An excerpt from my script review for The Gentleman which will be available 01/26/20:

4.) Dialogue and Description

The description was fine except for the overuse of the word “skunk” when referring to weed.

Supper Skunk. Sticky Skunk. Whatever…

Guy Ritchie came off like that dad trying to be “cool” at the party by letting his kid’s underage friends drink.

Now the dialogue…

Mentioned this in the plot section, but too many characters went on for way too long.

Right from the get go, we have Fletcher giving Posh Pete the details of a story he already knows.

Of course he won’t admit to it, but it’s really only being delivered as exposition for our benefit.

And it’s done in this condescendingly “fourth wall” breaking demeanor that was more annoying than it was entertaining.

(In my opinion, Fletcher deserved to die in the end based on how long he fucked around at the beginning. Screenwriting justice, that.)

Some of characters even voice the frustration we’re feeling…

Page 24:

Cor’ you are impatient Pete, I’m a
story teller, as they say in the
film game “I’m laying pipe”.

Well you better put something
through it soon.

This was clever, but again, is anything clever enough to make up for slowing down your narrative to a reader?

In addition to the “too much talking” (or maybe an example of it) were so many characters wanting to teach lessons…

Page 72:

A businessman on holiday asks a
local fisherman about his day. The
fisherman says: “I sleep late, fish
a little, and in the evenings, I
drink with my friends. I do what I
like.” The businessman says, “You
should fish longer every day, sell
the extra fish and buy a bigger
boat. Then you can expand and buy a
fleet of boats. Then you can list
your business on the stock market
and make millions!” “Millions?
Really? Then what?”
“Then you can do what you like.”
“You mean I could sleep late, fish
a little, and in the evenings, I
could drink with my pals.”

Some of these didn’t even feel like they fit what was going on, just that it sounded clever, so why not include it?

There were so many long entries like this too. Please don’t emulate it, because your spec will not get away with the abundance of them.

Remember, clever for the sake of clever (or edgy for the sake of edgy like the onslaught of “cunt” jokes in this script) doesn’t do shit if your dialogue doesn’t cause conflict that propels your story forward.

If characters are just talking circles around one another, it doesn’t matter how nice it sounds, it’s still circles.

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