Overall Recommendation:
3.0 stars
(2)
5 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
4 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
3 Stars:
100.0%
(2)
 
2 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
1 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
Premise:
4.0 stars
(2)
 
Story structure:
1.5 stars
(2)
 
Character:
3.5 stars
(2)
 
Dialogue:
3.0 stars
(2)
 
Emotion:
2.0 stars
(2)
 
 
1-2 of 2 reviews
Sort: Newest | Most helpful
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Rewrapping

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
1 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
August 04, 2011
You have a great premise here that loglines really well. There’s no doubt in my mind that there’s room for a film like this in the Holiday Season. Two strong, interesting characters, lots of jokes (in particular Mike’s letter and lady game in general), but there’s a room for a lot of story work so let’s dive right into it.

Premise: I’m not sure you milked the best cow for your premise. You milked a cow, but not the right one. I’m pulling this right from you logline: “When Mike gets Sara’s name in the Secret Santa pool, he has a chance to win her heart.” It’s a great logline, but in my opinion this doesn’t happen.
The first reason it doesn’t happen is The Secret Santa is the hook, this needs to be dramatic payoff structurally. Mike gets his present on page 39 and she gets her present on page 60. I’m cool with him getting his early, but the present he gets from her needs to be part of the climax in my opinion. Unfortunately the climax is “I wonder if he’s going to get beat up/fired.”

The second reason it doesn’t happen is he doesn’t need to win her heart. This is definitely the bigger problem I had with the story. She likes him. He likes her. There’s literally nothing keeping them apart. No reason they can’t be together. That just doesn’t work in stories like this. She needs a boyfriend. She needs to be married to her job. There has to be SOMETHING that gets in their way.
I thought Barbados was going to be the major obstacle. She was going to sleep with a dude or something. It would’ve came at the right time and given the drive the story needed at that point. Put she’s there and back from Barbados in a matter of a page.

There needs to be an up in the ante as far as the story goals and the relationship. He’s an intern. What’s he doing? Uh not really sure. It’s a simple fix to say that he’s working to become a full-time employee. He’s competing for a job. At least then there’s something at stake. At least it gives these job scenes some plot instead of seat warming time passers.

As I was thinking about this the strongest play might be to make him HER intern. SHE has a major presentation to do. She’s relying on him. She herself is looking for some kind of promotion or something. Maybe she’s trying to do something really creative, out of the box, but she’s out on a limb if she fails.

Maybe she’s an assistant to a total jackass. He’s her intern. Maybe the jackass has a presentation to do. I dunno something. In any event…

He likes her. She’s too busy. It logically gets them spending a lot of time together. He thinks she’s falling for him. He obsesses over getting the right present. She gets him some lame, terrible present. He’s crushed. They have conflict. They have to pull together for this presentation. He gets her a very very great Secret Santa present.

Whether or not you do something like that, I hope it illustrates the possible conflict for the 2nd act. Right now the only source of conflict is him strangling the other dude. I’m not invested in the other dude. If he loses his job, so what, doesn’t seem like there’s a ton at stake, he’s not working to get a fulltime gig. He’s already won the girl. Honestly her getting a boyfriend in Barbados, out of guilt or whatever, would be a strong enough choice for me. Just as he was making headway, the rugs pulled out from under him.

What was a really strong first act, turned in a whimpery 2nd act and a cringish 3rd. I only say that out of love.

Now you made an interesting choice of predominantly using Christianity throughout. The problem for me is this isn’t the type of movie Christians will flock to and the consistent use of Christianity could turn off non-Christians. In particular, while Mike isn’t a nice guy he doesn’t exhibit Christian behaviors. In fact he’s passed out hungover in his 2nd or 3rd scene. I’m not really sure what role it played into the major plot of the story. I mean sure use the is she Christian or Jewish or Muslim joke to figure out what type of present, but that’s probably as far as you need to go with it. If it’s important to keep it a Christian film then I would do much more rethinking, however I’d probably rethink using it.

Another rethink would be with your supporting characters. Outside of Natalie these are all blending in. I think Mike in particular could at least use one strong friend.

