Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Script » Film

16+ Mature Content

Homecoming - Act I

by Elinor


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for mature content.

FADE
IN:

INT.
LIVING ROOM - DAY
ROSALIE
HASTINGS (15) lies on a COUCH, staring out the front windows of a
sparsely furnished living area. She holds an old photograph of JIM
HASTINGS (23) and ALISON HASTINGS (19) on their wedding day.
She
looks back at the photograph, and sighs. Different family photographs
hang on the walls, spanning yes. One of JIM (34), in an army uniform,
sits on a bookshelf, beside a folded AMERICAN FLAG.
Outside,
the sun beats down. Birds chirp. Rosalie yawns, rubs her eyes, and
sighs.
ALISON
(O.S.)
You're
up early.
Rosalie
turns around and notices ALISON (38) standing in the doorway. Her
face is the same, but worn, tired. 
ROSALIE
Oh,
I don't know. I suppose.
A
beat. She blushes, and attempts to hide the photo.
ALISON
Happy
birthday.
ROSALIE
Thank
you.
ALISON
Shall
I fix us some breakfast?

Rosalie
nods. Alison walks away.
INT.
KITCHEN - DAY
Rosalie
and Alison sit to a simple breakfast. Alison gazes at her daughter.
ALISON
I
can't believe you're fifteen.
ROSALIE
I
know.
Alison's
mouth clenches into a tight line.
ROSALIE
(CONT'D)
What's
wrong?
ALISON
Nothing.
Alison
smiles sadly, continuing to eat. Rosalie bites her lip.
SEAN
HASTINGS (18) emerges.
ALISON
(CONT'D)
Good
morning. There's eggs and bacon on the stove if you want any.
SEAN
Laura
and I are going into the city today. I have to be out the door in a
minute.
ALISON
Sean,
eat something before you go.
SEAN
I
can't. I promised Laura I'd meet her at 10:00 and it's almost quarter
to. 
Alison
sighs.
ALISON
Take
a banana or something. Please.
Sean
grabs a BANANA from the FRUIT BASKET beside the stove, and begins to
walk away.
ALISON
(CONT'D)
Sean.
SEAN
What?
ALISON
Don't
you have something to say to your sister?
SEAN
Happy
birthday.
He
leaves.

INT.
LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Late
night. Rosalie sits intently on the couch, listening to a NEWS REPORT
about the Korean War on the radio. The door opens, and Sean enters.
He looks toward Rosalie, and flashes her a smile.
ROSALIE
Hey.
SEAN
Hey.
Where's Mom?
ROSALIE
In
her bedroom.
Sean
nods, and sits next to her.
SEAN
I
got something-
ROSALIE
Ssh.
Sean
stares at Rosalie. She gestures towards the radio. 
ROSALIE
(CONT'D)
I
want to hear this. Tell me during the ads.
They
listen. 
ROSALIE
(CONT'D)
I
can't believe it. It's terrible. 
SEAN
Mhm.
The
ADVERTISEMENTS start. Rosalie turns down the volume on the radio, and
turns to Sean.
SEAN
(CONT'D)
I
need to tell you something.
ROSALIE
What?
SEAN
Laura
makes me so happy, Ro.
ROSALIE
Okay.

SEAN
We're
getting married.
ROSALIE
Since
when?
SEAN
Today.
She
hugs him.
ROSALIE
Are
you sure?
SEAN
Of
course. I love her. I want to spend the rest of my life with her. You
must have known this was coming.
ROSALIE
I
suppose I did.
Her
eyes shift downward.
ROSALIE
(CONT'D)
It's
just that I never heard you say anything about it before. Does Mom
know?
SEAN
Not
yet.
ROSALIE
Sean-
SEAN
Hey,
what's wrong?
ROSALIE
Nothing.

