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I'll give it to you straight. I hope you do the same for me. If I wanted to hear how great my script was I'd send it to my mom. I'm here to give and take constructive criticism. I'll talk more about what doesn't work rather than spending time telling you what does work. The stuff that does work doesn't need to be fixed. If it hurts your feelings to mostly deal with what is broken then you don't want me to review your work.
 

Reviews Shane Has Written

The Pets, V. L.'s 12th Draft

3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

12th Draft Review - One of the best non-optioned scripts I've read so far

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
August 28, 2013
I'll start with general review and then end with specifics and typos.

Overall, a good script. Tone was fairly consistent once established. The establishment of it was a little shaky to begin with. There are a fair amount of coincidences and lots and lots of lucky breaks for the animals that take away from their journey. The pace in middle really sags because of this and also could use more cross cutting between reports of the hurricane, scenes of Eddie, and worried father with the pets struggling more to make it to the Keys. A lot of the middle is "who is going to save the pets this time?" rather than "how are the pets going to save themselves?".

The other biggest fault of the script is a lack of character growth for the main character. Bones is set up as the main character, but his emotional journey through the script is from fat and jealous of Sophia to accepting of Sophia and agreeing to go on a diet. That's not a large or interesting arc. It's set up in the beginning as if there will be an emotional arc. Bones is seeing a psychologist bird, supposedly because of his trouble dealing with Eddie's accident but all that gets pushed aside for the journey to save Eddie. That scene should just be cut. It currently has no value in the story. If you want to make Bones depressed and blaming himself then maybe but then you need to have Bones grow through the journey to see his own value and not blame himself. The only real story arc is with Sophia who hides who she is because she thinks she isn't good enough and isn't needed. She proves to herself that she is needed and this gives her the strength to overcome an obstacle (fear of heights?). But there's no such journey for Bones. Which is a shame when he's the center of the script. The journey should change him permanently in some meaningful way.

Lots of logic issues with a boy mailing himself in a wheelchair to the keys and TSA screeners allowing animals through the metal detectors unescorted, etc. You don't even need Eddie in a wheelchair. Right now it serves no purpose if Bones is not going to blame himself for Eddie's condition. And that blame is not going to stunt him emotionally. You could have the whole story as is with Eddie not in a wheelchair and nothing changes. That shows how little you are using it and how superfluous it is. He could still take Sophia home because she doesn't belong to the hospital anyway.

The emotional impact of Eddie's mom waking up needs more development. It's a very short scene even though her condition is what incited the whole movement of the script. It's what causes Eddie to go the keys which causes the pets to follow. That's the emotional resolution and it's not being used to its full potential currently. Also, a woman in a coma is pretty heavy for a talking animal movie. You may want to consider whether it's appropriate for the tone to take the tragedy that far. Maybe she's the one in the wheelchair after the crash. She's not in a coma. But she's depressed that she won't walk again. She shuts out the world. Eddie tries to get her to go to the keys to revive her but she's not interested. So he goes to bring the keys to her. To help her feel alive again. When she sees what danger he put himself in just to help her she can snap out of it and be his mom again. I don't know. That might be just as dark.

Dialogue is cute. The personalities of the animals are distinct and entertaining (Eddie is pretty flat as a character though. Even mom and dad have their quirks.). It's a little unclear how human-like the animals can act and doesn't seem to be consistent. The fish can cry on each other's shoulder and push the other away and high-five each other but then they can't figure out a way to hug? Sophia can stand on her hind legs, take medicine bottles out of a cabinet to sniff but can't open a door with her paws? Confusing.

Overall entertaining. The premise is good for the tone. If Bones is given a satisfying emotional journey and the second act has the pets driving more of the action rather than being driven and helped and saved, I think it could be a really strong family movie.

DETAIL REVIEW**********************************************
p.1: Change "truck take the corner" to "delivery truck take the corner". More specific and doesn't set up a danger scenario since we don't yet know the tone.

"Eddie speeds up. Ears flapping in the wind, Bones keeps up with his master despite his fat butt." Start the sentence with Bones or else we might suspect that Eddie's ears are flapping in the wind.

JOHN
Big box. What did you buy? - Does a 10 year old have a credit card? Did he order online? Did he ride his bike all the way to the store and pay for an item to be delivered? Seems odd that his father doesn't know he made a large purchase.


p.2 INT. KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS not really continuous because we didn't follow Eddie in and see him pour the dogfood. It's a cut and the dog food is already in the bowl. So improper use of "continuous" here.

