I liked Entourage as much as the next guy. But, let's face it. At the end of the day, if "Ari" isn't there, all you have is a group of cute, horny guys going from place to place looking to get laid.
Having said that, Hollywood has demonstrated, time and time again, they have no problem trying to make a lot less into a lot more, e.g. Rock of Ages.
But, even with Ari -- and hopefully Lloyd -- in tow, is there enough meat on this stick to entice viewers to fork over the equivalent of their monthly child support payments for a ticket?
After all, Sex in the City was an awful film but it benefited from a legion of rabid females who could care less. Entourage has its fan base, too, but it will have to come up with a better plot on the big screen than Vince doing Aquaman and dating a porn star.
With that in mind, I thought I'd offer creator/director Doug Ellin a few pointers on how to make Entourage work for the big screen:
1. One Word: "Origins"
For whatever reason, people love to see the main character's transformation. Whether it's Robert Downey, Jr. in Iron Man 3, or Christian Bale in The Dark Knight, movies that show the main characters humble beginnings usually ring truer with an audience. Thus, Doug, my advice is to kick it off with Vince and Drama living in a roach-infested studio in Manhattan, going on call after humiliating call, and being ignored by every girl they meet. Maybe even have Drama the more successful of the two at first? You're welcome.
2. If It's Not on the Paper, Wait 'til it Is
That means, if the script sucks, don't do it. Obviously, that's never done -- case in point, Affleck and Timberlake's Runner, Runner -- and in this instance, Warner is apparently bankrolling the flick with the one condition: It's shot by January. This doesn't leave much time to craft a worthy screenplay, but let's hope the powers-that-be have been story-boarding for the past year while the actors have been in negotiations.
3. Trust Your Feelings, Luke
Who better to know the characters than their creators? Yet, studio execs have a very hard time keeping their awful suggestions to themselves. Thank the Lord Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron didn't take the advice of his bosses and cut back to Mission Control, or inflict a past love affair between Sandra Bullock and Ed Harris.
You know what makes these characters tick, Doug. And, like a legendary rock band that finally figures out you need to give the people what they want -- e.g., playing classic albums in their entirety -- make sure, whatever you do, there's a lot of Ari and a lot of girls. After all, what else have you got?
Bonus Pointer: Shoot it in 3-D
3-D is all the rage at the moment. And what could be a better use of this amazing technological tool than giant silicon boobies floating right in front of your face?!
Obviously, Doug, you don't have to listen to me, and I truly wish you and the boys the best of luck come previews time. But, let me leave you with this one thought if I may: If you do decide to ignore my advice, and, upon release, the movie tanks and you find yourself the captain of the Titanic that's just hit a large "Wahlberg," don't say I didn't warn you.
Follow David Fagin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nikchapman