FEATURE | DRAMA | COMING OF AGE | LGBT | ROAD STORY
Adapted screenplay and novel by Katia Noyes Office 415. 585.3331 Text 415.513.6662
Connor Lynch, Legal Counsel for rights and permissions 949.229.3141
Budget 1-3 MM
Crashing America is a queer 90s road story about a 17-year-old genderfluid runaway named Huck who struggles to find a place to belong.
Huck is a savvy, queer street kid living in San Francisco, circa the punk 90s. One weekend, tragedy hits: She loses her “fallback motel” at Granddad’s; her beautiful best friend, Tiny, OD’s and dies; and River, another member of her tribe, abandons her. To top it off, the police are chasing Huck after she sleeps with a kinky older tourist and steals her big roll of cash. It must be time to speed toward the cornfields of Nebraska, where a love interest has offered work on a farm crew.
For a drifter like Huck, no road trip is complete without detours. She ditches her Greyhound when offered a chance to travel with a band. Turns out the musicians are Christian punks who want to save Huck’s soul. Huck slam dances with the Jesus lovers in their mosh pit and gives it all she’s got. Then she takes off again, this time with a speed-snorting, evangelist stripper. When she’s late for Randa’s job on the farm crew, she steals a drunken lech’s station wagon after he attacks her in the parking lot of her new friend’s strip club.
On the Fourth of July, Huck reunites with Randa, her cowgirl crush, and their passion consummates…in the barnyard. Detasseling corn turns out to be pretty amazing, too. After all, Randa explains that detasseling will help fertilize the female ears of corn in “a dance of fertility.” And dance Huck does. She leads the teenage farm crew in performing pirouettes, cartwheels, and spinning kicks! Randa ups the ante by schooling Huck on how to wield an ax and shoot a .45. The price of this heartland paradise is that she has to live with Randa’s fiancé. Yep, in order to get the farm of her dreams, Randa’s ticket is Bill, a childhood friend back from when her own family’s farm went bankrupt.
The cops find Huck’s stolen car, and she’s off again, this time on a motorcycle. Randa tracks Huck down in South Dakota, where after a big fight and reconciliation, they go camping near the scenic Badlands. A campfire is the perfect setting for Huck to reveal her most tender dream—that she and Randa make a family without Bill. After all, Huck’s mother committed suicide when she was a baby, and she's been looking for love ever since. Things look good until Randa finds Huck smoking weed with a trucker in their motel room. Randa’s in a fury, and Huck defends herself. Then Randa’s gun comes out. In a surprise twist, the tormented Randa tells Huck she loves her and hands over her .45, as a tragic goodbye gift.
When Randa takes off for good, Huck is tempted to kill herself with her new gun and replicate her mother’s fate. Instead, she flees to look for River, her fellow hustler, now shacked up in Memphis. Needing gas and food, she holds up a Stop N Shop, using her new .45. She gets away scot-free, but the cops nab her in Kentucky for shoplifting a pie. Huck's insatiable appetites get her in trouble every time.
In Kentucky Juvenile Detention, Huck is beaten for talking back. Soon she's trudging around with the other despondent girls. Guards handcuff them, even when they’re making a phone call, and Huck makes three, but no one — not Granddad, not River, not Randa — will pay bail and rescue her. Each time the door locks on her cell, Huck freaks. Abandoned in this circle of hell, Huck’s spirit is almost extinguished. But her heart breaks open when bonding with Topaz, her cellmate, who has a story much like hers. A transformation begins. Huck feels understood and seen at last...and finds the love she’s always wanted — in her own heart.
A sweet reunion with River in Memphis is everything she hoped for. But her new maturity is put to the test when River leaves for a modeling job in New York, and she must promise her friend that she will stay and comfort his lover, Jim, a man who has had many losses in his own life. She does her best to help Jim, despite temptations to hit the road and her dismay at his singing show tunes on his big porch. Her reward is a birthday party, a new circle of friends, and 18 candles on her blackberry pie. We now know that she’ll live past the age of her late mother and carry forward a new happiness.
HUCK/GRETCHEN, 17, a genderfluid street kid with a battered innocence and a penchant for pie.
GRANDAD, 56, A grizzled, often oblivious, deep-thinking guy.
TINY, 19, Huck’s best friend. Wears a long cape and has a knife on her belt. She doesn't suffer fools.
RIVER, 23, another member of Huck’s tribe. A street hustler with the charm of a punk Tinkerbell.
RANDA, 26, Huck’s love interest. A magnetic force field of a woman. A Nebraskan farmer who wears a cowboy hat and knows how to shoot and swing an axe.
JIM, 38, a gay Southern gentleman always ready for fun but never quite in on the joke. Drives an enormous Cadillac convertible, bright as an old-fashioned dish of orange sherbet. River’s “daddy.”
JESSIKA, 26, a Jesus-loving stripper. Snorts drugs and likes to drive fast.
JOEY, 27, leads a Christian punk band and loves to preach. Bronx-native.
BILL, 30s, a wiry farmer with unflappable gusto. Randa’s fiancé.
IRMA, 60s, Bill’s mom. Wears tight, bright clothes that feature her magnitude of flesh. Her eyes bug out in either horror or fascination at anything out of the ordinary.
DOTTIE, 80s, Huck’s partner-in-crime and pretend grandmother. A no-fucks-left-to-give manner after decades of gritty farm life.
WOMAN OFFICER, 40s, thin and haggard. Huck’s jailer. Sadist.
TOPAZ, 17, Huck’s cellmate. Rode the rails cross-country at 15. A resilient survivor with tales to tell.