The film as far as it goes is absolutely riveting revealing the price of living a life free from the emotional connections and demands of others, and asks whether or not anything really matters.
George Clooney gives a wonderful performance and there are a number of terrific scenes. But without giving anything else away, I will say this: The film’s missing a third act.
Maybe it’s because I’m a script consultant and writer myself but I find myself always analyzing movies after I have seen them, usually with the people I have dragged along with me.
So, after seeing this movie, my pals (also writers) and I retired to a local wine bar and we each laid out a new third act — one where each of the characters are able to resolve their issues and apply what they have learned. I was particularly excited to see that many of our third acts involved the “new adventure” that I discuss in The Four Magic Questions of Screenwriting.
As an exercise:
Take a movie you saw recently and try writing an expanded or different ending that would satisfy you better. Do you change a happy ending to a sad ending? Do you have different characters end up together? Do your characters embark on a new journey?