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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Comedy Scripts  /  A Common Tale About an Uncommon Family
Posted by: Don, November 27th, 2012, 8:50pm
A Common Tale About an Uncommon Family (was De l'Aube, An American Tale)  by Julien Blaecke - Comedy - J.J, a 17 years old prodigy girl hating everyone equally, is stalked by a boy deeply in love with her. 96 pages - pdf, format 8)
Posted by: Toby_E, November 30th, 2012, 9:50am; Reply: 1
Had a quick look at this- got to page 14 before I had to stop reading.

Firstly, I really didn't like the opening. The first news-report scene, and the last scene with the politician seemed really irrelevent (I apologise if they aren't; as I said, I only got to page 14). The scene with Jimmy Kimmel, whilst at least some-what relevent to the characters, but makes Pierre come across highly annoying and unlikeable. Not sure if that was the intention?

The whole "fatty" scene was painfully unfunny, and very annoying. It was also far too long- it could be about 50% shorter (at least), and still convey the same information. The scene makes JJ come across in an even worse light than her father.

Some of your description of setting is really good, but some of it is slightly confusing. For example: "A massive staircase in the background gives the feeling to watch one of this Tv show with only one set. In fact that�s hell more then a feeling since we are watching the scene on the exact same perspective." I really didn't know what you were trying to say here.

The dialogue between Pierre and JJ was far too expositionary, and the whole exchange felt forced and unnatural. Also, as a non-French speaker (I'm aware how ironic that is considering my avater is a French film), I had very little idea with what was being said when they started speaking French. Not necessarily a bad thing if maybe the odd word was in French, but in this scene, every other piece of dialogue featured some sort of French phrase. I don't really like not knowing what is being said. Go to the bottom of page 36, and check out how Woody Allen writes Spanish here (he splits the dialogue; Spanish on the left hand side, and the English subtitles on the right):

The scene with Madeline was where I had to stop reading. She was unpleasant and annoying, and once again the dialogue between all characters was expostionary, forced and highly unnatural. For example, people don't talk like this: "Shut the fuck up, Michael Carlson proud owner of the local zoo" or "Now, Bill Johnson mayor�s advisor for the environment, you truly have a problem here. An overpopulated snake area problem. And Michael Carlson proud owner of the local zoo might help you." How many times have you heard people repeatedly be addressed by their profession, or what they own? This scene was faaaaar too long as well. 6 pages long? I presume that JJ is meant to be your protag in this script (judging by your log-line), but Madeline has already had far more screen-time than her. Hell, so has Michael Carlson and Bill Johnson. Trim this scene down substantially. Introduce the characters you want to introduce, then get out and re-focus the script towards JJ.

Main problem of the script so far is that I'm half-way through act 1, and I can't really ascertain who the main character is, where the story-line is, or what direction this script is going to take. The dialogue in every scene was highly expositionary, which results in it coming across forced and unnatural. All the characters talk the same as hell, despite being completely different people in both age and appearance.

Look to rectify these points and I'll give it another spin.

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