Reinventing Love in Romantic Comedies

(Writer Sarah Walton)

Where some see confusion, conflict, and even chaos, Sarah Walton sees the opportunity to explore romance. This acclaimed screenwriter may possess leading actress looks, but she’s fulfilled by creating characters and stories for films rather than portraying them in front of the lens. Like most of us, she’s seen her share of failed romances, but has taken these experiences and morphed them into stories of the universal desire for connection and the trials that accompany this journey. Walton is known as prolific in the industry for her modern romantic comedy films. Far from perfection, she often presents the inconsistency and human shortcomings which can just as easily portray heartache as bliss. She’s quick to add that she’s a sucker for a sanguine tale that ends happily. A steadfast champion of romance in modern day, her work may cause you to see a glimpse of yourself as you laugh and cry at what we are all willing to risk for love.

Discussing Walton’s talent, Jason Walter Vaile of Cephalopod Films declares,She’s a master at writing romantic comedies and I feel privileged to work with her. Sarah is a beautiful soul. She is kind, sweet, positive, and an amazing writer. I love her passion for all things 80’s and rom-coms, which are near and dear to my own heart. She’s determined to unearth the good in all things, even if it’s hard to find. There are very few people I trust to give me honest, good feedback, and she’s one of them. These are just a few of the many reasons that makes working with Sarah so rewarding.”

Everyone desires love, which makes the challenge of reinventing the love story daunting. For Lucky In Love, Walton turned the traditional format on its ear for a tale much more about love than sex. The original setting of a tanning salon seemed odd to her for a traditional male/female love story so the writer took the approach of focusing on the main character’s self-distraction via love without clarification of her inclinations. The result is a story full of romance because it is centered on emotion rather than physicality. Walton describes, “This film takes place in a world where sexuality and gender are not referred to but rather focus on the story of Becky distracting herself with love instead of following her dreams. I’ve played around with gender role reversal in several of my films and this is going a step further. I like the idea of a lesbian romantic comedy, but without any mention of sexuality. It’s not ‘Is she a lesbian?’ it’s just ‘Is she single?’ Writing this film has been incredibly enjoyable.”

The motivation for much of Walton’s recent scripts, including Yes Woman is to encourage positive change. Sarah relates, “I want to make films that not only make audiences laugh and love more, but that actually inspire people and provide the tools to make changes in their own lives.” Characters like Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) and Fletcher Reede (Jim Carrey in Yes Man) depict an individual’s tipping point and redirection of their lives; Sarah is inclined to write characters who impact audiences in the same manner. This is present in her script for Holiday Switch Up, but Yes Woman goes a step further as it shows a woman taking a self-development course while viewers accompany her on the journey. Yes Woman is already receiving attention for its heartfelt, transformative approach. The director of Cephalopod films is excited about expanding their brand to incorporate more of the romantic comedy genre as they work with Walton on both Yes Woman and Luck In Love. Vaile confirms, “I met Sarah at a film festival a few years ago and loved her work. She had such a unique, fun vision; I knew I had to work with her. I’m glad we’re finally collaborating. She is brilliant and a joy to work with.” Luck In Love is set to be released in late 2020, while Yes Woman is lined up for release in early 2022.

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kkingme2003@yahoo.com

Kelly King writes for numerous popular online media outlets in addition to being a staff writer for NYC & LA based/internationally published Drumhead magazine.