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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Romantic Comedy  ›  The Beginning of The End and The End
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  Author    The Beginning of The End and The End  (currently 8906 views)
medstudent
Posted: March 11th, 2015, 7:18am Report to Moderator
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Bravo, good sir. The sign of a great script is getting through it fast, in one sitting.

I won't go into a full review of this but I will say, from start to finish, this was a solid read with great characters, funny dialogue and a nice and neat story with an up ending. Well done.

The ONLY thing I would say could be reworked is raising the stakes. If you raised the stakes in this, it would bring it to another level. This could easily be a Silver Linings Playbook except the stakes are much higher in that film. What's at stake for the characters individually and as a group is much more palapable in SLP. This makes the payoff in the end much more satisfying for the audience.  

You could raise the stakes by making it much more important that Emily keep her job in THAT EXACT building otherwise her life ends (or something like that) figuratively. This could be done with George as well. There must be a REASON why he can't give up the building. When this is done (George giving up his office) in the end, it would have so much more significance. This wouldn't take much. Add a smidge more depth to George's character (he needs to be flawed and have to overcome that flaw - more than just being afraid of commitment) and give Emily more of a visceral reason to stay. Also, make them get close to being together and take it away. It's there, only superficially (when she leaves him in the elevator after they make their connection). Again, I'll use SLP as an example. Remember when he didn't show up for practice, putting in jeapardy the entire thing? EVERYTHING would come down like a house of cards if they didn't patch things up.

That's the point of good RomComs... life almost gets in the way of the characters finding each other. We should always be on the edge of our seats thinking that the two people who are meant to be together, may not get together.

I don't typically watch (or read) RomComs. There are very few that are good. This one is good but could be something really special. It would be a shame to not see this produced.

Joseph


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eldave1
Posted: March 11th, 2015, 12:30pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from medstudent

The ONLY thing I would say could be reworked is raising the stakes. If you raised the stakes in this, it would bring it to another level. This could easily be a Silver Linings Playbook except the stakes are much higher in that film. What's at stake for the characters individually and as a group is much more palapable in SLP. This makes the payoff in the end much more satisfying for the audience.  

You could raise the stakes by making it much more important that Emily keep her job in THAT EXACT building otherwise her life ends (or something like that) figuratively. This could be done with George as well. There must be a REASON why he can't give up the building. When this is done (George giving up his office) in the end, it would have so much more significance. This wouldn't take much. Add a smidge more depth to George's character (he needs to be flawed and have to overcome that flaw - more than just being afraid of commitment) and give Emily more of a visceral reason to stay. Also, make them get close to being together and take it away. It's there, only superficially (when she leaves him in the elevator after they make their connection). Again, I'll use SLP as an example. Remember when he didn't show up for practice, putting in jeapardy the entire thing? EVERYTHING would come down like a house of cards if they didn't patch things up.


First - thanks much for the read Joseph - appreciate it. I think this criticism (above) is spot on. One of my favorite Rom/Coms is "As Good As It Gets" - there, Jack Nicholson's entire sanity rests on his ability to have a normal relationship - perfect!. She has to move on from taking care of a chronically sick son - perfect. I have been working this issue for the next re-write.  I have been playing around with some ideas (maybe the building is where she met Peter - maybe he occupied the office next store before George moved in) and she can't move out of the building for emotional reasons. George I got to work on. I need to find his Achilles heel.

Thanks again



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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JohnN
Posted: August 14th, 2015, 11:57am Report to Moderator
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I really enjoyed your script.  It's a clever, well-written story.

I only have two suggestions: One, I think your first two pages are your weakest. A missed opportunity, in my opinion, to show off your creativity that follows and set up the ironic premise  (a divorce lawyer showing the marriage counselor maybe you can find love twice.)

Just a thought... but why not start with something like this...

EXT. GRAVE SITE - DAY

EMILY STANTON (35), attractive, short blonde hair looks remorsefully at the tombstone of PETER STANTON [add dates and "loving husband..." stuff ]

                                                   EMILY (V.O)
                                  I was fortunate. At least I had true love...
                                  for awhile.  Most people are never
                                  that lucky.  They spend their lives
                                  in shampoo relationships looking for    
                                  reasons to stay together.  Then when it  
                                  it eventually fails - they do it over again.
                                  Wash, rinse, repeat. Not us. We had that
                                  rare, once in a lifetime true love.

