An aldulturous husband kills his wife on the day they are to host their friends' engagement party.
HOW IT RATES
A young man must learn the exotic art of bondage if he is to keep his new girlfriend, who he is convinced he is destined to marry.
Other Submissions by harriet nyborg
Reviews of Matt and the Submissive 13
by Ghost Panther on 08/01/2011I wanted to like this premise. I anticipated great opportunities to incorporate Farrelly brothers or Judd Apatow-like situations involving whips and gag balls. But the questionable tonal shifts, unnecessary subplots, and lackluster characters prevented me from truly enjoying this spec. Let me begin with Matt: a severely lovelorn, co-dependent musician who immerses himself... I wanted to like this premise. I anticipated great opportunities to incorporate Farrelly brothers or Judd Apatow-like situations involving whips and gag balls. But the questionable tonal shifts, unnecessary subplots, and lackluster characters prevented me from truly enjoying this spec. Let me begin with Matt: a severely lovelorn, co-dependent musician who immerses himself in various personas to gain the affection of literally any woman. That premise alone has potential. I didn't understand his reliance on internet dating. He is an aspiring musician after all; he should be fighting them off with a stick! Doesn't he live in New York? Where does he get all his money for his dates and keep up with rent payments in one of the most, if not the most expensive, city in the country? Suspend the disbelief, I know. But keep it realistic or stretch it out into some plausible way. Characterize more. Screenwriting rule #1: Engage the reader immediately by the first page; otherwise your script is in the bin. That opening scene wasn't eventful. Your initial impression is some desperate loser which leads to do screenwriting rule #2: Your main character (protagonist) must be likeable! He comes across as a desperate creeper who obviously can't get the hint. I mean, if he didn't get the hint with Becca the first time, then how did he hypothesize about Deb and the pre-natal vitamins? That is one of the contradictions. The BDSM moments have some slapstick comedy potential, but divulge more into Keely; in fact keep the focus on Keely and do not play her as some supporting role. After all, she is the reason that Matt goes to great lengths in order to vie for her love. Wasn't that what she liked about him in the first place? Why did she dump him after realizing his incredible effort to get her to like him? How he went to all that trouble to assist her roommate when she was faking being sick? If you want to emphasize his innocent naivete, demonstrate it in more appropriate ways; meaning that the audience wants to like him for his effort instead of coming across as a creep.
My personal suggestion: Incorporate the BDSM motif more in the story. Have it be introduced right off the bat. You are wanting to use whips and handcuffs for crying out loud! That alone should suffice to get the audience's attention. For instance, show Keely spanking her roommate or add some exposition on how a seemingly straight-edged African-American woman got into deviant sexual behavior. Think of the possibilities! Then I would have Matt and Keely explore the seedy underworld of the bondage scene in NYC--in a comical way of course. (Hey, talk about originality if you can pull that off.)
As for the subplot between Deb and Jared, omit it. Not interesting, unnecessary, and Deb got on my nerves. Like the whole getting her pre-natal vitamins coincidentally during when Matt and the trainer were practicing BDSM was contrived, sorry. I guess you were trying to convey that both Matt and Jared were submissive? My impression was Jared being persistent the entire time. How does it relate to the main storyline: Matt and Keely? You depart from the main plot a few times and lose focus. Change it or get rid of it completely.
I know you're aiming for a light-hearted approach, albeit with whips and chains but work on it more. I believe you can tweak it enough.
The dialogue needs to be trimmed; especially with the Deb and Jared scenes. Banality.
As for grammar, you get an A. Great job, I found very few mechanic and grammatical errors. read
by Sophie Germain on 07/23/2011The first scene started flat for me. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, especially with this genre you want to establish your central character and not put in artificial hooks. The challenge that you have is that Matt is a pretty ordinary guy so he’s not going to stand out and be a memorable character on his own. I do, however, like that you’ve characterized him as... The first scene started flat for me. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, especially with this genre you want to establish your central character and not put in artificial hooks. The challenge that you have is that Matt is a pretty ordinary guy so he’s not going to stand out and be a memorable character on his own. I do, however, like that you’ve characterized him as a hipster, because given the theme of the story (be yourself), the quintessential hipster isn’t and so the character’s inherent flaw is pretending to be likeable to all the girls he meets that ends up backfiring.