If you wait until the 3rd page to let the audience/reader know that it's a talking animal movie then you should have the dialogue be something more clever or have more meaning. Maybe draw out the moment more so it's funny and a surprise. For example: Bones eats sloppily. Mozart watches, doesn't touch his own food. Bones pants now as he is shoving his face deep into the dog food trying to practically inhale it. Bits of food scatter around the kitchen. Mozart watches. Bones looks up at Mozart, stopping momentarily. Bones, "What?" Then have Mozart deliver his line. It sets up a seemingly normal moment but then you build anticipation that something is going to happen as you draw it out. If they don't speak from page 1 to establish the tone then you want to bring it in a memorable way.

p.4 INT. EDDIE’S BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS again not continuous because you're cutting to Bones already on the rug chewing a bone. It's only continuous if it continues the action or dialogue from the previous scene. This is a cut and so improper use of "continuous" here.

"He reluctantly walks into the street." Wouldn't Bones keep trying if he senses real danger? He seemed to give up too easily. He start barking at them and looking up the street. So they tell him "fine, he can cross the street by himself if he's going to be stubborn". I can't see any good reason for Bones to give in, even reluctantly. Is he the kind of dog where he wouldn't risk getting spanked or put outside to protect his loved ones?

"Bones looks up.

INT. BIRD CAGE – DAY

Peanut is perched on a stick." This is an instance in which you should've used "continuous" because it is continuous to the previous scene. Bones looks up and we now see what he's looking at. No time has passed or is cut out. However, it is an object inside the room we are already in. Not a new location. So technically it shouldn't even be a new scene.
You could just say: Bones looks up. Peanut, in his cage, is perched on a stick...


Typo: Do you want Eddie’s to find Chin-Yii crying?

Why does Eddie need a service dog? By page 17 Eddie hasn't explained to his pets why she's there. And no one has bothered to ask Sophia why she's needed. So far it just seems like a forced plot point to set up conflict but poorly motivated. Eddie isn't blind. His arms seem to work so he can push his wheelchair and do things for himself. What can Sophia do for him that he can't?

"Sophia sniffs the air, leaps up onto the kitchen counter, stands on her hind legs and opens the cabinet.
She pulls medicine bottles out and sniffs them one by one."
Here you are changing the physics of the world. For a dog to stand her hind legs and pull out bottles she is going to have to use her paws much more like a hand. So far you haven't shown any animal physically act in such a human way. They all talk and make facial expressions but none of them move like humans. If this kind of anthropomorphism is allowed in your world then we need to see examples of it much sooner. Otherwise the audience will be confused. If you are imagining her doing this in a more dog-like way then you need to explain better.

p.19 Sophia says she is there to keep Eddie safe. In what way? Especially if he's just staying home. Bones should either challenge her on this point or react to the fact that HE couldn't keep Eddie safe. It would be a real sore spot for him that would wound him.

Typo: Bones his head on the wall.

p.29 What is Sophia doing in the bathroom while all this is going on? Sitting quietly. Wouldn't she bark? Paw the door noisily. Wouldn't Eddie wonder where she is or call to her if he needs her so much?

p.30 This sentence is unclear : Bones shakes off his head.
Bones should get outside via the Dog door if he is worried about Eddie or curious about what he's doing. If he can't fit then that should've been established already.

p.34 This sentence is unclear: PEANUT "Then make sure John and Aunt Susie don’t notice we’re back."

Seems like Eddie's first reaction would be to ask his father. His father is all about spontaneity. Maybe he would drive the kid down to Key West for some dirt if he thought it would help his wife or his son. I can't see stowing away in a box as a first option. It's a desperate move, not a spontaneous one. If his dad said No to him then maybe.


p.40 Next to him is a JAR filled with DIRT from the condo’s backyard for his mother. Would actually be a jar of mud. It would already be raining if the eye hits the next day. And the eye is actually calmer than the surrounding. So I think you mean the hurricane will hit the keys the next day. Not that the eye of the hurricane will hit the keys the next day. Either way this approaching hurricane would be causing rain and wind in the Keys and Orlando already.

p.46 Mozart squeezes back into his collar and runs with them, leaving a confused TSA Screener behind. Why is the TSA screener just standing there motionless when the other security officers to him/her to stop the pets? This kind of stuff worked in movies pre Sept.11. But anyone who travels now knows that they would shut that whole thing down over a security breach. You need to think of a cute/clever/funny way to get them through security once they are spotted.

p.49 Animal control locks each animal into individual cages on the truck. How did they get out?

p.61 Uncle Fred notices Miguel’s strange Spanish accent. There's no way to show this so don't write it. We might see him look at Miguel in a strange way, or ask "why are talking like that?" but there's no way to show on screen that he thinks specifically Miguel's accent is strange.

p.64 typo Peanut laugh and points at the snake.

