Overall Recommendation:
4.6 stars
(5)
5 Stars:
60.0%
(3)
 
4 Stars:
40.0%
(2)
 
3 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
2 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
1 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
Premise:
4.4 stars
(5)
 
Story structure:
4.6 stars
(5)
 
Character:
3.6 stars
(5)
 
Dialogue:
3.6 stars
(5)
 
Emotion:
3.6 stars
(5)
 
 
1-5 of 5 reviews
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0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

This Is Gold Right Here. A Bit Of Revision and I'm The First In Line To Watch. LOVED IT.

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
July 25, 2011
I downloaded this a while back and finally got a chance to actually read it - it was a very quick read. That's not a bad thing - and, for the most part, I really, really enjoyed reading this script. I could already imagine the stars who could fit the role. Keisha Knight Pulliam, Nia Long, or Zoe Saldana as sabrina, Jenifer Lewis and Harold Sylvester teaming up again to play the mom and dad, Lamman Rucker as the shady Deacon, Kellee Stewart as Trisha, Robin Givens as Blair, Wentworth Miller or Shamar Moore as Tobin, RonReaco Lee as the other church dude that likes her, Clifton Davis or Hal Williams and the Rev, and maybe Lela Rochon, Michael Michele, or Vanessa Williams for Dr. Kent. In other words - a bold, black, and beautiful cast. I could so see this being made. Whitney Houston has to be in here somewhere because there will be singing - there MUST be singing in this film. Gotta get some of those divas in the choir - Mariah Carey, Patti LaBelle, Aretha - that would be awesome. That said - I do have some minor comments on this script.

PREMISE - I'm not sure why the script is called Church Chick. Sabrina almost immediately deviates from the church as soon as the script starts so I didn't develop a sense at all that she was devoted to, interested in, or in any way really connected to this church that she happens to work at. I'm not sure what the title is supposed to imply about the film or the main character. If she's meant to be depicted as a wallflower that is doing things just because she's playing the good cop to her sister's bad cop so her parents won't go mad - we need to see that more. We see that she's unhappy, but we don't know why. She could even just be bored and not exactly unhappy. If she's unhappy (or bored) - why? Has she been relegated to a life of obedience and obligation and is resentful of her parents and her sister because her sister gets away with any and everything? Did her parents, her sister's wild behavior, of God compel her to be the angelic wallflower? He character will be different depending on the different motivations. Is she caught up being all things to all people? And that drives her crazy? Perhaps her sister acts out because she at least knows her parents have one good child they can always count on to do the right thing and that lets her off the hook. She sometimes hates Sabrina for always playing the part - but hey, it frees up HER life to live anyway she wants. Perhaps her parents are so frustrated with Trisha that they have always told Sabrina that she's the "good" girl and will be a better person and have a better life than that old, devil child of theirs. They are constantly telling her show she makes them so proud and how they know she'll never do anything wrong. They put all their eggs in the one basket - not realizing that they're smothering it to death. And Sabrina has been the dutiful child all the while hating them all for pigeonholing her into something or someone she isn't. She's so afraid of her own impulses, mind, thoughts, body, and so afraid of displeasing other people that she's even consented to marrying a man she's not even sure she loves, but she knows he doesn't love her. His actions prove it. But she's too weak to stand up for herself and demand to be loved. She knows her parents would be embarrassed, disappointed, and devastates after all the money and planning for the wedding - so she MUST go through with it. She's a good girl after all. Her life - gets worse, but she keeps smiling and pretending through it all. Even as her husband neglects her at night and spends his evenings sneaking off with the new sex therapist in town. She lets it all slide. - well, anyway I won't rewrite the script. I just think the set-up needs more work. Sabrina goes from wallflower to socialite fairly early on and we don't see why. She just snaps her fingers one day and decides to go to the sex lady. What is the catalyst? Maybe she sees her hubby having sex with this woman in an alley after Bible study and she's finally had enough and decides to pay this woman a visit. She works up the nerve to go the office, but by the time the door is open she's talked herself out of saying what's on her mind. She doesn't want to be - mean. So she thinks of some excuse to meet and the lady invites her to a speed dating thing to talk for a few minutes and she bumps into Tobin for the first time - or whatever. We need to see why she suddenly grew some balls. There's one other thing - I somehow got the impression that this movie was like a Christian version of Obsession or Single White Female or something - kind of a suspense thriller, but I don't think the villainess needs to be that harsh or dangerous. Blair's evilness threw me off a bit and took me out of what I thought was a romantic comedy and forced me into something else. The lightheartedness of most of the film and the violence of the villainess didn't gel to me. Spreading rumors that Tobin had a disease or that he beat her is one thing - wielding a knife and threatening the therapist is another. She would be immediately arrested for assault and attempted murder or something I should think. She should be disturbed, but not viciously evil.