Matt is a very relatable character and that makes the story fairly universal. He’s a 20-something year old who falls in love easily and wants to be with someone. I like the escalating conflict of putting him in situations (with Keely across pg 30-32) who pushes him to be exactly what he isn’t and while he’s eager to please, he doesn’t come to the realization on his own (late in Act 2) that his approach is flawed. Deb tells him (pg 76) and even then he doesn’t believe her until his vegan date with Diane (pg 91), which relative to the story timeline seems rather rushed. In any case, the fact that he doesn’t draw this conclusion on his own makes him somewhat passive as a character, which makes this experience less cinematic.
The screenplay’s structure as a whole seems a little loose. You may want to tighten up Act 1 a little because it felt like it was repetitive and Act 2 didn’t have a discernible midpoint. The B-story, which revolved around Jared and Deb didn’t seem to do much to support the theme of the story; it seemed to just run in parallel to the A-story. Check out Dara Marks “Inside Story” to get more perspective on how to tie in a B-story to help your thematic intention.
All in all, an enjoyable read. Hope you find these comments useful, but of course this is your story and take from these suggestions whatever makes sense to you. Best of luck with your rewrites.
5 / I think she’s playing go away. – nice
7 / When she tweets… - cute device, but may put an expiration date on the material
8 / Personal networking… - suggest change to “Social networking…”
9-10 / This discussion/debate is a little off. First it seems Jared wants to conceal Deb’s pregnancy in page 9 because he hasn’t quite decided if he wants to marry her, which suggests that Deb wants to be more open, only on page 10 the argument is reversed and Deb wants to conceal the pregnancy in order to get a promotion, which suggests that she should have been in agreement in page 9.
15 / At this point, you’ve set up 2 sequences with Matt approaching Tina and then discussing things with Jared and we’re ready for the act break… What catalyst will usher the protagonist into Act 2?
20-21 / Okay, so you did a switcheroo on Matt and the story now has a different direction, although it is Keely choosing and thus making Matt a passive character by comparison.
28 / the big reveal on Keely’s job
30-32 / Uh, go clean my bathroom – haha… Good job on this scene. Lots of gems in terms of humor, set-ups and punch lines.
34 / Arab girl… haha
36 / You’re one bad decision away from a dead hooker in your bed. – it’s a little clumsy how it’s worded, but a good sentiment.
47 / Structure-wise, I’m anticipating a midpoint and there doesn’t seem to be a discernible one to this story. Maybe it’s the Annie Hall reference and that could be a chink to unraveling the relationship, but that may be a stretch. Even rom-coms should expect to have some sort of a structure and this one is sagging a little bit here. This scene seems to be filler to set up the second date on Saturday night.
56 / Is the scene with Alpha designed to be the mid-point?
69 / Silence means… - no truer words have been spoken.
76 / be yourself = theme?
91 / Finally signs of growth on Matt’s part. Yay!
94 / Stella – nice product placement read
by Asu03 on 07/19/2011I enjoyed reading your screenplay. I finished in one sitting and was entertained. The major problem I had with the story though is that it does not represent the title. Your title is only a part of the story for a few moments in the screenplay. I thought it was going to be about Matt trying figure a way to work thing out with Keely and her bedroom habits. Instead it was... I enjoyed reading your screenplay. I finished in one sitting and was entertained. The major problem I had with the story though is that it does not represent the title. Your title is only a part of the story for a few moments in the screenplay. I thought it was going to be about Matt trying figure a way to work thing out with Keely and her bedroom habits. Instead it was more of an ensemble piece with little to no payoff.