Mid section lacks urgency other than Sophia saying that they need to hurry. The journey should be getting harder and wetter for them. Instead at every turn there's someone there to help them. A pickup truck. A boat. A raccoon with a raft and a soft heart. An alligator that protects the from other alligators. Etc. The journey needs to get harder and more dangerous. And Eddie needs to be put in more and more imminent danger. Cut to Eddie, lighting starts. He's huddled in a corner. Back to pets. Back to Eddie the wind has started. There's things banging on the windows. Back to pets. Back to John calling all over trying to find Eddie, news reports of the hurricane getting worse in the background. Back to Eddie, he's sitting in the bathtub for safety. The power is out. He's tearing up. Back to pets, etc.

p.72 Freggie is a character we don't meet until page 72. He's not important enough to get a flashback. Only Eddie has gotten a flashback so far. So you make the alligator more important by singling him out for a flashback. It's unnecessary and doesn't change anything if you remove it. He's already said he loves movies. Why say it and show it? Just for the joke about not watching the endings?

p.77 They get comfortable to fall asleep as the raft flows down the drainage toward Florida Bay. You're hurting your pace if the animals are so at peace that they can just curl up and sleep. They should either be so afraid of their surroundings that none of them (except Mozart can sleep, maybe a joke about how none of them can sleep but then they see Mozart snoring) or they are so worried about getting to Eddie that they can't sleep. Either way it's not a time for rest. You are just slowing down your own plot when it should start picking up pace for the last third. Eddie also is able to go to sleep. No sense of danger anywhere at this point. Why should the audience be on the edge of their seat about Eddie being saved in time if there seems to be plenty of time for all the characters to take a nap?

p.79 too many people faking accents make it seem like a theme. If there is a theme of identity then it should revolve around the main character Bones, not Sophia. So far we have Sophia faking, Mozart faking, and Miguel faking. And to a degree, Freggie was faking when he made is dramatic entrance.

p.99 typo: SOPHIA
Peanut, why don’t you hold sit on my back and hold on to my collar?

p.105 typo: Sophia and Sophia push the tabletop without legs toward the front door.

p.106 Eddie rolls the wheelchair on the tabletop. There's not enough flotation around for that. Wheelchairs are very heavy. He should ditch the wheelchair. Even finding enough floating stuff to support a tabletop with a kid on it is a stretch. But definitely ditch the wheelchair at this point. It's not like it's going to work in water anyway.

p.108-109 big jump from seeing Eddie on TV in a hurricane by himself on a tabletop raft to inside a hospital room with his mom. It's a very unsatisfying jump for all the buildup to the big hurricane.
 

A Okay , Pilot Script 1

4 stars
Dialogue was good. Mike & Sam have the same voice, (actors could fix that) M.G. is cartoonish & will get old if not better developed. Too much time was spent on the ex for Sam to move on so quickly
July 17, 2012

War and Ponce, Chodey's 2nd Draft

2 out of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Good Dialogue, but the plot starts out as ridiculous then gets worse

Overall Recommendation:
2 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
1 stars
 
Character:
1 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
1 stars
 
June 07, 2012
Major Problems abound. On the positive, the dialogue is good overall. The back and forth between the characters feels real and specific. The writer's voice is pretty unique. That's the good.

The bad far far outweighs the good. I had high hopes after seeing the other positive and enthusiastic reviews.
The entire basic premise is off. A boy gives up his chance to go to community college so that he can be a rap star. Okay. Low stakes, but I'm interested... Boy then is attacked mistakenly by a big music producer's goons then chaperoned by music producer's daughter then given a record deal of a million dollars and full control over masters and rights. Wait, what? It's a premise based on a series of unbelievably lucky events.

Character: Huck is not a likeable character. Him and his friends are rude. They take advantage of Mona (she's double crossing them but THEY don't know that) and sponge off her while half-heartedly going on some kind of quest to find someone. Their quest is so lacking in urgency that they have time to have a pool party, play in the playground and search for weed. Most of the time Mona and Leia are doing all the real work of finding Ryan - from driving, to paying, to sketching, to asking questions, to coming up with a plan, etc. You built your story around a kid that really doesn't do a whole lot. He punches Ryan in the end, but only after his friends have chased Ryan down and kicked him around. They call up their girls and invite them to a stranger's house without even asking if it's okay.

If these kids are so talented that they are offered so much money for their unfinished beats then why do they need to go through this crazy non-nonsensical adventure? Couldn't they just make more songs? That's what real professionals do.

The plot points strain plausibility to put it mildly. Why would Ryan Johnson stay in town? Why would he be hiding in the shadiest area of the city if he's got a rival record producer to hide him? Why don't Cameron's goons know what Ryan looks like? Why would a rich person need three pot-heads to help her find someone? Couldn't she bribe a cop or put a bounty on his head or pay a professional tracker or any number of things that would be more effective? Why would she send her daughter at the same time that her goons already got what they thought they were looking for?

