Comments Made During the Contest
Ali Barr (Level 4)
Irene is an interesting character and it makes me think of sitting at the counter listening while Grandma or Mom tells a story and cooks so it is engaging in that way. I would like to see the other lady working with her and interacting with shy giggles and shrugs since Irene does all the talking.It is a lot of dialogue to take in for a reader. I wonder if you could bring the story into present tense more by showing us a bit of the conflict. Maybe Jamie Oliver comes in to inspect periodically but doesn't say anything. She just reacts uncomfortably while he is there and then fills us in again on what the body language all meant.Go further with this one. It can be really engaging if we do see some characters interact with Irene.
Brian Wind (Level 5)
There were way too many thick chunks of dialogue throughout this script that slowed down the pace tremendously. I don't think this would make for a very entertaining film. Basically we've got a lady standing there cooking the whole time telling us a story. Not all that interesting, in my opinion. Instead of having her telling the story for your entire script, why not make the story in to the script? It'd be a lot more interesting to watch the events unfold as opposed to listen to this lady telling us about them for 5 minutes. The handful of jokes didn't really work for me. I'm not sure what genre this was supposed to be. If it was comedy, it needs to be a lot funnier. It was a decent effort, but I'm afraid it's my opinion that this story needs a complete overhaul to be effective. Show the story instead of having a character standing there talking about it the whole time.
Bryan Mora (Level 4)
I absolutely adored the main character here. She seemed so passionate about her food and what she loved. The way she spoke with to us(the audience) also really seemed very genuine and i can tell a lot of passion went into this story itself.I'm giving it a very good now, but i most likely will happen to come back and rate it an Excellent. I loved it a lot. Congrats!Lovely story.
Chris Keaton (Level 5)
Well this was an entertaining short story. I can't complain about the writing or the dialog. On the other hand this is just dialog, like I said earlier it's a nice short story, but not a short movie. We need more action for a movie, who wants to watch someone just talk. Of course this might just be my opinion.
Chris Messineo (Founder)
First, I had no clue who Jamie Oliver was. I kept thinking the story would explain it, but when it didn't I had to look him up on the Internet. It sounds like he is a pretty famous chef though, so perhaps I am in the minority.Second, I'm not sure why Irene is delivering this monologue into camera. Is this a sort of mockumentary?Lastly, and most importantly, the actual monologue is brilliant. I love her character and the dialogue is phenomenal. There are so many layers. A good actress will pay money to do this part. :)I really enjoyed this.
Christopher Castle (Level 4)
Great title. JAMIE OLIVER introduces healthier food into schools which proove to be hard to cook and hated by the children. Nice tale told very clearly. The script flows well with interesting dialogue and run of the mill action. You capture the dinner lady characters well and they came to life. The story was a litte predictable and I hoped there was another twist but there wasn't. Maybe I know the story too well already. I suppose the only problem I have is there didn't seem much tension and she accepted whatever she was told to do. But as a one-woman monolgue show this would work.
David Birch (Level 5)
felt like i was in a rachel ray episode...my ignorance of jamie oliver probably would disqualify me from casting an accurate vote because i'm unaware of the subtext of her angst...the writing was okay, just a little too heavy on the details of the recipe for me...anxious to see the post voting comments on this one...
Dom Kullander (Level 3)
I particularly enjoyed the somewhat dark humour that coarses through this script, using 'Rita' as comedic leveridge. I also liked the cooking activities performed by Irene that punctuate the dialogue, feeling a real sense of who she is and how she feels (the 'whisp of grey hair' behind her chef's hat brought kindly aged faces from school dinners shuddering back to the forefront of my mind- very creept!!). I felt the attempt at transcribing her cockney dialect was only partially effective- maybe consider writing the dialogue in standard English and using her appearence and actions to mould her character.
Erica Land (Level 2)
This felt like a script for a play...not a movie. Or even a short film. What some of the other scripts have done is place the monologue in what could be a movie. That being said, this isn't bad, in fact it would make a great audition monologue, but I don't think that's what they were going for in this contest. What might have helped is if part of the time she was interacting with someone, maybe people setting up for the meal, and that way she wouldn't have had to talk to camera the entire time. Plus it would have added some movement and depth to the scenes, instead of just having her cook. See in a play it's okay to be stagnant like that, but in a film that would get boring real quick.
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)
I was very impressed with the dialogue as I read this screenplay. Not sure about the story but the dialogue was great.
