Q: How did the story evolve through multiple drafts? What were major and minor changes?
Q: How did you come up with the story? What inspired you to write it?
Q: In both excerpts -- the scene between Elle and her father, and the scene between Elle and Mike -- there is obvious tension. Was the tone difficult to get right? Which scene was more challenging to write?
Q: Did you have any plot lines or characters that you liked but ultimately chose to remove?
Q: Are there any films that you feel are similar to "I Do, You Don't"?
Q: What are some of your favorite screenplays?
LB: “Manhattan” is one of my favorites because Woody Allen took a low-concept story about terribly unlikeable people and made it terribly engaging (and real). “Before Sunset” is a script I wish I wrote, but my dad still wishes I made it big with “Little Miss Sunshine.” As for 2011 films, I just saw “Beginners” and fell in love. And I can’t really say I like Mike Leigh’s screenplays since he doesn’t technically write a script until after the film is finished, but I’m constantly intrigued by his kooky process and the way he and his actors create these stories from improvisation.
Writer Bio: Lauren Barbato published her first short story in a national children's magazine at the age of 10, and since then has devoted her life to storytelling. A recent graduate of USC's School of Cinematic Arts with a BFA in Writing for Screen and Television, she has received awards for both her screenwriting and journalism work at the Daily Trojan, where she served as Lifestyle Editor and columnist. As a journalist, Lauren has written and worked for MovieMaker Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, FILTER Magazine and Campus Circle. Currently, she contributes to Under the Radar and various online sites, including Patch.com, Examiner.com and Yahoo, and is working on transforming "I Do, You Don't" from script to screen. Although she calls Los Angeles home (for now), she remains a proud, Springsteen-loving Jersey girl at heart.
INT. ROMEO’S ROOM - NURSING HOME - DAY
Elle lingers in the DOORWAY, taking in the room:
Hospital bed and wheelchair, paisley patterned arm chairs, an armoire and dresser, and an enormous flat screen television. As for decorations, a crucifix hangs on one wall; a portrait of Ronald Reagan hangs on another.
All of this is for ROMEO (70), a strong man now beaten down by illness. He rests in the bed, remote in hand. Tubes in his nose lead to an oxygen tank.
Elle clears her throat. Romeo mutes the TV.
Elle eyes the oxygen tank.
She gently wraps her arms around Romeo. A brief hug.
Romeo glances out the window.
Elle scopes out the room, looking for a way out — this isn’t going to be easy.
Elle plops down in an armchair.
You know, it’s only been like,
Has it been four?
Twenty-eight years old and you
still can’t take care of yourself.
Hey, I made it cross-country OK.
Did you pay your rent before you
Yes, I paid my rent.
Elle gets up from the armchair, pacing again.
OK, no. Fuck.
I’m losing my patience with you,
Well, it’s a good thing you don’t
have much time left.
Romeo breaks into a coughing fit — painful, uncontrollable. Elle moves forward, but he waves her away as he reaches for his oxygen mask.
Elle stomps out of the room, passing Christine in the
DOORWAY, who narrows her eyes at Romeo.
(removing his mask)
She hasn’t changed.
© Lauren Barbato