A troubled loner is about to get a second chance. And maybe more…
In the final act of Steven Clark’s screenplay ‘Solitaire’, main character Randy makes the following comment:
They say this game mimics life.
Ladders, chutes. Up, down. Everything
This poses the question: Are the cards we’re dealt in life pre-determined, or is the game of life just a random result of luck and fate? Similarly, does playing by the rules, employing strategic maneuvers, knowing when to show your hand and when to keep your cards close to your chest ensure a better result in this game of life?
Steven Clarke’s characters Randy and Amy have been playing by the rules all of their lives. Randy washes dishes in a small-town diner. Amy is a waitress. During his breaks Randy can be found sitting at a table at the back idling away at his favorite card game: Solitaire – or Patience, as he likes to call it.
We get the impression life up until now has been a bit of a struggle for Randy. We know he’s recently returned from a stint in the military and has suffered some sort of trauma. Some might call him damaged goods… As a result, for the most part, he keeps his head down and his mouth shut.
Amy’s also doing it tough as a single mom supporting her daughter.
That she’s attracted to Randy is no secret, but Randy is so painfully shy he can’t even look Amy in the eye. Seems these two might be destined to be ships passing in the night…
We can tell by this line however:
Randy’s gaze follows her as she hip-checks through a swinging door, out into the
So there’s still hot blood coursing through Randy’s veins. And Amy’s indomitable spirit ensures Randy’s brooding dark horse personality and solitary habits are not going to put her off.
Amy’s decided today is the day. She’s worked up the courage and she’s going to make her move. Brazenly, she steps up to the table where Randy’s playing his game and asks him for a date. Just like that. Game on.
Of course, as with all good dramas, things don’t exactly go according to plan. Having given his home a long overdue spit and polish, and donned a nice white shirt and tie, Randy sits down at the kitchen table to wait…
And wait… and wait…
Never has the dial on the kitchen clock ticked by more slowly, and still no sign of Amy.
It appears she may have just thrown a dummy move that no-one could see coming.
Then, just when you think game over, there’s a knock at the door.
Is Randy about to discover that Patience is indeed a virtue? That gambling on love, one of the highest-stakes games of all, is worth it? If he gets it wrong, it could be a falling house of cards. Then again, as the saying goes…You’ve got to be in it to win it, right?
With echoes of Frankie and Johnny, and It Could Happen To You, Steven Clark paints a very moving tale with Solitaire about two people searching for meaning in their lives, and that all important love connection.
Filmmakers: Know a good deal – I mean screenplay – when you see one? Don’t you dare leave this one to chance. After all, this could be that all important game changer.
Budget: Minimal. A few locations, two actors. Needless to say, make sure they’re good!
About the writer: Based in upstate, NY, Steven Clark is the writer of over 30 short scripts, several of which are under option, in pre-production, or have already been made into films. On A Clear Night, a family Christmas feature aimed at a Hallmark Channel-type audience, is currently in the works. Steven can be reached at Steamroller138 (a) gmail.
About the reviewer: L. Chambers has been writing all her life – especially in her head, and on scraps of paper. It’s only in the last few years she began to get serious about screen-writing. Prior to this she worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, and trained as a FAD. She currently works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia.
Read Solitaire (9 pages in pdf format)
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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.