All screenplays on the simplyscripts.com and simplyscripts.net domain are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. This screenplaymay not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
Silva, I only got to read the first 5 pages. I like the script so far. I'll read the rest when I get a chance. Great dialogue. The only thing I have to suggest is that you give "the voice" on the cell phone a name. I think after a few pages of conversation and a car trade with him we should know that by now.
First off, I would get rid of the "based on a joke" and I would limit that WGA registration to just the WGA number and nothing else. It's offputting when you have that stuff on the title, it should be simple: Title, name, contact info, and WGA registration.
Now on to the script: The very first description you give of the room is overwritten imo. You mention it's a typical teenager's room, but then you go on to describe the things in the room, which is irrelevant.
"An unkempt bedroom. A moderate semblance of a teenager’s room...posters of bikini-clad models, cupboard full of designer action figures and miniature sports cars, and a dash of un-laundered clothes sprinkled here and there"
I would just say "a dirty room" or "an unkempt room" that's all the readers really have to know.
I'm really not liking this dialogue. It sounds hokey, almost cliche:
"VOICE (V.O) I had no choice, man. All the free time I invested in her hobbies -- visits to the old folk’s home, calligraphy, painting, all that artsy fartsy stuff -- and then she has the gall to tell me she’s saving herself for marriage? Major buzz-kill, dude. I high-tailed it outta there like Al Qaeda just threatened to bomb the place, you know what I’m sayin’?"
^ what? I don't know if teenagers talk like that. I never did. I know the conversation is meant to be funny, but it wasn't. I think if you're going to be raunchy, you should go all out, otherwise the jokes just fall flat. Also, how many high school comedies have this exact same scene with the two friends talking about sex?
"Dustin watches as his Lexus pulls out of the driveway, and drives off."
Who's driving his Lexus? The Voice from the earlier scene? Also, this is why you need to introduce the character as Dustin is talking to him so the audience can make the connection.
So i stopped after 5 pages. I just can't get into this story, nothing really happens in those 5 pages. I fel that the dialogue was the worst part. The action lines are okay, but overwritten at times. I think you need to kick this story into gear as early as possible. Maybe just start the script with the dinner?
I can see where the story is going, but this concept has been overdone imo and I don't think there's enough of a story to sustain 36 pages.
Best of luck to you Silva, I hope to read more of your work in the future.
Your name sounds like saliva, which is all over my mouth, so I’d say we’re pretty close.
(p3) Dustin’s friend said “I tell it like it is” again. It was a bit redundant to read.
(p8 ) “breathe” should be “breath.”
I could be mistaken but I believe setting changes like “IN THE KITCHEN” OR “IN THE DINING ROOM” should be brand new sluglines unless it’s continuous. On page 11 for instance, if Marge and Dustin were walking from one room to the dining room, having it as is would be okay. However, since the scene is completely switching from one to the other, I think “INT. HOUSE, KITCHEN – EVENING” would be more suitable. These are strictly format gripes since the meaning is understood either way.
(p16) “her hands caressing her body” sounds like she’s fondling herself. If she is, good for her.
(p17) “provided you a means escape.” Pretty sure you meant “means of escape.”
The comments about his manhood aren’t really anything we can see on screen, unless we’re talking penis close-ups. I am a staunch advocate of more penis-closeups in the media. Perhaps mention that he fidgets to better showcase what the character is actually doing on screen.
(p19) “lt of fun” should be “lot of fun.”
I’ll start by saying it was an easy read. As far as descriptions and action sequences go there weren’t too many problems worth mentioning. The story however was extremely predictable. As soon as everyone left the house (why would the daughters need to join their father to purchase beer?) I knew something sexual would happen between Marge and Dustin. As soon as Marge proved all too willing and demure, I knew it was a test, and it became painfully object that the items in the glove compartment were condoms, which ruins what seems to have been planned as the big twist at the end.
I don’t know how I’d recommend fixing these problems since they’re imbued in the entirety of the story itself. Dustin’s friend on the phone was an insubstantial caricature of a Judd Appatow creation as well. Maybe have the test be something less overt – a date or subtle flirting, and don’t paint the mother to be such a porn movie ditz throughout the ordeal since she seemed so level-headed before. That for me was a dead giveaway that she wasn’t behaving normally. Additionally, nothing happens in the screenplay for a long time. Dustin’s on the phone, he switches cars, goes to meet Steph’s parents, etc. I understand that it’s all leading to the test, but as a viewer I’d think it’s simply remedial filler considering there’s no substance nor enough comedy to keep me interested.
The peiece was humorous enough for me to keep reading though there weren’t necessarily any jokes per se. The humor had more to do with the feel of the project as opposed to any actual lines.
Anyway, there are my two cents. Do with them as you please.
Signatures can be annoying, especially when they're pointless.
@Chongamon Thank you very much for the read nonetheless. This was my first foray into comedy, as I am usually strictly drama-driven, so I pretty much expected I wouldn't quite nail comedic dialogue. And you are absolutely right...it does tend to drag a little long getting to the point of the story...which is something I am currently working on modifying. Suggestions have also been made that I should put a name to the voice, which is also something I am modifying. Thanks for the critique
@tendai-moyo Lol, actually the name is Silva. I do get sometimes called Silvia by mistake. Very appreciative of the read. As I mentioned to Chongamon, this was my first time writing a comedy, so I was going to expect some on-the-nose suggestions to better improve my writing...and you have. I did predict as well that readers would probably already know what was in the glove-box, but I still wrote it as that anyways to see if it would elicit any surprises from readers who did not clue in yet. I guess I gotta work harder on my twists. Thanks for the critique
I really enjoyed the script once it got going. I felt the opening wasn't as strong as the rest, partly for the same reasons the other posters have mentioned.
Page 29 - I totally would have failed the test... Page 30 - "fun.?" -> "fun." Page 33 - Slightly confusing transition from re-entering the house to Dustin's bedroom. I suggest the slugline should say INT. DUSTIN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT. Also play with a more visual transition rather than just a straight location change. John August's podcast has a great episode dedication to scene transitions.
So I think the reason I didn't like the opening as much was that a long phone conversation between our character and a faceless voice just isn't as interesting as watching two characters interact. Same at the end. Why can't the other guy be a real character?
Since this was so much like Meet the Parents I understood why you referenced it, but I think it plays better without the reference. Just assume that people look past the similarities and appreciate your script for what it was.
If this is the full script, I didn't feel the condom payoff at the end was as strong as it could be, I was expecting it to continue.
Overall the tension and awkward situations were very well set up, and it was a very fun, quick read. Thanks!
Apologies for the delay in response. Thank you very much. And I am very glad you enjoyed it. I only wrote this with the intention of being a short, as it is based on a joke I had read online. After looking back at the script, and also reading the comments above, I do concur with the suggestion that I should put a face on the "voice". This is currently something I am working on modifying. Otherwise, thanks again for the critique, and I look forward to reading something of yours soon. Have a good one