Last weekend the kids and I went to see the newest Hugh Grant/Sarah Jessica Parker movie: Did You Hear About The Morgans.
It was a cute romantic comedy if rather predictable. I thought Mary Steenburgen was more macho than Hugh, however, for what it's worth.
As a writer, I wondered why he used the same line in this movie that he also used in Bridget Jones Diary.
Remember when Hugh and Bridget (Renee Zellweger) spent their holiday together in the country and they were having fun in the canoe? Hugh was being so serious and started quoting a filthy limerick, "There once was a man from Nantucket..."
It was cute in the first movie he did it in, but it was odd when a different character in a different movie played by the same actor recited the same thing. Hugh must have ad-libbed. That or the same writer penned both scripts.
That made me think, do we as writers sometimes fall in lust with the same words, the same phrases and use them in our different books? I hope not, but I wonder if I may have been guilty in some of my earlier works.
I certainly don't want my hero in Book B to sound like my hero in Book G. I don't want to regurgitate the same stories or the same characters. I doubt readers want to waste their time or money reading a carbon copy of a previous story. I don't.
Of course, coincidences happen. Cliches are alive and well.
Somehow, this "coincidence" seemed sloppy to me. It dragged me out of the movie for a few minutes.
Luckily, I haven't noticed this often. And I don't want to start noticing it in future.
Have you noticed this in any books or movies?
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