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"App Happy" by Scott Merrow

Logline: Two white-haired denizens of an old-folks’ home explore the amazing capabilities of their cell phones.

Genre: Comedy

Cast Size: 3

Production Status: Available (Please contact the author to negotiate the rights)

Contest: Tournament of Champions (Feb. 2012)

Contest Scores
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Comments Made During the Contest

Alex Hollister (Level 4)

How is it possible that two entries have characters called George and Maude? Freaky coincidence that. But I digress... and I haven't even started enough to digress-

I quite liked this. But I couldn't help feeling that the comedy comes from the fact it's old people adapting to modern technology. And, without the writer meaning to, that sort of comes over as patronizing somehow. I know that's not the intent, but when you look for laughs from the fact old people have ACTUALLY learnt to use techno gadgets, but still have them using terminology like 'x-rays... space age etc etc.' It sort of almost achieves the exact opposite of what it set out to do. That may be reading too much into what is essentially a sort of sweet little story, but that was my immediate reaction.

Because once that whole 'old people using apps' conceit is out the way, there's nothing else to fall back on. The dialogue is great. It's very well written. And the 'you don't need an app' line was nicely crafted, but ultimately it doesn't quite tug the heartstrings as you'd think it might. Which may well not have been the intention, but it certainly seemed that way with lines like 'Kids come and visit once in a while'.

As to the word integration, it worked, but wasn't especially inventive. Having a 'movie' have the word 'Poetry' in the title and having an elderly woman appear from nowhere and provide the feedline for Maude, felt crow-barred and lazy. The Elderly woman might as well have winked to the audience/reader as she passed. She served only one purpose to the point she may as well have been called STICK TO THE WORD RULE ELDERLY LADY.

But all that said, it was very well written with clean, flowing dialogue. Just missed narrowly on the heartstring tug. So despite an amusing ending, complete with lovely 'wheelchair rocking to and fro' visual, it gets- GOOD.

Bill Sarre (Level 5)

What a lovely, heart warming tale. Had a vibe of a certain writer, time will tell.

I have to admit, Metamucil, don't know , will have to be all modern and goggle.

If anything jumped out it was the family call. This added a nice layer of depth to a lighthearted tale. The question is whether he takes that chance or plays his game - he chooses the game and whilst I can understand the decision, it felt a touch hollow. The other option maybe a well worn path, but it could have been handed with difference. I think ther emaybe better options in him making that call, or how about finding an email app to send a message? Facebook his family?

Otherwise, very sound work. I liked it.

Byron Matthews (Level 5)

It was a nice easy story. There wasn't much to it. I like your two characters, and there were a few parts that made me smile.

I don't understand why you had certain thing underlined. I suppose it was for emphasis on the words, but that's more an actors job. The story did slow down around the end of their conversation.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)

I do feel you don't need (screams) if your characters says AAAAAAAARRRRRGH! Neither do you need (kindly, concerned) Bad habit!

Using punctuation such as ?!? isn't advisable in a screenplay. Apart from anything else, it doesn't exist as punctuation.

I think this is cute and amusing but I do feel it needs a little more meat to make it something more than a comedy sketch.

Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)

I found this well written and somewhat entertaining, but didn't really find a hook. I liked seeing the seniors hooked in to all the technology and find it a compelling topic. Just think it needs a little more "umph" in the end.

Chris Messineo (Founder)

This is a fun comedy/satire. It is awfully close to the truth and probably only a few years away from being all truth.

It made me smile and I liked the characters. I especially liked the ridiculous Kardashian dialogue.

But, I wish there was more story here. More of an arc. Nothing really happens in this story and I think you can still have a good comedy/satire but also have a strong plot.

Christina Anderson (Level 4)

Cute cast. Snappy dialogue. It's just--the story ended I wasn't left with anything. It's left me disappointed.

Okay. Ok. It's a 5min short. But as a scene it's hollow because there's very little insight into BOTH your main characters. George's family issues are a start, but honestly it's typical and a long-term thing. Hints of something more immediate (like say, Maude's mental state) from the very start will give the story more grit and depth while the bigger story gains traction.

