Review of: The Long Road Home 

reviewed by jakenp on 06/30/2011
Credited Review
Simple, heartfelt story Credited Review
The Long Road Home is the story of Jayce and his would-be mother-in-law, Noreen, as they make the trip home after a tragic accident which takes the lives of Abby (girlfriend and daughter) and Dan (would-be dad-in-law and father).

First off, your screenwriting style and formatting are flawless. It's always a joy to read something that the writer has invested effort in to make it a smooth read.

Structure is solid. Builds nicely. You do a lot of work in act II with flashbacks, but that was fine for me. Frankly, they broke up the main narrative nicely, which was really just a sad lady and sad guy who didn't get along.

Characters are well drawn and consistent. Some of my favorite moments were when Jayce is self-destructive...i.e. letting the guy beat him up, or numbly standing in the path of a semi. Noreen is complex enough to stay interesting too, the type of person who can never be wrong and never admit defeat. Worried, too--but damn strong after her husband dies.

Totally low budget, too, which is always a good thing. We don't even see the explosion, which was a cool decision on your part. Nicely done.

My one big criticism is that I felt like I saw the ""You're lazy, you're a mooch" "You never admit you're wrong"" scene about seven times. There's a flashback that's driven by that, and continually throughout the journey, I felt like you were spoon-feeding me something that I completely understood within the first ten, fifteen pages. It's cool that that is the dynamic and the conflict informs Noreen's and Jayce's relationship, but it becomes cumbersome when they have fight after fight, passive-aggressive barb after passive-aggressive barb.

If I were you, go through and plot each fight between these two and boil it down exactly what it's about. Let the relationship take a natural and progressively building course and these dramatic moments of conflict will hold more water, I think.

But, all in all, good story. It's a tough topic to take on, showing characters behaving in believable, identifiable ways in the face of such a tragedy. Best of luck with this.

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