TITLE: The Fisherman’s Wife
PREMISE: In the Philippines, a woman isn’t supposed to make more money than her husband. But still, a fisherman’s wife becomes an international celebrity causing a disruption of the husband and village’s calm.
GENRE: Romantic comedy.
MARKET: Philippines, USA, International
WRITER: Alan Nafzger
OTHER INFORMATION: This is a compete and ready to shot screenplay.
LOGLINE #1: The Fisherman’s Wife is about a young filipino woman having a husband in a village and a job in the city.
LOGLINE #2: Jazzy is the beautiful and charismatic (and restless) wife of Ramon, who is a proud fisherman. In fact, they practically feed their small village. That is until the fish become rare.
The plot basically evolves around the housewife, feeling restless and a little obscure, who suddenly comes into more prominence and wealth than her husband has. This screenplay is also a spoof of the rural habits and the Filipino home.
Jazzy is the wife of a simple fisherman and he has just caught a world record swordfish. The reporters come and their small village fish shop and boat are national news. And through this new fame, Jazzy is inadvertently is thrown into the way of becoming a television sensation in commercials for soap.
That’s it. From the isolated village and bored existence, pretty Jazzy is suddenly catapulted to all-island notoriety. “Escape Soap”, that’s the magical substance that brings her wealth and fame, all because she is able to convince the public she is spontaneous and sincere when she says her little girl likes to be washed with it because it makes her husband smell like Leonardo DiCaprio.
Jazzy meets a wealth man on a jeepney; his car has broken down. This millionaire manufactures soap. He over hears her talking to another fisherman’s wife about his soap and her testimony is convincing. He knows the best possible commercial endorsement would be from a fisherman’s wife.
The company is about to change their approach to advertising. They abandon a sexy soap sell. Beautiful actresses who never ever had their hands dirty are released from their contracts. Millions of dollars in advertising are invested in one simple village face.
The company owner convinces Jazzy to make a commercial, which doesn’t go so smoothly. Jazzy can’t remember the dumb lines they give her so she just ad libs the commercials. Jazzy isn’t smooth like the professional actresses but her commercial is certainly more sincere and real. The crew laughs at her and the soap manufacturer is ridiculed at work for the commercial being so country. His only defense is that rural people are doing the work and getting dirty.
Jazzy has a doctor’s appointment to learn of the pregnancy, but before she can get home, it is already out on the media and Ramon must learn from the radio. Jazzy is rushing home and tries to call but when she gets through to Ramon’s mother, she also knows from watching television. Ramon is a little broken up about that but he has been out on the boat fishing and of course he doesn’t have a cell phone.
When it is revealed that Jazzy is pregnant, her popularity doubles. And there is a spike in the conception rate. There will be a baby boom as a result. Every housewife demands to become pregnant as well. The press follows her around and the ghost writer is penning a second book, Motherhood – the Rural Fishing Village Method. The plan is for urban mothers to reject there big city customs and raise their baby
However, improbably the urban population loves it and they love Jazzy. Sales of the soap go through the roof. And the company uses her for shampoo, kitchen and bathroom cleaners. The company expands to car and boat soap. The company shoots a commercial of her cleaning a car, and they give her the car to drive. The company shots a commercial on a bigger boat and they give her the boat. She is hired for a huge amount of money.
The problem is this new wealth and fame are the barriers that quickly rise between her and Ramon, interfere with their nocturnal activities and almost wreck their happy home.
Things before Jazzy’s career were just ideal for the couple. There were fish and there was romance. And Jazzy has become pregnant. However, her advertising job is in the city and she must ride the jeepney to and from the city very often. She leaves her fresh fish shop in the hands of Ramon’s mother who hasn’t the greatest business sense.
All the while Ramon’s fishing career is in jeopardy. The fish have become rare and he is about to lose ownership of the boat. The village becomes worried and switch to less desirable foods. Ramon fishes all day legally and comes home each night with less and less. To make matters worse for the village; the other fishermen leave for more productive waters and other villager. The village is left only with Ramon and Jazzy to produce for them.
Ramon has trouble filling his small fishing boat, but the company gives him a larger one. They take some photos and film some commercials but it is decided that it is too new and the paint ruins the rural effect they are looking for. So the company sends men out at night to ruin the paint with chemicals and sun lamps. The boat suddenly looks rustic. But the boat is too big and when it returns each day empty, Ramon feels even worse. The worst insult is the soap company must hire a truck full of fish to shot a commercial on his new boat.
The village at first blame the Chinese and make wild accusations and the people might not be wrong. There is a strange sonar like noise coming from the bay. At night, when it is perfectly quiet. Ramon walks out to the dock and listens. He thinks he hears it; a chinese submarine. he thinks he sees a periscope but it might all be his imagination and a conspiracy theory. He returns to his tiny house and Jazzy undecided. He tells Jazzy he heard and saw nothing. Then when the villagers really become hungry they begin to blame Ramon. Their insults to him are only muted by their adoration for Jazzy.
We have a Filipino home and a sweet young couple’s beautiful romance almost ruined by television, radio, magazine, internet and billboards advertising. The company hires a ghost writer to write a biography and guide to housework (cleaning). She has a book signing days she isn’t making commercials.
When Jazzy goes to the doctor for the ultra sound, Ramon feels that he needs to fish and he does. The village is visibly hungry. Jazzy is told it is a girl and pleads with the hospital and the advertising people not to release the information to the media until she get home to tell Ramon. They do hold the information but Jazzy is held up in traffic and Ramon learns their first child will be a girl from the children in the village who got the information from the internet.
For eight months the relationship deteriorates. Ramon feels more and more worthless and Jazzy is clearly bothered by it. However, making all the money, Jazzy remains humble.
