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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  January 2019 -††One Week Challenge  /  Steal Your Heart - OWC
Posted by: Don, February 1st, 2019, 11:25pm
Steal Your Heart by Gumphrey Hogart  - Short, RomCom - An obnoxious womanizer is struck by love at first sight and needs to stop his dream girl from getting away, but it's going to be hard to do when she's in the middle of robbing a bank. 8 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: Freddie, February 2nd, 2019, 7:58am; Reply: 1

I really hated Harvey and his mean comments towards Janice. But that's a good thing, I was provoked into an emotional reaction - and thus was delighted when he got a rifle to the gut.

Also refreshing to see a little humour injected in to the action lines - 'popping chocolate candies like low-dose aspirin.' I know that some people can be incredibly rigid and uptight about what can and can't be included in action lines, but once you understand their function and limits, I think it's no harm to give them a little humour and make it easier on the eye.

It was a nice neat concept, all very well contained within the story with the resolution paying off the first two acts pretty well. If I had to be incredibly nit-picky, you could argue that Andrew was surplus to the narrative. Either he or Harvey could go. But, that's me really looking for a problem in an otherwise good script.

Good action sequences, nice individual character voices, nice symmetrical narrative, original romance.


Good stuff!

Posted by: Freddie, February 2nd, 2019, 8:11am; Reply: 2
Oh - one more thing I should probably add. I wasn't a huge fan of the 'long and hard' comment. I know you've outlined him in the logline as a womanizer, but he is still the protagonist. Those kinds of comments make the reader start to surrender sympathy for the character they're supposed to be empathizing with the most.

That one line could be changed easily. In fact, he really doesn't have to be a womanizer at all for this story to work. It makes it difficult to connect with him, and makes me a little queasy.

Still a solid narrative.
Posted by: henb, February 2nd, 2019, 6:22pm; Reply: 3
This OWC had some good characters and dialogue. Although, I found the ending conversation between Chris, Andrew, and Harvey confusing.

pg. 7 - Iím confused as to why Andrew and Harvey sound like they werenít actually hostages earlier. But it turns out they were?
pg. 7 - ďhow he met Pat--ď Iím not sure what Harvey was going to say.
pg. 8 - Top line of dialogue is missing the character's name.

I think the setting and story has potential to be made into a feature-length rom/com. There was some sexual tension, and some dirty talk from Chris. Also, some funny dialogue from Chris, though no actual romance featured in this short.
Posted by: Dreamscale, February 2nd, 2019, 6:55pm; Reply: 4
I read this straight through with no notes being taken.

Logline doesn't really apply, as we never see anything to make us think Chris is some sort of obnoxious womanizer.

You don't give anyone an age and that's an issue for sure.

Writing is "confident", "cocky", wordy, but definitely not my style, but some may enjoy it.

The banter early on from Chris is over the top and not in a good's grating for me and not really funny, but I do see the attempts at humor...and some may find it funny..I don't know.

I guess it's kind of entertaining, in a weird way, the way this plays out.  And, to your credit, it's very creative.

Was there a rose?  I don't recall.  Is this a ROMCOM?  I'm not sure, really, but I guess I see the angle you were going for.

I'd lose the montage, as it really doesn't add anything and makes this a much more difficult shoot.

The final scene has me confused.  All 3 of these guys were in the opening scene and apparently all know each other.  The whole topic about Chris' wife doesn't seem to make sense to me.

All in all, it's OK and it's entertaining, and it's different.  It's a solid effort.

Posted by: eldave1, February 2nd, 2019, 8:14pm; Reply: 5

Quoted Text
CHRIS--a clean-cut young man--smiles from ear-to-ear with a
twinkle in his eye. He looks over to ANDREW--a fidgety and
brainy fellow with sweat building up on his forehead.

What's with the -- ? Actually - they're peppered throughout the script. I would lose them.

Quoted Text
Chris and Andrew are dressed only in their underwear, hands
tied behind their backs, sitting cross-legged with their
backs to the wall.

You got to set this up earlier. It's disorienting here. When you open - all we should see is their faces - or - have them in this state from the start.