He
smiles. They hug.
INt.
DINER - DAY
A
POPULAR SONG blasts through a busy diner. Rosalie walks in slowly,
getting in line at the cash register. Her eyes drift towards the
counter.
Her
eyebrows raise in recognition as she recognizes MARK COPLAND (17),
reading a book. He is handsome and studious, and intently absorbed in
what he is reading. There is an open seat next to him.
Rosalie's
chest begins to raise and fall heavily. Her eyes fixate on him. By
the time she looks back towards the register, she notices it is her
turn. The CASHIER eyes her.
ROSALIE
Sorry.
CASHIER
What
can I get you, honey?
ROSALIE
Chocolate
milkshake, please.
She
pays.
CASHIER
That'll
be right up.
Rosalie's
eyes drift back to Mark. She approaches him, slowly and shakily. When
she reaches him, she hesitates before tapping on his shoulder. At
first, he doesn't do anything. Rosalie swallows, and taps him on the
shoulder again.
ROSALIE
Mark?
He
turns around.
MARK
Hey,
Rosalie.
ROSALIE
Is
this seat taken?
MARK
No.
Go right ahead.
As
Rosalie sits down, a DINER WORKER hands her her milkshake.
MARK
(CONT'D)
Looks
delicious.
ROSALIE
I
love these.
She
takes a sip, and turns to Mark.
RoSALIE
(CONT'D)
What
brings you here?
MARK
I
just need some fresh air.
He
sets his book down.
MARK
(CONT'D)
How
about you?
ROSALIE
My
brother's getting married.
MARK
Oh.
Wait...Laura Martin, right?
ROSALIE
Mhm.
They've been together for ages, so he should be married, right? He
loves her, and maybe it's selfish of me, but...
She
shrugs.
ROSALIE
(CONT'D)
I'm
just ready for the school year to start again.
Mark
laughs.
MARk
I
think you're the only person I know that's ever said that. 
ROSALIE
I
want to write.
MARK
Nothing's
stopping you.
ROSALIE
Who
would read my stuff?
MARK
I
think you'd be surprised.
He
leans in closer to her.
MARK
(CONT'D)
Your
stories last year were some of the best anyone on the staff put out.
ROSALIE
You
really think so? 
MARK
Why
do you think the other guys give you a hard time? 
Rosalie
laughs. Blushes.
ROSALIE
I
wrote all of the fluff pieces. 
MARK
You've
got a future, kid.
ROSALIE
I
was listening to the news last night. About Korea. Thinking about how
terrible it must be over there. And hoping that one day I can write
something important, make a difference.
MARK
Well,
like I said, nothing's stopping you.
ROSALIE
Okay.
They
share a smile. 
INT.
DINING ROOM - DAY
A
pair of delicate HANDS hold up a dreamy PAINTING of two girls playing
on a beach; one is teenaged, the other small.
ALISON
It's
beautiful, Laura.
LAURA
MARTIN (18), plain but confident, sits to dinner with Alison, Rosalie
and Sean. She reaches her hand out to Sean, who sits beside her.
Rosalie picks at her plate, barely eating. 
LAURA
Thank
you. 
ALISON
What
inspired it? 
LAURA
When
I was a girl, Pop used to take my brothers and me to the beach all
summer long. They were some of our happiest memories together. I
still go by myself sometimes, just to think.
She
looks back at the painting.
LAURA
(CONT'D)
I
almost don't want to sell it, but...
She
gives Sean a look.
LAURA
(CONT'D)
We
need to.
ROSALIE
If
the painting's so personal, then why don't you keep it? Sell your
other stuff?
Laura
stares at her.
LAURA
We
need the money.
ROSALIE
Then
paint one you wouldn't mind giving away?
Laura
and Sean exchange a look. She WHISPERS in his ear, he WHISPERS back.
Alison turns to Rosalie.
ALISON
You're
not eating.
ROSALIE
I
am.
ALISON
Rosalie,
there's nothing in there you don't like.
ROSALIE
I
like it, but I'm not crazy hungry right now.
ALISON
Then
you can go to your room. I don't need that kind of attitude at the
dinner table.
ROSALIE
No,
I'll eat it. 
ALISON
Then
you better finish every last bite.
Rosalie
rolls her eyes, mocking her mother's words under her breath.
ALISON
(CONT'D)
What?!
ROSALIE
Nothing.
ALISON
I
thought so.
They
eat quietly.
INT.
ROSALIE's BEDROOM - NIGHT
Rosalie
lies awake in her bed, glimpsing out at the night sky from her
window. There is a KNOCK at the door.
ROSALIE
Yes?
SEAN
(O.S.)
It's
me.
ROSALIE
Come
in.
He
does. His face is tight.
SEAN
What
was dinner all about?
ROSALIE
What
do you mean?
SEAN
You
embarrassed me.
ROSALIE
How
did I embarrass you? 
Sean
scowls. Rosalie sits up, and turns on her lamp. Sean approaches her
bedside.
SEAN
Do
you not like Laura?
ROSALIE
I
do. 
SEAN
I
want you to be happy for me.
ROSALIE
I
am.
Sean
sighs.
SEAN
Rosalie,
what's this really all about?
ROSALIE
Nothing.
I'm fine.
SEAN
Do
you not like Laura?
ROSALIE
I
do.
Rosalie
takes a deep breath.
RoSALIE
(CONT'D)
These
past few months especially... you've acted like Mom and I don't
exist. And now you're not going to be here at all and I don't know
what I'm going to do. I...I don't have anyone.
SEAN
Rosalie...
whenever you need me I'll just be a phone calla way. As for Mom,
don't worry about her so much.
Rosalie
manages a smile. She and Sean hug.
MONTAGE
- VARIOUS
A)
INT. CHURCH - DAY Sean and Laura kiss at their wedding as Rosalie,
Alison and a few other GUESTS watch.
B)
EXT. APARTMENT - DAY Sean and Laura pack the last of their boxes into
a car, say goodbye and drive away.
C)
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Late summer.Rosalie fidgets on the couch,
trying to listen to the NEWS. She switches it to a RADIO PLAY. Unable
to relax, she turns it off.
END
MONTAGE
INT.
ROSALIE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
The
middle of the night. Rosalie tosses and turns in her bed, wide awake.
Eventually she rises, and opens a drawer in her nearby DRESSER.
She
pushes various clothes aside, revealing a small, old BOX. She takes
it out of the drawer.
Cautiously,
she opens the box, revealing a plain NECKLACE. She takes it out of
the box, and gives it a tight squeeze.
INT.
BEDROOM - FLASHBACK
A
different, smaller bedroom in a different city. YOUNG ROSALIE (7)
lies awake on a small BED across from YOUNG SEAN (10), also awake.
Outside, SNOW whirls.
YOUNG
ROSALIE
Sean?
YOUNG
SEAN
What?
YOUNG
ROSALIE
I
can't sleep.
YOUNG
SEAN
What's
wrong?
YOUNG
ROSALIE
I
don't want Daddy to leave.
YOUNG
SEAN
I
don't either.
YOUNG
ROSALIE
Then
why does he have to?
YOUNG
SEAN
Because.
She
gets out of bed, and goes to sit beside Sean. The door cracks open,
letting in LIGHT from the hallway. JIM HASTINGS (34), enters.
JIM
Kids?
YOUNG
ROSALIE
Daddy?
JIM
Both
awake?
YOUNG
SEAN
Yeah.
JIM
Can
I come in for a minute? 
YOUNG
ROSALIE
Yeah.
He
enters. They each sit up. Young Sean turns on a LAMP on an END TABLE
beside him. Jim kneels at the at the edge of their bed. He carries a
small wrapped BUNDLE.
JIM
Now,
I know we already celebrated Christmas, but I have more presents for
the both of you.
YOUNG
ROSALIE
More
presents? 
Jim
smiles, and unwraps the bundle, revealing two separate BOXES.
JIM
One
for you...
He
hands one to Rosalie.
JIM
(CONT'D)
And
one for you.
They
open them. Rosalie's box reveals the necklace, and Sean's reveals a
WATCH.
YOUNG
ROSALIE
Daddy,
it's beautiful.
YOUNG
SEAN
Thank
you, Dad.
JIM
Now,
they're both of you to put away for a while, and wear when you're
older.
A
beat. They stare at their father.
JIm
(CONT'D)
There's
one other thing too. It's important that you don't tell Mommy about
this, at least not for a little while. 
YOUNG
ROSALIE
Why
not?
JIM
Kids,
there are some things that you're not old enough to understand, but
trust me, okay? 
YOUNG
ROSALIE
Okay.
He
kisses Rosalie's forehead, and then Sean's. He hugs both of them
tightly. 
JIM
I
love both of you so much.
He
pulls away from the hug, taking a moment to look at each of his
children.
JIM
(CONT'D)
Now,
get to sleep. We've got to get up early tomorrow.
He
lingers for a moment before he begins to leave.
YOUNG
ROSALIE
Daddy?
JIM
Yeah?
YOUNG
ROSALIE
Don't
go yet.
Jim
sits back down.
YOUNG
ROSALIE (CONT'D)
Tell
us a story.
JIM
Which
story?
YOUNG
ROSALIE
About
how you first met Mommy.
JIM
I
told that one so many times...
He
turns to Sean.
JIM
(CONT'D)
Are
you sure that your brother wants to hear this?
Sean
manages a nod. 
YOUNG
ROSALIE
It's
my favorite.
Jim
smiles. 
JIM
It
was twelve whole years ago. It was twelve whole years ago. I'd found
a place that would give you didn't have the money to buy it yourself.
There were a lot of them in the city, but I liked the one. Except the
lines were always long, around the block. A lot of people needed to
eat. One day when I was waiting in line, and there was a girl waiting
 behind me. She was beautiful, the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen.
YOUNG
ROSALIE
Mommy.
JIM
Mhm.
But she looked so sad. I want to say hello, but I was scared. I did
anyway, and we talked and talked, and after that I couldn't stop
thinking about her. But then I saw her again, waiting in line for
food. 
YOUNG
ROSALIE
And
then you fell in love.
JIM
We
did. And then you both came along, and we moved into our house here.
His
smile fades as he strokes Rosalie's cheek, and then Sean's. 
JIM
(CONT'D)
Sleep
tight, kids.
Jim
leaves. Rosalie puts the necklace back in the box.
END
FLASHBACK
Int.
Hallway - contINUOUS
Rosalie
leaves her room tiptoes down the hallway, to a DOOR which she
cautiously opens. It's empty. She sighs.
INT.
KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS
The
next morning. Rosalie, dressed smartly, wears the necklace. She takes
her BREAKFAST PLATE and puts in the sink. She grabs her SCHOOLBAG and
puts it over her shoulder. She enters the HALLWAY and pauses at the
first door. She tucks the necklace under her shirt, and knocks.
ROSALIE
Mom?
No
answer.
ROSALIE
(CONT'D)
Mom,
I'm off to school now and I just wanted to make sure you were up in
time for work.
ALISon

