Print Topic

SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  January 2019 -  One Week Challenge  /  Crazy In Love - OWC
Posted by: Don, February 1st, 2019, 11:22pm
Crazy In Love by Warren Duncan (Warren) writing as The Mad Hatter - Short, RomCom, Dark - A woman battling mental health issues learns to let her guard down with the help of a quirky patient in a similar position. - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: Cam Gray, February 2nd, 2019, 8:30am; Reply: 1
Hey there writer,

Right, this is so heavily laden with charm I may have to go get a bath to wash some of it off...it was really, REALLY good, absolutely loved every bit of it.

Where you might fall down slightly is it being classed a Romcom, I suspect some of the overtly zealous markers may have an issue there as it doesn't fit the usual tropes, but I most certainly did not have an issue and I'll let it by. Also, really good use of the required chocolate, red and flowers, creative.

It was beautiful, touching and just a fantastic little read.

Exceptionally well done!

Cam
Posted by: LC, February 2nd, 2019, 8:51am; Reply: 2
Very well written!

Can't fault it, except to say I feel like I've seen it before.

That's all I got really.
Posted by: Koreanwriter2288, February 2nd, 2019, 4:47pm; Reply: 3
The relationship and characters were very well developed. Bravo.
Posted by: PKCardinal, February 2nd, 2019, 5:05pm; Reply: 4
Well done. Expertly written. First couple of pages really drew me in. In fact, the first page was so well written, it was almost distracting.

Just scratching the surface of the characters... but, it is a short.

A contender for sure.
Posted by: Dreamscale, February 2nd, 2019, 5:23pm; Reply: 5
Page 2 - why is Henry's dialogue shown to be (V.O.)?  That makes no sense.

And why is the Older Woman's dialogue (O.S.)?  Very odd and a mistake.  If you're trying to direct exactly what's being seen, don't.

Another (V.O.)?  What's going on here?  Are you intending this stuff to be in Henry's head?  I don't see how that would work in a filmed version, since he's talking out loud as well.

Hmmm, a freeze frame?  Not my style, but some may appreciate it.

And now Ruby is speaking (O.S.)?  You're either trying too hard or overthinking things here, but it ain't working for me.

If I had just glanced at each page, I would have told you immediately that you're WAY overdoing things...like wrylies, like using O.S and V.O.   It's just too much and it's not remotely necessary.

Well...in numerous ways, this is good.  But, in numerous ways, it's not.  There's all the parameters present, and using "Red" as a nickname is solid, but for me, it doesn't scream out ROMCOM...at all.  There is some humor for sure, but absolutely nothing was laugh out loud humor, and the general theme here is sadness...at least to me.

It's an outside the box effort and if you can just learn not to try so hard and overthink your writing, it will shine much brighter.

***
Posted by: eldave1, February 2nd, 2019, 9:02pm; Reply: 6
Really well written - top notch in that category.

A great setting for a story.

Most of the humerus stuff landed for me.

The props (roses, candy) could have been interwoven a bit more.

I wanted a little more deep conversation between the two to cement their burgeoning relationship - limited page count is a problem for sure - but the arc was a bit too fast.

So far, one of my favorites.
Posted by: Matthew Taylor, February 3rd, 2019, 8:19am; Reply: 7
Hi Writer

Not bad at all - Right now I am questioning what I actually think a Rom Com is - in fact, have I even watched one? - What I do know is, I like this one - I've only read a few but it's the best of them.

The doctor turning out to be a patient thing has been done a lot, but it wasn't used a big twist reveal at the end so I think it works fine.

I like the V.O narration - Added that bit extra

Comical moments I liked. I wanted the two to get together so that was good too.

Good job and well done on doing the challenge

Matt
Posted by: Mr. Blonde, February 4th, 2019, 12:30pm; Reply: 8
Another one I've of two minds about.

This is a strong effort. The characters were enjoyable, the dialogue was light and it never felt bloated. The main quibble I have is that it feels derivative. You didn't do much to expand upon other stories that take place inside mental institutions. Another thing I should note, although not an actual complaint, is that I wouldn't label this as a dark comedy. This doesn't fit in that vein. That doesn't make it bad or anything, just improperly categorized.

