I just watched this amazing documentary, made by a TV producer/reporter who was completely conned by an evil doctor/boyfriend/person and fought back by turning their whole relationship (complete with home movies) into a TV special she hosted. Amazing real life story/heroine, that I want to turn into a movie so I can give it a happy ending.
First, the TV special is called “He Lied About Everything”. It’s not a groundbreaking documentary or anything, but it is a fascinating story being well-told.
Okay, actual story. A professional single Mom/TV producer starts working on a story about a groundbreaking surgeon who had created artificial plastic organs. They immediately spark, he is also divorced and charming and Italian. She resists a romance because of professional ethics since she is still working on the story, but then her ex-husband/co-parent is diagnosed with cancer and dies soon after. She is shook up and scared and turns to the surgeon. They start a magical romance. He steps up to help her grieving daughter, he surprises her with wonderful trips and gifts, he charms all her friends and relatives. And then he proposes at Christmas.
This is where it starts to get weird. They are both divorced and he wants a Catholic wedding, so he is talking about how he will look for a Papal dispensasion. And then he says no, actually, they are getting married BY THE POPE. See, he is a secret doctor for super special famous folks, including the Pope. And since the Pope is his best buddy, he will do the wedding himself as a big statement about accepting divorced people. The wedding stories quickly get bigger and bigger, she spends thousands of dollars on designer dresses (and ends up best friends with the upstart designer of the dresses). They are going to be in an Italian castle with celebrities from all over the world. But then there starts to be murmurs that the groundbreaking surgery is a hoax. And she starts to get worried because they are planning a wedding and she still hasn’t met his teenage kids or gotten confirmation that his divorce was official. She starts to get nervous and switches into professional mode. Hires an investigator, starts recording their conversations, cross-checks literally everything he told her. And finally tells him she is delaying the wedding, not canceling, because she still wants to keep him close enough to figure out what is happening. On the weekend they were supposed to be married, she and her closest friends flew to Italy anyway, she put on a wig, and they tracked down his house and followed him, discovering he was living with a woman (not his Italian wife) and seemed to have two young children with her.
The culmination of all this is that he gets into massive trouble for medical malfeasance, huge international inquiry, and she starts working on her investigative documentary, plus writing articles about this whole experience.
Okay, so, I LOVE this story!!!! Genius doctor is the most perfect of all perfect things, and to have him be a fake is delightful. And to have him not only be a fake boyfriend/fiance with this insane wedding plan, but also a truly evil person killing his patients and fooling the medical establishment. And of course to have the second act, where the fooled fiance goes on an international tour using all her investigative skills to bring him to justice.
But I want to make it a little happier. The real story here is that this poor woman was in a really bad place dealing with the sudden illness and death of her ex-husband, and in that moment of weakness, a terrible person took advantage of her grief for his own amusement. So scratch that first bit! My movie would be different.
I would have an older single mother, she is still friendly with her ex-husband/co-parent and has a nice little daughter. She meets a charming perfect doctor as part of her work as a journalist, and then he ends up meeting her parents when they visit her at work, and her parents kind of try to maneuver them together. At which point, her ex-husband/co-parent has an accident and is very sick. In that moment of weaknesses, facing life as an only parent and all these emotions and stuff, she agrees to an engagement to perfect doctor.
And then big romantic moments and stuff, and lots and lots of dress fittings, and becoming best friends with the dress designer. And then her smart brain starts having suspicions. She uses investigators, she figures things out, she keeps the engagement going just for information. It’s heartbreaking, she knows how much this will hurt her parents and her daughter, but she also has to follow where her logic is taking her. She finally “delays” the wedding and then goes to India to see his big family mansion where she was supposed to live and has never seen. She wears a wig, goes with friends, discovers he has a secret family.
But here’s where I would change things a little!!!! Her ex-husband was in an accident because he is a dangerous investigator/adventurer type. He recovered from being sick and tracked her down and said he has realized he still loved her. But she is at a dress fitting for her dream wedding, and has to turn him down because she is planning this new life. After she starts to be suspicious, she turns to him for help, but they don’t address their romantic/sexual tension. Because he thinks she turned him down, and she thinks she missed her chance. He helps her get the evidence she needs, and then humbly tries to walk away when she is celebrating her, I don’t know, Emmy win or something with her family. And she chases after him and tells him she does love him, HE is her truth, etc. etc.
Wouldn’t that be great? A smart woman who saves herself from a conman, the contrast of the “perfect” man who is a fake versus the “imperfect” man who is real, and some nice amateur spywork complete with wigs. Also, lots of fancy expensive wedding outfits!
And the casting! Such fun with that!
Heroine: Preity. Tough, smart, independent.
Bad Fiance: Madhavan! You would never see it coming!
Ex-husband: Vidyut Jammwal. Sexy and Dangerous!
I like your casting. What was the last movie Preity was in?
Bhaiaji Superhit with Sunny Deol in 2018, and before that Ishkq in Paris in 2013.
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I love that story. The thing is, you hear “We’ll get married by the pope!” and think, how can you not realise this is a con, but considering how famous this guy was for a short while in a specific circle, it’s not that weird! Everyone was conned. They let him operate on people on the basis of nothing and the people died! And the lady is so great about it, I think. Don’t try to con a reporter, is the lesson here.
Love the casting! He has gravitas, she has spunk.
What I love was, she kept the voicemail! Because when he left her a voicemail saying “the Pope wants to marry us” she was already like “no way!” and saved the voicemail to play for her friends so they could all laugh at how over the top it was. But then he talked her around and had this very logical explanation for everything, so she ended up believing it.
Is there a better possibility than Vidyut Jammwal for the humble faithful action hero ex-husband?
On Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 1:07 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I don’t know, I really like him for that because he’s hot and action-y, anyone would get back together with him and also have him help them with their con investigation. Although I want to keep her female friends in the investigation part/revenge part, too.
Oh definitely keep the female friends! And make them all happily married (thus her loneliness etc.), so they can be wives and mothers who leave the kids with the husband and take off to Italy in wigs with her.
On Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 9:33 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
You like it even though Maddy turns out to be a lying scumbag?
On Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 1:48 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Yes, I think he would be perfect because he is adorable and can con us all.
Also in the terrible, terrible Nishabd Maddy plays a nice musician who later turns out to be a murderer and a psycho
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He is adorable! If Maddy told me the Pope was going to marry us, I would believe him.
On Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 9:24 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Me too! And I’m a catolic theologian.
LOVE the story! And casting Madhavan as the bad guy is a stroke of genius.
Also, when are you writing a romance novel that I can add to my list of favorites (that also house Austens!)?! Your story crafting is soo good, we’d all buy!! Okpleasethanksbye.
Awwww, you are so sweet!
On Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 6:44 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Is that doco easily accessible viewing?
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I don’t know about where you are, it was on Prime for me.
Drat, not on my Prime but it might turn up on one of our pay tv channels.