THE UPSIDE OF LOW EXPECTATIONS - Update 001
Another writer, Debbie Castanha, sent an updated one sheet for a new project.
One Quick Thought:
There have been some movements across this project. Let’s dive in and keep me honest.
THE UPSIDE OF LOW EXPECTATIONS
Project Update: THE UPSIDE OF LOW EXPECTATIONS is a film in development. The family fuckup is stretched to the limit as he cares for a cantankerous father with growing dementia, but a fiery Muslim therapist may prove the unlikely glue that binds them. This week, Debbie Castanha, the screenwriter of THE UPSIDE OF LOW EXPECTATIONS dropped me a line with an updated treatment. See below:
MILES (29), an unemployed photographer returns home for a backyard wedding where his father FRANK (80), a retired auto mechanic, breaks his hip. The doctor reveals more bad news: Alzheimer's. Miles is pressured by his four siblings to care for Dad, as the others have important...well, lives. Miles decides: he’ll move back home to help his dad and vows to get his GED. But between his intrusive siblings and his father, Miles struggles. Always unfiltered, now Frank’s flat out rude asf, misogynistic and racist to the physical therapists who come to the house. Complicating matters, he's obsessed with finding an ancient answering machine. Miles and Frank have a blowup. Frank claims that Miles refuses to fight, he always takes the easy route, is a failure. Erm... it’s true. But that night, when Frank falls getting out of bed, he’s the one who quits. “I’m losing my marbles-- who gives a fuck if I can walk?” Miles manages to get the old man back in bed but they’re at an impasse until--
ASMA (32, South Asian), the new PT arrives. Frank’s borderline racist to the hijab-wearing therapist, but they find common ground in baseball and having lost their spouses. She tells Miles that therapy won’t work unless Frank has a reason to try, a goal. Miles contemplates, and convinces Frank he needs help fixing his car—otherwise, he’s bringing it to the shop. Of course, Frank can’t bear that; he resumes PT. He's making headway, but his memory issues increase. Miles shows him pictures he snapped that help reminds Frank of his long life, his accomplishments, and his loves.
While Miles studies, he gets to know Asma’s whiz kid, HASAN (10), and he helps Miles with his math prep. Hasan confides he’s getting hassled in P.E. class and Miles gives him pointers about baseball. They’re having a great time--until Asma sees. She’s pissed. They’re distant from the next session. When Asma returns, they both apologize. She admits she “might be too hard” on Hasan. The three of them play soccer. Afterward, Miles grabs Asma in celebration. She’s clearly uncomfortable with his innocent--but (to her) -- inappropriate touching. What follows is a series of blows:
Miles is crushed when he fails his GED test, Frank hits a low when he forgets his wife’s name, and at the next PT session, a new therapist arrives... Asma has evidently quit. Miles leaves Frank for a break and returns happy. He’s found the answering machine! —but Frank’s gone missing. Miles gets help. Asma joins the search. Frank had shown her a special spot. They find Frank, barefoot, cold, and in bad shape. They get him to his room. Miles beats himself up for leaving him, but Asma praises him for taking good care of his dad. Miles asks her why she quit. She explains-- it's not possible for her to be with Miles in her culture. She wishes him good luck.
Miles stays by the side of his unresponsive dad and promises he’s gonna make him proud. He plugs in the answering machine, and his dead wife’s voice makes Frank wake. After a special father-son moment, Frank dies. Miles plans a memorial so lovely that even his siblings are impressed. Asma comes and brings Hasan. We see that Miles & Asma have feelings for each other. Hasan says Miles should come to watch him play on his new team. Miles looks to Asma; she deliberates...
But--Miles tells her it will be a few weeks though: he passed his GED and got a big photo job at National Geographic.
Flying to Africa for three weeks.
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