Now, there were some errors here and there and the comedy didn't play as well as I was hoping, but I'm not the world's premier comedy aficionado. Otherwise, a cute little story that did its job.
Posted by: irish eyes, February 4th, 2019, 1:56pm; Reply: 9
I liked this and especially the setting was a nice change of pace.

It wasn't laugh out loud but more cute funny and served it's purpose as a ROMCOM.

The writing was excellent which made the script flow very easily.

Good job on entering
Posted by: Sandra Elstree., February 5th, 2019, 7:00pm; Reply: 10
Crazy In Love

Love the title.
Page 3

Love this

>DR MILLER
We’ve talked about this, Henry. Stop taking my coat.

Page 4

HENRY
(V.O.)
“Be your best self”, what does that even mean?

I think it means:

Make sure you get lots of roughage and try not to slit your wrists.  ;D


It would have been nice if the group discussions included more comedy.
I think you could really work that angle and it would be fun.

Good potential here.

Thanks for the laugh with Henry. Oh, maybe tone down how Harry refers to
his other "inmates". Make it funny, but not cruel.

Quit stealing my coat...  ;D ;D ;D

Sandra
Posted by: Sandra Elstree., February 5th, 2019, 7:03pm; Reply: 11

Quoted from irish eyes
I liked this and especially the setting was a nice change of pace.



Be careful what you say.  ;D ;D ;D
Posted by: khamanna, February 5th, 2019, 8:10pm; Reply: 12
Hey writer,

That's a very nice and very romantic story. Congrats on that. You're a great writer and this little piece is terrific.
Posted by: Sandra Elstree., February 5th, 2019, 8:16pm; Reply: 13

Quoted from eldave1


A great setting for a story.



What's wrong with us!  ;D ;D ;D

Sandra
Posted by: Spqr, February 7th, 2019, 2:07pm; Reply: 14
Touching story, but there's little romance and no comedy. This is understandable given the confines of the hospital, so maybe the two of them should bust out of this shrink factory. While avoiding capture in the big city, they discover a reason to live and fall for each other.
Posted by: IamGlenn, February 9th, 2019, 7:21am; Reply: 15
Hi,

I can see why people like this one. Well written and touching. I just felt like this was part of a bigger story. Maybe it could be. It wasn't laugh out loud hilarious but had some moments that made me smile.

Also, it seems like the romantic films about depressed/mentally ill people are all the rage lately. Just something I've noticed.

Good luck,
Glenn
Posted by: hawkeye, February 9th, 2019, 11:22am; Reply: 16
Quite the well-written short, and it meets all the challenge requirements (in my book, at least).  A unique start, good dialogue, and nice characterization.  I think you could really make something of this with more pages to really delve into the story.

Hats off to you, one of my favorites so far, and I've a fiver on who I think wrote this.  

Gary
Posted by: Sandra Elstree., February 10th, 2019, 12:11am; Reply: 17
Best script of the bunch!!!!

If you don't vote for it you'll get (... ... ... ) that much bad luck!
Posted by: jayrex, February 11th, 2019, 4:45pm; Reply: 18
Not bad.  Some humorous bits.  The ending for me fell flat.  I think the overall subject matter and location makes for a tough scenario for romance.

It was an easy read with some nice moments.  I just don't think you're quite there with this effort.

All the best.
Posted by: denamckinnon (Guest), February 11th, 2019, 7:31pm; Reply: 19
OK THIS IS MY FAVORITE CONCEPT!! Great job! Logline = Great job!

You do a good job of setting up the characters and making us care about them.

Great writing on display.

Only thing I may mention is that there was not enough conflict between them.. usually in a rom/com there is some conflict.. we want them to get together but there is something in the way... so without the obstacles... it felt a little too easy if you know what I mean.

Love this one though. Good job!
Posted by: _ghostwriters, February 13th, 2019, 12:22am; Reply: 20
Sorry, just catching up with your thread.  I was in the middle of scoring these and realized I hadn't read yours.