Come
in. 
It
is a plain room of no note save for the many PHOTOGRAPHS throughout,
of Alison and Jim, and of their entire family. Alison, hums a
whimsical tune as she stands in front of her dresser, brushing her
hair.
ROSALIE
Mom,
don't you have to work? 
She
turns to Rosalie with a cheerful smile.
ALISON
Oh,
I quit.
ROSALIE
What?
When? 
ALISON
Yesterday.
ROSALIE
Why?
ALISON
Because
I don't need to work at that job any more.
ROSALIE
I
thought you liked it there.
ALISON
Not
particularly. 
ROSALIE
Okay,
uh. What about money?
ALISON
I'll
get another job. I'm not worried. You know, Rosalie, you can't expect
me to be secretary forever. Besides, now that Sean's gone our food
costs are probably going to go down by half.
(laughs)
We'll
rent out his room. We'll figure it out. I have enough in savings to
last us a while anyway.
She
walks over to Rosalie and kisses her forehead.
ROSALIE
Okay...I...
ALISON
What?
ROSALIE
Nothing.
ALISON
Have
a good day at school, honey.
Rosalie
leaves with a worried look.
INT.
CAFETERIA - DAY
Amidst
chattering STUDENTS, Rosalie sits alone. Between bites of food, she
scribbles in a NOTEBOOK. She pauses, and gives her necklace a tug.
Across
the cafeteria, she eyes a loving COUPLE, and watches them kiss and
whisper sweetly to each other. Her focus is broken when Mark walks
by. They make eye contact, and he waves.
ROSALIE
Hi.
MARK
Hi,
how are you?

