In this rags-to-riches tale, a Rumi-quoting homeless man is passed off as a Count at Cannes.
HOW IT RATES
When two NYC women are ruthlessly dumped, they make a bet with banker friend to transform a homeless man into a true gentleman. For final test, gentlman is passed off as a Count at Cannes. When he falls for a young royal, the trouble begins.
Other Submissions by Hadjascribe
Members Who Like This Submission Also Like...
An Ohio State cheerleader must learn that love conquers all when she falls for a Michigan football player.
An agoraphobic theatre critic hires a handsome local actor to drive her cross-country and 'play' her fiance in... more
A novelist's plan to secretly write about a call-girl goes awry when the object of his deception turns out to be... more
Reviews of The Perfect Gentleman III 8
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 12/29/2011This script has a great concept. The bet, the homeless man, the financier, the project, the romance - it all works. I also appreciate the fact that you made it an easy read that kept me focused the entire time. Let me also compliment Guy's character development. I like how he becomes this sophisticated being, but still stays true to his roots and his values. You demonstrate... This script has a great concept. The bet, the homeless man, the financier, the project, the romance - it all works. I also appreciate the fact that you made it an easy read that kept me focused the entire time.
Let me also compliment Guy's character development. I like how he becomes this sophisticated being, but still stays true to his roots and his values. You demonstrate this well through his interactions with other homeless people and the rich snubs. Guy doesn't forget where he came from.
I just have a few suggestions that you could take or leave. I thought the body was great, but I think you need a little bit stronger beginning and ending. I'll start with the beginning:
First off, I feel that we too quickly get to 'the bet'. We barely know anything about the main characters, except their names, and they are already telling Harry about this great idea that they have. I think we need to be better introduced to who they are and what they do. By page 10, we only have a little knowledge of the fact that Mia works with cars, and we still have no idea what Poppy does. I think this is something that needs to be revealed in the first 2 to 5 pages. We need to know who these people are, what they do, how they act in different situations, etc.
I think you also need a stronger way of getting to 'the bet' Where did they get this great idea from? I understand that they each broke up with assholes, but to quickly jumped to such a conclusion is a bit contrived. My suggestion is, since this storyline is essentially a modern day Great Expectations, that you could actually have one of the women reading the book in a few of the introductory scenes. She could then combine the book with the break-ups to come up with the idea.
I also feel that you jumped too quickly into them using a homeless man for their project. Why a homeless man, when they could of chosen a guy fresh out of prison or just someone they knew that was down on their luck? They don't even talk about what type of man they would use - it's almost like it's predetermined that a homeless man will be the candidate. Here's something that I thought of:
In the beginning, when Mia throws her tickets in the garbage, she accidentally throws her license in as well. The Homeless Man (Guy) finds it, scalps the ticket and pockets the license, and that's the last we see of him for the night. Then the girls begin their search of the ideal candidate for the experiment - again maybe an ex-prisoner or a student right out of college or something. When they can't find anyone and all hope is basically lost, Guy shows up to Mia's apartment to return the ID. As a reward, they offer him a meal, and after talking with him for a bit, they determine that he would be the best person for the job.
I also think you need a little more reasoning for Guy to go along with all of this. In the beginning, the way they are treating him and how things are going, it seems like he would get fed up with them real quickly and just leave. Why doesn't he? I know he's getting a lot of charity and whatnot, but he's survived long enough on his own, why does he need/want it? Why now?
That really covers my notes on the set up, and like I said, I thought the body was really good. I just have minor suggestions regarding it.
One thing I don't necessarily agree with is how soon Guy reveals the history of his mother to Poppy. At this point, he barely knows her, and he's telling her something that he "never told anyone before"? Granted he doesn't spend much time with people, but why her? I think you might want to have her pry a little at a time and him not reveal anything, and then as they grow closer and closer as the story progresses, then he opens up. --> While we're talking about this, I also think it might be a good idea to have Mia be the one that Guy reveals all of this to, since she is the one that he ends up with in the end. It would be one of the reasons she falls for him.
On a comical note, I was laughing when on page 44 Guy is confused for Colin Firth. I think you should consider using a different actor, since Colin Firth isn't very good looking lol. Maybe a younger, more attractive guy like Jude Law or someone lol.
On to the ending - I feel that the script ends to abruptly. After the ONE YEAR LATER, there are still a couple of loose ends that need to be tied up. For instance, what has Guy been doing all this time? Does he have a job? If so, what part did Mia and Poppy play in getting him this job? Does he have his own place now or is he still on the street?
Also, why haven't Guy and Mia seen each other in a while? The way things were panning out before the One Year Later, it seemed as if the three of them were going to go on and be best friends. Why didn't Guy know about Harry's Homeless Shelter until he picked up the paper? It seems that Guy was removed from that clique, but why?