Well I gave this a read and didn't trip over or find anything I could offer improvement on what hasn't already been mentioned, save for... I still think you could ramp this up - the emotion, the comedy, and by better exploiting the premise.  

Overall, this was well written. The imagery worked and the characters were interesting, but you didn't fool anyone with Henry, I've seen that cliche dozens of times.

Code

HENRY, 30, suitably handsome with a five o�clock shadow that�s probably closer to midnight,  


I liked that intro.

I know comedy is subjective and there's different strokes for different folks and all, but I'm kind of wondering at what points in your story you expect people to laugh and why? Not to belabor the point, but...

I never saw anything remotely amusing about the three Stooges but I thought most of what Monty Python did was funny as hell.  So yeah, with roughly 354 views on your script, my guess is that some people did laugh or chuckle, and in that sense it was successful.

...it's just a pity that I do not consider this a rom-com in a true sense.  Kudos for finishing...
Posted by: ReneC, February 13th, 2019, 2:54pm; Reply: 21
This is pretty good! Henry is well characterized, the tone is light, the comedy is subject—hey, I see what you did there.  :P

It mostly lands. Your V.O. almost works, but it starts off sounding like narration and turns into his internal monologue. If you hadn’t broken the fourth wall with your freeze frame, it might have been all right, but that was spoken directly to the audience.

Henry feeling ashamed or embarrassed by the doctor chastising him seems out of character. He’s too charismatic to let a little thing like that get him down.

The first scene in group therapy is almost entirely unnecessary. It’s only there so the ending works. Cut it down, make it tighter.

Their cafeteria scene is okay, just a bit too easy. I know, ten pages...it would do well to let that breathe a bit, make it more organic. I do like that they bond over their attempted suicides.

As for the ending, there’s a golden rule for delivering an emotional impact that you missed: show the REACTION to the moment. Ruby saying she’s ready to talk is the setup for the emotion. Henry’s reaction to it would have been the catalyst. The sentiment is there and it’s good, but it could have been much stronger with one more line.

Great effort, it’s one of the better entries.
Posted by: Philostrate, February 13th, 2019, 6:12pm; Reply: 22
Hi Writer,

Great entry. Loved the unusual setting and the compelling characters.

It's really well written and the romantic and comedic elements were perfectly balanced. It ticked all the right boxes.

I'll say it's faultless except for - Pedro Calderón de la "Barca".

The ending was a little abrupt, but at ten pages there wasn't room for more.

So far, one of my favs.

Good job on entering and well done!
Posted by: DaveTroop, February 14th, 2019, 2:14pm; Reply: 23
Very well written.  One of the best in the contest.  

I have nothing to add or complain about.
Maybe the comedy is too light.   It’s a tough argument, because it’s so good as is.

Kudos to you!
Posted by: AnthonyCawood, February 14th, 2019, 5:38pm; Reply: 24
It's written well, funny in the places that can't be filmed but I like that as it makes for a quick and amusing read.

Yep, really like this, my only complaint is that the last couple of pages feel a little rushed - probably due to page limit of the OWC... so I'd like a slightly fleshed out version at some point.

Well done writer.  
Posted by: CameronD, February 15th, 2019, 2:12pm; Reply: 25
Excellent. Best I've read so far.
Posted by: Angry Bear, February 16th, 2019, 3:25pm; Reply: 26
Read this one yesterday and voted on it too, but I was too under the influence of rum to type up a review. Sorry ;D

I really liked this one. I enjoyed the setting. That on its own made it interesting right away.

Although I thought the V.O  was funny, I agree with Jeff that it might be weird to have it and him talking as well. Maybe a good director would be able to make it work.

I liked the use of the required items. Especially Ruby, which is red in case someone doesn’t know and her red hair and nickname.

I liked the story too. Again, I agree with Jeff that it’s a little on the sad side, but I still felt the romance and it was humorous enough for me. One of the better once I’ve read for sure.

