Hollywood Screenwriting Directory

Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Screenplay Genre: Comedy / Drama / Romance

Movie Time: 82 minutes

1. INCITING INCIDENT

Napoleon (Jon Heder), a lethargic loner in a small Idaho town, is introduced to newcomer Pedro (Efren Ramirez), who quickly becomes his best friend. (00:08:35)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

When Napoleon's grandma breaks her coccyx in a dune bug accident, Uncle Rico (Jon Gries) shows up to look after him and his brother. (00:21:34)

3. FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)

After Pedro asks out Deb (Tina Majorino), the girl that Napoleon intended to go to the dance with, he is encouraged by Pedro to use his drawing talent to woo a girl, so Napoleon draws a horrendous picture of a classmate named Trish and invites her. The girl’s mother feels pity for Napoleon, forcing Trish to accept Napoleon’s invitation. (00:42:53)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

Uncle Rico, trying to make money off another one of his scams, tells Deb that she could use some of the breast enhancement drugs that he’s selling, and to persuade her, he tells her that Napoleon agrees. Deb, completely offended and heartbroken, calls Napoleon and calls him a shallow person and recommends he take some breast enhancement drugs. (1:12:46)

5. THIRD ACT TWIST

Pedro's opponent in the school presidential race, a prom queen type girl named Summer (Haylie Duff), dominates her speech and sketch in front of the whole school. Pedro is left hopeless and gives a broken man's speech and with no sketch ready, clearly headed for failure. Just then Napoleon bursts through with a surprise dance that blows everyone away. (1:21:11)