PURSUIT OF COOL
PURSUIT OF COOL
Feature length Screenplay (109 pages)
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Urban, Coming-Of-Age, Indie Style
4 Leads: 2 women, 2 men
Logline: Two urban couples enjoy the intoxicating, heady days of their mid-20s while struggling to face the truth about their relationships. The couple that fails to face the truth gets married; the couple that succeeds breaks up. This contemporary screenplay looks at sex, violence, class, addictions and the impact of technology on millennial, romantic relationships.
Summary: PURSUIT OF COOL asks the question, “Can people change or do they stay the same?” This is a story that will challenge audiences to face uncomfortable truths about themselves and the world we live in, and excels with an intelligent narrative, interesting characters, and surprising plot twists. The ensemble film follows the interwoven stories of Carl, Payton, Vicky, and Christine – four friends in their later twenties trying to grow up and free themselves from the influence of their parents who made them the persons they are at the beginning of the script. During the engagement party of one of the couples, all four characters find themselves on an unstoppable collision course, courtesy of the iCloud. We hope audiences will want to go out for coffee or a drink afterwards, and sort out the conflicts the story and its characters have provoked.
History: This script was selected as a Semifinalist at the 2018 Creative World Awards Screenplay Competition, offered a 2018 CineStory Foundation Screenwriter’s Retreat Award and selected into the advanced round of the 2018 Austin Film Festival Screenwriter’s Competition. An earlier draft was a Finalist at Cinequest’s Screenplay Competition and selected into the advanced rounds at Slamdance’s and Scriptapalooza’s Screenplay Competitions.
BlueCat 2019 feedback:
Pursuit of Cool
“Pursuit of Cool” excels with an intelligent story, interesting characters, and surprising plot twists. The ensemble film follows the interwoven stories of Carl, Payton, Vicky, and Christine – four friends in their later twenties trying to grow up and free themselves from the influence of their parents who made them the persons they are at the beginning of the script.
The pointed introductory sequence leaves the sparkling New York party scene and gives way to all the shades of grey of the family lives of our four main characters. The author skillfully gets to the heart of their everyday struggles with their parents in brief and very effective scenes. We sense that troubled Payton was beaten by his father as a kid. We feel with Christine having to deal with her alcoholic father and a mother who is no support at all. We sympathize with nice guy Carl who is not living up to his parents’ high expectations, and we despise Vicky’s bored mother who’d rather be her best friend than her parent. On the other hand, the author manages to show how much all four main characters resemble their parents. Payton is the same arrogant asshole as his father, Christine seems to find the same excuses for Payton as her father for his drinking, Carl’s expectations for himself are as high as his parents expectations, and Vicky is as bored as her Mom.
Carl’s and Vicky’s love story is skillfully told. Although the start is funny and romantic, we are wondering from the beginning if they will be able to live happily ever after. The end of their relationship is adequate and keeps us hoping they might probably get together again.
Payton’s and Christine’s on and off engagement, her desperate struggle to make him faithful and his uncompromising lifestyle seem not to fit together but they are trying hard. In the first part of the script we even start to believe he finally got the wake-up call and pulls himself together. But then we learn on page 74 that he is still seeing Joyce, which comes as a big surprise. Payton’s transition from a guy preferring rough sex to a rapist is a surprising climax of his character development.
The author manages to interweave all storylines in a skillful way. He never forgets a character and progresses all four stories constantly forward. Although the script moves lightly on its feet it with dialogue and scenes full of subtext it never fails to dig deep into its characters emotions and situations.
Thomas MooreWriterJACK AND PAUL
Number of Pages:109
Country of Origin:United States
WILLiFEST Outstanding Achievement Award, Short ScreenwritingBrooklyn, NY
May 27, 2017
Achievement Award, Short Screenwriting
Cinestory FoundationLos Angeles
May 27, 2008
Best Short Screenplay
SAG Foundation’s Short Film ShowcaseManhattan
May 27, 2015
Fort Lauderdale International Film FestivalFort Lauderdale, FL
Manhattan Film FestivalManhattan
September 25, 2015
Williamsburg International Film FestivalBrooklyn
September 20, 2015
New York City Fringe FestivalManhattan
May 30, 2013
Tom is a NYC writer/producer. His film credits include: the WILLiFEST Outstanding Achievement Award in Short Screenwriting, the Cinestory Foundation award for best short screenplay, a Cinequest finalist for his feature-length screenplay, official selection at the Williamsburg International Film Festival, the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, Manhattan Film Festival, The DAMN Film Series and the SAG Foundation’s Short Film Showcase. His plays have won the Drama League’s Best Play-in-Progress Award, invitations to the NYC Fringe Festival and fellowships at the Blue Mountain Center Artist Residency and the Edward F. Albee Foundation. Tom is also a psychotherapist is private practice in Manhattan.
PURSUIT OF COOL asks the question, “Can people face the truth about themselves and change, or do people lie and stay the same?” Carl, Vicky, Payton and Christine try to solve the coming-of-age problems of establishing monogyny, leaving the instability of their families behind them and bridging social class differences. During the engagement party of one of the couples, they find themselves on an unstoppable collision course, courtesy of the iCloud.
As a psychotherapist with a private NYC practice for the past 25 years, I have an expertise few writers have. I believe that “new voices” need to include not just talented young writers, but the voices that come from someone’s lifetime commitment to a cause and a purpose. The stories and characters I write about are informed by the volume and years of people I've worked with. I've seen how people struggle to try and grow and change. Some do, some don't -- facing the truth is the one thing that separates those who change from those who don't.