World's Best Mom by Anthony Stampalia | Script Revolution

World's Best Mom



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A guilt-ridden mother who flees for a new life after faking death on 9/11 must elude pursuing cops and a loan shark threatening to reveal the truth to her mourning family.

A 96 Page Drama by Anthony J Stampalia

A guilt-ridden mother who flees for a new life after faking death on 9/11 must elude pursuing cops and a loan shark threatening to reveal the truth to her mourning family.

A gray, foggy day on Long Island Sound. When three-year-old DIANE innocently climbs a ladder to help her mother, JOANNA, it throws them off balance. Joanna falls to a bloody death. Diane’s father, MATT, angrily blames her for the tragic accident.

Now in her late twenties, Diane struggles to maintain a relationship with her caring husband, MICHAEL, and three-year-old daughter, PENNY. Diane loves Michael, but cannot emotionally bond with Penny. She shuns contact with her smart and strong-willed daughter.

Frightened and baffled by her inability to love Penny, Diane’s sessions with therapist DR. KOSTOPOULOS, and the prescription pills she pops, offer neither answers nor relief. A coffee table pictorial book celebrating Australia piques Diane’s interest.

A brilliant analyst for an important political consulting group in Ithaca, New York, Diane seizes any opportunity to avoid Penny, including flying to New York City the weekend before meetings at the World Trade Center on Tuesday, September 11.

Diane’s survival triggers a spontaneous decision, an opportunity for Penny to be happier without her. She will be the victim of a terrorist act. Diane changes looks then secures a fake passport, driver's license and Social Security card she buys from street criminal, BLINKY.

In order to afford all this, she connects with loan sharks for a $5,000 loan with 20% weekly interest. The loving loan shark family includes GLORY, ROCKY and ten-year-old TIFFANI -- a pint-size shark-in-training.

Crashing at a cheap motel, Diane befriends G-MAN, the drug dealer who helped with the fake IDs. She spills travel plans to Los Angeles. Diane saves money by purchasing a ticket leaving LA for Sydney in a few weeks. On the street, DENISE, a young mother with a hungry baby, spots Diane flashing cash. Denise stalks Diane, beats and robs her.

Overdue with the interest, Rocky tracks down Diane, slaps her around. Diane knocks Rocky out with a lucky crack to the skull. She steals his Cadillac, ditches it and extends thumbs to hitchhike to Los Angeles.

Nearly out of money, Diane works as a day laborer on an Ohio hog farm run by a nut job, JANET SIRSAY, who secretly swipes Diane's airline ticket.

Believing she is a terrorist, Janet confronts Diane with the ticket and holds her at gunpoint. To Janet’s surprise, Diane hits her with a wine bottle. Diane wrests the ticket away from her, takes only rightful back pay and spirits away. Janet sics her close friend, the local Sheriff, on Diane. Hot on her tail for aggravated assault and petty theft, Diane narrowly escapes to Kentucky.

Glory and Tiffani threaten Blinky who folds under duress. He pleads with them to check with travel agents. They bribe the TRAVEL AGENT who quickly betrays Diane's travel plans.

Michael holds an emotional memorial for Diane. A fellow professor, LINDSAY, sobs.
In Kentucky, singer SYRENE enchants Diane and hides her from a snooping Sheriff. She invites Diane to join her on tour. Diane becomes a groupie and takes Ecstasy with Syrene while Lindsay makes romantic overtures to vulnerable Michael.

At six, Syrene’s mother deserted her in a Walmart bathroom. When she learns Diane’s 9/11 story of abandoning Penny, Syrene kicks her off the tour bus in middle-of-nowhere Missouri leaving Diane to hitch on the Interstate.

MAUREEN, a pregnant-by-choice Missouri Trooper, stops her. Diane tells her she accidentally became pregnant. Maureen drops Diane at an Interstate off-ramp.

