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Premise:
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Good foundation, but could use some work

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
January 28, 2012
Let me preface by saying that I think this script has a lot of potential and I tried not to come off as too harsh.

First off, I did not believe Allison's behavior was appropriate for her age. Her mannerisms are that of an early teenager, not an eleven year old. Her dialogue is pretty mature (almost on the same level as Dee's in most scenes) and she had habits I would not believe an 11 year old would have (like making coffee, or breakfast, and listening to records). I did like her fascination with crime scene investigation (also something I think she would have to be a little older to enjoy). I especially liked the scene where Thomas plays a corpse, a very clever foreshadowing of him getting shot.

Which leads me to Thomas, who I think is the weakest character in the movie. He is static, and experiences very little change. Even though he and Allison are only a year apart in age he seems to be several years less mature than she. You also open the script with saying that he "idolizes" her but I can't figure out why. If there actually was more of an age difference, like three to four years, it would be more believable. He is also very, very passive. So I had a hard time feeling sympathetic towards him. You do a decent job building Allison and Thomas' relationship but I feel there could just be a little more. They don't have a lot of dialogue between the two of them. The pair are almost always doing things or talking about doing things. You could scale a little back on that, and have more scenes of them just talking. It would give us much more insight into Thomas and help the audience sympathize with him more.

I really enjoyed the scenes between Dee and Allison. Out of everything in the movie, these scenes felt the most real to me and they did a lot to reveal details about both of the characters.

I had some issues with the end with Thomas getting shot. I guess I don't really understand how he was shot. Mr. Chester, I believe, was in the process of committing suicide so I can't figure out how he could accidentally shoot Thomas. More details here would be of help.

I was also very confused on who exactly Jack was. On one hand, he was sending letters to Allison and I was actually under the impression that he was some kind of pedophile or stalker (because he sent her a swim suit and then told her to meet him in the park) but also there is Dee's cousin Jack (and wouldn't that make him Maggie's nephew?) whom Dee stays with. Is this the same Jack? Because that is not very clear at all.

The emotional outbursts in this script can also seem random at times. For example, I don't know why Maggie was upset when Allison spent the night over at Thomas' house. I realize it was one of those "tipping point" moments where she has everything bottled up and she is ready to explode, but I did not feel like this was severe enough to set her off. Was she upset that Allison spent the night at Thomas' house without asking, because he is a boy? Was she upset that Allison was not spending time with her mother? It was not very clear.

I believe with more work you could really turn this into a remarkable script. Most of the characters are great and memorable and it is a story I feel a lot of people can relate to. I just think that if you adjusted the age of Thomas and Allison, maybe add more motivation to the big "fight scenes" in the movie, and clear up some murky plot details, it could one day be a fantastic movie.
 

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