Genre: Buddy Cop
Premise: Two veteran LAPD detectives attempt to track down a stolen, mint-condition, 1952 baseball card.
About: Kevin Smith became interested in directing this which makes it - I believe - his first directing gig on a film he didn't write. Once Smith hopped onboard, Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis signed on. Yes, you heard that right. Tracy Morgan.
Writers: Robb and Mark Cullen
10 years ago they were cloning sheep. Now they're cloning buddy cop movies.
The generic buddy cop movie has a very simple structure. Give two cops something to do for 90 minutes and while they're doing it, have them make fun of each other. Ideally you'd like a story or something new in there but if you don't care about such pithy things, A Couple Of Dicks is for you.
Hey, look. I understand that not every script requires an original idea. But if you're going to use a template that's been used before, you have to fucking nail the execution. You have to hit it out of the park. And I laughed during A Couple of Dicks. I did. I thought the stuff about Paul thinking his wife was cheating on him was funny. But that's not the same as feeling an emotional connection to what you're reading - which should be every writers' goal.
So what is this about, you ask? Jimmy (Willis) and Paul (Morgan) are partners who get along but not really. They're more interested in bickering than solving most of the crimes they go out on. In order to pay for his daughter's wedding, Jimmy must sell his most prized possession, an extremely rare baseball card. Except while he's selling it, the store is robbed and his card stolen. Him and Paul find the thief, a Mexican Gang Lord, who has lost something of his own, a Mercedes with a very important payload. He'll give Jimmy and Paul their card back as long as they find his car within 24 hours. When they do find the car, they also find an extremely attractive Mexican woman in the trunk. The woman explains to them that the reason she's in the trunk is because she witnessed the murder of a high ranking Mexican official. So there's your story.
But as I already mentioned, you didn't come to A Couple of Dicks for the story. You came for the lol banter between the cops. So let's read some, shall we? Here, in one of the funnier scenes, the two are transporting a robber whose signature move is shitting in people's houses before he robs them. Paul is calling is wife, who he's convinced is cheating on him.
Come on, Paul. You gotta stop thinking like this. It's making you nuts.
I know. I know.
DAVE (THE ROBBER)
Does she vacuum a lot?
Vacuum. Does she always have the vacuum out.
Paul looks at Jimmy.
Then she's doing something. My buddy used to vacuum his bed all the time to get his bitch's hair off the sheets and stuff before his old lady came home.
Is that what they do?
I don't know. That's what he did.
I'm looking for answers from a guy who shits in people's houses.
It's my calling card!
Shut your mouth...
I'll be quiet.
Hey, maybe your wife suffers from that CCD thing I heard on the news.
Cock Craving Disorder. It's when they crave the cock, any cock, every cock. She's probably in the middle of a DP right now.
Paul looks to Jimmy not knowing what "DP means.
Paul spins aorund again to Dave.
I'll...I'll kill you! I will shoot you right fucking now!
OK, OK... I'm sorry. I'm just playing. I'm going to jail for chrissake.
Not another goddamn word.
Dave "locks" his lips and throws away the key. Silence, then...
Jimmy can't resist.
Paul shoots Jimmy a "What are you doing?" look.
Orange you pissed your wife is taking it in the ass from some other guy right now?
That's it! Pull the car over!
So yeah, it's not a stretch to figure out why Smith connected to the material. Besides the, um, highbrow humor, if you've ever listened to Smith's interviews, he's one of the most insecure dudes on the planet and openly believes his wife is fucking around on him.
I'm going to reserve judgment on this as a film until I see a trailer because there's always the chance that Morgan and Willis will have unbelievably awesome chemistry together. Sort of similar to what happened on Rush Hour. My fear is that it's become acceptable to treat these buddy cop movies as templates and leave it up to the actors to elevate them. The script has to stand on its own! And for me, the damn thing kept falling over!
[ ] trash
[x] barely kept my interest
[ ] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius
What I learned: Maybe I made myself out to be the third Dick here, but I want to point out that I don't think the Cullens are bad writers. They didn't win the originality contest this time around, but fundamentally they know what they're doing. One thing I liked about this script is that by page 15, we know both these characters' problems. Paul thinks his wife is cheating on him and Jimmy needs to come up with 28 grand for his daughter’s wedding. This is not to be confused with the overall goal, which is to get the baseball card back But I want to point out that I read a lot of screenplays that don’t give their main characters problems. As a result, the characters just sit there with nothing to do. Do the characters in your current screenplay all have problems? I would make sure they do.