Most of the second act focuses on Matt trying to adjust to Keely because he sees her as a future bride. The problem I had with Matt and Keely’s relationship is that we don’t see it grow or develop while he goes through the pain, suffering and the embarrassment of adapting to her lifestyle. By the time we get to the break up scene the audience is really not invested in Keely. You are taking us into a strange world and you have established Keely as an interesting character, but we need to know more about her. What would cause someone like Keely to get involved in this world? What is it about her that would make Matt and the audience want to see this relationship succeed? In my opinion, this story needs to look at how these two will make the relationship work. That is your hook.
Deb and Jarred are good supporting characters, but they have too much screen time. While reading your screenplay I felt that these characters had as much screen time as the main character Matt. Their roles could be trimmed to service the main character.
In the beginning of my review, I told you I was entertained and that was due to your writing ability. The structure and focus could use some work, but you can do it. With a few drafts you can focus this story on Matt and Keely’s relationship. read
by Blake421 on 07/16/2011Matt and the Submissive Great introduction to Matt as a character. Good descriptions and snappy dialogue. I’m kind of having a hard time with the realism of Matt’s dialogue with Jared. So far he seems like an extra nice guy who just doesn’t get it. But “best love song ever written by man or beast” is a little tough to swallow. Jared’s line “I like her better” is awesome... Matt and the Submissive
Great introduction to Matt as a character. Good descriptions and snappy dialogue.
I’m kind of having a hard time with the realism of Matt’s dialogue with Jared. So far he seems like an extra nice guy who just doesn’t get it. But “best love song ever written by man or beast” is a little tough to swallow.
Jared’s line “I like her better” is awesome.
Allergic to grapes? He’s a loser enough already, no reason for him to be allergic to grapes.
Having Keely ask him to call her a slave is hilarious – especially with the Rosa Parks comment.
The action that starts on page 26, I would love to see this happen a little sooner. It seems like the inciting incident should be Keely introducing Matt to the weapons. He has a little debate with himself and then decides to go for it by page 25. The action I’m seeing on 31 should be on 25. Matt committing saying “this is going to work” is his stepping across the threshold into act II. Fortunately, everything was pretty well paced up to this point and it read quickly. I would just like to see it a little sooner, that’s all.
Setting up the fire in Matt’s place is perfect to get him into that sticky situation in Deb’s spare bedroom. Great job on set up and payoff.
I really enjoyed it. I feel like the ending could be more like a year down the road at the triplets first birthday. Give us an inch more resolution? Matt and vegan waitress have been together for a year because he “gets it” now. Jared and Deb happy with the triplets pooping and barfing and all that good stuff one year olds do. You’ve got a few more pages of room to add a little something on.
Structure was really tight, story was good, and the ending was excellent. There were a few lines that sort of confused me on Matt’s character. He seemed so real throughout except for a few odd lines that pulled me out of the story.
I’d say that this thing is ready to go one way or the other. Sorry it took so long to get to it. Extremely enjoyable read. If Jared and Matt weren’t brothers, Simon Pegg would make an awesome Jared.
Anyhow, good luck and great job! Hope to see more from you soon. read
by wanderingmbhorn on 07/13/2011This was very much a mainstream, 'high-concept' comedy and, in that regard, you've executed this story very well. While the ending is no real surprise, I can see this being a fun 90 minutes at the movies as a quality romantic comedy. This is very dialogue heavy, and that’s fine if the dialogue is clever and creative. This is close to where it needs to be from a dialogue... This was very much a mainstream, 'high-concept' comedy and, in that regard, you've executed this story very well. While the ending is no real surprise, I can see this being a fun 90 minutes at the movies as a quality romantic comedy.
This is very dialogue heavy, and that’s fine if the dialogue is clever and creative. This is close to where it needs to be from a dialogue standpoint, but its not quite there. That said, I also tend to put myself in this position, as many of my scripts run dialogue-heavy.