Rosalie
Well.
MARK
Good
to hear. 
ROSALIE
We
have a meeting for the paper after school today, right?
MARK
We
sure do. I'll see you then.
He
begins to walk away, and then pauses.
MARK
(COnT'D) (CONT'D)
Are
you waiting on anyone?
ROSALIE
No.
MARK
Do
you want to sit with me?
Redness
creeps into her cheeks. She nods.
ROSALIE
If
you're sure it's okay.
MARK
Yeah,
it's fine.
Rosalie
grabs her BAG and her LUNCH TRAY and begins to walk through the
cafeteria. Mark waves to his FRIENDS.
MARK
(CONT'D)
That's
a pretty necklace. 
ROSALIE
Thanks.
MARK
Where
did you get it? 
ROSALIE
My
dad.
MARK
Isn't
he-
ROSALIE
Mhm.
Mark
gives her a pitied smile as they sit down. His friends regard him,
but continue their respective conversations.
MARK
I
don't think I ever asked, but what made you decide to be a writer.
She
stares at him blankly.
A
beat. 
MARK
(CONT'D)
It's
just... interesting. You're the only girl on the paper. That doesn't
bother you?
ROSALIE
No.
I Mean, if you want to know, since I was a child, I made my up my own
stories. After my dad went to the war, when we wrote him letters, he
would want me to write down my stories for him. He said it made him
so happy. Add after he died... I just realized that there was a lot
of bad in the world. And I wanted to come to terms with it I guess.
So I wrote.
There's
a moment of silence as he takes a bite of his food. 
ROSALIE
(CONT'D)
So,
does it feel strange to only have a year left?
MARK
A
little. But I'm hoping to go to school in New York next year. Work
for the Times, eventually.
ROSALIE
I
used to live there.
MARK
Neat.
Rosalie
regards him. Mark vaguely smiles back.
INT.
LIVING ROOM - DAy
Rosalie
lies sprawled out on the couch, listening to the NEWS on the radio.
Alison enters, carrying a tray of COOKIES.
ALISON
Hello,
honey. I made your favorite.
She
puts the plate of cookies on the coffee table, and kisses ROsalie on
the forehead.
ALISON
(CONT'D)
Where
did you get the necklace?
Rosalie
looks down at the necklace; there's a moment of panic.
ROSALIE
I
got it at the... jeweler. When I went into town the other week.
ALISON
It
looks very pretty on you.
She
begins to walk away.
ROSALIE
Mom?
Wait.
Alison
pauses. 
ROSALIE
(CONT'D)
Stay
with me.
Alison
sits beside her on the couch. Rosalie tucks the necklace under her
shirt.
ROSALIE
(CONT'D)
How
was your day today?
ALISON
Oh,
it was alright, I suppose.
Rosalie
turns to her mother. She bites her lip.
AlISON
(CONT'D)
Everything
alright, honey?
ROSALIE
I
have a question. About Dad.
ALISON
Oh.
ROSALIE
We
don't have to talk about it if you don't want.
AlISON
No,
that's alright. What do you want to know?
ROSALIE
When
did you first know that you loved him?
Her
eyes go distant.
A
beat.
ALISON
I
didn't think much of him when we first met, actually.
ROSALIE
What
changed?
ALISON
Well,
we would talk. We had a lot in common. Now, the very first day we'd
met, I told him that my favorite thing to eat growing up was apple
pie. That I missed it. And I came in one day, just after Thanksgiving
and it turns out he'd saved a portion of his wages for, well, a
while, to a buy me a slice of apple pie from a nearby bakery. 
ROSALIE
He
never told me that.
Alison
smiles sadly.
ROSALIE
(CONT'D)
Mom?
ALISON
What?
ROSALIE
Are
you-
ALISON
It's
alright. He asked me out after that, and I said yes. 
ROSALIE
What
did you do?
ALISON
We
went to a dance. It was wonderful.
A
beat. She stands up, and kisses Rosalie on her forehead.
ALISON
(CONT'D)
I'm
going to lie down.
ROSALIE
Mom?
ALISON
What?
ROSALIE
Please
stay with me. We should do something like we used to.
ALISON
Like
what?
ROSALIE
The
movies?
ALISON
What's
playing?
ROSALIE
I'm
not sure. I could check the paper.
ALISON
I
don't know, honey. I'm tired.
Rosalie
lets out a breath.
ROSALIE
Okay.
ALISON
Enjoy
the news.
Rosalie
nods as Alison leaves. She bites a cookie.
INT.
LIVING ROOM - FLASHBACK
An
OLD SONG plays through a TINY radio. Outside, snow falls lightly.
This
living room is larger, the FURNITURE simple but the atmosphere warm
and complete.
On
the SOFA, Young Sean reads a COMIC BOOK. Young Rosalie kneels against
a COFFEE TABLE, scribbling on a piece of PAPER.
Alison
enters, carrying a tray of chocolate chip cookies. The song changes
to something old, soft, and ROMANTIC. They lock eyes, and share a
smile.
Jim
approaches her, and begins to sing along. Alison laughs. She sets the
cookies on the coffee table.
Sean
and Rosalie each take one. Jim sings the next few lyrics. He begins
to dance with her; Alison blushes; then a wide smile.
INT.
HALLWAY - LATER
Late
night. The snow WHIRLS violently. Young Rosalie, in her nightgown,
tiptoes down a staircase. The sound of her parents VOICES grows
louder, coming from the living room. Rosalie makes out their figures
from the entryway. She approaches the entryway, pressing her back to
the wall.
ALISON
(CONT'D)
When
were you planning on telling me?
JiM
I
wanted to wait until it was for sure before I worried you or the
kids?
ALISON
Really?
How can I be sure you were ever going to tell me at all?
JIM
Alison,
don't be ridiculous. I've been away before. We'll figure it out.
ALISON
But
this is different. I don't want to lose you...
He
pulls Alison into his arms. 
JIM
And
you won't.
He
comforts Alison, who has beguun to softly cry. Then, he notices
Rosalie. 
JIM
(CONT'D)
Rosalie?
She
freezes.
JIM
(CONT'D)
Go
back to sleep.
YOUNG
ROSALIE
What's
going on?
JIM
Please
go back to sleep.


