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Okay, let’s statt from the start. It was a nice warm up, the first couple of pages, but it was missing something fairly major...the other half of this romcom!! So the love interest enters half way through and there’s no real relationship arc to speak of, which kinda rules out the romance bit.
Comedy? It was quirky, they take drugs and have a giggle, that’s got promise but it really didn’t nail any belly laughs.
Anyway, well enough written but it just didn’t quite hit the mark.
Hey, look at this! Someone attempted to write a romcom! (In my book, this qualifies.) I'm getting worn out by all the murderous, hyper-sexualized "romcoms" in this OWC, so, I'm pleased to read something a bit more on point.
I won't repeat what everyone else says except to emphasize that I was really thrown by Jerry 2.0. Was the reflection speaking? When he's on the bike, is Jerry 2.0 running next to him? Help me visualize exactly what you want me to see.
Make all the changes Angry Bear and Rene suggested, then repost. You've got a base to work off of here.
60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
Dear, oh dear! Another one without a point. Sloppy writing. "Jerry is thinking of calling his girlfriend" How the Hell is the audience supposed to know this? His roommate is a stockbroker. how do we know this? Because Jerry knows it. He goes to a bookstore and meets a girl dressed in black, wearing red shoes. He climbs a ladder to get a book for her. They say they are from another dimension and leave the bookstore together. The end. Oh, and there's stuff about getting high, if you're interested.
My reviews are sorta Helter Skelter; sometimes I just fire off bullet points, and other times I go into greater detail...
The characters seem hopelessly generic. You've got Jerry; "Stoner" and Sandy, who I'd consider more of a "nerdy girl" instead, and these are your main characters. But we've seen them in a hundred other movies before.
How can you make them real and different?
The comedy is not working for me. It's kind of low level humor and not particularly clever. This kind of exchange is very one dimensional:
Are you on something too?
I took a whole brownie.
Jerry and Sandy chuckle to themselves.
Do you find this holiday as cliched as
I would say cliched is a euphemism.
(looking through the books)
Notes from the Underground.
Metamorphosis. Will to Power....let me
guess, trying to get over the crazy
You could say that. Was yours the
crazy iceman cometh?
Crazy is a euphemism.
Another issue; Your opening scene feels really set-up-ish. The problem with set-up scenes like the one you have is, ironically, that they don't set up anything. Jerry being a stoner is something that can be established through action that impacts the story. Here, when we first see Jerry, he's working in a coffee shop, putting foam on a couple's coffee, then the very next scene he's terminated. Okay, so how does this impact your story. It doesn't. In fact, Jerry getting fired has absolutely nothing to do with the story.
Now I'm asking myself "What do I know about this character (Jerry) , and how do I know it?" I know this -- I don't know he's a stoner yet. Good character intro scenes show a character trying to solve a problem and hampered by their flaw. That is to say, the character's issue is on full display from their first moment on screen.
Let us compare scenes-- the coffee shop is busy, they are short on staff, everyone is running around like chickens with their heads cut-off, while The Manager is searching for someone. Then we immediately CUT TO Jerry -- who's locked himself in a bathroom, huffing and puffing away like a man on death row devouring his last meal. The whole shebang, the window cracked open, Jerry fanning the smoke or flames. We would get a strong sense of hard-up he is, or how much of a stoner he is. And the scene escalates with his manager catching him, of course, and he gets fired.
Just one example. It's not great, but... it does what I need it to do. At any rate, this is JMHO, not claiming I'm right.
My esteemed collegues seem to like the SKULL and CROSSBONES and TOMBSTONE gag. Jerry could be having a bad day, or maybe he hates his job, or maybe it was meant to be a joke, but it backfired, so he ends up getting fired. But it doesn't tell me he's a stoner. He's not having withdrawl symptoms, or his eyes are not bloodshot, or anything to make me think he could be on something. But I'm in the minority here.
That said, I can see my colleagues side of things, too..
If anything, it's something to think about going forward with any of your works.
INT. OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
A MANAGER has Jerry sign a termination notice.
What is the matter with you?
I was about to ask you the same thing.
Get the hell out.
Jerry gloomily grabs his bag and exits.
This scene. From Jerry's dialogue -- I get the impression he's being defiant, like he could give a shit about the job, but then I get to the last line ... Okay, if he doesn't give a shit, then why would he walk out gloomily?
Anyway, I'm not really looking for an answer to that question, just pointing it out.
