Hard Candy Christmas

WINNER: BEST SCREENPLAY - Nashville Film Festival. Stranded on route to his hometown, a notorious member of a famous boy band is rescued by a working-class woman that has no clue of his reputation. Longing for a ‘normal” lifestyle, he imposes himself on her and her six-year-old son’s tranquil life.

Teresa Mendes (21), an intelligent working-class woman struggles to support herself and her six-year-old son. Having spent her entire adult life caring for her child, Teresa has had little experience or time to partake in the healthy lifestyle enjoyed by most her age. Teresa believes rules are made for a reason and shouldn’t be tested.

Cooper Harris (23), the notorious member of First Class, an enormously popular boy band, is best known for his partying lifestyle as well as his love of cannabis. Cooper spent his high school years wasted – his way of coping with life.

At the end of a yearlong tour that ends in his hometown, Cooper reluctantly plans to spend the holiday with his family.

His mother Emily Watson (46), a strong successful businesswoman who always takes charge, does whatever is necessary to keep her family in societal esteem. She was a large contributor to Cooper’s need to always be wasted in high school. Parker Watson (21), Cooper has a half-brother, is a sweet but timid college student that worships his brother. His greatest fear is to displease and disappoint Emily.

On route home after the concert, Cooper is pursued by a paparazzo and ends up in an accident stranded on a desolate highway, only to be rescued by Teresa.

To thank her, Cooper returns with a thank you gift and invitation to dinner. She declines his offer since it is the night of her traditional tree trimming dinner with son Jesse (6). Jesse likes Cooper, who almost appears to be his peer, convinces his Mom to let Cooper participate in the festivities.

Relating to Jesse’s problem of not knowing his father, Cooper gets Teresa to open up about her past. She reveals that while in high school, she was drunk and had sex with a boy she didn’t know and can’t recall. The boy’s family wanted to retain social status and agreed to pay child support and a college education provided the birth father’s identity is kept secret.

Inexperienced in the dating game, Teresa throws up her guard when sparks ignite between them. But she does agree to a thank-you dinner.

Teresa’s Cousin and confidant, Maria (23), advises Teresa to loosen up and make the most of the date and start enjoying life instead of devoting every waking hour to her son.

The dinner is a wonderful experience for both. Cooper has never been happier. Teresa gives herself permission to have a good time and stop punishing herself for her youthful indiscretion.

Cooper’s controlling mother, Emily, wants details on the woman he is dating so she can do a background check. The always rebellious Cooper refuses to divulge any information.

After cupid’s arrow has penetrated deeply in both Cooper and Teresa, Emily discovers Teresa’s identity and immediately places a call to Teresa. Prompting Teresa to abruptly break up with Cooper.

Running the relationship through his mind, Cooper sees a resemblance and similar characteristic that leads him to suspect that he might be Jesse's father.

Could he be the father? Is that why she broke up? What role does Emily have in the breakup? Is Santa Clause real?

These answers and dozens of laugh out loud and toe-tapping moments can be found in the script.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Author Bio:
Thirty years industry professional as a Producer, Director and Writer.

Contest Results:
Nashville Fest (First Place) [2018]
Oaxaca FilmFest (Finalist) [2019]
Chicago Screenwriters (Quarterfinalist, Chicago Screenplay Awards) [2020]
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