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HAPPY ANNIVORCERY (Romantic Comedy / Drama)

Log Line

LOGLINE: When Mom is so happy that she has been divorced for an entire year, she throws a party celebrating the anniversary, but her daughter conspires to get Dad invited and back into the picture, much to the dismay of her mother's new ambulance-chasing lawyer boyfriend and his cast of conspiring confederates. :

Script Info

Script Type: Feature
Genre: Romantic Comedy / Drama
Length: 101 pages
Est. Budget: $1M - $5M

Screenplay Synopsis

This is a familiar, yet fresh and fun Romantic Comedy in the vein of Daddy's Home and Parent Trap.

OPENING HUNTER, the dad, walks into the bedroom where JODI, his wife, is getting ready to go to work as an insurance claims adjuster. He shows her a report about the benefits of cleaning up the closet and getting rid of stuff - the two-year rule, does it still fit, if you saw it today for the first time would you like it? Their 10-year-old daughter APRIL hears the conversation and listens in from the other side of the door. Mom turns the whole thing around on dad and finds her less stress, greater awareness of who she is, and more mental space for happiness by realizing she wants a divorce from Hunter, who was once very successful in his sale of products on television but hasn't sold a thing in two years. She is about to announce her feelings when April opens the door and interrupts.

Jodi goes on to work and Hunter tries to appease April's worry about his lack of sales by showing her a new product, the Stroker, that hits golf balls for the player instead of the golfers hitting the ball themselves. He demonstrates it, but the ball flies wildly and breaks a neighbor's window.

That nigh tat dinner, Jodi once again announces her grievances, including April mimicking Hunter's on-TV rapid-fire sales voice, and the couple divorces.

In the rest of ACT 1, we are introduced to April and her relationship with each of her parents, her father's dog, SUNSHINE, and her next door neighbor schoolmate, ROSIE. At recess, April is talking to Rosie when they see three boys snatch a smaller kid's lunch. April springs into action and trades a slingshot she has in her backpack for all three lunches plus the items taken from the little boy. Using the TV sales-pitch voice, we see that April is an apple that hasn't fallen far from her father's tree.

When Hunter picks April up from school, she explains what she did, trading the slingshot, hoping he wouldn't be mad because he gave it to her as a birthday present. He is embarrassed to admit it was a sample product that a Chinese guy wanted him to sell on TV but he didn't promote it because of liability reasons so he gave it to her. The boys with the slingshot break a window in their neighborhood and Jodi finds out about all this from the school and is so mad at Hunter she decides to have a party celebrating the anniversary of their divorce.

April realizes her mother will be looking for another man, so she accidentally on purpose leaves her backpack at Hunter's, then calls him to have him bring it over when the party starts. He is embarrassed at the front door when he hears the toast, Happy Annivorcery.

ACT 2 starts with the party where Jodi's best friend from work, VICKY, introduces her to STANTON MCCAULLEYIII, a plaintiff's attorney whose billboard with his picture on it reads, Injured? Call FOR THE MONEY. We also meet his two associates ALPHONSO and JERRY who engage in fake accidents to fraudulently collect insurance claims. Jodi is initially impressed with Stanton and begins a relationship with him. Stanton takes Jodi and April out on his yacht where they see his two associates, Alphonso and Jerry come to the boat to talk to him.

Hunter fails with several funny products, but finally comes up with a new product that is successful - an inexpensive desk that rises with the touch of a button so you can stand and work. He offers a money-back 30 day guarantee and sells enough to buy a new car and give April a reason to think her dad can win her mom back.

Jodi's friend Vicky, like her, handles insurance claims and is revealed to be a secret associate of Stanton's. Vicky settles lucrative claims fast that Stanton has filed against those represented by Vicky. They conspire to get Jodi moved over to annuity sales so Vicky can take over her roster of clients. Jodi is transferred and now has to learn how to sell and, much to her dismay, her training includes some of the methods used by Hunter, including his advice to April to always ask for the sale.

Stanton feels challenged by Hunter's success and enlists Jerry to stage an accident with the desks and Alphonso to stage an auto accident with Hunter and his new car. Hunter loses the contract for the desks when Jerry pretends to be hurt by a desk falling over and then totals his car when he runs into the back of Jerry. He loses his dog Sunshine, who is killed, and almost loses April, who is injured. Jodi is beside herself and Hunter is completely out of luck and hope.

But then, in ACT 3, April and Jodi figure out the fraud because April recognizes that the two men involved in the desk accident and the auto accident were the same men she saw visiting Stanton at his boat. Jodi goes to see if the car used by Alphonso in the crash had any unusual support built in. She tells Hunter what she is doing and Hunter drives to the auto junk yard to make sure nobody accosts her. Vicky realizes what Jodi is after and goes with her to locate and dispense with two neck braces used by the fraudsters in the accident. Jodi catches her throwing them away and realizes Vicky is part of the scheme. Vicky offers to bring Jodi in on the deal, but she refuses so Vicky texts Alphonso, who is lurking nearby, to come help take Jodi to Stanton. Alphonso arrives and walks Jodi at gunpoint toward the entrance, but Hunter sees them and uses a golf ball and a slingshot to disarm Alphonso and free Jodi.

Vicky and Alphonso are arrested. Jodi invites Stanton to come discuss her possible inclusion in the fraud with Vicky having set up the deal and with the police listening in. Stanton is arrested.

Hunter passes by an As-Seen-On-TV store in a shopping center and stops to look at the products. He helps people in the store pick the best merchandise and is offered a salaried job by the manager.

Jodi begins a campaign to clean up her messy lifestyle and the family gets back together when Jodi learns Hunter turns down a high commission job requiring travel to take a regular 9 to 5 job in the store so he can stay close to Jodi and April. Hunter buys a new dog for April and Jodi uses a fast-talking pitch voice like Hunter's TV voice to ask him to move back in. They toast Happy Reconcilery.

About This Screenplay

The screenplay has received good coverage from Laurie Ashcroft. I am a retired lawyer and it has some legal aspects.