Screenplay

This week’s prompt: Congratulations! Your best selling memoir has just been optioned by a major motion picture studio, and the producers want you advising on the script.  Write the opening scene for the movie.

A ROOM IN A NURSING HOME – MID-AFTERNOON

At first glance, the room looks sterile – bare floor, with a hospital bed in the middle, a lone chest of drawers against the wall, blinds but no curtains at the windows.  A closer look reveals personal touches – a bulletin board full of family photos and children’s drawings, a handmade afghan at the foot of the bed, a bookcase full of dog-eared novels and DVDs.

JULIE is on the bed, raised almost to a sitting position.  KARINA and BEN have pulled chairs close to the sides of the bed, while RIYA is perched at their mother’s feet.

RIYA

Mom, we brought you some new movies.

BEN

I wish you would let us get you the iHologram.  Your DVD player barely works, and it would be so much easier –

JULIE (interrupts)

And you’ll come over every night to help me turn the frickin’ thing on?  No, thank you.  What did you bring me, Karina?

KARINA

(hands her a stack of DVD cases)

Here.

JULIE

(runs a trembling hand over the surface of one of the boxes)

Oh, I loved this movie!  I haven’t seen it in forever.

RIYA

You say that about all of them, Mom.

JULIE

The cover looks just the same!  I used to be able to recite it all by heart.  That’s changed a bit.

BEN

Here she goes.

RIYA

Shhhhh.  It’s the Titanic bit.  I actually like this one!

JULIE

(continues as if they have not spoken)

It was the ship of dreams…

(her voice fades, and she gazes out of the window, distracted)

KARINA

Mom?

JULIE

(flustered and embarrassed)

Oh!  Yes, sorry.  Did you eat already?

RIYA

(leans forward and covers her mother’s hands with her own, exchanges a glance with KARINA)

KARINA

(gently)

Yes, we ate with you, remember?

BEN

“The mashed potatoes were so creamy.”

JULIE

(laughs)

While You Were Sleeping.

(shakes her head as if to clear it, then continues)

Such a treat to have you all here at the same time.  It’s just like when you were little, isn’t it?

Fade to flashback…

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About Grape

I've got the world's best kids and husband. Great house, steady job. I'm living the American dream. The trick is to appreciate it. I'm working on that part.
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9 Responses to Screenplay

  1. TheKirCorner says:

    What a great use of this prompt, I had such a hard time but you made it look easy and interesting. I loved the use of the movie lines and the banter between the siblings. This was so good.

  2. Sweaty says:

    This is such a sweet scene, but at the same time poignant and sad. I sensed that Julie (is that your mother?) has started to lose some of her memory?

    The interaction between all the characters are very smooth and natural… there is a lot of love in the family.

    A very touching screenplay…

  3. So sweet, such love and tenderness there with so few words. I loved it.

  4. This is really sweet. Great use of the prompt. I love how they recite lines from movies.

  5. Ugh – this was well done but made me sad. Are the movie lines center stage because Mom remembers movies better than her real life? I can’t imagine losing a parent to Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Great job on all the little details of the room and family dynamics.

  6. John says:

    Sibling banter is what makes the world go round….but I remember a friend’s mother who had Alzheimer’s — such a very, very rough time.

    Starting with that, though – I’m curious where you’re heading.

  7. Tina says:

    That was so great–you really get a sense of the closeness of your family, even if it was a bittersweet moment.

  8. Lance says:

    I liekd this a lot. You said a lot in one scene. Good job.

  9. angela says:

    Nice job. I liked the movies within the “movie”. My husband is a movie quoter (but not Titantic,) so I can picture the quotes, a little annoying yet so familiar and comforting at the same time.

    Nicely done!

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