Examining GMC in the Movie ‘Sabrina’

by on 01.14.2009

in a glance at, writing

So I’m watching movies considered to be some of the most romantic movies for many decades. I’ve watched Gone With the Wind and An Affair to Remember more times than I’ve changed my clothes, almost, so I wanted to start with something new (to me). This is, technically, research for a character, who would’ve been watching these movies at a certain point in her life. But, I thought, if I’m watching some of the best romances ever, why not examine the GMC? Maybe I’ll learn something.

Movie: Sabrina

Hero: Linus

Cold-blooded corporate raider

GOAL MOTIVATION CONFLICT
Internal To be compensated for the life his brother took by being irresponsible. He feels cheated out of life, out of making his own choices, and weighed down by responsibility. His brother continues to be irresponsible David, and he is the one Sabrina loves.
External To complete a billion dollar deal with Tyson Electronics. He’s always been the best. He needs this deal because Tyson has the best television of the future. David, his brother, is ambivalent about marrying Tyson’s daughter and Sabrina is the perfect excuse to cancel the engagement.
Heroine: Sabrina

Transformed chauffeur’s daughter

GOAL MOTIVATION CONFLICT
Internal To fall in love. Sabrina wants David because she has watched him sweep women off their feet; she’s shy, has no self-confidence, and is the chauffeur’s daughter. She doesn’t see herself has lovable. She believes she’s in love with David, but that’s just a fantasy. When she falls in love with Linus, he admits he was just using her to get her out of the way to protect his merger.
External To be seduced by David. Sabrina has been obsessed with David her whole life. His seductions are a symbol of love for her. Linus keeps interfering with her time with David and spending time with her in order to make her fall in love with him and forget David.

Okay, I don’t know if that’s right, and welcome any opinions, but that’s what I took from it. When I first watched it, I couldn’t think of a single thing Sabrina wanted. I wondered if she had a goal at all. In this movie, Linus’ external goal is obvious; it’s his internal goal you have to search for, hidden in the character. With Sabrina, her internal goal isn’t obvious, but it is the ruling one. Her external goal is tied tightly to her external goal. Linus’ is, too, but he doesn’t realize how much of his life he’s missed out on, and how much he resents his brother for that, until he sees his brother living a life he would like.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is next. I’ll try to have that for next week.

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