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    The 4 Rules For Writing A Road Comedy

    Identity Thief screenwriter Craig Mazin breaks down what's important when sending your characters on a road trip. And why he wishes the film had a different setting.

    The road comedy has had a long and lustrous life in Hollywood, from Due Date to Little Miss Sunshine, Planes, Trains and Automobiles to the the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby Road to... pictures. WIth the latest addition to the genre — the Melissa McCarthy/Jason Bateman comedy Identity Thief — hitting theaters today, we turned to its screenwriter, Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part II), to talk with him about what makes this sturdy genre tick.

    "Even though the movie is a road trip movie, I didn't think of it specifically as part of that genre," says Mazin, who also holds forth on the business and art of screenwriting in his terrific weekly podcast with fellow writer John August (Frankenweenie). "What happens is just having two people in a car on the road, the genre imposes itself. You star to feel those conventions happening. In a strange way, you want them to happen."

    So what are those conventions?

    1. Location, Location, Location

    2. Find the Right Set of Wheels — or Several Sets, If Need Be

    3. Keep the Pressure On — But Not Too Much

    4. Keep the Focus on the Characters, Not the Car