Studio Notes on My Diary

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By Usa Express Daily


First of all, we absolutely loved reading your diary. We think this story speaks to something so current about how young women hate themselves, and we’d really like to encourage that. As you know from all the times we’ve talked about it in the press, we care deeply about championing female voices (as long as they are not saying anything bad about us, personally). Thankfully, your protagonist seems almost pathologically unaware of anything besides her own problems, to the point where she admits that she doesn’t know what the Electoral College is. Maybe we can have a scene where a man explains that to her—we’re thinking Joaquin Phoenix or equivalent?

But let’s get down to brass tacks. You’ve got great plot development here: we love the emotional scene at the end of Act II in which she weeps in the Buffalo Wild Wings bathroom after realizing that she’s failed to live up to her full potential. Chilling! I got goosebumps, didn’t I, Sharon? Make a note that I got goosebumps. The thing is, you kind of lost me in Act III, when she should be experiencing personal growth but she just seems to keep doing the same things she always did. What’s the deal with that? Is it like “The Sopranos”? Hey, you’re the writer, I’m just the business guy.

Speaking of business, is there any way we can work some of our I.P. in here? We just acquired the rights to “Ren & Stimpy,” so maybe instead of our lead being obsessed with the “emotionally unavailable d.j.” who is clearly ghosting her, she could be in love with Stimpy? Or Ren? Which of those lumpy weirdos do you think women in the twenty-five-to-thirty-five age bracket would be most attracted to? Actually, you know what, our research shows that women are really into Pete Davidson these days. Which one is he, Ren or Stimpy? Can you figure that out and get back to us?

We do love this story, but we sometimes find the main character a little unlikable. It’s not your fault—in our experience, almost all female characters are unlikable. That’s off the record, Sharon. Hey, Sharon? Don’t put that in the meeting notes. But this particular female character, it can be hard to root for her. For example, on May 3rd she notes that she is going to “finally stop binge-watching ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and work on that novel,” and then on May 9th she wonders “if there is a place in the literary canon for ‘Vampire Diaries’ fan fiction.” She then proceeds to text the emotionally unavailable d.j. three times in a row, then tries to delete the messages only to accidentally like them all. This kind of behavior is what we in the film biz like to call “unhinged” and “not hot.”

Speaking of hotness, I noticed you didn’t mention whether she is really hot or just kind of hot. I mean, she has to be a little hot, or else what are we even doing here! She states on page 12 that she thinks she “probably peaked in tenth grade.” Is that something we should be worried about? We already have a few actresses in mind, and depending on the character’s hotness level we can figure out when to ask them to stop moisturizing. For the romantic lead, we’ve got some men in our forty-five-to-sixty-five pool that would be great to play the string of mid-twenties dinguses she seems to spend a lot of time worrying about impressing.

Oh, by the way, you may be aware that we just signed a combo deal with Frito-Lay and the United States Marine Corps. Yes, we know, it wasn’t in the news, but that’s only because it was a huge conflict of interest. Let’s have a little brainstorm sesh and see how we might fit some of that in here. What if, when she has her Buffalo Wild Wings breakdown, a handsome soldier approaches her with a bag of Sun Chips and is, like, “I think you dropped this,” and she’s, like, “Thank you for keeping our country safe. For keeping me safe.” And then they fall in love in or around a naval base? Obviously, said soldier would have to be either Ren or Stimpy, but I don’t want to interfere with the creative process—you decide on that and get back to us!

Narrowing in on a sentence level, I do have to say that the whole thing feels a little too “talky”—it’s a lot of dialogue, and it sort of seems to be with no one, but written in such a way that you can tell the narrator would want someone to be impressed if they read it. We hate to use words like this, but it’s completely pathetico and absolutely Tragicsville. I mean, she’s just going on and on and on about her sad little life and her rapidly depleting collagen. At some point I sort of wished she would just shut up—haha, am I right? Hey, Sharon, could you—oh, you already redacted that? That’s great, you’re one in a million, Shar. Let’s make a note that this woman should just say less. She can, however, ask Joaquin Phoenix follow-up questions about the Electoral College.

Listen, we could go round and round on this all day, so here’s what I’ll say. We’re essentially looking for a story that speaks to a generation, but also to the individual. Something that’s deeply moving but laugh-out-loud funny, with a modern twist and stunning cinematography. An award-winning story that is about love, the transience of youth, the quest for meaning, and Frito-Lay. A bold new voice that bucks convention while also being familiar and comforting to the average viewer. A commercially viable art film where the woman is hot but doesn’t talk so much. Why don’t you just do that and get back to us? ♦



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