So Grace-Of-Monaco-Gate just happened. And everyone jumped on it. Who doesn't like the gleeful sound of "Fight! Fight! Fight!" Classic industry tweeterati click-bait that resulted in a sniggering, smirking retweet fest. 

It felt like arriving late at a wedding, only to realize that very few other guests had turned up. Very disappointed, bride and groom still go ahead with the ceremony, albeit on a much smaller scale. But throughout the proceedings, a bitter wedding planner dances around the altar like Rumpelstiltskin, telling everyone how he would have done it SO MUCH BETTER if they'd only let him DO HIS JOB!

Here's the Washington Post:

By now, everyone knows more than they could ever want about the disaster of “Grace of Monaco,” the Nicole Kidman film once potentially primed for a Best Picture Oscar … that wound up as a Lifetime movie on Memorial.

If you don’t follow showbiz behind-the-scenes, the gist: The movie, starring Kidman as Grace Kelly in 1962 as she struggled with leaving her acting career and embracing her role as wife to Prince Rainier III of Monaco, famously bombed at the Cannes Film Festival last year. It was mired in public fights between super-producer Harvey Weinstein and French director Olivier Dahan, who had very different visions of the movie. Throw in the fact that the Monaco royal family condemned the film, and you’ve got quite a trainwreck, even for Hollywood standards.

Screenwriter Arash Amel was mighty displeased with the two final edits of the movie, neither of which he says honors his original script. He promised that he would live-tweet his own “Grace of Monaco” commentary when the movie aired on Lifetime Monday night, given that it skipped theaters and went straight to cable.

True to his word, Amel didn’t hold back. “The purpose of this live tweet is to correct the record, an explanation, an apology and most of all a bit of light hearted fun,” he wrote, calling it his DVD commentary. Here are some of the highlights from Amel’s very entertaining hours of tweets:


When I was in 'Nam...

I had a similar experience, with a feature film that I wrote a few years back. But funnily enough, it taught me very different lessons. It was a project that started off as a low-budget road movie, but as the cast got bigger, so did the egos. At some stage I had to ADD characters to the script solely because some bankable stars attracted more funding (not what they teach you at screenwriting school). I even wrote a few scenes specifically for corporate sponsorship and product placement. During the 8-week shoot I was pulled in to co-direct, rewrite, fight fires. What went wrong with the picture was that the producers and I had the same vision during the creative development process that lasted for about a year in our little nucleus, with me researching and writing the script, and the three of us then getting together to discuss each draft. 

When the director joined the project later on, he did like it, but more importantly he also needed the gig. And we needed him in order to unlock his country's funding. (He's also an awesome guy and I love him to bits but that's not the issue).

When shooting started, everything changed. Most scenes were reworked, dialogue changed, etc. The end result bore little resemblance to my — locked — shooting draft. It was neither the rowdy English-Balkan heist movie we'd set out to produce, nor the slapstick romcom the director subsequently tried to make it into. The movie ended up not heist-y enough, and not romantic enough either. Too many cooks...


It wouldn't occur to turn around on release day and point the finger at everyone because those meanies train-wrecked my masterpiece. As a producer I wouldn't want to work with someone liable for post-shoot public meltdowns. All Amel achieved was fan the delusional flames of so many scriptwriters that expect their first draft screenplay to be transformed into an oscar-winner that honours every prodigious word on the page. 

Filmmaking is a group effort, the script is the very first of many more creative processes. Don't embarrass yourself. Don't be a backseat director. No-one likes a smart arse, especially not those that 'told-you-so' afterwards. Don't kick someone that's already down. Not clever. If you want to direct and produce your own work, do it. Don't be a fucking diva about your script.