Parallel Proposals by Andrea Zastrow | Script Revolution

Parallel Proposals

Tensions escalate when a high-strung perfectionist realizes her future son-in-law is the son of her cocky, cheating ex-husband, forcing her to come to terms with her past to prevent wedding turmoil.



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Set in Chicago, PARALLEL PROPOSALS is a fun, grounded ensemble script that centers on four intertwined/multi-generational couples at different stages of life — from a young, newly engaged couple to second acts and fourth chances. The protagonist is the bride's mother, who struggles to come to terms with having her ex-husband back in her life.

PARALLEL PROPOSALS explores themes of atonement, forgiveness, personal growth and new beginnings. Despite initial torment and irksome shenanigans, a rankled mother finds that an open mind and heart lead to internal peace, a cordial relationship with her ex-husband and a joyful wedding for her daughter. People can change — even that schmuck of an ex-husband!


Set in modern-day suburban Chicago, ELLEN and NEIL SPENCER are delighted when their only daughter, QUINN, announces her engagement to newly-introduced NIC… until they hear the name of their future son-in-law’s father. Thanksgiving dinner hits the skids, and Ellen doesn’t know whether to scream or cry when she realizes Nic’s father, DOMINIC, is her obnoxious, two-timing ex-husband. After 32 glorious years of no contact, horrified Ellen is convinced he’ll ruin the wedding — and quite possibly her life! Quinn and Nic, shocked by the dinner table bombshell, must then break the news to Dominic, whose reaction is startling. Ellen’s father, BERT, figures out this twist the night before and can’t wait to witness the pandemonium once she does. He’s thrilled with the unthinkable curveball since his relationship with like-minded Dominic before the divorce had been chummy. It’s far different than the contemptuous relationship he has with reserved Neil, a polar opposite academic who strives to finesse the dicey circumstances and maintain decorum. Bert is an unfiltered instigator, much to the chagrin of Ellen and Neil, but to the amusement of his cheeky grandson, DREW. When Drew turns 16, Bert takes him to Dominic’s huge car dealership, stoking the home fire — but it’s only the beginning.

Ellen’s saucy and bossy (but lonely) best friend of 20 years, MARIANA, vows to help her through this madness. When Ellen laments she can’t find a recent photo of “the bastard” online, Mariana suggests they take a day trip to his dealership, in tawdry disguises, in a misguided ploy to satisfy Ellen’s curiosity and her own. But that visit lights a different fire… Quinn longs for a blissful wedding and advocates eloping to prevent a spectacle, or worse, a crime scene, but sentimental Nic adamantly refuses. When wealthy Dominic hosts an engagement party at his opulent home, his ego, charm — and bawdiness — are on full display, mortifying Nic. Ellen rightfully dreads the extravagant shindig and finds herself both aghast and riled up throughout. The obvious sexual energy between Mariana and Dominic only heightens her distress. The drama becomes too much for rattled Quinn, who questions the wisdom of marrying Nic and returns her ring, crushing him (and Ellen). Emboldened by liquor, Ellen openly confronts Dominic mid-party. It’s Neil who comes through by talking Quinn down. Mariana’s swept away by Dominic’s wicked good looks and pizzazz. Their fun, romantic trip to Las Vegas only seals their bond. Convinced Dominic will hurt Mariana too, already-stressed Ellen freaks. As Ellen unravels, Neil’s frustrations peak. While he tries to remain stoic, Neil’s vulnerable side is exposed when he accuses frazzled Ellen of still carrying a torch for her vivacious, charismatic ex-husband.

When Mariana hosts Quinn’s bridal shower, she and Ellen awkwardly agree to put aside their differences. Then Ellen discovers Dominic in Mariana’s kitchen and, to Quinn’s horror, their tensions and unresolved conflicts come to a fiery head, captivating the astonished guests. By now it’s blatantly clear that Ellen and Dominic were a total mismatch. (Just ask Bert!) Once raw emotions are overt, Ellen ultimately makes peace with her past and extends a very symbolic olive branch to Dominic. She also recognizes that Mariana and the “new and improved” Dominic truly are good for each other and is genuinely happy for her best friend. Despite complicated dynamics, as the story progresses the characters’ evolving mindsets allow for Quinn and Nic’s lavish wedding at the end to feel celebratory and joyful. Brouhaha averted, Ellen’s surprise move at the reception signals a heartfelt and harmonious new beginning.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Quarterfinalist - 2023 Emerging Screenwriters Genre Screenplay Competition
Second Rounder - 2022 Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition
Quarterfinalist - 2021 StoryPros International Screenplay Contest
Quarterfinalist - 2021 Chicago Screenplay Awards
"Double Recommend" Stage 32 (Industry Reader) - November 2020
Quarterfinalist - 2020 ScreenCraft Comedy Contest
Quarterfinalist - 2020 Emerging Screenwriters Genre Screenplay Competition
Honorable Mention - 2020 WriteMovies Summer Screenwriting Contest
Honorable Mention - 2020 WriteMovies Romance and Comedy Award

Submitted: March 19, 2021
Last Updated: April 30, 2023

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This Script Is Loved By 3 Readers

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The Writer: Andrea Zastrow

Greetings from Wausau, Wisconsin! A former proofreader and manager, my life in script terms is firmly in the meaty, challenging second act. Plagued by an unshakable story idea for over 10 years, I finally caved and taught myself the craft of screenwriting. From the Midwest, I write character-driven stories with heart that portray complicated family dynamics—mostly drama and grounded comedy. My scripts find the emotional story, exploring themes of loss, atonement, estrangement and regret along with hope, forgiveness and new beginnings. All of my scripts have Midwest flavor, but locations are flexible. A big believer in the art of collaboration, my hope is that a script of mine will one day... Go to bio

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