Happily Ever Before
FUNNY ROMANCE FAMILY COMEDY
20th Century (multiple decades)
Aimee Pitta and Melissa Peterman
HAPPILY EVER BEFORE is best described as the comedic literary love child of the hit film’s Bridesmaids and Baby Mama. It is the story of two sisters, who while watching a Lifetime movie marathon (of course!) make a drunken pact that changes their lives forever.
HAPPILY EVER BEFORE, a fractured fairytale, tells the story of Grace, the free spirit older sister, who promises Clair, her wound-too-tight younger sister, that she’d have her baby, should the need ever arise. But she certainly never thought she’d have to “deliver”.
The past 9 months have been quite a ride. Grace found true love while 3 months pregnant, Clair quit her job, the sisters and their best friend George started a new business, and somehow through the hormonal surges they were able to navigate this new family dynamic and bring a new life into the world
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Plot - Other Elements
Happy Ending,Coming of Age,Meaningful Message
Mature Audience Themes
Main Character Details
Age: thirty something
Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Clumsy,Modest,Engaging,Insecure,Sexy,Blunt,Outspoken,Funny,Complex,Romantic
Additional Character Details
Age: early thirties
Key Traits: Charming,Aspiring,Obedient,Skillful,Funny,Visionary,Engaging,Heartthrob,Educated,Honorable,Sexy
Additional Character Details
Age: Thirty something
Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Charming,Clumsy,Decisive,Empathetic,Insecure
Additional Character Details
Age: Sixty something
Key Traits: Charming,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Modest,Selfless,Funny,Romantic
HAPPILY EVER BEFORE is best described as the comedic literary love child of the hit film’s Bridesmaids and Baby Mama. It is the story of two sisters, who while watching a Lifetime movie marathon (of course!) make a drunken pact that changes their lives forever. A fractured fairytale, this is the story of Grace, the free spirit older sister, who promises Clair, her wound-too-tight younger sister, that she’d have her baby, should the need ever arise. But she certainly never thought she’d have to “deliver”. Now everyone, from Clair’s WASP-y in-laws to Diane, Grace and Clair’s mom, who has put her own life on hold, to Clair’s husband, Henry, who has a compulsive need to give Grace bizarre and overly personal pregnancy gifts, to George, Grace’s best friend who now needs to find a new drinking buddy, are dealing with situations they never dreamed of. As the sisters are faced with hormonal surges, new romances, and a calcium enriched diet, they are forced to navigate this new family dynamic and test their sisterly love in ways that keep the audience laughing out loud.
COMEDY, DRAMA, ROMANCE
Two sisters have very different life paths after the death of their father. Clair loves to plan and Grace just wings it. When Clair decides it’s time for a baby and things don't go as planned, she recalls a drunken pact the sisters had made long ago. Grace agrees to honor the pact and become Clair's surrogate, but things get more complicated when Grace falls in love while pregnant.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: GOOD
Accuracy of Book Profile
Yes, the book is about a woman who agrees to be her sister’s surrogate; then falls in love and starts her own business. The business however is not an essential part of the main plot or character development so might not need to be in the profile as it is more of a subplot.
Draw of Story
The dynamics of how an adult family changes when surrogacy becomes involved is definitely a draw because familial surrogacy is underrepresented in media. The narrative is fresh.
There is some political incorrectness such as "Chinese baby" and other times when the characters are trying to be sassy that come off as too on the nose or mean to be realistic. By adjusting these lines, the characters will be more likeable. The “starting a new business” plot did not seem to fit in as well as the rest of the character arcs.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that a sister agrees to be the surrogate for her older sister just as she falls in love.
Yes, this would be popular with most adult women and people who enjoy family comedies because it is about female issues, relationships and family drama while also being humorous.
Depending on how much the adaptation leans toward comedy versus drama, the comedy could win popular culture awards such as MTV or Teen Choice. If it were a more serious direction of a drama, then this could also win some acting awards for either of the sisters as they have a large range of emotions during their pregnancy with a unique dynamic.
Similar Films/TV Series
BRIDESMAIDS, BABY MAMA, FATHER OF THE BRIDE, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING, WAITRESS
What’s New About the Story
What is original about the story is the sister being the surrogate and that the romantic subplot isn't about the father of the future baby, and the surrogate act questionably to each other. To make the love story more unique, a different angle than being insecure over an old flame could make Grace's relationship conflict with Jack more colorful than just that she is also pregnant. The character of Clair is also very type A, but almost too a fault, adding more to her personality will give her more depth.
The lead characters are Grace and Clair. What makes them stand out as sisters, besides the surrogacy, is how they have adapted from the same event of discovering their frozen father. Grace is struggling to find her passion after not planning for years, but she pulls a life together while hers is the messiest it could get. Clair struggles with how to cope when her plans of pregnancy don't go accordingly. Both of them help the other grow by completing what the other lacks in personality.
Uniqueness of Story
This is a rare gem in that it is a romantic movie about familial surrogacy whereas other romantic surrogacy movies are usually about a hired surrogate who causes romantic problems - or other kinds of trouble - between the wishful couple.
Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Network, TV Series - Streaming
It is a really good premise, but the subplots with George and Grace's business and the romantic conflict between Grace and Jack could be a bit more polished. The lead character of Clair could also have more character traits added to her personality to match Grace's depth. Apart from that, steps away from a “Recommend.”