Script File

My Father's Worst Nightmare

With his boyfriend, SHAWN ,in tow; college sophomore NINO CERUTTI pays a weekend visit home for the express purpose of "coming out" to his family. Additionally, he wants permission to move from his dormitory to an off-campus
apartment; to set up housekeeping with Shawn, whom he plans on introducing to the family during this visit.

Nino 's two older brother' s pick him up at the train station in Bridgeport Connecticut, and the trio head for a local
bar where Nino "comes out" to them. Both CARMINE and DOMINICK take the news in stride but are concerned how their parents will handle it. Upon arriving home, Nino and Dominick head straight for their room for Nino to unpack. In the meantime, Carmine gently breaks the news to their mother, CARMELLA , who is in the kitchen cooking dinner.
Surprisingly, she tells Carmine that she has always known and dreaded when this day would come. After dinner Nino breaks the news to his father TONY who blows a gasket as everyone expected.

The next day, Nino and Shawn take the ferry to Port Jefferson, New York. During the ride across Long Island Sound Nino tells Shawn of Tony's reaction to the news. He also informs Shawn that he is invited to the Cerutti home on Sunday for dinner. Needless to say, Shawn is not excited by the invitation and would rather "jump off the ferry with his pockets full of rocks", than meet Nino's father.

With his traditional views stretched to the limit, Tony suffers a heart attack after Sunday dinner, but survives due to the decisive action of Shawn who administers CPR. After recovering, Tony continues to grapple with the fact that his son is gay.

After returning to school, Nino convinces himself that he caused his father's heart attack by revealing that he is gay. He becomes forlorn and finds it difficult to concentrate.Shawn attempts to console him with limited success. Nino decides to return home, to check on his dad’s condition, and asks Shawn to accompany him. Upon their late night arrival, Nino and Shawn are mugged at the Bridgeport train station, leaving Nino in a coma clinging to life.
Tony is devastated by the news and blames himself for
Nino's plight. Nino survives, however, and the near loss of

his son proves to be a turning point in Tony 's journey toward acceptance.

  • Joe Russo
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Dramedy
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • Tea Dance Film Festival
    Greenville, N.C.
    October 14, 2017
    Best Unproduced Feature Screenplay
  • LGBTQ Int'l Screenplay competition

    July 12, 2018
    Top 3 Finalist
  • MovieBytes Winning Scripts
    Anaheim, Calif.
    October 15, 2020
    Top 10 Finalist
Writer Biography - Joe Russo

Wrote the screenplay “The Accomplice” based on a true story. Was previously optioned by an Emmy and Peabody award winning producer.

My screenplay, My Father's Worst Nightmare, won best unproduced screenplay award at the 2017 Tea Dance International Film Festival.

Wrote a TV sitcom that was represented by Christopher Nassif and Associates. Considered by Warner Brother’s but not produced.

Directed an annual media campaign for the Association of Mentally Challenged Citizens.

Filmed and edited a 60 minute commercial film about the women’s sportswear industry.

Graduate of the College of Journalism at the University of South Carolina.

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Writer Statement

When writing screenplays I utilize Blake Snyder's 15 beats approach.