After seeing one year ahead in a clairvoyant’s crystal ball and discovering he’s dead, a happy-go-lucky family man evaluates every part of his life in an attempt to prevent his demise.
I like the baseline premise, that a character discovers he must change the trajectory of his life in order to avoid a certain rendezvous with death in one year.
However, the current version requires the audience to suspense disbelief and buy into 2 acts of movie magic: 1] the ability to see his future; 2] the ability to travel into that future in order to alter it. A premise can get away with one act of movie magic requiring a suspension of disbelief in the setup, but two? I dunno.
I am more inclined toward one act of movie magic And that the revelation in the crystal ball forces him to discover what could possibly be so wrong with living a happy-go-lucky in the present that it means certain death in the near future. A dilemma entailing the irony, the paradox, the perversity! I suggest there’s more comedy to be had in playing out a dilemma, irony, perversity,paradox created by that kind of set up than in a straightforward quest to fix one moment in the future.
Just as “Back to the Future” starts out as a trip into the past. Where the protagonist becomes entangled in a dilemma with irony, paradox, and perversity when his future mother falls in love him. An echo of the Oedipus complex/ archetypal myth. Now he must find a way to get his mother-to-be to fall in love with his milquetoast father-to-be or he will cease to exist in the present.
So, if the protagonist does venture into his future, then what dramatic dilemma does he accidentally fall into?
My 2.5 cents worth.
I like your latest idea. Suggest that if the lesson learned in Act 3 is to live in the present, then perhaps his contrasting problem in Act 1 might be that that he’s always living for the future, striving for his Big Dream. And he could be quite happy doing so because he’s making steady progress toward his Biggest Dream. Only needs 3-4 years to reach it. (Although to accomplish that Big Dream he’s postponing other things that turn out to be more important. like a loving relationship. marriage, a family,)
And then he discovers he’s only got one year to live. Which is a bummer in itself but it also means he’ll die without accomplishing his Big Dream. So what must he do?
IOW: if his objective goal is figure out a way not to die in one year, well, IMHO it’s better for the objective goal to not to be defined the word not. It should not be framed as a negative. So if he must not die in one year it’s so he can achieve something positive. Which is…?