18th Century Brothers
Hey there Nameberry!
My screenplay takes place in 1775 colonial America. The two leads are 20-something brothers and their father is a French immigrant. I personally love French names and I thought it would be lovely if their names were slightly French to reflect their heritage, so I picked what I thought were relatively simple, safe French names: Jean & Alain. In the back of my mind I wondered if this was going to be a stumbling block and sure enough my worst fears came true when my first reader picked up the script, flipped to a random page, and said "Ah-lane and Jeen?"
So, yeah. I want to keep Alain's name but I'm undecided on the spelling: Alan, Allan, or Allen. Or should I stick with "Alain"? He's charismatic and mischievous and I loved the sort of charming flair the "i" gives the name, as opposed to what I've always considered a rather straightforward "Alan". Is a French spelling/pronunciation just too much to ask?
I've never been married to Jean's name, but I liked that it was a Biblical variant without being *Biblical*, and that it was a twist on something so common. I want to name him something understated, but memorable. He's a quiet, deeply spiritual person who has lived in his brother's shadow all his life but emerges as the unexpected champion.
I'm open to any and all suggestions - I just don't want to have to pass out a pronunciation key every time I pass out the script. ;)
If it's a screenplay then it doesn't matter. The name will primarily be spoken, properly. Even if you're willing to change them, it seems silly to me to do that for the sake of such a small convenience.
I'd stick with it, and I know there's a character in Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter named Jean-Claude and he's a vampire.
As someone who isn't French, those are very familiar names even to me, so I'd say keep it. Plus, as celianne mentioned, it's a screenplay, so spelling won't really matter in the long run.