Jazzy is good hearted but does make a few wrong moves. She takes a lot of her money to import fish to the village. When the famine becomes terrible and the village is at the breaking point. She loads her car trunk with fish and ice when in Manila and drive it back to the village. She sells it at a loss, so her husband appears successful.
Jazzy quietly and slowly modernizes the village. Her tiny fish shop expands and adds refrigeration. She persuades businessmen she meets to invest in her village. The school is expanded and a doctor is hired to come out once a week to examine the sick. She persuades the company to purchase a Jeepney (wrapped in soap advertising) to take the villagers to the highway; before they had to walk to the highway before they could ride. And at the same time, she saves every penny she makes.
Ramon also makes a few wrong moves. He fakes an infidelity trying to make Jazzy jealous and it does make her jealous, but their relationship slips just farther down the tube.
He fakes alcoholism, which makes Jazzy concerned and she tries to help him. But she can’t give up the job, her income is feeding the village. She tries to explain and he does understand, but he can’t acknowledge because he is pretending to be drunk. He turns his head away and we see a tear. Jazzy just give up on him for the night.
The company builds a new home for Jazzy to shot infomercials. She is nine months pregnant so she does all her work from the nice spacious home. But Ramon refuses to live in the new home, he lives in the tiny run down home he has bought for her. Each night Jazzy leaves the large home to sleep with her husband. Jazzy tries for become frisky but Ramon is defeated and turns down her offer of sex.
In the conclusion, Ramon is about to be clinically depressed. He has given up and doesn’t even take the boat out to attempt fishing. He lays in bed all day, defeated. But there is a commotion outside and the children are screaming and are excited. He gets up. There is an Australian surfer in the village and he has spotted a school of tuna. The surfer wants to know who the owner of the boat is. The village is excited and cheer when Ramon emerges from the house. Ramon is so excited he trips and falls down the stairs. He breaks his leg.
He is taken to the hospital. Just as Ramon is leaving the village, Jazzy arrives. She is nine months pregnant and has been shooting a commercial all morning. She is exhausted.
She hasn’t been to town in months and the people are hungry.
Her husband is leaving for the hospital and she contemplates following in her car. But the surfer wants to know about the fish, ‘who will operate the boat?”
Here is the dilemma. Jazzy looks at the car with her husband leaving down the dusty road. She looks at the surfer. She looks at the birds circling the school of tuna. Dolphins seem to have herded the tuna into the cove.
Jazzy and the surfer man the boat and they drive out to the tuna. They are about to drop the nets when Jazzy goes into labor. The surfer half panics. He calls the hospital with his cell. The doctor has just finished with Ramon’s leg and there is now a plaster cast on it.
The doctor explains that he is going to drive to the village and try to be there for the baby’s arrival. Ramon’s depression is over. He hobbles into action. He wraps his leg cast in cellophane and rides at beak-neck speed back to the village.
When they arrive the boat is still not at the dock. The doctor and Ramon take a tiny sail (or row) boat out to the fishing boat. They arrive just in time and surfer is lost and doesn’t know what to do.
The doctor and Jazzy go down into the cabin and shut the door.
Ramon and the surfer just stand and wait. Ramon is clearly worried out of his mind. The surfer tries to pass the time with idle chatter. Ramon ignores him for the most part. It looks like perhaps he will lose the tuna catch but also the baby and wife.
The dolphins continue to bottle up the tuna.
Finally a dolphin comes to the side of the boat and speaks – whistles and burst-pulsed sounds.
Ramon is in a state of shock but responds to the dolphin, “It’s a girl.”
The surfer is trying to figure that out. He will speak to the dolphin but has been unresponsive to him.
The dolphin speaks again – whistles, burst-pulsed sounds and a click train.
Ramon comes out of his trance and looks at the tuna churning up the water.
Ramon answers the dolphin, “Sure enough. You are right.”
Ramon shuffles about the deck in fisherman mode. Ramon hobbles around the boat working and giving the surfer instructions. They bring in a huge catch in fact it almost over loads the boat. They are up to there waist in tuna. When the doctor emerges from below with a healthy baby, he opens the door and tuna flood into the cabin.
When the boat reaches shore the people are waiting they see the tuna (and the baby) and begin cheering and dancing. Everyone in the village is delighted. The surfer ties the boat to the dock.
Ramon thinks the cheering crowd is applauding Jazzy and his new daughter, which is fine with him. The doctor and the baby and Jazzy walk on the dock. Ramon’s mother is there with a cart so Jazzy doesn’t have to walk. They walk off the dock and up toward Ramon’s tiny house.
Ramon notices the people don’t follow or turn away. They are applauding him. The surfer is congratulated. Ramon is greeted as a hero. Ramon is validated and all his problems seem to be over.
Ramon gestures for the people to help themselves to the fish and they do. Everyone one grabs a tuna or two and they dance back to their homes. They will be feasting tonight.
The surfer says, “You are just gonna let them take the fish?”
Ramon says, “Yes, of course, I have a daughter and they are hungry.”
Ramon shouts to the doctor, Jazzy and his mother, “Use the big house.”
Ramon points to the big house.
Chronology of Jazzy’s Pregnancy
1st month – Everything is roses.
2nd – Jazzy meets the soap manufacturer.
3rd – She becomes an over night sensation.
4th – Things become stresses in Jazzy and Ramon’s relationship. Fishing becomes difficult.
5th – Jazzy gets a free car.
6th – Jazzy gets a free boat.
7th – Finding fish becomes almost impossible for Ramon. He feels useless.
8th – Jazzy remains in the village but continues to make commercials.
9th – Ramon catches a large herd of tuna and Jazzy has a baby girl.