An unimaginative accountant who hates musicals is transported to an alternate universe where everybody sing and dance. He struggles to return to his own universe before he succumbs to the compulsion of joining in.
I must admit that I haven’t worked out all the details of the story yet. I go the Save the Cat way and come up with a title and logline first and then work out the story.
At the moment I’m thinking a date takes him to see a Broadway, or off Broadway, show and then afterwards he gives the complaint I often hear from friends who don’t like musicals: that they can’t buy the idea of people bursting into song all the time. So, just to prove him wrong the date sends him to this other universe to prove him wrong. This may be cheesy but I was thinking that the date transports them to the alternate universe with a song and dance number in an alley. But I think it could work in the context of the story.
The accountant will try just about everything, like pleading with the person who transported him to restore everything, returning to the alley, and in as many ways as possible replicate the circumstances, while trying to avoid singing or dancing himself.
Also I’m thinking he won’t be transported back until he “learns his lesson” and breaks out of his habits, routines and inhibitions and become more spontaneous. … And then finds love in the process.
As I’ve learned it, loglines shouldn’t be over 25 words preferably.
I know mine is longer than that, and could probably use some help or suggestions on how to shorten it, while getting relavant information in there.
If it was me (which it’s not) I’d perhaps have him ditch his date. Say he’s going to the bathroom but really leave because he’s not comfortable trying new things – hence passing on love out of fear. He could then escape out of the theatre into a back alley and perhaps be picked up by a taxi driver who drives him to an alternate version of his current reality. Perhaps he goes home, goes to sleep only to find when he wakes to go to work everyone is signing – you could have some pretty funny songs relating to accounting as it would be a stark contrast to the dull stereotype.
Things you’d need to focus on though are how going to this new world helps him overcome whatever flaw you’re assigning him and how the alternate world comes about. Does he get stuck in some sort of wild storm? In essence what you’re talking about is a form of magic – is it a super natural occurrence that sends him into an alternate force or is someone targeting your protagonist?
I think making the date send him to the alternate reality limits you. If she is aware, the magic will go. If however they were work colleagues, it would provide opportunity for him to fall in love with her in his alternate world without her being aware that he is on a journey (if that makes sense)
Just an interesting note (for a potentially interesting movie…): in an early draft of Groundhog Day the scenario Bill Murray finds himself in is caused by a jilted lover performing a weird voodoo like spell on him (involving a hat, a tarot card, and a watch stuck at 5:59am…all which subsequently cath on fire…)… Obviously this was eventually removed — to what we have today, an amazing magical movie, with no logical explanation as to HOW it occurs. There IS the massive snow storm…hmmm.. Interesting…. When Dorothy travels to Oz she gets there buy way of a tornado…. Hmmm… Anyway…
Also, ‘alternative universe’ would be a lot harder to write than setting it in THIS universe (for me, not necessarily for you…) where, by happenstance (say, after he’s nipped out on his date, who’s perhaps, a hard headed yet optimistic lass…) finds himself in the middle of a big storm on broadway… And when it’s over, the only way any New Yorkers can communicate is through song and dance…all but our stuck up/ narrow minded protagonist. I guess this would be like an alternative universe… It just conjures up strange imagery… I don’t know.
Regardless, I really like it — best if luck.