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Heartbreak Hotel

After discovering a bag of money, two down-on-their-luck men set about improving their lives, unaware that other people are on their trail, including a small-time crook who needs to pay off his debts and a pair of crooked cops who want the money for themselves.

Pursed by cops, small-time criminal FOLSOM hides a bag of cash in a dumpster. He is promptly arrested by crooked cops PETE and DANNY. JOHN and STEVE are a pair of down on their luck men living in a transient hotel. While dumpster diving, they discover the money and keep it.

John wakes from a nightmare of his tragic past to find he's in bed with ANNIE, a prostitute and Steve's current girlfriend. She reveals the men went on a spending spree the night before and Annie simply crashed in their room.

Meanwhile, Folsom is released from prison and meets up with GEORGE, who takes him to the dumpster, where they discover the money is missing. Folsom owes the money to DINO, a ruthless bookie. Folsom and George visit Dino, who is obsessed with garish gnomes. Dino gives them until the following night to come up with the money. Little do they know, they are followed by Danny and Pete, who want to find the money first.

John, Steve and Annie start spending the money. The trio then makes their way to a homeless shelter, where John has befriended NIKKI, a kindhearted woman who works there. The pair have a rapport and a clear connection. He offers her an expensive watch which she refuses.

John later visits the business district and runs into ERIC, a stockbroker and former colleagues. A sympathetic Eric offers to help if John ever needs it. Meanwhile, Steve, who struggles with addiction, buys heroin. Annie confronts him, prompting an altercation.

Pete and Danny continue to trail Folsom and Georgie. At a bar, Folsom learns John and Steve can be found at the transient hotel. Elsewhere, Steve and Annie reconcile and return to the hotel. Meanwhile, Folsom and Georgie are already in their room ransacking it and the cops are waiting in the lobby. Terryl warns Annie and Steve away. They find John, but the trio can't escape since the money is still hidden in the room.

After pulling a fire alarm to create a distraction, John retrieves the money and the trio head for the shelter. Nikki and John have another heart-to-heart which opens old wounds.

After getting drunk, John overhears a stockbroker engaging in insider Trading. Steve finds John but the two are set upon by Danny and Pete. The cops take Steve as "collateral" in exchange for the money.

John returns to the shelter and learns Folsom and Georgie took Annie and will trade her for the money. To get his friends back, he gives Eric everything he has left and tells him how to invest it based on the overheard insider trading.

The plan works. John cashes out stocks and arranges to meet the cops. He also arranges to meet Folsom at the same place.

All the characters soon converge. The John, Steve and Annie escapes, leaving the cops and criminals to fight over the cash. The cops corner Folsom and he gives up the money. Folsom and Georgie cash in their life savings and pay Dino. Meanwhile, Danny and Pete are arrested by Internal Affairs.

In the aftermath, John starts working again and tells Steve and Annie he's sharing the profits from the stock windfall. Sometime later, Annie and Steve are on a tropical beach while John and Nikki visit the graves of John's family and he, at last, makes peace with the past.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Author Bio:
Michael honorably served in the United States armed forces and recently retired from the aerospace industry. He has an undergraduate degree in Government and Politics. He has written multiple award-winning screenplays with several more at various stages of development. Currently writes full-time.

Contest Results:
The Monthly Film Fest (TMFF) (First Place) [2022]
Emerging Screenwriters Comedy (Semifinalist) [2023]
Atlanta (Semifinalist) [2023]
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