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
878 Reviews


Points: 35199
Reviews: 878

Donate
Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:21 am
View Likes
Demeter wrote a review...



Hi, Ellie!

First of all, apologies that I didn't review this yesterday and earn points for our awegreat Air Nomads team ;) But I've read the acts and the reviews you've got on them, so I thought it would be fair if I reviewed them, too.

Now, I'm not really a script expert, so I don't think I can comment on any of the technical film stuff/requirements, but I'll try my best.

There were times where I unfortunately found it a little difficult to be interested in the story? I think this is largely due to the fact that I always find scripts difficult to read because there's no proper description and you can't really use words like "exclaimed", "asked", "pointed out" etc. so you're only left with the actual speech, and it's hard to achieve the correct emotion with just the character's words. I guess in films you have music and camera angles and lights to help, but not in a script, so it's tricky.

But I think what also contributed to the finding-it-hard-to-be-interested feeling is that the characters sound occasionally almost robotic, if you will? I kind of imagine them delivering the lines with dead-pan expressions and monotonous voices, because that's how this sometimes comes across. I know a lot of people have already commented on the dialogue element, but I thought I couldn't really leave it out of my review since that's the thing I maybe struggled with the most.

Perhaps it's just that Rosalie is struggling to know who she is, with the society's expectations and prejudices making her life harder, but she is an especially good example of this… indifference? Like when Sean says "Laura makes me so happy", she says "Okay." and that's kind of it? And when Mark encourages her, saying basically that she can achieve anything, she again gives the same answer "Okay." Perhaps she's afraid to show much emotion as she's been through so much in her short life (and she's in situations that make her nervous/afraid), but these just doesn't seem like things a real person would say.

I think it's the dialogue that makes the characters seem not real at times. I think someone else mentions this in their review, but a lot of the people don't really respond to things the way I expect them to. For example, when Mark says "You're the only person to ever say they look forward to school", Rosalie responds with "I want to write." To me, it seems kind of a sudden change of topic and surprises me, so naturally I expect Mark to be surprised too (not at her wanting to write but the "randomness" of the response), but instead he says "Nothing's stopping you" as if he was totally on the same page with Rosalie in the conversation. It just confused me a little and made me feel like I was wrong to be surprised.

