Rose Doctors the Book: “Ocean’s 8”

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I enjoyed Ocean’s 8 much more than Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (the subject of my first “Rose Doctors the Book” post). I think overall it was a much more successful movie. I loved all the characters, they had amazing chemistry with each other, it was charming and glamorous and attractive as hell, and I had a great time watching it.

But when the movie ended I had a moment of letdown. “Wait, it’s over? That was it?” It felt like there was something MORE I was waiting for, that never came. I didn’t leave the theater giddy.

Here are my suggestions to improve the Ocean’s 8 script.

WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS.

1. Why were they able to sneak into all those bathrooms at a busy event, and there wasn’t anyone already in them, or waiting to use them? This completely broke my suspension of disbelief. A partial fix would at least be an “out of order” sign for the single-occupancy workers’ bathroom near the kitchen, and maybe staging some kind of scene to clear everyone out of the multi-stall guest bathroom?

2. More Rihanna. This is just basic craft stuff here, people.

3. Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett should have ended up together. Their partnership was the core story of the movie, at least as far as there was one, and the only hint of tension at any point was in their conflict. Even if you’re too chickenshit to let them kiss, at the very LEAST Sandra Bullock should get on the back of Cate Blanchett’s bike at the end. This would go a long way towards making the ending feel like a resolution. Like something has been transformed and changed for the better.

4. This movie desperately needed some kind of “all-is-lost” moment. Every good heist movie (or TV episode, shoutout to Leverage and Hustle) has one of these. You NEED a moment where the viewer thinks, “They aren’t going to get away with it,” because this allows her to want them to get away with it, and therefore to be transcendently relieved and satisfied when they do get away with it. Some possible “all-is-lost” moments for Ocean’s 8:

  • Richard Armitage realizes he’s been set up and who’s doing it, and fingers them to James Corden. (Cate Blanchett SAID he would send Sandra Bullock back to jail!!! She said so! If you set it up you have to at least threaten to pay it off.)
  • Sandra Bullock’s parole officer sends her back to jail because a member of the team has a record.
  • Cate Blanchett says, “I told you if you framed Richard Armitage, I’d walk away,” and she walks away.
  • Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett have a huge screaming fight and ruin everything. (This is my favorite option. I love a fake fight about real things!)
  • James Corden finds the diamonds. Oh no! They haven’t made any money on the con and they’re in debt for the set-up!
  • A member of the team betrays them and agrees to turn them in to the insurance company in exchange for immunity.

And obviously, most of these could be combined with each other for maximum effect. In each case, of course, it turns out that this was all part of the plan!

5. Cut the final scene in the mausoleum. It was totally pointless. But if you ARE going to have it, then you need to have Danny Ocean’s hand come from offscreen and pick up his martini. This would at least leave us feeling excited about sequel possibilities. (And wouldn’t require you to actually hire George Clooney.)

What do you think? What would you change about the Ocean’s 8 script?

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