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Love Story by Quentin Bangston - Comedy, Romance - After a devastating car accident, Jessica Allenís character is killed off a high school drama show for good. Now no one wants to hire Jessica as she has a bad reputation in Tinseltown. The advice given to her? Date a nobody. Meanwhile, Alex Eagen tries his hardest to break into the business. With the help of their agents, the two meet on the set of a commercial and are far from hitting it off. A little gentle prodding from Jessicaís agent quickly fixes the two together, but everybody questions itís legitimacy. 105 pages - pdf, format
Hey this isn't my first script, but my first feature script. I've written my own pilots and spec scripts for other shows, but this is my first feature. I hope you like it and excuse the typos I am still continuing to find!
This is the first time I've ever had someone who isn't a friend read my work. I'm 16, but I wrote this when I was 15. But don't let age concern your opinions!
First off I would suggest changing the title. Love Story is a pretty famous movie from the 60s. Using a title like that immediately sets the script up for a reaction. It could be - oh, a remake of Love Story (forget it) or oh, a remake of Love Story(no it's not - forget it). Why give people a reason to reject it before they read it because the title carries so much baggage? Change the title.
Thanks for the advice. I had thought about it, and I still think about it. I did some research and put the title into imdb.com and did see that Love Story was a movie from the 60s. I will think about a new title.
Let me state my reasons for giving it the title I did. I had gotten the idea while listening to "Love Story" by Taylor Swift and tried to make the script go along with the song (which didn't happen, i might add).
Sorry for any confusion this may cause to readers who think this is a remake of the original Love Story.
I actually finished this in one sitting and fairly enjoyed it. Romantic comedies normally donít do anything for me but this kept me interested from start to finish. I will say that if you did write this when you were fifteen years old, this is an incredible effort. I do think there are a few places you could improve this like every other script out there but nothing major.
I was curious about your comment about writing this and naming it after the Taylor Swift song (who isnít as big over here as in America). At first I didnít get it as Jessica was coming across as a cold hearted bitch. Then the party started and Jessica walked in with the hair in curls and the Cinderella-style golden dress and I remembered the music video right away. I will be honest and say that later on in the script, I did cringe when Jessica sang Love Story while playing the guitar in front of Alex. As much as I love Taylor Swift, this bit didnít work for me. I suppose it would work as you said through dialogue that Jessica can sing in musicals but I will be honest and say that part didnít work for me.
The whole love story worked. I think some parts of the relationship between Jessica and Alex could be worked on. Like the fact that they come from different worlds so to speak. Jessica pays for everything cause sheís rich and Alex is the broke guy nobody knows or cares about, Jessica is the big news. This could be explored more. Instead of Alex simply agreeing the minute Jessica says she will pay for this or that, you should show how bad it hurts him and how worthless it makes him feel. It would add an extra dimension to their relationship. Also, Jessica took to Alex a little too suddenly. I mentioned she was a cold bitch to start with and I didnít like her until after page 40. Having her agent bail out Alex to set her up with Jessica was part of the problem. You never hinted of Jessica remotely liking Alex one bit before they are set up. I think you need to hint slightly that she likes him and have her bail him out, not the agent. Obviously, the agent needs to play a part because of the ending, but she can suggest to Jessica she has to date a nobody and let Jessica do the rest. Maybe when Alex tackles the guy on the red carpet, she can look on worried as the police take him away or something, just a small hint that she might like him.
Everything ends too quickly for my liking. After Jessica throws Alex out, everything is resolved in less than 10 pages for the happy ending. I think something needs to be added, maybe Alex having a heart to heart with Kali before he goes to Germany or something. Also, Ruby involved in the happy ending left a sour taste. I hated her but liked Marcie so I didnít like Alex leaving Marcieís agency and Ruby being the hero in the end. I think the roles should be reversed. With a little bit of work, the ending could be perfect for the story you have created.
Characters. Iíve already said Jessica is cold to begin with, maybe too cold with everyone. But I did like her before the halfway mark. Alex was spot on, which is good as he is the lead. I didnít like Ruby but I think you would want it that way. I liked Marcie a lot, I wish she was more involved. Kali was also one of the stronger characters and I do think she should be involved more near the end. At first I thought she was one of the unhealthy stalker types who would try to kill Jessica at the end by the way she was hitting her picture with the meter stick but Iím glad that wasnít the case. Sandy didnít come across as much as a bitch as I think you intended. Jeff was alright.
I had a few minor problems with your action lines. Some were very long, 6, 7 or 8 lines and took long to read. You should try and cut these down to 3 or 4 lines max. You were also guilty of over describing things on a lot of occasions. Page 65 is an example, saying things like ďA bathroom is opposite the kitchenĒ is not needed as it is not crucial to the scene or the story. Page 11 is also an example of over describing the hall. There are lots of this going on which if cut could save you more space for extra scenes. Also, in your character descriptions, you say things that cannot be filmed or would not be noticeable to a viewer. On page 8, you say ďHe also lives with his girlfriend, who wears the pants in the relationship.Ē This is before you even introduce the girlfriend. Donít tell us this information in an action line, tell us it through dialogue and his or her actions. That way the viewer would pick up this information. Writing it in an action line is cheating, in my opinion, we need to find this out for ourselves.