In terms of major critiques, I don't have many here. From a structure standpoint, Matt's decision to move forward into exploring S&M needs to come sooner. As it stands, it's practically 40 minutes into the movie, however, this is the basis of what the film is about, so the decision should likely be made in the first 20 pages.
A bigger problem concerns Matt’s decision to move forward with the S&M stuff. I don't buy it. He was ‘in love’ with Tina, would he really switch over to Keely so quickly? And, furthermore, he wouldn’t be more freaked out with the S&M? He’s been a meek character up to this point, so bondage and the like seems like something that would freak him out. The only way I buy this plot turn is, as the hopeless romantic he is, Matt will do anything to win a girl’s favor and has a track record of doing so. But that’s something the audience would need to see early on here so that, when it occurs, it doesn't quite come out of left field for us.
In terms of some other, smaller critiques:
What exactly does Jared do? He works from home, but that's pretty uncommon, what does he do from home?
The marriage subplot between Deb and Jared is a nice juxtaposition to Matt's struggles and Jared's perseverance is a subtle way of showing that, despite all the ways these brothers are different, they're still the same. However, the constant marriage discussion between Jared and Deb gets old by Act 3. By this point, his whining and her refusal have gotten annoying and I no longer care about the outcome of that subplot. Thus, I think you need to focus slightly less on it and expound a bit more on other areas of their relationship to round them out as characters and make them both slightly less one-tone.
Now for stuff I liked. As I previously mentioned, this was professionally written and I thought the characters were drawn well-enough. I saw the character of Jared as something of a Vince Vaughn or Jason Segal type character and really appreciated the comic relief. Similarly, Matt's naivity was cute.
The story lends itself to a quick read and, although the ending is rather obvious, it's still executed in a very cute manner that suits the story you're telling well.
You employ more physical and situational comedy here than zingers, which works well for the story you're telling. However, there were still some good one liners and generally humorous scenes which I've outlined below:
Pg. 3 – The Jamba Juice crack is good
Pg. 17 – They’re not a cup-o-soup! Very funny
Pg. 32 – I bake cookies with this spoon
Pg. 34 – The waterboarding line is great
The firemen and the sex doll is very funny
Pg. 48 – Did she live? Funny
Pg. 63 – We can burn everything in there tomorrow
Pg. 80 – No sweetie, you’re the man of my drunken hazes
Lastly, please find some page-by-page notes I had:
Pg. 1 – roommate, one word
Pg. 17 – You’re should be your
Pg. 25 – Who’s Colin Hay? I’m pretty in tune with popular culture, so if I don’t get it, I’d venture to guess others don’t either.
So on the overall, you've got a nice angle here with the bondage part of your story. While this isn't a ground-breaking rom-com subject matter, you accomplish what you set out to do here quite well. This is likely film-ready now, although I think some aforementioned patch-work can be made.
Good luck and keep writing!
by Nicholas J on 07/11/2011First off, thanks for the breezy read. There were a few formatting and spelling errors, but nothing excessive. Nothing was overly written, blocky, confusing, etc. and made for a quick read. It shows that it's not your first script as it is very reader-friendly. So the technical side was all good, which is AWESOME because I could pay attention to the story! Whoohoo! The... First off, thanks for the breezy read. There were a few formatting and spelling errors, but nothing excessive. Nothing was overly written, blocky, confusing, etc. and made for a quick read. It shows that it's not your first script as it is very reader-friendly. So the technical side was all good, which is AWESOME because I could pay attention to the story! Whoohoo!
The biggest problem I see with this script is that it feels like 2 subplots. It seems to me that you had a hard time filling 100 pages. That's because there's not much of a story here as it stands. Your first 20some pages are all filler. Why do we need any of that stuff with Tina? The only thing it accomplishes is that it gives us a bit of Matt's character. But everything that you accomplish in those pages could really be done in just a couple.
Your main story is that Matt tries to learn BDSM in order to find love. (I'll ignore the pregnancy subplot for now.) This premise needs to be explored and injected into the script way more than it is now. The way this can be done is that first, we need to know more about Matt. After reading 96? pages about Matt, I still know very little about him. Here's what I do know:
He's clingy and desperate to find love.
