My favorite song on Demi Lovato’s album “Unbroken” is every song that sounds like it belongs in a late 90’s early 2000’s dance movie about a ballet dancer who discovers that she is too short for the ballet but that her songs, style and routines can be just as good if not better when remixed with some hip-hop to be a little more contemporary. What better a way than to write a sample of the script containing the music?
By Brendan Kennedy
EXT. URBAN CHICAGO, 1997 – DAY
It’s a clear, crisp day – so cold you can see people’s breath. Demi Lovato’s “Lightweight” begins to play.
After a fast cut spread of the city, the camera pans on the elevated train to a sign that reads “School for the Performing Arts.”
Our main character, Taylor, is crying after what looks like vomiting behind the sign. Her best friend Abigail, an overconfident urban teen who gave it all to a boy who changed his mind, runs up and is shouting, like loud you guys.
Oh snap, I cannot believe what you just did. Are you kidding? No third year student let alone second would have ever done that.
It’s over. Like it’s really over.
Abigail reaches over and grabs the CD player and skips a track. Lovato’s “Real Life” begins to play as Abigail dances among the homeless people.
Pussy Cat, please. (smiles) Well … Yes, it’s over, but did you see how Kyle looked at you? Girl you can get it.
Abigail continues to dance and pretends to “freak” on a sleeping homeless person.
Too short … Like, what the f**k is that? They couldn’t have told me during any of the 12 years I’ve been dancing? No, I can’t now. He’ll never go for me if I can’t be a real dancer because I’m too short.
First of all, you think Mr. Perfect T.A. gives a s**t about ballet? You know he’s always squawking about how he’s gonna land jobs on Bad Boy music videos. It’s hip-hop he cares about, fool.
Abigail begins an exaggerated grind, like a video ho.
(begins to laugh)
Fool? What are you coolio? (wink) Your right, but your moves are whack. It’s more like this, (displays the proper way to do The Butterfly) and you know if we are ever gonna be ready for the club we gotta rehearse.
Taylor presses “next” on the CD player, Lovato’s “Unbroken” begins to play. Taylor starts the first of many dancing montages set to this song.
Taylor and Abigal continue dancing but are soon chased off by the homeless man’s girlfriend, who is also homeless.
INT. TAYLOR’S HOUSE – EVENING
Taylor and Abigail are getting ready to go out. They try on outfits and the song crescendos when we see them in a circle absolutely killing their routine.
INT. NIGHT CLUB – NIGHT
Drake is spinning.
Taylor and Abagail are about to wrap their routine when out of nowhere, with a record scratch, Kyle, the aforementioned TA, appears and begins to pop and lock in another circle. The music changes to Lovato’s “Who’s That Boy” as Taylor and Abigail watch in slow motion. Performing live is pregnant Dev doing her own rap parts.
The instrumental continues a beat as you see Kyle look over at Taylor and he walks towards her.
Lovato’s “All Night Long” begins to play as Abigail’s jaw drops.
(shouting over the music)
I like your moves.
Thanks, we’ve been pra…
The way you told off Nick was sick. I mean, he’s the head of the Chicago Ballet. Couldn’t you have picked someone your own size to pick on?
Hey, whatever, that guy had it coming he keeps pretending he was going move Taylor up, but all he ever does is break girls hearts.
Yeah, you should know.
Kyle realizes he has said too much, but it’s too late.
No, I mean he’s a d**k. You shouldn’t think about it.
Abigail is shocked and embarrassed.
I’m Sorry, Abi. Taylor, I’m sorry.
Taylor looks at him and – in slow motion – give him a kiss on the cheek. Lovato’s “Hold Up” begins to play.
It’s OK, she’s gonna be OK.
Taylor writes her pager number on his hand.
Hit me up.
Taylor and Abigail disappear into the crowd. They meet outside, and Abigail is smoking. They hug.
Lovoato’s “Skyscraper” begins to play as they head home.
You’ll get through this.
(crying and then starts to laugh)
Look at you, we were here tonight to make you feel better. You the bomb. Yeah, f**k Nick, his brother Joe is way hotter. Here I come, Joe!
Abigail dances through the recently rained on streets as the song continues.
INT. TAYLOR’S BEDROOM – SUNRISE
Lovato’s “You’re My Only Shorty” begins to play as Taylor turns off a re-run of “Quantum Leap” after kissing the TV.
Sorry, Scott Bakula, you’ve got some competition.
She picks up a photo of Kyle on a ballet program. She takes the gum out of her mouth, sticks the pic to her mirror and kisses it. A loud pounding on her bedroom door begins.
(still knocking on the door)
Taylor turn down that s**t. I just got home from work.
Taylor’s father grabs a beer from the fridge and heads for the couch to pass out.
(mumbles under her breath)
Yeah right, work.
Lovato’s “For the Love of a Daughter” plays as he yells at her.
WHAT did you say? I don’t have to put up with this garbage, not since your mother left us, are you kidding me? Who do you think pays for that school of yours?
Taylor opens the door, takes the beer out of his hands and fixes his hoboish presentation.
You’re right, dad. I’m sorry, mom’s a b***h. I gotta go, but what you want for dinner later?
They both say “Steak” at the same time and laugh.
Love you, dad.
Taylor exits into the new morning and makes her way to her job. Taylor’s pager goes off. It’s the numbers “143” and Lovato’s “Unbroken” reprise instrumental kick in. (In 1997, “143” meant “I Love You” for the number of letters in each word.)
(For more scenes from “Unbroken” please send money to @waywaw to see how the rest of the script and the remaining songs on the record are used in the sound track: songs like “My Love is Like a Star,” “Mistake” and “Together” get so real you wouldn’t believe. Wait, have you gathered how much I love this record yet?)