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HOW IT RATES
The line between right and wrong is blurred when a woman of faith impulsively kidnaps the neglected four-year-old son of a heroin addict.
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Read this version at your own peril. Rough - and I do mean rough - first draft.
Reviews of GOOD INTENTIONS 10
by TINCA on 06/19/2011I must say I enjoyed reading this script. It felt professional from the beginning to the very end. I was drawn in and captivated to the very last sentence. I feel you touched the heart of drug addicts and how it must be something that ensnares a person. I loved how you gave Ruby leniency at the end, caring for a boy that replaced her son and instilling morals and values... I must say I enjoyed reading this script. It felt professional from the beginning to the very end. I was drawn in and captivated to the very last sentence. I feel you touched the heart of drug addicts and how it must be something that ensnares a person. I loved how you gave Ruby leniency at the end, caring for a boy that replaced her son and instilling morals and values to a child that otherwise would most definately ended much like Derek's short life. Your story is well developed, and you bring your characters to life. I was mesmerized and couldn't stop reading. Bravo. Job well done. This is one of those scripts that tends to stay with you days after reading! read
by pedromart on 06/17/2011Interesting premise. Definitely took some turns I didnít see coming. Structurally itís sound, with potential as a message movie for tv. One concern I have is that empathy for Ruby is reduced too quickly. Meaning, I feel like you want a situation where we can see both sides of this and the audience struggles with the ethical situation. But once we see the loving family of... Interesting premise. Definitely took some turns I didnít see coming. Structurally itís sound, with potential as a message movie for tv.
One concern I have is that empathy for Ruby is reduced too quickly. Meaning, I feel like you want a situation where we can see both sides of this and the audience struggles with the ethical situation. But once we see the loving family of Paulie, it reduces the sense that Ruby, though misguided, is acting in the best interest of the boy. I think there should be a period of time where the audience wants Ruby to take the boy. But as soon as the thanksgiving scene, we simply want the boy to be with his grandparents and Rubyís actions seem blatantly criminal. I think if we only see the boyís situation through Rubyís eyes until after the abduction it would work better, so we see nothing of Sharon except her utter neglect of Pauley. The audience should choose Ruby over a foster home, not between Rudy and the nice, caring grandparents. Having Sharon express less concern over Pauley would help too.
I would have liked to have seen more time with Pauley after he discovered the truth. Explore how someone would cope with that and the issues of identity. On one hand, heís the same person he was but on the other, heís not.
The dialogue can be a bit one the nose, watch out for characters saying things that sound like a movie. And I don't think you need the judge to spell out the themes like that.
Also, minor details but Iím not sure Sharon, as a convicted felon on parole, would get immediate custody like that. And a completely suspended sentence might be pushing it a bit. read
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 06/09/2011I enjoyed this, and it's definitely something I'd watch. However, changes can still be made. The first thing I'd do is get rid of Holly Wilson character from the beginning of the movie -- she's unnecessary. She dies, which should be significant, but she's never mentioned again. I also think you should change the age of Pauley/Joey from 4 to 3. It's a small difference, but... I enjoyed this, and it's definitely something I'd watch. However, changes can still be made.
The first thing I'd do is get rid of Holly Wilson character from the beginning of the movie -- she's unnecessary. She dies, which should be significant, but she's never mentioned again.
I also think you should change the age of Pauley/Joey from 4 to 3. It's a small difference, but I think being 3 makes it more believable that Pauley can forget about his biological mom.
Now, I also think you should add some scenes:
1) Maybe a scene of Pauley when he's 8-10 years old. The sudden jump to being a 14-year-old doesn't explain how he managed to forget his biological mother after all these years. I think a scene where he's 8-10 years old can show his memory of her fading or completely gone.
2) The scenes of Ruby being arrested and Ben telling Pauley about his real mom should be more in-depth. They're supposed to be important scenes, but are rather short -- especially the scene with Pauley telling Ben the truth. He got the biggest shocker of his life and all he can do is angrily throw a basketball.
Also, the scene where Sharon tells the DA, the defense attorney and the judge about how she understands why Ruby did the kidnapping has more of an impact if it happens in the courtroom before Ruby is found guilty.
