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A consummate freeloader has to see his favorite band headline a sold-out concert in Seattle, but his ride is suicidal and the tickets are in the hands of the last thing he needs.
After a man's attempts at suicide is interrupted by the sudden reappearance of an estranged and socially abrasive friend, he is unwillingly made to accompany the friend and the friend's son on a road trip to a Pearl Jam concert.
A down-in-the-dumps hitchhiker forces his suicidal former best friend to join him on a road trip to go see Pearl Jam, their all-time favorite band, in concert.
Comedy, Broad Comedy, Dramedy, Drugs, Film, Road Movies
Road Trip, Little Miss Sunshine, Sideways, Young Adult, Due Date
Present day/ Roughly one week.
Residential apartments, diners, beaches, homes, open road, rest stops, large concert venue, bars.
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BEN (40’s) is in his living room, watching footage from his wedding as he prepares to kill himself. As he is about to commit the act, his old estranged friend DODGE (40’s) shows up at his front door and begins to make himself at home, much to the displeasure of Ben. Dodge invites Ben to go on a road trip to a Pearl Jam concert. Ben refuses, and so he and Dodge spend time surfing, playing Frisbee, going to a pub, and getting food together. Eventually, Dodge and Ben pick up drugs. In his altered state, Ben calls his former wife MARY’S phone and leaves her voice messages. When Ben wakes up the next day, he finds that Dodge has kidnapped him and is taking him to the concert.
Ben continues to leave Mary voice messages. Ben and Dodge continue to argue and fight during their trip. Soon, they pick up a HITCHHIKER GUY (?) and a HITCHHIKER GIRL (?). Dodge takes them to a rest stop where he has sex with the Hitchhiker Girl. The Hitchhiker Guy tries to rob the pair, but he is subdued. Dodge then reveals that they are going to pick up his young gangster wannabe...
“State of Love and Dodge,” in which a suicidal man reunites with his former friend and becomes his unwilling companion on a road trip, has a premise that speaks strongly of its potential for character work, conflict, and tone. The character work, however, may require some slight revisions in terms of the portrayal of the characters and the character focus as a whole. The conflicts could use additional attention, particularly the external conflicts, and the tone is somewhat uneven due to the darker moments of the piece appearing at odds with the majority of the atmosphere. The structure is solid, but the pacing experiences several perceivable lulls. Dialogue may be worth trimming in regards to unrelated issues being discussed, but humor oriented moments of dialogue that tie directly into the narrative are wholly successful....
“State of Love and Dodge” is an amusing, heartfelt comedy/drama about a selfish, abrasive drifter and his suicidal friend, both ex-musicians, who go on a road trip to a Pearl Jam concert. The writing is strong, and laden with voice. Dialogue is a highlight, with sharp, funny conversations, and distinctive voices for principal characters. That said, the narrative seems to fall short of achieving its potential at present. Many of the narrative’s early pacing and character issues seems to stem from the decision to withhold the existence of the protagonist’s son, a detail that also significantly weakens the pitch and logline since it’s a midpoint twist and can’t really be given away. Before the next pass, it might be advisable to consider this issue carefully. The quality of the writing and the story’s strong emotional core make “State of Love and Dodge” worthy of further development....
“State of Love and Dodge,” a black comedy about two wildly different Pearl Jam fans, both at rock bottom, reluctantly joining up to take one last road trip to their favorite band’s concert, takes an interesting, conflict-filled premise and fills it with morally ambiguous and deeply flawed characters. The fact it looks at this through the tonal filter of a black comedy really allows it to stand out. However, it has some issues with creating a defined structure, maintaining conflict and creating logical sense of some of its more over-the-top moments. Due to these elements, it falls a little short of the promise it shows in its character work, witty dialogue and its strong pace....