Think Twice-Lisa Scottoline: Why It Would Make a Good Movie

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog!

Since I’m  a firm believer in analyzing what makes a book, movie, play, etc. excellent and/ or popular, my focus today is on “Think Twice” a novel by Lisa Scottoline. I can’t say I’m a Scottoline fan. I read two or three of her books years ago when she first published. I don’t remember my reasons, but I stopped reading her books and actually never had the urge to change my mind. A friend offered me this book  on loan saying how much she enjoyed it. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings since she mentioned she wanted to hear my opinions and discuss parts of the book when finished. Trapped! I had no choice.

I haven’t changed my opinion. I still don’t like her books. What did strike me is this book would make a really good movie. No offense to Ms. Scottoline, but when a book is heavily plot driven with zany characters and situations, it’s really made for the wide-screen when the viewer wants  to veg out and not do any thinking at all.

As a matter of fact, it reminded me of an adult version of some of the wacky middle grade books I’ve reviewed in recent weeks. Their plots also didn’t make much sense BUT it was a whirlwind tour, as in “Think Twice.”

Let’s take a look at the book. Bennie (Benedetta) Rosato was separated at birth from her twin sister, Alice Connolly, since their mother was not emotionally able to care for two children. The girls were raised separately and Bennie only recently discovered her evil twin’s existence. Alice floats in and out of Bennie’s life causing havoc and upheaval. Now Alice decides to drug Bennie, drug her and bury her alive in a wooden box in order to assume her identity and acquire the proceeds from her sister’s very sizable bank accounts.

When Alice shows up at Rosato & Associates, neither of the two associates, Mary nor Judy, realize the identity switch. In fact, Grady, Bennie’s old love, spends the night with Alice and doesn’t notice the difference. Meanwhile, the real Bennie claws her way out of the wooden box, digs her way trough the dirt and fights off a wolf – that’s right a wolf! – to get to safety. And what a story her return to civilization is!  Needless to say, when the real Bennie shows up to reclaim her life, no one believes it’s really her — not her two lawyer best friends, not the former love of her life and not her personal banker. “Dumb and Dumber”  would have been an appropriate title if the title were not already taken by an even dumber movie.

Scottoline throws in the comical, stereotypical Italian parents of her best friend and associate, Mary. There’s even an aged Italian psychic, Fiorella, the cousin of Mary’s mother who “sees” through the ruse and helps Bennie reinstate her identity BUT not before trying to seduce Mary’s father BUT don’t worry, he has pangs of guilt AND she finds someone else right away to replace him.

In the end, it all works out BUT Alice gets away AND  I’m sure she’ll be seen again.

So, why would this ridiculous story make a good movie?  I’m going to get to the good stuff now. As ludicrous as the plot may sound up to now, I haven’t told  you everything yet. This really happens in the book, no exaggeration. Just imagine  this: Bennie escapes from her underground prison, fights off a wolf with a stake, is rescued, half – naked by a passing motorist who forcibly pours liquor down Bennie’s throat so he can “party” with her BUT don’t worry, this crazy guy’s wife shows up in the nick of time and Bennie is rescued. For now. She gets arrested in her drunkenness. Has no ID. She assumes Alice’s identity with druggies and dregs of society, shoots her sister’s boyfriend BUT finds her way back home. Get my point?  Can’t you picture yourself wide-eyed on the edge of your seat, munching popcorn as our heroine fights her way to a happy life?

As for movie structure, it’s got the bare bones: plot driven, fast paced ( short chapters), zany major and minor characters, three act structure (disaster, attempts to solve problems lead to bigger problems, climax and happy ending), appeals to a general audience ( or maybe you’re thinking a little too chic flick?)  evil twin, mistaken identity, victimization, injustice, happy endings for all characters, open ended opportunity for villain to return in the future.

I’m out of breath just writing about this!

© 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this content may be reprinted or used in any form without express permission from Elaine Donadio Writes.

To watch a trailer form “Think Twice” watch this video:


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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