The final thing is I'm not sure who the protagonist is supposed to be. Are we rooting for Pauley, Ruby or Sharon? It's unclear, so flesh this out some more. read
by craigpau on 06/08/2011The script flowed and I didnít have any problems with the formatting. This is going to be a rather harsh critique. I assume you want good notes to make the script better. Having said that, I hope my notes help. I read your production notes so keep that in mind. This might be suitable for a Lifetime movie at some point. There is way too much intercutting and most of the... The script flowed and I didnít have any problems with the formatting.
This is going to be a rather harsh critique. I assume you want good notes to make the script better. Having said that, I hope my notes help.
I read your production notes so keep that in mind. This might be suitable for a Lifetime movie at some point.
There is way too much intercutting and most of the scenes are too short. You literally start a scene, then two sentences later, the scene ends. Itís too choppy and loses the reader.
We donít see enough of Rubyís relationship with her son at the beginning to understand what would make Ruby kidnap another child so it all seems unjustified. Also, Holly having a heart attack and dying at the same time just seems too far-fetched. And then the funeral is just glossed over so quickly that I had no sense of what this family meant to Ruby. It all happens too quick.
The situation that Sharon finds herself in with the drugs and her son plays too stereotypical from a million films Iíve seen before. The cockroaches, etc. See if you can come up with a fresh take on all this.
P.9 - Seems odd that this drug addict would have an answering machine. Itís possible, but it feels like you need her to have an answering machine so you can get this information out to the audience - the information about Sharon and her family. I doubt she has the money to even have a home phone.
Now that we see Sharonís family and we know that they care about Pauley and Sharon, itís even more likely that Sharon and Pauleyís situation would have worked itself out with the help of Sharonís family. So the kidnapping ruined any chance of that happening.
P.20 - Sharonís isnít a dealer so why would the cops go crazy and raid the deli? Sheís just a drug addict. She probably wouldnít even get any jail time these days.
P.21 - I donít buy the fact that the cops would just hand over the boy to his ĎAuntí. Sorry. Itís just too easy and not logical. Again, I know you need Ruby to kidnap the boy here, but see if there is a better way to do it.
P.22 - Here is the biggest problem I have with the script - You just canít take it upon yourself and steal a boy. There would be two reasons that I would be more apt to at least empathize with Ruby if that was her choice: 1) She would have to better know Pauley and his situation (and not just from passing by him every day on the streets) and 2) I have to feel that she is so distraught from losing her own child that she feels this is the only way to feel alive again - substituting a child for a child. And I never felt either one of these were developed enough to be believable.
P.23 - The conversation between Drummond and Captain is too simplistic to be taken seriously. These cops are not very bright. How and when did they get the Auntís phone number? Maybe if they called and there was no answer, they could drive over there? I mean, a child has been kidnapped.
You also have to go back through the script and update the technology. Everyone has cell phones, texting, etc. There isnít any mention - even with Pauley and Mary Lou - about cell phones, texting, anything. Pauley wouldnít write a letter to Mary Lou. I agree, you have to write letters to people in prison, but thatís about the only time anymore.
Ruby is now a thief and a kidnapper. And she tole from the church. Why am I suppose to like her? Itís hard to feel any sympathy for her.
A four-year-old boy would be crying for his real mom every night for a year. Pauley adjusts way too fast to this lifestyle on the run.
I donít think Sharon would have to raise bail for heroin possession and Iím pretty sure she would not be sent to State Prison for ten years. If this was her third strike - like we have in California, then maybe, but you should make it clear that this is happening.
I donít mean to be negative. Please use whatever comments that you think are helpful and disregard the rest.
On p.38, Iím starting to lose all sense of time, a timeline. I get it back on p. 46 when you cut ten years later...
Iím not feeling any real bond between Pauley and Ruby by this point.
I think the second half of the script should be less about Derek and Diane and more about Sharon/Pauley/Mary Lou and Ruby. I donít care at all about Derek and Diane. Sharon should be totally focused on finding her son and sheís not. Pauley should fall in love and stay with Mary Lou. Ruby should start developing a conscience at some point.
