Pop (2022), by James Morosini, made the 2022 BlackList, which is a compilation of some of the most-liked unproduced screenplays in Hollywood.
Picture the Kramer painting from Seinfeld, then watching a movie with your parents when a sex scene comes on, followed by slipping on a banana peel in front of your crush (idk, I’m trying to write this quickly, bear with me)… Add the three together and you get a nice mix of embarrassment and cringe, which is exactly what this script is. And, it’s pretty fricken good.
I didn’t read the logline before jumping into the script, so I was pretty shocked how dark it gets. But Morosini does a very good job at exploring different teen-oriented emotions, like shame, embarrassment, and yes, cringe… a lot of cringe.
The plot follows a teenage kid called Benny who is a loser – Truly, there’s no better way to describe him. He adores his idol, Alice Foxx, a pop singer. Since the screenplay is unproduced I won’t share any more details of the plot, but note that it’s essentially a dark comedy.
Two main characters:
- Alice Foxx – A pop star who is overwhelmed, guilt ridden and has no true friends.
- Benny – A superfan of Alice.
Both characters, as well as many of the supporting ones, are well thought out. Some of them are a bit one-dimensional, such as Rick the photographer.
Dialogue & Pacing
Awkward and funny. The majority of the jokes land, a few not so much.
The pacing is pretty good too. The plot builds to the climax, and although it’s not a typical climax, it works pretty well.
This is tricky. When I started the script, I thought it was going to follow Benny on his quest to get an autograph (or just general attention) from Alice and the opening scenes did a fantastic job at getting us to feel for Benny (seriously, one could learn a lot about how to convey loneliness through writing from the first ten pages). But then the script moves into the genre of dark comedy, and it gets weird. The themes of an oblivious kid, annoying paparazzi, and secretly depressed/overwhelmed pop star have been used ad nauseum, although they were utilized very well here.
It’s hard to determine who the audience for a script like this would be. I guess it would be a teen movie. But I’m really not sure.
Back to the question: is it impactful? Sort of. The characters, particularly Benny, are really strong and (at times) are easy to emphasize with. The story itself is weird but worth noting is that there are a lot of musical and dancing scenes that could really bring it to life.
Best Part of The Script
The opening scene at the concert is strong, as are the scenes between Benny and Chase. There are many memeable moments between Benny and Alice too.