I also feel that you may want to mention a sentence or two about the Countess whose heart Guy broke. Usually in these types of stories, people separate as they did and then they clear the air in some way, shape, or form, down the road. Has he spoken to her since then? I don't think that her presence is necessary, but maybe just have Guy mention that 'we worked it out and decided to just be friends, she's a great person, but we come from different worlds' - something like that.
To sum it up, I like the story - the plot and the characters work. There are just somethings in the setup and closing that I think need to be a little more in depth, but I think you may have something here. Good luck to you and if you decide to revise the script I would definitely like to read the next version. Take Care. read
by Laurence9 on 11/30/2011This is a very detailed script, pretty well researched and fairly accurate to Pygmalion. However, I’m not sure if this works in this day and age unless you make it more uptempo and truly update it. I understand you’re trying to transport it from early 20th century London to present day New York but it doesn’t work for me. I found some of the dialogue and actions to still be... This is a very detailed script, pretty well researched and fairly accurate to Pygmalion.
However, I’m not sure if this works in this day and age unless you make it more uptempo and truly update it. I understand you’re trying to transport it from early 20th century London to present day New York but it doesn’t work for me. I found some of the dialogue and actions to still be stuck in pre-war London. Some of the dialogue spoken by your characters was very unnatural and stiff. It seemed as though you weren’t sure yourself as to which period this story is set.
The pacing is too slow for my liking. For example, you spent an inordinate amount of time getting into the story of finding Guy and then a lengthy period just grooming him, e.g. the bathroom scene. This is not enough and will be way too boring to watch.
You need to quicken the action and develop the story faster. You could easily tell this whole story in less than 100 pages. Btw, 126 pages is way too long.
You have too many characters, both central and periphery. Ask yourself if these characters help the story and if they have relevance. Avoid introducing characters too late or merely to serve some minor purpose.
By losing some of the extraneous characters, you’ll improve the ones who are pivotal, and hopefully make them more appealing and three-dimensional.
Too much detail. The reader won’t want to read such detailed paras.
Structure: Just learnt this myself recently but you might want to reconsider blocky action paras.
I think you need to develop your plots and sub-plots. There wasn’t enough of a hook or development to keep interest.
Watch your grammar and spelling etc…
There’s some more notes below. Hope I'm not too picky. Best of luck with it.
P.1 You don’t need to say ‘posh apartment’, we get that from the fact it’s a penthouse.
P.1 Avoid frowning.
I don’t believe you need the title of the script and your name at the bottom of each page.
P.2 ‘Handsome’, this is subjective. Might want to add more detail.
P.2 Poppy on the phone with Sam needs to be INTERCUT. She wouldn’t be (O.S.). INTERCUT: POPPPY’S PENTHOUSE/SAM’S APARTMENT (after Sam pushes the hand away)
P.3 ‘…saying: It’s over?’ This makes her sound dumb. Plus, you need a question mark after saying, not a colon.
P.3 Tears drop? Not sure if they drop, stream perhaps? Only from one eye?
P.4 ‘…break up with a text’? Do you mean, ‘…by text’?
P.4 Close friend? Gay? Show this.
Wouldn’t Poppy and Mia be more upset/angry?
Mr. Out doesn’t work.
P.5 Five fingers would be $5 or $500 etc… not fifty.
P.7 Gruesome teeth? Maybe grotesque?
P.7 Harry: ‘English butler…’ too much. We get it.
P.8 Cut down the montage.
P.9 ‘…training him for…’ Should be ‘training to be…’
P.11 Check your spelling and punctuation. E.g. Missing a full stop on page 9, ‘specimen’ and ‘lose’ on page 11.
Some of the dialogue sounds very dated. As if you’ve moved the story from London, 1920s but kept the dialogue there.
P.13 ‘…you could get AIDS…’ Is Mia that stupid and misinformed? She sounds like a naïve girl from some far-flung developing country.
Why do you underline?
Can you lock bathroom doors from the outside?
Re: the bathroom scenes - You need to speed this up.
Bottom of page 20. Good example of you telling, not showing.
Clothes being the least of his worries? Clothes would keep him warm so I’d imagine they’d be pretty much needed.
Some funny dialogue on page 23.
P.24 Poppy & Mia needs to be dual dialogue.
Elizabeth Arden… I’d leave that out as you don’t know whether you’d be able to get permission. Just describe it as a luxurious salon or something.
P.30 His Bronx accent ruins everything? Is there meant to be dialogue here? If so, write it. Or is the actor meant to improvise? Plus, some of this story is sounding very elitist.
Surely being homeless in LA would be better than New York? The weather for one thing.
The way he describes his past, especially his mum’s rape… he’s so nonchalant and thus, unbelievable.
Long pause etc… Avoid directing.
Should be OK or okay.
She approaches him like a wild animal. You’re telling the reader that she’s the wild animal.
Avoid brand names unless you have specific permission.
Linked to Louis Armstrong? How old was Guy’s mother?