I was dissatisfied with the ending. Ruby never really showed remorse and she deserved to go to prison for robbery, kidnapping and whatever else. I donít think you want readers feeling this way. She is basically a sociopath who took the law into her own hands without thinking of the consequences and robbed a young boy of ten years of his life. Like I stated earlier, hereís what would have happened to Pauley if Ruby hadnít kidnapped him:
Sharon would have went to prison, Pauley would have been sent to live with the Millers, he could have grown up in a normal household, went to see his mom in prison -- and learned to love him mom despite her drug addiction and hardships. And thatís a lesson Ruby could never teach him.
by wadim on 06/07/2011This works seems to be well-structured and paced, with a prudent use of flashbacks. Although it becomes very clear from very early on the direction that the story will take, the characters of Ruby and Pauley/Jeff are attractive enough that the reader/audience can care enough to know what exactly happens to them and how stories of the two mothers will come together again and... This works seems to be well-structured and paced, with a prudent use of flashbacks. Although it becomes very clear from very early on the direction that the story will take, the characters of Ruby and Pauley/Jeff are attractive enough that the reader/audience can care enough to know what exactly happens to them and how stories of the two mothers will come together again and how the consequences of Ruby's actions will be received by Sharon and by the law.
The Derek-Diane and Mary-Lou sub-plots seemed to work well enough, the former to show the path that Pauley himself could have taken as could indeed Mary Lou.
Ruby's genuine spirituality and community work provides a key foundation for her to be seen as essentially a good person and not a plain and simple baby snatcher or a psycho seeking a replacement for her dead son, and lends some credibility to the ultimately lenient sentence for kidnapping Pauley.
Sharon is suitably unpleasant initially so we can accept (almost wish for) kind Ruby taking Pauley.
The Pauley dream sequence that fires up Sharon to finally and definitively clean up her act and track down her son is an effective device, but her transition to brilliant anti-drugs counsellor on parole is perhaps a little weak or underdeveloped. She admits to being preachy (and therefore ineffective) and then she is brilliant and trusted enough to easily secure speaking appointments out of town to search for Pauley. Although it may be difficult to develop this without making the film too long or get lost, and understandably the focus has been on Pauley's development, but some brief indication might be interesting - a mentor giving her some key or cue on how to reach her audience, some flash that gives us a sense she has found her voice/vocation. read
by jwest on 02/22/2011Overall: Hiya, Lexey, looking forward to this read. Some lovely writing here, there is real potential in this with moments of some great writing. On the presentation side there are a fair few things you two could do to tidy the page and make it even smoother, and they're easily fixed. Of course, a little trim here and there I'm sure will tighten the whole, but in all a good... Overall:
Hiya, Lexey, looking forward to this read. Some lovely writing here, there is real potential in this with moments of some great writing. On the presentation side there are a fair few things you two could do to tidy the page and make it even smoother, and they're easily fixed. Of course, a little trim here and there I'm sure will tighten the whole, but in all a good read.
I like the set up, the cute family moments between Holly, Ruby and Joey. Nicely done.
I think some of your scene lengths are a little abrupt. Which means the flow is interrupted of the read, and think this might transfer to screen too. At times transitions can help that flow and add some smoothness Ė a sound or a visual marker that might take us from one scene to the next. Or at times the actual scene might need a bit more work. I'd be aware/wary of cutting some slots so short. Think it's fine to jump from one mother to the other, but you have to ensure they sit okay together (even when they contrast Ė what one mother has and neglects and what the other has lost and mourns).
For me, I would have preferred an extra page with the Holly, Ruby and Joey family, before all things go tragically wrong for Ruby, than some of the scenes with Sharon, Pauley and his grandparents. The feel is obv different, but the latter seems to get a little more air time than the former family set up Ė when it's Ruby we have to empathise/sympathise with. We get some raw emotion after the funeral, but I am not entrenched in her emotions, in light of future events.
It's clear what Sharon is trapped in, and it feels like it's slightly overdone for us to ďgetĒ her predicament. And I feel like we're merely waiting for something bad to happen to her, verging on just desserts.
I almost feel that maybe the funeral should be the inciting event. So it comes a page or two later. To edit down a shade the Sharon air time, then get settled into the main meat of the story for the second act. Just thinking aloud.
