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Visual Novel / Red Carpet Diaries

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From left to right: Victoria Fontaine, Jessica/MC, and Matt Rodriguez

Red Carpet Diaries is one of many books from the game Choices: Stories You Play.

In this story, you’ve come to Hollywood to make it big. Will you be the next big thing or burn out?

Red Carpet Diaries has the following tropes:

  • Anything but That!: After Matt reveals he’s a fanboy of Pegasus Squad, Jessica wants to put it on the internet. He has this to say.
    Matt: Dear god, no! Tumblr will eat me alive!
    • Chazz says the trope when Jessica threatens to show his boss a picture of his emo phase.
  • The Alleged Car: Chazz’s real car is a clunker with a dented fender and a window covered in duct tape. In Book 1 Chapter 2, the valet at Matt’s birthday says it’s crappier than his own car.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: In Book 1 Chapter 12 when Jessica and Teja are showing the execs the studio, showing them the stables allows the female executive a chance to pet a horse which she finds very calming.
  • Alpha Bitch: Victoria Fontaine. After meeting each other, Victoria apparently has made her mission in life to sabotage Jessica's career.
    • By book 2 she’s slipped into Lovable territory and is replaced with the entitled Apricot Persimmon.
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  • Arc Number: For Book 1 Chapter 2, 24 due to it being Matt’s 24th birthday.
  • Aura Vision: Gloria, one of Jessica’s neighbors, claims she can see Jessica’s aura of stardom. If Jessica brings Victoria with her to her apartment in Book 1 Chapter 12, Gloria also does the same aura vision on Victoria, seeing awards in her future.
  • Barely-There Swimwear: Jessica's spy outfit in Book 2 Chapter 3 is one of these.
  • The Bechdel Test: It gets brought up in Book 1 Chapter 16 if on the final premium choice you not only go with Teja, but have been romantic with her everytime.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Teja is this to Markus. In contrast with his eccentricities, Teja is more rounded and down to earth. After Markus quits the project, Teja is appointed to direct the rest of the film, doing a pretty good job despite being her directorial debut.
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  • Big Eater: Teja’s premium choice date in Book 1 Chapter 5 has her and Jessica hitting up food trucks, the two of them pounding the food away.
  • Birthday Episode: Book 1 Chapter 2 is at Matt’s birthday party.
  • Blackmail: Jessica tells Chazz not to lie to her again or she’ll her boss a picture of his “ill-advised” emo phase.
  • Body Double: Crash reveals he was Matt’s stunt double in “The Devil’s Canyon” in a premium scene in Book 1 Chapter 2.
  • Book-Ends: Book 1 started with a dream red carpet premiere. By the final chapter, it’s an actual red carpet premiere.
  • Burlesque: A premium scene in Book 1 Chapter 8 has Jessica and Gloria go out to the Hotsy Totsy, a burlesque club.
  • The Cameo: Characters from Hollywood U Rising Stars and other Choices stories pop up in this story.
    • Book 1 Chapter 1 has Chris Winters and Thomas Hunt at the pool.
    • Book 1 Chapter 2 has Crash at Matt’s party.
    • Book 1 Chapter 3 has Ethan Blake at John Castle's office.
    • Book 1 Chapter 9 introduces Addison Sinclair as part of Matt's friends, along with Ryan Summers. Donnie Brine is also a paparazzo stalking Jessica.
    • Book 1 Chapter 10 has Claire Pierce as a fan who wants a selfie with Jessica.
    • Book 1 Chapter 16 has Thomas Hunt congratulate Jessica on her movie in his usual blunt way.
    • Book 2 Chapter 1 has it zigzagged. The portrait involved is Ana De Luca, but this is her twin sister Stacy.
    • Book 2 Chapter 2 has the group's server be Parker.
  • Casting Couch: Book 1 Chapter 10 has Jessica on “Good Morning Hollywood” asked by the host, Leland St. James, if she slept with anyone to get the lead role. While you can deny it, the best course of action is to exaggerate it, winning points on the show.
