And Your Audience Is...?
So I just read a screenplay for a producer that I occasionally read things for.
The main character is a 12-year-old girl, who gets into an uneasy alliance with some popular 12-year-old girls, who are all fans of this boy band; they join forces to try and win a radio contest to meet the band.
It's not the worst premise, if you are trying to make a goofy comedy for 8-14 year-old girls, which the often bubblegum-ish take on the material would indicate.
But, inexplicably, the script is also inappropriately dirty. There are sexual references throughout, the girl's mother is lusting after an evangelist, the girls catch their principal in a hotel room in bed with his secretary, and worst of all these 12-year-old girls hope to lose their virginity to the band (with the fact that they think losing their virginity means "exposing their naked bodies to" still not helping much).
So in other words, this isn't a movie for little girls. But there really isn't anything here to entertain adults either; it's not that funny, it's not that clever, and it just feels like a really bad Disney Channel movie rewritten by a horny 14-year-old boy. It's a perfect example of a script without an audience (because ultimately even that horny 14-year-old would be bored by most of this).
Ironically, it was written by two women.
For a writer, the best case scenario is to write something like Pirates of the Caribbean or Spiderman, that can appeal to a big swath of age groups. But even if you aren't doing something that's aggressively commercial, make sure that there is some audience that's going to like it.
But taking a kids tale, and trying to adult-it up inappropriately to go after the adults? You're just risking losing both audiences, especially if you do it as badly as this script does.