The Race

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The Race

The Race

A feature film comedy
Screenplay by Kikelomo Adedeji
Screenplay available

When wild and wacky 1980s fitness king (or should we say queen?) Victor Lemmons dies and is buried in his favorite gold lamé headband, his will states that whichever of his twin brother’s three adopted adult children places best at the next Victor Lemmons Victory Challenge Triathlon in Cancun, Mexico, will receive his fortune, all $12 million. The Race is on!

Celebrity fitness guru, Victor Lemmons, dies and attending his funeral in Beverly Hills on a beautiful May morning is his twin brother Bernard, his wife Marjorie - they flew in from Africa where they do dental hygiene Quaker missionary work. Flying in from Chicago are their three adopted adult children: Gen (Chinese-American) 45, Gerry (African-American) 42, and Gillie (Native American) 39. All three children have been estranged from each other for the last 13 years, the same amount of time that Bernard and Marjorie have been working in Africa.

After much squabbling by the children during the funeral, they all go to the reading of the will. $3 million will go Chad, Uncle Victor’s masseuse – no surprise there. But Uncle Victor has also stipulated that the rest of his estate will go to whichever of the three Lemmons siblings places best at the next annual Victor Lemmons Victory Challenge Triathlon on January 15 in Cancun, Mexico. What will the fastest sibling inherit? $12 million. The siblings are shocked, thrilled, and broke so they are determined to win the money at all costs. Those three Lemmons brains start ticking over and the race is on!

A no-nonsense natural overachiever who is underachieving, Gen wants that money! She worked to put her husband, Leonard, through dental school and just when it was her turn to go to med school to become the doctor she knew she was always meant to be, she became pregnant and college was put on hold. She and Leonard are doing very well or, rather, they thought they were. They have just discovered that Leonard’s best friend from college, Bjorn, their accountant for the past 9 years, embezzled all their money and is now somewhere in the Caymans. But she’s sure she can vanquish her looser siblings. Gerry is 50 pounds overweight and has always been ridiculously uncoordinated. Gillie is an airhead who never finishes anything she starts and has no ambition at all. As far as Gen is concerned, this will be a slam dunk and she can finally escape the cold and snow. She thinks, “Med school and the Bahamas here I come! And Leonard and the kids can come, too.”

Sensitive Gerry could really use the money! Between the divorce, the stock market (he should never have listened to the advice of… oh never mind) (Gerry, please don’t cry) and his failing window blind business, he isn’t doing so well. But with a cool $12 mil, Tricia will regret ever divorcing him. Hell, forget Tricia. With $12 million he’ll be able to date supermodels! Of course, he’ll have to lose 50 pounds and get into great shape but that’s where his best friend since childhood, Brad Dilly, comes in. He’ll start working out with Dill! But there’s that whole physical coordination thing… Oh, well, he’ll figure it out. “If Mike Tyson can have a one-man show on Broadway just about anything is possible for a Black man in America. Christy Turlington here I come!”

Free-spirit Gillie is sick of her life and bored. She barely makes ends meet teaching kindergarten, her boyfriend of 7 years just left her, and she’s broke and in debt. She thinks if she continues to teach kindergarten, she will completely devolve into a 5-year old. She wants to go to France for the rest of her life to paint – it’s really the only thing she ever really wanted to do - and never have to worry about money or see her family again. And date sexy French men. She’s sure she can win.  “I always won races when we were kids and I’m still the youngest. Those old farts don’t stand a chance. Gay Paree here I come!”

All three siblings go to Cancun two weeks before the race to train. Gen’s Dominican trainer, Blanca Mange, puts her through paces that surprise even Gen and those torturous recovery ice baths have her screaming on the phone to Leonard. Gerry can’t seem to jog down the beach without falling over drift wood or colliding with a seagull. He continually calls Dill back in Chicago for pointers. Gillie thinks getting stoned is a crucial component to her training regime and is avoiding the ocean at all costs.

The three siblings succeed in avoiding each other until a week before the race when Uncle Victor’s lawyer, Ms. Bigelow, shows up and calls them all together. She tells them there are two conditions regarding the race and the inheritance. The first is that they cannot sabotage each other, the race must be won fair and square or no one will inherit the money. The second condition is that they all have to finish the race in under four hours or, again, no one will inherit the money. They start to squabble and protest to Ms. Bigelow.

Five days before the race, water-phobic Gillie decides to finally attempt open water swimming, nearly drowns, and lies lifeless on the beach. Gen and Gerry come running. Gen does CPR and Gerry is so scared his little sister is dead he can’t even cry. Gillie comes sputtering back to life, coughing and vomiting water and spends the night in the hospital. The night before the race, the three siblings find themselves all together on the beach in front of a ringed fire pit just like when they were kids. As the fire glows, the three talk, scream, accuse, cry, (well, only Gerry) and come to many realizations and understandings about themselves and each other. Add an unexpected joint to the mix and the exhausted and stressed trio gets high.

 The next morning the three newly-bonded sibs awake still high and band together and struggle to get through the race. Gerry hurts his “special place” with his bike seat (Ooooh Yowww Aaaaah!), Gen’s foot is injured when Gerry accidentally steps right on it, and Gillie has a panic attack during the ocean swim and almost takes Gen and Gerry under with her. But they cross the finish line limping, groaning, dazed, exhausted, and holding onto each other. Their time? 4 hours, 37 seconds. No one can inherit the fortune. But, Uncle Victor has one more surprise in store for the three Lemmons siblings.