Knot Theory by Carol Frome | Script Revolution

Knot Theory

After accidentally killing his mother, Lucas fights in the street, but not through his shame; he digs a dead-end at Zelly's Deli and avoids people--until new tragedy aims him toward paralyzing change--or homelessness.



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Luke's safe dead-end life changes when his boss, Gus, decides to sell Zelly's Deli, which is the only thing between Luke and homelessness. LUKE, 23, lives above the deli, where he also works. He is very reclusive because of shame and guilt about his mathematician mother’s death. She died, when angry 15-year-old Luke unintentionally hit her with an SUV. Tibbit, where he lives is a small town--everyone knows about the accident, so he is sure that everyone in town must hate him. His friend, BILLY (32)--a knot theorist and protege of his mother's, his girlfriend Emmy, and Gus (who is a father figure to Luke) encourage him to move on. But he fixates on buying the deli. Knowing it's not in Luke's best interest, Gus adamantly refuses to sell to him. After he carelessly insults Emmy, she leaves him. Then, convinced that if he offers cash, Gus will sell to him, so he asks his brutish estranged father for money from his trust, but his father refuses. He berates Luke and tells him he couldn't even run a shoe-shine stand. Then Gus dies suddenly of cardiac arrest. Scared and grieving, Luke is relieved when Gus’s elderly sister, BERTIE, lets him run the deli. After a trial period, she will hold the financing so Luke can at last buy the deli. But running it by himself overwhelms him, and when he has a chance to rekindle his relationship with Emmy, he stupidly blows it. Finally, all is lost one night when his sloppy habits result in fire. The decrepit building burns down. He now must engage with the world. He moves in with MILLIE, an neighborhood old lady who has the odd hobby of surreptitiously photographing dead men in their caskets. He and Emmy reunite, and with no other viable options, Luke decides to go to college. When he learns he has to write entrance essays, he retreats and waits tables. He is clumsy, so he's fired. he tells Emmy not to worry; he'll get something, to which she replies, the point is not to get something--it's to get a life. Though he tries, without skills, he can't get a job anyway. With the support of Billy, Emmy, and Cecily, he finally sits for the essay exams and does well. On a college green, he, Emmy, and Cecily fly kites, an activity that his mother once used to teach him a geometry lesson. At the end, as his kite soars high, he lets go the kite.

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Link to Look Book

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Knot Theory has received three considers from three different industry readers. Terri Zinner said that Luke, whom she describes as "likeable and highly flawed," is the type of character that an actor would love to play.

Submitted: April 12, 2021
Last Updated: June 28, 2021

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Carol Frome's picture

The Writer: Carol Frome

Carol Frome is a poet and screenwriter. Her poetry has appeared in many literary magazines, and her book, Lives & Mortalities, is available for sale. She taught college writing courses at Purdue University, SUNY-Plattsburgh, and at Clinton Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Dannemora NY. She's also been a private tutor, a real estate broker, a Tupperware lady, and a farm wife. To supplement the household cash flow, for a while, she wrote content articles--until out of the blue one day, she looked at her husband and said, I am not writing anymore crap. That's when she started writing screenplays. She currently has three screenplays to offer: A thriller, Untie Me, with a... Go to bio

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