STORY STRUCTURE: Pacing and was nice. Action moved along at a nice clip. I couldn't get why certain actions were happening at times - like what the catalyst was - but I still enjoyed the read. I think the mom and dad are nice foils even though I wonder why they put up with so much nasty talk and back talk from Trisha. It's seems weird - what has Trisha got on her parents that they accept this kind of behavior on a regular basis?? Are they afraid of her? Why don't they say anything to her or kick her out of the house? I can't imagine my own father saying to me, "I've had just about enough of you." and my response being, "That's the first time I've ever heard that from a man." I thought that was a little vulgar and out of place for a child to say to her parent. And her mother didn't say anything at that blantant, sexual tone with her own dad? If that was my daughter I would have smacked the crap out of her and told her "DOn't you ever let me hear you tell your daddy something like that ever again. You can be a slut out in the street all you want but you better rein your body and your tongue in when you step in THIS house." hallelujerrrrrr. I just can't imagine a black girl gettin away with that one. I liked the scenes - you had good connection and good buildup, just add more plot points and more story. Some stuff can be eliminated to make room for more meat. The shopping and partying scene could be a montage to let us know Sabrina has changed. We don't need to see lots of these scenes unless they drive the story forward. The church intervention scene and needs work. And Sabrina moved out without warning - why did she leave her parents home? Why did she decide to get drunk and smoke marijuana? Why did she even talk to Blair in the first place? What about Blair made her seem instantly trustworthy that she would agree to go anywhere with this woman that had only seen for the first time that night? This things need to add up in the watchers mind. Everybody thinks she's a good girl but she didn't have any trouble getting bad real quick. I was surprised to see her jump into bed so soon with Tobin - perhaps he could work a little harder to get her out of her shell - she practically threw it at him. So either she's been lying to everybody else about who she is or she's been lying to herself and she's more like her sister than anyone thought. She might even be worse - we don't know. Perhaps that's what forces her to move out finally - she fights with her parents and it's revealed that she was a wallflower because that's what THEY wanted her to be - it was never who she was. And she's decided that she ain't gone be NOBODY's wallflower NO MO. And slowly Tobin starts introducing her to different things and opening her up in more ways than one. She blooms under his touch and love and he's the same. You say Tobin has been wounded but we never find out how. Did he love another once and that woman died? Did she leave him broken hearted by falling for someone else? Is that why he lets himself get drunk enough to bed Blair? He needs the occasional sexcape (sexual escape)? We need more story lines, more background, more detail, more romance, more secrets and lies, more lines crossed and crossed again. We need to see these people in this tapestry called - their lives. And not just see them, but know them. And not just know them, but identify with them. And not just identify with them, but want, in some ways, to be them. When the characters resolve their final conflict and get that happily ever after - we need to get it, too.