Jeannie Sconzo (Level 5)
She really has a lot to say and I don't know that it is all necessary.It does not hold my interest throughout. I don't seem to have any connection with her.
Jeff Ferry (Level 4)
It was an entertaining narrative. I enjoyed the lady's monologue even if I didn't always know what the hell she was talking about. I didn't notice any spelling or grammar issues except for forgetting to space after one of your commas.
Joel Davis (Level 5)
This was really good, but the main problem I have here is you have someone telling a story, rather than just telling the story visually as a film. I get that it's for the monologue theme, but I think in this case it really weakens a wonderful story. Great character, you really do paint a vivid and detailed picture and present a wonderful, interesting character. Also, some of the other "character" monologues I've read simply show a character, you manage to have the character tell a story, which is good. Unfortunately, I think this story would be better without the monologue format. It would be great as a one-woman stage play, but to me it doesn't seem like it would work on film. Great writing, though, and a strong voice.
John Brooke (Level 5)
Super sensational fare served up here. I ate up your delicious monologue with a suddenly revived appetite after reading so many gruesome bloody tales. Imaginative concept masterfully served. I only regret reading this a good hour from my lunch time. The pace was crisp, the tension held me as the downer of the kids and teachers missing their greasy chips caused such a crisis.I was moved by Irene’s insight and reawakening. I have only one negative comment, If you don’t know who Jamie Oliver is, you must live in another country. I do, and I had to go to the Internet to discover that he is referred to in ‘Blighty’ as the ‘Naked Chef!’ Excellent!
Jon Hill (Level 4)
I’m glad it’s not just me who hates the Cockney Cock! :)Seriously though, I think your screenplay will have limited appeal to those who don’t know who Jamie Oliver is (i.e. our American cousins)From a story point of view, the joke kind of wore thin after a couple of pages and what we’re left with is a middle-aged cook giving a long rambling rant. I think a better approach would be to trim Irene’s dialogue back, then show in flashback some of the things she’s describing -- visuals are a lot more memorable that just hearing someone describe what happened.
Jose Batista (Level 5)
This script was brilliantly voiced. Irene's monologue, with her Cockney accent and all, was funny, excellent, sad, happy...such a broad range of emotions that she displayed, and the actions that went along with her entire verbage...awesome.I'm a big Food Network watcher (actually, Food Network and Comedy Central is almost all I watch on TV) and I have seen Jamie Oliver in action...Great Dude! I feel that this is what also makes the script so excellent: It's a commentary on the whole Jamie Oliver Lunch crusade he conducted in England.Technically sound writing and flawless execution of concept, this script gets an Excellent, and I hope it places well.
Kathleen Clevenger (Level 4)
Very cute character. I wasn't at all sure why I was interested in what she had to say. I felt like there was a lack of flow to the character's ramblings, but I loved the accent, and she truly was adorable. Fun idea!
Kevin Carty (Level 4)
Cont'd are awful take them out please. We discuss that in formatting forum almost all the time. Trim the fat The dialogue may be important to telling but don't tell show us what the story is about. there is no way that that could be appealing to everyone. What's aitches, don't make it too hard to understand.Descriptions are certainly lacking don't need to say she's wearing a uniform the Dialogue adds alot to the story but it is way too long for five pages. Your strength is also your Achiles heel it cripples your description. but teach me a thing or two about dialogue for sure. The story suffers at the end because of last line that was out of place.
KP Mackie (Level 5)
Great title, after researching who Jamie Oliver is. Trouble, at first, deciphering whether Jamie visited or just his cookbooks. Not sure what "shooting" means. By Irene's third dialogue, after she refers to the recipe book, understood his "recipes" were being injected into the school.Irene's baking/cooking while talking -- giving the actors something to do -- was really well-done. The entire story, delivered while making quiche. Fabulous.Her character well-defined from the beginning; loved the reference to "dropping aitches" to describe her Cockney accent.Few unfamiliar lines: "turn up for the books," and "Pigs in for a rare treat." Unclear meaning for the non-Brit.Most of Irene's dialogue quite long; but, uncertain whether tightening would take away the essence of the story.Good job.
Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)
You certainly played the "Monologue" theme to the hilt! Talk, talk, talk! Just like some school lunch women I used to know. :)It looks like your software is modified to tighten the lines together, to squish more material into 5 pages.I really enjoyed your dialogue. Thoroughly entertaining. Excellent.
