Breaking Away Structure

Breaking Away Structure
Breaking Away

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Breaking Away gives its main character, Dave, a uniquely interesting feature (wanting to be Italian) that causes the complication to the love-interest sub-plot and the reason for his personal passion (bicycle racing). Interestingly, the overt coming-of-age event (realizing that, "Everyone cheats,") occurs relatively early in the script. The subtle coming-of-age theme of what Dave will do for his future is hidden beneath the love story, the relationship with his father and the complex network of his friends, such that it is barely noticeable. In fact, it is not clearly resolved! Notice also that the resolution of Dave's relationship with Catherine dissolves away, leaving only the outcome of the bicycle race as Act III. Breaking Away works so well because it appears very real and true to life.  Breaking Away has an ideal structure to follow for 'coming-of-age' screenplays, and shares a lot of similarities with Coyote Ugly and Billy Elliot.

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