INT. EMILY'S CAR - (DRIVING) - DAY

As Emily drives a busy street in downtown Los Angeles, D.J. on RADIO ends the news a love song begins.

Emily rolls her eyes as she quickly changes the station.                                      

INT. EMILY'S OFFICE

Emily, at her desk picks up a framed picture of her with PETER STANTON (30), boyish looking, on their wedding day.

                                                         EMILY (V.O.)
                                             I just don't believe that anyone can
                                             find true love twice.

Emily places the picture back down.  She pushes the intercom button.

                                                          EMILY
                                               Okay.  Send them in.

She grabs a file and pen, stands up.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING CORRIDOR - DAY

The sign on the office door reads: EMILY STANTON, MARRIAGE COUNSELING.

INT. EMILY'S OFFICE

Emily sits in a large overstuffed chair. On the sofa across from her are her clients, SAM, (40s), average looking and NANCY (40s) and a bit overweight.

Something like that.  Something that starts the reader off sympathetic and intrigued with Emily and sets up the irony of her being a marriage counselor.

I think her changing the station when the love song comes on works better with the ending.  There I would have her (by contrast) sing along with the love song - pick the right song and stay on her singing along.  That can be cute, funny and telling.  A better visual IMO then her looking, noticing others.  I'd eliminate her looking at others in both beginning and end - keep focus on her.

The only other thing is the logline. "Widow" without anything else makes me think old.

Maybe something like...

"A widowed mid-30's marriage counselor belief you can only find true love once is put to the test when a divorce lawyer moves into the office next door."

Other than that I really like the script!  

Good luck,

JohnN

Revision History (1 edits)
JohnN  -  August 14th, 2015, 4:04pm
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eldave1
Posted: August 14th, 2015, 8:58pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JohnN
I really enjoyed your script.  It's a clever, well-written story.

I only have two suggestions: One, I think your first two pages are your weakest. A missed opportunity, in my opinion, to show off your creativity that follows and set up the ironic premise  (a divorce lawyer showing the marriage counselor maybe you can find love twice.)

Just a thought... but why not start with something like this...

EXT. GRAVE SITE - DAY

EMILY STANTON (35), attractive, short blonde hair looks remorsefully at the tombstone of PETER STANTON [add dates and "loving husband..." stuff ]

                                                   EMILY (V.O)
                                  I was fortunate. At least I had true love...
                                  for awhile.  Most people are never
                                  that lucky.  They spend their lives
                                  in shampoo relationships looking for    
                                  reasons to stay together.  Then when it  
                                  it eventually fails - they do it over again.
                                  Wash, rinse, repeat. Not us. We had that
                                  rare, once in a lifetime true love.

INT. EMILY'S CAR - (DRIVING) - DAY

As Emily drives a busy street in downtown Los Angeles, D.J. on RADIO ends the news a love song begins.

Emily rolls her eyes as she quickly changes the station.                                      

INT. EMILY'S OFFICE

Emily, at her desk picks up a framed picture of her with PETER STANTON (30), boyish looking, on their wedding day.

                                                         EMILY (V.O.)
                                             I just don't believe that anyone can
                                             find true love twice.

Emily places the picture back down.  She pushes the intercom button.

                                                          EMILY
                                               Okay.  Send them in.

She grabs a file and pen, stands up.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING CORRIDOR - DAY

The sign on the office door reads: EMILY STANTON, MARRIAGE COUNSELING.

INT. EMILY'S OFFICE

Emily sits in a large overstuffed chair. On the sofa across from her are her clients, SAM, (40s), average looking and NANCY (40s) and a bit overweight.

Something like that.  Something that starts the reader off sympathetic and intrigued with Emily and sets up the irony of her being a marriage counselor.

I think her changing the station when the love song comes on works better with the ending.  There I would have her (by contrast) sing along with the love song - pick the right song and stay on her singing along.  That can be cute, funny and telling.  A better visual IMO then her looking, noticing others.  I'd eliminate her looking at others in both beginning and end - keep focus on her.

The only other thing is the logline. "Widow" without anything else makes me think old.

Maybe something like...

"A widowed mid-30's marriage counselor belief you can only find true love once is put to the test when a divorce lawyer moves into the office next door."

Other than that I really like the script!  