Just a few little things:

I’m not sure I buy that with all the witnesses of him dragging the guy around by the tie and video cameras, that they would have no idea it was him.

The second Sarah, since she’s in the story for a page or two might be more easily distinguished on the page by giving her an adjectivy first name. Rocker Sarah or something. I had to do a reread a couple times to make sure I was reading it right.

Final thought how can you make it harder for your couple? How can you keep them apart? How can you maximize your strong premise.
 
3 out of 5 people found the following review helpful:

A great script start, had me laughing at first but scratching my head in the end, what?

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
June 12, 2011
From the office Christmas gift exchange opening -- I was drawn into this script, laughing. There is a lot of good things to say about your script. But it still needs a lot of work. Rewriting and poishing. Below are some random examples of what I mean. Take them for what they are worth. You have a basis for a good comedy.
On page 4: INT. ELEVATOR LOBBY -- DAY
Santa flies into the lobby, the mail cart slamming into
the wall. He pushes the button and then runs and hides
up against the wall.
I would rewrite it as (kill the 'and then, and') flows better:
Santa flies into the lobby, the mail cart slamming into
the wall. He pushes the button, runs, hides
against the wall.
Watch out for 'COKE MACHINE', or are you getting endorsements by up-dating old ads? LOL!
I would clean-up, change some of the dialogue like (example):
MIKE
Those the Secret Santa
envelopes? Bet that's a lot
of fun.
On page 7, Don't say it -- show it, far more effective. Plus, would a temp, MIKE confide in SYKES?
MIKE
The girl of my dreams. I love her.
All of my desires? In this envelope.

KILL THE AND(S) -- 95% of the time they do not advance the story, just create stumbling blocks for a nice reading flow.
Suggestion for page 15, do not write dialect or pronunciation -- leave that to the actor's desecration instead write MIKE (has a hangover, slurs his words). First half of the script, I was thinking, MIKE is a good vehicle for Will Ferrell, but after page 30, you lost Mr. Farrell. Page 28, I would not have him say that he play's in a 'Christian' Rock Band, could turn off many possible readers (viewers of the movie), say band, then (keep the office rendition of song) add 'Christian' later as a side sketch (an additional great vehicle for more humor):
MIKE
We're doing a pretty sick version
of Drummer Boy for Christmas.
Starting on page 28, Sara, Natalie's continued diatribe of virgin/he's-a-looser gets old quickly, add to it with some new push on character. Be aware that one has to procure the 'rights' to specific copyrighted music for use in any movie (U2 I Will Follow). As with trademarks, write carefully -- both can turn off those that might give a green light to this script. Page 32-34, the bar scene was a tad too wordy -- hint: one could do a lot more with comedy thru character. Don't get your Sara's (Sarah's) mixed up in the dialogue page 34 (also too long).You are overkilling the point, your audience is smarter then that. Page 39 -- far too wordy with no purpose/reason. Use the space to add to plot point or character arc.
By page 55 I was getting a little bored with the romantic 2 cent shuffle, repetitive. Page 69 why did Mike suddenly bring up Sarah with an 'H' ( is a lesbian?) in the bedroom conversation? Is he a telepath picking up Sara's worries about Mike being in love with Sarah? The dialogue has finally collapsed into becoming repetitive -- adding very little to push the story forward.
Page 79 brings back some quality dialogue -- excellent! Strong interaction, character devlopment through dialogue. However, editing is still needed. e.g. CONNOR "Do you see him?" (have him point) "Put him in the hospital!" The rest of CONNOR's dialogue is wasted words.
Film is a VISUAL ART, show it don't say it!
Don't like to repeat myself but get rid of the many AND(S)!
JON needs more then MIKE's Drummer Boy, rings hollow, trite, needs a better resolution -- kick in the pants as the final DOES work. Ogilvie slams the office door yet Mike, Sara don't hear (while having sex at an office X-mass party)?
The firing doesn't read well for me. There is so much potential for more humor in this script.
The barroom wedding works even less -- remember copyright on music? Plus, you might get away with Drummer Boy being sung in the office, but with the group in the bar singing again at the wedding?
This is a great start. Needs rewrite.
 

Reviews for