Hello, I’m Aaron Sorkin, the genius behind Steve Jobs,The West Wing, Social Network, and A Few Good Men — you know, verbose dramas that play well on basic cable. Well, now you’ll soon be familiar with my next project: an exceptionally boring screenplay I’m writing about Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi hearing.
I’m cooped up in my Manhattan apartment right now, chain smoking Marlboros and chugging black coffee as I transcribe the YouTube live stream of this Benghazi shitshow and craft it into a screenplay that will get nominated for an Oscar but won’t win. Let me tell you, this hearing is about as exciting as watching Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life in slow motion. But I’ll jazz it up with all my Sorkin trademarks: rat-a-tat dialogue between Hillary and committee chairman Trey Gowdy; a Hillary and Huma walk-and-talk on their way to get tuna sandwiches in the congressional cafeteria; and I’ll plagiarize myself and have Hillary shout, “You want the true facts? You can’t handle the true facts!” If you’re gonna steal, steal from the greats.
The problem with this screenplay is that it’s so dull and monotonous that I’m fighting to stay awake as I write it. I’ve dealt with this before, especially when I was writing Moneyball. The first thing I put on the page was INT. ROOM 1100 LOGWORTH HOUSE OFFICE - DAY, and I took three naps while typing that. I’m thinking about having Chairman Gowdy bang a gavel for 20 minutes in the second act, just to keep the audience awake.
Seems like an impossible task,doesn’t it? Taking a farcical real-life event starring blustery congressmen and making it a semi-watchable movie, but I’ve done it before (see Charlie Wilson’s War) and I’ll do it again. What’s my secret to making a boring white-people drama somewhat interesting? Mansplaining. I’ll just have a man explain to Hillary what emails are,and what really happened in Benghazi, and all the blogs will get pissed off at me, then everyone will watch. Hell,it worked on The Newsroom … and everything else I’ve ever written!