Three young Scottish men decide to rob a bank. Once inside they get a little surprise that changes all of their... more
HOW IT RATES
"Napoleon Dynamite" meets "Mission Improbable" A slacker group of night shift employees at a posh Beverly Hills hotel seek retribution against an abusive, overbearing guest, by plotting to steal one of his priceless paintings
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One theft. Five stories. A whole bag of trouble.
Reviews of Evenings And Weekends 12
by happyhappersonjr on 11/29/2007The number one thing I noticed about this script is confidence. The writer knew what he was doing. Thus, making this the toughest review I've had to do so far. You know your story, you know your characters. Best I can do is spitball some thoughts/questions your way: Opening scene in Simon's bedroom. Don't think this is best way to open the story. In an odd way the... The number one thing I noticed about this script is confidence. The writer knew what he was doing. Thus, making this the toughest review I've had to do so far. You know your story, you know your characters.
Best I can do is spitball some thoughts/questions your way:
Opening scene in Simon's bedroom. Don't think this is best way to open the story. In an odd way the main character feels like the Hotel. The sequence that follows (rodeo drive/hotel) would be a good way to start the script. It wouldn't be so bad if we first met Simon as he arrives at work. Let him slowly but surely emerge as the main protagonist. A nerd who needs to step up and be a leader. Which leads to me wanting the stakes of the robbery to be raised.
Story starts off on Christmas...we move through/past New Years...the heist takes place days after. Why? Act I could be tighter if the time line was Dec. 24-26 with the heist taking place on Christmas Day. Plus, it'd be a full on holiday flick. Production design and all, and tying nicely with the Nutcracker Suite song and the destruction of the tape at the end of the script because Christmas is over. And it's not too far fetched for a bachelorette party going on on Christmas night in a posh Beverly Hills hotel. Also, with it being Christmas, more character stuff could evolve and make its way into the nightcrew characters motivations.
Was hoping for more of a setup or intro or background on the 17 million dollar painting. And why didn't Mrs. Foster know about these paintings?
It seemed to me that every character in the script shared one trait: selfishness. You did you're best to show Simon as the antithesis to that (wallet clip scene) but I wanted more a motivation for him, as well as everyone else, for the robbery.
Simon's voice over is not needed. It interrupted the flow of the scene and was distracting. Lose it and you won't miss it. I promise.
Simon had dreams to be a game tester. Never saw it and didn't buy it. Also didn't buy his hatred for the job. The scene when he's falling asleep in his apt. channel surfing and happens upon a heist movie seemed forced.
Ghost story worked well. Setup could be tighter.
New Year's Eve scene in Mr. Foster's room with the calls girls and Simon cleaning the toilet seemed to slow down the story. It's page 30 and we're still bouncing around. Cerami sequence was okay, but we're still bouncing around the story, let's get on the catapult and launch already.
Pg. 42. Toni's dialogue: "loose" should be "lose?"
Strip club. Simon and Toni decide to steal the painting. Again, maybe a more personal motivation for Simon to go against his money clip returning personality and decide to steal the painting. Toni's girlfriend could be used again somewhere in the hiest. Maybe involving another twist.
Denny's as they discuss the plan might benefit from some nifty visual cutaways. And why doesn't anyone bring up exactly how much money they might get?
Introduction of Axel works great. Everything that happens here on out with him gels and clicks with the story.
The jacuzzi couple distracted the now in-motion-fying-through-the-air story.
The plan is in motion and little to no hiccups story-wise take place. Trenton however, seemed no longer needed after the Detective arrived. Trenton's outburst outside of Mr. Foster's room and his car chase scenes wouldn't be missed and don't really bring much to the climax.
The script has the spirit of those classic 80's movies you just have to watch whenever it's on TV but could use a bigger ending.
Two thoughts on the ending: One, maybe setup a sequel where the nightcrew devise a plot to steal the painting from Jerry Lewis. Two, there was a scene on page 99 where a hotel maid watches two agents search a room that got me thinking what if that hotel maid somehow ended up with the painting, completely unaware of its value. It now just hangs in her apartment in Korea town.
Good luck. read
by linch on 11/23/2007First of all, I think it's just the matter of time before this script is produced. Having said that, it is also important to point out that this is far from a high-concept or even an original concept as we all have seen these kind of movies hundreds of times, but this kind of material is what gets made in Hollywood. Although you handle the dialog very well there are too much... First of all, I think it's just the matter of time before this script is produced. Having said that, it is also important to point out that this is far from a high-concept or even an original concept as we all have seen these kind of movies hundreds of times, but this kind of material is what gets made in Hollywood.
