Stand Tall! by Vincent Paterno | Script Revolution

Stand Tall!



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A Vegas waitress tripled in size falls in love with the scientist who accidentally enlarged her, becomes a beloved showroom headliner and vows to rescue him when he's kidnapped by three mutual adversaries.

Colleen Cossitt, a pert blonde singing-dancing waitress at the rundown Bryson casino on the Las Vegas Strip, takes best friend Meg Switlik to her job at the nearby Purple Pavilion gentlemen's club and sticks around for a meeting where smarmy owner Vito Cortez announces his Boston "organization" has bought a nearby casino, which will be converted to a Vegas nostalgia theme. It will include a showgirl revue run by wealthy widowed ex-chorine Cassandra Maitland. Colleen is interested, but Cassandra dismisses her as a candidate since she's only 5-foot-4 3/8.

Struggling older sister Maureen Cossitt says she just met Colleen's high school flame Bill Messmer, a basketball star turned engineering executive. (Colleen dotes on 10-year-old nephew Ivan Black because physical abuse by ex-husband Tim Whitman, whose gambling drained her bank account, has left her unable to have children.) At the Bryson, she vents about being short to scientist Keswick Fletcher, a longtime Bryson customer who owes Vito $154,000 for a gambling debt and is secretly wooing Cassandra. He tells Colleen he’s created a device called the Resizer that can enlarge bodies proportionally. She visits Keswick’s lab, a converted trucking warehouse, to see the machine, and decides to enlarge herself to 6-foot-2 (15 percent growth) the following day so she can become a showgirl and possibly woo Bill as well.

As the procedure begins, an enlarged cat escapes her cage, causing Keswick to accidentally slide the growth rate to its maximum triple scale. Colleen’s body and clothes grow three times larger, to 16-foot-1 1/8. As the Resizer can only enlarge objects, not reduce them, she’s stuck at that stature, and Keswick fears her condition could be fatal. Meg, Maureen and Ivan come to the lab and stick by Colleen (Ivan loves that his aunt is now "fee-fi-fo-fum" size), unlike Bill, who wants nothing to do with her. She is devastated, but Keswick and aide Belinda Austin say they'll shelter her and monitor her health.

Keswick and Belinda unsuccessfully try to restore her over the next few weeks; as time goes by, it becomes apparent her gigantism won't kill her. When he and Colleen are alone one evening, they discover they’ve fallen in love. She affectionately calls him “my little Keswick,” and each promises to protect the other. Meanwhile, Cassandra frequents the Purple Pavilion, becoming closer to Tim and Vito; the latter sees a smartphone photo of a giant Colleen from his girlfriend Meg, who says it's a special effect.

The casino’s eccentric owner, Ernest Sanderson (who Vito is blackmailing on behalf of the Boston mob), wants to fire Colleen for a prolonged leave of absence. He finally finds her in the lab, but she gently coerces him into keeping her on the payroll. He signs her to a $1 million deal to headline at his showroom, with Keswick hired as her manager to assure she isn’t exploited. Cassandra visits the lab, discovers Keswick is now in love with a giant, then tells Tim and Vito about seeing her. Unveiled to the public with a clumsy, aborted debut for which she publicly apologizes, Colleen soon becomes a hit attraction, a happy, gentle giant beloved by young and old in Sin City. She even performs family matinees on weekends. She repels another romantic challenge from Cassandra and dismisses Tim's pleas for money, saying she won’t lose her “giant virginity” to him. Tim moves in with Cassandra, both vowing revenge, and align with Vito.

Colleen ends her romance with Keswick and fires him when she learns he owes a six-figure gambling sum. After he refuses Vito’s offer to use her show as collateral, not letting on he’s no longer her manager, Keswick is kidnapped by Vito’s henchmen. He is absent for several days, and Maureen reminds her sister he truly loves her. A now-lonely Colleen regrets letting him go and cries in her dressing room. Vito -- whose showgirl revue is struggling -- offers to free Keswick if he'll build his syndicate a Resizer, which Cassandra says she'll use to make herself and her showgirls giants. Meg finds Keswick at Vito’s hideaway, learns of her boss's mob ties and tells Colleen where he’s held. She vows to rescue the scientist.

Belinda has altered the Resizer to reduce as well as enlarge, and an accident caused by a miniaturized Great Dane restores Colleen to her old 5-foot-4 3/8 height, though she's able to prevent her friends from being shrunk. Colleen, Belinda, Maureen and Meg enter the hideaway to save Keswick. Vito’s gang, including Tim and Cassandra, pursue them, but when they reach the lab, Colleen (who learns to her dismay the new Resizer can’t re-enlarge her) entangles them in her giant lingerie, which she drops from a second-story window.

Vito, Tim and Cassandra escape, entering the lab with Vito holding a gun, which Cassandra retrieves after a fight. She aims it at Keswick and orders him to make herself, Tim and Vito giants, not knowing the machine now only reduces rather than enlarges. Keswick complies, pretending to do it under coercion, and the three are shrunk to one-third scale. A frightened, tiny Vito agrees to waive Keswick’s debts after he and the others are hidden from the police. Colleen orders Tim not to physically abuse Cassandra, as he once abused her.

Colleen decides to retire, accepting Keswick’s marriage proposal the night of her farewell show at the Bryson. She closes with a love song to Keswick, just as the shrinking effect wears off and she bursts out of her gown back to triple size. (Vito, Tim and Cassandra also grow back but are trapped inside a crib and playpen at the lab.) She tells Keswick if he doesn’t want to marry her now, she’ll understand, but he tells her he’ll keep his promise. “There’s no other man I’d rather lose my giant virginity to,” she privately says to him, then proudly announces her return to performing and their engagement to a delighted, sold-out crowd as Keswick gets a movie offer for his new fiancee.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Official selection, LA Under the Stars Film Festival (2020 winner, Feature Screenplay -- Most Original Concept), Oaxaca FilmFest, LA Live Film Fest, Atlanta Comedy Film Festival, Austin After Dark Film Festival and Die Laughing Film Festival (2018 winner, Best Character, Colleen Cossitt); finalist, IndustryBOOST, Los Angeles CineFest and Las Vegas International Screenwriting competitions.

Submitted: March 3, 2017
Last Updated: May 28, 2020

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The Writer: Vincent Paterno

Journalist and copy editor pursuing a screenwriting career. Romantic comedy is my favorite genre, and I'm also a classic Hollywood buff. I have run the site Carole & Co. (named for Carole Lombard, my favorite classic-era actress) since June 2007, and it has run more than 4,000 entries since its inception. (My favorite classic actor and director are William Powell and Ernst Lubitsch, respectively.) As I learn the ropes of screenwriting, I believe my life experiences, combined with the skills I've gained, will make my scripts solid. Go to bio

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