Carter Bays and Craig Thomas stumbled on dramatic-comedy situational comedy genius with their idea to have Ted Mosby tell his children the story of how he met their mother.
Why? For many, or at least the three reasons I’ve outlined here:
1) Because it provides many possibilities for comedy and drama that linear stories don’t. There is the aspect of the unreliable narrator. There is the opportunity to fill-in-the-blanks when the writers need an idea for an episode, but also to flesh out some stories that might need more muscle when or if they are vital to the end game of when Ted meets the mother. The beauty is that everything that’s included in Ted’s journey to the mother, does get him to the mother. I’ll continue this idea more in number 3.
2) There is, or at least can be a clear cut ending. Of course there is much speculation over how a show will end and as every good story MUST do, it raises major questions that has the audience guessing. As we’ve recently seen in the first episode of the 8th season (SPOLIER ALERT!!!), Ted might meet the mother on the train platform in Farhampton. Or does he meet her on the train? Or does he not meet her until they get off the train? Or do they meet somewhere else and just happen to ride that train together? OR…
It can be done and it can be done well. Scott Sawyer’s One Good Reason is a shining example.
One Good Reason follows “frustrated writer Wyatt Williams (as he) finds his new muse in the pages of a woman’s lost journal and the prospects of a new love and a new book are much to celebrate until the lovely subjects’ stories take a turn for the worse and her last entries reveal a woman on a dark path. With so much to say and so little time, Wyatt must retrace his steps through the pages never meant for his eyes for clues that will lead him to a woman on the edge.” (from imdb.com)
And it’s phenomenal.
The first thing I took away from it was that “it” can be done. “It” being having a creative and artistic vision, and with hard work, everything can be accomplished, and accomplished very well. But yes, it can be done and Scott (et al) did it. I found that so inspiring and it was something that helped me push forward everyday and night when I was writing this summer and I’m sure I’ll it will stay with me for the rest of my career.
The second thing I took from the film was that Scott is very talented. I knew this from reading one of his screenplays, but seeing all the pieces he worked on and helped put together for that film, well, I was impressed. That could be read as me having little expectation for the project, but please don’t look at it that way. I walked in with a blank slate of expectation and that slate was filled with inspiration, motivation and pride for knowing Scott for the brief time that I have and in the “little” that I do. Like I’ve said before, at first I knew it was Scott on screen but that lasted for only a few minutes before he was the character.
And the third, but in no way the least, was that the story is very well crafted and filmed. I was invested in the characters and the stakes that were set up, while specific, are universal enough that more than just writers can relate. Fulfilment is beautiful.
It would be a crime, not only against those who worked on this project, but also against creativity and dreams if this film does not receive distribution.
Good Job Scott! Keep it up!