Although you handle the dialog very well there are too much exposition here and there, but that is irrelevent in this kind of comedy, so I think your dialog works fine.
Regarding character development, it seems that you just failed to give any significant depth to your hero, Simon. You need to separate him from the rest of the crew, I expected to see the development between him and Toni but you ruined that with having Toni admitted she was a lesbian. Work on your hero. Give him stronger internal goal. He starts as a bitter man who hates his job, but later he seems to be happy with his job and want to keep it. I really didn't get the impression that he deserved any better job that this one.
I liked this script, it was a funny and easy read. I'm not sure about the font you used, maybe you should stick with Courier 12 as a standard font.
Best of luck read
by ke.courier12 on 11/16/2007The concept and the setting are very original and the author gives a good feel of the working life in a hotel. The running joke for Jerry Lewis was funny and I liked the fact that it had significance because of his “Bellboy” role. I would suggest taking away parts where the script says “we see” or “we hear,” because I heard that it is rarely used. I wonder if film studios... The concept and the setting are very original and the author gives a good feel of the working life in a hotel.
The running joke for Jerry Lewis was funny and I liked the fact that it had significance because of his “Bellboy” role.
I would suggest taking away parts where the script says “we see” or “we hear,” because I heard that it is rarely used.
I wonder if film studios and readers would mind if the script is not in courier font. Although I think your font is pretty easy to read, the others could be a little picky. read
by edgardo8 on 10/17/2007This is well written, funny, professionally presented, interesting collection of characters, easy to read. However, I’d prefer it to be a little more outrageous, zanier. I think there are plenty of zany elements already present, but I think the comedy needs to be taken up another notch. And you’re more than capable of doing just that. I liked Simon. He’s sort of takes... This is well written, funny, professionally presented, interesting collection of characters, easy to read. However, I’d prefer it to be a little more outrageous, zanier. I think there are plenty of zany elements already present, but I think the comedy needs to be taken up another notch. And you’re more than capable of doing just that.
I liked Simon. He’s sort of takes his job seriously, isn’t as much an “archetype” as some of the others on the night shift. He’s a kind of reluctant hero type – a quiet, sensible leader. I think you struck a nice balance with your characters… some of them are over the top, some stereotypical, some fully realized. Simon is sort of the voice of reason, very understated. He always does the right thing, never makes waves, not very opportunistic. Thus, when an opportunity comes his way, his decision to act on it sends the script in a new direction.
FOSTER is a bigger than life character who plays off Simon very well. His intro, checking into the hotel, is well done. I was a little surprised that Toni described him as “nuts”, though. Pompous, yes, but nuts?
Loved the line (p.18) about Peter Max trying to pay his bar tab with napkin doodles.
I would say the first Plot Point might take place when Kazem tells Simon that the hotel plans to secretly store Foster’s paintings worth millions. If this is indeed the End of Act 1, it’s not strong enough because at this point, we don’t know that this “arrangement” holds any particular significance.
Great Transition with the Chili bowl on p.30. Disgusting. Also around this point I noticed that the VO’s have sort of disappeared. I actually thought they worked well because you didn’t over-do them, but maybe try to be more consistent with them.
Good choice to have Simon return the fallen money clip worth 5 grand. And good use of VO here too. It’s just the thing Simon’s character would do – and again, when he decides to steal the paintings later, the moment has more impact.
CERAMI’S intro is probably the best in the script. His appearance pumped so much energy into the script. I can see that scene playing well. Cerami could be a great part, albeit a small one, for a good character actor. The porno film sequence is very funny. I like the choice of Cerami giving Gio a part in the film in lieu of hotel payment. I also like that you stay true to Simon’s character by not having him beat up Cerami for filming in the hotel room – though you teased us into thinking he really did.
The Toni character sure plays differently now that I know she was in on the scam. I’d like to go back and read her dialogue to see if it still makes sense. When Toni tells Simon that Foster made advances to her, I never would have thought she was simply perpetrating a lie.
It was nice that Simon was willing to stand-up for Toni by confronting Foster – that’s soooo Simon. When he’s rewarded with a kiss, I thought (and Simon did too) that this would be the start of a romance. Again, I like that Toni tells Simon that he’s a nice guy who’s basic human nature isn’t to be confrontational.