CHARACTER: I really like all of these characters. The only ones I didn't get at times was the parents - what is their motivation? Why do they live the way they do? The preacher seemed awfully detached from his new daughter in law - even after losing his son. The young deacon dude - I never could figure out why Sabrina dissed him almost from jump street - he never did anything but like her and try to be nice to her. The sister - Trisha - I wanna know why this chick is like a hussy with a chip on her shoulder and an axe to grind with her parents. What did they do to her to make her the way she is? Need more backstory on Blair - what is the deal with this chick? Why does she obsess over dude and she's the one getting him drunk so he can sleep with her? Has Tobin been lying to her and giving her mixed signals? Why are they roommates? And I wonder if Blair had a hand in Tobin's ORIGINAL break up with the girl he was with before he moved in with Blair! She could be stalking Tobin right in front of his eyes - only not to harm him really, but to make him fall in love with her. See - if Blair's not so vicious she can be forgiven - who doesn't sympathize with the desperation of unrequited love?If she redeems herself in the end - you gets the other church dude that used to like Sabrina. Yea! At one point he hints that he might be into her, but she's still stuck on Tobin and can't open up to a new possibility of love yet. YET. SO develop these backstories more and you will automatically find places to put conflict and plot points, etc. I think Sabrina absolutely overreacts when Blair tells her that Tobin is her boyfriend. I hate when movies make some small incident be the thing that breaks the camel's back. She LOVES this dude and she knows he loves her - no way in hell she's not gonna try to fight Blair on that assertion or get to the bottom of that issue. No way. Would you just run out after you heard that about your man? No, to make her desert Tobin - she needs a way bigger shock than that. Perhaps Blair calls Tobin to her house to get something he left there that he really wants - a favorite leather jacket or his dad's old watch- whatever. And while there she serves him a drink with something harmless in it that makes him drowsy. She calls Sabrina and tells her to come over because she's got some exciting news about her boyfriend - E'S BACK. And she wants Sabrina to meet him. When she gets there - BLAIR tells her he's in the bedroom and she seems him there - naked and half asleep as if they've just made love. She screams and beats him and he's groggy. He's knows something is horribly wrong, but he's too out of it. It's almost as if Sabrina is there, but what would she be doing there?? He calls her - his head is about to explode - he reaches down and discovers he's naked. He can't figure out why, but he knows something horrible has happened. Sabrina slaps him and tells him he doesn't need to bother calling her ever again. She runs out the door. He gets up to follow but his legs are shaky and his head hurts - Blair attends to him and pushes him back to the bed "alarmed" that he seems ill. Anyway - that's what I mean by different plot points/beats that obstacles and stuff occur. This will drive the story because you immediately ask - Okay, what happens next?!!

DIALOGUE: Really good. I especially like the sister and the parents. They have a lot of character in their conversations. Sabrina, not so much - at first. And dialogue is another place we can hear her transition from wallflower to self-actualized person. I think some things are a little over done - the therapist's office and the knife scene, but overall everything is good. I'm much more concerned with the scenes and progression of action and climax and resolving story arcs.

EMOTION: The emotion is good - even if unexplained and out of the blue at times. Love the church fight scene, but the church intervention scene needs work. The emotion is harsh and uncharacteristic of Sabrina at that point. To swear like that when she's never sworn before - it seems out of place. And to say that to the Rev as well. Why did he unlock the door if he was just gonna stand up in front of it? That scene reminded me of Beyonce in Obsessed. Just didn't fit. She went something like "Ima kill that bitch" after they let her know Blair told them she might be HIV positive. I'm kinda leery about the whole HIV angle - I think it's been done to death. I don't think she would be so glib if she thought she might be HIV positive. She was very nonchalant about being tested and getting the results. And she totally just decided that she was gonna keep getting tested every six months even AFTER she found out that Tobin wasn't positive? That doesn't really happen so - maybe we should see her getting more involved or volunteering with HIV positive people as a result of her scare. And maybe she realizes that - yeah - she was stupid by having unprotected sex with Tobin and that the smart thing to do (now that she knows more) is to not have sex with him and keep getting tested anyway because, in reality, he COULD be HIV positive - she doesn't know either way. She can only know about herself. Tobin needs more emotion. He declares his love very easily without much happening that provoked it. Perhaps he's a romantic? What drew him to Sabrina in the first place? Does she remind him of his ex? What a plot twist that could be.

