Phil's Reviews > Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need

Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder
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's review
May 12, 2011

it was ok
Read from April 27 to May 10, 2011

Save the Cat! is a great book for understanding the underlying structure that must be built in order to write a good, solid screenplay. Snyder fills this How To book with great information and good examples, and it is easy enough to follow, should one want to try their hand at screenwriting.

Where this book breaks down, though, it its tone and style. Snyder tries too hard to be cool, or hip, or engaging, or something, and the introductions to each chapter are trite, annoying, and a bit like a parent trying to prove that they aren't from another generation. He also has an annoying habit of assuming that his readers are writers and he refers to his reader frequently as a "bullhead". I think that this is meant to be some sort of complimentary moniker, but it really gets old after awhile. Personally, I think the best way to approach your audience is respectfully and assuming nothing. Otherwise, this sort of writing can get patronizing or alienating quickly.

Also, while the tips and steps Snyder suggests are certainly good suggestions and probably won't lead to bad scripts if followed carefully, the result could be cookie cutter screenplays that themselves are trite and boring and simplistic. Indeed, the formula he concocts works best with romantic comedies and other similar films that are all exactly the same underneath their "new" dressing. A real, dynamic, and engaging screenplay might need to be constructed somewhat differently than Snyder suggests.

However, this is a terrific introductory book, and if nothing else, it works on that level.
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04/27 page 2
07/13 marked as: read
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