Quoted Text
Five more MASKED ROBBERS jump over the teller line and leap
out of the adjacent offices.

Why add this complication???? Not needed.

Did I miss the roses.

The premise is a great one. I thought the execution was just okay.
Posted by: grademan, February 3rd, 2019, 12:14pm; Reply: 6
Dunga Duh and Gumphrey Hogart,

Your story had swagger as I imagine Gunga Din (the movie) and Mr. Bogart would.

The story was not your typical rom com. The screen time for the intended couple was less than expected.

The rose  lewelry was on an old lady who had a date on the Titanic. Was this her only purpose?

The men were in their underwear for most of the script. Why? Or did you forget because it
wasn't mentioned again?

Why the obsession with "--"?

Why have three men in the story? Two would have been easier.

Why call MASKED WOMAN, MAW? Struck me as distracting and not all that clever. With the title MAW i got her character mixed up with the old woman. Not sure it was necessary to reveal MAW's real name.

Why tell a story within a story?  Stick to one story for this short of an assignment.

The dialogue and the action lines had the same attitude. Maybe if your dialogue had an undercurrent of romance rather than lust, it would have fit better.

Trim the unneeded parts... the old woman, the montage, the standoff with SWAT... and the story would shine through.
Posted by: irish eyes, February 3rd, 2019, 4:57pm; Reply: 7
Written more like an action movie than RomCom.

it was an entertaining read to say the least and moved along at pretty fast pace.

But again not sure with all the bullets flying ripping into the robbers would exactly be a ROMCOM

Good job on entering
Posted by: Warren, February 3rd, 2019, 7:17pm; Reply: 8
Hi Writer,

Quoted Text
Did you just wink at me?
What would you do if I put something
long and hard in your face?
Put your head down--now.
Just let me know how long you want me
down there for.

I'm not a fan of back and forth like this at all, and it feels completely out of place in terms of what I consider a rom com.

Probably leans more towards an action anyway.

The comedy didnít work for me at all, sorry to say.

You need to learn how to correctly use an em dash (--). You have gone unnecessarily overboard. Even if this is a style choice, I would pick a different style.

Congrats on getting an entry in.

All the best.
Posted by: Vincent, February 3rd, 2019, 7:40pm; Reply: 9
A rather confusing action/rom-com (if such a genre blend exists), and I'm not sure it met all the OWC's requirements.

Some of the style points (e.g., the dashes) weaken its impact.

Left me unmoved, something a rom-com should NEVER do.
Posted by: LC, February 4th, 2019, 1:58am; Reply: 10
How can you tell someone is gorgeous when she's wearing a ski mask?

The premise is not bad but it's missing something.
As is it didn't blow me away.   ;D

It certainly is a unique meet-cute. :)
I dunno, with a clean up, maybe.
Posted by: Matthew Taylor, February 4th, 2019, 12:34pm; Reply: 11
Hello Writer

Starting off well for me, I'm liking it. The conversation isn't realistic so I'm not taking this as a serious script, more tongue in cheek.

Ok, now he's talking to Maw, he's not being romantic, he has sex on his mind, not romance.

I would keep it at just two bank robbers

I really like this. I would try and get more romance in the beginning, rather than sex references.

Clever ending I thought

Just needs more romance

Posted by: PKCardinal, February 5th, 2019, 6:53pm; Reply: 12

Okay, so, I liked this. Clever twist on the romcom genre. I agree with most when they say the dialogue should be less sexual. It changes the tone in the wrong direction.

Others have mentioned some of the formatting issues, so I won't. Just know that I agree with them.

is sitting = sits  There are many instances similar to this throughout the script. Search for every -ing and eliminate those bad boys.

With some cleanup, this could be even more fun than it is. Good job!
Posted by: _ghostwriters, February 5th, 2019, 7:27pm; Reply: 13
The general idea of a story is here and I think your voice and style are okay.  That said, the romance was lacking, and most of the humor left me rolling my eyes.  

Here's the thing -- you can write this script and shoehorn in all the jokes and funny lines you want.  But then go back and cut out anything that doesn't serve the story.

