When she learns her former partner is getting married, a washed-up singer visits his chateau to win him back, only to slowly fall for his black sheep brother.
Here’s my one line takeaway on this version: I like the other one better.
Loglines must make the right first impression. In ten seconds max. That’s the size of the window of opportunity you have to attract interest in your script. I’m sorry to write this, but because the protagonist in this version is female, I fear the first impression this version will make is that the script is a “My Best Co-worker’s Wedding” knockoff of “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” If are you intent on developing this version, I suggest switching genders.
>>Also – any advice for writing singers?
So you’re an industry outsider writing and pitching a story about the entertainment industry to industry insiders. Sorry to write this, but the odds are high they will immediately figure out you really don’t know what you’re writing about, you’re just imitating what you’ve seen in other movies about entertainers. Or making it up. It just won’t feel authentic.
I worked in law enforcement for over 9 years, and I can almost always tell by the logline and always by the first 5 pages of the script whether the writer knows (by experience or deep research) what he’s writing about. Or merely borrowing ideas from other movies (or books). Or just making it up wholesale. If he hasn’t had the experience or done the research, the script will just stink with unauthenticity.
When you’re trying to break into the biz, I believe the old adage is the best strategy: write about what you know.
My 2.5 cents worth.
>>>The other adage: write what you love. Write what you find fascinating.
Of course. That is necessary. But is it sufficient? Don’t you also have to get other people to love what you write, to share your enthusiasm?
>>I have never seen “My Best Friends Wedding” – but perhaps that’s a good thing. Mine is hopefully going in a different direction.
Has your manager ever seen it?
Whatever, as I said, it is inevitable that your concept will be compared to it. So I strongly suggest viewing it — after you complete your first draft. The Stoic strategy of “Premeditatio malorum” — anticipate what could go wrong and develop a plan to deal with it before it does–not after.
“When her longtime creative partner and love-of-her-life invites her to his wedding engagement, a famous singer, suffering a career setback, sets about winning him back, only to fall for his black sheep brother, who unexpectedly returns to confront his personal ties.”
Admittedly, I could cut that last part and end on black sheep brother. I’m keeping this 41 words for now as I want to be specific and figure out the kinks. This is the logline before I outline and start a first draft.
“When he learns the one that got away is getting married, a man sets about winning her back, with the help of the fiancé’s ex, only to fall for her as well.”
Not sure whether to make the male love interest – the fiancee’s ex or a black sheep brother? Everyone liked it being the exes falling for each other.
The twist/hook/bait should be the creative partnership breakup. It’s love/business/friendship combined. It’s bittersweet. Hopefully brings something fresh to that love triangle angle. I have never seen “My Best Friends Wedding” – but perhaps that’s a good thing. Mine is hopefully going in a different direction.
I want to make sure (as it’s a rom com) that the main conflict is the coupling problem. This woman is caught between past and future.
To some extent, it’s a midlife crisis dramedy – these two (well, three) workaholics are stopping and looking over the past and panicking.
It’s set in sunny South of France – so this romantic drama is somewhat disguised as a holiday rom com. It’s cross-genre – which should attract talent, buyers, audience.
What interests me? It’s about workaholics who use work to escape personal ties – each suffer (or are suffering) a career setback and now stop and pause and look back.
The career setback: the failure of an album, his drug addiction (perhaps?), her exhaustion and fainting on stage. I think perhaps they spent one year apart – she’s a recluse/depressed/in bed and he’s in rehab. A year later, she’s ready to take on the world, and finds out he’s getting married and wants to quit.
Our protagonist goes to sunny South of France, a chateau weekend escape. The two lovers (the singer, and black sheep brother) let go of emotional baggage, learn to smell the roses, howl at the moon, fall in love, etc.
Oh – and one big thing. The leads don’t “save” each other. They help each other to grow/move on/let go. (The romance that blooms is an unexpected side effect).
A fiercely independent, feisty artist and perfectionist; her perfectionist creative partner (a producer, arranger, childhood friend) who wants to stop and raise a family (she doesn’t, she wants to make a comeback, she doesn’t want to “stop the train” though she secretly wants a family, etc); and the black sheep brother, an irresponsible freewheeling man child, a brilliant novelist in youth who has since been in writers block, self destructing and sleepwalking through his life. (If only someone could light that spark?)
I apologise for my wrong use of semi-colons there ha.
Uptight vs laidback, perfectionist vs freewheeling, rich vs poor (interestingly I’m considering making our protagonist a “clawed her way out of the gutter/self made woman”. She’s down to earth and humble. I also think the male love interest is more a scruffy bohemian. So I don’t think class division is a big thing here).
I’m not sure whether to make it an engagement party or wedding. Weddings are cliche and overdone and I want this to be about second thoughts and looking back. I don’t want it to end with a wedding – maybe just a wistful letting go. We’ll see. Perhaps a wedding is more intense? Could add a ticking clock if it’s on the Sunday?
