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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Mating Dance – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by KP Mackie

 The Mating Dance

When it comes to romance, listening to advice can lead to unexpected results…

Ah – the love story. Nowadays, almost every movie has one. Even genre movies throw in a handful of romance. Milk, Iron Man, The Wolf of Wall Street. Even the animated hit Frozen gets in its share of kissy-cuddly action. It’s almost a required sub-plot B.

For the romantic-comedy, of course, relationships take center stage. Two people “meet-cute.” Life throws obstacles in their way – simultaneously tearing them apart, yet bonding them subtly closer. Just as they realize they’re meant for each other, a misunderstanding causes a tragic break up. Ultimately, the couple reconcile and kiss. The curtain falls. The last scene fades.

Yep, getting to “Happily Ever After” requires some choreographed steps. But even if you’ve heard this song before, doesn’t mean you’ve seen the latest moves.

In her short The Mating Dance, talented writer Marnie Mitchell-Lister puts a fun, original spin on that never-ending ballad of romance…

Separate guests at the Hilton, singles Jake and Marla literally bump into each other at the reservation desk. Their bags become entangled, resulting in several clumsy “dance steps”. When they finally break free, an embarrassed Jake heads for the hotel lounge. Sure, Marla’s cute and all. But Jake’s recently divorced. It’s been awhile since he’s been in the game. To kill time before his flight, Jake impulse-buys a book at the convenience stand: The Mating Dance for Men, by Ramesh Kumar. May as well read up on the latest tips…

After signing out, Marla also stops by the stand. And a book catches her eye. The Mating Dance for Women, by Dr. Padima Sanghi-Kumar. She grabs it, making sure no-one sees… and settles in to read as well.

We all know what comes next. The couples’ eyes meet. Then an awkward pause – mutual attraction in the air. Soon, the Mating Dance begins in earnest. Awkward introductions. Stammered “lines”. The two stumble toward Getting to Know Each Other, aided by contradictory advice from their hidden books. Yep, Jake and Marla could use some guidance. But will they find their rhythm, or drive each other away?

Like the best romance comedies, TMD doesn’t take itself too seriously: alternating “voice-overs” from the books with awkward dialogue between the couple. (Anyone who’s been through a bad first date knows exactly what that’s like.) You’ll be rooting for Jake and Marla instantly. And you’ll want to read this to the end. Because happily-ever-after doesn’t happen when a couple meets. It always clicks at the end.

Comedy indie directors take note… This is one script worth choosing as your dance partner. A fun premise, and easy to film, it won’t be single for too long!

About the writer: Having completed 9 features and over 70 shorts, Marnie Mitchell-Lister has no plans on stopping. Currently, she’s working on a variety of projects; an animated feature, a psychological thriller and a TV pilot about a bored housewife whose quest for excitement gets her in all sorts of trouble. Some of Marnie’s work can be found on her website:

Pages: 6

Budget: Three simple interiors: a hotel lobby, the hotel lounge, and a shuttle. Two main characters, a couple extras, and two actors with distinctive voices to provide voiceover dialogue, preferably with catchy accents.

About the reviewer: California uber reader/reviewer KP Mackie is working hard on her animated feature. KP’s work is available at!





All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved.

The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.


2 Comments so far


KP Mackie
September 17th, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Always one of my favorites! 🙂


Ashley Wilson
September 24th, 2016 at 9:02 pm

Hi Marnie,

I really like this concept!
I am a Grad student in the Film and Media program at Hopkins. I have a project for a producing class where I am required to use a short film script for my project and “act” as the Line Producer and I have a list of assignments associated with the project. I wont actually shoot the film but I am required to get NON-exclusive rights to the project and have you sing off on it. If you would be interested in allowing me to use your script for the project I can send you the Option agreement to look over and the list of assignments I have to complete (independently of course0 but just so you have an idea of what I’ll be doing. I look forward to hearing from you!

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