Up In The Air

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  • Up In The Air

    Up in the Air is sort of an important script in this reading process because just like the main character is trying to reach 5 million frequent flier miles, I am trying to read all the Black List scripts. Will he get there? Will I get there?

    The whole "reaching 5 million miles" thing is actually just a weak attempt to give the movie some sort of a marketable logline. It doesn't play into the plot at all - which was good. Because really, who cares? I put this one off because I'm the anti-frequent flier. I fly maybe once or twice a year and I hate it. I'm kinda fascinated by these people that spend their whole lives on airplanes and in hotels because it's so the opposite of who I am. From the friends I know who live this life and love it, they tend to be people in unhappy marriages. And these business trips are their only outlets . I guess if I were in that position, I might find it more desirable.

    But the main character, Ryan, this guy freaking loves flying. He lives for airports and airplanes and rental cars and hotels. And of course the reason is he's terrified of living a real life with real people. The extended synopsis is that Ryan fires people for a living. He's hired out to go to companies and fire a bunch of employees so that they don't have to. Cause "Let's face it. People do crazy things when they're fired." He's good at his job. He seems to care about the people he's firing (although this wasn't made very clear - at first he seems cold. but a mere 20 pages later he's sympathetic). And everything is sort of thrown into disarray when a 23 year old girl barges into the company and says they should start firing people via teleconference, saving the company millions of dollars in travel expenses. This is, of course, Ryan's worst nightmare. And in one of the only forced parts of the screenplay, the boss wants to send Ryan off with Natalie (the girl) so she can study what he does.

    In the meantme, Ryan meets a girl on the road, Alex, and the two meet up in various cities. He starts to like her and before he knows it, his whole philosophy on life and never settling down is challenged.

    MAJOR SPOILER ALERT - In one of the biggest shocks of the script - I didn't see this coming at all - he decides he is ready for a life of commitment, flies to her home, only to find out she's married with kids. He's absolutely heartbroken. And so was I. A great twist.
    END SPOILER

    The script has a sort of nice rhythm to it and even though it drifts at times, he's drifting too, so it kind of works. It wasn't the best script of the bunch, but it's a nice look at being grown up and not quite knowing who you are or where you want to be.
    Last edited by ScriptShadow; 12-16-2008, 02:38 PM.
    Script Reviews - 5 a week! http://scriptshadow.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    Re: Up In The Air

    Disclaimer: I have not yet read UP IN THE AIR, but I've heard good things. That said, there's a script out there that's a couple of years old that I loved that starts off the same way but skews in another direction.

    It's called THE MIGHTY FLYNN, and it's written by Loraine Scafaria, who wrote NICK AND NORA'S INFINITE PLAYLIST. It's about the same kind of guy - an ******* who's hired to fire people for a living. But one day he fires a guy, quite rudely, in front of his daughter on Take Your Daughter to Work Day. The *******, in turn (I believe his name is Jimmy), is fired himself.

    This ruins his entire life, as the job firing people was...well, his entire life. He gets depressed, stops working, loses his apartment, and is forced to change residences. He ends up in an dingy apartment not sure what to do with himself. It turns out, however, that his new phone number is one digit away from the phone number for a local suicide hotline. So he ends up getting a bunch of calls from people at the end of their rope...and he ends up befriending many of them.

    The script isn't perfect by any means, but it's positively beautiful in some places and a really great read. If you liked or didn't like UP IN THE AIR, you might find something in this one. Check it out if you can get your hands on it.

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    • #3
      Re: Up In The Air

      I actually liked 'up in the air', except for the ending..
      and the *spoiler alert* broter in law getting cold feet then ryan saving the day was a little to conviennt, but it seemed to work.

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      • #4
        Re: Up In The Air

        Yeah, the ending was somewhat anti-climactic.
        Script Reviews - 5 a week! http://scriptshadow.blogspot.com/

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