Anyway. I actually loved the premise and the script and think this one could so make it to hollywood. Please work on it and tap deeper into those characters to pull out the stories and conflicts they're bound to reveal. They all have secrets and hidden motivations/expectations - and I think it's a testament to your writing skills that I want to know what they are! GET. IT. IN. GURL!

I don't know about the white box office, but I KNOW this will be huge at the black box office. And hollywood could cast this right now based on the current black stars out there. It's good.
 
2 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Enjoyable Read, but...

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
December 24, 2010
Church chick is a story about a shy church-going girl who, after marrying the wrong man, learns some very worldly ways, and her life changes for the better...and for the worse. Unfortunately, the woman who coaches her out of her shell is also cuckoo for cocoa cocoa puffs and makes her life with her new beau a living hell.

As I am not an authority on screenplay formatting I refrain my remarks to the story line.

The premise of the story was pretty good; and the ending was full of drama. However, the main issue I had was with the depiction of the main character, Sabrina. I couldn't really connect with her because her actions and dialogue didn't really offer enough about her motivation. I understand that she is shy but I think it would be better to allow her to be visually shy...but behind closed doors or in her thoughts, we need to see there is someone else longing to get out. We see a dash of it with the "viagara" line, but then she all but disappears.

The supporting characters were pretty engaging, probably more so than the main character, so I enjoyed her parents and the other church folk.

I would offer one suggestion which is to get Tobin in the story much sooner...or change the description. Based on the description, I thought Tobin would be an integral part of the story much sooner. He doesn't show up until very late in the script. I would suggest maybe a short, coincidental meeting between Tobin and Sabrina early on, before her transformation, then their meeting after she transforms becomes more dramatic.

OR -- focus the story on how a shy girl breaks out of her shell.

Overall, this is an enjoyable read. Stronger dialogue for Sabrina and more transparent motivation will get this story to it's fullest potential.
 
2 out of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Not what I expected... in a good way!

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
December 20, 2010
Yes, not what I expected, and I was pleasantly surprised. The story kept a very good pace and I didn't feel like it was ever lagging at any point. I'm happy with the outcome and the growth in the main character. I do wish, however, that I could have had a better sense of Sabrina's motivation throughout the script. Emotion was GREAT with Helen, and the other important characters were good, too. With the exception of Tobin, I feel like I know nothing about him except that he used to be Blair's room mate and now he and Sabrina are in love. I'd like to know him more, but this is Sabrina's story, so I understand.

All in all, great script.

Erica
 
2 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

I can see this performed as a play

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
December 06, 2010
This story grabbed my attention from the title alone. Michelle has written a true to life story that would be well played out in the theater. The characters were well developed and the relationships between them were realistic. The dialogue was "real". I found myself at times talking out loud to the characters (like the annoying person who talks to the screen at the movies), holding my breath, laughing and crying while reading her story. I enjoyed the build up of various emotions. I was able to put myself in the book and "feel" the characters like I was there with them at church, the club, speed dating, or home.

I loved Sabrina's parents. They were the true to life loving, caring, (slightly over bearing) parents. The sister, Trisha, well--enjoyed her character as well, again very realistic. We all know someone like her. Sabrina, shy, introverted. Blair's character was very believable as well as Tobin's.

The things I would have liked to have a little more developed...the relationship between Sabrina and Deacon Byrd. Under what circumstances did they come together? And Cyrus' character....
 
2 out of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Is Tyler Perry reading this?

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
December 06, 2010
I found this to be a very solid and well executed script. Michelle has a firm grasp of her craft and can write. It made me think of the recent films by Tyler Perry - not because of an outlandish character like Madea - but because it presents a refreshingly honest portrait of family, love, faith and villainy in and around a church: the moral and ethical center of this particular fictional community.

Now I'd be lying if I said I would like to see this movie. While I can appreciate it as a crafts-person, it doesn't exactly hit my personal taste as a filmgoer. I also don't know if this is a 100 million blockbuster either - I think the audience for this film is smaller than Harry Potter, for instance. BUT, I appreciate it for what it is and if other readers are interested in this genre, they'll certainly enjoy your work!

Welcome and good luck, Michelle!!

--Richard
 

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