Laureen Muller (Level 4)
Title fits well, just needed a little more definitive talk about who Jamie Oliver was. I like the creativity of having her on camera so that no one else needed to talk and your character was very easy to visualize. Dialogue stayed in line, for the most part, with the character, a couple of words just need tweaking (i.e. likes, instead of like would flow with the accent). Rita played a part but didn't get developed like she could have; going through it all together regardless of how others baled, you could build on this a little stronger, even though you covered it well. I like your ending, however, saying the "only joking" yet giving her say a devilish facial expression might give a good laugh at the end, with a frame of a few dart holes on the outside of the photo. Good read and good luck.
Martin Jensen (Level 5)
Nice title. I could tell immediately it was going to be about school meals, although maybe readers the other side of the Atlantic won't get it. I liked the story, but the trouble with telling it completely through dialogue is that it feels distant. Maybe it's more true to the contest title, but it's really hard to emotionally connect with the main character or any of them when it's told this way, and without flashbacks. Otherwise it was good.
Melissa Mitchell (Level 4)
Irene has a great voice and says some truly funny stuff, but I missed experiencing the story. Things are different at the end than they were at the beginning, but it is all relayed to us second-hand through Irene; we don't get to see it. I know the contest rule that allows only one speaking part "ups the ante," for writing a clear, fun story, but what would happen if you didn't limit the action to one steady stream? What if there was a contrast between what Irene was saying and what we saw happening on the screen?
Michael Hoffman (Level 4)
This script started off quirky and unique. I found myself interested to see where it would go. However, I feel it never picked up any steam and, frankly, became somewhat of a chore to read.Mentioning Irene dropping her 'aitches' seems unnecessary. I think her language is challenging enough without having the reader think about how she's pronouncing 'H' words.I was not keen on starting all those narrative sentences with verbs. I understand that this is used often in screenwriting but I think it needs to be applied sparingly.I think Irene's dialogue was often fun and unique but with so much of this script built on the dialogue itself, it actually became difficult to read after a while. I found myself too distracted and losing focus on what she was actually talking about.I credit you for sticking to the contest theme. Almost to a fault. This was a 'monologue' in the truest sense of the word. However, it just didn't make for all that exciting of a story.I really liked the Irene character but I think more needed to be taking place to tone her character down and give the reader a much needed break at times.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5)
Thoroughly enjoyed this. Will Americans get it? DO they have Jamie over there? Not sure. But I loved every second of this. It made me laugh, it made me nod and it made me sad.The monologue was fabulous, easy to read, I could hear her totally, cockney accent and all. And the visuals of the quiche being prepared added to it visually.A proper monologue, very well done.
Paul Williams (Level 5)
I have to say my biggest pet peeve so far this month, is having the proagonist set in one location delivering long blocks of dialogue, literally giving a monologue. There's been a bunch like this so far, and a couple also had the main character speak directly to the camera, which can be effective sometimes, but I'm not always the biggest fan of it.It's hard to capture the audience's attention, even for five relatively short minutes, when there aren't any stimulating visuals and they have to ingest large amounts of dialogue.Your screenwriting is fine, there's very little narrative. Format appears in order. Your title is good, although I think the "D" in dart should be capitalized.Also, you have an extra page six.
Peter Tolosa (Level 3)
This story started losing my interest very early on. Not because there was no real action, just because I was bored with the woman's conversation. If you include some mention in the slug line or a camera que (yeesh) that it's a home video camera being handheld it may add some kind of allure about the entire thing to the mind's eye, but aside from that I don't think I'd hang around to listen to this old bird's story had I actually been there, so odds are I'd change the channel on ya. Just didn't find it all that entertaining. I'm thinking that maybe there's some kind of subtlety that I missed in the dialogue, maybe those girls who left due to abuse were now secretly on the menu, I don't know. When you say "She doesn't laugh." on pg. 5 it looks like that belongs in an expository line rather than in in the dialogue, I imagine Irene saying "She didn't even crack a smile." or something like that, it's more in tune with the way Irene and other regular folk speak, rather than use the present tense.Overall: Fair
Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)
It is a pure monologue and is amusing. For me it probably goes on too long and perhaps in places it seems like a gimmicky training video. I think you have gone through the issues very well, but maybe the core character is something of a cliche, and ultimately we learn very little about her. I'm an Englishman living in America so I know who Jamie Oliver is, but I'm fairly sure that almost no Americans will, and his association with school dinners will be completely lost on them. I see you went to some trouble to introduce the concept early on but I'm guessing Americans will still be scratching their heads about this script.
