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THE AMBIGUOUS COUCH AFFAIR
'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' by Cecilia Michelangeli
TYPE : feature
GENRE : black-comedy
TIME PERIOD : contemporary
LENGHT : 113 pages
An elderly couple runs a struggling furniture store in a quiet Oklahoman community. The peace is disturbed when they shoot a nervous would-be armed robber for demanding nonexistent money, illuminating a thin line between being the victim of a crime or its perpetrator.
«Well, heck! Where are we? Now shooting has become a crime?» -the lawyer
BRIEF PLOT :
Parker Ray, a young fool who just lost his job and is about to lose his mind, takes a nonsensical decision in the worst way possible. He disguises himself wearing a plastic bag on his head, enters a furniture store that's going bankrupt, attempts a robbery and, as he almost suffocates, gets shot by Randall Johnson, the elderly owner.
At this point, the wounded man makes his situation even worse by reporting to the police that he got randomly attacked while he was just pumping gas. He cannot afford to end up in jail, neither to pay his medical bill in case they will find him guilty.
Randall and Evelyn Johnson, conversely, believe that chasing a fleeing man and shooting him with an old hunting rifle when he’s already outside your property should still be considered self-defense. So, finding themselves accused, they hire a weirdly cheery lawyer who can prove their ostensible right.
But what can just three cops do, since there are no evidences, no rhyme or reason? Probably both men deserve jail time; or just one; or neither. The only things that’s sure is that both parts want to be told they are right, even if none of them is nor will probably ever be. From this point onward, misunderstandings and chaotic consequences will reign. Everyone scrambles, seeking profit from the dubious situation, even though they have all definitely done something dumb.
Nevertheless, this two-way excess of nonsense and stupidity won’t be stopped by proof and common sense. In fact, the two protagonists won't be the one who will make their story, but it will all depend on how their actions will be read and handled, showing once again how facts can get overshadowed by opinions.
I wanted to write an interesting dynamic between irrational people because I've noticed that it's increasingly more common to see similar situations where people only act with their gut instincts. I believe that often the difference between being the victim of a crime or its perpetrator can be fickle. I think that crimes like this one are morally more complex than we tend to make them and it would be necessary to take time to understand the circumstances before making one’s assumptions. I also think that people are usually more willing to explore and debate these themes when they are blended into the lightness and enjoyability of comedy.