Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

by KE Monahan Huntley

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, is written by the infectiously funny Mike Myers (with cowriter Michael McCullers) and directed by Jay Roach. It imparts the moral of many a Hollywood story (including Matt Stone and Trey Parker's surprisingly sweet and *@%#&! hilarious South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut): whether it be a girl's ruby red slippers (or whatever) or one man's mojo, they are only attractive distractions from what makes us truly powerful -- our state of being.

In Dramatica, state of being describes the actual nature of a character. In stories such as Austin Powers, South Park, or The Wizard of OZ, it is the main characters' lack of confidence in their essential being that makes for interesting character development. Although the main character may not be aware of her or his true nature, the audience must be -- or the author's thematic message will be obscured.

Austin Powers is the main character. The objective story revolves around his nemesis, Dr. Evil, who intends to take over the world -- currently dominated by the Starbucks' franchise. CIA operative foxy Felicity Shagwell is the love interest and influence character. The lightweight relationship story, however, is really only a device for Austin's randy antics.

The film is just a retro romp, but a relationship between Austin Powers and Dr. Evil developed beyond protagonist vs. antagonist might have been a subjective story with real intrigue. Shatter the James Bond story model!

Does Austin Powers contain a storyform? I was too enthralled with the characters (Mini-Me!), sight gags (Clint Howard!), and pastiche of pop culture references to pay close analytical attention. Will I see Austin Powers again? No. (My unscientific test for a compelling Dramatica grand argument story.) Will I see the next installment of the International Man of Mystery's adventures? But of course -- I mean: "Yeah, Baby, Yeah!"

About the Author

KE Monahan Huntley is an editor and publisher based in Southern California. As one of the original contributors to Dramatica, she helped edit and analyze many of the examples. In addition, her numerous articles provided an insightful "conversational" approach to the theory. Today she can be found at Write Between the Lines or follow her on Twitter @kemhuntley.

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