    • Played for drama in Book 2 Chapter 6 when Viktor tries to force himself onto Jessica.
  • Con Man: The plot of the In-Universe movie, Tender Nothings has Matt and Jessica’s characters as con artists with him trying to scam Victoria and Jessica trying to get in on the plan. Then the movie gets rewritten and now Matt/Hooper is the con man and Victoria/Lisa and Jessica/Macy are recast as sisters.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Book 1 Chapter 3 has Jessica’s Dryve driver asking if it’s her real name, believing the CIA is after him.
  • Content Warnings: Book 2 starts off warning the reader that issues of harassment and discrimination will pop up.
    • Another warning pops up in Book 2, Chapter 6, due to scenes involving sexual assault.
  • Cool Car: Jessica’s friend and agent Chazz drives up to her in a corvette. Turns out the car belongs to his boss. Seth however does have access to a limo due to driving part time a limo chauffeur.
  • Cool Old Lady: Gloria is depicted to be a very bohemian and a bit cooky old lady who constantly talks about auras. It's later revealed that she used to be a big Hollywood star who lost her friends and herself in the glamour.
  • Country Mouse: Hollywood people are very aware that Jessica is a newcomer from Iowa and very naïve about the industry and lifestyle in Los Angeles. Seth nicknames her "Iowa" after their first meeting. Seth also comes from Ohio.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Markus. He tends to change scripts at whim and add a lot of odd choices as Author Appeal. Seth mentions that many of his rewrites included long descriptions of sexy horses.
  • Creator Breakdown: In-Universe, Markus has one big time with all the stress of trying to make Tender Nothings, the report leaking out, and then a priceless painting on loan from the Dutch government gets destroyed by accident.
  • Dance Off: Book 2 Chapter 1 has Jessica appearing on Celebrity Dance Off.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: Victoria
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: In Book 1 Chapter 12, if you ask who the people in the suits are, Jessica wonders if it’s the FBI because of the one time she torrented Game of Thrones.
  • Dream Intro: The story starts off with Jessica at the red carpet for her new movie being interviewed. When the question of romance comes up, it’s revealed she was having a dream as her flight to Los Angeles lands.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: In Book 1 Chapter 13 when Jessica looks up to see what everyone's doing since the movie was cancelled, Victoria's found drinking herself stupid at a club.
  • Easily Forgiven: Despite Matt, Teja and Victoria assuming automatically Jessica was the leak to the tabloids without let her explain herself, she ends up forgiving them all without a second thought, even after Victoria gave Jessica a scathing verbal beatdown (or literal beatdown before the Revised Ending).
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: In the dream sequence to Chapter 1, one of the choices involves looking to the afterparty with trained penguins serving drinks.
  • Evil Laugh: In Book 2 Chapter 3, most of Matt's time on camera was spent doing different evil laughs.
  • Executive Meddling: In-Universe, Markus’ constant rewrites have studio execs come down to the movie to see if it’s worth pulling the plug. A premium choice allows Jessica and Teja to take them on a tour of the set to not only save production, but also keep them away from Markus. Getting all the right choices gets Jessica a chance to be noticed by Viktor Montmartre, the CEO of the studio. Even then, the Dirty Hollywood report and Markus' meltdown end up getting the project scrapped.
  • Expy:
    • Tommy Phelps' love for explosions makes him one for Michael Bay.
    • Jean-Paul Hardgrave is definitely one for a younger Steven Seagal.
    • Viktor Montmartre being a Dirty Old Man who tries to force sexual favors from actresses makes him a slimmer, cleanly shaven Harvey Weinstein.
  • Fangirl: The first time Jessica meets Matt, she has this option to “fangirl all over him” when he introduces himself to her.
  • Fanservice with a Smile: A premium scene in Book 1 Chapter 12 has Victoria take Jessica to a bar and restaurant named Hooligans where the shorts are short and the tops are cropped, the waitresses being called “boobprechauns.” Victoria can confess she worked for three years at this place.
