Sometimes, real stories make the perfect reel stories

JANET'S WORLD

July 13, 2008|By JANET GILBERT

It's a great month to escape the Maryland heat at the movies. But real life can be far more entertaining than anything Hollywood screenwriters could dream up. So grab a glass of sun tea and enjoy the First Annual Janet's World Top Ten Summer Screenplay Ideas, or, as it is breezily known, FAJWTTSSI.

After reading, I think you'll agree that I should definitely make an appointment with a major studio mogul and pitch these ideas immediately. In the trash, perhaps.

* It's an airline industry retrospective, taking us back to the exciting days when airports were populated with smartly dressed people hefting voluminous molded plastic suitcases sans wheels. Revisit the simple joys of the characters as they board aircraft with large amounts of assorted liquids in carry-ons the size of laundry hampers, and watch glamorous stewardesses serve them hot meals. Working title: Steaks on a Plane.

* It's an arresting drama; the story of an accomplished and dedicated public servant who is under investigation for possibly accepting gifts from individuals with vested interests in certain city contracts. Working title: The Mayor Wears Prada.

* In this nonstop action film, hostages are released after being held in captivity by terrorists for more than a decade in South America. The film is a flashback of the hostages' kidnapping and their rescue orchestrated by the current regime's military. Working title: Get FARC.

* It's a riveting documentary starring Keanu Reeves as a renegade Harley Davidson biker who refused to let an arrogant SUV-driver cut into the line at the only pump in town charging less than $4 a gallon. He and his gang then band together to prevent all gas-guzzlers from refueling. Working title: Ration All Treasure.

* A sequel to the film above, starring Christopher Walken as an automobile executive, Christopher Walken as a farmer and Christopher Walken as a wall street investor who team up to challenge the administration and present ethanol as the solution to America's dependence on foreign oil. This may not sound very interesting but don't worry, it stars Christopher Walken. Working title: The Corn Supremacy.

* An astoundingly beautiful film star and her impossibly handsome film-star husband trot the globe, alternately adopting children and conceiving their own. Searching for a private place to accommodate their expanding brood, they come across a huge oversized magical shoe complete with an old woman. Working title: Mr. and Mrs. Pitt.

* Let's bring back Marisa Tomei and Joe Pesci (My Cousin Vinny) as a couple from Brooklyn who buy their first house in Maryland and get swindled into a subprime adjustable rate mortgage. Jackie Chan represents the disreputable bank, delivering their foreclosure notice. Lots of fighting, excellent costumes and bad language! Working title: Kung Fu Lender.

* A popular teen actress does a photo shoot with a renowned photographer and causes a stir among her fan base, the parents of whom find one of the resulting poses inappropriately seductive. This results in even more publicity for the teen, keeping her in the headlines and moving her up on the radar of film producers. Success! Working title: Shocked Up.

* A "feel-good" movie for the whole family: Morgan Freeman stars as a volunteer in a Maryland thrift store who comes upon a priceless work of impressionist art. He has the treasure auctioned off at Sotheby's for more than $40,000 and puts the money to work for the charitable organization running the store. Working title: Goodwill Painting.

* Now that the democratic primary is over, the nation concentrates on two capable individuals, but the focus shifts from the issues to vague, unquantifiable topics such as patriotism, work ethic and family values. As the election draws near, the race becomes more frenetic and ridiculous. Working title: The Pursuit of Sappyness.

So what if they will not be coming to a theater near you soon? Rest assured, they will be playing ad infinitum.

To contact Janet or hear podcasts, visit http://www.janetgilbert.net.

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