Not until near midpoint do I wonder if the story has lost some focus. I understand the cat and mouse, and the close call of Pauley at the day care and the police finding the bungalow, this moves the fugitives on. The change of appearances makes sense, but then the sports game seems to come out of the blue, and feels a bit ďrelaxedĒ considering their situation. Considering Ruby seems very on the ball to change license plates on her car, I wonder if she'd want to stay very low key for a while and keep on the move.
Then later the story jumps way ahead. Which is fair enough. But I'm left wondering what the theme is, whose story is it? We get snippets of Sharon and her early angst is well done, but this peters out later and we're left with dialogue about the continued search for her son, no real action is seen of Sharon being active about finding him. I think you would. Really go out of your way to find him, and it's not visualised enough, imho.
Pg. 55/56. Hmm not convinced about the Pastor there. He seems quite judgemental and sides with Ruby's actions, regardless that they are of course, fundamentally wrong. Typically people are given a second chance in faith's and Sharon can be seen to be trying here. I think the Pastor would be at odds with himself more here since there's many complicated factors to way up. Which half emerges, but then his sudden turn around, doesn't quite make sense, esp when he's not even sure himself if the correspondence is from the right person. Hmmm.
Later when Sharon finds them, Pauley turning on Ruby seems outta place, due to his former loyalty and love for her. Again, I think he'd be more conflicted than a straight cut, I hate you, you lied kind of reaction. Sure, she's done a bad thing, but she saved him from the drug induced mother who was putting him in harms way. Considering the recent events of his friend dying from drugs, this would factor in the argument. When Sharon loses Pauley a second time, after he makes a run for it, we seem to be devoid of her emotional state. And then he really does surrender quite quick doesn't he. :-? Hmm. Not so sure, sorry. All these years, and just like that he's okay with her after only a short angry exchange?
I feel like the ending has been rushed. And it's a shame because it's a great ending. A lovely and emotional final image and I wish we had more time on the court case, the three's interaction with each other while Ruby is in prison, the eventual forgiveness and understanding, etc.
Must admit the second half of the script didn't quite hold my interest as the first. The big jump forward didn't help, imo, as if we're missing parts of the story and the characters, got disconnected on the way. So when we meet them years on, they seem like shells of their former self and less rounded.
I'm not quite sure why we needed the big jump ahead and wonder if the time scale was kept more intimate and immediate to follow a typical narrative line, would it have created, and kept, the more intimate and complete feel that the front end of the story kept me engaged with?
But that's fair enough. I think the jump can be justified so to see Pauley being tempted by the very thing that separated him from his own mum. But he never loses himself into it and the drama doesn't quite play out. If you've lost your real mum, something like that never goes away. Luckily he has a rock in Ruby, but even then, certain things will dredge up that unwanted, inner feeling.
You could easily get this down to just over a 100 pages, and I'd think it would also benefit from some major editing and story regroup. I think you guys can make something really special and heartfelt with this. But as it is, it needs more work.
Characters and dialogue:
They all seem grounded and solid and I did like Ruby, she seemed quite a complex character and stood out to be strong under the difficult circumstances.
I do think they could still be pushed a bit further. You have a contrast of these two women, but Sharon doesn't quite come off the page as Ruby does. Whether it's air time or quality time, I'm not sure. What snippets we do get of Sharon seem a little thin, we get one side of her but not a lot more, and I was hoping for some action to back up her words, more. Def she could do with some development to compare against the more rounded Ruby. She's also very complex what with her struggle with addiction, her own circumstances in life, plus the loss of her child, and this should bring out a full range of emotions and actions from her. Noted when the Pastor did give her a lead there feels a gap until she actually acts on it, which doesn't make sense to me. From what we know this could be her first solid clue to her lost son, and she waits to pursue it? Then even later, she's still not acted Ė not until page 86/87! With that her dialogue tends to stay quite on the nose, which could do with some tweaking to help flesh her out more.
