Creating a Structure — Cody: I hate outlining, but the suits make me do it. Sometimes, I don’t like structure; I like telling a meandering story and letting the characters determine the outcome. I’ve been surprised by the ending of one of my scripts more than once. Like, when I was writing Juno, I was sure Juno was going to have sex with Mark, the Jason Bateman character. Then I got to that scene and realized, Oh shit, she doesn’t want to do that. So I switched directions. I can’t make all those decisions in advance. I don’t know who the character is until I’ve spent some time writing for them.

Curtis: I seem to remember the first instinct for Four Weddings and a Funeralcame from that being, as it were, a subject I was interested in: how to find the right girl. That’s what I spent my twenties doing, so the fundamental subject was right. And then I thought, I’ve been to 70 weddings in the last three years, so I thought I’ve got lots of stuff around weddings.

And then there was a particular sort of structural instinct where I got very annoyed about films where you see a couple meeting and then you cut, and then they’d be going out with each other, and you’d think, What happened? And then they’d start going out with each other, and then you’d cut, and they’d be having a fight. And you go, What? And so I thought, Wouldn’t it be great to have a film where you saw every single minute a couple was together, apart for the six hours of sex? And if you look at that film, it’s sort of what happens. You see every single minute that Andie MacDowell and Hugh Grant spend together. So that was the sort of mixture between autobiography, jokes in terms of weddings, and a sort of structural idea.


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