Kudos for finishing...
Posted by: Sandra Elstree., February 5th, 2019, 8:07pm; Reply: 14
Andrew and Chris are talking, but thereís no shot of who theyíre talking about.

Theyíre in there underwear. The Masked Woman is Maw and someone has fierce blue eyes. The banter is too much.

Sorry this didn't work for me from the get go. Keep workin' on it!

Posted by: IamGlenn, February 6th, 2019, 12:34pm; Reply: 15

Not sure about this. Decent writing, although it's gets unnecessarily convoluted in places. There are clear attempts at humour, but I didn't find it very funny. I suppose it's romantic but his whole story could be a lie. So I don't really see a point. Overall, I don't see a point actually. The whole point of Chris's story was to get them out by imitating bank robbers? Not sure.

Good luck,
Posted by: Zack, February 6th, 2019, 2:26pm; Reply: 16
Interesting logline. You've got my attention.

Hmm... It's well written. Easy to read.

You got the red and the chocolates, but no roses. And I didn't find any of it funny.

I don't know, this is just kind of blah. Chris doesn't seem like a womanizer to me. The twist ending doesn't do anything for me. Fell like I'm gonna forget this one as soon as I finish this review.

Not terrible by any means. Good effort.

Posted by: Cam Gray, February 6th, 2019, 6:00pm; Reply: 17
Hey writer,

So itís basically a sexy play on Stockholm Syndrome, not the Muse track (good riff, shame about Matt Bellamy and his hedgehog face),Sexyholm Syndrome.

It was odd, but I kinda liked it. A little bit of patter between the lads led to a kinda smile, slightly comedic, definitely written in a bouncy fun manner. I guess itís got the romantic element too, so itís a romcom! Yay!!

It was decent enough, not amazeballs but none the less entertaining.

Posted by: Spqr, February 7th, 2019, 1:18pm; Reply: 18
This is a heist story not a romcom. And 6 of the 8 pages didn't really happen, after all. So what was the point?
Posted by: StevenClark, February 8th, 2019, 9:09pm; Reply: 19

Not bad. It read awkward in parts, and the flow could have been better as well as the storytelling itself. But overall, this was decent. Maw sounds like an old lady name. Donít know where you came up with that but Iíd consider changing it. The reveal was okay. It just didnít have enough oomph! Nothing read insistent, like begging me to turn the pages. Your attempts at comedy didnít land. You had a good premise to work with, but your dialogue could use some pop to it. Anyways, decent effort. This might be something to explore further and rewrite after the challenge!

Posted by: jayrex, February 9th, 2019, 1:53pm; Reply: 20
This one was so so.  

It felt like it was going somewhere until the ending made it ridiculous for me.

There wasn't any comedy aspect for me.  Plus, this love at first sight during the bank robbery seemed like a hard sell to us the readers this was romance.  Nothing seemed romantic.

I'd correct the scene headers during the montage to look like normal scene headers.
Posted by: AnthonyCawood, February 9th, 2019, 6:09pm; Reply: 21
Loved the logline for this one, nice setup.

A lot of -- where they aren't needed.

The escape would be better formatted as a montage.

But unusual formatting aside... I kinda enjoyed this, moved along at a good pace and I liked it.
Posted by: LC, February 9th, 2019, 7:17pm; Reply: 22

The comments re the use/overuse of the double-dash reminded me of William Goldman - he used them a lot apparently.

And our own Bert is partial too, it seems...

Which led me on a little search and this rather amusing and sometimes heated SS debate which ensued with Demento's simple question about double-dashes.

Not wanting to derail this thread, or restart that particular debate, if you want to read or add to the discussion it's here:

It's quite good reading and for educational purposes.

Posted by: khamanna, February 10th, 2019, 11:47am; Reply: 23
I couldn't understand what they were talking about at the beginning. I think the beginning needs a lot of clean up. And it's how you start your story - it's important. So the beginning threw me away, I must say.

The plot is there and I think it has a lot of potential. But this is very talky and I wouldn't call it a romance because your main girl is not there at all. If you included her in most of the pages it would make up for a better story, too.