With Ruby, early on we see that she is all about the family, who sadly leave her way too early. Her mix of strength and intelligence doesn't always gel for me. At times we get a Harry Ford in the Fugitive kinda feel from her, at others she seems a bit slow to react to a situation taking time to go to ball games, when the knowledge of being found should be urging her to keep moving on. We do get her grief early on, but then in the scenes where they are on the run, her emotions don't come across to show us what she might be thinking or feeling at that time. I think this creates some odd contradictory moments when she seems super smart at one point, not so savvy the next. Consistency is key, but also (just to make things more tricky) complexity and a mix of facets in a character I think would emerge in such stressful times like this. Then later on when she and Pauley are more relaxed in their lives, I wonder if Ruby would have moved on a little? In a relationship, have more, friends or bigger network. It's not weird that she has no contact with previous family or friends before the kidnap, but it is weird that they never appear later with the disappearance of Ruby and don't surface again in looking for her, or appear in the aftermath of her leaving.
Pauley Ė not sure about him I'm afraid. I think he seems a little too balanced under his personal situation, that he soon seems to forget about his natural mother, when you don't. The questions might not be verbal, but again emotions and actions sometimes take yourself by surprise as you have the ongoing question mark about your natural parents. Of course he's had a some loving and reliable upbringing from Ruby, which in turn gives him good stead to be the best he can be. But esp in teen times when your inner self is not always in check, things churn up and typically cause havoc with your ďbalancedĒ character. I think this kinda emerges with his friendship with Derek. But even then, Pauley seems ďoverlyĒ good and untainted by the bad behaviour of his friend (doesn't slack off working in the soup kitchen for Ruby, resists the hard drugs, etc). This relates to Derek below.
Derek is the dark streak, echoes a side in Pauley that luckily to the ongoing support from Ruby, is not fully realised. But I wonder his effectiveness on the story. Pauley seems too sensible and aware to be even tempted to go off the rails and side more with Derek than Ruby. And I think Pauley DOES need to lose himself more and go off the deep end, as mentioned before about his inner turmoil that seems to be lacking in him, not even a glimmer. They are meant to be ďbestĒ friends after all, but I never quite get that feel, only that Pauley disapproves of Derek's behaviour. True he might have had his first hit and first sex earlier on, but nothing bad really happens so that Derek becomes the real baddie, and Ruby the saviour (again).
The dialogue does need a little work, at times it's on the nose as mentioned, other times the characters say in the dialogue what has just happened. If we've just seen it (the drug OD, Pauley leaving), no real need to repeat it in the dialogue. Try and get some subtext in there and later with the kids, there doesn't seem to be any real teen banter. Just small things to enhance the lines. And since there's two of you, it might help to read them aloud to get the feel.
Thanks for the intriguing read. Best of luck with it and best wishes.
A few nit-nitpicky niggles. Anything format related, best to double check with the latest version of David Trottier's ďScreenwriter's Bible.Ē As far as I know you don't need to: cap sounds, cap peeps who only show once without a name (like the mounted cop and beggar), double dashes (not single) in scripts, keep your -ings down (filing = file, cooling = cool, covering, etc). No need to cap words in dialogue. Some do, some don't, use: later, continuous, same, moments later in their slugs so they don't repeat DAY or NIGHT if the same day or night. (beat) is out of date, you could use your . . . for a pause. FBI = F.B.I. > acronyms have punctuation, unless they sound as they read (NASA). No need for directorial transitions like dissolve to.
Pg 4. Double whammy. Ouch. Might be an idea to mention the difference in coffin sizes. Children's smaller coffins are twice as upsetting.
Pg 5. Think you need to put the hymn lyrics in quote marks. More later too.
Pg 6. Not sure about the merge of the funeral scene and Sharon's injecting scene, utilising the same hymn. If you do use this kind of merge, try and mirror some actions: Ruby is curled up on the bed, have Sharon curl up after injecting too. That kinda thing, otherwise the comparisons and transitions seem a little jarring to me.
There seems to be an asterisk on the top right of a few pages.
Pg 9. Mrs. Stillman = Missus Stillman > best to write out abbreviations unless they sound as they read. More later Ė Mr = Mister.
Pg 10. Unless it's key to the story line there's no need to describe clothing details.
Pg 11. FARMHOUSE > one word I believe. / (reaches for her bag) = I'd avoid putting action into parenthesis, it just clutters dialogue and is cleaner as an actual action line. Then you have (sings) when you've just told us in the preceding action line he's singing. :-s Keep it clean and simple.
