Saturday, March 24, 2007

Who Wants to Be a Screenwriter?

Bo Catlett: "You have the idea and you put down what you want to say. Then you get somebody to add in the commas and come to the last page, you write in 'Fade out' and that's the end, you're done."

With the movie studios turning in their thinking caps and feeling content to repeatedly churn out modern spins on old '80s TV shows, I thought I would try my hand at developing my own movie treatments. Any soulless screenwriters out there who would like to help me get rich quick, give me a call.

* Joanie Loves Chachi
Starring Beyonce Knowles (Dreamgirls) as Joanie and Diego Luna (Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights) as Chachi.

Action/Adventure/Drama: When a Latino boy falls for an African-American girl, both of their families end up locked in a Capulet/Montague style feud. Because of all the turmoil, Joanie and Chachi flee home, move to New York and form a hip-hop group.

Just as their band signs a record contract and is on the verge of breaking big, news reaches Chachi that his older cousin, Fonzie, has been gunned down by a member of Joanie's family. Filled with rage, he throws away his musical dreams, and leaves her to exact his revenge on the killers.

Chachi is about to murder Joanie's brothers when he hears their band's song on the radio. Those beautiful, meaningful lyrics make him realize that more killing won't solve anything and, with tear-filled eyes, he gives a powerful speech that changes everyone's way of thinking. The end of the movie finds Joanie and Chachi's band performing to a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden, with both families finally together, proudly watching from the front row.

*I know that the studio will try to retitle it "Joanie HEARTS Chachi," but that will not happen. Not on my watch.

* One Day at a Time
Starring Tiffani Thiessen (Beverly Hills, 90210) as Barbara Cooper (aka "the pretty one"), Tori Spelling (Beverly Hills, 90210) as Julie Cooper (aka "the ugly one"), Valerie Bertinelli (the original One Day at a Time) as Mom, Ann Romano, and Joe Pantoliano (nearly every movie ever made) as Schneider.

Thriller: Recently divorced mother, Ann, and her two teenage daughters start a new life together in Indianapolis. Things are very tough on the girls, but soon they are befriended by the building superintendent, Schneider, who treats them like family.

As time goes on, Ann and the girls appreciate all that Schneider does for them, but start to feel that there is something "off" about him. When Ann rebuffs Schneider's sexual advances, they all soon find out that their feelings were dead right. The super snaps and makes the women prisoners in their own home, forcing them to pretend that they are all "one big, happy family."

Barbara finds a box of old newspaper clippings hidden in a closet which reveal that Schneider brutally murdered his wife and children a year ago, but got off on a technicality. When Schneider discovers that the girl knows his secret, a violent struggle ensues, and the women have to band together to stay alive and destroy their attacker.

* Kate & Allie
Starring Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) as Kate and Angelina Jolie (husband thief and third-world adoption expert) as Allie.

Romance: When Allie divorces her husband and gets custody of their two children, she moves to San Francisco and moves in with her best friend, Kate, also a divorcee raising a child. They form a special family and discover love along the way...with each other.

Once the two main characters discover their attraction to each other, the rest of the movie is full of gratuitous lesbian scenes that will guarantee that every straight man in America buys a ticket to see the film. Plot development is really inconsequential.

* Diff'rent Strokes
Starring R&B star Usher (She's All That) as Willis, Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls, shares common interests with Dana Plato) as Kimberly and celeb spawn Jaden Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness) as Arnold. The film also reunites Richard Gere and Queen Latifah (Chicago) as Mr. Drummond and the newly created character, Wanda.

Drama: Widower, Philip Drummond, adopts two African-American sons after his maid Wanda, the boys' birth mother, abruptly leaves to follow her junkie boyfriend, abandoning them. The boys go from rags to riches and enjoy their new lives. Willis especially enjoys sharing a house (and often, a bedroom) with Drummond's free-spirited daughter, Kimberly, who introduces him to the wonderful world of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll.

Just when everyone is comfortable, Wanda returns, clean, sober and demanding her children back. A bitter court battle ensues and, although Arnold and Willis wish to stay with their rich new father, the judge grants Wanda full custody and prohibits Drummond from having anything to do with the boys. (Insert emotional, Oscar-seeking scene which features a sobbing Arnold being carried out of the courtroom by his mother while screaming, "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Judge? Whatchoo talkin' 'bout??" This is a very poignant moment because it turns the normally cute and funny catch phrase into a heart-wrenching plea.)

