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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sneak Peak: the things my husband and I argue about

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm working on a script for Script Frenzy.  I'm plugging along, and am actually pretty proud of what I've accomplished.  Who knows, maybe I'll shop it around after I'm finished.

Anyway, I just wrote a break up scene between my main character, Olivia and her current boyfriend David.  When I read it to my husband he immediately said I had to make the character gay because straight guys aren't this in tune with their feelings.

My thoughts were he's an upper-class type, probably with a healthy dose of self-entitlement.  I can buy him as straight.  The husband can't.  What do you guys think?

PS--Remember, this is a rough draft.  Please forgive all typos. 


Olivia is working in the kitchen. Behind her we see a nice, but modest table setting. She pulls a baked chicken out of the oven and takes it to the table. She is beaming and has cheerful music playing in the background. David enters and freezes in the living room.
 

Olivia
Hey, honey!

David
(frowning slightly) Hi.
 
Olivia
(beaming, walks over to him.) I have some great news! (goes to hug him)
 
David 
(softly) Oh God.
Olivia freezes, stiffens during the hug. She slowly pulls back.
 
Olivia
What?
 
David
Nothing. What news?
 
Olivia
No, why did you say "Oh God?"
 
David
Well. (beat) You're not (beat) pregnant?
 
Olivia
(half laughs) No, I'm not.
 
David
(gives a big sigh) Oh, ok.
 
Olivia
Is that what you were worried about?
 
David
Well, a bit. You know, a big dinner, all that.
 
Olivia
No, I'm not pregnant. (laughs) Besides, it wouldn't be the end of the world if I was, right?
 
David
(hesitantly) Sure.
 
Olivia
(has gone back to bringing dinner to the table, she doesn't notice David's tone) It might kill Gramma.
She turns to see David's look. He slowly sits at the dinner table.
 
Olivia
I'm just joking. I think Gramma would survive.
 
David
(staring at the chicken) It's not that.
 
Olivia
(places a salad on the table and sits down across from him) Is it our fight? I know we both were pretty upset--
 
David
No, it's not that either. (he looks up at her)
 
Olivia
Well, then--
 
David
I think we need to break up.

Olivia GASPS. They sit staring at each other for a second.
 

Olivia 
But (beat)
They stare at each other for a few seconds. Something pop-ish and saccharine plays in the background.
 
David
It's just that (beat) I think we're growing apart.
 
Olivia
What does that mean?
 
David
We're just going in different directions. You have you're writing--
 
Olivia
Is this the money thing? That's what I wanted to tell you, I got a job today--
 
David
That's great. (half smiles) I'm happy for you. (beat) I guess that's the problem.
 
Olivia
That you're happy for me?

David
No, it's not that. It's just that you're (beat) you're becoming a real person.
Olivia leans back in her chair and crosses her arms.
 
David
You're pursuing your dream. And you're doing it. You're becoming the person you've always wanted to be. And I'm, I'm becoming--
 
Olivia
A douche?
 
David
(startled) Now, don't get angry.
 
Olivia
(seething) Don't get angry? Do you have any idea how hard this move has been on me?

David
I know, I know. And I'm sorry. I thought we were ready for this. But I guess we weren't. And then when I thought you were pregnant--

Olivia
You thought, "Oh God, now I'm stuck?"
 
David
(quickly) No, no, nothing like that. I just, I just want a chance to be a real person, too.
 
Olivia
(stands up and starts pacing in the living room) A real person?
 
David
(follows her) Yes. Is that so much to ask? To be a real person, with real dreams, instead of--
 
Olivia
(turns on her heels to face him) Instead of what?
 
David
(sighs) I don't know.

Olivia grabs her purse and keys. She storms out the door.
 

Olivia
(called over her shoulder) Don't stay up.

Olivia slams the door. David stands frozen for a moment. Then the door swings back open and slams against the wall. Olivia storms to the dining room table, grabs the platter with the chicken and throws it on the floor. She then storms back out.

9 comments:

niassne said...

I'm with you. He's not gay, he's been thinking about this for a while ... and perhaps only now has he reached his decision - Or at least that's what I get from this little bit.

TabithaVenasse said...

Yeah, he's not gay. I've had guys break up with me with that much thought and emotion in the conversation, and they were definitely not gay.

I've found at times, guys tend to be even more emotional and whiny than us girls.

Witless Exposition said...

Thanks for the input, guys. I wanted it to sound realistic, but kinda pretentious. My idea of the character is that he sees himself as a good guy and doesn't want to be a jerk. But every time he tries to be a nice guy he just makes it worse for Olivia. He's actually going to say she can stay in the apartment until she saves enough for her own place, but he's going to start bringing girls (and maybe a guy, haven't decided yet) home.

MB said...

He's not gay. He's very John Hughes-esque, but all grown up. I love it!

Witless Exposition said...

Aww! That's such a good compliment. :)

Not So Clever As My Friends said...

There are only 2 characters in any John Hughes movie I can think of that aren't gay. Both so happen to be in Sixteen Candles (yes I know some John Hughes movies).

1. The Geek...yes the kid with the underwear fetish
2. The Asian foreign exchange student.

Both accurately portrayed as the sex crazed demons that men are as high school boys.

Just a note...I've excluded The Breakfast Club characters as that movie is too awesome for words and those particular male leads were a fluke for Mr. Hughes.

Witless Exposition said...

Nope, you can't exclude Breakfast Club, sorry.

Stoodert said...

Hey there, random comment on your post - I found your site through the 20SB writer's group.

Here's some notes that I think might help:

I think I know what your husband is trying to say about your "David" character - he's too complacent when Olivia gets mad at him.

If David really thinks he's doing the right thing by breaking up with her, (and that's what I think after reading this scene) then I think he should get upset with her when she makes him feel like the bad guy. It's a "why can't you see that I'm only hurting you because I love you" kind of logic.

Also - I'm not sure what he means when he says he wants to be "a real person" and I don't think Olivia does, either. He needs to explain it better. His "I don't know" at the end isn't enough info for us to understand his reasoning right now.

Hope that helps. Glad to see another screenwriter in the group!

Witless Exposition said...

Thanks! My husband feels vindicated, and I can see there needs to be some more depth to David.

I wanted to explain a little more about being "a real person," but I was afraid of going down the dramatic soap-opera-monologue road.

In my head, David really doesn't see himself as the bad guy, so I can definitely see how he would be kinda ticked when she didn't understand. I'll have to beef this scene up a bit in the second draft.

Thanks again for the notes. I think the additions will really help in re-write.

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