It's just a series of random events. Why even have a scene with Huck getting kicked off the bus? What does it add to the story, plot or character? I found myself asking "why?" a lot. Stories can be over the top, and comedy can play much looser with plausibility than drama. But, it has to make sense on at least some level. A music producer has lawyers and collection agencies to collect money for them and deal with breach of contract. They don't need to send their drivers with guns. If you want to have a Harold & Kumar type stoner movie about the search for drugs you don't need them to also be music geniuses that are then offered a million dollars at the end. Trying to string funny lines and funny scenes together does not make a movie. Your scenes and characters need to have a purpose for existing.
 

Romeo, Juliet, & Rosaline, Koji's Original Draft

10 out of 12 people found the following review helpful:

Characters so unmotivated and plot so contrived that it feels like one long SNL skit

Overall Recommendation:
2 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
1 stars
 
Character:
1 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
1 stars
 
May 31, 2012
Characters so unmotivated and plot so contrived that it feels like one long SNL skit told for the jokes and to force this new framework on a classic story even though it doesn’t fit. Lacks a clear story goal or even theme.

P.2 – creepy smiles go around. The audience won’t know how creepy they are because we have no idea that tybalt is juliet’s cousin and lady capulet’s nephew. Throw in an indicator in the dialogue.

p.3 – unless you’re going for an anachronistic historical movie like A Knight’s Tale, then you should change the fruit. Banana’s would’ve been all but unknown in Europe at this time and certainly wouldn’t be in a street vendor’s possession. (update: after finishing the script I realize you ARE going for the anachronism, but that leads to problems in itself later in the script)

The flashback for Rosaline’s exposition is so on the nose. Is it even necessary? Can we tease out her motivations as the story moves along? It doesn't really motivate why she want to waste her time hurting Romeo or why it's important enough that she'd use her body and what's left of her reputation to do it.

What is Rosaline hoping to gain by meeting with Romeo? If it’s boredom then she’s not really trying to entertain herself. If it’s because she likes him then she’s sure not showing it. If it’s because he reminds her of someone that she wants to get back at then she should be acting as if that’s the plan (e.g. seducing him to lead him on and crush him or purposefully prolonging her taunting and torturing of him). Right now it feels unmotivated and plotted.

p.17 – things that fly in olden days don’t work when viewed by a modern audience without context. It’s going to be hard to sell a 16 year old playboy getting other teenage girls pregnant all over town. Especially if you’re playing up anachronism/modernism in the historical setting. It wasn’t unusual to have cousins marry but you make it gross because of our modern context. You can’t have it both ways by having 16 year old Romeo be a man that is impregnating teen women in that same modern context because by today’s standards he’s considered a kid and teen pregnancy is a stigmatism. I don’t think you have to be that obvious. Why do they need to have children? They could be just ruined women that he fooled around with, without being as explicit as showing a 16 year old is fathering lots of uncared for offspring.

You make familial connections almost entirely through description. Great for the reader but not practical on screen. Throw some of the associations into the dialogue.

p.20 – So Mercutio thinks he can turn Romeo, the greatest lothario of the city, gay? What?

p.24 – love montage: we don’t know what was in the letter Mercutio had her write, we don’t know what the plan is. Why the sudden change of heart. The audience will be confused as to whether they are really falling in love or if she’s just setting him up or if she intended to set him up but now she’s actually falling in love. Either which way it’s confusing and unmotivated to suddenly go from cold to kissing to love montage with no transition or motivation for the sudden change. I don’t know what she wants or hopes to get.

p.30 – Rosaline is supposed to be empowered but she doesn’t value her body (let alone her reputation) if she’s willing to have sex with Romeo, a guy she doesn’t even like, just to get a different, much older man. It’s all kind of gross. If she needed Paris as motivation to ruin Romeo then why did she start the plan in the first place? Why would the audience want her to succeed with hurting Romeo or getting Paris? There’s nothing about her that is very likable and nothing about her goals that are very worthy.

p. 34 – What could possibly be the Friar’s motivation for (seemingly) always helping out a kid that is creating bastards all over town? I’m pretty sure he would frown upon sex out of wedlock not to mention multiple partners and bastard children. Most characters seem unmotivated in this script and are bent one way by the original story of Romeo and Juliet and then bent another way to fit them into this plot. In the original the Friar is helping true love unite for the purpose of marriage and Romeo wasn’t a complete dog. In this version if you drastically change Romeo’s character you can’t have the Friar behave the same without drastically changing his character.

p. 38 – why make up a Romeo rape story??? Is this part of the plan? We don’t know the plan so we have no idea. Would Rosaline or Mercutio really want Romeo killed? Can the audience be expected to care about Rosaline if she lies and puts Romeo’s life in danger? Why should we care about a person like that?

