A Writing Life: Sorry Guys, But The Rocky Movies are Romances

Friday, April 29, 2016

Sorry Guys, But The Rocky Movies are Romances

I spent last weekend watching the Rocky movies with my boys. I cried in every single one. I've seen them countless times and I always do. Argue with me if you want, but I truly believe the Rocky movies are love stories. Romantic to the core.

I've been working through (for about the 80th time) a book for writers called Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Debra Dixon. It's a fantastic resource. It's a way to think through each character you write so as the author, you know what drives your characters, what they want from life or a situation, what motivates them, and what stands in their way. It truly makes plotting their story much easier.

As we watched the movie Creed, the most recent in the Rocky films, my boys and I discussed the parallels to the first movie in the series, Rocky. Rocky Balboa is a guy just trying to survive. He's a kid from the streets doing anything and everything he can to make ends meet. Including boxing. He meets Adrian, who he marries, and goes on to win the title of Champion. He's motivated by survival, as well as his love for the sport. In Creed, Apollo Creed's son, Adonis, is not motivated by money, but rather to prove to the world he is not a mistake. Having been the result of an affair Apollo Creed had right before he died, Adonis wants to prove he's worthy enough to be a Creed, but also that he fights as well, if not better, than his father. He seeks out Rocky to train him, taking him to the rough neighborhoods of Philadelphia to train. The two stories are different, and yet they are the same.

As a romance writer, what I love most about these movies (besides they're based on a sport and I love sports) is the connection between Rocky and Adrian. What motivates Rocky above needing money and loving the sport? Adrian. In each movie where Rocky fights, he struggles at some point emotionally and can't get the focus he needs to train until he has Adrian's full support. And I cry at the end of each one because every time the fight is over, he looks for her, calls her name. The infamous, "Yo, Adrian." I sob my heart out as the music plays, he calls for her, and she fights through the crowd to get to him in the ring. He simply can't be without her.

That's romance, my friends. True, love story, cry at the end romance. 


  1. I'm so glad I found this post Lara. Thank you - I agree.

    1. Thank you! I just love these movies. My boys teased me about blubbering through them 😂 but I saw them tear up too. 😉