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May 29, 2008

My "Just Marry Him" Treatment

Tomorrow I'm submitting my full treatment (which is like the story told in a summarized, prose form) to the people at Maguire. Hopefully they'll like it! I think it's a very solid idea, and will probably write the screenplay regardless. It's got great roles for a guy and a girl, and it's very different kind of romantic comedy. Most romantic comedies act like the wedding day is the end, when really it's the beginning...

If you want to read the treatment, click through....

“Just Marry Him”

PROLOGUE
Young Christine and Tristan (ages 8) share a bonding moment of
pure kindness among a group of mean children. They are now BEST
FRIENDS FOR LIFE.

ACT 1


CHRISTINE RICKER (38) always believed that she should make the
most of herself and it showed. As one of three partners (who are
also best friends) in the top event planning company in Seattle,
Christine is at the pinnacle of her career.

However, she always had even higher standards for her one day
husband. And because numerous boyfriends had come along and
failed to stoke her flames of passion, Christine now finds
herself pushing the snooze button on her biological clock and
(though too shamed to admit it) terribly lonely.

But at least Christine didn’t settle, like the bland, lame
parents attending Fisher Price’s Noontime Jamboree (To her great
displeasure, she drew the short straw and was now in charge of
it.) Of course... damn, that kid is cute. Oh, and that one too.
And, look... that was kind of nice how that woman’s husband
played with the kids so she could have a couple minutes alone to
eat her lunch.

But still, do their toes curl when they look in each other’s
eyes? Probably not. They look like they settled. Just like her
business partner and best friend, Robin was about to do. Robin
had found a man who met only 4 of the key 15 points of
compatibility, but was about to get married to him because he
was kind.

Christine had to put a stop to it.

That evening, she waits in her immaculate, modern, sparkling
clean condo for “the girls” to show up for cocktails. First to
arrive is JOCELYN SUTTON (38), a hard-charging woman who wears a
diamond the size of a gumball. She bought it for herself as “a
lifelong commitment to supporting” who she is. Jocelyn is also
Christine’s co-conspirator in the evenings Intervention.
The victim of their plans is ROBIN BINKLEY (38) a quiet,
brilliant yet oblivious savant who harbors a deep deep
unquenched thirst for men (ie this mousey woman is actually a
freak about sex). Yet, damned if she doesn’t have a traditional
streak. She might pretend to a power hungry go-getter, but what
she really pines for is someone to make a savory meatloaf dinner
for.

One thing these ladies share is that they are fabulous, yet
single.

Their night grows longer, and the alcohol takes affect. What
starts as a carefully crafted confrontation turns into a teary
support group, where they all confide that they want to get
married and have children, but Mr. Right hasn’t come along yet.
Where Christine and Jocelyn thought they were the ones laying a
trap for Robin, she actually makes them see the wisdom in her
“settling” philosophy.

Finally, Christine points as that as businesswomen, when they
need a supplier, they don’t wait until “Mr. Right Supplier”
comes along, they find the best supplier and move on, satisfied.
They all agree that maybe Robin has the right idea... What they
need to do find the man that they’re already most comfortable
with and marry him. No questions asked.

They think it’s a great plan, while still inebriated. But the
next day, in the cold light of day, it seems like foolishness.
Christine can’t help but wonder “What if right after I settle I
meet THE ONE, the perfect guy, the full package... and now I’m
trapped with Mr. Comfortable Enough.”

Yet then Christine sees it. The comfortable familiarity of a
couple who have been together forever, and their darling little
family. It’s enough to drive her over the edge.

Christine convinces them to take a vow to just “Marry him, to
settle for good enough.” Then they each mention the nice,
unassuming guy in their lives that they’ll marry. The one
they’re already most comfortable with. When it’s Christine’s
turn to say the name, the other’s start laughing immediately at
the very thought. They say in unison... “Tristan?”

