2.) Plot Stability
The political story works.
The part that doesn’t, necessarily, is that McKay isn’t as good a guy as he lets on.
There’s “The Girl” who pops up in several different parts of the script, but we don’t know who she is. It’s mysterious, which is good, but that mystery needs to pay off.
Sure at one part she walks out of a hotel room a few moments before McKay, but does that lead directly to the two of them having sex?
Along that same line, McKay swims laps in a pool in an earlier part, only to have some hot, young blonde swim up to him asking what high school he went to?
Apparently that’s code for “shady candidate has sex” too.
Now, I’m in no way arguing that as writers we should spell each and every nuance of our plot out, but we can’t leave the audience wondering.
(Curiously, I was reading the comments on IMDB for this film, and the first question dealt with whether or not McKay cheated. The concensus is “yes” but nobody can say so with certainty.)
This leaves readers unhappy. Unhappy readers don’t option scripts. Unoptioned scripts lead to sad writers. Sad writers commit suicide.
Just kidding on that last part. No one kill yourselves, because hearing “no” is part of the learning process.
The setup for McKay cheating worked throughout the script, but without a payoff it’s a waste of a good story arc.
Don’t waste the brilliant elements you’ve woven into your story!
It’s especially off putting when you take into account that McKay wins the election against all odds.
Aside from that one aggravating portion, the story plays out how a typical political story should, with one member of the campaign trying to stay true to their beliefs and another wanting to win, sacrificing what needs sacrificing to accomplish that.
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