Inspired by a True Story
Story by Steven Scaffidi
Screenplay by Steven Scaffidi and Richard Remppel
Screenplay WGA West Registration # 897351
Jimbo is the guy who always had everything go his way. Most popular, most athletic, but thankfully, he's a good guy and people like him. When we first meet Jimbo, he's a minor league baseball player on the same team as his best friend, Joey and he's engaged to his childhood sweetheart, Jessy. He makes the big catch to win the game, he's getting married in a few days and he finds out that he's getting moved up to the Triple A league which is one step from the majors. Life is good.
The night of his bachelor party, Jim has a tire blow on his car and winds up hitting a tree leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Suddenly, the life Jimbo planned goes way off course. Jessy, out of love and devotion, still marries Jimbo while he's in the hospital.
During the next year, we watch as their carefree youth is gone and they are forced to deal with the realities of Jim's paralysis. Instead of college, Jessy takes a job as a waitress to help support them while Jim flounders around not sure what to do with his life. Putting salt in the wound, Joey makes Triple A like Jimbo was supposed to and Susan, Jessy's friend graduates from college.
Jimbo begins to notice the stress in Jessy and in their lives. Most importantly, Jimbo notices what she is missing out on to sacrifice and be with him. Eventually, even though he really loves her, Jim comes to the conclusion that it's best if Jessy were to leave him and move on with her life. After some convincing, they both accept the idea and plan on remaining close.
The one hitch in all this is that Joey gets cut by the minor league team and comes back to town. While confronting Jessy on her decision to leave, Joey kisses Jessy exposing his hidden feelings for her. Jessy appears to give in and first then slaps Joey. This angers him and he tells her that that if she leaves, she should never bother coming back. In a tearful scene, Jessy says goodbye to Jimbo and leaves after writing a goodbye letter to him.
We move forward ten years, and find that emotionally and physically Jim has let himself go and has not moved on with his life. Also, Jessy has not contacted him in the past ten years leaving an empty void in his life. Jim now has a caretaker, William, looking after him. William is concerned about Jim's health and wants to get him to a special hospital in Birmingham.
To convince him to go and out of guilt, Joey ends up having a talk with a very depressed Jimbo. He finds Jimbo at the tree, where he got in the accident, reading Jessy's goodbye letter. Joey is surprised to hear his own words that he said to Jessy when he kissed her read back to him. Joey is unsure what Jimbo knows. Eventually, Joey gets Jimbo to go to the hospital.
At the hospital in Birmingham, we meet Nora, Jimbo's rehabilitation nurse. She is a no nonsense girl with a drill sergeant attitude. She butts heads with Jimbo who doesn't like her gung ho style and is content wallowing in self pity. It’s a test of wills. After trying the normal routine, Nora has a heartfelt talk with Jimbo, which makes him do some soul searching. As Jimbo starts to see that others around him are just as bad, if not worse off, he begins to try and improve himself and move on. He begins exercising, seeing the psychologist and even tries helping a fellow patient.
This help restarts Jimbo’s love and interest in baseball. In the process of following Nora’s advice, Jimbo develops a close relationship with her. The night before Jimbo is to leave, Nora brings him a going away gift which leads to a kiss between them. It flusters Nora who is engaged and has her life mapped out. Even though they really like each other, Nora and Jim eventually part as friends and promise to stay in touch.
When Jimbo gets back to town, his friends have come up with a “job” to keep him busy but he has other plans in mind. Jimbo decides to become a little league coach. We watch as Jim takes a group of perennial losers and teaches them the fundamentals. It’s slow at first but after a few years, his team wins the title.
At the big celebration party, Nora makes a surprise appearance. She’s divorced now with a 5-year-old daughter, Jenny, and her life hasn’t turned out like she planned. It’s a change of roles now as Jimbo is strong and Nora appears broken and weak. They still have chemistry between them and they quickly fall back into each other’s arms.
We fast-forward to the present day. Nora and Jim have obviously been married a while. It’s prom night and their daughter, Jenny is 17 and anxiously getting ready for the dance. Joey and William are also there and they are all taking pictures before Jenny’s date shows up. Jim decides to get an old heirloom that had belonged to Jessy. Joey tries to talk him out of it saying that it wouldn’t be right to bring up the past. Jimbo tells Joey that he’s over everything in the past and has moved on.
Seeing that Joey is still stuck in the past, Jimbo leaves him alone with Jessy’s going away letter. Joey reads it and finds out that Jimbo knew all along what happened that night when Joey kissed Jessy. He’s embarrassed and wants to run but Nora tells him that he should face Jimbo and talk about it.
That night, Jim is at the local bar after the prom with all of his family and friends. We see that Jim has a rich, happy life. From the beach outside the bar, we see Joey contemplating going inside but he eventually can’t bring himself to do it.
The next morning after the prom is like any other. William and Nora are in the kitchen and Jenny is still giddy from the prom. As William goes to wake Jim he finds that Jim has died in his sleep. Nora holds him one last time. We go straight to the funeral where most of the town is gathered. Joey notices off in the distance that Jessy is there. She sheepishly walks forward but Nora comes and brings her by her side.
We go back to the local bar, where William is reading Jim’s will. Jim leaves mementos and symbols for all his family and friends. He even leaves something for Jessy as a token to bring Joey and Jessy back together as friends. We end with his friends writing tributes to him on napkins and hanging them by the bar. His life turned out differently then he planned but in the end he was all the better for it.
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