The Blackout

SYNOPSIS

On a rainy New York street, a young woman dressed in a bright orange wig shields herself from the cold and rain. This is ZOEY, coming home from a long night out the day before Halloween in 2012. The new reports are filled with warning about Hurricane Sandy, which is slated to make landfall later that day. She decides to fortify herself with coffee from her favorite shop, and runs into two brothers visiting New York: PAOLO and ENZO. She and Enzo have an instant connection, and she invites tham to her Sandy Halloween Party.

In her apartment, her two roommates, LIZA and JEN, have been preparing for the party and the coming hurricane in their own, respective ways. There tension between the three as they’re losing their apartment because Zoey decided it was time for a change. This will be their last party in this space, so they’re going to make it a damned good one.

As the skies grow darker, their friends start trickling in: LIAM, a good friend of Liza’s; TIM and JOE, the proprietors of the coffee shop downstairs; RYAN, wearing an intricate mask; and JOSH and BIANCA, on their first date/”chill sesh.” They start getting alarming alerts on their smartphones, including news that a carne has collapsed, and the façade of an apartment building fell off. Followed by a BLACKOUT.

Scared and seeking answers, Zoey rushes to the roof and gets swept up in the storm. Her friends, hot on her footsteps, forma human chain to pull her to safety. Shaken, they trail back into the apartment. Zoey mentions she heard people calling her name, and it turns out the brothers Enzo and Paolo have arrived. The group starts chatting and getting to know one another after their phones all die. Sensing tension between the three roommates, Liam jokingly has them do some role playing therapy that soon explodes into a full on fight, resentments bubbling to the surface and freed.

After some awkwardness, the group finds itself thinking about mortality, what they would do if the worst really did happen. Each of them confesses a long-held secret in this intimate, candle-lit setting, and finds relief and acceptance in coming clean.

The party is interrupted by the arrival of ALEX, his wife BARBARA, and their one-year-old daughter, SIENA. Alex is a chef and has been using his unexpected day off to test out new recipes, and shares them with the group. Quietly appreciating the food, the sounds of singing drift through the floor, and the party expands to include MR. and MRS. HIRSCH, the elderly couple from downstairs who have lead full and extraordinary lives. Hot on their heels is DAMIEN and his 16-year-old dancer daughter OLIVIA, seeking companionship against the sounds of the howling winds.

Ryan improvises a sing-along-song and a joyful dance party breaks out.  Damien hands out instruments, including a unique metallic drum that Liam takes to immediately. He starts tapping out a tune and Olivia, moved, improvises a gorgeous dance that turns the mood more contemplative and quiet. At the end, Siena’s parents take their exhausted toddler home; Damien and Olivia follow, and the rest of the party settles in for the night.

Their sleep is interrupted by a FRANTIC KNOCKING. Their neighbor Tony rushes in looking for Jen, a doctor doing her residency, because his wife has gone into labor and their child is due any second. Jen, Zoey, and Mrs. Hirsch get Barbara, who had a home birth, and they attend to AMELIA. She successfully gives birth to a little girl, and the girls return home, triumphant and exhausted. It’s been a hell of a night.

In the morning, the sun shines through the windows and birds chirp enthusiastically. Zoey gets up and surveys all of her friends, all of them changed after the events of the past night. Including her.

 
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