Clever idea to hold Toni and Simon’s “date” at a strip club. I guess they call this a good set piece. I had no idea where you were going with this at first. And when you reveal that Toni’s girlfriend is one of the strippers, I felt sympathy for Simon… but I’m glad to didn’t present him as a buffoon here. Having Simon tell Toni his idea to steal the paintings – all the while getting a lap dance from Deenah -- was inspired.
Nice how Toni sets the bait… telling Simon about her mom being on dialysis…. And later chemo. You drop clever clues throughout… like Trenton’s fear of going to the 6th floor, and an early appearance by none other than Jerry Lewis.
Another good set piece was Denny’s. It makes for a nice meeting place for the night shift to plan the heist
AXEL’S appearance added a nice little sub-plot to the story. At this point, I feared you might try to needlessly complicate matters – as these caper films sometimes do, but you quickly made your point and got out.
I wonder if someone on the night shift crew would at least suggest letting Trenton in on the scheme, if only to make the plan easier to execute. I mean everyone else seems to be in on it already, right?
When Simon thinks Gio is shot, Simon immediately runs to his aid. But shouldn’t Simon be concerned that a gun man (Axel) is in the room? Sure, Axel is dead, but Simon doesn’t know it at this point, and he should fear for his own safety.
The decision to throw Axels’ body out the window was surprising. I thought you’d store it in Lady Kellering’s haunted room because Simon knows that Trenton would never look for it there because he’s afraid of her ghost. But I guess it’s more important to make it look like a suicide.
The use of the stripper cop was precisely the kind of zany situation this script needs more of. At first I thought “why wouldn’t a cop know a dead body (Axel’s) when he sees one. But when you reveal that he’s not a real cop, the momentary wait was well worth it.
I like that the Stripper cop actually delivers the painting to Rm. 800, just as Trenton instructed him to do. And Toni intercepts it.
Trenton makes for the perfect buffoon when the cops begin to suspect him of Axel’s murder. But it seems that Trenton acts a bit irrationally when he’s handcuffed. After all, he knows he had nothing to do with the stolen painting – he’s completely innocent. Yet he acts guilty by running off. True, he’s under suspicion of murder, but running only compounds his problem. Would a truly innocent man really behave like that? The car pursuit later works well though.
Things get a bit complicated at the end, as these films sometimes do. So much info comes to light…Kazem sells the Raphael to Jerry Lewis, we realize Toni was in cohoots with Kazem. But that explanation by Kazem -- telling Simon that he knew Simon would fall for the trap – seems a bit far-fetched. How would Kazem really know that Simon would take the bait? After all, Kazem knows Simon well… he knows that Simon is a fine, upstanding employee. How could he know Simon would choose to steal the paintings? Earlier, Kazem tells Simon that after it’s all over, Foster will compensate him for his troubles. For a guy like Simon, I think that compensation would be more than enough to satisfy him. Perhaps you should get rid of that line to avoid confusion.
I think this script is better than most scripts I’ve read, but it might lack the high concept that everyone seems to seek nowadays. Used to be a time when this would be a good enough spec to be taken very seriously, but who knows if this would appeal to studio heads intent on making a big splash on opening weekend. I just saw a movie from the 70’s the other day, THE HOT ROCK, which is something of a caper film, dealing with a bunch of misfits stealing a large diamond. That film wasn’t nearly as smart and funny as this script, but the 70’s were a more fertile time for those kinds of stories. I’m not suggesting you turn this into more of a high concept script – the script is what it is: a tight, entertaining romp. I’d rather Hollywood change the kinds of films they make, rather than see you turn your script into something it’s not intended to be. read
by Paul Ulrich on 09/29/2007This script seems vaguely familiar: perhaps I read an earlier incarnation about two years ago. The premise I think was the same, but hey it was assigned to me, so here goes: a setting entirely in a hotel is more suited to a stage play than the big screen. For those who have stayed at nice hotels, as many film execs presumably have, the descriptions and dialogue related to... This script seems vaguely familiar: perhaps I read an earlier incarnation about two years ago. The premise I think was the same, but hey it was assigned to me, so here goes:
a setting entirely in a hotel is more suited to a stage play than the big screen. For those who have stayed at nice hotels, as many film execs presumably have, the descriptions and dialogue related to what goes on in a 5-star place are not particularly novel.
