Sometimes funny, often poignant, narration can be hugely effective when deployed successfully. Ryan picks a few great examples...
“God help you if you use voice-over in your work my friends! God help you. That’s flaccid, sloppy writing. Any idiot can use narration to explain the thoughts of a character.”
So says screenwriting coach Robert McKee
in Spike Jonze
and Charlie Kaufman
’s 2002 film, Adaptation.
Well, not the real screenwriting coach Robert Mckee
, but the one played in superbly aggressive style by actor Brian Cox
, who stomps about on stage at a writing seminar like an angry bull. Brilliantly, McKee’s condemnation of voice-overs interrupts the interior thoughts, as narrated by Nicolas Cage
’s fictionalised version of Charlie Kaufman
- a terminally anxious screenwriter with an Everest-sized case of writer’s block.
It’s an example of the quirky, hall-of-mirrors kind of humour that courses through Adaptation,