Cinema 4 by Curt Sell | Script Revolution

Cinema 4

A wayward adolescent, shunned by his selfish older-brother, searches for direction in life at the local cinema until the neighborhood lush becomes his unlikely father figure.



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Cinema 4

A wayward adolescent, shunned by his selfish older brother, searches for direction in life at the local cinema until the neighborhood lush becomes his unlikely father figure.
Cinema 4 is a family comedy for broad audiences.


In 1986, JAKE MORRIS is a wayward adolescent yearning for the attention of his teenage brother and distant father. As his home life deteriorates, Jake escapes his woes by projecting himself into the movies he watches at his hometown theater, Cinema 4. One day, Jake joins his older brother TEDDY and a friend in a packed theater. He’s ordered to sit away, but the show is sold out so he sits by his brother anyway. The fighter plane sequences in Top Gun enthrall Jake. He imagines himself in the cockpit as a young Maverick. If only he wasn’t the unwanted third wheel in real life.

While riding his bike and avoiding the neighborhood bullies, Jake runs into middle-aged BARRY drinking beer on his porch. He asks Barry if he has any chores for movie money. Instead, Jake listens to an inappropriate story from the beer-guzzling Barry. It’s a strange story to tell a kid. Most of the neighbors dismiss Barry as just a harmless lush, but Jake sees something in him that others miss. Maybe it’s just the attention he gives Jake.

Most of Jake’s best ideas come from movies. Back at school, he convinces a group of friends to serenade their teacher, MS. BUTTERFIELD, with a reimagining of the bar scene from Top Gun. She’s surprisingly impressed by the grand gesture. During a classroom daydream, Jake imagines himself recreating the Twist and Shout parade scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This time it’s set at his school.

Later at a grocery store, Jake spots his crush WENDY. He follows her around until he bumps into Barry again. Barry goes on to embarrass Jake in front of Wendy with another inappropriate conversation. Even though he’s a little uncomfortable, Jake gets Barry, it’s just his way of being friendly.

Teddy continues to ignore Jake so he turns to Barry for advice on how to deal with the neighborhood bullies. Barry shows him how to use ninja throwing stars. Ninjas are all the rage in the 80s. With a little training, Jake takes out his aggression on the neighborhood bullies, delivering a ninja star assault. Barry proves an unlikely father figure even though he’s kind of a loser.

In an otherwise empty theater, Jake watches Platoon two rows behind Teddy and his friend. The film reveals to him that his relationship with his brother is like the feud between Elias and Barnes. He’s finally able to let go and accept the way it is. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise because Jake can now stand on his own two feet and when the opportunity presents itself. With this new change, Jake gets a real Hollywood ending giving Wendy an after-school kiss.

Submitted: December 31, 2020
Last Updated: January 1, 2022

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The Writer: Curt Sell

Curt Sell is a screenwriter, director, and producer with nearly two decades of entertainment experience. His screenwriting repertoire includes content for film, television, and online. Curt Sell is also a happy husband and father. He holds an honors degree from UC Berkeley and a Master's from Chapman University. Go to bio

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