Written by Samantha Jeet
I want to write a screenplay.
I’m not 100% sure what it’ll be about, but I think it’ll be a part romantic comedy, part drama, part musical.
The protagonist is a young woman who lives a good life. She’s educated, pretty funny, a bit quirky, and very much a geek. She loves her family, she considers herself a good person, she has awesome and interesting hobbies. She likes food, maybe sometimes too much, and she fancies herself a writer. Oh, and she has conversations with herself. Not is a crazy way, but in a way to work through her life. I’m still playing with the idea of making it like the movie Inside Out where each one of her emotions has a different voice. Maybe her humorous and sarcastic side is voiced by Tina Fey, her logical side by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and all her internal musical numbers composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and sung by Audra McDonald. Meryl Streep and Dame Julie Andrews will make an appearance somewhere.
Like I said, this young woman lives a good life, but for some reason or another she’s not at ease with herself and her place in the world. She’s not unhappy, but she has always had this feeling that she’s not moving. She’s not growing. All around her her friends and family are getting married, having children, moving up in their careers, and she’s sincerely happy for them. She doesn’t want a husband or family right now, she doesn’t want a promotion at work, she actually doesn’t know what she wants. She realizes the reason why she isn’t moving is because she doesn’t know which step to take or in which direction. And she’s scared. Ah, major character development moment. She’s scared to take the wrong step, to make the wrong decision.
After what she can only describe as a struggle with God, she realizes what she needs to do to move forward, what she needs to do to grow. She needs to quit her job and by a one way ticket somewhere.
And she does.
I picture her going into her boss’ office and giving him this passionate and thought out speech. Then it cuts to her back at her desk with her voicing over it “So I did it. I took a jump and quit my job. Like all great impulse stories, I gave them a 4 months notice.” Then the next scene is just a montage of her working over the next 4 months.
On her last day of work, as she walks out of the building, Barbra Streisand’s “Gotta Move” plays. If you get this reference from To Wong Foo then you get double points. This song goes over another montage where she’s at home planning her trip, packing, driving to the airport. Then there’s a record scratch and it cuts to her crying in front of her mom and brother. At this moment she has major second thoughts. The thought of leaving them, of not seeing them everyday is almost too much to take. But she does what all good Filipino daughter’s do, she pushes down all her emotion and ignores it.
The last scene takes place on the plane. It’s night and everyone is sleeping, but her. She’s looking out the window at all the stars. We’re not really sure what’s going on in her head. Some mixture of wonder, anticipation, joy. Oh, and growth. We can see that from the time she decided to leave to her getting on the plane she has grown so much and she can feel it. As a small smile plays on her face, the film ends. Take note that though the film ends, her story has just begun.
This film isn’t about her travels and what she does. It’s about her fear and her need to grow. It’s about her taking a step out into water and not knowing what will happen next, but trusting in God. It’s about her learning who she is when she is just herself. It’s about her learning to love herself, hence the “romantic” part of romantic comedy genre of this film.
As the scene fades to black, 5 words appear: Based on a true story.