The Love Agent

A feature screenplay by Stephanie Hutchinson

Synopsis

A charming Englishman who brokers marriages between high society American families takes on a difficult client, deep in the closet, who disrupts his well-rehearsed schemes and threatens his carefully crafted persona.

Rupert Darling is an urbane, charismatic Englishman adored and admired by the upper echelons of American society. Only it’s a cultivated, elaborate façade that he has created to gain access to their world. He is in fact, an out-of-work actor from east London, working to support his sick, single mother back home. His chosen career means he can never reveal his true identity and he is acutely lonely. Rupert is approached by the tycoon Edward Applebaum and his wife Marjorie, to find a wife for their hapless son Freddy. Their own attempts to set him up with Celia, an unabashed social climber, backfired and they are desperate. Against his better judgement, Rupert agrees.

Rupert performs due diligence on Freddy, gleaning information about his preferences in women. He then sets to work with his production company to manipulate a series of meetings that culminate in tried and tested ‘melting moments’, utilizing the talents of his company of actors and his extensive database of beautiful women. The first two dates fail and Rupert becomes increasingly concerned, as pressure mounts from Edward Applebaum. Over drinks one night at a jazz bar, Freddy opens up about his strained relationship with his parents and the loss of his twin, who died when they were 11 years old. Rupert also discovers Freddy’s passion for music, when he sings a duet with the piano player.

Rupert cajoles his French friend Chloé to meet Freddy, confident that this time, the chemistry will work. But Chloé and Freddy’s date is doomed and by the end of the spectacularly disastrous evening, Rupert’s charade crumples as Freddy discovers the truth. Freddy exposes Rupert to his parents and their society of friends and he is blacklisted, his reputation in tatters. Feeling betrayed, Chloé also refuses his calls. Meanwhile Rupert’s mother’s condition is deteriorating and when Edward Applebaum dies, he decides to return to London for good.

As Rupert packs up his house, he tells Chloé the truth about his life and reveals his true identity – Robbie Darin. Before he leaves America, Robbie decides to try to heal the rift between Freddy and his mother Marjorie. Staging an intervention behind-the-scenes, Robbie sows the seeds that help Marjorie see that Freddy has been living in the shadow of his twin all his life. However at Edward’s memorial service, Freddy stuns his mother by announcing his engagement to Celia.

For the first time Robbie hatches a plan that isn’t artifice, but fueled by his newfound belief that living an authentic life is the only way to be truly happy. By the end of the day, truth triumphs. Celia throws her engagement ring at Freddy’s face; Freddy reveals his true longing and is embraced by Marjorie; Freddy acknowledges Robbie’s role in restoring love to his life and Robbie and Chloé make plans to visit his mother in London. In the final scene, everyone is reunited to celebrate the marriage of Freddy and . . .

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