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Suggestion: time to write a book, Billy, "Rom Com for Dummies", although I am confident that you'll think of a less prosaic title.


Well, after suffering through Date Movie and regretting the $12 I put down at the theater for popcorn and a ticket, I will NOT be sucked into this turkey.

Also, it sounds like a bastardized version of that great Chris Elliot TV series from 1990 called "Get a Life" about the 30-year-old paper boy who lives with his parents. The show worked because WE ALL BELIEVED THAT CHRIS ELLIOT COULD BE LIVING WITH MOM AND DAD IN HIS 30s! I do know guys in their late 20s/early 30s living with their parents and they're more like Chris Eliot then that stunning pinup boy Matthew McC.

I think Eternal Sunshine was one of the best movies of the past five years, and I wish there more movies as well done.


Wow, there are a lot of lanterns hanging on that script. Maybe they should hang a lantern on the number of lanterns.

Re: MM. I like him. I think he has tremendous charisma and generally gives a zen like reading to his lines. The only good thing about The Wedding Planner was his weird take on the character.

Re: SJP. Man, that I don't get and have never gotten.

Re: ZD. She's like magic in a glass. There should be a thousand of her.


MaryAn: problem is, I don't think most screenwriters would read it...

SheCan: yes, and no one really wants to see Chris Elliot in a rom-com... meanwhile, I'm totally with you on ETERNAL.

JJ: re MM that's what makes horse racing, but I wonder about the difference between zen nothingness and... nothingness.
As for ZD, what can we say but: Zooey!...


If Terry Bradshaw and Kathy Bates had children, I'm certain they'd look like MMc.


Joy: priceless. It's scary to REALLY think would be hatched out of a Bradsaw-to-Bate connection. Genessis for the next Rosemary's Baby I think.

Billy, "Failure to Launch" is a coupe because of the TIME it was released. Kudos to the studio who slotted this picuture for a Mid-March release. I mean ca-mon dude, where's the competition? There isn't any!!!

People have a latent desire to go to the movies, so it doesn't take a lot to push 'em over the edge. "Failure to Launch" is gonna be a sucess because of its star power, not because of its story but I know you know that.

Love watching you break it down. Are you this critical with scripts that you critique for writers, or do you hold those who achieve to make to film to a higher standard?

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

chesher cat

Thanks for the warning. Definitely won't see it until it hits cable. Guess if you can get Carrie Bradshaw and the sexiest man alive attached you don't have to write a good story. People will still plunk down 11 bucks.

Write Procrastinator

"In what state of the Union is this over-30-stay-at-home-sons phenomenon a commonplace? Japan's having an issue with this, Italy, too, but America at large?"

They could've staged it in San Francisco or Manhattan. Cities that are so expensive that either you go the multi-roommate route or your parents have to crowbar your fingers off the door jamb to get you out.

I'm not going to address these point by point other than to add, Zoey can sing "Baby, It's Cold Outside" to me until my ears fall off.

Seriously, why did you take this bullet, Billy? I know that's what you do, but, man!

Everyone knew this was going to be by the numbers the minute they saw the trailer and that the studio wasn't going to try because in their worst case scenario, they would still make a fortune on DVD with that cast.

You are a better man than I am, Billy Din...


Joy, you are genius: welcome.

E.C. Absolutely, the release date was key -- Failure's the only viable mainstream pic currently out there for women. Re: the critique question I guess the truth is I don't take shit from anyone (though I'm kinder about it with those who are just getting their sea legs).

Welcome Chesher: yes, they got lucky with the casting but the confounding thing is that the script worked well enough to be so castable.

Anyway, LOVE your "Everyone I Shot is Dead" book (curious LivRomCommers, do check out Chesher's site).

WritePro: As the ghost of Ray Charles says to Donald Fagen on his new CD, "It's deep beneath the skin / It's what I major in / It's what I do."


HA! I KNEW this was a load of horse hooey. Personally, SJP has never doen a thing for me, check out that snooze and the clothes she wore on SITC? Ridiculous.

Matt? Well, while I'm not bling, I'm also not interested so yeah, there was NO reason for em to go see this turkey.

Thanks for the sacrifice, it musta been painful to sit through that.

One question... why are you laying all the responsiblity at the writer's feet? Couldn't this pooch have been screwed during "development"?


DAMN IT! Should be: "I'm not BLIND"


Good point, WriterGurl -- I should have made that distinction in the post, since it's clearly "studio think" that helped develop this into its odd shape. I know, for example, that the original script was written for younger 20-something stars, so the casting they ended up with(after development)was a big factor in skewing the story's credibility -- though ironically, it seems that casting is ultimately what's put the movie over...

BTW, I think you ARE bling, so thanks for the correction.


hey, lets not drag Scarlett Johansson through the mud


I sat there and listened to all the middle-aged women around me laugh throughout the movie.

Someone knows what they're doing.


As a story consultant, would you have advanced this screenplay up the ladder, knowing it would be profitable albeit a weak effort?

And for writers like myself that attempt romantic comedies, is it better to be more conventional when trying to break in, or can we stray from the blueprint a bit ala "Spotless Mind?"


Uh-jim when you are right you are right sir.

Scriptweaver, bless your heart for providing me with the subject for my next post...


I feel a bit stupid now for enjoying it and not spotting all those flaws. As a logician normally I'm the first to spot them but those pesky film-makers made me willingly suspend my disbelief just long enough to suck me into their world. The bastards!


Welcome, Robin -- and for the record, I'm clearly over-emphasizing the downsides in what's become a very popular Guilty Pleasure pic. Maybe I was just drinking too much Smart Water at the time...

E.C. Henry

Billy, I just saw "Failure to Launch." I don't think its as bad as you made it out to be. The use of animals in this film, however, is appauling. What were the film makers thinking?!?

Once again, Sarah Jessica Parker shines -- but lately I havne't seen her where she didn't. Matthew McConney looked like he was recycling the role he played on "How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days", and I didn't like that.

I agree with most everything you're saying, but I judge it with MUCH LESS of a grading eye than you do. I found the movie fun, and the Kathy Bates confession about being scared to be alone with husband, I thought was pretty cool. Watching T.Bradshaw parade arround naked was ABSOLUTELY RIDICIOUS.

Can't wait for the next rom/com to come out so I can hear what you have to say about it.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA


Well, it's out on DVD now and I've finally seen it so I'll toss in my few cents. And I have to tell you, I kind of liked it in a middling way.

But I wasn't expecting The Philadelphia Story either. I think what I most liked was they at least got some of the rhythm/pacing right. It didn't stop for some exposition about how one of the characters was actually an alcoholic, or abused as a child, or some other background thing that torpedoes the tone.

No, I wouldn't say it was a great film. But it was not a disagreeable 90 minutes and there were a few scenes where I actually laughed out loud. I also liked the premise being absurd and various other elements that were ... well, not exactly realistic. You talked about being substantive but I’m not convinced this is an absolute must. It might be a nice thing to have, but sometimes simply silly is fun too.

It sounds like too many people have brought too much baggage to this film. It’s not a great romantic comedy but it is an enjoyable bit of fluff. And there’s nothing wrong with fluff unless it’s pretending to be something more than that. And I didn’t get the sense this movie was trying to.

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