LOGLINE: Twelve months after returning from a space mission, decorated astronaut Laura Pepper is arrested for the attempted murder of a fellow astronaut.
WRITERS: Brian C Brown & Elliot DiGuisseppi
SCRIPT BIO: 26 votes on the 2015 black list.
This is a fictionalised recount of the LISA NOVAK story.
In this screenplay, Lisa is LAURA PEPPER.
Laura has just returned from a successful mission in space fixing satellites and what not.
She returns to her loving family, two young boys, a 12 year old daughter and her loving husband, OWEN.
We spend some time with her and her family and everything is fine. Except maybe it's not. Maybe there was something about being in space that changed the way Laura looks at life.
Laura really wants to go back into space, but Owen and her children don't want her to. Apparently going into space isn't such a safe thing. Apparently there's a chance you could die, and her family - surprise surprise, aren't cool with this.
There's a mild argument of sorts, where nothing is decided.
At NASA, Lauren meets Mark. A gung-ho astronaught with an arrogance level akin to Kim Jong il. - Okay, maybe not that arrogant, but he's up there.
This guy loves himself. He couldn't be more of a player if he wore a t-shirt that had PLAYA written on it.
It doesn't take much for Mark to seduce Lauren.
Lauren falls in love with him, and decides to abandon her loving husband and children for the sake of Mark's cock. Oh, and Mark. I'm sure there's more to him than just his man-member.
Mark has a family of his own. To him, this was nothing but another affair. He's kinda freaked out that Lauren is so serious about them being together.
Soon a new young astronaut shows up, ERIN - she's a hottie and (surprise, surprise, again) Mark starts banging her.
Lauren (surprise, surprise, again, again,) is not cool with this.
So she loses her shit.
She plans to abduct and possibly murder Erin so she can have her man.
Which is, like, you know, totally rational. I get it. Cool.
She waits in Orlando airport for an hour, then stalks Erin to her car where she fails miserably at kidnapping her. Erin flees. Lauren is arrested and tried for attempted murder and kidnapping.
She ultimately pleas out and gets 1 year probation, plus the 2 days jail time she already served.
Boom that's it.
Entire story right there folks. What a winner.
A love triangle. That's the back bone of your story. It's 2016 and we have a love triangle being the basis of a story that's done really well on the black list.
But wait, the love triangle involves astronauts.
Well that surely elevates the concept doesn't it! Wow what a great idea! Love triangle astronauts! Woo...
But wait, there's more... Lauren wore an adult diaper when she was driving to kidnap Erin, apparently she didn't want to waste time on the drive stopping to go to the toilet like any normal person.
Well, hot damn! Why didn't you say so in the first place. Let me throw 50 mill at this sucker, someone get me Angelia on the phone.
Needless to say, I'm not wowed by this idea. Nor the execution. There's this little thing called conflict that drives most stories.
The conflict doesn't show up here until very late in the piece. Until then you have Owen being really lovely to Lauren.
Lauren completing a mission in space - with nothing going wrong.
Sure Lauren now sees life a little differently after being in space - but wouldn't we all have a slightly different perspective after seeing earth from 200 miles up?
There's just nothing interesting here. There's not enough to warrant this story being told.
HAD lauren actually kidnapped Erin, that'd be kinda interesting, maybe. But she didn't. She was just plain old jealous, and she botched the kidnapping.
She didn't even get any jail time. She got one year probation. How many stories are there out there that are waiting to be told and this, a love triangle between astronauts is getting the spotlight.
Speaking of spotlight - the movie - that's a story worthy of being made into film. It has HUGE amounts to say about things that are very very very important. Namely the systematic abuse of children in the Catholic church.
That's a TRUE story worth telling.
This is a fictionalised story based on a very dull idea.
Do I even need to say?
CONCEPT RATING 0/10
Try writing something that has some sort of gravity to it. A story about a love triangle in 2016 is dull, dull, dull.
Form here was off as well. The writers used loads of bold. The story was waaaaay over written 122 pages - could've been 90 pages easy beans.
There were a lot of asides where the writers talked to reader - saying stuff that would never end up on screen.
FORM RATING 2/10
FORM TIP: Learn the formatting rules. They're pretty damn easy to learn. Don't use bold. Don't write asides to the reader. Keep scenes lean. Here we had scenes that went on and on for no reason. I recall one scene that had NOTHING to do with anything.
Here's an age-old test. If you can take a scene out of your screenplay and the story still makes perfect sense - delete the scene. You don't need it.
I don't believe there is any kind of structure here what so ever. There is no goal at any stage in the film. Okay, maybe when Lauren wants to get rid of Erin there's a goal? Maybe? But that hits on page 100 or something. Until then we're just hanging out. Awesome.
No discernible first act. The entire script read like a very long second act.
STRUCTURE RATING 1/10
STRUCTURE TIP: I've said it before, I'll say it again. Learn what a three act structure is before you start writing. Here there is zero structure and consequently the story is boring as hell. Though I actually imagine hell would be quite an interesting place.
The one thing that didn't completely suck about this script. Characters were well drawn. There was a little bit of disparity between them and that made the read less painful.
CHARACTER RATING 6/10
CHARACTER TIP: Make us LIKE the hero. There was nothing to endear us to Lauren. She's the driving force behind this story and she is a self serving bitch.
She couldn't have any more white girl problems if she tried. She's a rich successful astronaut with a caring loving husband. She throws it all away for an affair with an asshole.
How am I supposed to like this person?
If you don't like the hero, you won't want to watch the film.
Dialogue was actually pretty good here.
Again, it made the read less painful. Nothing hugely amazing though, nothing that popped off the page. But it worked. Pulled you along through the nothing that was happening in the storyline.
DIALOGUE RATING: 6/10
DIALOGUE TIP: Know WHY you are writing a scene. Aim to hit that WHY beat as soon as you can. When you've nailed it - end the scene.
VOICE RATING: 1/10
VOICE TIP: Actually understanding the very very very basics of screen writing will help your voice to shine through. While the writing is not bad here, you know what else is not bad?
But it's a long way from good.
This will probably get made with an A lister like Reese Witherspoon. Then it will make no money. And people will blame everything OTHER than the fact that there is no interesting story here.
A screenplay is the foundation of the film to be. If you start with a foundation as strong as marshmallow... you get the idea....
Don't build houses on marshmallows.
Space scenes: Negative.
Large cast: Negative.
Requires A lister to get off the ground: Negative.
No story. Negative.
Hero is a unlikable. Negative.
No consequences to anything in the story what so ever. Negative.
This would cost upwards of 20 million.
This will not make money.
A no idea concept that goes nowhere.
OVERALL RATING 1/10