First-Place Winner, November 2012 - April 2013
Screenplay Contest - Teleplay/Short Series
"Divorced At 24 "
Written by Kate Wood
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Writer Kate Wood was born in Fredericksburg, VA to Dave and Nancy Wood. She grew up in Northern Virginia (NoVa, as the locals say) with her sister, Jacq, and two brothers, Davey and Peter. Upon graduating high school, Kate moved to New York City, where she attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2012, she graduated from NYU with a BFA in Film & Television. Within weeks of completing her studies, Kate moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in sitcom writing. In September of 2012, her pilot script Empty Nest won “Best Teleplay” at the Broad Humor Film Festival in Venice, CA. Her pilot script Divorced at 24, won first place in the November 2012 – April 2013 The Writers Place Screenplay Contest.
Additional Writer Information:
A young woman who has spent her entire life preparing to be a housewife decides to leave her husband and find happiness without a plan.
On her wedding day, 22-year-old Charlotte Baxter already knows the groom is not the man for her, but marriage is next on her checklist. Two years later, she gains the courage to leave her husband and abandon the plan she had set for herself as a child. With a useless college degree and no work experience to speak of, it won’t be easy to start over. But, with the help of her sister, a support group of bitter divorcees, and a new career for which she’s surprisingly qualified, Charlotte slowly starts to find happiness on her own.
The Divorced at 24 screenplay, copyright, and story idea below are owned by Kate Wood. No copying of any of the below pages is allowed unless approved by owner.
INT. CHURCH DRESSING ROOM- AFTERNOON
Charlotte, 22, a tall, pretty brunette, is standing in front
of a long mirror in a wedding dress. With her in the room is
her sister, Melissa, 19, a shorter version of Charlotte.
He’s a good guy, right?
Don’t bullshit me, Melissa.
He’s a good guy.
You're right. Very sweet. Hell of a
guy. I don’t want to marry him.
Okeedokee. I’ll go tell the
She turns to leave, but Charlotte grabs her arm to stop her.
You’re not even going to try to
talk me into it?
Why would I do that?
Because... because... look at what
I’m wearing! This is expensive.
There are so many people here
and... stuff like that.
Look at what you’re wearing. It’s
expensive. There are so many people
And? Now you think of things.
I don’t want to talk you into this.
That’s the maid of honor’s job, you
big jerk. I can’t be a runaway
bride. That would be so
How about this: pros and cons of
getting married today. What are
I’m only 22. He’s shorter than I
am. This isn’t even the dress I
What do you think are some cons?
He’s 10 years older than you.
Girls mature faster than boys.
He has three children that you’ve
I don’t like kids that much anyway.
He doesn’t have a job.
The economy is bad... or something.
You just said you don’t want to
You've got me there.
We’re here. Guests are here. I’m
What happened to “only 22”? That’s,
like, really young.
No it isn’t! Ever since I was 5
I’ve had my whole life planned.
She reaches into the bust of her gown and pulls out a
Valedictorian of my high school,
check. Get a pointless degree from
an overpriced college, check. Get
married at 22, in the process of
checking. Then I’ll have my first
baby at 24, three more by 30 and-
Wait. You literally just said you
don’t like kids.
I would like my kids. I’m not a
Anyway... when my old husband dies,
I’ll move to Italy, where I’ll meet
a young Italian and take him as a
She turns back to the mirror and gently places the veil on
top of her head.
Then I’ll die.
She turns back to face her sister.
Now you say, “Yes, Charlotte. Great
plan. Let’s go get you married.”
You’re a crazy person.
That is so rude.
Charlotte, listen to me. If you
want to get married, great! I’m
happy for you. But if you don’t,
then don’t. Do you even love him?
Well, yeah. But that’s no reason to
Pretty much everyone on earth would
disagree with that statement.
There are so many people here, Mel.
They can go home.
Charlotte turns back to the mirror again.
I’ll just do it. It’ll be fine.
Alright. Don’t come crying to me
when you’re divorced in two years
with a baby he refuses to pay for.
Damn, Melissa. Stop being so
negative. This is my wedding day.
INT./EXT. MELISSA’S APARTMENT- EVENING
CHYRON: TWO YEARS LATER
There is a loud, urgent knocking at the door. Melissa opens
it to reveal Charlotte standing there with a suitcase.
At least there’s no baby.
SMASH CUT TO
INT. MELISSA’S APARTMENT, KITCHEN- EVENING
Melissa and Charlotte are sitting at the table. The room is
covered with wedding crap: bridal magazines, cake toppers,
invitation samples with all sorts of ribbons, etc. Charlotte
looks shell shocked.
Am I dead?
This feels like hell.
You think hell is all white and
cheerful? My roommate is getting
married soon and in a little over
her head, planning-wise.
God is punishing me. I left my
husband and now I’ll be surrounded
by weddings til the end of time.
I thought you were an atheist?
Ending up in hell would probably
change my perspective.
Danielle, 22, annoyingly perky, bounces into the apartment
carrying a giant garment bag, which is obstructing her view.
