Sunday, January 20, 2008

Story Idea: The Hollywood Pitch

So there's this long-married couple who have grown to hate one another. She henpecks; he seethes. He has disappointed her by not fulfilling his potential and making the kind of life for them that she had always hoped for. Both seek temporary solace in the arms of others, and blame the other for infidelity. She is constantly and cripplingly critical; he is sarcastic and uncoopertive. But, for financial and other reasons - they have a school-age child - they don't feel they can divorce.

Drowning his troubles in alcohol, the husband meets a man in a bar who offers to "take care" of his problems - for a fee. Drunk and desolate, he pays handsomely to have his wife removed permanently from his life. Later that night, taking in a movie on his own while the booze wears off, before the horror of what he has done kicks in, the husband is murdered in the dark by stranger. His throat is slit from behind. And, the guilt of his terrible deed on his soul, he plummets to meet his final judgment in Hell.

Imagine his surprise in finding his wife already there, the hitman he hired in the bar having just murdered her. Awk-ward! She is particularly distressed that both of them have left Earth and orphaned their child. He feels terrible about this, and makes some attempts to comfort her.

Hell is not an easy place to be, and both husband and wife have gained some new perspective: death is, after all, kind of a life-changing experience. They support one another the best they can in these horrific environs. And, eventually, dare we believe it? they find that they have come not only to help, not only to befriend, but even to love one another.

Finally he can lie to his beloved wife no more. He must confess that the fault that brought her to Hell is his. He had her murdered. She is shocked and horrified, but admits that the murderer who slit her husband's throat in the movie theater was hired by her!

And it turns out that the hitman who murdered the husband, and the hitman who murdered the wife, were one and the same hitman! It was in fact an angel, sent by God! The angels in heaven could not stand by and watch a once happy marriage descend into misery and madness. This was the solution, and the reconciled couple are given a second chance. They return to Earth at the moment of their leaving it, with no memory of what has transpired, but still blessed by the love they now feel for one another.

And it's Christmas!

It's sort of The War of the Roses meets The Godfather meets It's a Wonderful Life. So what do you think?

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