Saturday, 1 October 2011

A rom-com for the socially disadvantaged

Occasionally, I like to re-read my old posts and review/mentally bash myself over them, and going over the sub-psychotic venting I did in 'Romantic comedies in real life' gave me pause.  Back when I was young, unpopular and dumb enough to believe in movie love, watching socially disadvantaged girls stomp the queen bitch into dust and make out with the hottest guy in school as the credits rolled gave me hope.  So what if I didn't have Molly Ringwald's non-threatening, unconventionally pretty face?  All I needed was razor sharp wit and a cool wardrobe, and that six foot tall Thor lookalike in twelfth grade was all mine.  By the time I finished high school, my greatest social accomplishment was setting some sort of world record for having the most derogatory nicknames.  By the time I'd reached adulthood, and Molly and her thrifty chicness had been replaced by Julia Roberts in her Bordello Barbie costume, all the romantic illusions that John Hughes had fostered in my delicate adolescent psyche were in the cylindrical filing cabinet, along with my mother's dreams of me getting a non-government funded tertiary education.  But was it really fair of me to blame movies for my social ineptitude?  Would I be relying on them for inspiration if there wasn't something fundamentally wrong with my thinking in the first place?  I think not, which is why I've come up with a synopsis for a romantic comedy for non-conformist/anti-establishment/pissed off at the world types like me who are too jaded to sit through Pretty in pink, and don't meet the age requirement to endure The notebook.  Enjoy.

Ann Arkie, (see what I did there?), is resigned to dying single.  A dead end job as a helpline operator at a sexual dysfunction clinic for the elderly, a mother who keeps trying to set her up with desperate illegal immigrant cab drivers and a teenage son who suffers from selective profanity disorder are just a few of the obstacles life has thrown in her path.  The latest is that Sam, the father of her child, is getting married on Ann's fortieth birthday.  He informs her via text message that his intended wants her to be at the wedding.  Not as a guest, but as insurance that their boy Fred won't pull an Andrew Dice Clay in the middle of the ceremony.  For reasons she can't even begin to fathom, Ann calls her ex and tells him she'll need an extra plus one, because she wants to bring a date, then spends the next two months plumbing the murky depths of Internet dating sites for boyfriend stand-ins. 

She approaches the exercise like an audition, deciding that so long as they meet her age requirement, she won't say no to anyone.  Seven weeks, five days and thirty-nine dates later, Ann is sitting on her living room floor with a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream, scrolling through the phone numbers of all the candidates.  By the time the alcohol has petered down to roughly a teaspoonful, she has narrowed the list down to the three least objectionable choices: A twenty five year old exotic dancer who turned up to their date in costume; a method actor/fruit picker/Dungeon Master; and a Mensa member who got them ejected from the movie they were seeing by throwing popcorn at the screen and yelling: 'If there was such a thing as magic, a guy with a six hundred i.q wouldn't have to live off his mother's disability!'  The following afternoon, Ann is transferring a call to the helpline while filling in at clinic reception when a courier comes in to ask for directions.  His supernaturally gorgeous face, and the fact that she is nursing the mother of all hangovers combine to distract her, and she presses speaker instead of transfer, allowing the unfortunate octogenarian on the end of the line to broadcast to all and sundry that his wife's calloused hands can no longer relieve him of his flaccidity, despite the hours of effort she's putting in.  Ann bashes down the transfer button and sends the courier on his way, positive that the next time she sees him will be when he's accepting his ten thousand dollar prize on Funniest Home Videos.  Just as the receptionist returns from lunch, and Ann is thinking she might skip the meal in favour of going to the ladies and drowning herself in the toilet bowl, Adonis returns and asks if she's free for dinner on Saturday.  She tells him she already has plans, but gives him her number.  

The wedding day arrives and Ann is sitting at the back of the church with Fred on one side and the show boy who won the date with a desperado contest on the other.  Ann neglects her duty as chief censor in favour of mentally recalling last night's sublime conversation with dreamy delivery boy, asserting that his utter perfection is what makes him completely wrong for her.  As the processional music starts and the bridesmaids make their way down the aisle, Fred loudly, and repeatedly likens them to 'satin f%#king marshmallows.'  The sound of the bridezilla clearing her throat bounces off the walls, unceremoniously jerking Ann back into the real world, and she claps her hand over Fred's mouth.  The bride takes her father's arm in a vice like grip and is poised to set foot on the red carpet when the church doors open, creaking like the lid of a hundred year old Transylvanian crypt.  Ann, like everyone else in the church, is too scared to turn around and actually witness the verbal skewering the bride is giving her cousin for daring to show up late.  Once the tirade is over, the errant relative is tersely directed to his seat and the bride finally makes her way up the aisle to her groom, who Ann could swear is trembling.  The 'happy' couple begin reciting their vows, and the shell shocked groom is barely managing to choke out his lines when he is given some unexpected assistance from the audience. 

'I Sam take you...'


The voice is unmistakable.  Ann whirls around to find dreamy delivery boy blushing just as brightly as his now scarlet-cheeked cousin, and is so stunned that she forgets all about Fred, who takes the opportunity to leave the pew and run up and down the aisle, repeating the choice phrase to the tune of Here comes the bride.  The three of them are ejected from the wedding, and run out of the church to begin their perfectly imperfect life together.

So, what do you think?  Have I created the next Bridget Jones Diary?  Should I run off and pitch this to Drew Barrymore's people, or should I just continue posting written commentaries of my brain flatulence in the hope that someone similarly afflicted will sympathise and sponsor me so that I can fund my EBay addiction?  Leave me a comment and let me know!




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