‘Lu Movie’: What If Netflix’s Algorithm Designed A Film Just For Me?
It’s pretty widely accepted that Netflix have been greenlighting films based upon an algorithmic impression of what their users want to watch. No human could conceive of something as daft as Bright without the help of a tasteless computer application that doesn’t understand the concept of art. So, I began wondering, if Netflix designed a film specifically catering to my tastes and viewing habits — a film we will refer to as Lu Movie — what would it look like? Who would star? What would the story be? Who would write and direct?
Here’s how we begin to assemble Lu Movie:
1. OXYMORONIC ELEVATOR PITCH
eg. The Boss Baby, The Young Pope
Lu Movie has to have a poster that make me shout “Hot Damn!”, which pretty much requires a person doing a job they shouldn’t be doing. Alec Baldwin as a baby who wears a suit and carries a briefcase, and Jude Law as The Pope, sum this up pretty well.
Unfortunately, Lu Movie already has a title, and it’s near impossible to contain everything it needs to include under the umbrella of an elevator pitch. But the SEQUEL will definitely follow this template.
2. MICHAEL STUHLBARG
Also: Alec Baldwin, Mae Whitman, Donald Glover, Carrie Coon, Alison Brie, Michael Fassbender, Richard Schiff, Frances MacDormand, Jeff Daniels: the perfect cast.
Stuhlbarg will be our hero: Lucien Flaugh-Flaly, a professor of Conspiracyology who discovers an evil plan to destroy the world’s only remaining newspaper.
3. ALT-HISTORY MYSTERY BULLSHIT
eg. National Treasure, Angels & Demons
In order to save the newspaper, Professor Lucien has to find a treasure map leading to a buried treasure which has some clue that allows him to save the newspaper.
eg. Call Me By Your Name, Master of None
Our film will primarily take place in Venice and other Italian cities. Greece is also acceptable. Spain is not.
5. A STRONG FATHER/DAUGHTER BOND
eg. Interstellar, Parenthood
As neither a father nor a daughter, I can’t rationally explain why emotional moments between fathers and daughters make me cry more than almost anything else, but it’s true.
Professor Lucien has a strong bond with his daughter (Mae Whitman) because of some promise he made when she was a child. The details aren’t important.
6. SMART POWERFUL PROFESSIONALS
eg. The West Wing, The Newsroom
Nothing sexier than a man or woman with lots of expertise, verbally vomiting said expertise for the benefit of the dumb viewers. Basically, we need Aaron Sorkin to write the thing. Cool.
7. GREAT COMEDY ACTOR IN A SERIOUS ROLE
eg. Punch-Drunk Love, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Jim Carrey will play Professor Lucien’s brother who has just left prison after murdering his wife and is trying to reenter the world. He cries a lot.
8. RIDICULOUS CARTOON PEOPLE
eg. 30 Rock, Arrested Development
David Cross will play the goofy sidekick of our villain (Alec Baldwin) who is always saying silly thing and getting into scrapes.
9. WEIRD SHIT THAT NOBODY WOULD BELIEVE UNLESS THEY’VE SEEN THE FILM/SHOW THEMSELVES
eg. Twin Peaks, Atlanta
A kangaroo will have a significant role in the film that will make sense once you see it. Alligator or bear also acceptable.
10. A CELEBRATION OF HOW MOVIES AFFECT PEOPLE
eg. Community, Hugo
At some point, somebody will pull out an old film projector and we will sit and appreciate the importance of cinema.
11. SINGING AND DANCING
eg. All the musicals I love
There will be a spontaneous musical number, but not like the terrible one in Shape of Water
12. A SECRET UNDERGROUND OPERATION
eg. The Incredibles, Kingsman: The Secret Service
Our villain is Rick Reynolds (Alec Baldwin), director of B.A.D.G.U.Y.S who have a lair under the Venice Canal that can only be accessed by submerging in a submarine.
13. TOM CRUISE POTENTIALLY INJURING HIMSELF
eg. Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation
It won’t be relevant to the plot in any way, but Tom Cruise will jump really far or cling onto something tall in one breathtaking sequence.
14. QUASI-BIBLICAL PARABLE
eg. The Leftovers, Three Billboards, A Serious Man
The whole thing is a metaphor for the Book of Temptations or something.
15. SENTIMENTAL EMPOWERMENT NARRATIVE
eg. The Help, Forrest Gump
A disenfranchised person will fight for the respect of society and I will be moved because I’m a sentimental fool.
16. SUBURBAN CLAUSTROPHOBIA
eg. American Beauty, Lady Bird
Professor Lucien’s daughter is depressed because she lives in a boring semi-detached house, and there’s a whole subplot about that.
17. THOMAS NEWMAN SCORE
eg. American Beauty, The Help
Thomas Newman is the most creative, evocative film composer of his generation. His stuff works great in any kind of film. Alternatively, stick a bunch of Arcade Fire songs in.
18. DIRECTED BY DAMIEN CHAZELLE
Or Christopher Nolan, David Lynch or Brad Bird. Depending on the tone we’re looking for.
19. RELEASE IT ON MY BIRTHDAY
It’d be a wonderful gift.
Alright, Netflix algorithm, I’ve done my bit. Go off and make me Lu Movie now, you’ll merely have to convince this incredible talent to get involved. Just throw money at them. It’ll all work out. I’ll watch it when I finish my homework :)