Chasing the Lemon by Mary Goldman | Script Revolution

Chasing the Lemon

An out-of-luck pool shark looks to score some cash when legendary loser Donnie the Lemon wins it big at the track—but she’s not the only one racing to squeeze the Lemon.



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Life hasn’t been easy for Clyde. An indigenous child adopted by a white family, she was then orphaned again at an early age. Now in her early twenties, she’s the only one left to look out for her Down Syndrome brother, Tommy. Times are tough. A score here and a score there, hustling nine-ball out of her cab just ain’t gonna cut it.

Facing eviction after Tommy accidentally sets their apartment on fire, while watching a reality cooking show, Clyde feels the heat. Heartsick, the pressure is on Clyde to move Tommy to a group home.

Opportunity knocks when fellow pool shark, Donny the Lemon, hits it big at the track—450 large! A compulsive gambler, Donny is the type that can’t keep two cents in his pocket—he’ll bet on anything and usually loses. Clyde finds an unlikely ally in her old friend, charming delinquent and small time thief, Nicky No-Future (a.k.a. Fewtch, he is secretly in love with her). If they can get to Donny first they’ll have a shot at fleecing him of his winnings.

But they’re not the only ones: local bookie, Harry the Boof and his crew are hot on the trail. As is Donny’s wife, Roz, a Doberman with a skirt on, if ever there was one. Odds are Donny’s heading straight to Vegas. But…there’s a snowstorm and all the planes are downed. Next best bet? Donny’s favourite casino in Niagara Falls.

And they’re off! A madcap race ensues to squeeze the Lemon. Each party encounters obstacles as they head toward the casino. Throw in a couple of Mexican midget wrestlers and their Jamaican body guard who are after Nicky for a Viagara deal gone bad, and things get really dicey.

Ultimately, Clyde gets the first shot at Donny in a game of Nine Ball. Meanwhile, Nicky and Tommy are working hard to give the Mexicans the slip. After getting off to a fast start with Donny, over-confidence bites Clyde in the ass…she goes double-or-nothing…and loses everything. All her hopes for the future down the drain…

On the verge of tears, Clyde wanders out into the casino, looking for Tommy and Nicky. The casino is buzzing. A crowd has gathered. Clyde weaves her way through, stunned to discover Tommy battling a video game. With each level he conquers, the crowd erupts in cheer. Tommy’s in the zone. He defeats the game and the room goes crazy! Tommy saves the day, winning first prize: a Tesla!

The wrap up: Clyde, Nicky and Tommy drive to Texas, where they sell the Tesla to finance a successful BBQ and billiards roadhouse. Harry opens his dream business in Niagara Falls: a used-car lot/wedding chapel. The Mexican midgets get deported after a brawl in the casino, find God and reinvent themselves as televangelists. Roz uses Donny’s winnings to open an online gambling site. And Donny…well, some things never change. Donny spends every last dollar on lottery tickets, fully expecting to become a millionaire as he scratches away.

Throughout the story Clyde struggles with her Indigenous heritage, finally coming to accept and appreciate it.

Attached Talent: 

Co-writer Tim House

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Top 100 2019 Table Read My Screenplay Hollywood
Semifinalist 2018 Table Read My Screenplay Austin
Semifinalist 2018 Table Read My Screenplay Hollywood
Top Seven 2017 ReelHeart International Screenplay Competition
Second Round at 2016 Austin Film Festival
Preliminary feedback from 2018 Slamdance:
"The screenplay CHASING THE LEMON is an entertaining screwball comedy that keeps the dramatic tension up from start to finish. The characters are memorable in a way that recalls THE BIG LEBOWSKI and other cult comedies. This screenplay successfully "breaks the rules" with the use of implausible coincidences because it makes it work as part of the film's comic chaos."

Submitted: August 11, 2018
Last Updated: November 13, 2021

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The Writer: Mary Goldman

I am a Toronto writer and actor with an eclectic background: Tried my hand at fashion design, which led me to graphic design where I found a home working primarily in print media. Raised a family, jumped into my childhood dream of acting and managed to book professional jobs in film, TV shows and commercials as well as live theatre productions. When my 18 year-old daughter left to backpack Europe (nine months of no sleep for me!), the idea for my first screenplay, The Rain in Spain , was born. I fell in love with the craft and have been at it ever since, honing my skills with workshops (Syd Field, Steve Kaplan, Raindance) and online courses (Screenwriting U, Screenwriting Masterclass). Both... Go to bio

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