Descriptions. Does it really need to be said-- Seniors in wheelchairs working at jig-saw puzzles in a Senior Center? I don't see why you need a couple of lines to show us the stereotype.

David D. DeBord (Level 5)

Sometimes a little story about not so much can be very entertaining. We can watch simple lives interact and find clues about more worldly issues. I found this story to be a little too simple for my tastes. Yes, a slice of life but for me, a not very interesting slice. A bit too clichéd. I don’t need explosions or gun battles or extensive CG, but I wish there was a bit more here.

David M Troop (Level 5)

App Happy

This was very cute at first. Older people talking about cell phones, apps, the Kardashians, etc. It seemed like a very long commercial for Verizon or Ipad. But it went on for five pages without a big payoff.
I chuckled at some of the jokes, but for me it felt like the same joke throughout.

I needed something to happen. Not zombies. I am thankful you didn't resort to that.

Also, there were too many ing verbs in your action lines.

This is not a bad idea. It just seemed to run out of steam by the end.

Elias Farnum (Level 5)

My wife says that you should send this to readers digest. She really enjoyed the dialogue, and app banter.

How time flies, we've gone from dead head sticker on a Cadillac, to walkers.

I personally love the stinky feet app. Hilarious, reminds me of a similar idea I had for a sneaker that had a built in "smellometer." Anyway, very clever and funny.

The writing top notch, nothing took me out of this story, even if there were errors, I probably overlooked them due to the fun. Very Good.

You mixed funny with a dash of compelling. Spot on APPropriate!

Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)

A delightful and entertaining read that brought a smile to my face more than one time. This entry earned a VERY GOOD from me.

Two comments.

The first is a personal preference of mine. In my opinion, the writer has used too many words that end in LY. On the first page alone: feverishly, rapidly, abruptly, feebly, sheepishly, wrinkly...

The second comment is on page 5. “She rolls her eyes in disbelief.” I've been told that actors and actors don't like to be filmed “rolling their eyes”. Try to think of something else that relays the same message.

Thanks for a great read!

Fred Koszewnik (Level 5)

A "snappy" and apt title for your utterly charming and intelligent screenplay. It hits all the right notes and has an endearing humanistic quality throughout.

It can only deserve an Excellent. Continued good success.

Gary Rademan (Level 5)

“What's the movie tonight? Bloody Poet II.”

A great setting for an argument over apps and technology. The old man had a classic male reaction as a glassy eyed gamer - just start playing again, everything forgotten. My favorite part was the “Have My Kids Visit” app.

I also liked the wink at engineers who build the inventions of others. Or the people who think having an idea is the same as inventing it.

Nitpicks. Underlining. Birds chirping.

GOOD

Greg Tonnon (Level 5)

Title - the title fits this very well. As soon as I saw "Happy" I thought it was a comedy and I was not disappointed.
Craft - your craft is flawless.
Dialogue - the dialogue was a lot of fun and fit the characters extremely well. It is hard to make dialogue in a comedy be both funny and realistic yet you accomplished it very well.
Action lines - your action lines were fine, clear and concise.
Story - I like the story a lot. I thought for sure this was going to take a left turn and become a zombie movie and was very pleased that it did not. This is excellent and it should place.

Heather Derma (Level 1)

LMAO! Classic. I enjoyed the play between the two main characters. Seems the retirement is more alive than I gave it credit. Someday I too, will be sitting in a wheelchair across from a woman much like Maude. The author deserves an awesome review. All I can say is EXCELLENT, I look forward to more from this writer.

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator)

I don’t know. One of them. It doesn’t matter, they’re all important. - If this isn't one of the funniest lines I've read so far! Hahaha!! Hilarious!!

You are underlining too many things. Cut back on that.

I didn't get the ending at first, but then I realized you wanted us to beleive he was going to call his kids, but he was just happy with his app. Funny.

But the story lacked in the middle. I wish it had an ark of some kind. You just kept talking about the Kardashians. It would have been funnier if Maude kept referring to pop culture, instead of just focusing on one.