Thanks for taking part in the OWC. Great job!  :)
Posted by: StevenClark, February 18th, 2019, 8:26am; Reply: 27
Warren,

Had to get to this one. Nice job, definitely different and stood out among most others. I also wasn’t a fan of the VO throughout, and felt some real dialogue from Henry would have stood out better, but I suppose I understand your rationale for using it. I also think a proper reveal of exactly why Ruby had attempted suicide would have connected us much more to her character, as well as Henry. Just a little “shrimp on the barbie” for thought. Overall it was pretty good. Congrats on winning the challenge - well deserved!!

Steve
Posted by: Sandra Elstree., February 18th, 2019, 10:06pm; Reply: 28

Quoted from StevenClark
Warren,

Had to get to this one. Nice job, definitely different and stood out among most others. I also wasn’t a fan of the VO throughout, and felt some real dialogue from Henry would have stood out better, but I suppose I understand your rationale for using it. I also think a proper reveal of exactly why Ruby had attempted suicide would have connected us much more to her character, as well as Henry. Just a little “shrimp on the barbie” for thought. Overall it was pretty good. Congrats on winning the challenge - well deserved!!

Steve


:) :) :)Glad, Steve, you could get to read this.

If I'm not mistaken, YOU my friend are the writer of FLORIDA MAN!!! Which, my dear, would have been in my top three except for the ending. I thought Jeff might have written it.

I loved your script!!! And I've learned I'm a good judge if nothing else... of good scripts.

Re: Crazy...

I'm not skilled enough to know the best ways of using Voice Over, but I think we all agree that if we want to make this one better, it's to make it a little less sad.

I loved the opening humour. It was just so "right on" and I couldn't lose that. It's what did it for me. The author (YOU,WARREN!!!) hit the nail on the head; so yes, you better start thinking about "what's the best genre for me?".

The good feeling I had is that we all (or most of us) agreed that this was a top notch script.

It will tell you that you did a lot of things right. And, most importantly

gave us all a good and happy feeling. :)
Posted by: Warren, February 18th, 2019, 11:01pm; Reply: 29

Quoted from Sandra Elstree.


:) :) :)Glad, Steve, you could get to read this.

If I'm not mistaken, YOU my friend are the writer of FLORIDA MAN!!! Which, my dear, would have been in my top three except for the ending. I thought Jeff might have written it.

I loved your script!!! And I've learned I'm a good judge if nothing else... of good scripts.

Re: Crazy...

I'm not skilled enough to know the best ways of using Voice Over, but I think we all agree that if we want to make this one better, it's to make it a little less sad.

I loved the opening humour. It was just so "right on" and I couldn't lose that. It's what did it for me. The author (YOU,WARREN!!!) hit the nail on the head; so yes, you better start thinking about "what's the best genre for me?".

The good feeling I had is that we all (or most of us) agreed that this was a top notch script.

It will tell you that you did a lot of things right. And, most importantly

gave us all a good and happy feeling. :)


Thanks for the read, Steve, and thanks for the repeat business, Sandra. I'm glad you like the script as much as you did:)

Personally I think losing the voice over would change the entire tone of this. I do think it’s necessary.

Jeff made a whole lot of points about the (V.O.) and the (O.S.), and the wrylies which I largely/completely ignored. At no point was I trying too hard. I was trying exactly as hard as I wanted, to set the scene I wanted to set. The old woman does speak OS as Henry walks away, Ruby does speak OS when Henry gets reprimanded by the doctor. All the wrylies serve a purpose. I told the story exactly the way I wanted to :)
Posted by: Warren, February 18th, 2019, 11:07pm; Reply: 30

Quoted from StevenClark
Warren,

I also think a proper reveal of exactly why Ruby had attempted suicide would have connected us much more to her character, as well as Henry. Just a little “shrimp on the barbie” for thought. Overall it was pretty good. Congrats on winning the challenge - well deserved!!

