Eileen

Genre: Drama
Age rating: 17 and older
In a mental institution, a young man haunted by PTSD meets a young woman with a developmental disorder who changes his life.
Synopsis: In 1953, following his suicide attempt, Robbie Wilson is to spend six months under psyche-watch as part of his recovery. Bitter and resentful of his situation, Robbie is distant and closes himself off from the other patients, sometimes lashing out at the head nurse, Gracie, when she tries to speak to him about his past. While there, a young woman named Eileen Howards, who demonstrates impaired social and communication skills, is dropped off by her father, who claims that he has no other choice since she cannot take care of herself and is a burden to the family.

Robbie can't help but sympathize with Eileen when he sees her despairing by herself, frightened and abandoned. He offers her some company, but this inadvertently causes her to become attached to him. He tries to shake her, but he then gets a taste of her bad side -- someone who breaks down and throws a fit when she can't properly express what she's feeling. Instead of turning away from her, however, Robbie tries to ease her and show her how to appropriately explain her emotions, understanding what unexpressed anger feels like himself. In this time, the two grow closer, sharing their insecurities and past traumas; Eileen's mistreatment from her peers as well as her fear that her parents will forget all about her, and Robbie's vague memories of his abusive household, still inclined to hide the truth from others.

Gracie fears that when Robbie's six months are up, and he is eligible to leave the ward, Eileen will break down and be alone once more since she has become so close to him. Robbie insists that she'll understand, saying that she has more depth than Gracie has chosen to see since she arrived. This turns out to be the least of his problems; Gracie reminds him that before he can be discharged, his father (the one who sent him there to begin with) must be there to evaluate him before he can leave. This disturbs him, but there is nothing he can do. When the time comes, Robbie tries his hardest to brave through the meeting, but it goes horribly wrong. He begins to break to tears and demand to know why his father "did what he did" to him, unable to say it plainly -- that his father molested him through his childhood and teens. His father denies his accusations, says that he misunderstood and exaggerated these events to get attention. Heartbroken and humiliated, Robbie leaves the doctor's office and slits his wrist with a scalpel he'd stolen. He's then quickly treated by the medics, but goes into a reactive psychosis.

Devastated by what's happened, Eileen begs to see Robbie, tries going into his room, but is denied by a frustrated Gracie, who even slaps her when she's had enough of her tantrums. This isn't enough to stop her; Eileen sneaks out of her dorm one night and into Robbie's hospital wing. While unresponsive at first, she manages to ease him back to his senses and begs to know why he'd do such a horrible thing to himself. He then tells her the story of his father's abuse, how it started with his own brother coming into his room at night and how it escalated. Although his descriptions are short and dull, they're the first time Robbie's spoken aloud to anyone else. Because someone has at last listened to the truth and believed him without a shadow of doubt, Robbie recovers at a drastically quicker rate than before, spending his time bonding with Eileen and the two even become intimate with one another, making love one night and bringing each other the solace they'd so greatly desired.

Once it is time to leave, Robbie can't lightly explain to Eileen that he's not leaving her, but the hospital, where all of his pain is. While she understands, she doesn't like it and says he is abandoning her just like her parents did. She becomes upset and shoves him out of her room, exclaiming that she hates him. Robbie is hurt, but has no other choice. He leaves the hospital and returns to his apartment, elated that he has his freedom once more... only to soon realize that he doesn't feel completely happy without Eileen. Feeling indebted to her for listening to him and his troubles, he searches for her family's number and is able to get in contact with her mother, who had been trying to discharge Eileen from the hospital for months.

She invites him over to speak with her and her husband, explaining that while Eileen's impairments were frustrating, they still love her and want what's best for her; she also mentions that Eileen loved school and wanted to go to college, but her father wouldn't permit it. Robbie argues with Eileen's father, saying that she believed he'd abandoned her because he didn't want her, and that she showed him a deeper, more thoughtful person than what is seen at first glance. Unable to get through to him completely, Robbie is told to leave and not to return. He does what's best for himself in the meantime; Robbie returns to school and applies to retake his exams for his master's. One day, he's suddenly phoned by Eileen's father, who invites him to lunch. He tells him that he's been thinking about what he said, and asks why he was so concerned about getting Eileen out of the hospital. Her father then asks something unexpected: "Do you love my daughter?" Completely caught off guard, Robbie stutters until he's goaded into saying so, which doesn't surprise her father. He reveals why they are meeting today -- he and his wife have agreed to check Eileen out and start again; she has one more week of evaluation. Not only this, but he also notes that Eileen has made an effort to maturely control her emotions and confessed her love for Robbie to them.

Afterwards, Robbie and Eileen's father leave on good terms, but instead of returning home, Robbie goes to the hospital and visits Eileen for the first time in months -- certain that they will start a new beginning together.

Latest Work

  • Script 3 - Elizabeth's 3rd Draft
    01/25/18
    Creative Notes:
    Winner of Script Magazine’s Access Screenplay Contest.
    Honorable Mention of the American Filmatic Arts Awards.
    Semi-Finalist of Los Angeles Cinefest.
    Official Selection of Global Grit Film Festival.

    *Changed a vital scene; hopefully more impacting.

All Work

  • Script 2 - Elizabeth's 2nd Draft
    01/16/18
    Creative Notes:
    Winner of Script Magazine’s Access Screenplay Contest.
    Honorable Mention of the American Filmatic Arts Awards.
    Semi-Finalist of Los Angeles Cinefest.
    Official Selection of Global Grit Film Festival.

    *Minor grammar fixes
  • Script 1 - Elizabeth's Original Draft
    01/08/18
    Creative Notes:
    Winner of Script Magazine’s Access Screenplay Contest.
    Honorable Mention of the American Filmatic Arts Awards.
    Semi-Finalist of Los Angeles Cinefest.
    Official Selection of Global Grit Film Festival.