He has an apartment.
He has one friend.
He uses dating sites.
He plays the guitar.
He can afford dinner and an apartment so he must have some amount of money but I have no idea how, does he even have a job?
That's really about all I remember. I'm sure I missed some but, come on, he's a pretty flat character. So the first step to give you more story is to breathe some life into him.
The next step would be to come up with ways that BDSM has a conflicting affect on his life. BDSM is easy for him because he's a blank character. It doesn't conflict with him in any way because there's nothing there to conflict with. So you resort to it not working by him accidentally setting things on fire and whipping himself in the eye. Instead, make his problems come from character instead of gags. Maybe he's a very submissive person. He's a yes-man at his job and does whatever people tell him to because he's afraid of conflict. When he gets the wrong dinner at a restaurant he eats it even though he hates salmon. When he gets mugged he collapses into the fetal position and cries. That would certainly make his domming in the bedroom difficult because he has to control rather than be controlled. Then you can have his bedroom antics bleed over into his personal life. He says no to his boss. He demands the correct meal. He kicks the mugger in the crotch and steals HIS wallet. Okay, now you have something other than exposition scenes between him and Jared where they recap everything we just saw. That stuff's boring. GIMME SOME STORY!
It will also help with comedy. The apartment-on-fire gag isn't funny because it's flat. There's nothing driving it. It's a punchline without a setup and it has nothing to do with anything. Take the mugging element I just threw out as an example. A guy kicking his mugger in the balls and stealing his wallet isn't that funny by itself. It's a throwaway 'ow my groin' joke. But when we see him get mugged earlier and transform into a 2 year old, there's a contrast there. The 'ow my groin' joke has a little more kick (pun intended) behind it now because it has something to do with character and story. A guy who has been submissive his whole life is now taking some control. He's literally kicking life in the balls. (Okay it's still not that funny but you can see the difference.) If you can do something similar with what you already have, it will feel more authentic and less like a gag. Gags aren't funny. Character is.
All of this will also give you another HUGE story element that most of your readers will be looking for -- CHANGE. Right now, Matt doesn't change at all. You may call the final scenes an ending, but I call it a deus ex machina. Matt goes through 90 pages and fails. He learns nothing and doesn't change at all. Some girl comes along, they throw a couple lines back and forth, and it's a happy ending? Where did that come from? Look, I'm all for the guy not getting the girl at the end, but come on. You could take out the entire Keely story, and tack on those last few scenes after Tina. You wouldn't miss a beat. That's not a good thing.
I'm also down with protags that don't change, but if you're sticking with that ending, he needs to. His experiences with Keely need to change him enough that when the time comes at the end to finally meet the right girl, he doesn't screw it up, whereas 90 pages ago he would have. That's an ending. Then we won't feel like 90 minutes were wasted on Keely just so that we could see a funny scene or two involving BDSM.
My other big gripe is that I think you weren't being as creative as you could've been. Everything was pretty standard. For example, the Alpha stuff. If you ask 10 average people to write a scene like that, they'll write the same thing you did. Well, you're not average are you?! You've finished a couple screenplays so you're definitely not average. You're better than this. We've seen the big butchy domme enough times. It's the standard. How about she's small cute and sweet, but cracks that whip like nobody's business? Or how about she's his grade school teacher? Or a man? Maybe none of those things, but point is, show us something we haven't seen before. Get my attention. And do that through your whole screenplay. Ask yourself, how many times have we seen the hapless guy sing songs to the fair maiden's window as the neighbors complain? The long-winded date that is picky about her food. The pregnant couple surprised by more than one baby. These are all standards. You can do better than standard, right? Get creative yo!
Your dialogue is fine. Nothing popped much, but there wasn't much wrong with it, aside from some boring exposition. But I think that will be fixed when you add some story because you won't need that filler to stretch the page count. There was some linguistic humor which is a plus for me, most notably the Annie Hall exchange.
