A character description is more than just a first impression of a person in the story. It is a compressed version of the whole individual. When I read a script and someone is described as handsome or beautiful complemented with the perfect body I’m ready to ditch the script.
In my world a boring and stereotype description reflects a boring and stereotype character. If the writer couldn’t muster up a more thrilling description than that, it’s not likely there is more to find later on.
Fifteen-twenty years ago a character in a movie in general was a shallow minded creature. Bond never showed any emotions; Rambo just walked into warzones without showing fear. Then there was an urge for more emotional characters. More realistic, we like to call them. We see glimpses of Bond’s childhood and he suddenly doesn’t kill without deepening the darkness inside him; villains are not displayed as single minded devils.
Over all I think that is a good thing. An individual is a complex “construction” in real life and should also be just so on the screen.
But today a stereotype character is tough on the outside with a deep and mostly dark inside. There are unhappy childhoods of all sorts and there are emotional killers. All of course possible characters, but when we could expect all of them to be just that, it has become over the top. Everybody in the world does not have dark secrets, unhappy childhoods and great grieves.
Couldn’t a happy person be just as complex? Wouldn’t happiness do some good on the screen?
I feel it is time for a change of characters on the screen. I want to be surprised again. I want to feel the realism that disappears when all characters are the same. Com'on fellow writers, lets get to work.