Syrup by Maxx Berry
Why bother reading Syrup?
Looking for a novel that packs a cutthroat, satirical punch? Syrup is for you. Although this piece was written for comedic purposes, it provides an accurate depiction of the dog-eat-dog world of Marketing and Advertising. Barry's book is a breath of fresh air if you're not a fan of literature or writing. The storyline is fast-paced yet easy to follow, leaving no room for error or miniscule details.
I encourage all entrepreneurs to give this book a chance. It shows how you have to always get back up and figure out your next step, regardless of how hard you fall or how bad you slip up.
Six and Scat
Subtle Synopsis *spoilers*
The protagonist is a frivolous dreamer who reinvented himself as "Scat" to represent how he has a hip and edgy advantage to his counterparts. He suffers with a bad case of tunnel vision, which explains why he constantly fails to see little details that can make or break him. Throughout the book, he faces adversities the reader can easily foresee.
At the beginning of the book, Scat shares his million-dollar-idea, a soda called Fukk, with his best friend and roommate "Sneaky Pete". Through Sneaky Pete, Scat is introduced to "Six", a razor-sharp Marketing Executive with a callous demeanor and ravishing beauty to make any man, especially Scat, believe in love at first sight. Six is on board with Fukk, and gets right to work. On the day Scat and Six present the product to Coca-Cola, Scat realizes he failed to trademark the name. Sneaky Pete trademarked the name behind Scat's back, moves out of their apartment, and is given credit for something that's not even his.
Out of the blue, Scat receives a call from Six. She informs him Sneaky Pete took her off of Fukk, and Coca-Cola places her on the Classic Cola campaign. She needs a new slogan for Fukk, and they only have a week to present it to the board. Unbeknownst to Scat, Six throws out the Classic Cola campaign, the safety blanket of her career. Scat comes up with nothing, so they pack their things and leave quietly. Scat throws a temper tantrum, shaking and messing with the Fukk vending machine, causing the 105 pound device to fall on top of him. Ironically, Scat has a new slogan: "Wouldn't you die for a Fukk?" Despite Scat's attempts to make a name for himself, Sneaky Pete grabs the rug from under him once again.
Scat is contacted by Six once more, this time asking for his help with a promotional movie ad for Fukk. The only catch is there's a 10,000 dollar limit, which is dismal compared to Sneaky Pete's. Scat and Six are forced to rely on her Film major roommate, Tina, to work her magic. They produce a 50's style skit of two couples on a date. They win this round, so Sneaky Pete is forced to allow Scat and Six to direct the movie, this time with a 140 million dollar budget and A-list actors, such as Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Winona Ryder. This is the turning point of the novel, and where things really get interesting.
Will Scat screw this up? Will he tarnish Six's pristine reputation? Guess you'll have to read the book to find out, huh?
Syrup: The Movie
The movie was directed by Aram Michael Rappaport and released around 2013. Of course, like every book turned movie, the film adaptation of the book is merely the tip of the iceberg. I'm assuming for copyright infringement purposes, they changed the company from Coca-Cola to Addie Cola.
The minor characters, Tina, Six's roommate, and Cindy, Scat's on and off girlfriend, were not included in the film. Cindy's removal from the movie wasn't really a loss, since Rappaport completely rewrote the movie, leaving no use. Although Tina is mentioned once in the film, I was disappointed she was removed. In fact, the 50's date scene was completely removed as well. On top of that, the final 3rd of the book was completely rewritten and replaced with another soda called Cokk, which Scat and Six came up after a rival soda company hired the dynamic duo when Sneaky Pete fired Scat, which caused Six to quit.
Another thing I have to point out is the movie completely ruined Scat and Six's relationship/partnership. In the book, Six, although callous and curt, was nowhere near as narcissistic as the Six in this film. Although Six lies to Scat about being a lesbian, that was the only thing she lied about. In the film, Rappaport painted her out to be this pathological liar, which is NOT synonymous with mysterious.
The biggest thing that irked me? In the book, Six had brown hair and brown eyes. In the movie? Blonde hair and blue eyes. Also, Sneaky Pete is Asian. In the movie, he's Caucasian. Although I understand why they changed Six up, I don't understand why they had to make Sneaky Pete white when there are plenty of asian actors available.
This scene, for example.
Although I enjoyed the movie, the book can never compare. However, some additions to the film were beautifully written and I wished Barry had written something similar. The two complement each other. What the book lacks, the movie provides. What the movie is missing, the book provides.