivated by the problems... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2013 at Living the Romantic Comedy
We live in a cultural moment where any newsworthy event, person, or product that even hints at a storyline is considered fodder for movie rights pursuit. So I shouldn't have been surprised recently when the studio I work for requested... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2013 at Living the Romantic Comedy
Now that we’ve danced on the grave of the romantic comedy genre, which has been pronounced over and done with in so many circles, let’s take a look at the romantic comedies that are being released this month. Have the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2013 at Living the Romantic Comedy
Does the world really need another screenwriting textbook? Normally, I'd be skeptical about a new release like this, but this time, it's personal: I'm in it. I've been teaching in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program for 17 years, and over... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2013 at Living the Romantic Comedy
It's a non-news sort of news item, granted, but this Weekend Box Office Reflects a Season of Big-Budget Stumbles is kind of a fun read, since the subtext seems to be that we — as in, you and me —... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2013 at Living the Romantic Comedy
People get amazingly passionate about loving or hating a given movie, and their opinions tend to be backed up by evidence that’s anything but empirical and objective. What’s too often left out of the “Are you insane? This movie was... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2013 at Living the Romantic Comedy