Going to the chapel and we’re gonna
She lays the bag down on the table and notices Melissa.
Aren’t you supposed to be on a date
It’s no big deal. I can reschedule.
Oh my god! Hi!
She hugs Charlotte, who grimaces.
You remember my roommate Danielle?
Not even a little bit.
Oh, of course you do. I was at
Mel’s birthday party.
You remember. I kept drinking
margaritas with salt, and you were
drinking margaritas without salt
and we were all like, “at least we
can tell them apart.” Then I
accidentally took a sip of yours,
and I was like, “Ugh! This is so
Danielle laughs nervously. Charlotte forces a confused smile.
So, what’s up? I love girl talk.
Actually, it’s kind of private.
Of course! Our little secret.
She giggles and mimes locking her mouth shut and tossing the
key over her shoulder.
I just left my husband.
Oh. My. God.
She hugs Charlotte again.
I am so sorry. That’s awful.
Charlotte gently pushes her away.
I can’t even imagine what you’re
going through. If my Jake ever left
me, I would just D-I-E die right
there on the spot. Did he run off
with another woman? He’s a piece of
dirt, you’re better off, girl.
No, I left him.
Oh. Then, you’re free, I guess.
Free. As. A. Bird.
There is an uncomfortable beat of silence.
Well, now that you’re here, you can
be a bridesmaid.
What? We just met each other.
I insist. It’s bad luck to say no
to a bride.
Is it bad luck to have a stranger
as a bridesmaid?
It’s settled! I’ll go tell Jake to
get another groomsman- we don’t
want an uneven bridal party.
Danielle bounces into her bedroom before Charlotte can
What the fuck was that?
That was Danielle.
I’m not going to be a bridesmaid.
You kind of have to.
So, this is hell.
INT. MELISSA’S APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM- LATER
Charlotte is lying on the fold out couch. She is eating what
looks like ice cream and crying, while watching Mary Tyler
Moore on TV.
She doesn’t need a man; why should
Melissa enters and sits down next to Charlotte.
Do you want to talk about it?
Well, Rhoda called this guy to be
her date to Mary’s dinner party-
I mean real life.
Oh. Not really.
Did you tell mom and dad yet?
No! They can’t know about this.
They can’t know about you leaving
I don’t want them to think I’m the
kind of person who just leaves her
But... you are that kind of person.
No, I’m not. I’m a good person.
It’s okay, Char. Good people get
Where’s the line? Do good people
rape and pillage, too?
You’ll have to tell them
They’re not stupid. I think they
might figure it out when they never
see him again.
I’ll just tell them he’s away on
Danielle enters, talking frantically on her cell phone.
It’s just that my mother-in-law is
allergic to chocolate, and-
Right. I do want the red velvet for-
Which bakery is she using?
I used them. They’re good.
Suddenly Danielle shoves the phone at Charlotte.
You talk to him!
Charlotte reluctantly takes the phone.
Yeah, she just wants the layers to
be different flavors.
Charlotte quickly transforms from a slumping mess of a
divorcée to an angry shark.
Who the fuck do you think you’re
talking to? I know you spend most
of your time dealing with spoiled,
whiny brides-to-be and their “Botox
for brains” mothers who will throw
down the plastic without even
pretending to think, but that’s not
You want to price gouge me? I’d be
happy to go down to your little
shop and show you exactly what
being gouged feels like.
I’m talking about shoving a carving
knife into your balls.
Make it noon. She likes to sleep
late on Saturdays.
She hangs up and hands the phone back to Danielle.
Oh my god, you’re so scary.
You should have heard her when Girl
Scout cookies jumped to $5 a box.
Charlotte quickly reverts back to her sad, messy self and
curls up with her food.
Why are you doing this by yourself,
anyway? Doesn’t your mom want to completely
take over and drive you crazy?
I’m sure she would, but she and my
dad just got divorced, so she’s
kind of busy being miserable.
She’s actually going to a divorce
support group tonight. You should
Charlotte gestures to her bowl.
This is all the support I need.
She gobbles a big spoonful and some drips down her chin.
Danielle scribbles on some scratch paper and sets it down.
Just in case you change your mind.
Charlotte ignores her. Danielle exits to her bedroom.
Why can’t I be more like Mary?
Because you’re not fictional.
I’m such a Rhoda. Always desperate
for a man. When she finally got
married it lasted for five seconds.
I always liked Rhoda better.
Sure. She’s great in a lonely
spinster sort of way.
Charlotte drinks the last of the bowl.
That better not be my chunky
This isn’t ice cream.
INT. MELISSA’S APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM- EVENING
Charlotte is still on the fold out couch. Melissa enters
wearing a pretty dress.
You look nice. Laundry day?
Actually, I have a date. But, if you
need me here, I’ll absolutely stay.
No. Go. Have fun.
Yes! Get out of here. You’re
interrupting my brooding.
Okay. Call me if you-
Hasta la vista!
Melissa exits. Charlotte reads the paper from earlier.