I think you intended this as a comedy, but you'll need to ratchet up the laugh per page factor. So far, it's still at the smile (oh, that's kinda cute) stage.
Maybe it would be more interesting to have someone accustomed to staying at the best places forced, for whatever reason ,to slum it at a real dive. But that's probably a whole new screenplay.
Good luck with it. read
by Rachel Stevens on 09/28/2007It's always daunting to take on a blue-star script. No one wants to be the lone dissenter. So it's with a deep sigh of relief that I say, "Awesome, Dude." It took me a while to get into it, for the story to take shape (perhaps relating to the fact that we have something like 15 characters introduced in the first ten pages), but once I did, this little gem really started... It's always daunting to take on a blue-star script. No one wants to be the lone dissenter. So it's with a deep sigh of relief that I say, "Awesome, Dude."
It took me a while to get into it, for the story to take shape (perhaps relating to the fact that we have something like 15 characters introduced in the first ten pages), but once I did, this little gem really started to sparkle. It's masterfully crafted. Clearly the writer is not only intimately familiar with the mechanics of good screenwriting, but he's also very comfortable using them. It's a very professional read. There were a few instances where I made a note and then promptly scribbled it out. There's no way that I was going to substitute my judgement for his on matters of form.
As I read this and became familiar with the characters, visions of Steve Zahn kept popping into my head. This has a very "Zahnish" feel to it. Much more than "Napoleon Dynamite" in my mind. And that's a good thing (no offense to Napoleon). It just seemed more mature in most respects. I mean these are people who, despite their eccentricities occupy positions of some responsibility. To me, it felt to me more like "Office Space" meets "Sneakers."
It's apparent to me that the writer has either worked in a fine hotel, or experienced the luxury of staying in one. The characters, dialogue and setting had a real sense of authenticity to them, which surprised me a bit, considering the trouble they get themselves into. (Not that I've spent any time at all in such places.) It was an excellent decision, I think, to write a story around a Hollywood hotel. Such fertile ground for human eccentricity. One thing did, however, strike me as being a bit too . . . cute. The celebrity one-liners and the celebrity appearances seemed unnecessary, not to mention the potential expense and difficulties in using these people's names and images in the film. Seems like it's hardly worth it.
I found myself getting a little annoyed by the repeated appearance of the "Nutcracker Suite" throughout. In the end, I understood why it was there, but isn't there a way that it can be mentioned once in such a way that it carries through whenever that location comes up?
I liked the characters a lot. The multiple protagonists are a little geeky at times, but each one is distinct and endearing in his or her own way. I REALLY liked Toni, particularly at the end. That was perfect! I wasn't all that taken with Jerry Lewis' involvement, but, hey, it's just good fun. That said, again, aren't there some serious pitfalls in writing a real person into a script? And how in the hell did Lewis and the two lackeys get into the Van without the night shift knowing that they were there? Other than those two things, I was very pleased with the ending. Of course, there was some additional resolution, which was also nicely handled, but Toni's the one who sticks in my mind. I loved it when she met Simon at the strip club.
There are a lot of cool little surprises in here. The strip club revelation (loved the lap dance conversation), the ending, of course, the cop/stripper, "Bay Watch." Yeah, I was thinking, as they did the standard switching of cable feeds, here we go again, but then the "Bay Watch" thing saved it for me. And, heck, how else could they pull off the heist?
I did make a few notes that I thought might prove helpful. Take them for what they're worth.
(CONTINUED) appears at the end of each page and the beginning of the next. I really don't think that's necessary and a lot of lines could be saved by eliminating it.
(CONT'D) is also used when lines of dialogue are broken by description. Again, I don't think that this is necessary.
Pg.2 "Warholisque" I think that it's "Warholesque"
Pg.3 "Atache" Attache
Pg.8 The opened "confidential" envelope INSERT?
No sixes or nines. Delightful
There's a lot of camera direction in here, about which I'd normally comment. . . I guess I am, aren't I? It's very skillfully handled, so what the hell.
Pg.24 "CLOSE-IN BLACK AND WHITE TV SCREEN..." When I read this, I thought, shouldn't the slug line "INT. L'ERMITAGE..." go before this? For me, it would read more easily.
