A psychiatrist searches for a way to connect his lonely patients.
Loneliness. One of the paradoxes of our time. We’re more “connected” to others in the world than ever thanks to technology, but no-one seems to be willing to connect in reality. Why bother to talk about the relative dullness of life when there’s eons of excitement available at your fingertips?
Our protagonist in A Cure for Loneliness, Joel, has both verbal and observational evidence to prove this point. As a psychiatrist, many of his patients confess their feelings of isolation to him in the office. And outside of work, his commute features the all too familiar sight of people addicted to the bleeps of their new iSurface Pro 7, and conversations between fellow residents of his high-rise flats are trite and depressingly short:
JOEL pulls his mail from his box. Next to him, a WOMAN, professional,
attractive stops to get her mail.
Truly Shakespearean stuff. But neither person has any motivation to continue talking – they don’t know each other.
However, the motivation in arrives in the form of a sudden crime wave in Joel’s high-rise block. At first, it’s only a few break-ins, but as the offences escalate in seriousness, the community response escalates too. Locals begin to monitor the floors and organise fundraisers to upgrade security. Town hall meetings, usually emptier than a Donald Trump rally in Mexico become more packed than most trains at rush hour. Copious community cooperation returns. But at a price.
And will this price increase? Will the crime spree continue? Who’s behind the nefarious activities, and why?
Warning! A Cure for Loneliness has multiple side effects, like forcing your hands to applaud when the dose is fully digested. It also induces your brain into asking unpleasant questions. Why does it take negative events to bring people together? Do we need to rethink our relationship with technology? You’ll certainly have your own personal questions to ask after reading this script, so challenge yourself and delve right in to this one!
Budget: Low to moderate. A few settings and good actors is all you need.
About the writer: Richard Russell lives in North Carolina where he plays golf and writes. He has been writing since college when his short stories appeared in the university literary magazine. He loves writing screenplays, and THE CALL, written with his partner, Felice Bassuk, is one of their best. They have written an award-winning feature, THE KOI KEEPER, which they hope to see on the screen in the not too distant future. Richard has a trove of shorts and feature length screenplays and continues to add to the inventory. Writing remains the sole source of sanity in Richard’s chaotic world. Write to Richard at wordmstr007 (a) gmail!
Read A Cure for Loneliness (8 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.
About the reviewer: Hamish Porter is a writer who, if he was granted one wish, would ask for the skill of being able to write dialogue like Tarantino. Or maybe the ability to teleport. Nah, that’s nothing compared to the former. A lover of philosophy, he’s working on several shorts and a sporting comedy that can only be described as “quintessentially British”. If you want to contact him, he can be emailed: hamishdonaldp (a) gmail. If you’d like to contact him and be subjected to incoherent ramblings, follow him on Twitter @HamishP95.