‘Dynamite’ got a copy of the script for “The Marc Pease Experience”, the new Todd Luiso co-scripted/directed movie slated to star Ben Stiller and Jason Schwartzman. The story revolves around a high school production of “The Wiz” directed by Stiller’s character, Jon Gribble, and an acapella band fronted by Schwartzman’s character, the titular Marc Pease. Here’s his review:
-The female lead, Meg, the eighteen year old girlfriend of Schwartzman’s twenty-six year old character, is a dynamic and conflicted character. A lot of the time, this makes her a stereotypical disaffected youth, but when her character shines through, the script works well.
-Schwartzman’s character, while he was clearly typecast in it, has this sense of pathetic optimism that makes him impossible not to love. This story is essentially a coming of age story for him, even though he should’ve already come of age, and that’s what makes the story unique.
-The play-within-movie thing could be a great idea, and that particular section of the movie, when tensions between Pease and Gribble come to a head, is gold. Even if the movie starts off weak, I’ll stay in the theater to see that part.
-The story is paced fairly well. It’s the type of story that has to be wound up like a rubber band, leaving us all waiting for the snap, and when it finally comes, the story jettisons forth into greatness. The ending is great, except for one thing that I’ll mention later.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
-The dialogue needs a lot of work, especially in the first act. The third act is pretty solid, but the script starts off with a LOT of weak dialogue that even I, a freshman film student, would’ve avoided.
-It’s trying too hard to recreate the success of Little Miss Sunshine in parts. For the most part, the script is entirely different, but there are two scenes in particular that stood out to me as being Little Miss Sunshine-esque (both performance scenes, including the big finale, if that helps to paint a picture for anyone)
-Both male leads are ephebophiles. While it makes sense why in the end, it’s still creepy as shit when you think about it, and I think it was largely unnecessary to the script (at least in the case of Gribble; for Marc Pease, it just shows how much he’s stuck in his high school days. For Gribble, it makes him look like a creepy old teacher who doesn’t deserve any respect or sympathy).
-Gribble is a one-dimensional character. Everything he does is motivated either by his need to have a good play or his unreasonable dislike of Marc Pease. If he’s not yelling at students not to fuck up his play, he’s ruining Marc Pease’s life for no reason, and that doesn’t really work for me. There are no 100% evil people in the world.
Overall, this is a decent script, and while it could use some tightening up, it’ll probably make for decent watching. Nothing Oscar-worthy, but definitely something you could spend your Saturday afternoon watching. It starts lensing in mid-to-late March, so be on the lookout for more information when the time comes since it’s filming in my town”.