Dramatic Films - Like Life, Only Better
When someone tells you that a drama is very "true to life", what they really mean is that the movie is a very convincing illusion of being true to life. Real life, even at its best, is confusing, disconnected, and often boring. a dramatic movie takes real life and organizes it, edits it, and arranges it so that the story has a beginning, a middle and an end. And it generally does so in order to make a point. The screenwriter takes out everything that doesn't illustrate character or advance the story.
Drama has a point. Not just a collection of random events, it begins with a problem and a protagonist. The protagonist decides to take steps to solve the problem, and the road to a solution is strewn with complications. If the story is one smooth progression from problem identification to solution, not only would the movie be a flop, the movie would not even be made.
A famous formulation for a movie script goes like this - "Act One: Get the character up a tree. Act Two: Throw rocks at him. Act Three: Get him down."
Watch your favorite films with that formula in mind, and you'll realize that the majority of movie running time consists of throwing rocks at the character in the tree.
But your hero is not just a reactor, he must be an actor. A satisfying dramatic hero is not someone to whom things just happen. He takes action of his own, he makes things happen. Because drama is about not just the problem, but what the hero does about it.