In Mickey Dolan’s world, blood means you’re related. It doesn’t mean you’re family.
Family quarrels are bitter things. They don’t go according to any rules. They’re not like aches or wounds; they’re more like splits in the skin that won’t heal because there’s not enough material. – F. Scott Fitzgerald
As grizzly an image as it may be, a “split in the skin that won’t heal” is a woefully inadequate description of the family quarrel at the heart of Family Business, a short screenplay by Damien Michael Aulsberry.
Why? For starters, the “family business” in question is crime, and the head of the family, Jack, is a crime lord. A mobster. And like so many fathers, he’d be pleased if his son Mickey followed in his footsteps, but Mickey has no taste for the criminal life. He wants out.
So Jack calls on one of his hired guns, Liam, to talk sense into Mickey. And if that doesn’t work, the “skin splitting” starts. “If he feels the same way tomorrow,” Jack tells Liam, “I shit you not, put a bullet in his head.”
Problem is, Liam’s been around awhile and he feels like part of the family, too. “I’m not shooting you, Mickey,” he tells him. “We’re like family. Brothers.”
But Jack is not a man who takes no for an answer. “If you can’t,” Jack warns a reluctant Liam, “Eamon moves up, and he and Martin pay you a visit.” Eamon and Martin are Jack’s hit men — two that have no moral reservations about knocking off the boss’s son. And Liam, as a bonus.
Needless to say, Liam finds himself in a conundrum. “You’ve a fucked up family, Mickey,” he says, “and I’m caught in the middle of it.”
And it’s a problem for Mickey, too. So he takes the bull by the horns, so to speak.
They say, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family,” and that may be true. But they never say you can’t rearrange things a bit when the situation calls for it.
And another thing they say: “Like father, like son.”
Family Business is a great script. Screenwriter Damien Michael Aulsberry has a real winner here. It’s a fun story, which moves right along. The writing is terrific. Liam and Jack and Mickey and company are Irish, and the colloquial banter throughout make this a delightful read. It’ll be a really enjoyable movie, too. So grab this script while you can; and bring Jack, Mickey and Liam to technicolor life!
About the reviewer: Helen Magellan (a pseudonym) is a successful screenwriter with several produced short scripts under her belt.
About the writer, Damien Michael Aulsberry: In Damien’s very personal words: “I write for therapeutic reasons. If I didn’t get all the mad shit out of me head, I’d be a lunatic…” What WE think is you’re a lunatic if you don’t give Damien’s work a read! That, and you can reach out to him directly at damien “AT” donovanprinting “DOT” com
FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:
PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM
OR THE BLOG VERSION OF STS HERE.
All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.