The milk over a black screen... Dreamscale was right, I'd re-think that.
Okay, bulletproof vest off... overall, it just feels a bit "meh" to me. Kudos for finishing...hope this helps.
Kill the orphan lines. i.e. “Are you actually going to mope around the apartment? On fucking Valentine’s Day?” can be changed easily to “You’re actually gonna mope around the apartment on fuckin Valentine’s Day?!” and there, you save a line and the script looks better without changing a thing.
Is the alter ego a reflection or a full-blown vision?
Oh Jerry’s tripping balls? off weed... Thanks for telling me at the end of the scene… You can’t just drop a note in there like that, come on.
Pretty convenient resolution to this one.
I like the idea of 2 high people having a meet cute, but there were a bunch of problems in the story and the writing if I’m being honest. The germ of an idea is there.
Also I must have missed the relevance of the title.
I'd list my "work" here, but I don't know how to hyperlink.
"Career" Highlights -I have a single credit on my IMDB page. -One time a fairly prominent producer e-mailed me back. -I have almost made $1000 with my writing! -I've won 2 mugs... and a thong. (polaroids of me in thong available for $10 through PM)
For the milk, wouldn't it be over black? Why cap SOUND when STEAMING MILK is what we hear. These things can be tricky to write if you don't know how the readers hear will chew you up for getting it wrong. Just a heads up.
Do cap JERRY (20s) the first time we see him.
I dont think skull and crossbones needs to be capped. Unless they are super relevant to the story, there is no point.
Dont put dialogue in caps. Omgosh so may capitalization mistakes in only the first half a page. This might be a record lol.
There is an extra space between the line of dialogue between Jerry and the manager. Also continuous in your slug implies what we see takes place right after the previous scene. I don't think that would be the case here. Get rid of it.
Jerry 2.0? Is this a new character like Jerry and 2.0 side by side? Or just Jerry talking in a different voice? Or Jerry in his regular voice? You need to make it clear to the reader.
Pg 4 and I'm out. Sorry. Rule 1 of screenwriting. A reader will look for every chance to get out of reading your script. Don't give them that opportunity. All the mistakes distract me from the read so instead of focusing on your story, all I see are the mistakes.
This looks to me like a case of a writer who knows more than they should with the fact that all the formatting stuff is in here, it's just used all wrong. Keep writing, keep practicing. Best of luck.
I won't repeat what others have said about formatting, CAPPING and so on. They're easy to fix and should be to keep the reader engaged.
This is a boy-meets-girl story that doesn't check all the boxes for a typical rom-com... but it's got romance and comedy, so it's doing well for this competition. I agree the roommate is not essential, but I for one liked the Jerry 2.0 idea. Just need to be clear about how Jerry sees him.
The notes in brackets don't belong; this information needs to be presented as part of the story. You need to decide how much you are going to assume your reader knows about the topic, and explain from there.
It appears that we see Jerry's distorted reality whenever he's the focus. This can be explained a bit more visually (and maybe through audio as well?). Switching the focus to someone who's sober can highlight the contrast and simultaneously reassure the audience that the weird stuff is not actually happening.
To bring the comedy element into the bookstore, the two of them should work together somehow to overcome immense obstacles in their quest to retrieve the book, probably as Jerry 2.0 pleads with Jerry to give his old flame another chance. Then switch to a sober employee's point of view to show Jerry's maybe one step up on a ladder, fighting off a non-existent Jerry 2.0, and Sandy's efforts to stabilize the ladder are probably making things worse.
This could probably expand into a traditional rom-com by adding in the boy-loses-girl complication followed by the boy-regains-girl resolution.
On page 1, the Hipster Couple is horrified at the designs Jerry puts on their drinks. You'd think a Hipster Couple would at least pretend to see humor in them. And the Manager was awful quick to pull the trigger on Jerry's employment.
Calvin's badgering could easily be given to Jerry 2.0, who was damn funny. I would definitely make Jerry 2.0 a more important facet of this script.
The substance-fueled exchange of euphemisms was okay, but I would have liked to learn a bit more about their background, other than the fact that they're both coming off failed relationships. I want to like these people, but all I learn is that they're both literate.
At the end, maybe you could bring Jerry 2.0 back. Jerry 2.0 still wants Jerry to call Sarah, which forces Jerry to clarify in his own mind why he needs to let go of her and give Sandy a chance.