p.44 – convenient and awful cheat on the audience. How exactly did Romeo’s dad talk Lord Capulet out of letting the guy that raped his niece off scott free? Prince Escalus hands out death penalties for simply disturbing the peace but rape can be brushed off?

p.47 - sending out invites on the day of the party???

p. 48 – servant’s motivation for following Rosaline’s orders? Apparently she has a bad rep. Probably everyone in the house knows she’s getting kicked out, and Lord Capulet is the servant’s actual boss and a person that would personally kill whoever invited a Montague. It’s so contrived and unmotivated. At the very least, Rosaline has nothing to lose and could easily invite Romeo herself. If the servant knows who Romeo is then the servant also knows he will be in deep trouble for inviting him. You’re telling us that servant is willing to risk the hell that breaks loose if Romeo shows up (and Lord Capulet only gave the invite list to one person so there’s no shifting the blame) just so Rosaline won’t ruffle his collar anymore?

By page 50 we still have no reason to care about Rosaline and what she wants. She seems like an evil schemer with no heart, no morals and a superiority complex. You could make her much more sympathetic if the rumors about her were untrue. Or if she wasn’t trying to destroy Romeo just so she can get something selfish for herself. She behaves like a villain more than a heroine. She also tells Mercutio to get over Romeo and that there are other men out there. But isn’t the same also true for her infatuation with Paris? Why go through some elaborate scheme to try and get an older man that rejects he because she’s not a virgin? Even if we liked Rosaline we wouldn’t want her to end up with a guy like that.

I believe Mercutio’s love for Romeo more than I believe any other love connection put forth in the entire script. I would want to see Mercutio use the potion to make Romeo fall in love with him. If Mercutio wants him as much as we believe, then why wouldn’t he try this one last thing before giving up on the love of his life? Why not steal the potion from Rosaline or change the plan at the last minute so that Romeo sees him first? You’re making Mercutio the selfless and most interesting character but he’s not the protagonist and it just makes Rosaline seem all the more shallow and selfish.

P.64 – Rosaline is engineering Romeo’s great speech, but that only works if you set Romeo up to be a not very charming or eloquent guy. However, most of the script Romeo speaks poetically and Rosaline speaks like a girl from modern times that never learned elocution. Yet, he needs her help thinking up flowery things to say??

Romeo is given a greater character arc than Rosaline. Her only insight and change seems to be that she recognizes that she needs friends?

p.79 – the trouble with trying to fold too much of Romeo and Juliet into this story is that you’re folding tragedy into a very broad comedy. There’s a serious tone shift once you kill Tybalt, but then it shifts right back into comedy. Very jarring.

Rosaline keeps asking people to trust her when no one really has any reason to trust her at all. She didn’t have a single scene in which she wasn’t deceiving someone.

p.86 – Rosaline has already used the “faking your death” trick to help Mercutio. It’s boring to re-use the same solution to a problem. Why couldn’t she just help them run away? You’re bending over backwards trying to fit the original story points into the new structure with Rosaline as the architect and it just doesn’t work.

It seems like your thread for Rosaline is “Rosaline wants a man” so then she tries to get Romeo for reasons unknown till Paris comes along and she tries to get him but then there are pages and pages where she gets sidetracked and instead helps Mercutio get a man and Juliet get a man and then finally she goes to another country where she gets a native American man. That shows how convoluted and unclear the story gets by trying to merge too much of Romeo and Juliet into the plot. If the major dramatic question is “will Rosaline ever find love?” then too much time and too many pages are wasted with a relationship with Romeo that she knows isn’t going anywhere and then helping Mercutio and Romeo find love. If the major dramatic question is “Can Rosaline bring Romeo and Juliet together before their families destroy one another?” Then there are too many pages wasted on trying to get Paris, trying to seduce Romeo to break his heart, etc. The script lacks focus, a clear goal, a likeable protagonist and motivated characters. In the end, I don’t think Rosaline is a changed person or has really learned much. Romeo and Mercutio go through much more dramatic life transformations. Make Rosaline likeable if she’s the hero. Give her a clear goal that the audience cares about (not winning over some shallow old man). Make sure all character actions are motivated by what they want and need whether it fits the original Romeo and Juliet or not.
 

Glass Slipper, E's 2nd Draft

1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Just not there yet

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
2 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
1 stars
 
May 15, 2012
I had high hopes for this script. It has a cute premise and Elizabeth seems to have a lot of writing awards here so far. However, the plot is forced in too many places. The emotion is forced. The leading man is not compelling at all. It seems no research has been done on Disneyland or movie sets. This draft is littered with typos. The only thing redeeming about the script is that Emma is very likable and has a great voice for this type of movie.

