Genre: High School Rom-Com
Premise: A nerd and a cheerleader explore four years of high school as best friends.
About: Landed on the 2007 Black List with 7 votes, I believe this sold last year. It will be directed by controversial director and all around nutball David O. Russel (I Heart Huckabees, Three Kings).
Writers: Chad Gomez Creasy and Dara Resnik Creasy

I was really looking forward to this script. When Harry Met Sally is one of my favorite movies of all time and easily the best romantic comedy ever. So when I heard someone had written a high school version of it, I began banging my head on the wall and angrily muttering, “Why didn’t I think of that??” We’ve seen a million high school movies before, but none which take us through all four years of the experience.

Then I read the first few lines of Aaron and Sara and got really fucking worried. Aaron’s opening scene has him fucking a teddy bear. I thought, “Ohhh noooo. All this hype and another American Pie ripoff?” Fortunately the scene is an anomoly. There isn’t a single one like it in the rest of the script. What we get instead is a simple story about a great friendship that may or may not turn into something more.

We meet Aaron, your typical dorky high school Freshman (who wants to get into Yale), and Sara, your typical smokin hot high school Freshman (who wants to bang the soccer team). The two neighbors are forced to drive to school together and it’s a disaster from the get-go. Aaron is inquisitive and sweet while Sara is cold and cruel. As far as she’s concerned, Aaron is below her. She’s only weathering this ride because her mother told her to. As soon as they get to school, Aaron is just another dork in the crowd.

But as time goes by, being locked up in such a small space forces a friendship to blossom, if only to avoid the 20 minutes it takes to get to school. As they move into Sophomore year, the odd couple quickly become best friends, helping each other through the daily drama of the toughest 4 years of your life. Their best friends, BJ and Jayden, fall for each other quickly, leaving Aaron and Sarah as the 3rd and 4th wheel everywhere they go. It’s a great way to describe them because they’re never apart but they’re never together.

Sophomore year turns into Junior year and Junior year turns into Senior year. They get older, mature, chase guys, chase girls, experience the death of a friend, and hang out for endless hours in Aaron’s basement playing Grand Theft Auto.

When they do chat, most of their conversations revolve around what every high school conversation revolves around: sex. Aaron is saving himself for that perfect girl while Sara has sex with anything that walks. Although a twinge of jealousy surfaces here and there, for the most part whenever they’re involved in a relationship, the other is supportive, with Sarah going so far as to beg Aaron to have sex with his girlfriend. It’s kinda nice since in the end, they want what every pair of best friends want, for the other to be happy.

If I had to wage one complaint against Aaron and Sara, it’s that the years weren’t distinguished enough. Whereas Sophomore year felt different from Freshman year, Sophomore through Senior year pretty much felt the same. Each year of high school is different. Each title has its own distinctive identity. Remember the way the years felt in Mr. Holland’s Opus as they jumped from time period to time period? Granted they had more to work with, but I was looking for that same feel here and never quite got it. I couldn’t even tell you how to fix this but to hit the movie out of the park, it absolutely needs to be done.

But Aaron and Sara gets the relationship part right. These are two best friends who can’t figure out for the life of them that the person they love is right in front of their face.

I don’t know about you but I feel like every high school movie for the past 15 years has been exactly the same. Aaron and Sara provides the kind of twist the teen high school genre desperately needs.

[ ] trash
[ ] barely kept my interest
[ ] worth the read
[x] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned from Aaron and Sara: Aaron and Sara has an interesting structure in that it basically has 4 acts (the 4 years of high school – duh). In addition, there’s no driving force behind the story. There’s nothing that Aaron and Sara are trying to accomplish other than to experience high school. This doesn’t exactly propel the story forward, like most agents/managers/producers would like a story to do. So why does it still work? That’s a good question and it’s something I’m not entirely sure I know the answer to. My guess is that since we know where we’re going to end up (the end of high school), it allows us to calm down and enjoy the ride. I think it works.

  • Mr. Blume

    Mediafire link is damaged. Time to switch up the loading service.

  • Carson Reeves

    Link fixed. Sorry!

  • Joshua James

    The lack of an overall apparent motivating goal is shared with When Harry Met Sally as well, which was more an exploration of “Can men and women be friends?” … it covered a lot of time (something difficult to do in film) and did it well.

    It can work, having an obvious goal works for scripts because it often gives the audience a reason to care … however, we’re (the audience) don’t necessarily need our protag to have a goal for us to care, we just really need to emphasize with them, I think.

    We tune in to characters on TV every week who have different goals, and we do it because we care about them.

  • Joshua James

    I wanted to add, in The Godfather everyone has different goals that change over time … Micheal originally just wants nothing to do with his family, then he wants to protect his father, then he wants to hide (and doesn’t do it well, he gets married and draws attention to himself) and then he wants to get revenge for his brother.

