Dewey Finn, played by Jack Black, dreamed of being a heavy metal rock god. He had the passion but not the talent. After being kicked out of his band he returns to his little world of sharing his old friend,s apartment, Ned Sneebly (Mike White).
Planted in this section, to be used later in the story, is the information of the rock contest with big cash prizes. Dewey's dreams of winning are dashed. Remember setup and payoff later. You're story weaving.
Patty (Sarah Silverman), Ned's annoying girlfriend, is introduced. Patty is also a setup who will cause more trouble for Dewey later. Patty is the one who delivers the lesson to Dewey in the form of a threat. She tells him to give up his dream and act responsibly. She tells him to get a real job and pay his rent or be kicked out.
This is a double-edged message comprising a positive and negative component. She tells him to act responsibly is the positive lesson which Dewey needs to learn. Give up his dream is a negative message. Fom Patty's limited perspective giving up the dream is necessary in order to be responsible. They can't coexist in her mind. This is why I think the lesson itself is the important thing, not "meeting the mentor." I don't think we can call Patty, the Mentor. Do you?
Can there be negative mentors? We can learn from negative people in our lives this is true. However, I know of one case where the mentor is a freeway sign- Steve Martin's L.A. Story.
Now, the characters are all set to start the story in motion. What happens? Ned gets a phone call and Dewey answers the "call to adventure". I wonder how they got the "call to adventure" before they had phones? Pony Express? Carrier Pigeon?
What does Dewey do?
We'll look at that in the next blog. First, let's look at how we'd map this. (ClLICK TO ENLARGE)