Overall, I did enjoy this. You did a cracking job and I can only find small things that could be worked on so this did work for me. I hope you find some of this helpful. I made a few notes, but never noted the typos (there is a few).
Page 21 - Jeff says Alex sold his apartment to move in with his girlfriend, but earlier on page 8, Alex says to Jeff on the phone he will sleep on the couch in his own apartment tonight before moving to Jeffís in the morning. I thought he sold it?
Washington Heights was referred to Washington Hills earlier on page 14.
Page 49 - Jessica saying she may come off as a bitch didn't come off as real. Maybe Alex could bring this up and she could defend herself.
Page 79 - Feelings become hostile between Jessica and Danica like they have a history yet when Alex mentions Danica to Jessica for the first time, she is star-struck, saying she is the best romantic comedy actress ever. Is there a history there or what?
Nothing bad happens at the end of Act 2 which is normally the case in most scripts. Instead, you have left the bad to the middle of the third act before resolving it very quickly.
Thank you for taking the time to read this for me. I really appreciate the comments.
I would like to explain a few of my dumb mistakes. I wrote this on Christmas break, so it took me about two weeks, because when school started again I knew I wouldn't have as much time to write. So thus being, I breezed through this. I also tend to write at the dead of night for some reason. I don't know why, maybe it's because my thoughts come across better when the house is dead quiet.
I tried my darndest to make Jessica seem evil, and I'm just not very good at it because I wanted her to be a sweetheart. You're not the only person who has said she isn't that much of a b****. You're correct, I wanted people to hate Ruby. I wanted Marcie to be like Estelle, Joey's agent from Friends, so I wanted her to be a little dingy and not try so hard. I pictured Jennifer Aniston playing the part when I wrote it. She's possibly my favorite character, so in the first rewrite (that's right, this is the first draft), I'm going to add her more. I will try to envolve Kali a little more, but I want her to stay more of a character that people see then forget. Jeff and Sandy weren't my favorite characters, and I think that comes across with the sloppy writing around them.
I feel bad when I look at my action lines and see that they are so long, because I've worked so hard on trying to make them smaller. I'm giong to work on cutting out unimportant things on the rewrite.
About page 21. As I said, I write in the dead of night, so I think of something at 12:05 am and go wow! I love that! I'm going to add that! and by the time i get to adding it, it's 3:20 am and I've been adding up to that part, and then forget what I was adding up too. I need more sleep haha.
The Washington Heights/Hills blunder. I'm writing a series called Washington Hills (which has been changed to Seattle), and I think I just added that in subconsciously.
Page 49. I forgot I did that.
Page 79. I didn't want it to come off as hostile. I wanted Jessica to seem shy, and feel like Danica is taking Alex away from Jessica.
I also feel like I ended the script very fast. A friend was pressuring me to finish it so she could read it, so I wrote the ending very fast. I think I will add Kali in somewhere at the end, but I didn't want the ending to be a give away with Alex standing....well...you know what happened. I don't want to give any spoilers haha.
Again, thank you for your comments, and I will try to finish my mistakes in the rewrite.
It's funny you should say that because as soon as Marcie said "kid" to Alex, I imagined her as Joey's agent in Friends or Joey's own TV show, I can't remember which one. I laughed at one of Alex's comments later on when he said "She was probably hungover" or something like that. But yeah, the agent from Friends did come to mind when reading but I couldn't remember her name for the life of me.
I'm sure more people will give you more helpful feedback to improve this further in future drafts but right now, as a first draft written by someone when they were fifteen years old, it's quite stunning. You finished everything you set out to do with this type of story and did a great job!
Hey, I just wanted to offer a few things format-wise.
First, don't specify the acts -- true sign of a newbie. A studio reader won't go past he the first page.
Second, the Jessica AKA Elizabeth is a real turn-off and smacks of newbie pretensions. If Jessica is her character's name, you can note that her real name is Elizabeth when she is in her "real life".
Third, technically, the opening would require several edits, which is impossible in "real life". It makes much more sense if it's the finished episode being shown to the cast/crew during the season-end wrap party, and you wouldn't have to change the subsequent dialog.
i haven't read through your entire script, but i hafta say that i'm impressed by what you've accomplished for being 15-16! good job on that!!
i've noted a couple things, that maybe i'll send to you as opposed to listing everything down on this message board.
i agree with the poster above regarding AKA, not necessarily because of pretensiousness BUT...
When a reader, esp. a movie producer, reads this, he's envisioning the movie as he's reading it, as we all do. if you write, ELIZABETH AKA JESSICA...you can't film that, until later on when it's explained that it's part of a movie set.
I would call her "JESSICA" thoughout. even though, it might confuse the reader as to why the other guy's calling her elizabeth, it's explained later on when the direction interjects with, 'CUT!!"
And the thing is, there's no narrator describing the relationship of the characters involved, so why put it in the script? it should be explained through dialogue or action.
i'm not sure if that makes sense or if my reasons are quite valid, but that's my reasoning for it.