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“35 and Ticking” by Russ Parr Essay


The film opens with four childhood friends, Victoria, Zenobia, Cleavon and Phil, departing from school. The next scene is a flash forward of the four working against their biological clock to find the right partners for marriage. Victoria is already married, but her husband does not want to have a child with her.

Zenobia is hunting for a husband while Cleavon just wants someone who can love him with his deficiencies. Phil has a wife and two children, but the wife is not keen on marriage and motherhood responsibilities. Confronted with relationship challenges, the four friends find it extremely important to support each other in their situations and they finally find true companionship among themselves.

Introduction of the New Character

Parr used new characters to develop the plot. As such, the new characters are given interesting roles that are related to the plot. The four friends are all pursuing love hence the new characters are introduced as possible partners. For example, Zane comes into the film as Zenobia’s suitor while Coco comes in as Phil’s wife. Austin, Falinda and Nick West are introduced as Victoria’s husband, Cleavon’s girlfriend and potential lover for Zenobia respectively.

Again, Purr does not introduce the new characters at once, but in different scenes as the movie unfolds. Coco comes in first followed by Falinda, then Nick West and finally Zane. The new characters demonstrate their personality and intentions during introduction.


Acted in America, “35 and Ticking” is a romantic comedy that centers around four childhood friends. The film has got three major points in its plot as discussed below.

Plot point one shows four friends struggling to get partners and start families. Zenobia is looking for a man to marry her. Victoria has a husband, but he is not willing to give her a child. Phil has an irresponsible wife and Cleavon is looking for a woman who can love him for whom he is.

The mid-point plot shows the four friends struggling with relationships to fulfil their ambitions. Zenobia finds herself on a terrible date with Zane and gets seduced severally by Nick West as well. She, however, has feelings for Phil, which gets stronger when Coco leaves Phil for Nick West.

Cleavon falls for Falinda, a graduate nurse, and their relationship get more intimate when she finally finds out about his job as a sperm donor. Victoria is having problems with her husband and they end up divorcing. Phil’s marriage goes from bad to worse when his wife abandons him for Nick.

Finally, the climax occurs when the four friends finally end their struggles and live happily ever. Cleavon marries Falinda. Victoria is divorced and her ex-husband impregnates another younger girl. Coco wants to come back to her children, but it is too late because Phil is already married to Zenobia and is expecting a child.

How the Major Components Influence the Characters’ Arc

The major components affecting the characters’ arc are theme, the characters, setting and the type of film (romance comedy).

The film is a romantic comedy with four friends seeking love. The theme influences Zenobia arc in that she develops from being single to a married woman. She, however, undergoes a lot of hustles in the process such as searching for a man online and going for a date with Zane. But at the end of it all, she marries her childhood friend, Phil. Victoria’s arc moves from being a lonely, though married, woman to a happy divorcee with a new purpose in life. Finally, Cleavon moves from a playful shy and irresponsible dude to a loving husband.

Moreover, the characters influence their arcs through their roles in the film. Victoria plays the role of a desperate wife, but progresses to a mature independent single woman as she tries to be happy. Zenobia plays the role of a cheerful and optimistic lady.

She progresses from a desperate woman using all possible means to look for love to a happily married woman and a mother of three. Cleavon takes life as it comes, which makes him become a happily married man, but cheeky even with his wife. Phil is the serious and responsible type of character and he progresses to become a great husband and parent.

Further, the film setting also affects the characters’ arcs. The film is acted in a city where characters can visualize their dream lives and have a chance to meet their future spouses as well. They develop from being single friends to happy contented couples.

Finally, the film type also affects how the characters’ arc. The film is romance comedy and such type of films brings out message in a light manner. The characters are all seeking love and they develop to chase their dreams. They grow from being immature, irresponsible and lonely, but hopeful to happily married, content and responsible individuals.

Script vs. Screen

The final movie differs from the script play in several ways. First, the script does not contain humorous statements used by the characters in screen. For example, when Nick goes to talk to Zenobia during her birthday party, the script does not show Zenobia making a fake call only for a real call to come in. It does not also show Nick and his friends laughing sarcastically at Zenobia and Zenobia telling Victoria to stay her married ass at home.

Second, the script has fewer emotions. It focuses on what is heard and not what is seen. Hence, body language expressions are more common in the screen and not the script. For example, the facial expressions meant to express emotions are only in the screen, but not in the script. Victoria openly makes faces of disgust when Nick comes to brag near her. Zenobia makes faces of disappointment when she finds out that Zane is an old man.

She also openly makes faces of displeasure when Zane takes her to the dance party. Another example is where Zenobia, Phil and Victoria, after realizing that Cleavon has the habit of helping himself in the Jacuzzi, communicate through facial expressions signaling each other to leave the moment Cleavon gets in. Falinda, unaware of this side of Cleavon, does not get the joke and remains with Cleavon in the Jacuzzi.

These choices have been used to make the film better. While emotional expressions add great value to the verbal message, they are never easy to depict in the script. Therefore, when Purr realized this, he had to instruct the actors on how to add on these visual expressions of emotion and humor to make the film better.

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IvyPanda. (2020, March 27). “35 and Ticking” by Russ Parr. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/35-and-ticking-by-russ-parr/

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"“35 and Ticking” by Russ Parr." IvyPanda, 27 Mar. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/35-and-ticking-by-russ-parr/.

1. IvyPanda. "“35 and Ticking” by Russ Parr." March 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/35-and-ticking-by-russ-parr/.


IvyPanda. "“35 and Ticking” by Russ Parr." March 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/35-and-ticking-by-russ-parr/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "“35 and Ticking” by Russ Parr." March 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/35-and-ticking-by-russ-parr/.


IvyPanda. (2020) '“35 and Ticking” by Russ Parr'. 27 March.

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