Locations: Various Apartments, Bar, Office
Genre: Comedy, Dark Comedy, Horror, Horror Comedy
Logline: A man's relationship with his roach friend is threatened when he forms an unexpected romance with an enigmatic woman.
Strengths: ROACH BUDDY is destined to be a thoroughly divisive script, but those readers who are willing to get on the project's level will find a captivating, bizarre, and oddly poignant character study within the narrative's twisted surreality. ROACH BUDDY offers a striking central concept, and the implications and minutiae of the titular character have been thoroughly well-explored by this author. The script's grotesquerie is deeply disturbing as the storyline veers ever closer to outright body horror, and the thematic focus on masculinity, identity, sexuality, intimacy, and - ultimately - sanity will doubtlessly disturb and resonate with an open-minded audience. The project's less-pointed ideas such as the use of antiquated pop culture and the battle between old and new technology still prove quite fecund, and when the final act offers its one-two punch of "no Hope" and the "Mort means death" realization, the anti-narrative, subtext-laden approach crystallizes into a truly powerful portrait of a deeply troubled individual. Again, ROACH BUDDY is almost guaranteed to be a "love it or hate it" affair, but once the script is refined, those in the former camp will love it quite deeply indeed.
Weaknesses: ROACH BUDDY requires additional clarity in its initial acts as it is quite difficult to discern what, exactly, we are supposed to be visualizing. While this ambiguity may be compelling in a literary sense, it does not function in terms of the screenwriting form, and the question of what the titular character literally, explicitly looks like must be addressed earlier and with greater precision. The initial question that must be answered is where exactly on the abstraction vs. naturalism scale does the project's visual sensibility fall? Additionally, formal issues such as the inconsistent/improper sluglines warrant polishing if only to avoid inadvertently alienating a draconian reader. In terms of characterization, Hope stands out as a bit one-dimensional in her archness, and while the broadness of her persona is certainly not without intention, she nonetheless warrants greater depth, specificity, and subversion if she is to avoid the level of plot device. Finally, ROACH BUDDY is supremely dialogue-heavy at present, and judicious editing in the interest of a leaner execution wouldn’t come amiss in future drafts.
Prospects: ROACH BUDDY will likely be deemed too obtuse for a broad/mainstream treatment, but the project's defiant sensibility will make it a strong fit for the art house world. This particular path to production will not be an easy one, but there is certainly an ardent, hungry audience that has been waiting for a modern piece of weird such as this. Regardless of production, the script itself could function well as a writing showcase for its author once polished, and these pages alone showcase a truly original and compellingly bizarre voice. Ultimately, ROACH BUDDY's success is far from a guarantee given its deeply avant-garde nature, but there is always the chance that it will fall into the hands of a like-minded champion, and this possibility should be enough justification for the author's additional efforts.