Pg.31 "...listens to Art Bell..." If we're to know that it's Art Bell, then isn't there going to have to be some dialogue? The same goes for the "non-sensicle (should be nonsensical) argument" on Pg.43.
"The ability to throw away used wrapping paper." Nice.
I really enjoyed the following bit of dialogue:
Oh, Jesus, Simon, come on. I was
upset, I felt like kissing someone,
you just happened to be there. Give
me a fucking break, will you?
The Waitress brings their drinks. There is a long silence
between them as Toni watches Deenah and Simon tries to think
of something, anything to say.
You might have said something.
What, it's my responsibility to
announce to the world that I'm a
Not the world, just your friends.
Is this what you wanted to talk to
me about? Cause I can get the same
load of shit from my mother. The
difference is my Catholic upbringing
mandates that I listen to her. But
you, you're just a guy I happen to
No, no, I wanted to talk about...I've
been thinking about what you said to
me last night...about Foster and
about how you said I avoid confronting
Goddamn it, Simon, don't tell me you
went and talked to Foster? I told
you I didn't want to make a big deal
out of this.
No, I didn't speak with Foster or
anyone else for that matter. I just
came up with an idea on how
to...maybe...even things out a little.
Simon, I need this job right now.
Please don't fuck things up for me
because you feel some need for
retribution. Believe me, I'm already
over it. It's forgotten. I need
Now go home and play with your
Pg.47 "...just an sample." a sample
Pg.49 Chemo and dialysis both. Surprise!
Pg.50 "...ketchup-chined..." chinned
Pg.56 "...as he stumble(s)..."
Pg.78 "Something is defiantly wrong." definitely
Pg.87 "paten-leather" patent leather
Pg.88 "planed" planned
Pg.96 "...fraking fantastic." PG, right? . . . But WAIT! What about Gio strapped to the bed spread-eagle and naked . . . and the dog?
Pg.103 "Galatic Genocide" Galactic
Pg.103 "Phantom Mennace" Menace
Pg.106 "Starting to read the documents of his divorce..." How do we know that these are his divorce papers? "...obviously displeased with the settlement." How do we know that he's displeased WITH THE SETTLEMENT? I wasn't going to say anything, but aren't we flirting with the unfilmable here?
Isn't including the clip from John Woo's film problematic? I don't know. Seems like it would be.
I found the second Axel shooting, the one on the roof, difficult to visualize. You know, how the wind could have been strong enough to move him around that way when he's dead and how his body then managed to get over whatever wall or barrier surrounds the roof and plummet to the ground. Hard to visualize.
And how would they have managed to get the painting into Kazen's trunk? I know, the valet had the keys. Right?
This is a nice, tight script, very writerly, very articulate, imaginative. Professional all around. The plot is finely woven and rich with colorful characters and descriptive detail. Charming. . . I'm impressed. read
by martin adams on 09/15/2007The premise is excellent for a comedy-heist movie - downtrodden geeky hotel workers decide to get their own back by ripping off an obnoxious guest. The protagonist (s) are sympathetic - the underdogs beating the system, and are well drawn, the story progress nicely for the most part and the script is funny, both in dialogue and situation. However, there are big problems with... The premise is excellent for a comedy-heist movie - downtrodden geeky hotel workers decide to get their own back by ripping off an obnoxious guest. The protagonist (s) are sympathetic - the underdogs beating the system, and are well drawn, the story progress nicely for the most part and the script is funny, both in dialogue and situation.
However, there are big problems with the plot. It doesn’t seem credible that 1) Foster would put something so valuable in an unguarded hotel room 2) Kazem would tell Simon about it. This looks like a blatant contrivance to get the plot going, a golden egg that lands conveniently in the lap of the heroes. The fact that it IS too good to be true is irrelevant - if the audience don’t believe the initial set up, then the film will lose them, however good the pay off is. Again, Toni’s reasons for not quitting or suing are not entirely credible, except in retrospect - but of course the audience sees the film forwards, and the set up needs to be as credible as the pay off.
The heist also rather seems a little too easy (as one of the characters notes on p.53) - conventionally in heist movies, the heroes are presented with more obstacles at the start- guards, alarms, lasers etc. Both twists are surprising (but see above) However, Fosters plan is flawed - surely the insurance wouldn’t cover him, and the insurers would ask SERIOUS questions as to why he moved the painting? And wouldn’t his wife be as entitled to the insurance pay out as she was to the painting? Also why does he lie to the police about having had a painting at the end? Surely he would need to report the robbery to make an insurance claim?
