A Happy Life by Art D'Alessandro | Script Revolution

A Happy Life

A slightly slow but lovable, hardworking man who communicates with pelicans and smiley-face balloons takes drastic measures to shake loose his houseful of freeloaders to pursue his dream.



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We open on Danny's placid face, early morning, a lollipop stick hanging from his lips. Quickly we meet the other occupants of Danny's home: Carmina, a 6'4" transsexual, Brenda and her boyfriend. "wannabe musician" Jimmy, defrocked, oversexed priest Boyd, latter day Kerouac Rollie and his lost soul son Leo. Only Brenda is related to Danny... and even that's open to debate. Power's off, no hot water, the place is virtually shut down and Danny's dead.

We flash back to 20 years earlier, when Danny and pregnant wife Marnie are moving into the same house. It's obvious that Marnie wears the pants in the Jordan house and barely tolerates the overly earnest, slightly slow, diabetic Danny, who takes on an additional full time job to support his wife and daughter... and to save for his big dream -- opening an "out of this world" Bed & Breakfast.

Well into an extramarital affair, Marnie leaves Danny, taking daughter Brenda with her, and plants Rollie and Leo in the house. While Danny pines over his fate and the woman he's loved from afar since high school.

When Brenda turns 18 Marnie sends her and beau Jimmy back to Danny, as his child support has expired. Jimmy always has a lead on something or always knows a guy who... And Danny always is a guy who gives in, as when he takes in grocery store checker Carmina, who's just lost her job and is down on her luck. When Danny spots the familiar yet now dour face of Father Boyd, he finds out that Boyd is no longer a priest and is very conflicted about his inability to abstain from sex.

The house now bursting at the seams and Danny a full-blown diabetic, his mother Claire makes her own home off limits to him until he can get his house in order before his freeloading boarders drag him all the way down. Danny, mired in the dumps, collects pelican statuettes and loses himself in his grocery store work. With all the mouths to feed, it appears happiness will elude Danny and he will never achieve his B & B goal. He falls into a diabetic coma, and while hospitalized gets a verbal scourging from a Smiley Face Balloon. Time for Danny to save himself.

His health restored, Danny hatches a very unique survival plan -- to take his own life. We loop back to our open but quickly the pieces fall into place and we discover that Danny has not died, but constructed an elaborate ruse by faking his death.

But things don't go quite as planned, and not even Paramedic Jack knows how to help Danny. He's overdosed. While Jack breaks the news to Scott, Danny receives another visit from Smiley Face Balloon, this time in the form of a dream, and he wakens.
The houseguests have gotten their due, some good, some bad, and some just plain weird. Danny bids his family goodbye. He's off to fulfill a lifelong dream of opening a B & B. He’d love to set it up in space, but he’s afraid of heights.

In an emotional and rousing final scene we find Danny swimming to the water's surface after leaving his undersea B & B to meet his wife and new baby when they all spy the exotic and rare Dalmatian Pelican in the flesh who lands nearby for a long-awaited meet and greet with Danny.

Submitted: October 9, 2018
Last Updated: October 9, 2018

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The Writer: Art D'Alessandro

Art D'Alessandro was graduated summa cum laude from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida where he was the recipient of both top prose and poetry writing awards. He co-founded and ran The Maile School, one of the southeast’s most highly regarded talent training facilities for over 20 years before its sale in 2004. The school's alumni include Mandy Moore, Spencer Locke, Norm Lewis, Arielle Kebbel and two Miss Americas. His love of film has led to over forty screenplays bearing his name as writer, including “THE FINAL SEASON” starring Sean Astin, Powers Boothe, Tom Arnold and Rachael Leigh Cook. Directed by David Mickey Evans, “The Sandlot,” TFS premiered at the Tribeca Film Fesitval, hit 1... Go to bio
Lawyer: Bonnie Berry Lamon

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