Mojo
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Mojo

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  1. paul says
    September 4, 2012, 7:23 am
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    Firstly, I must say that I found the title a bit inappropriate once I’ve read the script. The reference to ‘Hangover’ is perferct – in fact, in compares so well, a director might toss the script by reason of “it’s been done before”. It is a bit too similar.
    There are quite a bit of grammar and spelling errors, which will no doubt jeopardize the script’s chances. You also have missing sluglines (one example being p.25 when he goes to pack the bag). I found the incident in the dog park and the flight attendant’s behaviour downright silly, as it is not normal behavior. But having said this, if this is to be a slapstick film, nothing would have to be justified or realistic anyway.
    There really is a lot of dialogue in here – but not much that propels the story forward. I can’t help but think it was based on ‘The Hangover’ – but just not with the edge the film had. Slapstick films are big at the moment (always have been, actually), but the idea has been done before, so you’ll need to add elements that’s fresh. The dialogue – especially in the beginning – was very cliched and I also didn’t get Steven’s wife leaving him.
    I liked the very ending, though – leaves room for a sequel. Read the script again and think of ways to improve and freshen it up a bit. Good luck with your project.

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  2. wardparry says
    July 26, 2012, 12:03 am
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    I’m not a structure purist but with comedy it is crucial. For no other reason that to drive the story forward and to avoid precisely what your script suffers from which is a series of episodic moments where the same theme runs throughout.

    Protagonist is not clearly defined. I know it’s Steve, but only just. His wife leaving is ambiguous and seems callous, and the only reason I don’t hate her is because Steve is totally unsympathetic and suffering from a case of douchebagary. He can still be a douchebag and be likeable. For my money, right now, he’s just not likeable. I’m not invested in what happens to him or his pals.

    If this is going to be a sordid journey into sexual utopia and subsequent re-birth, then perhaps make him nervous about it, that the journey into a shag fest is a challenge for him on a more psychological level, rather than it being the clichéd act of jilted revenge. And to do that, you need to sharpen up the opening act, rather than drifting along with a series of conversational and expositional scenes that could be cut down dramatically. There is, for my money, too much exposition and pointless dialogue. Every word uttered by every character should be pressing the story forward.

    Scene in first class on the plane between Phil and Steve works. Nice exchange – should have come much sooner. Though the stewardess would never do what she does and it could be just as effectively conveyed with a look. The scene then falls apart after that.
    Lots of careless typos, it’s not affecting my read but you will want to clean this up if you’re sending it for industry eyeballs.

    Scene at the airport security gate is an example of a scene that a.) goes on long, b.) repeats a tone and rhythm repeated throughout. Scene at the dog park is another. These scenes should be compressed, economical, and turning faster. It’s slowing down my read and with comedy, pacing is a particular concern.

    Steve shaving his chest hair in the cab is funny. It would be funny to expand on that with a scene of him shaving his balls or his butt crack. Bending over in a mirror to get a better perspective etc etc.

    By page 40 to have essentially the same scene replaying as that of one 20 pages earlier will make industry people skip to the last 10 pages – I almost did. The words “here’s to the beginning of your journey…” on page 41 should tell you that you’ve got your structure working against you and your pacing is off. The scene that goes on from p.45 to p.48 is another example of the multitude of scenes you have that are just slowing your whole story down. There should be some narrative powering them along. Look at Hangover and go through it to see what is driving these guys on – They’re on a mission to find a missing groom. Your dudes are on a mission to get wasted. Cinema isn’t real life, you need to set up something that is bigger than guys heading down to south beach for a weekend piss up. Raise the stakes, the hookers are mob escorts and they get into a situation with not paying them, they’re on the run from the mob, feds involved – whatever it is, but something that drives this narrative on. Still ordering beers, and talking about how nice it is in Miami by page 51?

    Thematically, Hollywood is all over this kind of project at the moment. And you will have people interested in reading this. To really make sure this stands out – create a much more dramatic comedy. Define Steve in the early stages and then challenge him, and the relationships he has to Phil, Ben, Ralph and maybe exploit the way in which he has put his career ahead of personal enrichment. These are both poignant and hilarious. You mention Sideways in your film reference. Sideways is one of the funniest films of the last 30 years, and no one puts that tone together like Alexander Payne. Look at the way he exposes character defects and then expands on them (Take a look at Giamatti trawling through his mom’s underwear drawer searching for the hidden $ so that he can pay his way through the week). It’s hilariously funny and achingly sad at the same time. Good luck with your project. WP

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