Friday, July 30, 2010

Logline Central - Reply All

Logline Central is an irregular segment that takes a deeper look at loglines of scripts or projects that have just been purchased, as listed on DoneDealPro.

Sometimes, it's hard to tell whether something's original or not (i.e. not a prequel, sequel, adaptation, or re-make). The word "pitch" can be a good indicator at times. The word "spec" is a dead give-away. But if neither of those are there? If "remake," "adaptation," "prequel," or "sequel" aren't there either? Look at the idea, the context, the additional information, and make an educated guess. This, to me, looks like an original comedy being set up, and at a time when original material is rare, that's always a good thing.

Title: Reply All
Logline: A guy hits the "reply all" button to an indiscreet e-mail, and then has to deal with the repercussions.
Writer: Phil Johnston
Genre: Comedy
More: Zach Galifianakis will produce. Phil Johnston will executive produce. Galifianakis will also star. 
I guess it's about time that the "reply all" - that often dreaded button - was the source of cinematic comedy. We've all accidentally hit it, or at least worried about hitting it. And comedy seems like an appropriate genre for dealing with this office mishap. I wonder a bit what the script is like; in a way, it has a HANGOVER vibe to me (and not just because Zach Galifianakis is involved). Guy does something he doesn't mean to do, has to spend the next day trying to make up for it and apologizing to everyone involved. Kind of makes you wonder what the content of that email is - Phil Johnston's going to have to be pretty sharp to set that up. The one thing about the logline I'm not sure about is the word "indiscreet" - maybe that's just me, but it seems like one of those instances where word choice can lead the reader in an odd direction. "Indiscreet" could somehow imply that he doesn't know the characters involved, or that the information in the email was cryptic enough to not allow for much trouble. If I were a production exec, I'd definitely be interested enough in the idea, but the word "indiscreet" gets me thinking in a way that the writer might have wanted to avoid.

Still, Phil Johnston has some notches in his comedy headboard. While I haven't seen anything he's credited on on Imdb, his upcoming CEDAR RAPIDS has comedy strongmen John C. Reilly, Ed Helms, and Rob Corddry, among other notables. That could be one to watch out for, too. Obviously, with those guys involved and production (apparently) completed, and now this sale, Johnston is doing something right. It might be hard to get original dramas off the ground these days, but it seems that comedies still offer opportunities.