DaveM, DaveS, J-Ro and I went to see Pan’s Labyrinth Saturday night and then went out afterwards for drinks. We stopped at a few places and had a good time.
After DaveM left us, we went to the Gahan House. There, DaveS requested we each name the first male and first female actor we each think of. I said Meryl Streep and Greg Kinnear. Jay said Sharon Stone and Billy Baldwin. Dave said Demi Moore and Tim Robbins. These people, it turned out, were to be the stars of the purposefully bad movie we were about to plot out there at the Gahan. Here is the awful movie we came up with:
Meryl Streep plays an author on a book-signing tour. She is hawking a book about love, a book whose message she doesn’t really believe. She is also a person who only speaks in her own language. Why she speaks this language, or where she learned it, is a mystery to all. Only she and her interpretor (who spent years studying Streep and her language) can understand her.
Her interpretor is Sharon Stone. Maybe we need a little scene here to see how dependent Streep is on Stone. Without her, she couldn’t survive in the world alone.
For some reason, they need to hire a private plane to fly to over the Atlantic Ocean to their next book-signing date. Sharon reluctantly suggests they could hire the pilot she used to date (and still is not quite “over”?), Billy Baldwin.
On the flight, Baldwin and Streep hit it off. A real connection. Lots of flirting. Maybe Baldwin is playing it up a bit to make Stone jealous? Whether the Baldwin/Streep connection is real or not, it affects Stone, who begins to purposefully mis-interpret the flirty things Streep is saying to Baldwin and vice-versa. One phrase she does not mis-interpret, though, is the utterance that Streep screams upon looking out the plane’s side window. “Ack, ugh, glub, bluggah!” says Streep. “Look out for the seagulls?” puzzles Stone. Then Stone looks out here window, sees the flock of birds and screams herself, “Look out for the seagulls!” A great scene! Baldwin’s over-attention to Streep caused him to fly into a flock of seagulls.
The plane crashes into the ocean. Baldwin perishes, but Stone and Streep manage to make it to a small deserted island. Things on the island go from bad to worse as the Stone/Streep relationship deteriorates quickly, due to Stone’s jealousy about Streep/Baldwin. Some great chances for overwrought emotions between the two. While on the island, they discover some sort of strange-looking golden amulet, or golden bowl, or something likewise golden that they note as being odd.
I am admittedly fuzzy on the sequence of events that we discussed beyond this point, so if DaveS or Jason want to correct me on the following, please do. (as I’ve written the following, I made some small changes to the plot as I went, as I thought they would improve the story we talked about)
Just as things are about to come to a murderous head between Stone & Streep, Greg Kinnear, a likable fisherman, arrives on his boat. “Didn’t know this island existed,” says Kinnear. “Not on any charts!” As they get to know each other, the girls tell Kinnear about the golden thing they found. He raises an eyebrow (as only Kinnear can do). “Rescue us,” says Stone. For some reason (maybe the boat is full of fish? Or maybe he has ulterior motives?) he can only take one of them back with him to civilization, and he won’t be back to get the other (not sure why this is). He chooses Streep, leaving Stone to likely die. This, combined with her jealousy over Baldwin, puts Stone over the edge and, as the boat is leaving with Kinnear and Streep, Stone is a wild, screaming, vindictive crazy nutjob on the beach. Another great scene.
Back in civilization (somewhere in Florida?), Greg’s friend, Tim Robbins, who is a treasure-hunter, greets Kinnear and Streep. Kinnear immediately tells Robbins about the golden thingy. Turns out Robbins has spent his entire adult life searching for this island and this golden thingy (and the fabled tribal community that created the golden thingy). They make preparations to go back. We can see Robbins as the self-interested, treasure-mad money-grub his character is, but we don’t know, yet, whether Kinnear is a good guy or a bad guy. Since his navigational GPS system broke down during a storm on the way back to civlization, Kinnear doesn’t know if he can find the island again. In another great scene where Robbins and Kinnear try to understand her, Streep indicates that she could find the island. Off the three go.
Back on the island, Stone is delerious with rage. That’s when Baldwin comes out of the sea and walks, zombie-like, up the beach towards her. As he walks, he eats whatever is washed up on the beach. (We get Baldwin to really eat these awful things. He’d do it.)
Despite (or maybe because of) the fact that Stone is crazy and Baldwin is some kind of voodoo-influenced almost dead guy, the Stone/Baldwin romance rekindles. And that’s when Demi Moore, as the daughter of a tribal witch doctor (played in voice-over by Morgan Freeman, who is the movie’s narrator), appears on the scene. Moore speaks in a made-up language similiar to, but different than, Streep’s language. Yet it’s similar enough that Stone can understand Moore. Moore and Stone immediately hit it off, with a real sexual chemistry that excites Baldwin too. There’s a great scene where Stone has to try and safe-crack the tribal chastity belt that Moore wears. it’s a very tender, very provocative, very sensual scene.
Moore and Stone continue to sizzle with sexual energy. Baldwin’s involved too, but we, the audience, can see that it’s really the two women who have the hots for each other. Maybe it’s hinted at that for now, they’ll allow Baldwin to participate but once they tire of him, he’ll become expendable?
Boat arrives with Kinnear, Robbins and Streep. Robbins is an ass as he tries to take control of the group. Maybe Kinnear starts to see Robbins as the ass he is and begins to question what’s important to him?
(this is where our plot kind of fizzled out, but we’d like all the above to maybe be about two-thirds of the entire movie) We do know that in the end Streep is able to write a world-wide bestseller on Love, based on her third-act experiences on the island. I kind of forget what happens to the rest of the players.
If anybody has any ideas on how to improve this story (that is, make it worse), let’s hear them. We really need a good ending third.
that’s pretty much as i remember the story too. one suggestion i might make is that moore and stone meet each other and we have a scene of the sexual tension building between the two of them, and it’s during this scene that baldwin emerges from the sea, eating everything he finds on the beach. it’s filled with symbolism and great parallel action. perhaps we could cut back and forth between moore/stone and baldwin to the beat of steadily speeding up island drumming.
also, maybe kinnear has already been hired by robinson to find this island and that’s why he’s out there searching for it.
maybe during the climax, all the characters realise that they must sacrifice robins to the godess of love, which they do, throwing him into a vaginal cavern on the island, before they all leave together. i don’t know what it would be, but i think there could be a great last line a la king kong’s “it wasn’t the airplanes. ’twas beauty killed killed the beast”. maybe something like, “he lived for greed, but he died for love. and that is why we must live. we must live to live for love.”
I like that ending, Dave. Of course, it’d be spoken by Streep, in her made-up language.
How about this for a final line:
Streep: Ugga bugga wugga (whatever her language will sound like…)
Baldwin: What did she say?
Stone: She said “He lived for greed, but died for love. In the end, the treasure found was Love’s Language Lost’.”
If there was some way that for this last line, it’s clear to us that Streep is still speaking in her made-up language, but now we understand her, that would be awesome!
Great idea on the Baldwin symbolism, too, eating all the fish and stuff. And, yes, Robbins does need to be sacrificed.
It’s too long.
That’s a preposterous notion, Ann. This movie will be, from opening credits to closing, no more than 2 hours and 50 minutes. Industry standard these days, it seems.
I like the story. There are many elements.
I simply can’t believe those were the actors that first came to your minds.
I wasn’t surprised that Meryl Streep was the first actress that popped into my head. Moreso for Greg Kinnear. But I have no idea how a brain works that finds the words “Billy” and “Baldwin” when tasked with thinking of a male actor.
Were they in Slither together? (Shaorn Stone Billy Baldwin)