Screenplay Review: The Candy Notes
In the anthology series The Candy Notes, the Devil takes his gender-fluid child, Roosterfer to work on a series of deals to learn the ropes. Screenwriter, Juliano Angeliano takes us on a shock and sex-fueled ride that likens humanity closer to Hell.
The Candy Notes has an edginess akin to Love, Death, and Robots, though this piece appears to be live action. This anthology is not for kids as it promises nudity, sex, drugs, and violence. The stories spare no weirdness from talking black panthers to a box that infinitely duplicates items. While there could have been more nuance and depth, Angeliano’s style leaned toward shock value and absurdity for the sake of it.
The devil is a fun character. He feels debonair, even cool, like someone you want to take to a party (but maybe run away when he hands you pen and paper). Roosterfer is an interesting idea for a character, but their bearing on the plot and their character development could have been more integrated into the series.
Among the devil’s clients are: an exotic pet store owner trying to keep rent; a businessman with everything but love; a couple who cannot have a baby; an orphaned basketball player; a woman stuck in a painting; a vampire who wants companionship and a reason to live; a washed up ice skater; a musician; an unfaithful female lover; the devil’s wife.
The devil appears to target privileged, helpless, greedy, or traumatized individuals who need something. His clients are more like tropes exploring people as stereotypes, our worst selves.
The strongest of the vignettes features Matthew and Megan and their box that duplicates things. It gives them all the material items they could want like money, but they use it for the thing they want most, a child. The child they choose to duplicate disappears leaving the couple distraught. The theme of greed and overindulgence in the piece is strong.
On a technical level, the descriptions in the script were unnecessarily long and sometimes distracting to the flow of the screenplay. The formatting could benefit with more concise descriptions. The anthology also runs long, and could lose one or two vignettes like the devil’s wife, entirely.
While the execution isn’t perfect and some stories stand out more than others, there are interesting themes of greed and desire that tie this edgy anthology together. With a little more focus, one could picture it as a mini series for a streaming service.
Writer - Juliano Angeliano