One of my favorite movies is Dan in Real Life. Have you seen it? Because I’ve watched it so many times, I think I’ve pinpointed at least one of my favorite things about this movie: its quirky, ensemble-like cast.
Like any great romance, there is one main hero (or heroine) of the story, in this case—Dan—but several of the other characters breathe heaping doses of life and fun into the movie, giving it an ensemble-like feel.
Dan in Real Life is a movie about a family that reunites each year in Rhode Island to close down their beach house before winter. Dan is a dad and a widower who falls for his brother’s girlfriend … and it’s comic mayhem from then on.
A great way to get to know characters is to watch them interact with others. For example, this movie has a dinner table conversation scene with multiple characters that cracks me up! I can think of a couple of other movies with a similar scene.
Can you think of books like this?
The Mitford series comes to my mind for me. It’s been around for a long time, so maybe you’ve read it? As I got to know the small town of Mitford and its heartwarming, sometimes hilarious, often strange cast of characters, I was hooked. I read the entire 14-book series over about a dozen years.
I think this is why I tend to create quirky, ensemble-like characters in my novels. It’s not always easy. I mean, you can watch a movie and easily see who’s speaking, but scenes in books with multiple characters can be tougher to decipher! Still, I love those scenes—both reading and writing them.
Do you like quirky casts in the books you read? Or do you prefer novels that focus mainly on the hero and/or heroine?
No wrong answers here! This is a romance blog after all, which means the love story is key! Still … I’d love to know your thoughts—and recommendations as well. Please drop them in the comments ⬇