Sometimes a break-up is the first step towards an engagement.
Man walks into a bar…
Typically to drown his sorrows over a woman.
David Lambertson’s, Terms Of Engagement opens with just this scenario.
The place is Sullivan’s Bar. Tending bar is Tina.
The date: Valentine’s Day.
The aforementioned Man seeking to drown his sorrows is James, replete with a box of chocolates, a dozen red roses, a red heart-shaped pillow and a sullen expression.
Head bowed, muttering to himself, he lumbers to the bar.
When the roses are quickly dunked into a pitcher of beer and James slams back a shot of tequila we know Cupid’s arrow must have overshot its target. When James proceeds to bang his head into the pillow over and over we know there’s been trouble in paradise. What kind of trouble you might ask? Well, it seems Amy, James beloved, wanted something special this Valentine’s Day and James failed to deliver.
Hmm, something special… Yes, sometimes we girls speak in code. How fortuitous then that Tina is on hand, not only to offer a friendly ear and a kind word, but to also unravel that code for James.
Tina sets about telling James where he’s gone wrong –
The pillow’s bout five bucks. The
roses are bound by a rubber band.
any florist worth their weight
would’ve bound them in a ribbon.
(points at roses)
Those scream retail.
(taps the box)
But those are the dead give-away.
James is about to discover that a heart-shaped pillow ‘made in China’ is not at all classy, that drug-store flowers don’t cut it, and that chocolates are a far more complicated purchase than he ever would have guessed.
…You got your Godiva chocolates.
For my money, the best… but they aren’t
going to be on the shelf of your local grocery.
After that, you have your Sees Candies.
Not real expensive, but you have to actually
drive to a Sees store to get them. You know,
Make an effort. And then…
(picks up the box)
You got your Whitman’s Samplers.
No good, asks James?
Only if you’re broke or if you’re twelve, says Tina.
And so proceeds James’ education in the art of love and all things special.
With its clever twist in the final act Terms Of Engagement is a delightfully funny RomCom in the style of How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days, and with the comedic insights of What Women Want.
FILMMAKERS: We trust you’ll know what you want especially when it’s right in front of your eyes. Best save the date pronto with the writer of this one though, lest it be booked out.
About the Writer, David Lambertson: I took up writing rather late in life having already been retired before I put pen to paper (okay – finger to computer key) for the first time. My favorite genres to read and write are dramedies and romantic comedies.
In addition to this short, I have written four features; “The Last Statesman” (a 2015 PAGE finalist and a Nicholl’s and BlueCat quarterfinalist), “The Beginning of The End and The End” (a PAGE Semi-Finalist). Taking Stock (a drama) and a new comedy – “Screw You Tube”. Want to learn more? Reach Dave at dlambertson (at) hotmail! And visit his website.
Read Terms of Engagement (10 pages in pdf format)
This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
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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.