PJ: and I’m blanking on specific examples, but I feel like the, “leaving everything behind and going someplace new” has been used a lot
PJ: starting a new job, going to new york, etc
BRAIN: good point
BRAIN: maybe returning home is important thematically, since it occurs in so many of these
PJ: â€¦ so if both returning home and starting from scratch in someplace new are both played outâ€¦
PJ: is there a way to have the advantages of both without too much of the disadvantages of either/both?
PJ: following family/friends/job to a new locale?
PJ: â€¦ god, that starts to get a little uncomfortably close to *my* life story
BRAIN: Then again,
BRAIN: I wouldn’t discount something because it’s played out
BRAIN: “safe” scripts sell
BRAIN: so played out might also mean “proven winner”
PJ: Melissa’s suggestion >> the ‘hero’ is going to graceland!
BRAIN: elvis as patron? Like in True Romance
MATT: Paul Simon on the soundtrack!
MATT: So nostalgic.
PJ: so does that mean the female lead will have diamonds on the soles of her shoes?
NIKK: Manic pixie lady is escaped from the psych ward?
PJ: that punctuates the ‘manic’ part
BRAIN: that was called Mad Love with Drew Barrymore
NIKK: Soâ€¦ she played herself?
BRAIN: she is especially annoying in that one
BRAIN: she’s doing that creaky-voice thing the entire movie
MATT: Who would win in a fight between Drew Barrymore and Melissa Joan Hart (or whatever her name was, the girl who played Clarissa and explained it all)?
BRAIN: Drew Barrymore, because I’m sure she has fight experience from her childhood years scrapping for cocaine
PJ: soâ€¦ going to graceland because he’s an elvis nerd, or does he believe that his grandmother was an elvis groupie and he’s actually an illegitimate descendant?
PJ: or main character is hipster and going to graceland ironically
MATT: I’m kind of getting into irony ironically.
BRAIN: maybe he’s on irony burnout, and he’s on a misguided search for “the real america”
PJ: I like that
PJ: if he’s roadtripping there, you get all sorts of opportunities for teaparty-encounter-hilariousness
BRAIN: but my earlier question is more about what I think the harder part is: writing the guy
NIKK: Isn’t he supposed to be a one-dimensional shell of a person?
PJ: I was about to say, it depends on the goal
PJ: is the guy the male version of the “mary sue” thing, or do you actually *want* an interesting character
BRAIN: the goal is: write a script that you can sell starring one male actor and one female actor who are both in their early 20s
BRAIN: even mary sue wants to go do something
BRAIN: so what does brooding guy want?
BRAIN: why are they on a road odyssey?
PJ: I was about to say they’re going to comic con, but then we essentially have fallen into the script of ‘Paul‘
BRAIN: so you said something about getting dumped in the beginning, and I think that is a good point- these guys usually have some failure or loss just before the start of the story
BRAIN: Garden State – his dad died
BRAIN: Elizabethtown – he’s destroyed Nike
PJ: given the loss, the reason for the trip is they’re going some place to re-start, re-charge
BRAIN: ah, and the MPDG is symbolic of that new, carefree direction
BRAIN: full of potential
PJ: but returning home is pretty played out, weather it’s to do the funeral, go to a high school class reunion (grosse pointe blankâ€¦?) etc are all pretty played out
NIKK: Could always reverse itâ€¦
NIKK: MPDG instead of making him ‘better’ drags him down from success and happiness into complete and total life destruction.
NIKK: The entire movie is just a downward spiralâ€¦
BRAIN: that sort of has been done – the one with ben stiller and jen aniston
BRAIN: also “Harold and Maude”
BRAIN: (the downward spiral)
MATT: Harold and Maude is unfortunately the Ur-MPDG movie, but it also is good, unlike pretty much all the rest of them.
BRAIN: Breakfast at Tiffany’s has a pretty destructive MPDG
NIKK: â€¦ huh â€¦ Does that mean that Going Postal is MPDGâ€¦?
MATT: Also, if you want to write a manic pixie dream girl script … don’t.
BRAIN: that’s a cop out!
BRAIN: dissecting scripts is educational
PJ: what? everyone has a manic pixie dream girl script in them somewhere?
PJ: it’s only after it’s been excised that quality material may flow?
MATT: “Manic pixie dream girls a-gogo.” would be a great title for a movie.
BRAIN: parodying that trope is so redundant
BRAIN: ok so: say you’re writing a MPDG movie – let’s say they are driving somewhere.
BRAIN: What motivates the guy?
NIKK: He’s fleeing aliens who want to probe him!
PJ: I was gonna go with, “The one girlfriend he’s ever had just dumped him”
PJ: if you were gonna go with the stereotype
PJ: if you want to come up with something new instead of just going through the motions, then maybe the aliens thing
PJ: ’cause who says the MPDG can’t also be a fighting aliens
NIKK: *reads scroll back* Manic Pixie Dream Girlâ€¦
PJ: Zooey Daschanel would probably do it…
PJ: if it weren’t for that trope, she wouldn’t haveâ€¦. like half her career, right?
NIKK: Zooey and aliens and MPDG â€¦
NIKK: That has a disturbing potential.
BRAIN: starlets are not special, just envision whoever you like, and once it gets produced, they slot a new starlet in
BRAIN: actor brands have sort of like tech-trees, that is one of the more desireable entry points
BRAIN: it’s better than “play a prostitute”
PJ: â€¦ but you know, if we slot in some random other starlet, then we won’t necessarily be able to rely on my planned 3rd act twist where the MPDG actually IS an alien
BRAIN: that is where “writing” comes in
BRAIN: what makes her a MPDG?
