THE HOT MESS

Creator: Bruce Hickey
Genre: Drama
Age rating: Everyone
An aspiring female rock singer battling self-destructive demons, steals a priceless guitar once owned by her dead father, a legendary rocker, in hopes she can connect with his spirit and set her life on the right path.

Synopsis: Gia is a hot rock singer in LA, fighting for a break. She's in a band with Johnny, her pretty-boy, self-absorbed rocker boyfriend. His band is ordinary -- Gia is the star attraction.

So why hasn't she made it? Gia has issues. She works part-time as an escort; keeps late hours, hydrates with Jack Daniels and chain smokes. Gia desperately wants to break away from her self-destructive lifestyle.

Her no-nonsense, Hollywood madam Crystal is an ex-actress who believes in Gia's talent. Crystal sends Gia's demo tape to Ian Lake, a former Brit rockstar, turned producer.

When they meet at his house in the hills, it turns out that Ian knew her father, Jerry Vee; a famed guitar player who died before Gia was born. Ian is a colorful, charming mess of a character. He possesses a dry, biting sense of humor and a lingering coke habit. Ian admits he doesn't have clout anymore, but offers to mentor Gia.

Gia and Johnny's band get booked to do a set at the famed Viper Room on Sunset Blvd. Driven and committed, Gia manages to cobble together a crowd via social media.

She invites Paul Ford, her father's former manager. Paul is a silver fox, who lives a life of privilege in LA's pricey Hancock Park. His prize possession is Jerry Vee's "Les Paul Sunburst" guitar.

Hours before the show, Gia visits her ex-groupie, tarot-card-reading mother Deena, in hopes she'll attend the performance. Deena is a woman who lives in the past and still pines for her dead husband Jerry Vee, who looked like Morrison and played like Clapton. Deena gives Gia a card reading, and warns her about her health and future, but is more concerned with her sick cat than supporting Gia's dreams.

Gia is totally stressed about the Viper Room show. In the middle of a big number, Gia loses her voice. The drinking and smoking have taken its toll.

A year later, Gia is in AA, sober and ready to give her career another shot.
In AA she meets Shay Daley, a one-hit-wonder songwriter from the 80's who drives an Uber and dreams of getting back in the game. Shay is totally enamored with Gia, but Gia wants to keep their relationship strictly platonic and one-hundred-percent about the music.

Meanwhile, Johnny has set up the band's first rehearsal in a year. He's attentive and caring and gives Gia the support she needs to sing again.

Paul Ford's 21-year-old son Clay arrives home for Christmas from naval pilot school and invites Gia over. Gia was his babysitter back in the day. Clay is a totally buffed cutie. They flirt and the romantic sparks fly.

Gia wanders into Paul's office, plays her father's guitar and feels its magic. She discovers the 1959 Sunburst is worth $750.000. Years ago, Paul bought the guitar from Gia's broke, grieving mother for only 2 grand. Gia feels she's the rightful owner.

Gia hurries home to spring her plan on Johnny for them to steal the Sunburst and use it to get money for the demo. She finds Johnny making love to his ex-groupie girlfriend. The devastated Gia throws him out.

Gia steals the guitar alone and works on new material with Shay -- the songwriter who adores her.

Paul hires ex-cop Riley, to retrieve his priceless Les Paul. Riley plays hardball, but Gia stands up to the streetwise ex-copper. Riley offers Gia money for the guitar -- she's not interested.

In the midst of all this drama, Ian Lake contacts Gia. He's doing a special show with Brit rockers from the 80s at the Viper Room that night. Stevie Nicks had to bow out and Ian wants Gia to pinch-hit for her!

She hurries home to get dressed for her big show. Paul Ford, along with his son Clay, appears at her door. Paul demands she return his guitar. Gia stands her ground that Paul ripped off her mother and is keeping it.

It gets personal and tense. Clay confronts Paul about his past with Gia. When Gia was a teen and babysat for Clay, Paul's loving touches turned into sexual clutches. Paul denies it. Clay grabs the guitar and threatens to smash to bits if his father doesn't come clean to Gia.

In this moment of high drama, Gia has an epiphany and forgives Paul, but keeps the guitar. Clay stays with Gia and plans to return to the Navy -- the only home he trusts. Gia suggests Clay go home and forgive his father.

Gia nervously returns to The Viper Room stage, where she had her meltdown one year ago. Gia performs with Ian, singing his hits from the 80s. It's time for her solo and Gia is riddled with anxiety. Strumming her father's Sunburst gives her the confidence to shine. Her star quality mesmerizes the crowd.

In her dressing room after the show, Ian and Shay offer their deeply-felt congrats.

In a touching scene, her mother Deena steps in, and she and Gia reconcile. Deena proudly says, "He was up there with you, tonight."

Clay leads his contrite father into the dressing room. Paul tells Gia,"You gave the audience what Jerry Vee always withheld -- love."

Gia knows Paul seeks forgiveness. She lovingly hands him the Les Paul. She doesn't need her father's guitar to feel close to him anymore.

Paul leaves with the guitar.

She's alone with Clay.

Clay helps Gia wipe off her make-up. You feel their love and connection.

It's the end of the film ... which is the beginning of Gia's new life.





Latest Work

  • Script 1 - Bruce's Original Draft
    03/08/18
    Creative Notes:
    This story is a musical drama about a young female singer. However, it confronts the #metoo issue as it dramatizes the result of sexual abuse on a girl when she was a teenager and how that manifests with dysfunctional behavior as a young aspiring singer.