Page 45: ‘Attempt a sound?’ Just, ‘let me hear you speak…’
A variety of linguistic experts? Describe them… if they’re not interesting then why would the audience have any interest in watching them?
How do we know Rupert’s unemployed? Can one look unemployed?
Surely Guy would already know why Rupert’s there. He’s just had a few others trying to help him so therefore he’d be familiar with terms such as ‘diction’.
Page 47: Why put it… ?
‘My lad’? Who speaks like this? Is Rupert 80?
iPod… again though, don’t use brands. Digital music player or something.
Page 53: ‘Je ne sais quoi’
Why isn’t Rupert insulted when they keep calling him ‘Jeeves’? Sounds rather patronising to me.
Page 60: ‘touché’
Page 62: ‘…but say nothing…’
These women are incredibly old-fashioned.
Page 73: ‘She inhales him’??
Page 83: ‘Ma cherie’
Page 91: Dual dialogue is spoken at the same time. If it’s a Q&A then it should be written normally. Also, English people would say ‘football’, not ‘soccer’.
Who eats scones with honey? Butter or clotted cream and/or jam.
Would Pierre say either ‘dunno’ or ‘dashing’? Likewise, I don’t think Jacques would say ‘tossed’. Understand your characters. Also, very late to be introducing new characters.
Wouldn’t it be pretty obvious where the Countess of Devon hailed from?
Watch your spelling and punctuation!
Teeth are not trappings.
Page 105: ‘It reminds me of an old…’
From disco to fox trot to hip-hop? This is very strange.
Too many unmemorable characters.
Countess, ‘…diddley…’ Would she say this?
A commoner? Really? In 2011?
The Countess: ‘How does it happen?’ In regards to homelessness. I doubt whether she’s that thick or out of touch.
Would the countess really tell all to the papers? If she’s embarrassed, she wouldn’t say a word.
How did Rupert and Poppy happen? read
by Adamrc on 11/29/2011This was my first romantic comedy assigned to me on triggerstreet. Even through it in not my perfered gerne I found this script to be rather enjoyable. There is alot of great stuff in here that adds alot of character to this script which could give it the advantage when it comes to selling it against others in the ame genre. The first thing I thought to be brilliant was... This was my first romantic comedy assigned to me on triggerstreet. Even through it in not my perfered gerne I found this script to be rather enjoyable. There is alot of great stuff in here that adds alot of character to this script which could give it the advantage when it comes to selling it against others in the ame genre. The first thing I thought to be brilliant was this whole, dark, concept of rich people toying with the life of someone less fortunate then themselves. I know there have been similar stories to this but this one has a very different twist.
The twist comes in the form of the character Guy. The way he plays off this high society motif while still having the caring heart to take care of others. It adds this charm to the character that gives the story its uniqueness. The way the defends a bagman and then breaks into this Bronx accent (also through the story) shows his true colors and not fully giving into the world of high society.
In the story we never see him ever start to replicate the people around him, and if he does there is some kind of difference like giving large tips for simple tasks. It adds a wholesome image to him and it sets him apart from the others in another way because they don't do those types of gestures, making him more likeable and them less likable. However we are found rooting for Mia and Guy to get together at some point which it is good that we can finally see it in the end.
If I can make a couple critiques fisrt there are a few typos that run throughout the script, not a lot but when they are there they are noticealbe. Second to make your work stand out I would take away some of the typical romantic comedy elements that make the script predictable. Even though we are happy to see Mia and Guy get together in the end, it is clear that will be the ending result even before the more intense drama of script. He confesses to the countess and already a typical fan of the genre will know what is going to happen right away. I know the genre doesn't call for crazy unpredictable endings but I think it would have been more of a up lifing ending if the countess came back. However the countess totally denying him because of his social stature is something that is a stereotype of the super wealthy, and by having this in there I think is a summary of the entire film in one scene. It is a hard choice but either way there is lots of potential here. read
by Tripsheet Revision on 11/20/2011This re-write of My Fair Lady has several things going for it. There are more characters involved in the bet, and there is much more getting around for the characters, even some trans Atlantic flying. And it’s not a direct knock off, no more than was My Fair Lady a direct knock off of Pygmalian. What the screenplay, sadly, doesn’t have going for it is, well, the screenplay... This re-write of My Fair Lady has several things going for it.
There are more characters involved in the bet, and there is much more getting around for the characters, even some trans Atlantic flying. And it’s not a direct knock off, no more than was My Fair Lady a direct knock off of Pygmalian. What the screenplay, sadly, doesn’t have going for it is, well, the screenplay itself. Huge paragraphs make it a struggle to keep going, inexplicable underscoring of one or two words here, five or six lines there. These lines, just as the how-to books warn, are a distraction. Also, the formatting was never correct. The rule is three lines down to a Major heading and two lines down to a minor heading. The writer, as far as I remember, didn’t use any minor headings, but contented himself to write major headings to move us from one room to another when we were indoors. Apart from these, and other, formatting problems, most of the excessive number of characters were lively and funny and touching at all the right times and in all the right places. It’s much longer than an SP of this type needs to be, but, even considering its 125 pages, it was never boring. However, because of the rather sizable number of characters with speaking parts I’m not at all confident of passing the quiz. Here’s hoping. What this story needs most is much rewriting with heavy emphasis on the ‘Delete’ key to trim the whole thing down. But you are a good writer. I recommend David Trottier’s Screenwriter’s Bible, where you can learn the rules to use to polish your Perfect Gentleman until it sparkles in the right producer's eyes and we can all go see it in the movies. Best of luck!