Jake: There's a lot lacking with him, and a lot of inconsistencies. In his first scene he seems to try pretty hard to engage his 8 year old costar. However, later he seems like he wants nothing to do with children. How you relate to children is a personality trait and wouldn't hinge upon one bad meeting with an 8 year old kid. So you can't have it both ways. Either his default is to try to be nice to children or he avoids them. In the second case then the boy should come to him and he would want nothing to do with him. But, then you run into the more important problem - people don't like guys that aren't nice to children. The audience won't like him. And it'll be that more implausible that a girl like Emma, who LOVES to work with children and is good at it, would want to be with a guy that not only doesn't share her interest but is the exact opposite.
Inconsistency #2: You can't have him be a big recognizable star but also have him in a shabby apartment, behind on his rent. Maybe he's in a grand apartment, living beyond his means, but even Robert Downey Jr, when he couldn't be hired, wasn't in a run down apartment staving off the landlady. If he's that famous there's always work. Even if it's just off his fame - e.g. reality shows, endorsements, appearances, merchandise, etc. Further, Rebecca is doing Leno and Jake is barely getting jobs doing yogurt commercials but it helps her career to be seen in public with him? She can't get hired on a soap without him??? Again, someone that famous is not struggling. Rebecca doesn't need him professionally. What's in it for her to be seen with him?
Inconsistency #3: He's so desperate for work that he will be seen in a fake romance with the ex that he hates just to further his career. And YET, he walks off two paying jobs (yogurt and soap) and turns his nose up at wearing a prince charming outfit? So he's a loser that isn't good with money, he's a diva, and he's self-destructive. Why would Emma want to be with him? We like her. Give us a reason to like him. He needs to do at least one great thing for her (big or small) before the midpoint. Otherwise we have no idea what she sees in him beyond the superficial handsomeness and fame.
Inconsistency #3: He can't stand to be around Rebecca. He's only doing it to help his career. Why would he ever invite her up to his apartment? He clearly doesn't care if she's upset with him or not.

Jake also has a lot of bottled up rage. Twice he explodes in anger and throws something. Why? Because his ex is mean to him and a little boy doesn't do what he asks? Mature. Emma deserves better.

Emma: She is a nice character. I like her. I like the way she talks. But she doesn't want more. People keep trying to force her to want more, but she never really seems to have a lot of passion about anything else. If her current job is what makes her happy (and you've shown it's where she comes alive and shakes off her timidity) then why on earth would we want to root for her to get a "real" job and "grow up"? She has to really want it for us to want it. As written, it just comes across like everyone else is forcing her to follow their idea of what her career path should be. You show her painting but painting is not teaching. You never even say what her major is (I assume it was education so that she could be a gradeschool teacher). She doesn't yearn to be a teacher. She's good at what she does and she loves doing it. Anyone that tries to push her into something else just looks like an asshole, whether it's her mom or Jake.

Logic Problems: Walking off a set is breach of contract. He'd be sued by the production company/ studio for time lost and his pay. Not only that, but the soap company is looking for a non-diva but word spreads quickly when a celeb storms off a set and breaks a kid's gameboy. Walking off two sets and he'd not only be sued but he'd be unemployable on a movie because the insurance would be too high.

The fight at Disneyland might happen. But Security would be on them before it finished. Disneyland is a tight ship. And he'd never be allowed to work with a black eye. Disney would also have his suit sized correctly. They protect their brand to the extreme. Jake would also be trained by HR or at the very least another Prince. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense for Emma to train him, other than you need it for your plot.

Why is Edith mad at Emma? What kind of boss doesn't bother to read a resume before doing the interview? It seems like it's her fault that she let the interview go ahead if she didn't think Emma was qualified. And how did HR think she was?

Why would Emma ever be swayed by Rebecca? She knows Rebecca is evil. If she really has feelings for Jake then she'd WANT to believe whatever his side of the story is. Seems far-fetched that she won't even hear him out when he's given her no indication at all that he still has feelings for Rebecca. She should at least see them kissing if that's the type of conflict you're going for.

You don't tell an A-List actor that she will only be hired if they can get her C-List actor ex. That's ridiculous. If Rebecca can't land a role in her own right then why was she just doing Leno? Why would she be in US Weekly?

Agents won't be in the room of a reading. It'll be a producer, a casting director, and maybe the director. Both actors already have an agent so there's no need for them to be in the room. Same issue in the beginning of not doing the research on film sets. A producer is not going to be in awe of Jake. If the producer is that green then they won't be in charge of a Yogurt commercial. A PA or other assistant/newbie might be. Also, Jake would never be tasked with bringing the boy to the set. He may try, but the AD or Assistant AD or a PA would be bringing the kid to the set. It's not Jake's job. And if he was professional he'd let them do their job and he'd do his.