Venomous Syrene drops a dime on Diane. An OHIO LIEUTENANT TROOPER alerts Missouri Highway Patrol with the outstanding warrant for Diane. Now on dispatch duty, Maureen, broadcasts the bulletin.

Michael welcomes Lindsay’s drive deeper into his life. Angry, Penny calls Lindsay "Not-Mommy." Seeking revenge, Rocky acts on a tip from a ‘friend’ and hunts Diane.

Diane meets ten-year-old boy and girl fraternal twins, JOE AND MARE. She follows them across a rickety bridge to their hidden, high mesa hideout. They take shelter from a tornado. It mangles the bridge and traps them.

Rocky's Caddy breaks down in Missouri. The Twins tell Diane a tale of their mother who tried to kill them at age six, missed and committed suicide. They’ve been living on the street since.

A police helicopter spots and rescues Diane and the Twins. Rocky gulps at the news story about their deliverance. The Twins enter protective custody, Diane’s name hits on a background check.

Held for extradition to Ohio, a cruiser transports Diane to county jail. Rocky watches the transfer.

Michael apologizes to Penny for depending on Lindsay to take away his sadness. Together, they build a snowlady Penny is certain Mommy will see.

Allowed to visit the twins at a CPS facility, Diane confesses she killed her mother. The Twins spin her with, "Stuff happens. It was an accident." Diane experiences a life-changing epiphany.

The Ohio Lieutenant Trooper collects Diane and takes her to an isolated area where Rocky waits. The Trooper, Rocky’s ‘friend’, sold her soul because state employee medical insurance will not cover her daughter’s leukemia treatments.

After a change of heart, she double-crosses Rocky by protecting Diane. Rocky kills the Trooper.

Diane is on deck as she and Rocky drive off. Diane acts forcefully. She causes Rocky to crash the Caddy then reluctantly saves him from burning alive. Debt forgiven, Diane handcuffs Rocky to a tree and leaves a note naming him as the Trooper’s killer.

Diane hitches to Ithaca. Outside her warm, inviting home, Diane smiles at Penny’s snowlady.

She steps toward the house.

Steps back.

An ice fog envelops her.


All Accolades & Coverage: 

The story itself is compelling and a real page turner.
Writer: Recommend, Project: Recommend
Sarah J. Cornelius, Creative & Production Executive, Whitewater Films

This is a compelling story with strong characterization and a narrative structure that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. The evocative world feels realistic as Diane goes from the glitz and glamour of Ithaca to the gritty underworld of seedy motels in Queens--and beyond.

The climax is intense and satisfying, unexpected yet inevitable. It's the big, action-packed showdown between Diane and the loan sharks that we have been expecting, but it comes about in a unique way. Overall, this is a unique and compelling script that demonstrates a lot of skill on the part of the writer.
Recommendation: Consider
Screenplay Readers, AB

A unique story about motherhood that does a terrific job exploring the concept from all possible angles, WORLD’S BEST MOM is certainly the most original take on the 9/11 aftermath drama we’ve seen. The “new identity” after 9/11 has been done, but not with this particular slant, which makes this memorable and certainly eye-opening.
Script: Recommend, Writer: Recommend
Screenplay Gurus, SD

Submitted: January 10, 2019
Last Updated: April 23, 2019
Times Downloaded: 18
Last Downloaded: August 15, 2019

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Anthony Stampalia's picture

The Writer: Anthony Stampalia

The black sheep son of average middle-classers who found him a bit odd, he found escape from the crushing sameness of small town America in films on Cable. He watched anything and everything, but Billy Wilder and Robert Altman permanently zapped his developing brain. To his chagrin, he found no one pays you to watch TV. Accustomed to eating three meals a day, he took jobs making TV. Tony directed live TV, commercials and the public affairs shows insomniacs find at 2AM. He turned his attention to screenwriting, hand scribing his first feature-length screenplay on slow news days. After migrating to New York, he ascended to Post House Senior Editor. Inspired to become a rule-breaking filmmaker... Go to bio

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