Review of: The Seventy Year Itch v2 

reviewed by mattyrm on 03/26/2012
Credited Review
mattyrm
Brilliantly Written. Credited Review
A screenplay that has been expertly written. Next to no running format notes. So all that's left is focus on Story and Character.

BTW: Okay 1 format error. p28. Ewog rushes past Jeb and the blond,
She's a Redhead or were there two?

I can only assume that you have received very positive feedback in the Character department. Both Bells and Ceci have been beautifully crafted. Won't say much more here other than well done.

Supporting characters have not been left as cliches either. Bells granddaughters remind me of two I know. Their introduction into the story via the phone call really hit home for me. From that point I knew you had full control over your characters. It also foreshadows character growth to be revealed in the final act.

Of course, reviews are not simply telling you how wonderful your script is. There's always room for constructive feedback.

Not sure Jeb jumps off the page as well as the other characters. I was looking for something unique to cling to early on in the story. Something that would give me a different image other than Matthew McConaughey. It comes out later after the midpoint. Maybe I missed it earlier on. But was there some sort of back story to foreshadow his criminal past? All I picked up was that he was unreliable.
Believe me, I don't want to come off overly critical. You've done such a great job on Bells and Ceci, Jeb's character just seems to come off not as polished up until the midpoint.

Story

Concept: excellent. When I got the assignment I started reading immediately. Loved the log line and wanted to know more. There is something instantly intriguing about why two 70 year olds would want to take on this adventure.

Structure: Again, the script has been expertly written. But my only concern in this area is the actual call to adventure.

Bells is the protagonist yet she gives herself her own challenge.
This is the part in the review where I often warn the writer, "Tell me to go jump"! This is just an amateur's feedback.
Anyway, I kept thinking as I was reading, what if the call to adventure came from someone else. Her daughter? Her granddaughters? Ceci? Although not as much Ceci because her reluctance to take on the adventure does add to a lot of the humour.
You've put the challenge to Jeb via his Dad. Do this or else! That works.
Bells is at a stage in her life where she is down. Bored. Frustrated. The fact that she is the one who recognises it and does something about it kind of took the challenge out of it. Ceci has a moment with her after playing cards but other than that, Bells gets herself out.
As I write about this, it could even be Sadie who puts it as a challenge to Bells or else she loses her spot in the complex?
I'm rambling and feel free to ignore all of the above. But I had to mention it all the same.

Even if the call to adventure did come from someone else you wouldn't have to change much with Act Two. It really really works. Plenty of great moments. Again, Bells and Ceci are a great duo and you've given both some magic moments. There is huge potential to exploit the generation gap between Bells and Jeb. You foreshadow this brilliantly in ACT 1 with the skater kids and the grand daughters. And other than a shouting match or two, you don't make the most of this setup. You've done all the hard work. You deserve more payoff.

Midpoint: Changes the tone of the story. Kicks it into the next phase. Jeb's character all of sudden becomes very interesting. However, as I noted above. This did seem just a little out of the blue.

Not sure how others will respond to the quick story summation by Jeb on p75. Jeb wraps up the story.
I guess this is the main thrust of my feedback. What is Jeb's backstory? Can more be revealed in Act 1?

All is lost, literally, when Ceci goes overboard. We see Jeb and Bells working together. Look, it's predictable but at the same time brilliantly done. It really delivered that crucial character arc for Bells and to a degree Jeb. It added a tonne of heart to a story that already had plenty of feeling.

Final Act: great ending. It all ties in very very nicely to cap off one very entertaining story. The Granddaughters wanting to actually spend time with their "memaw" really re-enforces the character development.

Few other running notes:
p71: let's rape him. It was funny the first time (a very hard comedic trick to get a genuine laugh out of that word). Over done the second.

The detail about sailing was absolutely awesome. Obviously it's your background. Always a pleasure reading a book, screenplay or watching a movie that takes you to another world. Definitely one of the strengths of your story.

Overall, it's been a little while since I've focused purely on Story and Character. I hope that focus hasn't come off too negative. It was purely feedback based on my own personal opinion. Feel free to ignore at will.
Otherwise, excellent script that demonstrates above and beyond that when it comes to writing a screenplay, you know how to play ball.

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