Stand Tall! by Vincent Paterno | Script Revolution

Stand Tall!



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A Vegas waitress tripled in size falls for the scientist who accidentally enlarged her, sacrificing showroom stardom to save him when he's kidnapped by her abusive ex, a blackmailing mobster and a haughty former showgirl.

Colleen Cossitt, a pert blonde singing-dancing waitress at the rundown Bryson casino on the Las Vegas Strip, sees old high school flame Bill Messmer, a basketball star turned engineering executive, and accepts his offer for a date. She learns she needs money for ailing 8-year-old nephew Ivan Black’s medical bills and hopes that if she and Bill click, he’ll pay them. (Colleen dotes on Ivan because physical abuse by ex-husband Tim Whitman, whose gambling drained her bank account, has left her unable to have children.) She auditions to moonlight at the nearby Purple Pavilion exotic club, but smarmy owner Vito Cortez (who's secretly a blackmailing mobster), unimpressed with her figure, tells Colleen to “get bigger.”

Scientist Keswick Fletcher -- a longtime Bryson customer who owes Vito $154,000 for a gambling debt and is wooing wealthy widowed ex-showgirl Cassandra Maitland -- tells Colleen he’s created a device called the Resizer that isolates and enlarges body parts, and offers to enhance her breasts for free. She accepts and travels with Meg Switlik, her best friend and Vito’s girlfriend, to Keswick’s lab, a converted trucking warehouse north of town. As the procedure begins, a minor earthquake throws everything off -- instead of tripling the volume of Colleen’s breasts, her entire body gets three times larger, to 16-foot-1⅛; her clothes also grow. As the Resizer can only enlarge objects, not reduce them, she’s stuck at that size, and Keswick fears her condition could be fatal. Colleen, in hiding, asks Meg to tell Bill their date that night is off.

Meg, who left her wallet at the lab, brings Bill there after he pays for her gas. But when Colleen, unaware he’s with her, lifts the garage door, Bill sees she’s now a giant and wants nothing to do with her. Devastated, Colleen gets additional support as struggling older sister Maureen Cossitt, an ex-addict, and her son Ivan (who, to his aunt’s relief, loves that she’s become “fee-fi-fo-fum” size) move in, and her clothes are brought in and enlarged. Before discovering her “little sister” has tripled in scale, Maureen tells Keswick the secret of Colleen's abuse.

Keswick and aide Belinda Austin unsuccessfully try to restore her over the next few weeks, and 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, although she isn’t aware he knows her secret and thus understands why she (affectionately) treats him as a surrogate child. Meanwhile, Cassandra frequents the Purple Pavilion, becoming closer to Tim and Vito; the latter sees a photo of the giant Colleen from Meg, who tries to pass it off as 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, and she pressures him into paying Ivan’s medical expenses. He signs her to a $1 million deal to headline at his showroom, with Keswick hired as manager to assure she isn’t exploited. Cassandra discovers Keswick is now in love with a giant and tells Tim and Vito at the Purple Pavilion.

After a clumsy, aborted debut for which she publicly apologizes, Colleen becomes a hit attraction, a happy giant beloved by young and old in Sin City, even performing family weekend matinees. She repels a repeat romantic challenge from Cassandra and dismisses Tim's attempts for money, saying she won’t lose her “giant virginity” to him. Tim moves into Cassandra's mansion, both vowing revenge, and they align with Vito.

But Colleen ends her romance with Keswick when she learns he owes a six-figure gambling sum. After Keswick refuses Vito’s offer to use her show as collateral, not letting on he’s no longer her manager, he’s kidnapped by Vito’s henchmen. Keswick is absent for several days, and Maureen reminds her sister he truly loves her. A lonely Colleen regrets letting him go and cries in her dressing room. Vito offers to free Keswick if he'll build his syndicate a Resizer, which Cassandra says she'll use to make herself a giant to rival Colleen.

Meg finds Keswick at Vito’s hideaway and learns of her boss's mob ties, then tells Colleen where he’s held. She vows to rescue Keswick, but is told she’d potentially endanger him. Belinda, who has altered the Resizer, restores Colleen to her old 5-foot-4⅜ stature. Both join Maureen and Meg to rescue him.

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. 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 sight. Colleen orders Tim not to physically abuse Cassandra, as he once abused his ex.

Colleen decides to retire, accepting Keswick’s marriage proposal in return for his quitting gambling. She closes her farewell show at the Bryson 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, Oaxaca FilmFest, LA Live Film Fest and Die Laughing Film Festival (winner, Best Character, Colleen Cossitt); finalist, IndustryBOOST, Los Angeles CineFest and Las Vegas International Screenwriting competitions.

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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 3,500 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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