Sample of Page-By-Page Script Notes For a
Romantic Comedy


You have the beginnings of a very viable story.  Having your heroin become a sports reporter is a clever concept that makes for a romantic “woman out of water” sports script, a witty hybrid that creates a natural gender conflict, very apropos for a romantic comedy.  The storyline needs more surprises and some of your dialogue is too awkward and “sitcomish.”  Be careful about putting to much focus on the game itself, being that the story does not revolve around the final score such as in a typical sports film.

Overall:

You need to connect Cece more with the story.  It needs to be more of HER story.  The team’s victory needs to be connected to her life more closely.  Don’t make her relationship with coach so simple.  It needs much more tension; you must get us to like her and the coach so we can rejoice when they finally get back together.  Because it’s a romantic comedy, be aware that we already know that the “boy and girl” will get together at the conclusion.  It’s up to you to make that inevitable happening interesting and to hold back the final union until the very end in an original way. 

The following are suggestions that you are free to use:

PAGE 1:   Open immediately at the gravesite (removing all preceding scenes).  This adjustment provides a stronger opening, which omits any telegraphing of how Cece is going to act at the grave.  Don’t have her kneel or fall down.  Keep her strong at the grave.  Overall, show Cece realistically fighting her deep-seated emotions; avoid showing her as a weak, weepy woman.  Keep her strong, but show her vulnerability with subtlety.

PAGE 4:  Take out her crude words.  Remember:  She’s the heroine, not a crude barfly.  Keep her from pitying herself.  Do not have her swear.  Cut out the melodramatic “Super Mom” talk.  Make it more realistic, subtle.  You don’t need her on the phone with Harley and then have her in the next scene with Harley; redundancy kills scripts.  Watch out for characters talking too much on-the-nose and describing their feelings or intentions.   Ask yourself:  “What is the point of each scene?”  This will help you realize which scenes are not essential.  And with that touchstone in mind, it will help you keep your scenes sparse, including only what informs the story and characters.  Be careful about making minor characters be obvious members of “Cece’s Fan Club.”  Be economical and thrifty with Cece’s tears.  We will not love or root for a blubbering female.

PAGE 7:  Idea:  Instead of Antoine telling Cece about the football job, maybe he could tell her he has a job for her without revealing what it is and then indicate it at the end of the scene, making us wonder what it is (i.e., tosses her a football which she catches, but doesn’t understand why he did; or he points up to the sky and there is a blimp advertising the football team, etc.)  Instead of Antoine telling her that the team is in trouble, the press conference can reveal that, which would lengthen the press conference scene, which is too short.  Have the coach speak in front of the press.  This is where you can reveal the trouble with the team.  Don’t have the coach apologize too soon; build more tension between him and Cece.

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