The twist that Kazem was behind it all and manipulating them is good, although him working out that they would have had to use his car stretches credibility. Also would the police not search his car? And as Foster denies that anything has been stolen, why are they searching cars anyway?
On to more specific points -
The VO is unnecessary - it doesn’t tell us anything that isn’t shown - for example on p43 “Damn she’s right” It could be used to set up the world and introduce the characters, but it isn’t, and it is far too intermittently used.
Too many characters are introduced too early - the script spends time setting up the day staff, then they disappear. It would be better to focus on Simon and introduce the world through his eyes, as he is the protagonist. The writer could possibly show Simon's honesty (p34) earlier. Also the hand down the crapper is a bigger moment, and involves the antagonist more directly, than the abusive porn director, so would probably be better if these scenes were swapped round so the latter is the last straw for Simon?
It does feel that after the set up on p24, it takes slightly too long to get to the “lets steal it” on p 47. The raid itself is good, and complication ensue which combine comedy and tension. A few points though - Simon seems a bit too cool about the dead body - it’s a bit out of character, and makes him seem callous. Also, maybe the thief could be shown as sleazier and more deserving of his fate? Would Trenton really mistake a propped up corpse for a clear and present danger from “4 feet away”?
The script seemed to meandered a bit after the police turn up. There is plan b - walk away. Why don’t they? The reasons aren’t compelling enough. Also the ending is not entirely satisfying - the baddies get away, and the twist - they just pretend to still have the painting is not nearly cute enough.
The male characters are likeable and distinctive - hyperactive, big, narcoleptic etc. They are fun to hang out with, and the audience could easily root for them. Simon is sympathetic and likeable. The writer could maybe make a bit more of the comic potential of the difference between his perception of himself as the trusted man in charge, and the reality that he is a loser/dogsbody. Perhaps he could have more of an internal journey, and perhaps he could have more at stake. The script should defiantly focus more on him at the start, show him being put upon even more, show him eager to please the boss.
Toni starts off well, but she is set up as a love interest then revealed to be a lesbian. Why?? And why, as she is actually stringing them along, does she tell Simon? It leaves a rather bitter taste that she betrays them and walks away - the convention when the love interest does turn traitor is for this to happen sooner, and then for her to have a change of heart, and/or for there to be another twist - e.g. she’s a federal agent! (cheesy I know, but see North by Northwest) she is the only major female character, and having her turn out to be a manipulative traitor could well alienate half the audience.
Foster is a good unlikeable antagonist, but the writer could possibly use him more. Ditto Kazem.
The dialogue is good, sometime excellent. Lots of funny lines (one of many e.g‘s the “Kahn” stuff on p 50 ) however, on p84 “I‘M MAKING THIS UP AS I GO ALONG” is a clam, and occasionally the dialogue is too on the nose - e.g. “graveyard shift trash” on p7 - the audience would have already got that the night shift are looked down without this line.
Font - use 12 point courier, don’t risk rejection ‘cos the script doesn’t look right.
With this premise and these characters, this could be a good, sellable mainstream comedy film, with a more credible plot and a better romantic sub plot. It doesn’t work as it is, but with a few more drafts it could, and the writer can do comedy, which is something that can’t be taught.
by peyoteradiotheatre on 09/14/2007The prospect of a slacker heist movie is an extremely beguiling one. It’s always nice to see George, Brad and co, or Paul, Robert and co pull off a well planned heist with swagger and bravado. But to be honest, sometimes you want to see a bunch of hapless chancres’ attempt to do the same. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and The Italian Job (original) are fine examples of... The prospect of a slacker heist movie is an extremely beguiling one. It’s always nice to see George, Brad and co, or Paul, Robert and co pull off a well planned heist with swagger and bravado. But to be honest, sometimes you want to see a bunch of hapless chancres’ attempt to do the same. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and The Italian Job (original) are fine examples of how a bungled heists can be more entertaining than a slick one. This script fits into the latter category very nicely, and offers its own unique take on the genre. It promises a lot, and delivers on most of it.
Simon is the poster boy for the upwardly-mobile slackers. Working the graveyard shift for a swanky hotel and dreaming of one day becoming computer game tester. He aimed low in life, and missed. You can’t help but just love this character. His assorted crew of colleagues and cohorts are suitably quirky. Toni is wonderfully drawn as the honey trap. Kazem and Foster work well as the villains of the piece.