Pia Cook (Level 5)
I know the assignment this month was monologue... and boy was there in this one. The dialogue was good, don't take me wrong, but I think this went on too long for what it was. I think this would work better as a 3 page script rather than 5. Watching this as film would get somewhat boring I think because all you'd have is a woman cooking and talking.You did well, just needs to be trimmed of some of the fat. :-)
Sally Meyer (Moderator)
Oh wow.. I loved loved LOVED this one. It's one of my all time favorite scripts I've read here. It's got so much fun stuff here, you nailed this!! I hope it wins first place.Irene is a total hoot, I love her to death. This clip here is just one of her priceless bits of dialogI enjoyed this so much and I want to thank you for submitting such a fun script that had me laughing all the way through.IRENE (CONT'D)It gets to nearly twelveo'clock and nothing is ready.Nothing. Usually by that time we'reoutside the back door having afag, and a chin-wag aboutEastenders. Well not me. Don'tsmoke, do I? Never have. Don'twatch Eastenders neither. Bitlike watching me own family, andwhy would I want to do that?
Shane Shearer (Level 4)
I see where you were going with this, giving her a cockney accent and having all the "whatchacall it" "gimme a second" and other various ways of her pausing. It's a good way of showing her character, but after a while it turns into a one note bit. Basically, it got old. Not to say the script was bad, it wasnt', in fact it's quite the opposite: it's good! I just felt it dragged on with nothing but her mouthing off and doing things with her hands and food. The musings of an old woman.
Tim Aucoin (Level 4)
You forgot to delete the sixth page. Really liked the Irene character, her dialog was sharp and helped tell the reader who she was without exposition. I don't understand the lack of pronouns though. "Wipes hands", "Pours eggs into quiches" Maybe it was done to keep it under five pages or it's just your style of writing I don't know. I'm sure every other reviewer will address the constant use of CONT'D so I won't mention it, though I guess I just did :) Only other gripe would be that nothing is really resolved by the end, it was just a Cockneyed accent lunch lady complaining. But there's some great dialog and an interesting character here.
Tim Westland (Moderator)
You'll pardon my French, but this was FUCKING AWESOME !!!!I can't even begin to describe how wonderful I think this is. Writing with an accent is always a challenge, even if it's YOUR accent, but this was done masterfully. Just tip top work.And the story itself! God, am I green wwith envy right now. I want to be able to produce something at this level.Beginning, middle and end - Perfecto! Or should I say, "Excellent!".Can't wait to find out who wrote this so I can fawn all over you some more! Grin.
Comments Made After the Contest
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 5/1/2009 12:07 AM
Caroline, I KNEW this was yours. I knew it!Whoever voted you anything less than excellent should be ashamed. This script stood out from all the others. Freaking great. Fawn fawn fawn fawn fawn !!!!!I am actually pissed that this didn't place. Recount!!!!!!!Tim
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 5/1/2009 12:15 AM
This was my favorite this time. I loved it from start to finish!!! Wonderfully done.. it should have placed. It was flawless!
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 5/1/2009 1:31 AM
Fanboy checking in.I didn't get to this one so here's my review:EXCELLENTThe depth of this character is so understated and beautiful and tragic and empowering and perfect.Great, GREAT script.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 5/1/2009 3:30 AM
Thank you all you guys, very much indeed.It's great to be understood, even if not by everybody :)
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 5/1/2009 8:47 AM
LOL Caroline, I agree. It's frustrating when you write something as brilliant as this is, and people just don't get it.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 5/1/2009 10:17 AM
Your monologue was excellent. Your talent for dialogue is amazing. I will be shocked if someone doesn't produce this before the year is out.
Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 5/1/2009 3:58 PM
Best dialog of all your MP scripts.This and "Dances With Elephants" are now two of my favorite comic scripts here. Lovely! And you know I'm very much in the know about Jamie Oliver and extremely smitten by Nigella. :)
Jose Batista (Level 5) ~ 5/1/2009 4:03 PM
Caroline, this was my favorite this month. I'm appalled at the lack of understanding and the fact that it did not place. But, Cheers to you, girl...Great Job!
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 5/1/2009 4:43 PM
Thank you for the lovely comments, you guys.It makes me very happy!
Kevin Carty (Level 4) ~ 5/1/2009 4:54 PM
I gotta say the monologue did run on a lil long for me but it was a damn good script. It was really good to me. I liked it though, I'm surprised it didn't get at least an honorable mention.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 5/3/2009 6:13 AM
I had a feeling this was yours Caroline, well done, wonderful monologue.