I’m 2/3rds of the way through my first original screenplay. I’m at the end of Act II. I’ve beaten and bruised the spirit/body of my main characters and they anxiously await to see how it all shakes out (as am I).
I’ll have a summary of how it’s going in the next few days. Wish me luck.
When Harry Met Sally by Nora Ephron (with Rob Reiner & Andrew Scheinman)
120 pages. Dated August, 1988
These “reviews” are coming from the perspective of a beginning screenwriter. The stories and characters are still important, but I will mostly be focusing on the flow and the structure. Spoilers will be marked as such.
The Queen of modern romantic comedies. New York, quick dialogue, faked orgasms. It has everything. When Harry Met Sally was written by Nora Ephron. Nora penned another great comedy close to my heart: My Blue Heaven two years later in 1990. She’s probably better known for rounding out the Meg Ryan trilogy with Sleepless In Seattle & You’ve Got Mail (which she also directed).
The version of the script I am reviewing was dated form August of 1988. Since the movie was released the next Summer, this is almost certainly a production draft. Especially since, if IMDB is to be believed, several of the lines that are in this script were suggested by stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. Also, director Rob Reiner and producer Andrew Scheinman are credited on this version. That’s another dead giveaway. Let’s dig in.
Read More about Harry & Sally
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang by Shane Black
(formerly titled You’ll Never Die In This Town Again)
126 pages. Dated November 21, 2003
These won’t be reviews in the traditional sense of the word. I won’t be giving scripts star ratings or grades or anything of the sort. For one, I’m clearly not qualified to be doing that. Secondly, that isn’t what I think is educational about reading screenplays. I’m reading screenplays because I want to write screenplays. I want to see how others do it, how they build characters, how the action unfolds, how the formatting works (or doesn’t). That’s my goal.
So, in these “reviews” I will be coming at it from the perspective of a beginning screenwriter. The stories and characters are still important, but I will mostly be focusing on the flow and the structure. Spoilers will be marked as such.
Shane Black sold his first script when he was just 22. It was a small arthouse film called Lethal Weapon. It starred some Australian guy. You probably haven’t seen it. Anyway, he went on to write (and sell) quite a few other action scripts over the next decade. He quickly earned a reputation for writing action mixed with witty dialogue that played with the genre’s conventions. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang was his directorial debut after a long hiatus in screenwriting. Ok, here we go.
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