That's it. Hopefully this review doesn't come off as too negative as I tend to do that. It seems like you know what you're doing, I think you just need to take a step back and look at your story and make sure you think you're getting the most out of it that you possibly can. You've got a lot of good stuff down, so I think if you concentrate on that, along with really engaging the audience with your characters and getting more creative, you could have something significantly better.
Good luck and keep writing! read
by larryecoleman on 07/09/2011I have to say that the title of the script immediately threw me and I wasn't sure if it would be too over the top for a general audience to get. It's gutsy. But I think it's a well written script and it has a good twisty concept. I like things that are different, and this was different. I'll tell you about a few of the scenes and/or dialogue that made me laugh. ”shooting... I have to say that the title of the script immediately threw me and I wasn't sure if it would be too over the top for a general audience to get. It's gutsy. But I think it's a well written script and it has a good twisty concept. I like things that are different, and this was different.
I'll tell you about a few of the scenes and/or dialogue that made me laugh.
”shooting our babies out like an Uzi.” (Funny)
”Can I get a coffee? A medium coffee, please. And can I get that in four small Dixie cups? With sugar and milk. Cow milk, please - from, oh... I think from a brown cow today. (Funny)
Tell me to do something nasty!
Uh, go clean my bathroom. (Funny)
“Yesterday you were tied to the bed in my guest room getting flogged by a woman who looked like and extra from The Road Warrior.” (Funny)
Now, a couple of questions or critiques.
“What am I going to do? I should just go in tomorrow morning and go down on my boss. Can I get fired for that?
(Would she really say something like this to the man she loves--even if in a joking way?)
I can’t remember how Matt earns enough money to drop on his brother. You might want to explain. He apparently doesn't make it from his music.
You might want to consider a good balance between Matt's story and Jared's story. It's hard to tell who the film should be focused on at times--who's the main character?
Overall, I think this one's not for the kiddies. I think it would be a great movie for those who like alternative styles of comedy. The subject matter is certainly racy, but there may be an audience for this. Thanks for a good read. read
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 07/07/2011Terrific first few pages: instant empathy for Matt. Vivid and concise writing, you write down the page it is easy to become involved. Matt: "I wanted to make sure you were okay" could use more awkward tension: I, just, uh, wanted to make sure, uh -- (personally, I don't like dialogue that flows or written in complete coherent sentences (short fragments are more real) read... Terrific first few pages: instant empathy for Matt. Vivid and concise writing, you write down the page it is easy to become involved.
Matt: "I wanted to make sure you were okay" could use more awkward tension: I, just, uh, wanted to make sure, uh -- (personally, I don't like dialogue that flows or written in complete coherent sentences (short fragments are more real) read "Fargo." Best movie dialogue ever, aside from "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf." That's a fact, not just my opinion, but the writers of "Volcano" may disagree;)
I've learned something of late although my script, Sam is uploaded wrong in this case too... Dialogue, fix this in your rewrite throughout; it shouldn't be: Tina: "Bye Matt." It should be: Bye, Matt. With a comma. I got beat up about this from a reader. Not sure, let me know if I'm wrong about this.
Some people will give you shit about the "IKEA" furnished apartment, but I got it: I was instantly inside.
Page 11: extra space in Matt's dialogue. Page 12: uncap dialogue, 'Where's the ballerina.' Slug line on page 24: we're already INT. COFFEE SHOP - MOMENTS LATER, so just slug line the element that has changed which is LATER. No need for MOMENTS LATER.
Page 56: we're already INT. DEB & JARED'S APARTMENT - DAY... just use LATER for the slug.
Also, is Alpha a man or a woman: "Alpha holds a riding crop under his throat and backs him into the apartment, closing the door behind them."
Page 66 or so, I'm not so sure what the stakes are for Matt. Page 82: Deb dialogue, Deb speaks twice without a line of action description. I like Jared's story better than Matt's. Page 91: we're already INT. JARED & DEB'S - NIGHT. Just use BEDROOM for the element change.