Jeremy Rose (Level 2)

If I can stop laughing long enough I will comment on this hilarious script. This was written with a simple setting, a simple plot, and a simple-minded old man. I thought the sript was entertaining to say the least.it is definately the best one I hane read thus far. I think it is very sellable because it is easy to relate to. let's face it. Who doesn't like a good laugh and what is funnier than old people keeping up with technology. I especially enjoyed the end when you think George is about to have a revelation but instead he decides to play another game of flaming weasels.

Kevin Carty (Level 4)

Too much telling and not enough showing for me. They mostly just tell each other this and that. Its sweet but I'm not sure what really happens. It wasn't entertaining for me. He doesn't really change and there are not really any funny moments but it is well written but just not my cup of tea.

Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5)

I liked your George and Maude - by the way I find it interesting that there's another one in a pile with the same character names.

Anyway, they are quirky an all. The only thing - I think most of the dialog should be on the same topic, telling/reinforcing/revolving around one idea, the main idea that threads through the script. Your idea is - George misses his children but I get it only towards the end.

KP Mackie (Level 5)

Hysterical. Laughed for five pages.There's color and emotion. George and Maude are terrific complements of each other. Maude has spunk!
The wit and snap of the writing, especially the dialog, is amazing. Line after line of excellence. Particularly fond of the life depicted at "Deering Oaks." These seniors are living; they're active and participating. The story is uplifting and wonderful.
The title is perfect, catchy and memorable.
Excellent.

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)

So many comedies nowadays go for the easy laugh by making old people do things that young people would do. Which old people would never do. Which is supposedly what makes it funny. Personally, I think this type of humor is way too easy and way too unbelievable. Comedy is hard, I know. Making an old woman say "Duh" is easy. I have been in enough Senior Living facilities to know that this type of humor is convenient but a little cruel and disrespectful to the actual people who live there.

So, sorry, but this comedy doesn't make me laugh.

Lee Carlisle (Level 4)

Well written with fun dialogue. The humor was a bit one note for me - a bunch of jokes at the expense of cell phones and the Kardashians. The drama (or even humor) didn't build throughout and it felt a bit more like a skit than a story. I feel like youd get more mileage out of some of the jokes if you were a bit more selective about them.

George not using his phone to call his family is an interesting potential plot, but the script handles it more as an afterthought. I definitely wouldve liked to see more of this.

Finally, the lines for the contest felt a bit shoehorned in but werent terribly distracting.

Margaret Ricke (Level 5)

Good title.

Formatting is good. Spelling and punctuation are good.

The story is good, but the dialogue doesn't sound natural to me.

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5)

Oh man...I thought you were gonna end it with George calling his kids.

This was cute. Very well written and entertaining. Not much substance to it but I liked it. :)

Martin Jensen (Level 5)

This was funny. I like the idea of imagining how young generations will handle becoming old people.

Beyond the moment about getting George's children to call him, there wasn't really a story, just a rambling conversation.

Good.

Michael Cornetto (Level 5)

At first I was going to mark this a bit lower because i thought the dialogue was rather silly. However, toward the middle I caught on and decided it was actually a pretty good script.

I'm not that certain about the part with the children visiting because it brings the tone down but I guess that's a fairly obligatory subject to cover in an old-age home script.

I could easily see this being produced.

Well done.

MJ Hermanny (Level 5)

This cute - I thought it might be a commentary on how current young people will be in their eighties!

Maude is funny and the banter with George is amusing.

Moldovan Alexandru (Level 3)

I liked it,very well written I'd might add.It's just,I don't know if senior citizens would adapt so fast to the new features of technology,but there probably are old people like the ones you just described.

Nice title also,it's kind of hard for me to give my opinion to the champions because I haven't write a script yet but I'll try to give my best.

So these been said,I wish you the best of inspiration for future scripts.

Paul Williams (Level 5)

Congratulations on your eligibility to enter this contest.

This was very humorous, and I can see a few elderly actors having a blast playing these roles.

