Dogs in Love (Rom Com)
DOGS IN LOVE
GENRE: Feature Film, PG13 - Romantic Comedy & Buddy Movie
TONE: Wedding Crashers meets A Dog’s Purpose
THEME: Everyone deserves a second chance at love, humans and canines alike.
BUDGET: $1- 3 M
Dogs in Love is a buddy movie and a romantic comedy about a blind man and his canine companion who help one another find their heart's desires. The script celebrates the profound role that dogs play in our lives and has a similar sensibility to movies like A Dog's Purpose or Must Love Dogs or even, Homeward Bound.
It appeals to both a family and adult demographic, especially Baby Boomers who are looking for a second chance at love and a movie that they can share with their children and/or grandchildren.
The theme takes a new spin on the old cliche, ‘Love can set you free’ as the characters are inspired to set themselves free and confront their own challenges, instead of expecting love (or a relationship) to save them and set them free.
An interracial Rom Com about a lonely and gifted blind man (he can hear/speak on a dog's frequency) and his canine companion who both fall in love at 'first sniff' and help each other find their true loves, aided by their outspoken, African American LYFT driver and some four-legged friends, but impeded by his blindness, his fears, his past, and her ex-boyfriend who tries to derail their relationship and undermine her confidence. Love prevails.
OPENING SCENE: Bo wrestles with a chew toy, angst-ridden that he’ll get snipped before he has the chance to fall in love and have a family. Oliver’s next patients arrive, and Bo falls in love with a Sheepadoodle named Winnie who’s not interested in him.
INCITING INCIDENT: When Oliver and Bo visit Oliver’s mother, Magda (70+) in the hospital for her last chemotherapy treatment, they encounter, Ms. Lavender (40+) in the elevator. Oliver is instantly smitten with her scent and says something to her, but she doesn’t respond because she’s deaf. His mother then announces that she’s leaving for California and will be out of communication with him so he can learn to function without her. She has decided to be ‘pretend dead’ so he can let someone else get close to him to fall in love. The only other person who is close to him is his driver, Nikki (44) a struggling actress with a dark past, a bright spirit, and a quirky sense of humor.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: As they drop off Oliver’s mother at the airport, her abrupt absence is almost as daunting as his blindness. Nikki drives them to the Mutt Strutt, a dog festival in Chicago’s Lincoln Park so Bo can search for clues to help them find Winnie. On the way, Oliver asks Nikki to describe the day to him. She uses tastes and sounds to illuminate all that he can’t see, but can’t seem to accurately describe the sky with its beauty and expansiveness. It’s the feeling of hope or love or waking up and being happy to be alive, knowing that everything is going to be okay. Oliver is moved.
At the Mutt Strutt, they meet a cast of canine and human characters, most importantly Bubbles, an exuberant Golden Retriever who falls for Bo a first sniff. They also run into her former, married boyfriend, Martin (50+) who has followed her to Chicago from Detroit. He tries to win her back and derail her acting dreams and new found freedom with the lure of financial security and their steamy past together. Nikki has no home of her own, but lives from job to job as she dog sits for some of the city’s finest canines and their owners. She is loved, determined to become an actress, and occasionally a little homeless.
Bubbles leads them to Winnie who confesses to Bo that she’s gay and romantically interested in Bubbles instead of him, but Bubbles isn’t interested in Winnie, especially now that she’s falling for Bo. Dogs in love is as complicated as humans in love. Bo is crushed, but proposes a new love quest - help them find Ms. Lavender for Oliver. They solicit Nikki’s help and the five of them join forces.
During a trip to the upscale dog spa, Dogphoria they relax, reconnect, and reveal some of their true feelings while discovering enough clues that lead them to Ms. Lavender. Nikki helps Oliver maneuver through their communication options with the use of technology. She helps him connect with Ms. Lavender, even though she loves him.
Meanwhile, Nikki’s life takes a few unexpected turns as she lands her first role as the witch in an outdoor children’s theatre production of Rapunzel. During a moment of weakness and desperation, she spends a night with Martin. Oliver communicates with Ms. Lavender and is freaked out that he’s going to meet her. He calls Nikki, but she doesn’t answer.
Nikki helps him prepare for his date, helps him buy new clothes, groceries, and lets him test drive some new recipes on her. As they’re cooking, she tries to teach him to dance. He surprises her with some expert moves to a Stevie Wonder song and confesses that he hasn’t always been blind. He tells her about the tragic car accident that took his sight and the life of his fiancé.
“So you do know what the sky looks like,” she exclaims to him.
“Now I know what the sky looks like to you,” he replies.
She references the difference in the color of their skins and all the cultural implications that come with it, but he responds that he only cares about the color of her heart. “
What color is that?” she inquires.
His first and only date with Ms. Lavender is a disaster. He learns that she’s separated from her husband and desperate to get pregnant before it’s too late. When he finally asks her to dance, she freaks out and leaves immediately. Asking a deaf woman to dance wasn’t the best dating advice. He calls Nikki to report the bad news and laments that he misses his mom. Nikki reassures him that Magda is well, knows all about his dating adventures, and isn’t ‘pretend’ dead to her.
Nikki and Oliver find a new friendship that has room to grow into a romance. The day of her first performance, Martin visits her and begs her to leave the country with him. He has a lot of money stashed abroad, but must leave immediately. At the same time, Bo succumbs to a salami overdose and collapses, terrifying Oliver because now he feels completely alone.
At the emergency animal hospital while Bo is getting his stomach pumped, Bubbles shows up with her owners and confesses to Oliver her deep and undeniable love for Bo. She references Nikki’s love for him. Oliver realizes the feelings he has for Nikki that he has kept locked up in his heart and isolated life.
During the performance, Nikki rewrites the fairytale of Raunzel and encourages the audience to ‘free themselves’ from whatever prison they have been locked in because each person holds the key. At that moment, she forever frees herself from Martin. He finally gets it and leaves, knowing that he’ll never see her again because he has to flee the country for personal/financial reasons.
Oliver arrives with Bo and Bubbles in time to experience her unconventional performance and the audience’s unexpected participation. They tell him that his mom is in the audience, which is the gift that Nikki alluded to earlier. She’s no longer pretend dead and neither is his heart.
After the performance, Oliver has an emotional moment with Nikki and explains that he can’t set himself free from his blindness, but he can let the sun shine in. Nikki, you’re my sky, my hope, my love. You give me that feeling of waking up happy to be alive, knowing that everything’s going to be okay. They kiss.
Six months later, Nikki and Oliver get married in the park. He walks down the aisle with Bo and his mom by his side. Just before Nikki walks down the aisle with Bubbles, her flower girls prance around rambunctiously. They’re the adorable puppies from the union of Bubbles and Bo.