Your dialogue is very entertaining throughout the script. It didn't always reveal character or move the story forward, but the banter is amusing.
I'm not sure about the resolution, are we to believe that Matt has found his true love in Susan? Or another failed fling?
I realize this script is a lighthearted romantic comedy but I felt a bit ripped off at the end. Not sure if I needed to see Jared and Deb's wedding with Matt and Susan together, but maybe the triplets, in a hospital scene with the four primary characters and three babies. Or the final scene in Central Park on a blanket with a picnic basket and Deb and Jared pram push the triplets over. (tacky, but just a thought). It just needs to be resolved. Maybe?
Best of luck with this,
by wopdom on 07/06/2011MATT AND THE SUBMISSIVE accomplished the most important and difficult thing for a comedy – it is funny. The very solid opening pushes the reader to go on – and there is no looking back from there. This is an extremely fast and fun read. Some notes from when I read are below but, in this case, it turned out to be more of a list of comedic elements that worked really well... MATT AND THE SUBMISSIVE accomplished the most important and difficult thing for a comedy – it is funny. The very solid opening pushes the reader to go on – and there is no looking back from there. This is an extremely fast and fun read. Some notes from when I read are below but, in this case, it turned out to be more of a list of comedic elements that worked really well.
Page 14 – the HGH line is very funny
Page 14 – I wonder if the rule of threes could be pushed even further here. Maybe Jared’s last comment about the person passing him could me more active? Something about him being half-man and half-machine maybe? It feels like there should be some button there to cap the scene.
Page 20 – the proposal exchange is good
Page 31 – It is a good moment when Matt asks Keely if he wants him to punch her in the face. It is specific to the premise and works well. This could perhaps even be pushed visually.
Page 32 – the line about baking cookies with the spoon is nice
Page 33 – skinhead porn – hilarious
Page 36 – All of Jared’s lines at this point are gold
Page 48 – it is a good character moment when Matt pretends he didn’t hear the Annie Hall line
Page 66 – “very regimented people” – actually laughed out loud
Page 74 – the physical comedy of Matt whipping himself in the eye is good and, again, specific to the premise.
Page 78 – the line about gestating Jared’s children is tremendous
Page 96 – Does the end of the story occur too easily? It doesn’t fully seem like the acceptance of self that is brought up by Deb has happened for Matt. It almost seems like he has potentially found the girl that he was waiting for, but that doesn’t directly address whether or not he will try too hard to win her over in the future. It is a comedy, so the assumption is there, but it is something to think about.
I suppose you can use the inverse version of the list above to pick out moments that you want to be comedic that I don’t mention – because they didn’t hit me as strongly as these. The notes are usually a mix of positives and negatives, but there isn’t much to fault here. The stakes are not tremendously high, but the characters are likeable and there are a lot of laughs. It almost seems like that is enough. It is certainly the hard part.
If I were to be nitpicky, I’d say that Jared’s ultimate wooing of Deb could be bigger, but this is only because you are using the word audacity to frame the actions of the characters, so it seems like things could be more audacious.
Thanks for the hilarious and fun read. read
by mijorico on 07/05/2011This story moves at a brisk pace, features interesting and sympathetic characters, and often showcases dialogue with humorous wit and charm. As a result, this was a quick and enjoyable read. I found your premise to be an interesting twist on the romantic comedy, though I wouldn’t necessarily file it under that genre. The story wasn’t so much about the courtship as it was... This story moves at a brisk pace, features interesting and sympathetic characters, and often showcases dialogue with humorous wit and charm. As a result, this was a quick and enjoyable read. I found your premise to be an interesting twist on the romantic comedy, though I wouldn’t necessarily file it under that genre. The story wasn’t so much about the courtship as it was about one character’s self discovery. That is both what I enjoyed about this story, and what I felt sort of held it back.