Pg 12. Impactful depiction of Sharon's addiction there. Nicely done.
Pg 16. Dialogue is a little on the nose here, between the Pastor and Ruby. Not sure Ruby would be so direct about her emotions, angry yes, on the nose, might want to avoid it. And more on the nose with some exposition on the next page. Need to keep an eye on that, so close together.
Pg 21. with Pauley in lap. = with Pauley in her lap.
Pg 26. Sounds very nitpicky, sorry, but this sounds a little clichť: ďOh, God. What have I done?Ē Wonder if her body language and action of stopping the car is enough to show the brief moment of regret/second thoughts.
Pg 41. Does seem a little odd that Pauley doesn't know Ruby's name until now. :-?
Pg 56. Eyeing the situation, Carol Free motions for the choir members to resume their song. = an odd sentence here. :-?
Pg. 73. cause = 'cause
Pg 90. Can kind guess where Derek is at this point. :-s And I'm surprised actually there's no recognition of Sharon from Pauley Ė the sound of her voice, her look, something that makes him double take and think . . . oooh, do I know her? As she does with him. Even at 4, there might be a small aspect he subconsciously recalls.
Apologies for my reviewing typos. read
by CrabbyLady on 02/14/2011When I first started to read this, I had a flashback to "Gone Baby Gone" (Ben Affleck's movie) as it had very similar story lines: the addict mother not giving a damn, and the 'good Samaritan' who takes the child for obvious reasons. The one sentence you have at the end of your SP says it all: "Does the end ever justify the means?" You have some very nice characters here,... When I first started to read this, I had a flashback to "Gone Baby Gone" (Ben Affleck's movie) as it had very similar story lines: the addict mother not giving a damn, and the 'good Samaritan' who takes the child for obvious reasons. The one sentence you have at the end of your SP says it all: "Does the end ever justify the means?"
You have some very nice characters here, and a lot of drama as well as dramatic tension. Ruby loses everything in the blink of an eye, while Sharon has everything and only wants another fix. What made this story so touching, as well, is the fact that this story is probably not a 'story' to quite a few thousand junkies (and their families) out there.
Ruby's reasons for doing what she did are quite valid and honest. I for one did not believe for a moment that she was ever going to return Pauley (especially when she ran after first taking him) but I could understand and see why she wouldn't.
Sharon was very well thought out. You did a good job by showing us that she did indeed love her child, but loved the drugs more. Her family was there if she needed them, but she hadn't hit her 'rock bottom' yet. That comes when Pauley is taken.
I have to admit I was sure that the SP would take place within a matter of weeks or months, but the fact that you jump ahead ten years is quite good. I can't imagine not knowing what is happening or what has happened to your missing child. The fact that Sharon is determined to find him is quite nice. She won't give up or give in.
I did like the second storyline of Derek and Pauley as young teenagers. Drug addiction, sadly, will probably never go away and unfortunately teens who feel so grown up will make sure of that. I did like that Ruby was able to live well; not poor but not rich either. It shows how drug addiction can and does affect every class of society. I was waiting for the scene where Pauley buys drugs, but you created a twist with that, and I appreciate it. Wasn't expecting it and it paid off nicely.
I appreciated too how you didn't make Derek out to be a completely 'bad guy'. He's a mixed up teen who gets mixed up once too often. Also, I did like how the GIRL gets him hooked; all too often it's the bad BOY that does the deed. You turned it around and made it work nicely.
I liked the 'confrontation scene' with Ruby and Sharon. Even though I expected it somewhere within the SP, I really liked how Ruby refused to back down. Honestly, I wouldn't have bought the "forgive me" speech that I was sure was coming. I like it much, much better that she knows she did wrong, but the fact that it was for the right reason is what she hangs onto.
Your final ending was quite good, and I have to admit it put a lump in my throat. I agree that this is more a MOW or a Lifetime presentation but that's not a bad thing at all. Stories like this will hit home (with the right director and actors) and it would and will get it's share of viewers. You might also try HBO, as they have (or used to have) a series of movies and stories that can come from real life.
