By Mary Goldman & Tim House
(Genre: Madcap Comedy)
Preliminary feedback from Slamdance: "The screenplay CHASING THE LEMON is an entertaining screwball comedy that keeps the dramatic tension up from start to finish. The characters are memorable in a way that recalls THE BIG LEBOWSKI and other cult comedies. This screenplay successfully "breaks the rules" with the use of implausible coincidences because it makes it work as part of the film's comic chaos."
Semifinalist 2018 Table Read My Screenplay Hollywood
Semifinalist 2018 Table Read My Screenplay Austin
Top Seven 2017 ReelHeart International Screenplay Competition
Second Round at the 2016 Austin Film Festival
Facing eviction and losing custody of her Down's Syndrome brother, a down-on-her-luck pool shark sees a chance to score some cash when legendary loser, Donnie the Lemon, hits it big at the track. But the word is out and she'll have to stay one step ahead of all the misfits and oddballs in a madcap race to squeeze the Lemon.
Life hasn't been easy for Clyde. An indigenous child adopted by a white family and then orphaned again at an early age, she's the only one left to look out for her Down Syndrome brother, Tommy. Times are tough. A score here, a score there, hustling nine-ball out of her cab just ain't gonna cut it.
Facing eviction after Tommy accidentally sets the apartment on fire, while watching a reality cooking show, Clyde feels the heat. Heartsick, the pressure is on Clyde to move Tommy to a group home.
Opportunity knocks when fellow pool shark and compulsive gambler, Donny the Lemon, hits it big at the track--450 large! Clyde finds an unlikely ally in her old friend, charming delinquent and small time thief, Nicky No-Future (a.k.a. Fewtch, he is secretly in love with her). If they can get to Donny first they'll have a shot at fleecing him of his winnings.
But they're not the only ones: local bookie, Harry the Boof and his crew are hot on the trail. As is Donny's wife, Roz, a Doberman with a skirt on, if ever there was one. Odds are Donny's heading straight to Vegas. But there's a snowstorm and all the planes are downed. Next best bet? Donnys favorite casino in Niagara Falls.
And they're off! A madcap race ensues to squeeze the Lemon. Each party encounters obstacles as they head toward the casino. Throw in a couple of Mexican midget wrestlers and their Jamaican body guard who are after Nicky for a Viagara deal gone bad, and things get really dicey.
Ultimately, Clyde gets the first shot at Donny in a game of Nine Ball. After getting off to a fast start, over-confidence bites her in the ass and she loses everything. All her hopes for the future down the drain.
On the verge of tears, she wanders out into the casino, looking for Tommy and Nicky. The casino is buzzing. A crowd has gathered. Clyde weaves her way through, stunned to discover Tommy battling a video game. With each level he conquers, the crowd erupts in cheer. Tommy's in the zone. He defeats the game and the room goes crazy! Imagine that! Tommy saves the day, winning first prize: a Tesla!
The wrap up: Clyde, Nicky and Tommy drive to Texas, where they sell the Tesla to finance a successful BBQ and billiard roadhouse. Harry opens his dream business in Niagara Falls: a used-car lot/wedding chapel. The Mexican midgets get deported after a brawl in the casino, find God and reinvent themselves as evangelical talk radio hosts. Roz uses Donny's winnings to open an online gambling site. And Donny...well, some things never change. Donny spends every last dollar on lottery tickets, fully expecting to become a millionaire as he scratches away.
Throughout the story Clyde struggles with her Indigenous heritage, finally coming to accept and appreciate it.
Think The Hangover vs. Little Miss Sunshine