1: The title doesn’t belong on the first page, especially since it’s already on the actual title page.
1: The rule is that you drop down three lines to a MAJOR HEADING and two lines down to a MINOR HEADING.
1: Never emphasize special words by underlining, italicizing, or using capital letters. And whatever you do don’t underline entire sentences. Trust to the intelligence of your readers.
1: Keep paragraphs to a maximum four lines. Nothing turns a professional reader (in agencies, producers, directors, actors and actresses) away faster than huge blocks of black print they must read through. You don’t want to bog your reader down, you want to keep them moving quickly through your lively story.
1: Introduce your new characters in their own, separate paragraphs, don’t lose them in huge paragraphs, where they’re sharing their intros.
1: Important sounds, despite what you may have heard, are still supposed to be presented in CAPS.
1: There’s a long established method for handling phone calls so you avoid (O. S.) and switching back and forth with major headings. Type INTERCUT PHONE CALL - SAM AND POPPY and then continue with the call.
2: Use the long accepted Time Elements -- DAY, NIGHT, LATER, MOMENTS LATER, SAME, CONTINUOUS. Anything else -- MORNING, NOON, EVENING, SUNRISE, SUNSET, DAWN, DUSK -- should be put into the first line of the next paragraph.
8: Don’t go straight from a heading, whether major or minor, directly into your dialogue. Give a line, even just two or three words of dialogue or action.
17: Once you’ve established that we’re inside (INT.) or outside (EXT.) you don’t have to use major headings to move around inside the penthouse, for instance. From living room to bathroom can be handled with a simple minor heading, like this --
INT. JOE’S HOUSE - DAY
Joe hurries in from outside and shouts
JOE: Billy, where are you?
Billy hears Joe and shouts back.
BILLY: I’m in the bathroom.
18: And we don’t drop down four lines to major headings either. It’s three lines down.
46: Don’t allow your heading -- in this case a MONTAGE -- to be on a different page than the actual montage.
105: To Catch A Thief was filmed and shown in color.
by blor on 11/17/2011The action is succinct and mostly written in complete sentences. - These are the aspects I found worthwhile: The second half of pg. 63 through pg. 64. The intent behind the portion of the Guy dialogue, “I'd almost rather not know etc...” on pg. 92. These are the aspects I consider detrimental: On Page 1, Mia and Poppy don't name each other in the dialogue. The audience must... The action is succinct and mostly written in complete sentences.
These are the aspects I found worthwhile:
The second half of pg. 63 through pg. 64. The intent behind the portion of the Guy dialogue, “I'd almost rather not know etc...” on pg. 92.
These are the aspects I consider detrimental:
On Page 1, Mia and Poppy don't name each other in the dialogue. The audience must know their names as soon as possible.
On Page 7, a true gentleman would never overtly disparage any social class. Harry's talk of manners and those who are deficient in them, is not what I believe to be the conduct of a gentleman. I must assume, the sole purpose of his indiscretions is to establish disbelief for the sake of a future reversal.
On Page 9, the stakes of the game aren't mentioned. If Poppy and Mia lose, then what does Harry win? If Harry loses, then what do Poppy and Mia win? A gamble with no stakes does nothing to invest the audience. It would be best if the stakes are stated now.
On Page 13, the Poppy dialogue, “...Don't take yourself too seriously!” feels wrong. I would think a gentleman is on his guard against any and all social missteps. Wouldn't it also be in a gentleman's best interests to only use humor in a very calculated manner? I would think so. There is a chance for a punch line here in place of the aforementioned dialogue.
The action line, “They shake their head no, he doesn't have to kill anyone.” should be rewritten as dialogue:
They shake their heads.
You don't have to kill anyone.
On Page 20, the Guy dialogue, “And I'm used to freedom too...” is absolutely incredible. He's not depicted as having adequate incentive to stay where he is told. In other words, this donkey has no carrot. None whatsoever.
I would suggest Guy be shown to like a certain promise attached to this new location to the exclusion of all else. Mia's promise of more bottles simply doesn't pass muster. Poppy and Mia must be depicted as happening upon Guy's, “Magic Words” so to speak. As it stands now, there is no reason a, recalcitrant, 26-year-old man, with appendages in decent working order wouldn't have escaped completely.
