On the off chance that Lindsay was actually serious about getting pro coverage of one of his scripts, here's the ScriptShark comments I got for KILLER ROLE. I can't copy the SharkGrid because the formatting doesn't carry over:
COMMENTS: Smoothly written, well-conceived, and in many ways masterfully executed, this script utilizes excellent dialogue and fantastic scene orchestration in service of a high-concept, commercial comedy setup that proves thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. Well-rendered characters speak with consistent (and consistently amusing) voices, while the action continues to press forward at a distinctly satisfying pace. While there may be one or two largely trivial areas to consider potentially polishing, the finished product crafted over the course of this script’s running time already feels, in nearly every regard, ready to leap to the big screen.
Structurally, the initial mafia hit draws the audience instantly into the world of the movie with a sharp, riveting, and action-packed inciting incident to lay out the tonal and conceptual basis for the remainder of the story. Cutting back, the script furnishes an inspired introduction to Michael and his meek college status quo, and after he and Jerry decide to take the money, only to discover the increasingly terrifying repercussions of that decision, the story catapults into a second act infused with all manner of tension and comedic fun. The ultimate showdown draws together all of the plot threads introduced throughout the preceding story, while at the same time never coming across as overly melodramatic or contrived. Rather, the lasting impact with which the script finishes off its story is distinctly satisfying and entertaining.
Although, at some level, it would seem difficult to attack the holiday comedy genre from a fresh perspective, this script largely succeeds in doing so, thanks to its plethora of various subgenres and influences. Part The Whole Nine Yards, part Grosse Point Blank, and part Mafia thriller, it manages to create a compound story that seems distinctive, amusing, and well conceived from start to finish.
One of the strongest elements in this script is its use of written and character voices. From the start, Michael comes across as lovably awkward, a classic youthful hero whom the audience knows will eventually grow a spine. Never disappointing, Michael continues to bumble his way through the story, slowly but surely gaining a modicum of confidence and self-esteem, while quietly becoming something of a renegade in his own right.
It is in part the script’s use of scene orchestration and structure that allows it to succeed so handily in creating scenes that come across as multifaceted. Funny but also complex, numerous sequences throughout the second act come across as a nearly flawless in their overall execution. For example, the scenes in which Katerina is pictured helping Miriam prepare for Thanksgiving accomplish numerous narrative goals simultaneously. The quick and easy surface jokes -- from Katerina using a butterfly knife to help carve vegetables and meats to the clever (if slightly off-color) jokes about babies in dumpsters -- are nicely tempered with deeper and more affecting themes of loneliness and acceptance. The scene in which Miriam hugs Katerina and drives her to tears is particularly touching, and the ways in which the script couches it among other more comedic elements allows it to come across as utterly sincere, organic, and natural, while at the same time never diminishing its impact in terms of both the characters and the underlying messages at the heart of the story.
Comedy is also another area where the script truly shines. From hilarious one-liners (such as Miriam calling Katerina a drama queen for her explosion about the chameleon loose in the house) to more visual gags and conflicts (such as the initial arrival of the chameleon with Aunt Donna and Katerina's impressively stiff drink with Miriam), the script manages to deliver a thoroughly satisfying blend of snappy humor and plot development.
While, at a certain level, the aspiring Hollywood actor and the Russian mafia are elements that have certainly been explored in other stories, this script allows them to come across as fresh, compelling, and original, thanks to the ways in which it builds upon them with strong characters, and ties them all together in its carefully concocted plot. No planted detail is left unpaid-off, and the ways in which the script catches every tiny ball it throws in the air - such as mirroring Michael's initial theater struggles with the fake gun in his moment of heroism at the end, confronting the real chameleon - prove truly impressive.
In this largely seamless execution, only one or two areas feel as if they might simply benefit from a little further consideration. For example, while the script does an excellent job of paying off the Jerry conflict by allowing him to save the day with the gangsters, at the end, it seems as though the rift between him and Michael could perhaps have been drawn out or complicated just a little further. The script acts upon excellent impulses in terms of introducing this conflict, but it simply feels as though when it happens, on page 53, it is perhaps slightly abrupt. If this conflict could have developed or sustained one or two more additional beats, it might simply have come across as all the more natural in its build and payoff.
At an even more trivial and subjective level, it also feels as though, while the script does an excellent job of remaining contained, grounded, and thoroughly plausible throughout its second act, it might have been interesting to have considered one last burst of action at the very end. This is, of course, not absolutely necessary, and the conclusion the script already furnishes feels quite satisfying. At the same time, because the story spends such a vast majority of its screen time essentially locked up in Michael's house in Kansas, it simply seems as if allowing the plot to escape this slightly claustrophobic setting for one final action sequence or scene might simply round the movie off even more satisfyingly.
Also, might it have been interesting, as Katerina initially suggests, if there were in fact, a local girl who may be harbored a crush on Michael in high school, and who, hearing he is back in town, might try to insinuate herself into Thanksgiving dinner? Again, this is merely a potential suggestion, but this added element of conflict to the Michael/Katerina relationship might simply furnish even more spice and complexity to their scenes.
By and large, though, these are extremely trivial notes. Even as it presently stands, this script sets itself apart with nearly flawless characters and dialogue, a smoothly professional written voice and style, and overall execution that seems so thoroughly entertaining and in touch with its comedic sensibilities that it is difficult not to imagine it leaping to the big screen.