CUT TO: Tristan. He’s a grown man-child. Sweet but disheveled.
Eating sugar cereal. Playing video games. Playing Dungeons and
Dragons. Thick glasses – but just for the looks, his vision is
20/15. He reads foreign language philosophy. He writes foreign
language philosophy. His house is a MESS. But it oozes
character. He works for the Seattle Museum of Natural History.
He’s the one who writes the plaques that go alongside the
exhibits. He takes it very seriously. He’s an artiste when it
comes to these plaques.

He goes to get the mail (in a BATHROBE, at 3 in the afternoon),
and sees his neighbor’s young son. The boy looks sad because he
failed an algebra exam that day. Tristan’s eyes light up. He
LOVES algebra. He makes plans to come over after dinner and
tutor the boy, but only in the boy’s mom makes dessert.
Christine meets Tristan at the mailbox. To his great surprise,
she PROPOSES to him while he’s wearing his bathrobe (leaving out
the part about her settling). He accepts. He thinks it would be
fun, and hey... Christine is his best friend.
At the courthouse, the trio of friends each have their
respective “Good enough”s. They go into separate courtrooms.
Christine and Tristan leave the courtroom MARRIED. Robin and
Jocelyn got a sudden case of COLD FEET, leaving Christine as the
only one who went through with the pledge.

ACT 2
As they celebrate Christine’s and Tristan’s marriage, the three
friends are approached by three men who are seemingly “perfect”
in every way, meeting every criteria on the list. Jocelyn and
Robin start passionate relationships with their Mr. Perfects.

While Christine’s – he’s a freaking Baron for Christ’s sake – is
heartbroken to hear that she just got married... but encouraged
when Jocelyn confides that it’s a passionless marriage, made
just to fulfill a drunken promise.

Still, Christine can’t bear the thought of breaking her best
friends heart – and she’s oddly old-fashioned about the idea of
divorce – so she determines to make the marriage work.

Christine and Tristan must go through the difficult process of
learning to live together. And while she was comfortable with
Tristan when they were just friends, their incompatibility is
now sorely testing her theory that “Mr. Good Enough” is better
than no one at all. Dungeons and Dragons Game Night seems so
much more adorably harmless when it’s not held in your perfect
condo while you’re trying to impress clients.

It certainly doesn’t help things that Baron Von Perfect
continues to woo her, yet without admitting his true intentions.
And Tristan is so sweet that he isn’t suspicious, he’s just so
darn trusting.

Also, both Jocelyn and Robin are embarking on their own
whirlwind romances, the likes of wish women only dream of.
Weekends in Paris. Moonlight canoe rides topped off with catered
picnics. Meanwhile, Tristan has taken to drawing Egyptian
Cartouche names as his latest obsession, and surprises Christine
with a trip the Cartouche Convention in Hoboken.

Jocelyn and Robin’s men write them achingly beautiful sonnets.
Tristan leaves Christine messages written... In German. And
French. And Farsi. She doesn’t even bother getting them
translated.

Oh, and the ultimate embarrassment... Christine and Tristan
haven’t even had sex yet. They tried to kiss once, it was very
awkward. No one’s mentioned it since. Jocelyn points out this
isn’t such a bad thing... they haven’t consummated anything yet.
It’s not too late for the Baron.

Christine starts going out to “coffee” with the Baron. He’s more
than advertised, he lives up to the hype, and he’s everything
Tristan isn’t. Christine falls for the Baron, with the
relentless encouragement of her feverishly in love friends.
And yet, damn Tristan. He really is so nice to her. Too nice.
She doesn’t have to pretend to be anything she isn’t when
they’re together.

With the Baron, her friends, her clients, everyone... she puts
on heirs... it’s actually exhausting.

Tristan and Christine both skip their work, and Tristan takes
her to “his most secret place in the world. NO ONE knows about
this place.”

They infiltrate a sub sub sub sub basement of the Natural
History Museum. There Tristan opens up a storage room that
SPARKLES with GOLD and JEWELS and... stuffed elephants and just
about every random thing... “I love this place because it just
proves to me that deep below the surface, where you can’t see
unless you really really try... there’s always treasure.
Treasure that only people who have seen it can even believe.”

