Overall Recommendation:
3.5 stars
(2)
5 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
4 Stars:
50.0%
(1)
 
3 Stars:
50.0%
(1)
 
2 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
1 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
Premise:
3.0 stars
(2)
 
Story structure:
3.5 stars
(2)
 
Character:
3.5 stars
(2)
 
Dialogue:
3.5 stars
(2)
 
Emotion:
3.0 stars
(2)
 
 
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0 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Carnal Knowledge with a funny twist!

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
November 21, 2011
Premise

Myth of a modern man follows 2 guys, Peter and Jack, who are at opposite ends of the evolutionary scale. Jack’s primitive, impulsive, reckless, and gets everything he wants out of life including women. Peter is the modern man: civilized, calculating, afraid, and inept with the opposite sex. Peter needs a therapist and Jack’s just the guy to help him find his inner cave man.

Characters:

The characters are distinct and play off of each other very well. You have Peter, the nerdy secretary; Jack, the extrovert and Peter’s best friend and personal guru; and Jill, the girl torn between Peter and Jack.

Can’t remember the last time I had such a good time reading a script. I’m not much on romantic comedies so this says a lot about this script that I enjoyed it as much as I did. Before I praise this script, I’ll begin with the problems I had with it, which weren’t that bad.

Problems:

• p. 76: A couple are speaking with a relationship counselor: “… I feel I’m at the stage in my life here the long-term benefits of having a single partner far outweigh the transitory delights of hopping from one bed to another.” (though nothing’s wrong, per se, with this statement, it sounds too formal. Revise to make it sound more casual, maybe have Jack say “…the long term benefits of a single partner outweigh the cheap thrill of hopping in and out of with a different woman every night.” Something like this. But overall, leaving this as it is won’t take anything away from the story as a whole)
• P.53: “A pick up bar. The air is thick with hormones, perfume and lies. Jill sits at a corner table, sipping a cocktail. She has her hair down, and glasses off.” (omit the literary description “The air is thick with hormones, perfume and lies.” Though good, this can’t be filmed and is therefore extraneous)

• P. 69: Peter has assumed his boss’s identity to turn on a chick. In order for him to maintain this relationship she can’t know his real identity, which she’ll know if she sees his boss who is taping a nationally televised show to promote his new book. Peter, who--up to this point in the script--couldn’t muster the courage to talk to--let alone approach-- a woman suddenly, out of desperation to keep his lady in the dark about who he really is (or isn’t), knocks out his boss and stages it to look like a robbery

• P. 69: “Dr. Kaplan exits his trendy townhouse and locks the door. He’s wearing his new suit and has is (his) cell phone to his ear.”

• “Peter walks in. Pops a frozen dinner into the microwave. Waters his plants. Grabs his food. Sits down on the couch. Picks up the remote. And turns on the TV.” (this could have been 1 statement separated by commas because it is 1 idea)

• P. 7: “Making out like crazy in the booth next to them is JACK (34 and magnetic) and CINDY HENLEY.” (you could have simply stated his age; “magnetic is an adjective that can’t be translated visually and is therefore excessive)

Final thoughts:

This sweet little romantic comedy doesn’t overstay its welcome. When it ended, I was glad I spent time with it, and it left me feeling good and a little bit wiser.

When a script is written so well that you find yourself in the story--and I use the word “in” literally--you know you’re reading something really really good, damn good. This script is entertaining and smart, smart as in I actually learned something reading it. Usually it’s one or the other, rarely both. Did I mention how funny this script is? Here’s an excerpt. Jack and Jill are talking to a relationship therapist in his office:

P. 77: “JILL: Yeah. There is one more thing. I’m a little concerned that our relationship is based mainly on sex. So, I think we should test the strength of our commitment by abstaining from any physical contact, for one whole month. Any thoughts?”
JACK: Yeah. Could we still lie in bed and just cuddle?”

There are many clever touches in this script, among which are the occupations. For instance, this script is equal parts therapy and magic, and I think it’s cool that the story began with Peter working for a relationship therapist, forcibly subjected to a primitive form of social therapy on behalf of his buddies, then gradually shifting to Jill whose grandfather is a magician and who also believes in real magic, the magic of love, which by the end of the script wins the day.

Out of the few scripts I’ve read and reviewed so far, some of which are very good, this is the first script that left me green, as in envious. This author is no fluke. The story’s not perfect by a long shot and not altogether original, which is why I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. Cross-pollination occurs so often in storytelling that it’s difficult to say which parts are original and which are derivative but if I were to characterize this script, I’d call it a hybrid borrowing from Mike Nichols’ Carnal Knowledge and from Ron Howard’s Night Shift. But then again it’s not these films at all as is the case when we as individuals distill everything we feel, see, and hear through our perspectives, perspectives that are as unique as the DNA separating us. The author may not have consciously derived this great script from the films that I mentioned, but it is evident, on a subconscious level, that these films and/or others like them, influenced him. But this baby, this terrific script, is all his…and ours!
 
1 out of 4 people found the following review helpful:

A well-worn concept, but touching.

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
1 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
2 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
May 14, 2011
Hi Gary. I can see where you are going with the story, and it's kind of...for lack of better word...cute. Chick-flicky. But it's too predictable, the characters act in unrealistic ways (even for a comedy) and the theme: love vs sex, is explored in a fairly well-worn manner. Watch some old Walter Matthau movies.

Nevertheless, with some work it could be a fun comedy. Here are some thoughts:

The main character is pathetic, but not likable. I didn't really care if he found true love or not. Maybe show him volunteering at an old folk's home or something. We get the idea that he is in love with Nadine, and we're supposed to emphathise with his longing, but he ditches her for Jill real fast, and now we're supposed to believe that she's the one he truly longs for. By the end of the script we understand the connection, but it takes too long to establish. And the coincidences between them are too obvious, too in-your-face.

Jack is a characature, and his explanation of evolution as an excuse for monogomy have been done before many, many times. Jack's friends are characatures. Dr. Kaplan is a characature. Everyone behaves in expected ways.

Jill is a fun character, and works for me. I like Jill. I want to have sex with Jill. And I like the concept of the list, with the final item being true love. Their relationship really warms up towards the end of the second act.

I like the way you tie things together. The climax at Dr. Kaplan's office could be sharper. I would have like to see Jill go ballistic.

The montage of Peter trying to talk to Jill and get her to see him has been done so many times before. Surely there is a fresh way of making that point. Nevertheless, I found the ending to be touching.

So, the good news is that your script was engaging enough to read to the end. It moves fast. I'd love to see you write a comedy with a fresh premise. You have talent and a sense of timing, and a feel for the visual.

I don't mean to be brutal in my review (I've received a lot worse in my time) and hope you take this as one person's opinion. Take from it what you will, and keep on truckin'!

Feel free to email me at dougshear@aol.com.
 

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