Review of: The PRODIGAL 

reviewed by stevles on 08/16/2011
Credited Review
stevles
Old East Meets Young West Credited Review
While the Prodigal was an entertaining read, it was, to say the least, fraught with problems.

Too many, I mean, too many typo and technical errors intrude on, what should have been, a smooth read. Ketel One spelled Kettel One; Characters go uncapped; Sonny capped SSONY in one place, SON in another and SONNY SONNY (pg. 57) in a third. Edna let's go of an arm instead of lets go (without apostrophe pg. 61.

Too many CUT TO's and CU's spoil the flow, as well.

More importantly, the dialogue among all of the "New York" characters is less New York than Catskill/Borscht-belt shtick that Billy Crystal and Neil Simon would disown... okay, maybe not Neil Simon. Interestingly, all the characters under the age of 55+ deliver some real smart dialogue. Melissa's intro to Sonny, for example, is first-rate. As for Solly, Frannie, Evie and Jake... "Oy vey!" doesn't begin to describe the stereotypical dialogue they're saddled with. And poor Alex, must she say "ju" almost every time she speaks?

As for Sonny, I can't possibly believe this so ethnic an actor/character could ever be a star outside of Hester Street. As for Melissa's fate at the hands of director Cody's frat boy antics, there needs to be more there for it to ring true. Finally, and maybe it's just me, but I don't see how Sonny and his dad's reunion (with Robbie) back in NY pulls the piece together.

The positives;

As I've already stated, the dialogue given the younger characters is more than good. Melissa's character is beautifully drawn and Cody's is properly despicable.

The story itself, of an aging star in need of a new life, is not a bad one. Sonny is a likeable protagonist, a guy you really want to root for.

I think the story is there, from first page to last. Maybe you can, in its current form, find an independent producer with a fondness for this antiquated art form. If not, you might consider restructuring the characters where perhaps Sonny is the bridge between the Evie and Franny's of the world and everyone else that follows.

Good luck with this. If you do re-write it with a more contemporary edge, let me know.

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