There and then, they make love, and it’s INCREDIBLE.

They begin to change for each other, just a little, working to
make the other happier, doing things the other is interested in.
Christine joins a game of D&D, and she’s AWESOME at it. Tristan
dresses himself up and goes out to a club with Christine,
completely impressing everyone... maybe a little too much,
because it drives the Baron mad with jealousy.

Jocelyn and Robin decide they need to push things a little. They
inform Tristan that the only reason Christine married him was
the drunken promise.

Tristan is angry. And heart-broken and betrayed. He and
Christine argue. Christine breaks up with him.

Christine throws herself into the “perfect” relationship with
the Baron. It seems like she should be happy, and she pretends
to be exactly that.

Tristan, meanwhile, had completely fallen in love with
Christine, and now mourns the loss of both his best friend and
the love of his life. He loses much of his zeal... writing truly
uninspired museum plaques, unable to help his neighbor’s boy
with algebra.

Things come to a head when Christine and the Baron are on a date
at a fancy restaurant and she learns that her Grandmother has
died. The Baron has a complete lack of empathy, and is actually
angry that she wants to cut the night short. She has to take a
cab home.

Tristan meets her at her house, and he’s in wonderful supportive
best friend mode. Christine starts to ignore the Baron, and
spend more time with Tristan. But Tristan rebuffs any of her
advances, preferring to preserve their friendship.

But oh no, the Baron’s not happy to have his calls go
unreturned. He threatens to expose their relationship to
Tristan. He DOES exactly that, showing Tristan notes and
voicemails and pictures that imply that Christine loves the
Baron, not Tristan.

Tristan, heartbroken and ashamed, demands a divorce and MOVES
OUT. Christine is heartbroken, too.


ACT 3

Tristan goes on a vision quest, determining to fast without
sleep and live in the 350 acre Magnuson Park until he receives
his new life purpose, now that he has nothing to live for...

Robin and Jocelyn see this as only good. Now they can all marry
their Mr. Right and move on with their fabulous lives.
Christine, however, can’t let it go.

Christine’s friends surprise her, and set up a meeting with the
Baron. He proposes to her. Dear Lord, it’s the perfect fairy
tale proposal. At Magnuson Park. A symphony orchestra. A movie
screen set up with pictures of him... lots of pictures of him.
Oh, and some of her, too. So happy together.

Christine tries to play along, accept what she thought she
always wanted. Robin and Jocelyn’s “Mr. Rights” are arguing with
them, the passion seeping from those relationships. She can tell
those relationships are flaming out.

Christine REJECTS the Baron, and runs.

She ends up at the Seattle Museum of Natural History, and sneaks
into the sub sub sub basement.

Tristan is there, the culmination of his vision quest, waiting
for the answers to emerge. He sports a beard from his days spent
in Magnuson Park. He smells. He’s dirty.

She confesses that she missed the treasure, missed it so badly.
Like her life would be over without seeing the treasure. She had
to see it again.

They kiss.

In the last scene, we have another Fisher Price event, only this
time Christine and Tristan are two of the dorky lame parents
that settled, and they couldn’t be happier. They picnic with
Jocelyn and Robin and their two “Mr. Good Enough’s”

Posted by jason on May 29, 2008 04:56 AM

Comments

That was so fun! What a great read while I sip my morning coffee. Thanks!

Posted by: kate on May 29, 2008 09:24 AM

That was so fun! What a great read while I sip my morning coffee. Thanks!

Posted by: kate on May 29, 2008 09:25 AM

that is awesome--I hope I can see it as a movie some day!

Posted by: jessica on May 29, 2008 01:00 PM

It's good, but let me help you out a little. We need a beast in the sub sub sub basement of the museum. Something from the amazon jungle that is mysteriously killing people left and right.

Posted by: Ian on May 30, 2008 07:00 AM

Well, one of the best post l have come across on this deserving subject. I quite harmonize with your assumptions and will thirstily look forward to your upcoming updates.

Posted by: How to Lose 10 Pounds in 3 Days on July 28, 2010 10:30 PM

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