…and now for something completely different…

Taking a break for the moment from my carpetbagger wife story to throw out an idea for a comedy film I’ve been mulling over.  This is a quick off and, as with my other stories, will have tags for actors I see in the roles…

In the visual style of The Fighter, we tell the story of Sheila Cunningham, an unwed mother holding down a cashier job in a hospital cafeteria in 1980.  Although she has never had much luck with her ideas, as our story opens she is about to start something that will change her life and the country.  It’s a little idea she calls ‘exercise classes’ which she thought of after a nurse friend told her she sometimes did physical therapy along with her patient, ‘Just for the fun of it.’  Herself a workout enthusiast, Sheila starts small but soon has a devoted group of gals and a few gays who meet with her once a week for her aerobic workout.  But when she tries to get a local gym to take her seriously and let her use one of their rooms for her classes, she comes up against the sexist and old-fashioned wall of male-dominated body building.  Despite seemingly insurmountable odds, she and a small band of supporters raise the money to renovate an old gas station and open up Sheila’s Body Shoppe.  Still, even as her little industry grows, a sour old preacher in town thinks all the pert bodies bouncing around in the gas station windows is indecent and he tries to get the town to insist on making poor Sheila frost the windows, even though she had counted on people seeing how fun the classes are from the street to grow her following.  When a rich, sassy old lady comes to Sheila with the hope of getting in shape and getting her groove back, the determined aerobics instructor sees the chance to win the support of a person of power.  Will she be able to keep her business dream growing?   Told in an earnest working class way in the vein of Norma Rae, but with the right comedy dialogue and characters, I think the story is just heart-felt and corny enough to become a cult classic.

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