The dialogue feels natural and has nice moments, particularly with the Star Trek and Star Wars referances(the Phantom Menace gag cracked me up).
I really enjoyed reading this script and as far as I can see there isn’t much holding this story back. You’re probably about 90% there, but it’s that last 10% that is the difference between being very good and brilliant.
The areas that I believe require attention (and this is only my very humble opinion) are as follows.
Ardie, Alfonso and Giovanni are great characters, but I just feel that they could do with fleshing out a little more. I’d like to see their quirks and personality ticks coming into play when the plan goes pear shaped. For example, Ardie is hyperactive. So when things star to go wrong it might be fun to play on that a bit more. At the moment he just seems too calm. Alfonso always seems to be sleeping at station, so maybe you show him desperately trying to stay awake, or nodding off at a really crucial point.
At the moment Simon seems to driven by sense of chivalry, which is very noble, but just doesn’t seem to be enough. The impression I have of Simon is that he is perennially laid back, content with his lot and afraid of confrontation. The fact that he’s been driven to point where he’s contemplating stealing from one of the hotel guests to right some wrong that has been suffered by a woman he barely knows, just seems out of character. I think if you give him more of an incentive, it would work better. Perhaps there is a college course to help him get into the computer game industry that he’d like to take, but has neither the time or money. Maybe Giovanni has gambling debts and Ardie wants more money so he can move out of his mother’s house. This would make his decision more convincing.
I like the fact that the plan is ridiculously simple. The security camera trick with the TV splitter is so simple, it’s brilliant. No hi-tech jiggery pokery or hacking into computer systems; just a box standard TV splitter from your local hardware store. Mucho kudos for that one! However when they were discussing the plan I felt that it was screaming out for a visitation of the plan in action, with all the characters being super cool, executing the heist with precision and celebrating with Champaign and mounds of cash at the end. You did it earlier with the Cerami confrontation, so it wouldn’t feel out of place doing it here. It would also contrast nicely with the real heist later on.
In many ways the ending that you’ve used is the right one. The problem is that I felt a little disappointed. The characters that I had grown to love are left empty handed at the end, and Kazem, who I don’t like, gets away with the money. While the Kazem/Lewis scene does offer a decent twist to the story. The idea that Simon tries to extort the money out of Foster by tricking him into thinking that he has his painting just doesn’t feel right. The thing is I want Simon and co. to win, but still be left in something of a fix; much like The Italian Job's bus teetering on the cliff ending.
You mention at the beginning that the hotel was adorned with 18th and 19th century masterpieces. I thought that this would come into play at some point, but never did. You also mention that the Raphael paint is of a woman holding a baby. I assume this is one of his Madonna and Child paintings. There are a lot of paintings that feature the Madonna with child, by many different artists. What if Simon swapped the Raphael painting for an almost worthless replica of a painting, by a completely different artist that just looks very similar. He could do this while they’re passing the painting down from room to room. This would be a nice closing scene when Simon shows the rest of the gang.
I also think it would be nice if Jerry Lewis scammed Kazem by only using real money on the top layer, and filling the rest of the briefcase with paper. That way no one really wins; Foster has lost his painting; Jerry Lewis has a fake painting; Kazem has a two thousand dollars at best and Simon and the gang have a 17 million dollar painting that they still have sneak out of the hotel.
I would change the font you’re to courier new. The font that you’ve used is very nice, but unfortunately it’s a little distracting and difficult to read. On a number of occasions while reading, I found that my head had tilted slightly to the right to line up with the slant on the text.
I apologies if I have overstepped the mark at all. As I said before this is only my opinion and the suggestions that I’ve made, are only my suggestions. You are without a doubt an extremely competent writer, and with Evenings and Weekends you have written a highly entertaining screenplay.
Good luck. read
by mpet on 09/14/2007This was a fun, entertaining read, and I only have one or two minor complaints or concerns. Despite obvious formatting errors, (I'm actually surprised no one has sent this to the HOJ already), the screenplay moves at a really great pace and I read straight through without taking any notes other than on your opening. Let's start with the first scene. I'm unsure of its significance... This was a fun, entertaining read, and I only have one or two minor complaints or concerns. Despite obvious formatting errors, (I'm actually surprised no one has sent this to the HOJ already), the screenplay moves at a really great pace and I read straight through without taking any notes other than on your opening.
