Love & Everything in Between
Written by Michael Dougherty
July 4th Weekend - Southampton, New York
Several families meet and become intertwined in love relationships in the Hamptons. Their choices are put to the test when a Hamptons summer party ends badly, causing the relationships to implode. What unravels is Love & Everything In Between.
The opening scene is a black-tie gathering at Southampton's Parrish Art Museum. Michael, 50, a Hamptons architect, is a handsome and well-to-do, but cynical, father and widower trying to give life a second chance. He wanders through the party, attended by the WASP summer crowd. The art gallery's patrons roam around Michael, who is not considered part of their WASP crowd; their conversations exposing their collective narcissism and inflated egos. As Michael tries to become interested in the edgy, even bizarre, art paintings, he is captivated by Leah, 45. Leah is a breathtakingly attractive divorcee: blonde hair, blue-eyed, proper, a caring mother, and vulnerable, who is seeking a new joy in life. Michael and Leah begin to find solace and comfort in one another for the time being, and they are happy at what fate has brought to them. What could go wrong?
After leaving the art gallery, Michael and Leah try to carry their relationship into the bedroom, only to find Michael's only daughter overdosed and unconscious on the bathroom floor in Michael's oceanfront home. Abby, 17, is pretty, privileged, innocent, naive, risk-prone, and everything a young man desires. Abby is going to be a freshman at Boston University, if she survives. Abby is resuscitated by EMTs and rushed to the Southampton Hospital. After hours of stress for Michael and the prayers that are answered for him, Abby's life is saved, but she is conflicted by her displeasure with her father continuing a relationship with Leah.
Leah arrives home from the hospital to be greeted by her son, Matt, 21. Matt is good-looking and athletic, blonde haired, blue-eyed, alpha male, yet sensitive. Matt, a recent graduate of Boston College, otherwise spends his time surfing, partying, and meeting women. Matt gives the impression of a driven, well-educated young man who tries to make the right choices, despite what challenges life may throw at him. Matt reminisces over the love he lost with his parents' divorce and longs for that love himself, but in the meantime, during his last wild summer in the Hamptons, he is experiencing everything in between. Matt's soon-to-be ex-friend is Christian, 21, dark-haired, WASP, and privileged, with an arrogance polished in elite Ivy schools, is cocksure of himself. He is cunningly mischievous, and he exudes a sneaky persona. Christian gives you the impression that he is always hiding something. He uses Matt as a social connection to the Hampton's surfer scene, but a darkness lurks within his soul.
Leah insists to Matt that she has met someone whom she feels could make an impact on her life. At first, Matt is hesitant because he cares for his mother and wants to see her happy. He submits to his mother's wishes and joins her on a double date to Michael and Abby's home. The dinner date proves to be a success. Michael and Leah kiss and hug, and their relationship begins to blossom. Matt and Abby connect and share an authentic interest for each other. Leah turns a blind eye to Matt's flirting with Abby, and Michael, uncharacteristically, has no clue that Matt would be successfully charming his daughter. The dinner concludes with Matt quietly inviting Abby to a "Gatsby" themed party at his home that Memorial Day weekend, and Abby excitedly accepts the invitation.
Matt's "Gatsby" party is a major success with the Southampton Preppie crowd, as the champagne flows during the high energy dancing and partying. Matt, Abby, and Christian head down to the ocean to have a bonfire party; it's just the three of them under the stars. Matt believes he has found something special with Abby and wishes to continue that spark with her. Christian cunningly distracts Matt, who leaves the bonfire to get more driftwood. When Matt returns to the fire, he is in utter shock at what he sees: Abby is being sexually assulted by Christian.
Both Matt and Christian are arrested, but charges are only placed against Christian, and he is put on trial for what he has done. The prosecutors pressure Matt to turn against his friend to make their case. Michael wants the young man who attempted to destroy his daughter to rot behind bars, but he also takes his anger out on Matt and refuses to allow Abby to contact or connect with Matt. Leah is destroyed and knows her son's future may be forever tainted. Leah also knows that Michael may have been her second chance at true love.
As the events twist and turn, Matt realizes that he has the fortitude to rule his own destiny. Will love turn out to be the outcome? Or will the mistakes that happen with love and desire override the purity of true love?