The Unlikely-Friends Movie
So as part of trying to put together an assignment pitch with a co-writer, we're watching -- and reading -- a lot of films/scripts that fall into the unlikely friends genre.
Not exactly buddy comedies. More like two people of different worlds being thrown together, with some humor, but with a dramatic understory.
DRIVING MISS DAISY. FINDING FORRESTER. I AM SAM.
I read the script for the upcoming GRAN TORINO, and it's okay: good dialogue, story slow to kick in, not really sure about the ending. It's coming out Friday in limited release, and though the National Board of Review gave it best script, I think reviews may be a little mixed.
I also read the script for THE SOLOIST, by Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) and it's better; it's coming out early next year sometime, with Robert Downey Jr and Jamie Foxx.
It's becoming clear that for these stories to work, it's all about the characters, and the dialogue; the writers of GRAN TORINO and THE SOLOIST really do bring a distinct voice to the piece. But story is important too; even though neither film has a huge amount of plot to work with, both do a good job (though THE SOLOIST does it better) of using little dramatic moments and needs to keep goosing the story along.
Any more examples of this kind of film that anyone can think of, throw them out there. We're trying to immerse ourselves in the question of what films in this genre do right, and do wrong.
Clearly I overestimated PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, which stumbled in with a meager $4 million this past weekend. Though I had seen at least one good review somewhere, I hadn't seen the commercial for it until after I made my guess -- and then I realized how cheesy it looked, without having any real name actors to compensate.
CADILLAC RECORDS did about $3.6 million, on about a quarter of the screens that PUNISHER had. NOBEL SON completely tanked, with only $371,000 from 893 theaters, about 200 more screens than CADILLAC RECORDS had.