Happy Days Question #15 - Comedy or Drama?

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Happy Days Question #15 - Comedy or Drama?

Unread postby Liz » Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:29 am

Would you classify HD as a comedy or drama? Why?

Which direction would you like to see Johnny go with this?
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Unread postby Depputante » Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:39 pm

Drama, I imagine. I can see Johnny so utterly void of emotion, particularly if he's going for an Edward Scissorhands silent type. He does like the silent movies, and Antoine is one of those silent types. My guess is Drama. with a few little fumbling humor points thrown in.
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Unread postby Parlez » Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:10 pm

Hmmm... My first take on this is: The Golden Girls Meet Leonard Cohen.:-O
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Unread postby suec » Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:42 pm

Too funny Parlez! And just right!

Tragicomedy, I think. I must admit that when I read the passage where Antoine becomes irritated with her and toys with the idea of the accident, I could just see Johnny doing that routine where he mimes wanting to throttle Elizabeth. That crops up elsewhere too. Ed Wood, possibly? It doesn't necessarily follow that it would be apporopriate here for Antoine. I could just see it, is all.
The comedy has to be there in the film. It is part of the book and necessary to counter-balance the heavy stuff. The laugh or cry thing: the coping mechanism, and after all, what else is one to do? As for the tragedy, does it have that tragic finality? I am trying to avoid commenting on the ending too much. Another thought is how much dramatic conflict is there? The structure of the book seems a bit episodic really. I can imagine creating some dramatic high points: leaving his wife, maybe. Rescuing Bebel. But the book is, after all, a serious meditation on human distress and the comic elements allow this to show through all the more forcibly.
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Dec 18, 2006 2:34 pm

Well, I had to look up Leonard Cohen and have to agree "that'll about do it."

I see it as a combination drama/comedy, with an emphasis on drama. I think Johnny is good at drama with humor or sarcasm thrown in. And I see him going that direction with it.
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Unread postby gemini » Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:55 pm

Considering the seriousness of the subject matter, one would automatically think drama but after reading the book I can see where there is a lot of humor in the situations. Comparing to the types like romantic comedy this could be realistic comedy. Knowing Johnny I can see that he would probably like playing the humor involved in some of these scenes. Even if it is a comedy it can leave you with some profound thoughts about life.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Dec 18, 2006 4:45 pm

I can't imagine doing this without a bit of comedy, as suec said we need it to balance the heavy stuff or I'm afraid there won't be much of an audience. There is certainly humor in the book and not all dark humor. I do agree with those of you who say the emphasis will be on drama. I think Johnny would put his unique stamp on it of course and I think that would definitely involve some humor and his incredible way with facial expressions and body language.
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Unread postby Depputante » Mon Dec 18, 2006 6:02 pm

:dunce: Question: Being my first book club, and my second(first?) novel with ONBC, are Johnny related books always this deep?

Are other book club books often this deep too ?

Or is it just me who is reading this much into the books because I have too much time on my hands?
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:02 pm

Depputante wrote::dunce: Question: Being my first book club, and my second(first?) novel with ONBC, are Johnny related books always this deep?

Are other book club books often this deep too ?

Or is it just me who is reading this much into the books because I have too much time on my hands?


Depputante, not all the books we have read here at ONBC have been this deep but there aren't too many exceptions. Maybe Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? :lol:

I can't speak to other book clubs but I have never been in one that goes so deep into a work of literature. Of course most other book clubs don't have the luxury of time like we have to discuss books over the period of 2-4 weeks.
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Unread postby Veronica » Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:44 pm

I would have to say both. I think the plot of the book is dramatic but if made into a movie I could see alot of places that it is & could be funny. There is alot of material there. For one thing elderly people are a riot & with the right actor playing Antoine. Lets see such as Johnny Depp they could really bounce off of it all.
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:57 pm

Veronica wrote:I would have to say both. I think the plot of the book is dramatic but if made into a movie I could see alot of places that it is & could be funny. There is alot of material there. For one thing elderly people are a riot & with the right actor playing Antoine. Lets see such as Johnny Depp they could really bounce off of it all.


V, you just reminded me of something I was going to say in another thread......I think that this book has enough material to be made into a movie, as is. Usually, movies have the challenge of trying to fit everything from a book into 2 hours. Of course, that is impossible; and then readers are invariably unhappy because parts are missing. That won't be a factor in this movie.
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:01 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
Depputante wrote::dunce: Question: Being my first book club, and my second(first?) novel with ONBC, are Johnny related books always this deep?

Are other book club books often this deep too ?

Or is it just me who is reading this much into the books because I have too much time on my hands?


Depputante, not all the books we have read here at ONBC have been this deep but there aren't too many exceptions. Maybe Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? :lol:

I can't speak to other book clubs but I have never been in one that goes so deep into a work of literature. Of course most other book clubs don't have the luxury of time like we have to discuss books over the period of 2-4 weeks.


CATCF was probably the only one. But I have read books in my other book club that didn't generate much conversation. The books were just too light. Those have been few and far between, though. And, as DITHOT has expressed, we Noodlemantras have much more time to think about the questions in order to discuss them.
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Re: Happy Days Question #15 - Comedy or Drama?

Unread postby Lady Jill » Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:30 am

Liz wrote:Would you classify HD as a comedy or drama? Why?

Which direction would you like to see Johnny go with this?


This book reminds me of a classic Robin Williams movie. . .it starts out a comedy, gets you rolling into it and ends on a very quiet, somber note with a deep message . . Antoine learning about life by researching death.
I can see Johnny getting into a part similiar to Sam. . .lots of visuals, not a lot of dialog on his part. . .and those characters in the Home bouncing off him!

This has been my first book club -ONBC - and I have enjoyed pushing my mind to greater depths. You know beyond the box - the road less traveled..
I am also really enjoying reading the Peoples Act of Love.

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Unread postby gemini » Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:29 am

Depputante wrote::dunce: Question: Being my first book club, and my second(first?) novel with ONBC, are Johnny related books always this deep?

Are other book club books often this deep too ?

Or is it just me who is reading this much into the books because I have too much time on my hands?

This is my first discussion with the noodlemantras too Deppuntante so I really can't comment on past discussions. I have read Shantaram, A Long way Down, and for our next discussions , Ballad of the Whiskey Robber -and Peoples' act of Love.. I cant imagine the discussion on these being anything but deep. So far most of what I have read from Johnnys list are not easy topics. I did miss CATCF though.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:31 am

Lady Jill, I like your description of Antoine's character and the other bouncing off him. As others have said, a bit like ES in that way. I hope you will join us for The People's Act of Love as well! :cool:

gemini, I noticed you listed The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber as an upcoming discussion. While it has been optioned by Johnny's company we have not yet scheduled it for a discussion. However our next one will be The People's Act of Love, tidbits in January and discussion in February.

For anyone that has missed any of our previous discussions, be sure and check out the ONBC archives. We have saved everything since July of 2004 when the new boards were created.
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