  • The Film of the Book: In Book 3, Jessica resolves to have her favorite childhood book The Secret of Ninradell adapted to the big screen.
  • First Girl Wins: Matt would be the first boy of love interests while Teja is the first girl.
  • Flash Back: In Book 3, Jessica can talk to her friends about their earliest creative endeavors, leading to a flashback where players play as the friend in question and add a poster into a collection.
  • Flyover Country: Jessica and Chazz both come from Iowa. Seth is from Ohio. Chapter 3 has Seth saying from Cincinnati.
  • Food Slap: In a premium scene in Book 1 Chapter 3, Jessica and Teja are out at a club when a guy comes over hitting on them. One option of dealing with him is to throw your drink in his face.
  • Gay Best Friend: Chazz is this for Jessica. They are best friends since high school. When Jessica decides to move to Los Angeles, Chazz becomes her agent and roommate.
  • Gay Option: Teja and Victoria.
  • The Generic Guy: John Castle considers Jessica “generic.”
  • Genre Shift: In-Universe, Markus’ rewrites for Tender Nothings have the movie turned from two dueling con artists into a Love Triangle between Matt, Victoria, and Jessica, a development which confuses everyone.
  • Get Out!: In Book 1 Chapter 14 after it's revealed Johnathan Spencer, Matt's agent, is the leak, Matt tells him not only to get out, but he's fired as well.
  • Girls' Night Out Episode:
    • A premium scene in Book 1 Chapter 9 has Jessica go out on the town with Gloria.
    • Book 1 Chapter 10 allows Jessica to have one with Addison in Las Vegas.
    • Book 1 Chapter 12 allows Jessica to have one with Victoria.
  • Gratuitous Italian: Apricott Persimmon has a tendency to use Italian words and phrases when speaking.
  • Hangover Sensitivity: Book 1 Chapter 3 has Jessica having one of these with the sunlight hurting her and considering celebrity booze “boozier.”
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Like all Choices stories, you can name your protagonist, the default name being Jessica. Book 3 allows you to choose their last name, the default surname being Clark.
  • He Really Can Act: In-Universe example, Matt signed up for a role in Tender Nothings specifically to prove he’s more than an Action Hero, he can actually act in a serious drama.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Jessica becomes this in Book 1 Chapter 13 after the leak with everyone seeing her as a villain for tanking the movie.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: If Jessica accepts Viktor's offer to adopt the ocelot in Book 2 Chapter 4, it will attack Viktor two chapters later for assaulting Jessica.
  • Hostility on the Set: In-Universe examples include:
    • Jessica and Victoria initially start off in bad terms before the filming of Tender Nothings. Just as they start getting along, the rumors of Jessica leaking all her friends secrets to the press put a strain in their relationship again. Victoria later apologizes after the release of the movie.
    • Seth and Teja, despite being good friends, start to have disagreements during the production of their film, pinning Jessica in the middle of their feud.
    • During Double Agent, Apricott Persimmon has a belligerent relationship with Jessica, and a unprofessional behavior on set that everyone in production had to quietly put up with because of her being related to Viktor Montmartre.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Seth keeps making fun of Jessica like a Country Mouse Naïve Newcomer, when he himself started the same, as an aspiring comedian/writer from Ohio.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Jonathan Spencer gives away he’s the leak by mentioning the story Jessica told in the steam room, which he only could have known if he had listened in.
  • Joisey: Going with Teja in a premium choice in Book 1 Chapter 5 has her reveal she’s from New Jersey. Except Trenton as far as she’s concerned.
  • Lampshade The Obscure Reference: In-Universe, Jessica is surprised Matt knows of Pegasus Squad, a Canadian kids’ show.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Teja has told that she lost her virginity with one of her female classmates in high school, and only shows attraction to Jessica.
  • The Mentor: By Book 3, Victoria is training aspiring new actresses for their careers.
  • Method Acting: Chapter 8 is about Jessica tapping into her con-woman character by being one.