As far as your formatting, I really didn't notice any problems except on Pages 6 and 9 there is a "*" at the side of the pages. You may want to remove that. I also noticed the following spelling and grammatical errors (and if you already know about these, please ignore):
Page 16: Capitalize 'he' in Ruby's speech as she is referring to God.
Page 21: "...with Pauley in lap". It sounds better if it reads "with Pauley in her lap".
Page 87: Top of the page: the montage section looks slightly askew with some of the "--" missing.
Really quite good. I can't say I'd call it powerful, but you do stir quite a few emotions. Very nice characters with good dialogue and very realistic situations. Best of luck to you! read
by jayelveejr on 02/10/2011So have to admit, normally something like this would have me running for the hills: A low-budget, character-driven script suitable for Lifetime or other MOW. But surprise, surprise ... I liked this. It's a very well written character story that is both gut-wrenching and satisfying. I have to admit, as a parent, the thought of someone taking away someone else's child is right... So have to admit, normally something like this would have me running for the hills: A low-budget, character-driven script suitable for Lifetime or other MOW. But surprise, surprise ... I liked this.
It's a very well written character story that is both gut-wrenching and satisfying. I have to admit, as a parent, the thought of someone taking away someone else's child is right up their with horrific actions. But, since the mother of the child is a drug addict and the reason for the kidnapping is more complicated than just a kidnapping then it really adds some great layers to this story.
Not only has Ruby lost her own child, so on the one hand she might do this because she wants a child of her own but on the other hand, she notices that Pauley will probably not have a mother of his own or at least someone with motherly instincts. That she does this in the spur of the moment and that it's not premeditated but rather at the right place at the right time or wrong place depending on how one looks at it, makes this whole script very believable.
Now, have to admit, I wasn't crazy initially by the time jump to Pauley when he's 16 and I found the relationship with Derek to be a bit heavy handed. The fact that Derek is laid astray by the girl and he not only turns to drugs which leads to the eventual death, felt like a bit much at times. It felt like it was yet another point being hammered at us about drug abuse. We get it and I'm not sure that maybe it's just one thing too much in a script that is already a sort of downer (but in a good way). I also thought once Pauley takes off at the end and buys the drugs from the dealers was not a good idea but then once the scene played out, I figured out why you did it. I'm still not sure it was necessary as it seemed way out of character for him but that's minor.
Now, each time I thought the script might turn into syrup (that old Lifetime thing), it went in a different direction. I liked Pauley as a character and the way he acted and reacted with Ruby before and after he learns of what she did, felt right to me. I also thought your development of Sharon was very well done. She's a worthless mother who is a drug addict first, a mother second so when Pauley is taken away, part of me wanted to think oh, how horrible but the other part had me thinking, well she wasn't much of a mother so Ruby will love him. It's a great dilemma and one which adds conflict right from the start. Great job.
I even found the eventual turnaround in the last act to be quite satisfying. It's a good, feel good ending without turning too syrupy or just too sugar coated, things that I usually cringe at.
Although the script feels just a tad bit long at 115 pages, feels like it might help to trim a bit, I never found it to be boring. I even liked some of the peripheral characters like Ben. So well written that I could see even a good actor fit that role.
Sure, perhaps one might argue that at times, it's a tad bit coincidental that Sharon turns out to be a speaker and how she eventually connects with Pauley maybe felt a tad bit easier than it should have, especially for a script full of conflict, but that is minor. The only other thing I thought about is that you kind of hammer the points with Ruby every time she sees a cop. She acts nervous or suspicious around them and I think a little of this goes a long way. WHen she does it in front Of Ben and he notices, that was good. But the other times you had it in there felt a bit too heavy handed. But that is also minor.
Don't have much here. I really liked the characters and the dialogue served them well sans a few spots here and there. ALthough this is at heart, a very, very depressing tale especially if one finds out about the plot, once I finished, it was actually the opposite. It was a story about the human spirit and about survival and how we can change our lives and even how one can not only find redemption but also forgiveness.
I was impressed with both the quality of the writing and the story. Nice, nice job.
Now, if you think this script has changed my mind about those Lifetime or Hallmark movies, fuggetabout it. My wife has been trying to change my mind for years and I roll my eyes at them. But for this one time, you've surprised me and yes, I do like this so ... maybe I need to turn in my man card.
