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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Comedy Scripts  ›  Life of Riley Moderators: bert
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  Author    Life of Riley  (currently 3367 views)
irish eyes
Posted: April 11th, 2010, 11:00am Report to Moderator
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When my wife first read it, she also said it would make a good comedy series. So now after your comments, she looks at me with the `I told you` look! Thanks


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Brian M
Posted: May 30th, 2010, 4:07pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Mark,

This was pretty enjoyable with some real funny moments, especially with Brad and Bob in the scene where they go back to get the animals from Mickeyís house. Funny stuff! I would agree that it would work better as a series, especially with the characters you have here, but with a rewrite, this could work as a movie, too.

The main problem for me was that your logline promised a story that didnít happen to late on. Mickey saving the pet shop takes a back seat to the various other stories you have going on. I think you could do a better job of weaving the stories together and still have the main focus of the script on Mickey trying his best to save the shop. I think it was Anthony who mentioned that at times it reads like a bunch of jokes stitched together, and he has a point. Concentrate on the story of Mickey and the shop and make everything else a subplot. You have a lot of good stuff going on here, like Mickey and Sallyís relationship, his troubles with Jimmy, etc. Right now, it reads like you forgot about the main story during these parts, but with a rewrite, you will be able to get it just right.

I didnít care for Winstonís character. I know there was nothing bad about him, itís just that heís the type of guy with the voice of reason who randomly shows up in hundreds of films and I feel this script could do better than that. He reminded me of Silent Bob when he worked everything out in the end. I think in this type of movie with the problems your characters have, itís best for them to work it out themselves and not have a character like Winston do it for them. Just my opinion.

Your dialogue is very, very good in parts with a fair share of funny lines. At times, there is a lot of exposition. Maybe too much, actually. There will be more subtle ways of getting this information across. Just something to look at when you rewrite.

I would agree with Anthony re: Mickeyís character. I thought he was the weakest of the bunch and was pretty annoying at the start. I know he is supposed to be depressed but he did seem far too bland. He did win me over in the end though, his unusual relationship with Sally probably helped loads there. I know your problem here as Iíve written two features and have had readers say my leads are bland in both of them. Itís a hard thing to get right.

Next up, the writing. Sometimes, you do A LOT of telling us things about people in your actions lines rather than showing us them with there actions or through their dialogue. Example, Dianeís character intro - ďDIANE is Bob`s older sister and an ex- girlfriend of Brad, she is doing very well for herself at a Pharmaceutical company.Ē If this was a film, the viewer would have no idea that Diane is Bobís older sister unless you hinted to this in the dialogue (you might actually have done this in this example, Iím not sure). Thatís one small example but there are loads scattered throughout.  

Problems with scene headings. EXT. OUTSIDE PET SHOP - DAY should just be EXT. PET SHOP - DAY. The EXT lets the reader know itís outside so you donít need to mention it in your heading. If a character is inside a car, have a scene heading like INT. CAR - DAY. This makes it much clearer for the reader so they know exactly where they are. There was also a time where you have ďOne hour goes by...Ē. Again, have another scene heading like INT. BRAD AND BOBS APARTMENT - LATER. Make things as clear for the reader as possible.

One last small point. Page 53 - ďBrad continues to tell Bob what Jimmy did to him.Ē Will the actors have to make this up as they go along here? I donít think youíll get away with that as you are the writer.

Overall, pretty good read. Some problems with format and such but reading more scripts will help you a lot with that. Your characters are strong and the dialogue very good in parts. This would make a good comedy. Concentrate on making this more about Mickey saving the pet shop and revolve everything else around that. Good work!

Brian
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irish eyes
Posted: June 1st, 2010, 8:05pm Report to Moderator
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Thank you Brian for your in depth analysis. I do realise Mickey`s character is the weakest, I wanted him to try and grow and come out of his shell towards the end. Just like Silverman in `Saving Silverman`. I was leaving the comedy to the other guys, Brad, Bob, Jake and Chad.  Again like Jack Black and the other guy in Silverman.

I never noticed the Scene heading mistakes until you pointed them out. Thank you. This is why I like this site, it is hard to proof read your own material!!.

Thank you again Brian
If you want me to review anything else of yours let me know.


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