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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Comedy Scripts  /  What's the Big Idea?
Posted by: Don, November 24th, 2016, 10:59pm
What's the Big Idea? by Steve Cleary - Comedy, Feature, Buddy movie, Farce, Screwball - After saving their jobs by submitting an old screenplay under a pseudonym, two junior executives struggle to keep up with demand when the studio heads order them to keep the scripts coming. 97 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: SteveC, December 11th, 2016, 3:08am; Reply: 1
Hi all, thanks for taking a look at my script. Please include a link to one of your own scripts if you wish to leave a review. Thanks!
Posted by: Nolan, December 11th, 2016, 5:18pm; Reply: 2
Hey Steve.

I can't do a read and review of this tonight, but I'll be able to get it done for you tomorrow.  If you can take a look at my script that would be awesome!  Here's the link

It's called "Not So Superhero", in the action section.  Logline: Kamikaze, once the world's only super powered human, has to adjust to life as a normal person after a near cataclysmic event grants everyone on earth some type of super power.

Posted by: Nolan, December 12th, 2016, 11:30am; Reply: 3

Some notes for you:

On page 17 you introduce the HIPSTER but his dialogue has him listed as the HIPSTER DENTIST.  It was a little confusing when I read it at first, so I had to read it twice.  My thought was, "where did this dentist come from?".   Obviously, I know the two are one in the same, but it was still slightly confused for a second.  Just a minor point.

On page 29 you wrote LA in the dialogue for Dickie.  I know it's not a big deal, and the majority, the VAST majority, of people know what you're writing.  But just in case, I wonder if it would be better suited as L.A.?

I feel like the whole wine tasting scene/scenes could have been written as a montage, if only to save some space and do the same thing as writing individual scenes.  

On page 74, Jesse's dialogue "hear to make you smile", hear should be here.

On page 76, I thought that Penny had left already?  But she's watching Dickie from the door.  That was very confusing for me.

Again on page 76, what about using a SUPER instead of saying "it's weeks later".  I can't see from the writing how it would be clear it was weeks later without that super.  

On page 90, there is a CONT'D twice after Dickie's dialogue.

So those are the little things that I noticed in terms of nit picking things.  Onto a critique!

**Spoilers below**

Overall I really enjoyed this.  I thought that both Dickie and Quincy were very likeable.  

Things that were confusing or I feel needed to be touched up, revisited, etc:

What I would have liked to see is more of Stan.  I felt that he could have been developed a little more as the "bad guy" than he was.  He wasn't involved very much and I think he could have been utilized more than he was.  He felt more like an after thought.  I would have liked to see him scheming a little more, to really get a sense of how much he hated Dickie and Quincy and how far he would have gone to see them fail.  

I didn't quite get the dynamic between Dickie and Penny.  Why was she upset that he wasn't writing anymore?  I know that she said he had won some competitions and whatnot, but when she finally left, she cited that as a reason, that she thought he was writing again, but he wasn't.  I didn't think it was clear in that sense.  The whole not getting married thing, or him proposing to her, made much more sense to me.  If you want to throw the writing thing in there, I think it's fine.  I just feel like it should be made clearer why she is upset that he's not writing.  Is he unhappy about not writing?  Is he depressed about not writing?  Is it affecting her life that he's not writing?  If you want to stay with that angle in the story, I think it needs to be flushed out a little more.

And the scene with the dentist, I'm not sure if it's needed.  We never see him again after that one scene.  It only seemed to serve the purpose of the dentist telling him that they don't make things like they used to.  Maybe there's a better way to do that rather than introducing a character that only has that one scene?

The things that I liked:

I think this is relatable to everyone on this board as writers.  So it was fun to follow along with an aspiring writer.  The plot line is a good one in my opinion.  They're stuck and need to come up with something to get them going.  When Quincy stumbles upon the old scripts, it gets the story going.  They start to get themselves into hot water when they decide not to use the name of the original writer.  I liked how you came along with the reveal of the original writer as well.  

I enjoyed the character of Hazel.  She was so off the top that she was very entertaining.  Who really thinks the Earth is flat?  That was great!  Very unique.  

There were a lot of lines in here that had me laughing.  The more I got invested in the characters, the more I laughed as the story went on.  

The scene with Candy was great, I got a good laugh with that.  

I kind of got a "Grandma's Boy" feel to this whole thing.  I liked that movie, so it's all good :)

Other than the things that I mentioned, I thought this was really well done.  I think those need to be cleared up.  That's just me however, hopefully some more people will chime in with their thoughts!

My apologies for spending more time writing on the things that I think need to be worked on, but I think that's more helpful to a writer.  At least I find it more helpful when I'm reviewing critiques.  

Good luck,

Posted by: SteveC, December 16th, 2016, 5:01am; Reply: 4
Hi Nolan,

Wow! Thank you much for the feedback! You make some good points that I'll work into my next draft. I like the hipster dentist scene as he serves as a "herald" archetype that helps Dickie's resolve to take the journey. Heralds often don't appear again the story and I did try to slide in at least a reference to him later on in the story :^p but I'll definitely clean up his character intro.

You might be right about Stan. I just have him being a dick throughout and his activity is pretty subtle. I have to be careful with a scene or line with him devising a plan, lest I give him a mustache to twirl.

As far as Penny, again I made her lamentations subtle. But I could figure in a way to drive home that she fell in love with Dickie for his creative side which fell away as became more immersed in executive duties.

For the wine tasting montage, I chose to write it out as a sequence of quick scenes and leave to a director to discern it as montage, but it might be better as you suggest.

And thanks for calling out those typos!

I'll read your script within the next couple of days and send you any thoughts I'll have...
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