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This was very well done. It's not my cup of tea, but it's a solid drama piece about people who stick out a broken marriage and the reasons they can't leave. The dialogue felt real - full of emotion. The pacing was very tight and kept the argument focused. A very fast read indeed.
Parameter-wise I'm not sure if the narrator counts as a fourth character or not, but regardless of that, this was an engaging short. Good job.
Straight off, I'm not fond of the Narrator. It's too formal, more like a dictionary definition. An artistic choice, but... Perhaps this would be effective as a Super after the FADE, but I'm not sure... . Better if there's an actual 'voice' behind it?
This below, is the only dialogue that sounded unnatural to me, and only cause the contraction would sound better imho:
I am sorry. A real nitpick considering the rest of it is so easy on the ear.
DEREK DEREK Okay...okay. Look, I havenít exactly been an angel myself. If youíve made a mistake, itís not the end of the world. We can --
JENNIFER I donít have a lover. Iím seeing a therapist.
Funny, gotcha moment. Perhaps a missed opportunity for her to give him a knowing glance regarding the fact he has in fact been no angel? Then she could counter with the fact she doesn't care.
JENNIFER Youíre confusing depression with clarity. Love this line.
No! No! You donít get to leave! I'd personally delete the : No! No! Made it slightly melodramatic for me and his demand sounds better to my ear, but hey, nit-picking again probably.
Derek, gets off the couch Typo with that comma? There's another with: Jennifer lips quiver. Big deal, eh?
Ah, poor Jennifer. Now she's going stay in the marriage for another twelve years. Great use of the third variable.
Loved him throwing the beer bottle. Often typical physical demonstration of displeasure from a guy.
Very nicely done all round. No big long monologues to get the point across, just great easy on the ear dialogue. And, this is how it's done... imho. Great job.
P.S. Liquid patience. Nice variation on liquid courage.
Great work here! This really had an excellent setup, conflict, and resolution. Not because anything was actually "resolved" but because, as the reader, I was able to feel the sense of dread coming from Jennifer of being trapped in this marriage and I understood her decision not to say anything. IMO there was no right or wrong answer there but it was well played out.
I like that you made them normal people, too. Jennifer is "seeing" someone, a therapist, rather than cheating. Derek is a good father rather than a deadbeat. I like that. These are normal people stuck in a crappy situation, and you really told a complete tale in such a short amount of time.
The beginning sounded like the opening to the Twilight Zone which went off tone for me.
That being said, would it be obvious most of the script was Jennifer's unsaid thoughts? I did a bit of a double-take when they went back in time and revised the scene but this time Jennifer kept quiet. It took me a bit to figure out the first run-through was partially in her mind and without the narrator, would I have figured that out? I dunno!
It was easy to read, the dialogue simple and effective. Technically they did go to different locations in the house but I don't think anyone is fussed about that.
The only thing for me is originality. It's a typical scene about a married couple and one partner is unhappy. The way they talk is the same way such couples have talked in a thousand TV shows and movies. They don't talk in any spectacular way and it doesn't resolve in any way we haven't seen such stories play out before.
That's just a minor niggle though and a personal one as these types of scenes are not my cup of tea. This was very well written.
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SPOILERS I was expecting one more "rewind" with Derek just repeating: "Something bothering you?" However, it probably works better without that.
He seems to take the news well, makes me think that she shouldn't be as hesitant? He really only begs and throws a beer bottle into the night, I would expect something more vindictive/manipulative? Maybe she has no safety net?