Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Just say the word...oh....

Over the weekend I re-read a screenplay that I wrote around 6 years ago.

It's one of the first full scripts I did. A “romantic comedy” about a guy who has no interest in love, only to – of course – realize it's what he always wanted in his life.

And it’s a steaming dung-pile.

When I originally came up with the idea, it was a fairly dark comedy about a suicidal guy. I wrote a treatment based on the concept, but somewhere on the way to a final draft, it got watered down.

The suicidal inclinations became a guy PRETENDING he was dying, in order to wave off his shrew of a girlfriend.

The chick he digs went from being a crazy, happy-go-lucky girl next door to a chick version of Steve Irwin (RIP).

And the comedy went from being funny to being a bunch of loosely strung-together sitcom moments.

Even at the time I knew it was turning into pablum, but it was too late to stop it. Sometimes things just take on a life of their own and you're powerless - or too lazy - to stop them. In the end, this screenplay became a very run of the mill rom-com – the likes of which Jennifer Anniston or Heather Graham constantly star in. And yeah, its poopy-on-3-hole-punch-paper, but its no worse than those self-same Anniston/Graham fiascos (usually co-starring Mark Ruffalo… what’s with that guy? He’s actually a decent actor, but he's constantly starring in these craptastic chick flicks, usually looking like he's got 2 days worth of dip in his lower lip).

Still… everytime I read it, it makes my skin crawl. The stuff I’ve written in the last couple of years with Dave is, by all definitions, “B,” but at least that’s by design. We’re writing fun, over-the-top, action-packed thrillers that hopefully get your blood rushing, your hair standing on end, and your heart crawling into your throat.

My rom-com only succeeded in getting my lunch crawling into my throat, unfortunately.

Live and learn, learn and grow. That’s what Dave always says.**

- Charlie

** This is a dirty lie. I’ve never heard Dave utter this phrase… or really espouse any other philosophy whatsoever. Well… unless you count “It’s Hip To Be Square” and “Sususudio” as philosophy.

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