The job offer of Art Teacher at the museum is so coincidental and pat. Greg's wife works for an art museum? They are tearing out their hair finding a position but it just became available (don't you tear out your hair when it's been available but you can't find the right person?). Would they hire her from her resume without so much as an interview? If Jake had that connection then why send her on the other job interview first? Wouldn't you try the obvious first?

Emma would never make it through security on a studio lot. She'd never be able to find which stage he's on (those places are like labyrinths). Have Greg bring her in or have her sneak away from a studio tour. She'd never be able to get in by herself and find him.

Suggestions: I think the script is overall a good idea; so I'll offer a few suggestions rather than just point out all the flaws.

Think about one scene that would make you fall in love with Jake. Put that in the first half of the movie. So far we have nothing.
Rebecca is portrayed as an A-List star (she was on Leno, she's worthy of US Weekly) while Jake has trouble getting work. She has nothing at all to gain from being seen with him in public by the paparazzi. If you really want her to be the thing that complicates Jake & Emma's relationship then she needs to be more active about doing it. Maybe she is a bigger star, but maybe Jake dumped her. Her career took off but she's still obsessed with him. Right now she's just an unmotivated forced plot device.
If you want the audience to cheer with Emma lands a new job then you have to make it her dream job. She can't love what she's doing now, otherwise we'll just resent everyone that is trying to make her give it up. So instead, maybe she loves getting to interact with the children. She lives for that. But the rest of the job she hates. She can't stand the makeup and the costume and all the rules. She really dreams about teaching art. She only took the Disney job because there are so few art teacher jobs available and they all go to people with experience.
In other words, think about all the emotional depth you need to make this a more satisfying story. You need a guy that the audience thinks is good for her, not just handsome. You need the antagonist to really want to keep them apart. You need Emma to want to be and do something else, just beyond her reach and only by growing as a person is she ready to make the leap.
 

The Boob Job, Michelle's Original Draft

0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

These Boobs Need Lots of Propping Up

Overall Recommendation:
2 stars
 
Premise:
2 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
1 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
1 stars
 
May 15, 2012
Who wouldn't want a script about magic boobs to work? I had high hopes. Seemed like it could be a good premise for a quirky women's comedy.

The premise has no support (all the boob jokes are great though). The setup involves Aubrey getting a magic boob job, but the writer doesn't actually make it integral to the plot. The boobs grow whenever Aubrey lies, but Aubrey doesn't seem to notice. Aubrey also doesn't really learn anything about having self-esteem without large boobs. You'd think that'd be the main point of a woman wishing for large boobs so her life will be better. She should learn that she needs to change her opinion of her self rather than her external self. But no, she ends the script with non-magical, large, pregnancy boobs. So the whole script could've been done with a real breast job. The timeframe would change a little, but she could go to the retreat while she's recovering. There's absolutely not justification for magic in the world as written or why she needed magic boobs to change as a person. If you aren't going to use the unique device to its fullest then you're better off sticking with a more realistic world.

I didn't realize Jackson was actually gay until the end. That's not a good place for a reader to realize this. When they call him gay in the beginning it seems like they are teasing him. He doesn't respond and most of the story he's very fixated on women's bodies. We never see him flirting or checking out other guys. It's also a shock that Aubrey goes to Jackson when she finds out her husband is a cheater. You don't set them up as great friends. At that point it seems just as likely that she could ask Gillian or Tiffany or Juan or just rent a hotel room for the night. So it seems forced. But then later (p62) Aubrey goes to Caroline when she has no place to go. Why not back to Jackson or her new boyfriend Christian? She's comfortable enough with Christian to invite him to her office party in another city but not enough to turn to him in sadness? Another forced plot point.

Fun and games with Jackson start immediately. Where’s her mourning phase? Would she really be joking about marriage and husbands when she just lost 20 years of her life? Where’s the impact of what happened to her? If it didn’t mean enough for her to be really rocked by it then it’s not really a life changing event. If she's in denial then she's got to deal with it (on screen) at some point.

When she's with Jackson how does she know that Christian is calling? She programmed his cellphone number into her phone? How does Jackson know who Christian is? She never talked about him to Jackson.

(p42) Jackson convinces Aubrey to go see Christian. Gillian convinces her to go to the retreat. Christian tells her what to order. So far she’s not an active hero at all. She’s letting everyone else decide what she should do. And she still has no real goal. The way you set up the movie it seems like you want your central dramatic question to be something like “will new breasts make Aubrey happy?” So now that she has them, her through-line to the climax should be “I got what I thought I needed, now let’s see what I can do with them”
(p43) “I’m not sure at all what I’m doing here” It’s so unmotivated that the audience isn’t at all sure either.