On Page 21, this fight should not be. There are no stakes to this gamble, so there is nothing to rationalize the escalation of difficulty. Since there are no stakes, there is no way to know how much trouble Guy is actually worth. As it stands now, there is absolutely no reason for Poppy and Mia not to let him go.
On Page 24, the business of Cannes was never mentioned before now. It should have been mentioned as part of the stakes in this game some time before Page 9. Without the pretext of Poppy and Mia's rapid success and Harry's attempt to hinder them with, “Let's up the ante.” This is a rudimentary and altogether fatal error.
On Pages 26 through 30, I suggest this action be much more succinct and the dialogue be much more sparse so that it may function like a montage.
On Page 46, the action line, “A variety of eccentric linguistic experts enter...” exists without adequate elaboration. This is inexcusable. The writer must create the action and dialogue of the aforementioned eccentric linguistic experts or remove the segment.
On Page 53, Guy's phonetic transformation is too easily won. Remember how the midnight oil burned at the end of a series of montages before, “The Rain in Spain Fell Mainly in the Plain” in My Fair Lady?
On Page 55, the reflection sequence should be written exactly like the montage on pg. 8.
On Page 73, Guy's paraphrase of bible verse doesn't make sense. If Mia is to, “get what she gives” as Guy states, and she is only willing to feel repressed, then she must already be repressing Guy. She is not repressing him because he is taking the initiative. This courtship ritual cannot succeed without at least one of them taking the initiative. Also, Jesus Christ is without fault. Everything he gave as he lived on earth was without fault. He was crucified as though he were a man of fault. He did not get what he gave.
Guy's paraphrase of bible verse is false and not applicable to the situation.
On Page 98, Guy should introduce Poppy and Mia completely and the Countess should speak but, doesn't.
On Page 100, the Countess's toast needs dialogue. Referenced dialogue must become actual dialogue instead.
The mistakes in this screenplay are constant and rudimentary. As a consequence of these mistakes: Poppy and Mia are not ruthlessly dumped, they are unceremoniously dumped in an exceedingly colloquial manner. The romance is totally disingenuous. The dialogue is damnably superfluous, purely superficial; devoid of, urgency, risk, and sub-text. read
by Rickgauer on 11/17/2011When I first requested a new script and yours was picked I was intrigued by the synopsis. I thought that was a great idea for a story. But, as always, it's how the story is told that determines greatness. The beginning of your story, the set up, was much too rushed and, quite frankly, not very believable. Two women getting dumped in the same day... come on. And then how quickly... When I first requested a new script and yours was picked I was intrigued by the synopsis. I thought that was a great idea for a story. But, as always, it's how the story is told that determines greatness. The beginning of your story, the set up, was much too rushed and, quite frankly, not very believable. Two women getting dumped in the same day... come on. And then how quickly they decided to revamp someone into a true gentleman and then finding that someone, was unrealistic to say the least. You could have, easily, set that whole scenario up in the first 30 pages. But by page 30 you were well into the transition. By page 38, after they learn Guy's story of how he became homeless, they are flirting with him. Seriously? And I thought these ladies had jobs. How did they get all this free time? Those are things you must relate to an audience. Also it would have been helpful to write Guy's dialogue so the reader could, in their mind, simulate the strong Bronx accent. Obviously that kind of accent has a certain vernacular. I also found the lunch at the club with Harry a bit premature, especially after two days. And more so since Harry has no desire for Guy to succeed. I found that scene pointless. Why would Poppy and Mia want Guy to be like the very men who dumped them? Why would Harry, a Wall Street investment banker, spend his own money on a project like this? Seems an investment banker would be much wiser with his money. When they all arrive at Cannes, after their first-class airfare, Ritz digs, diamonds, expensive watches, tuxedos, gowns and limos, I began to wonder what actor you had in mind for the role of the unexpectedly super-talented Mr. Guy. George Clooney? Brad Pitt? Johnny Depp? Having Guy as the most debonair man at Cannes was too much. Is there anything Guy can't do? A throne from sand. An umbrella from reeds. I'm surprised he didn't write and direct The Lost Man. And what happened to that (The Lost Man) by the way? They went all the way to France and we don't even find out what happened. The ending was very predictable. Except the part about Wall Street being interested in Harry's homeless/recycle center. I think you tried to do too much with this story. Keeping it simple and having Mia and Guy fall in love would have been much more interesting. I don't read bios, to keep bias at bay, so I have no idea how old you are or your interests or experience. Scripts are difficult animals to tame. I suggest, if you haven't already, reading professional scripts. They're a wealth of info. Good luck to you in the future. read
by Rfordyce on 11/15/2011Jan, I finally got round to your script; my apologies for the lengthy wait. I hope I can give you some useful notes. ‘The Perfect Gentleman’ is a variation on an extremely well-known theme, as exemplified in the Oscar-laden ‘My Fair Lady’ which you give several nods to in the script. So you’re up against some pretty stiff competition, including George Bernard Shaw! To pull... Jan, I finally got round to your script; my apologies for the lengthy wait. I hope I can give you some useful notes.
