Objective Merit is a fictitious concept that we use to evaluate screenplays. I say fictitious because it's something of a pretense that there could be an absolute standard for creative work and it is further pretense that even if such a standard existed, human beings could apply it effectively.
A screenplay is objectively meritorious if it succeeds in the following areas:
- Entertainment - it provides amusement, excitement, and catharsis to its target audience
- Truth - it speaks to the human condition; its audience finds in it illumination of their own lives
- Integrity - it comprises a whole work, telling all of a single story and nothing else