    One can say that there’s an overall goal of “protect the family” for Micheal, but it doesn’t kick in until 45 minutes into the picture (after his father is shot) and even then, why is hiding out in Sicily if he wants to protect his family and once there, why draw attention to himself by getting married …

    It’s an interesting thing to think about.

  • winter dreams

    Dammit, comment eaten. here goes again.

    I recall reading somewhere that if your protagonist doesn’t have a concrete goal, at least make sure there is a looming deadline. So in BFF, that deadline would be graduation. In WHMS, it is Sally’s biological clock, which is driving her inexorably to finding Mr. Right and engagement. Or marriage, if you want to be more definitive. Throughout WHMS, there is that growing pressure, the longer Harry waits to assert himself in her life, the more likely it is she will choose someone else. And finally when it seems there is no more time to wait he makes his move.

  • Anonymous

    Man, I’m really disappointed that you liked this. I thought it felt like one big missed opportunity. The writing was depressingly mediocre.

  • Mihir

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Anonymous

    The writing is pedestrian. The dialogue is shotty and the characters are paper thin. Not sure what you saw in this Carson, but to each their own…

  • Carson Reeves

    I think it’s because at my core I’m a sap. This kind of stuff gets me. I openly admit it.

    Regarding the goal thing, yeah, the way I was taught was that if you weren’t going to have an obvious goal, you better make the characters *extremely* interesting. But then again, why only do one when you can do both?

  • Joshua James

    Depends on the story, Carson … some stories have different needs, and you’re better off letting a story “be” the thing it most needs to be rather than make it do something else that it may not need, don’t you think?

  • Carson Reeves

    No, you’re right. It’s just I’ve found that most of the time (by a wide margin) when writers don’t use that obvious goal, the story just sits there. Definitely not saying it can’t be done. It just needs a writer who understands the unique challenges of doing so.

  • PJ

    I would call this a high school version of FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL.

  • Carson Reeves

    I haven’t seen that movie in so long. Does it hold up?

  • Anonymous

    Two things I found infuriating:

    1. How Aaron was so angry at Sara after he found out she was previously a virgin. Seemed forced just to have conflict and pretty unrealistic.

    2. The funeral part seemed to only exist so people could say “hey, it’s like four proms and a funeral”. Out of left field and not needed.

    Oh, and the dialog was annoying to anyone over the age of 18. Between this and “I love you, Beth Cooper” it makes me nostalgic for “SuperBad.”

    Not really sure why David O. Russell is attaching himself to so many questionable projects. Must have peaked after “Three Kings” and “Flirting with Disaster”.

  • Carson Reeves

    It was kinda obvious that Sara was lying about the sex early on so I wasn’t into the whole “reveal”. But yes, there was some forced conflict there – and I don’t like when writers do that either. It’s a huge mistake a lot of beginner writers make (I made this mistake myself – “Well, I need him to be mad at her here so I’ll just make him mad at her – who cares about the reason?”) As far as dialogue goes, it wasn’t flashy but it wasn’t showy either. I didn’t feel like they were trying to capitalize on any trend, which makes it a little more timeless. But dialogue’s such a subjective thing. Felt real to me.

  • Maureen

    First off, just want to put it out there that When Harry met Sally is one of my favorites. So this script had to really hold it’s own….and overall, i found that it did.

    Loved the way they flopped around the roles making the guy the whiny bitch and the girl the ass-hole.

    I kind of felt it was a hybrid of Superbad and Zach and Miri Make a porno, where the chaos of highschool is the background, but in lies a sweet love story.

    Happy with the original charcters (Bj is so the new McLovin!)

    overall, best of the really bad and Raunchy comedies that are being made lately…

  • Matt

    Is it wrong that I clicked the link on the script the moment you said the first scene was the main character fucking a teddy bear?

    I really enjoyed the script though, at first I was like “Oh know this is just like all the others!” But then it found its voice and I was relieved. Almost had me wishing I could go back to high school, than I realized that this is a screenplay.

  • Tyler L

    I had been searching for this screenplay for a year!! after seeing it on one of the top 15 promising unproduced scripts. Overall, the story is well developed and like posted unlike today’s teen comedies it follows a 4 year period, not just a period of a few days.

    I do not like the over development of Aaron’s character, in the end is too much of a sissy, he needs more meat to the bone in his character. Sara is the only one that has a significant change from start to finish.

    I did not like the ending. I found it to be stereo typical Jennifer Lopez romantic comedyish. It can still be a great happy ending like it already is, just needs an original twist.

    Being graduated high school not too long ago, I can say this pretty spot on as far as capturing, needs a few modern day touch ups, but the writers haven’t forgotten what high school was like.

    I found the dialogue reading allot of Superbad’s screenplay, to make it click properly its up to using actors who can really run with their own touch up on it, like Superbad and these types of comedies. Other then a few key-points the written dialogue is just guidelines.

    Cast well Mr.Russell!! it will be interesting to see what he brings to the table with his original style of editing that most of his movies have. Although I have a funny feeling this might change directors hands before its actually made.

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