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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Facing John Donovan Moderators: bert
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  Author    Facing John Donovan  (currently 1777 views)
Posted: December 24th, 2007, 6:57am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Facing John Donovan by George Galanakis - Comedy - A cynically narcissistic magazine executive finds himself waking up everyday with a different face. 105 pages - pdf, format

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Posted: December 29th, 2007, 2:31pm Report to Moderator

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Overall, you've got a rather good screenplay here.  There are some misspelled words (when in doubt, look it up, even vernacular) and some words that are spelled right, but not the ones you want.  A fresh look can find them.  You have some action lines/descriptions that are a little off, but not too bad considering the script as a whole.  You also have a tendency to be vague when you don't want the audience to know, but the reader needs to know.  If you want to let the reader know that an audience wouldn't, write it that way.  Friday morning could have just as eaily been written as John and then we get the idea when he sees his face.  Because who else could it be?  By the fountain in the begining, who would even know after the end?  If they go back and check, will they know?

I felt like Natalie should have been brought into the story earlier and developed a little more.  You don't have to have her meet John (any of them, pick one) earlier, but she could at least have her own scene earlier and perhaps have a conversation pertaining to the story your trying to tell.  Something like a conversation with a friend or parent about the type of man she wants.  It may play better if they have some other connection (like community service sentence) other than work.  And I have to say that it's a little too rough even for a comedy to go on a job interview the day after your father's funeral.  My grandmother died last month and I wouldn't have been able to do it.

I really didn't buy the whole thing with John's parents.  I didn't get how long the silence had been between them and wondered how they got his phone number.  Hell of a double standard John's got there.  I get that it was formative for him, but he just came off as really high-and-mighty about the whole thing and I liked him less because of it.  I'm not saying that isn't not possible, it's just not believable.

Another thing that got hard for me to swallow is how ridiculous looking he kept getting and still had this expectation of being a womanizer by others.  I would have liked some reason for the appearance changes, which I get a feeling won't stop.  But they started so suddenly.  Wouldn't he start failing more because his confidence (which hinges on his looks) slips?  There are some more comedic opportunities with that than the ol' kick to the groin.

I've used masques before, but I've never gone to bed with them on.  Is that the way you're supposed to?  Just curious.  Pretty sure mine says ten minutes or something.

Something should make John more likeable earlier.  In "Liar, Liar," they used his love for his son to carry the audience through.  I did like his redemption, but I was more expecting it than rooting for it and I really didn't see what Natalie saw in him.  Sad fact of life is, people do treat people differently based on their appearance.  You can say a lot about that with this story, but I understand if you want to focus on the idea that it's what's on the inside that counts.

This was fun to read.  Quite a few really good laughs.  It's probably good enough for government work as is.  But, with another revision or two, this could be really good!

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Posted: December 31st, 2007, 2:20pm Report to Moderator

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Iím not going to go crazy with the small little grammatical remarks, but on page 7 it is Meryl Streep, not Merly Strip.

Something I noted was that you had a bit about Britney Spears new baby, but that is already old news. Wouldnít it be better to make up fake celebrities to avoid chronological problems?

Iím not understanind what John 5 did at the funeral that was so bad?

What is it that attracts Natalie to John? Why is he so infatuated with her? Nothing in either her physical description or personality suggests that she should stand out to him. At the same time, why does John attract so many women even on the days that he looks like complete shit and uses the worst pick up lines?

What is the explanation for the face changes? It comes on so suddenly. And it doesnít feel as if there is a good point for it.

The parents sidestory felt really tacked on, and I didnít get anything from it. Also, why was John so surpised when he didnít get the promotion? He heard Bob basically say it through the air vents didnít he?

The biggest thing though, is that I felt nothing for the main character. Why should I care if John gets the promotion, works out the problems with his parents, or in general becomes a better person? Gwydrion had the right point in referencing liar liar. Jim Carry was an asshole in that movie too, but because of his son we wanted him to succeed. Here, there is no personal attachment at all.

The script is filled with these kind of loopholes. The multiple personalities thing is a cool concept, but I just didnít get the point of the script at all.
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