Let's start with the first scene. I'm unsure of its significance and find its not a particularly strong opening statement. The VO is neither clever or ironic and provides no real insight. The same applies for its sparse usage throughout, and I would suggest that you remove it from the story all together.
The next point I'd like to address would be the use of celebrity. You do of course realize the legalities involved in something like this and must realize the effect this has on your marketability. In the first 10 pages we see mention of Rodman, Stevie Wonder, and Bod Goulet's wife along with an appearance by Jerry Lewis. This baffles me the most as this man is now 81 years old, and it seems impractical to place him in the designated role.
Another note on characters. I feel there are too many introduced in the first 10 pages- at least 11 speaking hotel employees. Now I realize that Curtis and the others are used to set up Toni getting stuck on the night shift, but I wonder if you couldn't eliminate the minor players in this sequence. It makes sense because Curtis is the only one who comes into play at the end.
Otherwise the characters are fun, vibrant and each unique with a distinctive voice. Simon completes a great arc, and the supporting cast adds volumes to the overall feel of the piece. Dialogue is functional.
The story is a wildly entertaining romp offering rare glimpses into the luxury hotel business and the idiosyncrasies of its guests. Some confusion though as to the logistics of the scam. Was Toni planted there by the boss? Was she part of an elaborate set up from the get go or does she go to the boss after the plan is hatched only then informing him of it?
Overall this was a great read, but I urge you to look into proper formatting. Story and character are both really strong, and I hope to see this draft doing well.
by David Muhlfelder on 09/12/2007I read this script awhile back, maybe a year ago. I don't remember what I said back then, but I liked it this time through. You have some really engaging characters, all with distinctive voices and quirks. Toni is by far the strongest character, so much so, that her personality sometimes threatens to overwhelm Simon. That's one of the pitfalls of the downtrodden protagonist... I read this script awhile back, maybe a year ago. I don't remember what I said back then, but I liked it this time through. You have some really engaging characters, all with distinctive voices and quirks. Toni is by far the strongest character, so much so, that her personality sometimes threatens to overwhelm Simon. That's one of the pitfalls of the downtrodden protagonist. Up until the moment they find their courage, they sometimes come off as a bit passive. Your dialogue is smooth and natural, and the story flows. The lap dance scene was really funny. I was surprised to see that the entire script was italicized given your background, and I'm not sure you used the correct font. It was a bit of a distraction at the beginning. If I have one overriding criticism, it's that I was hard pressed to pinpoint an Act I turning point. At first I thought it was when Simon was asked to plunge the toilet, but then Foster hitting on Toni seemed to be more of the watershed moment for Simon which triggered the art theft scheme. But that came fairly late to be a first act plot point. One suggestion I could make would be to have Foster pretend to take a willing Simon under his wing in the first act, only to humiliate him with the toilet bit. And when he exits the bathroom he (and we) see Foster hitting on Toni. It would make Simon a little more complex to see him temporarily give in to his baser instincts, only to be saved by his innate decency. You could still have the plot hatched at the same place, but precede it with Simon and Toni trying different ways to get even, only to be frustrated each time by the far sleazier Foster. I think that would give you a clearer act break, and the theft would seem more like their last best option, rather than the first thing they think of. Just a thought. I can see why potential producers said they liked it but didn't love it. Right now, your protagonist is a bit too much of a doormat at the beginning. But I think by giving Simon's character some more layers, you can probably get over that hurdle. Good luck. read
- Writer: 1
- Uploaded by: IQuitToWrite
- Length: 107 pages
- Genre: comedy, crime
- Had a few nibbles on this one but never managed to find a buyer. They "liked it, didn't love it". I should note, (as I get asked all the time) none of the celebrities mentioned in the script have signed onto or even read the script. The names used are more of a post-it note suggestion as to who might be used. I merely thought it made for a better read to use real names rather than "Movie Star-1", "Movie Star-2", etc. What do you think?
- Bio: Quit my studio job of ten years after downsizing left me looking like more of an assistant than a manager. After years of reading a crap-load of shitty scripts, or a shit-load of crappy scripts, and all the time thinking to myself, "I can do better than this", I decided to quit my job and concentrate on writing full-time. Since then, I have finished two full-length screenplays and am currently shopping them to producers and agents. I love this time of life.
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