Soon after, Kimberly announces that she is pregnant with Willis's baby, forcing the "family" to band together for the sake of the unborn child. As time passes, Drummond and Wanda learn about each other's "worlds" and find that they aren't so different. They come to respect and care for each other, everyone moves back into the mansion and Wanda takes her job back as Drummond's maid. Everyone lives happily together and Drummond and Wanda enjoy a hard-to-define relationship, much like Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle.

* Cheers
Comedy: Sam is a charismatic underachiever, ex-baseball star and proprietor of a local Boston bar called Cheers. The bar's eclectic staff and clientele are comprised of: an acid-tongued waitress with a bad perm; Sam's sweet, old, former coach; a dim-witted, young bartender; a chubby regular with a huge bar tab; a know-it-all mailman; and a troubled psychiatrist and his ice queen wife. Sam's humble bar catches the eye of Gary, the cocky owner of Gary's Old Towne Tavern. Gary intends to take over Cheers, and Sam's non-existent bookkeeping is making it all too easy for him. A foreclosing bank has stationed attorney Diane Chambers inside Cheers to finalize Gary's takeover of the bar. But Sam's charms win her over and Diane quits her job, becomes a waitress and joins his team of social rejects to beat the odds to try to save Cheers. How? A showdown softball competition against Gary's Old Towne Tavern.

The lovable Coach whips everyone into shape to prepare for the big game, but is tragically killed when the Cheers sign falls on his head. Sure that the sign was "loosened" by Gary in a prank-gone-wrong, Sam and the gang are more determined than ever to beat Gary and win one for the coach.

Why, is quite similar to Dodgeball. Thanks for noticing! It also boasts a somewhat familiar, all-star cast:

Vince Vaughn as Sam Malone
Drew Barrymore as Diane Chambers
Leah Remini as Carla Tortelli
Jack Black as Norm Peterson
Adam Sandler as Cliff Clavin
Owen Wilson as Woody Boyd
Jerry Stiller as Coach
Will Ferrell as Frasier Crane
Molly Shannon as Lilith Crane
Ben Stiller as Gary


Les Becker said...

Hey! Joanie only had ONE brother... Opie! But andything with Joey Pants in it - doesn't even need a plot for me to go see it - but if Valerie looks anything like Eddie does now, you'll make people sick.

BeckEye said...

Joanie had another brother...the mysterious Chuck. He disappeared without a trace after the first season.

I think Val's held up pretty well...just a little chubbier. But who isn't?

Patrick J. Rodio said...

Oooh! I remember Chuck. Didn't he go off and fight a war or something?

Writeprocrastinator said...

"Any soulless screenwriters out there who would like to help me get rich, give me a call."

Though I am a soulless screenwriter, I can't get you rich for free. You're supposed to pretend to be willing to offer an advance or front on the project. After I turn in my first draft, you then, won't take my calls and you'll leave instructions for the security guard to escort me out anytime I come near the building.

Then I will spend the rest of my days complaining how producers are soulless, while you swim in piles of money ala' Scrooge McDuck. Then I'll trash you on blogs and magazines, got it?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh please tell me that there will be a slow clap building to a standing ovation scene during Chachi's speech!

Les Becker said...

You can't count Chuck. He's like Donna's First-a-12-Year-Old-Then-
Remembers sister Tina on That 70's Show. He was never meant to be.

deadspot said...


Travis said...

This is hilarious.

Dale said...

I'd at the very least download such quality remakes. I love a twist. Inspired casting too.


Who Does This Broad Think She Is?

My photo
I am a winsome muse who was sent to Earth to inspire an artist to turn a vacant building into the world's coolest disco roller rink. We fell in love along the way, and I foolishly gave up my immortality. When the disco craze ended and all the roller rinks were shut down, that lazy bum wouldn't get a job. We broke up and I was stuck on Earth with nothing to do and no one to inspire. So, now I write a blog.

What Do Others Think of BeckEye?

"You're like an idiot savant of terrible garbage entertainment." - Falwless

"You're my hero." - Candy

"Get yourself a life. Better yet.....eff off." - Ann Onymous

"There's no one like you." - Klaus Meine