An internationally respected African American Professor (Denzel Washington) returns home from holiday and finds the door to his plush suburban home is jammed. The taxi driver (Benicio Del Toro) helps him “break” in to his own house.
The neighbors (played by the full cast of Desperate Housewives) get nervous seeing these events, and call the police, who promptly arrive within seconds. [Backstory – the reason the police arrive so quickly is because this is a “good” neighborhood.]
The policeman (Nicholas Cage) confronts the professor, and after a verbal altercation between the two, the professor is arrested. [Note – the Director Ron Howard must be careful here not to show either party is to blame.] Later the professor is released without charge.
The president of the United States (Will Smith) gets tangled up in these events and calls the policeman “stupid”. After the cast of West Wing get in a panic and make the president backtrack in the glare of the world’s press, they come up with the bright idea of inviting the hot headed pair to the White House for a ‘beer summit’, with the vice-president (played by John Travolta), for all the world’s press to witness.
Feedback on draft proposal Studio Executives:
1 –Whilst the plot line is generally good, and the narrative is generally believable, and only a little far fetched. It is fitting with the zeitgeist so will find an audience. It might actually be more interesting though to see the narrative unveil from the perspective of the world media. To see the effect the media have on how the “real live” events are handled would be more interesting for the audience, as research shows that is how audiences suspect how things happen in the real world anyway. (See Stephen Frears’ film ‘The Queen’ for reference, on how the media affected the Royal response to the death of Princess Diana.)
2 – Whilst audience always love a happy ending, the studio is pained to admit that this might be too much of a happy ending, even for us. It is important that a fantasy film such as this still keeps touch with reality. The director needs to remember that if this fantasy event were to ever happen in the real world, that it is VERY unlikely that the ‘beer summit’ would happen in full view of the media. It would 99% be more likely to happen behind closed private doors. Even in this media saturated world we studio execs are so proud of, no one would ever be fooled by a beer summit happening in the open air in full view, would they?
If however the Director Ron Howard was so convinced that the beer summit had to be outdoors in full view of media cameras, then please make sure that the actor playing the president doesn’t over-act with mock exaggerated laughter, as that would just be painfully embarrassing, and quite frankly unnecessary.
3. Re-cast the role of the professor for Halle Berry to play it instead of Washington, and have her fall in love with either the policeman, the president or the vice-president (it doesn’t really matter which one!). If you can make that happen, then this movie will definitely be financed!!