I was also wondering about the mother, Alison. The way she speaks to her children isn't really very warm, not like I'd expect a mother to behave. The conversation at dinner when she threatens to send Rosalie to her room also confused me, because I hadn't thought that Rosalie had behaved particularly impolitely. I've got the impression that Alison's bipolar (I think you said so in a reply to a review?) so knowing that, that makes much more sense. But I guess I'd still expect her to be more extreme all the time. In the beginning, there's really not much to suggest she'd be mentally ill, just perhaps a not very caring mother. I have one acquaintance in real life who is bipolar, and she is either very perky and suggests things like road trips to America to people that she doesn't know very well or then you don't hear from her in days or weeks and it's my understanding she kind of spends all of that time in bed not talking to anyone. I don't know these things very well, nor do I know her as well as I used to anymore, and these are probably highly individual things, but the bottom line is that it doesn't really remind me of Alison.

However! Knowing that, Alison quitting her job even though it wasn't financially sensible makes sooo much more sense, and even with my limited knowledge on bipolarity, I think you nailed that. It just seems like exactly the kind of rash decision an unstable person would make, like just off the top of their head.

Oh, goodness me. This is so long and I'm so sorry. Somehow this just inspired me to write what was in my head! I'm also now worried that it sounds like I'm just dealing out criticism after criticism, even though that's not really fair. A lot of these things I've said you can just file under "Dialogue" as that's the thing that's not convincing me at the moment. For some reason I just rambled more on it than necessary.

I'll try to get to the next parts soon :)

xxx




Elinor Brynn says...


Hi! ^^ Thanks for your review. <3

The thing with writing movie scripts is that you really shouldn't include parentheticals-- i.e., facial expressions or tone of voice when a character says a certain line of dialogue, because that's overwriting and should be left to the actor and the director. But the dialogue should be clear enough to discern the writer's intent, so I'll definitely keep your thoughts in mind. <3



User avatar
890 Reviews


Points: 33
Reviews: 890

Donate
Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:12 pm
PenguinAttack wrote a review...



Hey Eli!

We've cycled backward to the beginning! I know you're thrilled to see me here. :D

This is a pretty non-eventful beginning to a script which seems to get progressively more dramatic. I understand the reason for that, in that one demands rising tension and the need for characters and situations to develop over time. I'm not sure that you have a hook at the beginning however, so it's possible it could stand to be a bit more interesting.

Rosalie lacks a sense of strong character. She's 15 so she doesn't have to been too dramatic or anything, but consider giving her some discernible personality. I think what would help this development is to have some non-essential scenes to help flesh out Rosalie for your audience, help us understand why we're meant to care about her.

In this way, I don't know if you have siblings or not. If not, have a chat to some people who do have an older brother and query how they'd feel if their brother got married. I remember when my brother told my family he was getting married, we didn't respond how Rosalie did at all. Of course my brother is older than Sean is here and he's got a good enough head on his shoulders. But in any case, Rosalie responds oddly and then you leap into a montage, there's no time for your audience to effectively process what is happening to Rosalie on the grand scale, and I think you'd want your main character to respond like other young 15 year olds, so said audience can connect with your MC.

Finally, I don't know a lot about radios, but I'm pretty sure that the radio would have been big, smaller radios seem like a later in time kind of thing.

Thanks, as always, for posting!
Pen.




User avatar
286 Reviews


Points: 16319
Reviews: 286

Donate
Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:04 pm
View Likes
AstralHunter wrote a review...



Salutations.

Goodness, this is long. Of course, it is a script, after all, and anything short from you would be scandelous, considering your talent. But I can see why people are discouraged from reviewing it. Nevertheless, I have faced more daunting tasks, and since we're both Air Nomads, we have to look out for each other.

My Legend:
Red - correction
Orange - suggestion
Green - addition
Blue - removal


Different family photographs
hang on the walls, spanning years.

In this review, it won't look like it, but the text looks as if it was written via a typewriter and then scanned in. Naturally, you did not write it with a typewriter, but the formatting is still quite strange. Anyway, I corrected the "yes" above because I think you meant "years". If you actually did mean "yes", then I am confused and have no idea what you meant.


One of JIM (34), in an army uniform,
sits on a bookshelf, beside a folded AMERICAN FLAG.

When this scene is coupled with the title of the play, it becomes quite obvious that the topic is the return of this Jim from the war. I just have one question: why is "American flag" written in all-caps? We do handle plays in school, I've simply never seen an example of this.


ALISON
(O.S.)

You're
up early.

As far as I know, plays are written in the same format as dialogues, but clearly this is not the same. Instead of harping on about it, can I rather say I am confused and ask for an explanation of the format when you respond to this review?


A
beat.
She blushes, and attempts to hide the photo.

When you say this, you mean a moment or a second passes, right?


ALISON

Shall
I fix us some breakfast?

You have no idea how happy I am to see somebody say "shall" for once, instead of "will".


INT.
KITCHEN - DAY

Does the "INT." stand for intermission?