Good luck,

JohnN


Very interesting suggestions, John (interesting take). I will consider them. Thanks for the read.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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JohnN
Posted: August 15th, 2015, 12:47am Report to Moderator
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Think about it. Not necessarily my suggestion. That was just of the top of my head. But I really think there's the potential for a really strong opening and the script delivers from there.
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Marcela
Posted: February 25th, 2017, 8:40pm Report to Moderator
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Hey David,
I have to admit I didn't like the logline and that's why I started reading. I simply thought - WTF? What can that be about?
I was pleasantly surprised on the first 6 pages or so. I found the scene where Emily gives counseling to Sam and Nancy absolutely hillarious! I just loved every dialogue line in that scene!
When the script moved to Emily being an Aunt Emily etc, that's where I got bored and stopped reading. But I'll give it another go.
I noticed some people mentioned tips like 'Don't use -ing in action lines', or 'No big action blocks' but the more scripts (produced ones) I read the less I'm sure about such 'rules'.


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eldave1
Posted: February 25th, 2017, 8:48pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Marcela
Hey David,
I have to admit I didn't like the logline and that's why I started reading. I simply thought - WTF? What can that be about?
I was pleasantly surprised on the first 6 pages or so. I found the scene where Emily gives counseling to Sam and Nancy absolutely hillarious! I just loved every dialogue line in that scene!
When the script moved to Emily being an Aunt Emily etc, that's where I got bored and stopped reading. But I'll give it another go.
I noticed some people mentioned tips like 'Don't use -ing in action lines', or 'No big action blocks' but the more scripts (produced ones) I read the less I'm sure about such 'rules'.


Thanks so much for the read, Marcela - it is appreciated.

The "ing" rule is a good one I think for the most part and the version you read has revisions in that regard. Like you, I don't believe all rules are absolutes. It's really is whatever works best.

The Aunt Em scene is a set-up for things to come - but certainly don't want boredom here - I'll be sure to give it another look.

Thanks again!



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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LC
Posted: February 25th, 2017, 8:55pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Marcela
Hey David,
... tips like 'Don't use -ing in action lines', or 'No big action blocks' but the more scripts (produced ones) I read the less I'm sure about such 'rules'.

That's a good thing Marcela, you're observing 'ing' words and 'ly' words used properly. The so called 'rules' are there for beginner writers to keep them on track with present tense, progressive verb, active writing in screenplays.

Once you know how to write a screenplay, and you know what a good story is, of course you can ditch a lot of the rules. Story is always key.

Keep reading too. It's essential.

P.S. I've read this script. I know I gave feedback/suggestions with the logline. I don't think I ever commented on story or format cause by the time I got round to reading it Dave had pretty much all the feedback he needed and mine would have been repetition.

I should have come on to say,: great and entertaining story, Dave! So there it is.

P.S. I was reading back to see if I had commented. Is this the original thread?
Jeepers, that exchange between you and Dustin I didn't recall.
Carry on, and congrats for making semis in Page.

P.P.S. I think my suggestion for logline was better.  
I think your current two-sentence log reads clipped and without a flow that could improve it. Just saying...and obviously jmho.

Regardless, you've got the writing chops, everyone knows that.




Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
LC  -  February 25th, 2017, 9:08pm
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eldave1
Posted: February 25th, 2017, 9:28pm Report to Moderator
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Libby!


Quoted Text
I should have come on to say,: great and entertaining story, Dave! So there it is.


Thanks much - it is appreciated.


Quoted Text
P.S. I was reading back to see if I had commented. Is this the original thread?
Jeepers, that exchange between you and Dustin I didn't recall.  


It was tense. Actually, I was real new at the time. Dustin and I eventually made good and actually ending up exchanging a lot of advice/thoughts. I got over the nature of the critique and went to the meat of it - found helpful stuff.  


Quoted Text
Carry on, and congrats for making semis in Page.


That was 2015. This actually made it to the Finals in 2016. I used a lot of the suggestions I got here at good ole SS. I am taking one more shot this year with some additional revisions and after that this will go into the I have done all I am going to do heap.


Quoted Text
P.P.S. I think my suggestion for logline was better.  
I think your current two-sentence log reads clipped and without a flow that could improve it. Just saying...and obviously jmho.


Yours was actually better. It was:

"A battle of wits ensues when an arrogant and jaded divorce lawyer rents an office next door to a heartbroken marriage counselor.  Could this be a recipe for disaster, or a match made in heaven?"