Going in, I was expecting more of a relationship to develop between Matt and Keely. But there really proves to be little development in that area, as they are only together for a few scenes and only end up going on one unsuccessful date. Meanwhile, you devote so much of your story to Matt’s preparations that I think it detracts from the greater moral here. From the first scene, we know that he’s a guy who comes on too strong. He’s clueless, hopeful, a bit naïve. In that respect, you do a good job of endearing him to the audience while establishing his flaw. But you don’t focus on that enough during the second act. I believe it isn’t until his conversation with Deb that someone finally reiterates that maybe he’s going about this the wrong way. As a result, the burgeoning relationship with Keely ends up being the focal point for much of the story, when the focus should really be on Matt’s misguided idealism.
I think there needs to be a better balance in that second act of Matt trying to transform himself into someone he’s not while advancing his relationship with Keely. By showing us more interactions with her and illustrating the progression of their relationship, it gives you an opportunity to both show how he is with women (which you allude to with Tina in the beginning) and gives Keely more to do. As it stands, I didn’t like her so much in the end. I think your intent was for their relationship to just not work because he was trying to be something he’s not, but to me it read more like she never gave the poor guy a chance. After all, she’s the one who sought him out. She’s the one who knows not every guy is going to be receptive to what she does for a living, and what she’s into sexually. Matt goes above and beyond with his effort, and yet she shoots him down on his first attempt. It felt unjustifiably harsh. Perhaps if we see more from her, or see more attempts of Matt trying to make this work, it would be more effective.
I just have a few more minor notes for you, before I get to the page by page stuff. I felt like you might want to explore opening with the scene of Matt serenading Tina. I think that might be an even more effective, and entertaining, way of illustrating his flaw while still endearing him to the audience. You would have to find a different way to introduce Keely, but her being Tina’s roommate really has no bearing on the story as written anyway. The initial scene between Jared and Deb almost made it feel like this was their story, like they were the leads. I think some of their storyline could maybe be bumped back to the second act, so you can focus more on Matt in the beginning. Keely showing Matt what she does for a living felt a bit anticlimactic. I think it may have been more humorous to cut to them in the midst of some bondage or something, rather than her opening a trunk and showing him a bunch of stuff. Deb’s character began to border on unlikable, with her seemingly harsh rebuffs to Jared’s proposals. You set it up as her being worried about how all this will affect her career, but eventually she begins to come across as unnecessarily mean, almost like she doesn’t even want to be with the guy.
I think that’s about all the constructive criticism I have for you. If you can maintain a greater focus on your moral in act two, I think this will really become a much stronger piece. The dialogue is often very funny, and the situations prove to be equally entertaining. You’ve done a good job here. Good luck with it!
P.1 – “room mate” = roommate
P.16 – “The OBGYN holds up something that looks like…” – Is there a way to find out what it’s actually called?
P.17 – Jared asking if they could freeze dry them almost seems like it should be Deb’s line. She’s the one who’s against having kids right now.
- Two mentions of Scientology. You might not want to alienate those weirdos if you’re trying to sell this to Hollywood.
- Give the clerk in the porn shop a name, just to keep it straight that she’s the one helping him pick out videos and ringing him up.
P.47 – Keely: “Did she live?” Funny!
P.50 – “I’ll make you run twenty feet” – I think this line could be punched up. Maybe something about Matt will chase him, but Jared will collapse after twenty feet.
P.52 – Why tell us in the description that Matt’s in the spare bedroom, instead of in the slug?
P.59 – MORNING in the slug threw me.
P.66 – Instead of a new slug every time you jump in time, just use a simple LATER.
- Give the Vegan Waitress a name. She’s obviously an important character. read
- Writer: Ryan Misuro
- Uploaded by: harriet nyborg
- Length: 96 pages
- Genre: comedy, romance
- This is a rewrite of a script called The Ever After that was on here a few months back. It's at least 50% different, if you happened to catch the first draft.
- Bio: Let's you and I give each other long, slow, hot, hard and heavy critique all day long and into the night.
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