[Quick Summary: A recent high school grad romances the valedictorian for one last carefree summer.]
Darn you, Cameron Crowe!
How do you make such a talky script like Say Anything work (because it really does)?!
Here are 4 things that I saw that worked:
1 - There's very little narrative (sometimes 1-2 lines per page). The reader is allowed to imagine most of the details.
2 - The essentials are very specific. Each character's motive, flaws, and purpose are unambiguous.
ex. Lloyd is optimistic and undeterred in pursuing Diane, despite the fact she's out of his league.
3 - The dialogue is realistic, conflicted, and funny, but mostly conflicted.
ex. LLOYD: "I wanna get hurt!"
4 - The conflict is familiar, and never false for the character.
ex. Lloyd wants to date Diane (familiar). Dating her never stops being important to him (never false).
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Scripts could probably handle a lot more dialogue (the icing) if the structure (the cake) is set up right to handle it.
Say Anything (1989)
Written & Directed by Cameron Crowe