‘The Perfect Gentleman’ is a variation on an extremely well-known theme, as exemplified in the Oscar-laden ‘My Fair Lady’ which you give several nods to in the script. So you’re up against some pretty stiff competition, including George Bernard Shaw! To pull off a challenge like that you need some outstanding ideas and the execution to go with them.
You’ve certainly put a lot of time and effort into this and there are several good things going for it. First off, changing the Audrey Hepburn character into a vagrant from the Bronx is a pretty cool move. There’s a lot of mileage to be had from that. And secondly, moving the upper-class action to Europe rather than England preserves the theme but gives the setting a bit more flavour. So the concept itself is a bit of a challenge but you’ve made a good start.
Let’s talk about Guy. Your whole story revolves around Guy’s transformation, so it needs to be good. Really good. At the moment I think you’ve got a long way to go. He should be a totally changed person when we see him at Cannes. Certainly his appearance has changed – but not much else. His opening lines are:
‘All but the last part. I'm not going to kill anyone for you.’
Poppy cringes at his thick Bronx accent. Really? I’m no expert on USA dialects, but this doesn’t sound much like a Bronx accent to me – either in delivery or phrasing. You need something more like:
‘What kinda dumb broad you? I ain’t gonna kill no fancy wardrobe for no-one.’
I know it’s difficult to convey an accent in a script – if you try to vary the spelling it can become a turn-off for the reader. But if you’re going to make a big deal out of his Bronx roots you need to make some kind of attempt to capture the sound in the rhythm of your dialogue. At the moment he talks exactly the way Poppy and Mia do. You could get a lot of comedy out of the Bronx speech but you need to work for it. At the beginning, his Bronx psyche should be oozing out of him. And that means peppering his speech with the sort of phrases you’d expect to hear from a Bronx boy – including a few sonsabitches, dickheads and motherfuckers. Then throw some nasty personal habits into the mix. He picks his nose and eats it. He doesn’t flush the toilet. He smokes roll-ups and slurps Budweiser. The audience should be saying to themselves, ‘There’s no way this Guy can be a gentleman.’
I don’t really think the Rumi angle works very well. Yes, it’s nice that he’s already got an appreciation of literature and an ear for Beethoven when we first meet him, but I think that works against the comedy. It just seems at odds with his background. I think it would be OK to introduce it at a later stage; maybe Rupert encourages him to read poetry and appreciate the music as well as teaching him to dance.
Likewise his extended grieving for his mother seems to me to be mawkishly sentimental when you should be primarily playing it for laughs. The scene where he tells the whole story to Poppy doesn’t ring true to me. It seems too facile that a hard-bitten, streetwise person like Guy would just blurt all this out in one go. Again, I think you could introduce it in the scenes at Cannes, where you could have him revealing this at the height of an argument with Mia, then storming off to catch a plane. That would provide a much more dramatic route.
Poppy and Mia are competently drawn but I think you could do more to differentiate them. With Poppy almost 20 years the elder, you could make her much more matriarchal so that Mia could be more wayward and impulsive. That could work quite well within the story. At the moment they seem to act and talk in a very similar way.
In terms of the storyline, there are several things that don’t seem to stack up. First of all, the wager that Guy can be turned into the perfect gentleman is one that seems to sprout tendrils all over the place. It should be straightforward enough; by the end of the first Act you want to have the wager firmly established. The girls think they can turn Guy from a Bronx tramp into the perfect gentleman; Harry thinks it can’t be done. A deadline is agreed upon, stakes are established, and the rules are plain for all to see.
But this is very far from being the case. On page 9, the bet is made, but it all seems a bit vague. How is Guy’s transformation into a gentleman going to be measured and judged? We don’t really know. A bet should entail winners and losers. What does Harry stand to win? What do Poppy and Mia stand to lose? Very little, seems to be the answer in both cases. But having set up the bet, you keep moving the goalposts...
On page 16 Harry decides he wants his money back with interest if he wins. Then on page 24 we suddenly find out that the wager is to be decided at Cannes. There’s been no mention of Cannes before then. On page 69, after Guy’s faux pas at the Wall Street club, Harry announces that ‘the bet is finished’. But a few pages later it seems to be back on the agenda. Then on page 81, Harry demands that a woman must fall in love with Guy, followed closely by Poppy’s announcement that ‘the shelter’ for the homeless (which hasn’t been mentioned before!) is not only going to be provided by Harry if he loses... he has to run it as well!
So the initial bet just seems to grow more branches all the time, leaving the reader very confused. I’m not saying the rules of the bet can’t be changed during the story – but it would have to be as a result of some plot development, a raising of the stakes. In any case the whole project seems heavily stacked against Harry – he doesn’t actually stand to win anything.