As it is now I'm not a fan.
Posted by: Gary Howell, February 11th, 2019, 1:05pm; Reply: 24
Okay, looks like I missed one, so gotta make sure Iím getting reviews in on all. Donít want to be ďthatĒ guy.

Is this a co-written piece? Interesting if so.

So starting off. Andrew is a brainy fellow?  How do we know that?  Maybe heís nerdy looking?

Set up is taking a little bit to materialize.  Need to get to the crux of the matter a little sooner, IMO.

Okay, after some back and forth, it appears weíre in the middle of a bank robbery, which makes the ďmeet cuteĒ of a rom-com definitely in a different setting.  

Chris is smitten with someone just by her eyes?  Hmmm.  Itís a comedy, so I guess Iíll Give that a pass because itís  a unique take on the usual ways of falling for someone.

Weíve now got more robbers jumping out and the SWAT team mowing down the gangsters. So, just your standard run of the mill rom com!

The ending really doesnít make much sense logically, but again, everything here is pretty much over the top that I canít fault it all that much.

In the final analysis, definitely not a rom com, the flowers didnít really play a part, and the first part kind of dragged until MAW/Elaine showed up. But overall the writing is solid and a few of the jokes (even some of the inappropriate ones) hit.  But still a solid effort overall.

Good job,
Posted by: ReneC, February 13th, 2019, 1:04pm; Reply: 25
This starts off strong. I like the initial premise. It reminds me of those over-the-top absurd comedy slo-mo shots where someone is at total peace while chaos ensues around them.

But that's not what this is. It tries to make us believe this is real, that this really is a meet cute. That somehow, Chris's insane level of infatuation is so undeniably attractive that Maw (ick) a.k.a. Elaine can't help but to fall for his knight in shining armor routine.

There's no possibility of romance in this situation. It's an action scene with a surprising twist, and that's great if you let it be that. It almost makes up for it at the end, and that ending is what this entire premise is hooked on, and it might have worked if you'd just let us get there without all the tongue-pretzeling and her throwing herself at him. If you'd left it at a simple acknowledgement that he's just her type of crazy, even just giving him her name, something to hint that they might eventually end up together, then all that happens between their meeting and that ending. She could have dipped her finger in his bleeding shoulder and written her email address down on his shirt to better play into the red requirement, and he could have been grinning through the pain. Anything but the "passion" that is entirely unearned.

Great premise, and even though it would be next to impossible to film it's worth rewriting to get the beats right and perhaps making something longer from it.
Posted by: Philostrate, February 13th, 2019, 5:28pm; Reply: 26
Hi Writer,

Not bad. This one was different.

You should introduce right off the bat that we are in the middle of a bank robbery, I think you tried to go for the surprise effect, but since this is already in the logline it wasn't as surprising as confusing.

I'm still not sure why Chris falls in love with Elaine. I know he explains it to Andrew at the beginning, but it didn't work for me, not as it is, I'm not sure whyÖ

Chris says some inappropriate things, but I wouldn't say he's a womanizer. Actually, that wasn't bad, I liked the character more than if he was oneÖ

Not sure about the dashes. I'm not against them, but not a fan either.

I'm with Jeff about the montage, remove it - you won't lose anything.

Okay, the end wasnít bad. It surprised me and I liked the irony of it.

Overall - a fun read, decently written and entertaining, but short on the romance. It would benefit from a cleanup.

Good job, writer.
Posted by: Conz, February 14th, 2019, 7:06pm; Reply: 27
Nice premise, letís see what weíve got.

Whoa, easy on the dashes.

Knowing the logline, I really like how this opens.

Hard to reveal they are basically naked after all that talking though.  Must have been a really tight shot of just their faces?

Harvey cracking jokes at the old ladyís expense seems unlikely, but itís your script.

Sorry but I hate this innuendo talk from Chris while MAW is hassling him. it's not funny enough to fit.

Ah, itís just a guy telling a fantastical story to his co-workers.  I literally won one of these challenges with the exact same set-up.

Sure, this one was solid. Like I said, it was very similar to something I wrote so I guess I have to like it on that principle, no?
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