World's Best Mom by Anthony Stampalia | Script Revolution

World's Best Mom



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Age Rating:

Believing the toddler she cannot love will be better off without her, a guilt-ridden mother spontaneously abandons her family by faking death on 9/11.

I viewed a Stephen Sondheim documentary. He mentioned a letter from his mother. “The only regret I have in life is giving you birth,” she wrote. In his work, things turned out well for the brilliant composer, but it zapped me. Genesis.

Are children better off without a parent who despises them or cannot love? Most would say lowlife women who abandon their kids are monsters. What if there’s an opportunity to escape? What if a mother gives up everything, including hope, because she believes leaving is the ultimate sacrifice for their child? Wouldn’t that make her... World’s Best Mom?

Three-year-old DIANE innocently contributes to her mother’s accidental death.

Twenty-five years later. Now a brilliant political analyst, DIANE shines at work yet fails at home. Riddled by guilt and self-loathing, she cannot bond to PENNY, her three-year-old daughter.

Diane avoids Penny as much as possible. Despite this, her understanding husband, MICHAEL, a tweedy college professor, loves her. She loves him, but neither a shrink nor the pills she pops help her know why she cannot love Penny.

Assigned to analyze increased Intel chatter, she leaves a comfortable Ithaca, New York home for meetings at the World Trade Center. It’s 9/11.

Diane survives the attacks, but decides it’s best for Penny if she’s dead and mourned. She borrows money from Loan Sharks, buys fake ID, changes her appearance and sets off for Australia where it’s easy to get lost.

Diane is smart. No traces. She’ll hitchhike to Los Angeles where, in a month, she flies to Sydney. Maybe she’s not so smart. She does not intend to pay back the Sharks. She runs. The Sharks want their money and chase her. Cops pursue her over trumped-up theft and assault charges. En route, she encounters every stripe of mother – from abusive to unconditionally loving.

Some will root for Diane to make it to the Outback and have a lifelong burden of guilt lifted from her weary shoulders. Some may wish to deliver a hard slap. Whichever side you land on, anyone with a mother has something to consider, and moms behold a mirror of themselves in this celebration of motherhood.

World’s Best Mom
A 96 page drama by Anthony J Stampalia
Believing the toddler she cannot love will be better off without her, a guilt-ridden mother spontaneously abandons her family by faking death on 9/11.

Have you spoken to your mom today?

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 good job of 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: Consider, Writer: Recommend
Coverage Ink, TS

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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... Go to bio