PJ: I don’t know yet, we need Nikk to make some more crap up
PJ: so battle of the obnoxious story tropes: “the id as plush toy”
PJ: vs “introverted writer is brought to life when he falls in love with quirky hot chick”
PJ: which one do you hate more?
MATT: Well, the second one is more rampant.
BRAIN: that is called the Manic Pixie Dream Girl movie
PJ: I knew there was a better nameâ€¦ I just didn’t wanna look it up
BRAIN: GARDEN STATE
MATT: It had a good soundtrack, but it was a pretty bad movie.
BRAIN: The Shins? did they change your life?
PJ: reading the script for that might slow it down even further and actually stop time
PJ: â€¦ now that could be funny, a time travel movie where the time machine runs on boring scripts…
BRAIN: there’s something compelling about Garden State
BRAIN: I can’t remember anything that happens in it
BRAIN: like, what is the plot?
MATT: Dude is sad for no reason, and meets a girl who is wacky and spontaneous and helps him learn to live again?
PJ: I honestly don’t remember
BRAIN: what are they doing? where do they go, and why?
BRAIN: here’s the angle I’m coming from: suppose you wanted to write a MPDG scriptâ€¦ how?
MATT: They went to … uhh, hm.
PJ: there’s something about them riding bikes around
MATT: I thought there was a boat.
BRAIN: there’s a bunch of wacky vignettes
PJ: so, anyone seen Django Unchained yet?
BRAIN: nope, although I came up with an idea for something EVEN BETTER
PJ: doing like the guy in front of Erik and Brandon did a week ago and see The Hobbit in 3d HFR and ON ACID?
BRAIN: the army of runaway slaves that fought against the USA in 1812
BRAIN: my other historical concept that I wish someone else would make is the South Korean experience in the Vietnam war
MATT: I wish that someone made the Last Samurai without the Tom Cruise character.
BRAIN: I have “The Beaver” on in the backgroundâ€¦ it’s kind of a trainwreck
BRAIN: also the son character is named “porter”
PJ: ‘The beaver’ as in the creepy mel gibson movie?
PJ: so porter is named after his character from Payback?
BRAIN: I imagine!?
BRAIN: Do you know what The Beaver is about?
PJ: it’s the one where he goes crazy and starts speaking through a puppet exclusively, right?
BRAIN: Mel is a jerk CEO, a failed dad, and a mess of a personâ€¦
BRAIN: his wife Jodie Foster asks him to leave
BRAIN: he tries to commit suicide in a hotel roomâ€¦ he fails and when he comes to, he is speaking through a beaver puppet
BRAIN: then a bunch of heartwarming healing happens
PJ: heartwarming healing like the time the main character rants about “the jews” to a cop when he’s pulled over for driving erratically?
BRAIN: I bet that’s in the DVD extras!
BRAIN: I want to see the scene where he fistfights Joe Esterhaz
MATT: I like Jodie Foster, but that movie was pretty insane of her. Didn’t she direct it?
PJ: she did
PJ: and as I recall, it came out likeâ€¦ really close after mel gibson’s implosion
BRAIN: yes it did
PJ: …which was probably why it grossed whatâ€¦ like $900k on a $21m budget
PJ: well, at least it contributed
BRAIN: that is the claim
BRAIN: 22 screens…
MATT: Even if he hadn’t had that meltdown, it’s not like it would have been a successful movie.
PJ: I’m not sure it was gonna recoup $21m for a movie about an asshole who goes insane and starts playing with a puppet
BRAIN: …which tells us they didn’t get good backing re: distribution
BRAIN: “The Beaver” has a Terry Gross cameo in it
BRAIN: I think Jodie Foster is obsessed with Terry Gross
BRAIN: since she basically plays her in The Brave One
BRAIN: the weird thing is people keep making this same movie
BRAIN: James Franco did “The Ape”
MATT: I missed that one.
MATT: Missed as in “Didn’t know it existed” not missed as in “Didn’t see it.”
BRAIN: it was an adaptation of a play James Franco developed and starred in
PJ: at least that synopsis looks more like the tv show ‘Wilfred’…
BRAIN: like I say! over and over and over again…
BRAIN: “The Id as plush toy”
MARINNA: I know everyone writes it as rpm -ivh, but I always write it as rpm -hiv
MATT: Pretty much everyone I’ve talked to does that too.
PJ: I actually have a bash alias for converting ‘rpm -hiv’ to ‘aids’
PJ: that way it tab completes
BRAIN: let’s have The Cranberries and U2 fight
MATT: Wouldn’t U2 win?
BRAIN: would they?!
MATT: Late 80’s U2 sure would.
MATT: Well, maybe mid-80’s.
BRAIN: we’re not living then
MATT: Well, U2 and the Cranberries aren’t _really_ going to fight anyway.
BRAIN: you’re right, this is going to need some extraterrestrial intervention
BRAIN: like in X-Men
BRAIN: audrey napoleon in spotify
BRAIN: pretty sure she’s a vampire
BRAIN: did you see her photos?
PJ: googled the name
BRAIN: like wtf is that
BRAIN: I’ll get a stake
PJ: you get a stake ready, I’ll distract by placing a steak?
BRAIN: vampire hunting is not to be trifled with
BRAIN: the undead are an abomination that must be scoured clean from the earth