A lot of wine drinking in this one.


I just saw this trailer on Hulu, and it looked pretty funny- I think Aziz Ansari is hilarious so if he’s in something, I will pay a little extra attention. Then it got to the real premise of the film- a guy delivers a pizza, only to have his customers strap a bomb to his chest and demand he rob a bank or else they will explode the thing. My mouth dropped open because right away I remembered this really did happen, and the guy with the bomb was blown up.

I don’t consider myself crazy sensitive. No one has to walk around on comedic pins and needles with me, but should it be ok to draw inspiration from an incident like this? The filmmakers are most definitely trying to distance their script from the comparison (of course), but the fact remains- there is no way they got this idea from anywhere except this real-life story. I know the authorities believe the victim may have had something to do with it (and knew that before I saw this trailer), but that’s beside the point. This was an absolutely horrific incident.

As filmmakers we may get our inspiration from any number of sources. It could be from a story we’re reading, a memory our friend is recalling, even a headline in a newspaper. I just wonder at what point do we draw the line and decide it’s not cool? Does comedy win every time? What if I’ve got a really funny story about a Muslim extremist who’s in the country on an expired visa and taking flying lessons? Or even better, there’s the reeeeaaaally hilarious one about an African country in dire straits and the hijinks that ensue when my main character convinces one tribe to get rid of the other. If I’m half the comedic writer I pretend to be, shouldn’t I be able to find some inspiration that’s in a little better taste?

I guess the proof will be in box office, although it’s up against Final Destination 5, which is in 3D. 3D. Final Destination 5. Am I really typing this, or am I having a nightmare? On a whim I just checked the estimated budget of Final Destination 5- $50 MILLION. Please excuse me while I have another glass of wine and then continue trying to figure out how to raise $400,000 for an intriguing, character-driven murder mystery. And now I’m throwing up. And now I’m drinking wine again. It’s a good thing I love this business so much.

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