Review of: Fireflies and Roman Candles 

reviewed by jakenp on 07/25/2011
Credited Review
jakenp
Big characters rounded with subtlety Credited Review
What a nice read--thanks for this. You have a way of giving characters big stuff that we can latch onto, then smoothing them into believable, heartbreaking, likable, lovely characters. Dialog is great, especially for Janie. You do a great job of striking a balance between her hard, tough-girl lines, then bringing in some real vulnerability.

I would love to watch this movie as is. Your scenes and characters are well drawn enough that I was totally engrossed, just waiting for the next scene, because I knew it would be as good as the one that preceded it. One of my favorites was the Janie/Cal scene at the bar toward the end. Way to go, reserving that for so long.

All of that said, I can't really articulate what the story was about. The logline suggests that the kid is the main event. That his presence in Janie and Finn's lives is profoundly transformational. I was expecting for his being around to force them to triumph over their individual problems. That sort of happens, but not very clearly. He only enters their lives on page 20, and if anything, it seems like they end up farther apart as a result of his presence. A bunch of stuff keeps happening, but not because of Mitchell, like Janie losing her job or the roof breaking.

Reading the first 15 pages, I noticed a big emphasis on the idea that Finn and Janie, in efforts to preserve their own vice/problems were gladly complicit in putting up with the other's. This drew me in big time, and I actually forgot the logline about the kid. Then the kid comes in and shoots the story off in a different direction.

For me, the screwed up people complicit in their respective roles of enablers is more interesting than a kid just being around an OCD and bulimia suffer. If Mitchell informed some sort of grand change, then I would be more on board with him. But I think I may have enjoyed the story without the kid.

Just one guy's opinion, and, like I said, I loved it and was engrossed in the story because of a masterful stylistic job on your part.

Thanks for a good read.

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