I want to keep it small. Four characters and the parents. I don’t want an ensemble thing – just two lovers howling at the moon, shedding past loves, and opening closed doors.
Lastly – do you think protagonist being a singer is too glamorous a job and removes you from the main coupling problem? Regardless – I’ll probably end up seeing if it works. I imagine her leaving the stage and feeling a great loneliness and emptiness. I imagine her living on airplanes. So this guy, her creative partner is the only real solid stable thing she’s ever had. She thought their partnership was strong-as-oak.
Her trying to win him back is her trying to reclaim her past glory. Not only that, but what they had wasn’t working anymore.
I apologise in advance as everything is still half-baked. I want to stay malleable still. I’m still exploring the idea. I’d love to get feedback. What does everyone think?
Also – any advice for writing singers? I was considering making her a brilliant cover artist and interpreter. Then I considered making her “a chameleon” who regenerates every few years. She has her own artistic world. She covers different genres: rock, pop, country, blues, etc.
I’m less interested by this version. The exes falling for each other was great! Their dynamic and joint goal would provide much of the comedy but also a lot of conflict when they start falling for each other. The fact that the protagonist is a woman and her creative partner is a guy – it’s so similar to My Best Friend’s Wedding and I think (based on this new logline) you’ll struggle for people to not make that comparison. I recommend watching it so you know what’s been done before so you know that your logline/story is different enough.
If she’s his longterm creative partner, has she not met the brother before? And if she’s so in love with this guy, surely those feelings won’t just disappear. The beauty of what you suggested before is that:
a) The guy she was chasing was “the one that got away”. You don’t suggest that they work together and see each other every day. That’s great! This immediately sets her up as someone who is stuck in the past. Whereas this new version – the relationship with this guy is the past AND the present. If you want it to be about the past and the future, I think it would be stronger if this guy wasn’t a part of her present.
b) The exes working together is a perfect way to join these characters together and watch their romance blossom. With the black sheep brother… why would they spend time together? I know nothing about him other than that he’s a black sheep. I have no interest in him – but the exes… that’s a gold mine of comedy and drama. It writes itself!
I think the new hook – the creative partnership breakup – it doesn’t excite me like the last one did. It’s not really a hook, merely the circumstances. The hook is something that makes a reader go “ooooh that’s interesting”. For me, that’s the exes falling in love at the end. She has to make a choice between the guy from her past or this new guy.
Having her as a singer… that’s up to you. The MC’s profession should somehow connect to the story. It shouldn’t be random. So if it fits and there’s a reason why you made her a singer then glamorous or not is irrelevant. She could be a one hit wonder – always chasing that former glory but finding herself always asked to play that one song. Then it really closely relates to the whole “stuck in the past” thing. She has no choice – all anyone wants her to do is live in the past. Hope that makes sense.
Keep going with this though, there’s something to it all.
Hope this helps.
Thanks Mikepedley85. Great notes. I’ll have to give this some serious consideration.
a) Well – again I’m not sure whether it’s a wedding or engagement party (just something small over the weekend).
The singer and her partner have not seen each other in a year. They’ve both been on hiatus.
He invites her over and announces his engagement to a new woman – and that he wants to take a break. The black sheep brother unexpectedly arrives to mend some personal ties.
I like the familial rivalry. The Cain and Abel thing.
I imagined a dinner scene where after the singer and black sheep brother have slept together, the creative partner to get jealous and angry and jeopardises his wedding.
The partner is still the past. Later on, it’s revealed why it didn’t work out and that she’s kept an idealised version of him (I like everyone’s rose-coloured glasses idea, we see what we want to see, etc).
Similarly, this perfectionist singer at first sees the black sheep brother as nothing but a mess (the irresponsible, mr. uncommitable rom com lead). And then later finds out there’s more to him.
The singer and the black sheep brother – are both afraid of love and it’s messy realities. She uses work to escape from it. He’s afraid of commitment/responsibility/growing up.
b) Again – I’m not sure whether to go the fiancee’s ex or black sheep brother route. With the black sheep brother, he’s returning to mend ties with his golden boy brother. I also wanted to do a Cinema Paradiso returns back home thing here ha.
The singer and black sheep brother fall for each other because they’re in a similar place – getting to 40, haven’t married, settled down, chose work over love. Heavy past. Uncertain future.
She’s definitely a singer. She rises to the top in a misogynistic cutthroat industry. The one person she’s always had in her corner: from their humble garage start to touring/constant airplanes to basically living in the studio is… her partner. They were lovers but it didn’t work out. She’s very much losing her best friend as well.
The question I want to explore: can you have it all?
The other logline is good but I just don’t see myself going there. I don’t see a wedding – just a few days at a Chateau in South of France. I don’t see a fiancee’s ex – just a golden boy and black sheep. That family angle I like.
Anyways – I will explore it from the fiancee’s ex corner. I do want to try it from every angle.
Thanks for your help.