(p66) How does Christian know where she lives? Is he stalking her? Why would she give him her new address after the way he hung up on her? Especially if she wanted to slow things down. If they had a reconciliation then you have to show it to audience. And he already moved in next door but she never noticed him moving in? How did that happen? It’s not like she’s been at her job during the day.

You have a character problem when you make Christian an obvious dirtbag but then you have the angelic and intuitive Caroline believing in his spiritual mumbo jumbo. What happened to Caroline that she turns on her mentor? She obviously paid money for Christian’s retreat and says she believes in that stuff. Would she really attend if she could sense he was such a bad character? You portray her as being so wise and intuitive, but she was basically one of his sheep. You can't have it both ways. She should be attending for the first time and just as skeptical of him as Aubrey is if you want Caroline to be a voice of reason and experience later.

Why did Christian kidnap Jackson? If you want to go that far then shouldn't he have kidnapped one of her children or Caroline? Would he really choose the muscled, gay guy to get leverage over Aubrey?

Why would the police call Aubrey about her husband shooting up the place? It’s not her son. Even if the house is in her name they wouldn’t call her. He might call her from jail. But most likely they wouldn’t even arrest him. They’d just come and ticket him. Furthermore, the police are on the phone with her and her first reaction isn’t to tell them that Christian is holding Jackson hostage? It’s one thing not to think to call them but when they call you it seems ridiculous not to try and get their help. If he's not really dangerous then you don't have a good villian or situation. If he is really dangerous then Aubrey should react accordingly.

(p88) Christian is a con man. Seemingly intelligent. Did he really expect that all he had to do was kidnap Jackson and she’d fall for him again? It seems like cliché suspense story 101 to have Aubrey come in and then seduce him as if everything is okay. Christian took drastic action because he knows that everything isn't okay.
And he then leaves her alone with Jackson knowing that’s the only reason she came all that way (and if he doesn’t think she’d come all that way for Jackson then why not kidnap someone she would come all that way for?) Then on top of that you have Gabe show up out of nowhere to come to rescue. It seems like you just couldn't figure out a way to end the script so everybody just magically gets in to position. How does Gabe know where to find her? Why wouldn’t Gabe just call the police? Gabe didn’t have car trouble, why is he arriving after her? Jackson has all the muscles, why is Gabe fighting Christian? It's Aubrey's story. If anyone should vanquish the bad guy it should be the main character. Gabe is not the hero of the story. And there's no reason to have him be the one to wrap things up.

Aubrey asks Mia how Gabe is doing purely for the sake of the audience. Wouldn’t she know how he is doing? She can’t do courtesy check ups on the guy that saved her life? Or at the very least she would’ve asked Mia how he was doing a few times over the past year. So why would Mia feel the need to tell her mom, “well, after he got out of the hospital…” I would assume that would’ve happened many months ago.

Now she’s with Gus and already pregnant with his baby? If they tried to see the sex then the baby is at least 18 weeks. So she’s around 4 months pregnant. So within 8 months she has gotten over her 18 year marriage, almost being killed by her subsequent boyfriend, started her own gym, and gotten into another relationship and gotten pregnant?

Overall, there are just too many plot holes to enjoy the story. The bad guy is a forced villian in the worst way. If you wanted to go with cliches then at least let Aubrey be the hero. Have her trick Christian into confessing to murdering his wife on tape. Christian gets put away. Aubrey is the hero. She doesn't need Gabe in her life so why should she need Gabe to save her deus-ex-machina style? What has she learned? Where's the great payoff/realization that big boobs weren't the answers to any of her problems? You cut from climax to 1 year later and everything is already wrapped up for the audience. Why is magic involved? It seems like a cute device but you never really justify having it or take advantage of it. Maybe the magic boobs could stop a bullet or be immune from a scorpion sting at the climax? Otherwise it's just unnecessary. There's also not a whole lot of emotional depth to the script. Big things happen but they don't really seem to affect Aubrey on an emotional level. Instead she has a fun time shopping and gets a new boyfriend. She has one minor outburst with a punch bowl and lots of bitter/snarky comments to Elaine, but we never really feel like she is deeply affected by anything. You also really stall out your climax by putting a leisurely, Morgan Freeman type wisdom scene right in the middle of the rush to save her friend.
 

Favorite Movies

Raising Arizona
Run Lola Run
Hudson Hawk (yes, HUDSON HAWK)
The Professional
Anything starring Cary Grant
 

Influences

Raymond Chandler, Movies of the 30's & 40's, Coen Brothers, Billy Wilder, Anything from Masterpiece Theater, sketch comedy
 

Following

8 People