Steve


Steve, I really didn’t want to make this about 'why', that would have been really dark, I mean why do people decide to commit suicide? This was about a shared human experience of being that low that suicide is an option. The 'why' maters less than the fact that they have been in the same headspace. I think adding the 'why' is a different story I didn’t set out to tell.
Posted by: PrussianMosby, February 20th, 2019, 6:57am; Reply: 31
Just read this and can say that both of your scripts worked fine with me, Warren. Your guidance of the reader on the page and also the connection that your characters build with the audience, both works very well in your scripts.

So, congrats for your deserved mug!

Fwiw, I felt that a little active beat concerning their scars/mental issue topic, that actually threatens them during the script (live), would even enlarge the 'love in difficult circumstance' expression. In a sense, the bigger the contrast between their problems and their won happiness, the more of an impact there is.
Posted by: Warren, February 20th, 2019, 11:09pm; Reply: 32
Thanks, Alex! And thanks for taking a look.
Posted by: LC, February 21st, 2019, 4:21am; Reply: 33
Reading over this again I noticed a lot of clever little touches, Warren.

Quite artfully put together - my fav, the comment on com -- (comedy) being subjective. Little nod to the challenge discussion prior - how much com defines a RomCom? Made me chuckle.

Little nod/inspiration also from Stonehearst Asylum?
If you haven't seen it you should catch it. Then you'll know what I mean. :)
Posted by: Warren, February 21st, 2019, 4:37am; Reply: 34

Quoted from LC
Reading over this again I noticed a lot of clever little touches, Warren.

Quite artfully put together - my fav, the comment on com -- (comedy) being subjective. Little nod to the challenge discussion prior - how much com defines a RomCom? Made me chuckle.

Little nod/inspiration also from Stonehearst Asylum?
If you haven't seen it you should catch it. Then you'll know what I mean. :)


Stonehearst Asylum SPOILER

Thanks for taking another look, Libby. I did watch it, but awhile ago so I'm not sure of the nod/inspiration you're talking about. Patients posing as doctors is the simplest one?

It's definitely something I work quiet hard on with all my scripts, the subtext, the meaning, the way they are 'put togeather'. Sometimes people see that, sometimes people just see the story as it reads from fade in to fade out, as long as they enjoy it I'm happy :)
Posted by: James McClung, February 23rd, 2019, 1:52pm; Reply: 35
Hey Warren. Figured I'd take a look at this, seeing as you took a mug away for it. Congrats on that. I believe this was a tough challenge.

Not much to say from me. I didn't find it particularly funny on a personal front; the humor is a bit broad for me (subjective, of course, but I try to offer a personal take per review as I figure the writer will be curious). On a craft front, though, it's solid. The jokes are clever, benefit from their simplicity, and are consistent across the board. They even drive the plot forward, which I've found to be the trickiest balance writing comedy.

Not much to gripe about. You sorta gloss over a lot of information cutting forward in the cafeteria scene, but the page parameters are tight, so I don't blame you. I do kinda buy the sense that a lot's happened during the time they've been talking and it's realistic that it would, so I suppose it's effective. Same goes for Ruby's arc at the end. Of course, it's a little rushed and would benefit from more wiggle room page-wise, but it works. I appreciate the presence of such an arc in such a small space of time regardless.

You made good use of the challenge criteria as far as the props. I've tried to rate hard on this front in the sense of how much I think writers challenged themselves (of course I can't know that for sure, and I can't really judge cuz I didn't enter, but I try to be a little tough so as to be substantive). Good use of "something red." It felt thoughtful and earned, not like a deliberate cheat and/or lazy.

Nice setting/subject matter, especially in the context of a rom/com. Good for you going against type a little. I like a little weight and melancholy in my art/entertainment as a general principle. There're always exceptions, of course, but I do appreciate it. I think comedy in particular benefits from a little darkness.

A tight, pragmatic, and overall solid entry. Certainly one of the entries I've enjoyed more. I think you've earned your mug. Good job.
Posted by: Warren, February 23rd, 2019, 11:16pm; Reply: 36
Thanks for taking a look, James. I'm glad you liked it. I'm still undecided if I plan to extend this at all, I'm leaning towards probably not and just working on my other entry.

It certainly was a lot of fun to write.
Print page generated: February 17th, 2020, 12:29pm