I have used it on about 75% of my queries and in contest submissions - so - Gracias!

I also use this one, partly from you:

A battle of wits ensues when an arrogant divorce lawyer moves moves into an office next door to a strong willed marriage counselor. Ultimately, the building fire that interrupts their battles also serves to spark a relationship.


Quoted Text
Regardless, you've got the writing chops, everyone knows that.


Too kind - thank you.






My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Marcela
Posted: February 26th, 2017, 5:10pm Report to Moderator
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Hey David,
I have to correct myself!!!! I meant to say that I didn't like the TITLE very much. As for the logline, I actually did like it, that's why I started reading in the first place. (I'd better keep focused better on what I'm trying to say in my feedback!)
The reason I didn't like the title? It's about ending, and I don't want to hear about endings, I want to hear about new beginnings, hope, new hopes etc.
And I'd better crack on with reading your script...
M.


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eldave1
Posted: February 26th, 2017, 5:51pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Marcela
Hey David,
I have to correct myself!!!! I meant to say that I didn't like the TITLE very much. As for the logline, I actually did like it, that's why I started reading in the first place. (I'd better keep focused better on what I'm trying to say in my feedback!)
The reason I didn't like the title? It's about ending, and I don't want to hear about endings, I want to hear about new beginnings, hope, new hopes etc.
And I'd better crack on with reading your script...
M.


In that case - you may end up pleasantly surprised - it ultimately  is about beginning


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Marcela
Posted: February 26th, 2017, 8:50pm Report to Moderator
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I read the whole script and loved it!
I would still get rid of/rewrite pages 7 - 10 as not much happens there and Madelyn is quite unimportant for the plot anyway.
Otherwise things progressed nicely, one of the most enjoyable scripts I've read on here for some time!

One little thing on page 17 when George's eyes move up to Emily's backside, then her torso, covered in a white blouse...
I couldn't quite figure out who was where so maybe describe that George sits at a table and she sits at a bar.

I absolutely loved this bit:
Emily finishes the last of her wine and looks towards a booth in the corner of the bar. She spots a TIPSY MAN nibbling on the neck of an equally TIPSY WOMAN. Emily sighs.

Good luck with having it produced, I really think it's great!


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eldave1
Posted: February 26th, 2017, 9:14pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Marcela
I read the whole script and loved it!
I would still get rid of/rewrite pages 7 - 10 as not much happens there and Madelyn is quite unimportant for the plot anyway.
Otherwise things progressed nicely, one of the most enjoyable scripts I've read on here for some time!

One little thing on page 17 when George's eyes move up to Emily's backside, then her torso, covered in a white blouse...
I couldn't quite figure out who was where so maybe describe that George sits at a table and she sits at a bar.

I absolutely loved this bit:
Emily finishes the last of her wine and looks towards a booth in the corner of the bar. She spots a TIPSY MAN nibbling on the neck of an equally TIPSY WOMAN. Emily sighs.

Good luck with having it produced, I really think it's great!


Thanks so much for the read and the kind comments - much appreciated


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Warren
Posted: October 24th, 2017, 9:17pm Report to Moderator
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Hi, Dave.

Not sure if this is The Page finalist version but I thought it was time to check it out.

This script has well and truly been dissected so I won’t do the same thing; I just really wanted to see what makes a Page finalist.

It's a secret shame (well not so secret anymore), but I love a good romcom and this did not disappoint. Funny stuff. Dialogue is on point. Well rounded characters. Really well written, it just flows and the pages fly by.

Congrats on a great script and congrats again on The Page. Beers on you!


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eldave1
Posted: October 25th, 2017, 11:38am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Warren
Hi, Dave.

Not sure if this is The Page finalist version but I thought it was time to check it out.

This script has well and truly been dissected so I won’t do the same thing; I just really wanted to see what makes a Page finalist.

It's a secret shame (well not so secret anymore), but I love a good romcom and this did not disappoint. Funny stuff. Dialogue is on point. Well rounded characters. Really well written, it just flows and the pages fly by.

Congrats on a great script and congrats again on The Page. Beers on you!


Thanks, Warren - appreciate the kind thoughts. This version is about 90-95% of the one that won. I added a few things (George has a dog) and took out a few things. Glad you liked it.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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