The Road To Remembering
The Judge meets Little Miss Sunshine
Drama / Dramedy
Peter returns home for his mother's funeral to discover his difficult father has Alzheimer's. Reluctantly he sticks around to lend a hand. Dad improves after a visit from an old friend which sparks Peter to take him a trip to see everyone important to him, before he forgets them forever.
The Road to Remembering:
Adrift, Peter, is a down on his luck former pop singer turned paralegal. His late in life realization that he is gay is complicated when he returns to his remote hometown, to bid farewell to his ailing mother.
When he arrives, cancer has already claimed her life. Peter makes efforts to carry out the funeral proceedings, only to butt heads with his brothers, who resent Peter's former glory and are embarrassed that he has been public about discovering his sexuality.
Peter's brothers don't acknowledge that their difficult father, Richard, has signs of progressive Alzheimer's (Richard mistakes Peter for "Al," who Peter realizes was his dad's best friend).
Peter learns that his mother was terrified of dying. Guilt over mom passing alone and afraid, prompts him to stay and care for his father.
Complicating matters are Peter's troubled history with Richard, stemming from physical abuse Peter endured as a child. So, as Peter tries desperately to understand the disease eating away at Richard and with Richard's sanity and life rapidly slipping away, Peter will have to figure out a way to forgive him and make amends with his siblings... or stand to lose all that matters to him.
Peter has an ally in Grace, Richard's live-in home health care worker. With Grace's help, Peter puts Richard on a regime of therapies, including massage, acupuncture and even a new dog.
When a visit from an old friend results in unexpected improvements, Peter comes up with the idea to take his dad on a trip. A last chance to see the people Richard cares about, before he forgets everyone, and everything forever. Peter's brothers make no effort to help and ultimately they set off without his mother's prized address book.
Their only clues to finding Richard's friends (and Richard's long lost friend Al), are making the best of what remains in the memory of a man in the late stages of Alzheimer's. With Richard's behavior unpredictable at best, chaos ensues and it takes every bit of Grace's expertise to keep the trip on track.
The people they encounter along the way, including Richard's wacky, politically incorrect sister, Aunt Millie, unlock secrets from the past that help Peter understand his father and his own difficult childhood.
Complications escalate until they find themselves stranded thousands of miles from home on Christmas day (when Peter's resentful brother spitefully cancels Richard's credit card). Just as all seems lost, Aunt Millie's blog about the trip goes viral resulting in online supporters coming to their aid.
As the trip winds down, Peter discovers that his father's favorite song was Peter's own number one single. This deeply connects with him in ways he doesn't yet understand. Just as they finally locate Al's abandoned home, Richard suffers a stroke.
Al appears as Richard slips away. Peter's brothers discover Al has been homeless and they arrange for a position for him at the family business.
In the end, Peter manages to forge a meaningful understanding of his relationship with his father, and even mends bridges with his brothers.
After Richard passes the rush of events and memories nearly debilitates Peter, but luckily it also thaws his 20 year writer's block.
Rejuvenated, the story ends as Peter hits the stage, performing a "hit" remix of his father's favorite song - which puts him back on the stage and back on top of the charts.