Imagine, if you will, that I am Karen the Producer, sitting in my plush office and receiving a visit from Luc Besson.
“Luc,” I say, in Godfather-esque tones, “Luc, you gave us Leon, which explored a fascinating relationship between a little girl and a hitman, that became a cult classic. You gave us the Fifth Element, which was slightly weird but almost charming. And there was that Joan of Arc one, but we’ll forget that. But you’ve been away for six years, Luc. Six long years. What have you brought me after all this time?”
Luc slams a script down on my desk in triumph. “I bring you this, Karen the Producer,” he says. “My new film. Angel-A. Imagine this: a man is so down on his luck and life that he’s about to kill himself, when,” he holds up a finger, “wait for it… an angel appears to show him life’s not all that bad.”
“Luc,” I say. “That’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’”
“No,” he says. “It’s different. The angel is a bit edgy, not at all how you’d picture an angel.”
“Been done in Dogma,” I say.
“No, but she teaches him to love.”
“A Life Less Ordinary.”
“No, no, get this,” Luc says. “They fall in love!”
“City of Angels,” I say, getting a bit weary. “Luc, is there anything that makes this film original?”
“Well, the angel is a six-foot blonde in a black mini-dress.”
“Interesting,” I say. “What else?”
“The man is quite small. So when she stands next to him, she dwarfs him.”
“Ok,” I say. “What else?”
“Um…” Luc’s face falls. “It’s in French?”
“Luc,” I say, getting impatient now. “Let me get this straight. You’ve made a film with very little originality, and,” I say, reading through the script with super speed, “from the looks of it, the only interesting bit, where the angel questions her own existence, isn’t explored fully and is a bit out of the blue.”
“Well,” Luc says, whimpering slightly. “I’m making it in black and white.”
“It might look very pretty, Luc, but that doesn’t make it a good film,” I say, throwing his script back at him. A tear runs down Luc’s cheek.
“Oh,” he says, crestfallen.
“It’s not like it’s an unbearable film,” I say, with some sympathy. “It’s not like Pirates of the Caribbean. But I expected something more substantial. Your plot is as skeletal as your angel.”
Luc just stands there, bottom lip trembling.
“I’m deducting one point because your film lacks any sort of weight. You’re getting CF-1, Luc. Do you understand?”
Luc nods silently.
“Now go away and do something better. I know you’re capable. You just have to prove it.”
I point to the door, and Luc shuffles out of my office clutching his script.
God I’d be a great producer.