We screenwriters have a very unique classroom where to further our craft. Where’s that you ask? Well, it’s a movie theater, a cinema, and a dream palace.
Movie patrons and screenwriters have two different experiences when they visit the cinema. The movie goer fortifies themselves with popcorn, sodas and candy and settle in their seat waiting to be entertained and to watch a story unfold.
Scribes play a more proactive role in watching that same movie. From the opening scene to the introduction of the main characters to the moment we spot the “Save the Cat” moment (see my past post, Have A Blake Snyder Save The Cat Screenplay of Your Dreams) all the way to the climax of the movie.
We look to see if the movie has solid structure, if there is character development and if the film flows evenly. Can we relate to the characters and “get” the message the movie is trying to convey. Lastly, we stay behind and pour over the credits as they roll down the silver screen. If the movie is great, we take note of the screenwriter, casting director, producer and director and check them out at: www.imdb.com to see what other projects they’ve worked on.
How many people can say their classroom is also their favorite playground?
Here is my review of:
Written by: Alan R. Cohen
Directed by: Todd Philips
This comedic road trip involving two complete strangers is fraught with missteps and miscues (mostly initiated by Ethan) and is a much darker more violent version of the classic “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.”
Robert Downey Jr. plays Peter Highman (clever name) an uptight jerk of an architect who is flying home to Los Angeles to be with his wife (Michelle Monaghan) for the scheduled caesarian birth of their first child.
Zack Galifianakis (Ethan Tremblay) is a newly permed pot smoking Grizzly Adams bearded aspiring actor who travels with his two companions-a white bulldog “Sunny” and a coffee can filled with the ashes of his recently departed father. He’s on his way to fulfill his dream of nabbing a role on the TV show, “Two and a Half Men.”
Their worlds collide when they end up being seated together on the same flight. Peter ignores the flight attendants request to turn his cell off for departure. Ethan takes it upon himself to remind Peter to follow the attendants orders. Peter ignores him until Ethan unleashes two words: bomb and terrorist.
Wrong move! They are swiftly kicked off the plane (Peter’s wallet and suitcase are left on the plane) and they both are put on the no fly list.
Peter begrudgingly accepts Ethan’s offer to ride with him from Atlanta across the country in his rental car. Let the bickering and bitching begin!
This odd couple works because of Robert Downey Jr.’s mastery playing the sharp tongued straight man to Zach Galifianakis’s oblivious oafish self. Peter has a hard time containing his fury when Ethan flips their rental car off a freeway badly injuring him while Ethan escapes unscathed. Ethan also gets Peter beat up by a crippled veteran at a Western Union Station.
And let’s not forget, Ethan’s wrong turn that lands them in line to enter Mexico without a passport. Peter gets arrested while Ethan escapes only later to come and save the day by “rescuing” Peter (further injuring him) from the Mexican Federales.
Todd Phillips, director and writer of (“The Hangover”, “Old School” and “Starsky and Hutch”) has surely cornered the market on creating movies geared towards the target audience of 18-24 years old males. He continues to push the envelope of decency in the name of comedy.
“Due Date” is not as funny as “The Hangover” but it is funny enough. There are a few cringe worthy scenes that will definitely offend some.
At the end of the movie, Peter has softened enough to accept Ethan for who he is, (what the audience already knows) a needy doofus who repulses you and makes you love him at the same time.
The soundtrack adds a rich layer to this movie –
It’s high time someone make a road trip comedy with females as leads. Are you listening Hollywood?
Have you seen any good movies at a dream palace lately?
Toni’ placed her dream to get her screenplay, “Divine Intervention” and reality show, “The Bitter Bus” produced on hold while she works on Club B. Toni left 8 Women dream November 2010 to work on Club B full-time.