  • Multiple Endings: If you pay for a premium scene in Book 1 Chapter 15 to help Matt rewrite Tender Nothings, it has three ways it goes down.
    • Bittersweet Ending: Hooper succeeds with the con, but breaks Macy’s heart. This is also the default ending if you don't spend diamonds on it.
    • Downer Ending: Hooper kills Macy and succeeds with the con and is already working on his next one.
    • Happy Ending: Hooper and Macy end up together.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Jessica is the typical aspiring starlet fresh from the plane from Iowa. She realizes soon that people in Hollywood is not nice and the industry is tough.
  • Nepotism: In Book 2, it's revealed that Apricott Persimmon, aside being the daughter of a supermodel, is also Viktor Montmartre's niece. If Jessica tries to tell Viktor about her unprofessional behavior, he promises to talk to her about that, but refuses to fire her. This is even more evident when Apricott makes the whole crew wait two hours until she was ready, making the usually happy going Tommy Phelps try hiding his anger at her.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Finn Wildfire, Cyndii Poppers' ex-boyfriend, is one of these for Justin Bieber.
    • Seth resembles a slimmer version of Seth Rogen.
  • No Ending: In-Universe during a premium scene in Book 1 Chapter 15, Matt and Jessica do some rewrites for the plot of Tender Nothings. They have most of the tone down, but Markus hadn’t gotten around to writing an ending by then.
  • Noodle Incident: Book 2 Chapter 1 has Jessica and Chazz talking about a dance contest that was hosted in school. He had to sit on an inflatable donut for a month.
  • Out of Focus: Victoria Fontaine is mostly absent in Book 2 aside from brief moments of emotional support for Jessica.
  • Opposites Attract: If Jessica chooses to help Chazz, Crash admits that he took interest in Chazz because it's the first time he wants to try a slower relationship.
  • Prima Donna Director: Markus Von Groot. He has exacting demands of his actors for how a scene is to be played so any chance for improv is out the window. When he wants a specific food, he wants it at a specific time.
    Markus: "I will take a luncheon now. Warm beer, cold beer, and a screening of Shrek 2. When I am back, it will be ready."
  • Product Placement: In-Universe, the roof of Jessica's apartment has a view of a billboard with an advertisement for Victoria's movie, The Warmest Winter on it. Regardless who you take home with you at the end of the game, the billboard has now changed to Tender Nothings.
  • Rascally Raccoon: One of the first things Jessica sees in her new apartment is a raccoon.
  • Really Gets Around: Book 1 Chapter 8 has a premium scene where Jessica can go out with Gloria. Gloria has hooked up with Paul Newman, James Dean and Ronald Reagan. When Jessica asks if there’s anyone she didn’t hook up with, Gloria mentions Elvis, mainly cause he had died after setting a date and he had let himself go.
  • Revised Ending: In the original release, after the cast's secrets get spilled, Victoria assaults Jessica by tackling and pulling her hair. The response to this scene made the writers change it to Victoria giving her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Rule of Pool: In a premium scene in Book 1 Chapter 4, one of the choices for Cyndii to deal with her cheating boyfriend involves pushing him into the pool. He’s more upset his $2000 sneakers got wet.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Markus in Book 1 Chapter 12. All the stresses of trying to make his first American movie, the threat of Executive Meddling, the leak happening and Jessica destroying a painting that turns out to actually be a Rembrandt painting finally make him snap and quit!
  • Serial Escalation: In-Universe, this is why Crash takes a liking to Chazz in a premium scene in Book 1 Chapter 6. He’s been so used to hanging out with other stuntmen and daredevils topping each other that it’s actually refreshing to see it happen to someone have the rush of the stunts for the first time.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Chazz wears a nice suit as part of being a talent agent.
  • Shipper on Deck: Jessica can help Chazz get introduced to Crash and ships them after their meeting. If you've done all the premium choices involving Crash and Chazz in Book 1, they'll be at the after party at Matt's house.