I think also you need to make it clearer where Harry earns all this money he’s squandering. The reader knows he’s an investment banker, but only because you’ve mentioned it in a descriptive passage (page 4). You need to demonstrate it to the viewer as well.
Another aspect which could do with some reinforcement is the girls’ motivation. It needs a stronger focus. The girls have been jilted, so they’re both pissed off. But that’s not quite the same thing as a desire to have a true gentleman around. We need to understand why they don’t just want a new lover – they want someone who’s stylish and considerate. So you need to show Poppy and Mia on the receiving end of some pretty boorish conduct. You have a montage doing exactly this on page 8, but it seems to sit rather awkwardly at this point in the script, as a series of flashbacks taking place while the girls are in the taxi. An alternative might be to move this to the beginning and use it to introduce the characters during the opening credits. But lay it on thick with a trowel. Show the ex-boyfriends behaving really badly – farting on the sofa, puking up after a boozy night, getting caught watching porn videos – all that stuff. That would then establish the girls’ need for someone a bit more cultured.
Structure-wise, the story falls into three parts which would normally correspond to a typical 3-Act structure:
1. The set-up of the bet and the search for a candidate, i.e. – Guy;
2. The education of Guy as a gentleman, and the various escapades he has to go through;
3. The events at Cannes and the final resolution.
So on a 125-page script (which is much too long, by the way, but more of that later) your first Act ends on page 24, about one-fifth into the story. That’s a little early. Your second Act ends around page 82, or two-thirds in. That’s seriously early! So I’d say the divisions within the story are OK but the dramatic structure needs a fair bit of work. Your final Act needs to be shorter, punchier and really racking up the action.
Last but not least, your script is riddled with spelling and punctuation errors - just look at the list below – and there are others I could have added. When you’re trying to get your script past a studio reader, it’ll kill your chances stone dead. The great bulk of these should be picked up by a good quality spell-check program, and the rest by a thorough proof-read.
Other reading notes:
1 Underlining I believe is still frowned upon by most script editors.
1 Try to avoid ‘we see’s.
6 INT. REAR OF CONCERT HALL- CONTINUOUS
You use the CONTINUOUS slugline a lot when it’s not suitable. LATER would be better in most cases. CONTINUOUS means what it says: i.e. the action unfolds in ‘real time’. It can’t be CONTINUOUS here because there has to be a time lag between Mia resting her head on Harry’s shoulder in the centre seats, and asking Guy for directions near the back of the hall.
10 ...her free-lance job at Nissan.
How are you going to convey this information to the viewer? It’s not enough just to tell the reader.
10 her manuscript for an anthropology book...
39 GUY And anthropology is... POPPY The study of man.
Guy’s already answered his own question on this (page 25). Doesn’t make sense for him to be asking it again.
40 Slow down... We should get going. A little contradictory!
45 You tend to over-write. There are scores of little passages throughout the script which could be pared down or omitted entirely. You need a more rhythmic, punchier tone to keep the reader engaged. If you go through the script and weed out all the places where you drift into novelistic prose, it would reduce your page count quite a bit. Just one example
They shake their heads, yes, maybe. Guy hears, smiles, waves.
INT. MIA AND POPPY'S PENTHOUSE VESTIBULE - DAY
Poppy and Mia wait for DICTION EXPERT #1 (70) to arrive.
Guy sits in living room reading Poppy's anthropology book.
He looks debonair in his tweed coat. Finally doorbell rings.
DICTION EXPERT #1
You could pare this down to:
Guy hears, smiles, waves.
INT. MIA AND POPPY'S PENTHOUSE VESTIBULE – DAY
Poppy opens the front door, revealing:
DICTION EXPERT #1
55 A lot of viewers won’t recognise the bridge in Central Park, or even connect it with his mother’s death. You need to find a more cinematic method of showing this.
65-66 Good scene in Wall Street club.
74 GUY So you're an anthropologist? This has already been discussed. You need to vary the dialogue.
93 I'd say he is a Yorkshire Man. Traces of Scottish Highlands. ??? They’re a long distance apart!
99 It's been in her family for 1000 years. Seems a little unlikely!
Countesses don’t fling themselves at strangers in the full glare of the public, no matter how macho and handsome the man is. They’re much too careful of their reputations to act like that. And presumably there’s a Count somewhere in the mix? Doesn’t he object to being a cuckold?
123 I don’t really understand the ending. Mia and Guy were re-united in the previous scene, but now it’s a year later and they’re apart again?
So the bad news is I think you’ve still got quite some way to go. But hey, it’s only my opinion and I’m sure you’ll get some very positive reviews. The good news is, the basics are there and everything can be fixed. I know how hard it is to put together a good script, so good luck with it. See you round the Message Boards!
Spelling, punctuation, typos, etc:
1 ... chooses an emerald chiffon dress to don.
3 ... throws her cell, and its housing separates.
4 ... checking his Rolex.
