The following is edited highlights of an email conversation with one of my musical co-conspirators, referred to here as 'S'.
Badgersmack: I actually remembered a dream, although it was about getting my wallet nicked and, after a very brief chase scene, the dull process of cancelling cards and getting a new driving license. Even my dreams are dull.
S: Also had a mundane dream last night, something to do with missing a ferry and having to reschedule. Woo hoo. Can't see that inspiring this summer's blockbuster, least of all because it would be set in the exciting metropolis of Stranraer.
Badgersmack: They both have potential for some European arthouse film. Or perhaps an Alan Bennett play if you were to throw a monologue or two in. given to a European director it would turn into some Kafkaesque bureaucracy hell, which would be infinitely more interesting than the actual dream.
S: The presence of Semtex at the back of the car could also open it up to the mindless chick flick market - Jennifer Aniston and Matthew McConaughey find themselves stranded at the Stranraer ferry terminal as they try to get home for their niece's christening. As the ferry sails without them, old conflicts rise to the surface. Can an adorable puppy bring them together? Typing that made me nauseous.
Badgersmack: It doesn't just sound likely - it sounds inevitable. I'm sure there's a way to force mundane dreams through the Hollywood filter.
s: Combine the two! With a side story of the whacky best friend played by Vince Vaughn loses his wallet - CAN HE GET HIS RECEIPT FOR THE DIAMOND RING HE BOUGHT FOR HIS GIRLFRIEND BACK SO SHE WON'T THINK HE'S JUST A WORTHLESS LAYABOUT??? Only the adorable puppy can bring THEM together too! Possibly by crapping out the diamond ring at the end to prove that it existed! Aww!
Badgersmack: My god, you've just written the romantic comedy of the decade!
s: I'm thinking Charlize Theron in a business suit for Vince's girlfriend. Imagine the scene - a beautiful sunset, Jennifer, Matthew, Vince and Charlize all standing around the Stranraer docks, a car ferry in the background, watching a bulldog puppy squat and crap out a diamond ring as the credits roll, to the strains of some appalling summery indie hit like 'Elvis Ain't Dead' by Scouting for Girls...
Badgersmack: *suppresses laughter to avoid confusing co-workers*
s: Maybe Semtex would have to have a more Hollywood makeover ñ he could become a Golden Lab puppy called Charlie... I can hear the appalling soundtrack now. I can see the film poster too - Stranraer docks at sunset, seagulls circling, the P&O logo visible in the background and a few HGVs, while Jennifer, Matthew, Vince, Charlize and Charlie the dog squashed into a really kitsch old-style Mini, Jennifer and Matt grinning cheesily while the dog's face is photoshopped into a visibly happy canine expression that does not occur in nature, Vince smirks in a hangdog way and Charlize looks away while chatting on her cellphone. Need a really stupid title now... hmmm.... Dockside Blues? No! -
Love Ain't All Plain Sailing ñ Missing The Boat Can Make You Right On Time for What REALLY Matters
Urgh. I am already firebombing cinemas in my head.
Badgersmack: I was gonna go for "Love and Semtex", although other possibilities I am currently making up on the spot include "P&OMG", "Diamond In The Rough", "Ferry Folly", "Hitler's Day Off", "The Stranraer Dockside Massacre"...
S: My favourite is P&OMG - a nod to maritime industry, yet being the most wince inducing title imaginable, proudly proclaiming its target audience of early teen girls who say things like 'LOL' out loud. It would also have the most linear plot imaginable, with even Helen Keller being able to guess in the first 10 minutes that smug Matt and waster Vince are going to get their girls back by the end of the film. Oh, and Matt and Jennifer could run slow motion into each other's arms past 2 burly middle-aged Scottish security guards and a bemused sniffer dog, who in an even more adorable twist can be seen being licked by Charlie the puppy at the end of the film.
Badgersmack: One of the security guards has to be Rab C Nesbit.
s: Maybe Billy Bob Thornton as 'Grizzled Trucker With Heart of Gold'.
Badgersmack: And an inspirational barroom pep talk from Sylvio Burlusconi
s: By barroom you mean 'customer lounge at ferry terminal, with drinks machine in the corner and ye olde video arcade game'?
Badgersmack: Perhaps, I've never been their but then neither has most of your target audience. Alternatively Rip Torn providing shambling drunken advice. In other words, as himself.
s: Maybe a few Loch Ness references and bonnie Scotsmen in kilts to placate the US market.
Badgersmack: Nessy has to pop up in the credits somewhere.
s: Like so?
S: If someone actually made that film, I'd be too embarrassed to sue for breach of copyright.
Badgersmack: I'm tempted to put this whole thing in a blog post!
S: It would amuse me. Try to make me sound hardworking though! You totally need to put it on the web. It should bring amusement and renewed affection for actual films to the masses.
Badgersmack: It will be on Toast and Badgersmack by the end of the week (and here it is!).
S: :D Subplot: Jennifer Aniston bites her nail too short in the car. It hurts.
Badgersmack: That sounds a bit too highbrow for this kind of film.
S: I don't know, it could be another reason for her to cry in a stereotypically pre-menstrual manner and snap at Matt who is being particularly useless and irritating!
Badgersmack: Perhaps, she'd have to also get hysterical for no good reason, possibly to do with shoes.
s: Because he forgot to pack her favourites, and packed the ones he thought were her favourites, which are OMG SO LAST SEASON, which is obviously an understandable reason to fling the shoes into the dock, via his head.
Jennifer Aniston's character would be unbearably girly and ditzy and would do stupid things like wear 4 inch pink patent stilettos to a motorway service station, and her limping back to the car, parked at the far end of the car park beyond all the HGVs, would be a partial cause of missing the ferry. Their delay would be added to by Matt gawping gormlessly at some kind of sports fixture on silent TV in the service station.
Badgersmack: The concept of Aniston in a motorway service station is almost funny enough for its own film. Or Friends: Norton Canes edition.
S: Surrounded by ruddy faced people in fleeces and hiking boots queuing up for their soup and sandwich deal, while she wears a polka dot prom dress or something and makes a big show of asking if it is gluten free. Matthew also needs to laugh at her about “roughing it” while she whines about the fat content in a Ginster’s BLT, all the while standing out by being tangerine coloured in a sea of pale Brits and ruddy truckers.
Badgersmack: You’ve obviously not been to a service station in a while, the oompa loompa skin tone is increasingly in popularity. I think a visit to Wimpy might be necessary though (seriously, that would surely confuse them, it confuses me how they’re still in business), and general whining about the state of British coffee, perhaps with Vince Vaughan losing on Sega Rally to some 10 year old kid and then smashing the arcade up.
S: My knowledge of service stations is limited to Newport Pagnell and Westmorland on the M6, which has the benefit of pleasant greenery surrounding it. Vince would be dragged away by an angry humourless Charlize, and no-one comments on the fact she’s wearing a power suit to a service station on a weekend journey. I also think that Vince should drink a beer at the service station to showcase his US style “alcoholism”, even though he’s not driving, and be dressed something like Nathan Barley.
Badgersmack: You have had a deprived life! The service station is a grand institution, where human life at it’s most tired and irate can congregate to buy overpriced junk and relive themselves whilst their offspring pump coins into outdated arcade machines.