ALISON
(CONT'D)

When I saw this the first time, I was confused, but let it pass. Now that it's appeared a second time, I cannot ignore it. What does this mean?


SEAN

Laura
and I are going into the city today. I have to be out the door in a
minute.

Well, that's just rude.


SEAN

I
can't. I promised Laura I'd meet her at 10:00 and it's almost quarter
to.

Okay, less rude, but now he sounds like me... o_O


SEAN

Happy
birthday.

He
leaves.

And we're back to being rude again. <_<


SEAN

We're
getting married.

ROSALIE

Since
when?

SEAN

Today.

She
hugs him.

I'm glad she feels that way. I hope to be a lenient parent one day, but that's something to which even I would object.


ROSALIE

Sean-

SEAN

Hey,
what's wrong?

ROSALIE

Nothing.

Rosalie is too submissive for my liking. I hope she develops her own voice later on.


Her
eyebrows raise in recognition as she recognizes MARK COPLAND (17),
reading a book. He is handsome and studious, and intently absorbed in
what he is reading. There is an open seat next to him.

Rosalie's
chest begins to raise and fall heavily. Her eyes fixate on him. By
the time she looks back towards the register, she notices it is her
turn.

A clever way of telling the reader (or viewer, should this be performed) that Rosalie is infatuated with Mark. Well done.


ROSALIE
(CONT'D)

Typo. You accidentally let go of Shift when typing the o.


MARK

You've
got a future, kid.

For some reason, it feels odd to read about a boy two years older than Rosalie calling her a "kid". I don't even call children born a decade after me kids.


ROSALIE

I
like it, but I'm not crazy hungry right now.

ALISON

Then
you can go to your room. I don't need that kind of attitude at the
dinner table.

If I read the dialogue that follows this, it's clear that Rosalie was indeed giving Alison an attitude, but when I first read her dialogue, there was nothing to indicate it, since her choice of words might have been genuine. In fact, I had thought Alison was being unnecessarily hostile.


ROSALIE

Nothing.
I'm fine.

Wow. She managed to use the two most commonly-told lies in consecutive sentences.


All right, I shall interrupt myself here, because this is taking far too long. I'd like to review all three parts by the end of the day, and at this rate, that's not going to happen. So, instead of reviewing line by line, I shall now give you a general overview of the characterisation, plot, dialogue, etc. This way, the review might actually be useful to you, as I get the feeling your facial expression thus far might be something akin to → (-_-). If that is the case, my apologies. (I shall not delete the work I have already done, however, since that took me too long to write. Besides, some of the things I mentioned/asked actually do matter.)


So, I shall start with the characters. Sean seems rather rude and selfish at this point, and while I understand he is in love, and when you're in love, you are obsessed with your significant other, but he just seems downright abrupt. He can't wait to leave the house to see Laura, and he's so fixated on her, he even forgets his sister's birthday. Furthermore, he asks why Rosalie had to embarrass him, and only later did he ask what the matter was.

As for Rosalie, she seems too insecure. After the montage, it is clear that she misses her father, who never returned from the war (I guessed that correctly, but you gave more than enough hints; no award for me... ;) ), but that does not justify her emotional dependence. I'm just saying worse things could have happened to her family. She comes across as needy, that's all.

Alison appears to be the generic mother, but then again, she isn't the focus of the story - her daughter is. The same counts for the father.

Now, for the plot. Currently, I cannot say there is one, since it just seems to be the lives of the Hastings family playing out in front of the readers/audience. The dialogue supports that idea, since the war often features, as well as various family matters, such as Sean's wedding, but all of the scenes are extremely disjointed. My impression is that the scene changes almost every ten paragraphs, and since I'm used to stationary settings - or at least, settings that only change with each act - this is unusual. Of course, is this is a film script, and not a play script, then it would make more sense.

The dialogue isn't too hot either. Frankly, it's bland. The characters' personalities are clearly portrayed, I find no fault with that, but your story simply lacks that... element that convinces the readers this is worth their time. I don't mean to say it isn't good, because it is very well-written, it's just not great. If I had to make only one suggestion, I'd reccommend making the dialogue more interesting.

I hope this review helped. If it didn't, then at least you got four other reviews that might have! (I edited this part of submitting the review.)


This review courtesy of
Image




Elinor Brynn says...


Hey, thanks for your review! This is indeed a film script? Which means the formatting is going to be a little different



Elinor Brynn says...


Film script*



AstralHunter says...


Ah, that makes so much more sense. Thank you for the clarification.



User avatar
1125 Reviews


Points: 53410
Reviews: 1125

Donate
Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:25 pm
View Likes
StellaThomas wrote a review...



Hey Ellie! Stella here for a review.

