When an all-work-no-play high school valedictorian who has gotten into an A-list college discovers her party-animal peers also got into A-list colleges, she resolves to cram four years of fun into one night.
I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know the word ‘valedictorian’. On the other hand, I can proudly claim that I deducted its meaning thanks to my Latin studies. 😉
That said, I believe the sentence can be tightened without sacrificing essential story material – without having seen the film – like this:
“When an all-work-no-play high school graduate discovers her party-animal peers are equally accepted into A-list colleges, she must catch up on life, and cram four years of fun into one night.”
What do you think?
The ‘catch up on life’ is an attempt at more explicitly stating the theme.
Expanding on dpg’s excellent effort:
“An overachiever vows to cram years of missed fun into one night after being stunned to discover her party-animal peers were also accepted into the same A-list college.”
Always thinking about a series or sequel, the same college aspect presents more focus. This also removes subtle redundancy as high-school status is inferred by the angst of college acceptance.
I agree that the protagonist wants to catch up on all the fun time she missed in high school.
So maybe something like:
When a high school overachiever discovers her party-animal peers also got into A-list colleges, she vows to cram four years of fun she missed into one night.
Although, technically her specific, concrete goal is to crash the graduation bash of the in-group — all the party animals whom she has openly despised (but secretly, unconsciously envied). Except she doesn’t know where the bash is being held. Which takes her 1/2 the film to find out — the MPR.
But phrasing the logline that way falls short of conveying the full sense of the film’s theme and her objective desire (and subjective need). And my philosophy is that the prime operative of a logline is to sell the sizzle, not tell the story.
Your mind is in the right zone to think of the sequel potential of a premise. In writing loglines for plots that are already done deals, made movies, I am occasionally torn between a version that reflects the way I wish the script could have/should have been written and the way it actually was.
Your version leads with what I consider to be the most important element in a logline, the story hook. And then it follows up with the inciting incident. The first thing I try to identify is the inciting incident and that usually becomes the lead in the logline. Out of habit and because that is the common practice. And because many times the story hook is embedded in the inciting incident (When a shark starts attacking vacationers at a beach resort…).
But in this case, the story hook is what the protagonist does in response to the inciting incident. And that is what I should have led off with. You did — two thumbs up.