  • Shopping Cart Antics: Book 1 Chapter 12 has Victoria confess to Jessica that the only other available role besides Tender Nothings would be about a sentient killer shopping cart called Cart of Darkness. If you don't take the premium choice in Book 1 Chapter 14 to get her back into the movie, she'll end up doing that movie.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The raccoon in Jessica’s apartment is named “Rocket.”
    • Book 1 Chapter 4 has Chazz say one of his clients, Cyndii Poppers, make such a good Tracer.
    • One of the hairstyles available for Jessica is a wavy red bob, which makes reference to Emma Stone's character in La La Land, who is also a struggling actress in Hollywood.
    • A premium scene with Victoria in Book 1 Chapter 7 has her food from Chez Maximilien delivered by Tara from #LoveHacks. Also from that scene, the achievement is called “Breakfast Club.”
    • In Book 1 Chapter 8, Jessica and Seth con their way into the Underground with him saying he’s the Duke of Penumbria, which is near Cordonia.
    • Book 1 Chapter 10 has the Concierge reveal that Addison’s code name is Miss Karenina.
    • A premium scene in Book 1 Chapter 14 allows Jessica to get Victoria back into the movie. After Seth drives like hell to the airport, he says to call him “2 Seth 2 Furious,” a total groaner to Jessica.
    • Book 1 Chapter 15 allows you to do rewrites to Tender Nothings in a premium scene. If you decide to give it a dark ending where Hooper kills Macy, it plays out in Book 1 Chapter 16 during the premier, the achievement being called "Darkest Timeline." If you go with the ending where Macy kills Hooper, the achievement is "Bad Romance".
    • In Book 2 Chapter 4, you can adopt an ocelot with the default name of Babou.
  • Spiritual Successor: This is perhaps the Choices version of Hollywood U Rising Stars, another Pixelberry game.
  • Star-Making Role: In-Universe, this happens to Jessica after the premiere of Tender Nothings.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Martin Schmidt. Throughout book three he invades Jessica’s privacy, trying to break into her home, convinced they are meant to be together.
  • Start My Own: When you meet Ethan Blake in Book 1 Chapter 3, he talks about how he's starting up his own talent agency.
  • Super Window Jump: In a premium choice in Book 1 Chapter 2, one story reveals Chazz jumped out a third story window onto a rose bush because he was making out with the Class President Tony Tronks and that his mother walked in on them.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: In a premium choice in Book 1 Chapter 1, Seth reveals he’s a comedian. When Jessica asks him to do some jokes, they’re pirate jokes.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In Book 2, Jessica runs into Markus in Greece. Turns out that being in America stressed him a lot, having a more cool and affable mood when they see each other again, even calling all the events of Book 1 as "Water under the bridge" and inviting Jessica to tag along for street food and clubbing as a Premium.
  • Troubled Production: This happens In-Universe to Tender Nothings once Markus starts the rewrites, eventually getting cancelled in Book 1 Chapter 12. At Book 1 Chapter 14, Matt plans on buying the rights to the movie and finishing it. By Book 1 Chapter 15, the movie is finally finished and 16 is the red carpet premiere.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Matt Rodriguez is introduced first in a movie poster for The Devil’s Canyon, then at the party equally shirtless.
  • Welcome to the Big City: The story starts with Jessica arriving to Los Angeles on a plane from Iowa.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Jessica is on the wrong side of this when everyone believes she spilled all their secrets to Dirty Hollywood. Subverted when it's proved that she didn't have anything to do with that.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: What Victoria is terrified of becoming and why she is so cruel to Jessica at first: she’s threatened by a new young pretty star.
  • Wild Teen Party: A premium scene in Book 1 Chapter 4 has Jessica, Chazz and Cyndii Poppers go to confront her ex-boyfriend. The party he’s at is full of teen stars that’s every bit of this trope, and it’s also full of real life Dawson Casting.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: In-Universe. Markus von Groot does this heavily after deciding to not only make Jessica the main star, but now switch stories and relationships all around confusing everybody! He does it again in Chapter 12 with the executives breathing down his neck.

How well does it match the trope?

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