So I love the 50s aesthetic and especially teen stories and especially teen girl stories. That said I felt the setting could have been a lot stronger. For instance you mention the Korean War is on the radio but don't give any details of what the news is saying. And we know she goes to the diner for a milkshake but apart from these two things the setting doesn't feel that strong to me. Now a lot of that could be to do with the fact this is a script and so description is minimal. But even so I feel like the social values and slang etc. could be used a lot to your advantage. Like, Rosalie is the only girl on the school paper -- why? And does she get a lot of stick for it? And do you think she'll get to school in New York? What obstacles might there be in her way? This isn't a problem particularly - how it's done is fine - but I think you could enrich the script so much!

The main issues I had with the piece:

1) the dialogue. At times it feels like all the characters are having a different conversation. For instance, Mark says that Rosalie can follow her dreams and be a star bla bla bla and Rosalie says "okay." I mean, is that how you would respond? I don't think so. It happens a good few times throughout the script. For instance the dinner scene where Rosalie's comment about the painting seems to cause a lot of tension and then her mother threatens to send her to the room seemingly out of the blue. I think there's a lot going on in your head that isn't translating onto the page and the readers are feeling quite confused by it. Or at least I was. Read through each scene and see how each line of dialogue relates to the one before it.

2) my other problem is that not a lot seemed to happen. This is the first act, so by the end you should have us fully involved in what's going on - but I just felt like there wasn't much plot. Other than the necklace - which was another thing that didn't make much sense to me. Why would he want them to keep the gifts a secret? If he was going to war it seems reasonable to give his children goodbye presents. Other than that this seemed very much a snapshot of Rosalie's life rather than the beginning of a story.

I'll try get to the other two parts now!

Hope I helped drop me a note if you need anything!

- Stella x




User avatar
264 Reviews


Points: 23295
Reviews: 264

Donate
Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:15 pm
Megrim wrote a review...



Hey there, Megrim here for Review Day! I thought it would be fun and different to read a screenplay. I haven't written one before, so this is new territory for me.

Overall I enjoyed it and I thought some of the scenes were beautiful. I think my main issue was that some scenes seemed to be short throw-away scenes that didn't do much, in between the bigger meatier scenes. The opening, for example, was slow and halting. I read through the piece quickly, trying to picture it like a movie, and I found in some areas, it seemed written in a way that would fit better with a book. That is to say, there were a lot of spots where Rosalie's thoughts and emotions were quite unclear, and having an internal narrative like you'd get in a book would have gone a long way to making the scene more interesting. Let's have a look at the first few:

- Mom comments she's up early.
- Take a banana and say happy birthday.
- Sean says he's getting married.

These scenes feel more like fragments. There's no middle, beginning, or end, and they don't feel like there's much progression in plot and character. Some of those might not even take a full minute of screen time. So you can see how I'm picturing this as choppy. The first real scene with some depth to it is when she talks about her writing and how she wants to make a difference some day. This is a longer scene, and we finally get to learn about her personality, desires, thoughts, etc. Similarly, we have some fluffy throw-away scenes, then some more meat with the dad leaving and the flashbacks. I think it would be smoother if you could somehow streamline it into a few big, solid scenes, without so much jumping around. I think it doesn't help that they often seem to end abruptly, like how after he says nothing's stopping her from writing, she just says, "Okay," and then bam, scene change! I feel like that's leaving me a little hanging, there.

I've heard a scene described as a unit of tension, and I think that's a good definition to keep in mind. If nothing else, try taking each scene, and asking yourself some questions about it. Why do I have this scene/what is its purpose? What would I lose if this scene were removed? Can this information be combined with anything else, or is it repeating something shown somewhere else? Regardless of what answers you come up with, and whether you end up changing that particular scene or not, it's a good idea to force yourself to analyse each one this way.

Thanks for sharing, and good luck with it!




User avatar
14 Reviews


Points: 594
Reviews: 14

Donate
Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:10 pm
katiemeyers wrote a review...



Hello! Katie here! I'm not going to lie, I've never read or reviewed a script....which is why I will stick to just praising you! I personally loved this! You did a wonderful job on setting the scenes, and the mood. I've fallen in love with Rosalie, she's a very relatable character. There are lots of great lines in this but my favorite is when Mark tells Rosalie ''Nothing is stopping you. '' You may not have meant it to have such meaning (which you probably did because your great like that) but at that point I was like wow, okay, this is going to be an intense script and it was! Thank you for putting this out there for everyone to read! Keep writing!

Your loyal reader, ❤
Katie

P.s. I apologize for my grammatical errors, my keyboard is currently out of reach so I'm winging it




User avatar
1080 Reviews


Points: 125
Reviews: 1080

Donate
Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:58 pm
Kaylaa wrote a review...



I like the story, I like how realistic it is, this could all be real, and I give props to you for not making them sound monotone in my head, I can hear expression in the words that they speak.

It is a little hard and long to read, Mark wasn't my favorite person to read, he was just kind of, eh. I didn't like him much, maybe I don't like, "You're a prodigy." cliche.

So, my final thoughts on the story: Interesting, realistic lines most of the time, I disliked Mark and "You're a prodigy." It wasn't the best that i've read, I dunno, it could be great, but I barely ever read these types of things and I thought I'd give it a try.





Just think happy thoughts and you'll fly.
— Peter Pan