When it comes to writing, the old adage is “Write what you know.” However, comedy screenwriting duo Jon Lucas and Scott Moore have succeeded in doing the exact opposite. Since last November, their three projects — “The Hangover,” “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” and “Four Christmases” — have grossed in excess of a half-billion dollars at the worldwide box office.
While the two did go through the whole Las Vegas bachelor party thing, they admit that their real-life experience paled next to the zany episodes in their summer monster hit “The Hangover.”
“We heard New Line was looking for a bachelor-party film but always knew that these movies didn’t translate well onscreen,” says Moore about the roots for “Hangover.” “So we skipped the whole bachelor party and went with the idea of amnesia.”
Having first met as assistants to screenwriter Daniel Petrie Jr., the two discovered they were stronger scribes together than apart, fusing Lucas’ knack for character development and Moore’s plot-structure sensibility.
With “Hangover” on a course to outstrip “Beverly Hills Cop” ($234 million) as the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time at the domestic B.O., Lucas and Moore peg the film’s success to its sense of character over yucks.
“You need the characters to be the spine of the movie in order to pull the audiences through,” Moore says.
Adds Lucas, “What’s interesting when we write is how little time we spend talking about jokes.”