I wish there was a little more to this in the end. As it is now, it feels more like a comedy sketch, but it's produce-able, so the chances of this coming to life are good.

Your screenwriting is very good; format appears in order; didn't detect any typos.

Good.

Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)

This is a solid well contained story with good amusing moments.

I'd suggest considering if you want to push this more comedic or more dramatic, because for me it feels like you could push this harder.

Raymond Kwok (Level 3)

Nice story and a great idea to match new tech with old people. I thought however that there could be eve more humour that can be mined from that concept. The piece is more cutesy than funny (although the bowel movement line was quite good). Not to say that there is anything wrong with cute, I just think that there is more potential in there.

Reginald McGhee (Level 0)

I have notice only one grammar error, and no formatting errors. The writing is economical, lean, and clean. "Bounces fro" should be "Bounces from."

I enjoyed this story a lot. An elderly becomes addicted to a video game. He needs to call his kids, but he is so stuck on the game that he forgets about calling his kids and wait later. The dialogue is real, and the scene transitions are good too.

I felt like I was engaged into the story. I’m going to assume that this is a comedy script. It is clear that it is. George is a likeable and clever character. I enjoy his sense of humor too.

You have minimized scenes, which makes this screenplay an easy read. You also do a lot of showing, rather than telling, and that’s what all screenwriters should be doing. The title perfectly matches the story too.

The only thing I don’t like about this script, is that it does not have a real conflict George can achieve. Or, the entire story talk about the game and other stuff, when the focus should be on his kids. Though the central conclict of the story is that George’s addiction to a game keeps him from calling his kids, I think the other characters should convince George more about calling the kids, instead of constantly coming up with more jokes.

Other than that, this is a good read.

Rick Hansberry (Moderator)

Love the title but no need to put it on Page one in addition to the cover page. The elderly banter is pleasant enough. A very easy shoot and a breezy feel. Love Maude's line: This is the real world! Great. The stink feet app was a clever idea but I also feel that this is where you ran out of steam. We weren't building to a climax or a life and death battle but I sensed there would be some poingnant moment when you brought up the kids visiting. On the last page it's even suggested but never attempted. This was enjoyable to read but didn't end up zinging in the end. I wonder if you considered having George actually try to call his kids and get frustrated that he couldn't actually use his phone AS a phone. Suddenly, the buttons didn't match or he couldn't figure out the 'send' part or something. Then, after a few attempts to actually try to call, he defaults to going back to his game. This was pleasant enough and an enjoyable romp but I didn't get a character arc from either George or Maude - they ended as they started. I also think you could have eliminated the Elderly Woman character and have Maude mention the movie. It seemed like you ventured off to meet the requirement of the contest but it worked just the same. Nice entry. Good luck.

Rustom Irani (Moderator)

This'd require some great actors/or make-up, and besides the little lack of any high dramatic tension, I think you've got a great slice-of-life satire at what the world's come to today.

Love the title.

Very good job!

Sally Meyer (Moderator)

Aww your characters were so sweet. I love stories about old people. I thought this was fun and sweet and I enjoyed the read very much. I have a zillion apps on my ipod, and I never use them. I must be getting really old!

Stefan Feuerherdt (Level 1)

Cute premise, and nice juxtaposition with the old folks dealing with technology. Wasn't crazy about the dialogue, though- the funny/silly was a little flat for me when it veered into the outrageous (i.e. the Kardashians, stinky feet, etc). I liked how you gave it a turn at the end to give it heart, though, and then ended w/ a light comedic touch.

Tim Ratcliffe (Level 4)

I like the title, but you shouldn't have it on the first page of your script.

This was fairly good for what it was. Not a lot happening, just a conversation really. I thought it might have led somewhere like him getting in touch with his kids, but in the end nothing really happened.

Some of the dialogue was pretty funny, overall a decent effort.

William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)

The writing is very good and I get what you're doing here. The moment - George talking about the App to get his kids to come, that is the best part of this script and I wished there was another moment or two just like it. Maybe Maude has a moment like that?


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