I would even recommend this to my wife. Wow! If that isn't praise then nothing is! Maybe you caught me at a good time to read this? No, good is good on any day I think.
I read this a few days ago and only now decided to review it so maybe I'm forgetting some nit picky things, since I don't take notes, and I may have forgotten them but ... the bottom line is, I don't think there's a lot here to change and the tone feels right. Sorry, don't have much here to help you I'm afraid. I do think that maybe cutting this down by about five or six pages probably won't hurt. Most Lifetime type flicks are shown for two hours so this could work as a 100 pages so you may want to see what can be cut down. And dialogue can "always" be cut down in any script so ... there it is.
I hope other TS members give this a chance like I did. I think some are going to be surprised if they do read it.
Best of luck and thanks for a good read. read
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 02/08/2011This script was very well written, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The main problem I see is some of the scenes tend to drag on longer than necessary, and a few minor areas are a bit confusing (noted below). I see this as being great contest material with a little tweaking. Good luck! (By the way, sorry the notes are so short, I really didnít have a lot to not-pick about, which... This script was very well written, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The main problem I see is some of the scenes tend to drag on longer than necessary, and a few minor areas are a bit confusing (noted below). I see this as being great contest material with a little tweaking. Good luck!
(By the way, sorry the notes are so short, I really didnít have a lot to not-pick about, which is a good thing!)
Notes as I read through:
I love the opening scenes. I used to live in a poor area that had a very lively Baptist church on the corner. Brings back memories!
By the way, I have to tell you Ė I saw this logline on Facebook, and Iíve been dying to read this!
Page 3. White and greasy, I love it. Great character descriptions.
Page 4. Man, what a beginning, they both get killed. How sad. But the story set-up is great. It establishes sympathy right off the bat.
The scene with Sharon and her family kind of drags on. I think you could shorten it quite a bit. I think it would still advance the story.
Page 25. I think the phone call scene could be handled a little better. As it is now, itís kind of confusing. The dialogue is good, but the formatting makes it awkward.
Page 30. She calls him Joey. Thatís a little creepy, but it fits with the story.
Page 34. Thatís kind of an abrupt passage of time with the Christmas montage, then in the next scene daffodils are blooming. Your writing so far is very good. I think you can do this transition a little better. You might also want to add a scene of Pauley wanting to know why heís pretending to be Joey.
Page 38. Touching scene with the artwork!
Page 45. Great nightmare scene.
Pages 45- 49 or so. Iím confused. You have Pauley being introduced as Jeff, but now heís back to being Pauley again (through the age progression scenes). You need to show us how that happened.
Page 84. Now Pauley is back to being called Jeff again. After the initial name change, you might want to format it as Pauley/Jeff.
101. Aw man, you have him out buying drugs. I hope it doesnít end like I think itís going to.
Great ending, and totally not what I expected. read
by gretchiemama on 01/02/2011I like the idea, and the plot. I think the name "Joey" doesn't work; "Joseph" seems more of an appropriate fit for the immature character that will seemingly be important to the rest of the movie. The ice cream truck taking the lives of two close relatives seems a bit unbelievable. Some of the dialogue is corny. The references of Sharon and Ruby's life intertwined are well... I like the idea, and the plot. I think the name "Joey" doesn't work; "Joseph" seems more of an appropriate fit for the immature character that will seemingly be important to the rest of the movie.
The ice cream truck taking the lives of two close relatives seems a bit unbelievable. Some of the dialogue is corny. The references of Sharon and Ruby's life intertwined are well done. Again, love the plot.
You can almost guess whats going to happen next and thats always hard to read. Mixing it up and giving it a little shove in a different direction wouldnt hurt it.
Its well done with regard to formatting, but could use some attention in the choice of dialogue between the characters. read
- Writer: Alexis Croyle, Rudy Croyle
- Uploaded by: Lexey
- Length: 115 pages
- Genre: drama
- (Please don't let the following production note scare you away -- I'd much appreciate you giving the script a chance.) A low-budget, character-driven script suitable for Lifetime or other MOW.
- Bio: "But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think." - Lord Byron
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