4 Neither of them is a gentleman...
6 Poppy worries a locket open... Worries??
7 He points to a well-dressed concert goer...
8 What if we hire professionals to help us?
9 He pats both their knees, happy he has cheered them up.
11 What have we got to lose?
11 ... our specimen?
12 Is that..?
12 They back-up, startled.
13 ... his brown pointy... pointy??
16 ...it'll only make me work harder.
17 Here, put your clothes in this.
20 ...brushes past them... (several instances of ‘passed’ for ‘past’ in script)
21 ...and he stumbles over...
21 ... take an axe...
25 Guy plays with shaving cream, not liking the smell. You omit commas quite frequently. Won’t highlight it again.
29 Resigned, Guy calms himself...
30 ...Guy chases down a cab heading downtown. His new clothes and hair are drenched.
30 You can't just think you’re a gentlemen, you...
32 ...we know you've seen one musical.
33 ...but let’s start...
36 ... gripped with sadness
37 ...takrd a bone to stir coffee. takrd??
38 ... pushes Mia's drawings aside to make room...
40 ... can you do all that...
43 Hey, take it easy...
45 Colin Firth?
46 The final expert is waiting...
47 Why put it off another minute?
48 Ready to get to work...
48 So, my young fellow...
53 Je ne sais quoi, if I do say so myself.
55 ... tilts his head quizzically.
57 Where are your shoes?
59 Where are your index cards? (Rupert would speak ‘correctly’.)
61 ... cease their repartee...
69 Does this mean we're not going to Cannes?
74 Guy jumps to the boy's aid...
74 Other mothers... grab their children and run.
75 It's just that mothers are responsible...
75 They walk through the park to practise...
75 Guy lets a woman know...
78 He takes her hand and they stroll...
80 and lets it slide through...
82 ...we'll up the ante too.
82 ...on the first night...
82 Whatever we can do to help you...
83 ...except Mia, who peeks over partitions...
83 ...the Palme d'Or.
83 You speak French?
83 Un petit peu.
83 Ma Cherie.
87 He admires the watch, glinting and sparkling.
92 When you label something...
92 ...you put it in a box and you’re prevented from...
97 ... bundles of newspapers...
97 ... bundles of newspapers...
98 Guy ends it...
98 ...she gets no attention.
102 ...right now I’m delighted...
103 if she falls in love with him in spite of it, we
116 ...greets foursome in vestibule...
117 Suddenly, Poppy gets an idea. read
by Robmor19 on 11/11/2011I must say, this was one of the better screenplays I have had the pleasure of reading from triggerstreet! Keep in mind everything I say in my review is stricly my opinion. I am by no means a professional, just here to critique the best way I know how! Concept - ABSOLUTELY original! I find this screenplay refreshing. Characters - You had a great variety of characters. I... I must say, this was one of the better screenplays I have had the pleasure of reading from triggerstreet!
Keep in mind everything I say in my review is stricly my opinion. I am by no means a professional, just here to critique the best way I know how!
Concept - ABSOLUTELY original! I find this screenplay refreshing.
Characters - You had a great variety of characters. I was pleased to see that all of the characters stayed true from beginning to end. Guy, was a very caring individual who had nothing short of heartache in his life. (That makes an instant connection to a lot of people in todays world.) His character alone reminded me of the movie "The Pursuit of Happiness" with Will Smith.
Dialogue - Great job, it flowed, never got dull. You used the perfect concoction of dialogue and action lines. I never hit a point in which I felt something wasn't working!
Story - Once again, good job. The story was original, it flowed, it showed multiple levels of character and love. However I felt one downfall at the end of the screenplay. I was a little confused, actually. You cut to "One year Later" what happened in that year? Did Poppy and Mia get him a job and lose touch with him? Did he stay homeless? (I'm assuming not becasue he walked out of the bridge with them.) I guess my confusion comes with that? Im not sure why it was such a long time before Mia and Guy saw each other? Unless I am reading it wrong?
Stucture - I have nothing to help you with, it was great!
This review probably doesn't help in the strengthening of the screenplay, and that is because I feel the screenplay is nearly perfect!
Good Luck! read
- Writer: Jan Hadwen Hubbell
- Uploaded by: Hadjascribe
- Length: 124 pages
- Genre: comedy, romance
- Bio: Currently, as both an English Professor and a professional ski instructor, I still write as much as possible during every waking moment. With an MFA from Iowa Writers Workshop and a BA in Lit from Bennington College, I am a writer thru and thru. I've also written two novels, many short stories and poems. My favorite movie of all time is Ryan's Daughter. I'm interested in stylish films that feature romance.
Members Who Like This Submission Also Like...
An Ohio State cheerleader must learn that love conquers all when she falls for a Michigan football player.
An agoraphobic theatre critic hires a handsome local actor to drive her cross-country and 'play' her fiance in... more
A novelist's plan to secretly write about a call-girl goes awry when the object of his deception turns out to be... more
Copyright © 2001-2014 Trigger Street Labs. All Rights Reserved.