Script File

Cesar and Max

Cesar and Max, both 17, are best friends from different sides of the tracks who rebel against their parents and school’s expectations. Cesar’s mom, Esperanza, is an illegal Mexican immigrant housekeeper who won’t talk about his absentee father. Max’s father, Richard, is a high-powered Jewish attorney who is leaving Max’s mom.

Cesar and Max raid Richard’s pot stash and get busted when caught with a marijuana pipe at school. They are expelled and social services begins looking into Cesar’s home life. When presented with the probability of being put into a group home, Cesar decides to go to Mexico to track down his father. He asks Max to go along, but Max would rather remain “enabled” in his cushy middle-class Los Angeles home.

Upset by his parent's constant arguing, Max has a change of heart and joins Cesar on his road trip. The two cross the border and end up in the seedier part of Tijuana. Max gets more than he asks for when the boys hook up with ficheras (drink companions) in a dance hall and then find Fat John being spanked by a puta in their hotel room. Max wants out, but circumstances push him and Cesar onward. After some eventful bus rides, Max again decides he wants to go home and barely escapes a kidnapping attempt, but the kidnappers have his ID so they fax a ransom demand to his parents.

Panicked, Richard finds Esperanza and convinces her to drive into Mexico with him to find their sons. Meanwhile, Max reconnects with Cesar at a small village baseball game. They befriend a young woman and her family who direct them to find El Sabio, “the wise one” who can help the boys find Cesar’s dad. El Sabio sends the boys away and Cesar is ready to give up, but then he realizes that El Sabio is his dad. Cesar confronts El Sabio who confesses to a history of mental illness, but now medicated, is filled with regret and sadness for the loss of his family. They start a long overdue father/son relationship.

When Richard and Esperanza arrive in the town, Richard gets arrested by the Federales for speeding. Esperanza finds the boys at El Sabio’s shack and rekindles her affection for him. She stays in Mexico with him while Cesar and Max return with Richard to the States and bravely face the consequences of their expulsion.

  • Susan Klos
    Writer
    Voices
  • Project Type:
    Screenplay
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Roadtrip, Coming of Age
  • Number of Pages:
    104
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • First-time Screenwriter:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Screencraft Comedy Screenplay Festival

    October 16, 2017
    Honorable Mention
  • Screenplay Festival
    Los Angeles
    October 15, 2018
    Best Comedy Screenplay Honorable Mention
  • Creative Screenwriting

    September 26, 2020
    Semi-finalist
  • Wiki Screenplay Competition

    March 26, 2021
    Honorable Mention
  • Wallachia Int'l Film Festival

    September 26, 2020
    Jury Award Winner
  • Southern Cone Film Festival
    Argentina
    August 3, 2021
    First Place
  • Southern California Screenplay Festival
    So. California
    August 3, 2021
    Quarterfinalist
  • Oaxaca Film Festival
    Oaxaca, Mexico
    August 3, 2021
    Finalist
  • Chiicago Comedy Screenplay Festival
    Chicago
    October 11, 2022
    Finalist
Writer Biography - Susan Klos

Susan Klos came from New York to Los Angeles in 1975 to attend the American Film Institute as a fellow in cinematography, but put her budding career behind the camera on hold when she started a family. In 1978 she formed Big Time Picture Company, Inc., her post production business which grew into LA’s first independent post production facility for studio, independent and documentary feature films. Big Time’s West Los Angeles facility included 40 office/editorial suites, a professional 35mm/digital screening room, Avid and Final Cut digital editing equipment rentals, Apple computer sales and digital post production technical support and consulting.

Hundred of films posted at Big Time including Oliver Stone’s Academy Award winning “Born on the Fourth of July,” John Frankenheimer’s “Ronin,” Sam Raimi’s “A Simple Plan” and “For Love of the Game,” the Farrelly Brothers “There’s Something About Mary,” Nancy Meyers’ “What Women Want,” John Dahl’s “Joy Ride,” Curtis Hanson’s “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle,” Leon Ichaso’s “El Cantante,” Gregory Nava’s “Selena,” and the documentary classics, “Dogtown” and “Riding Giants.”

In 2009, Susan executive produced, along with Gary Foster and Joe Wright, “Lost Angels” www.skidrowismyhome.com, a feature documentary that explores the issues of mental illness and addiction in this portrait of life on the streets of Los Angelesʼ Skid Row. Directed by Thomas Napper and produced by Agi Orsi, “Lost Angels” premiered to rave reviews at the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival. It opened theatrically in Los Angeles at the ArcLight Cinema in Hollywood, December 2012. Cinema Libre is distributing.

Susan is writer of the feature drama script, “Voices”. Inspired by a true story, “Voices” is an original screenplay about a single mother who struggles to balance a business and a new romance with family life when her young adult daughterʼs increasingly bizarre behavior is diagnosed as schizophrenia. “Voices” is winner of several screenwriting awards including first place in the New Hampshire Film Festival, Chicago ScriptWorks, GAFFERS, Spec Scriptacular, and New Vision screenplay competitions among others.

In 2010, Susan graduated from UCLA Anderson School Management Development for Entrepreneurs Certificate Program and 2011, the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting having completed two feature comedy screenplays, “Cesar and Max” and “I Hate You...a Love Story.”

“Cesar and Max” is a feature comedy about two teenaged boys and best friends; one the son of an illegal Mexican immigrant and the other a spoiled middle-class attorney’s son, who escape problems at school and at home and run away to Mexico in search of Cesar’s long lost father. Along their eventful journey, they discover the value of friendship and family. “Cesar and Max” has been a finalist or winner in several screenplay competitions including Screenplay Festival, Oaxaca Film Festival, and ScreenCraft Comedy.

Susan has another comedy screenplay in the works, “I Hate You… a Love Story.” What happens when you wake up one morning in your spouse’s body - the person you’re in a nasty divorce with and you hate the most. And to complicate things even more, having the body and private parts of the opposite sex? Fun stuff.

Susan stays involved in the community as an advocate for mental health and homeless issues and a presenter for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) for law enforcement on crisis intervention. She is also involved with global projects having written a successful grant from BEST, the Belize Sustainable Tourism Board, to help bring ecotourism to economically depressed southern Belize.

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Writer Statement

"Cesar & Max" has been on the shelf for several years and just recently dusted off and updated. It remains topical and continues to do well in competitions.