feature films

Heart Troubles

A film by Rhonda Buckley

Driving into the spotlight can blind you…steer with caution or you and your family may collide.

NICK at the age of 11, had his father say to him “Drive me home tonight, son, don’t be a wuss”, because his dad was too drunk to drive and could barely stand. And so, he did what he was told and put the car off the soft shoulder of the highway, his dad was dead as soon as they hit the guard rail.

Nick living with the wrath of this pain from his upbringing, was still lucky enough to find love after such tragedy. He married his high school sweetheart Rose in Newfoundland and on their wedding night a tractor trailer jack knifed in front of them sending their car into a ditch. Rose died on impact.

Trying to right one death and his guilty conscience was enough. Death surrounds Nick. He accepts it and even expects it. Hearing ambulances raise hairs on the back of his neck. And so, Nick becomes an insurance adjuster in Aldershot, Ontario, where he deals with car accidents all the time. ANDY, Nick’s best friend, works with him and they try to make the most of it, striving for the mundane and happy life in the suburbs they realize is a lot of work.

NICK’S life is surrounded by chaos and sublime routine. The things that get you by, TV, Sunday dinner and line dancing, fill his days and nights. Nick lives with his mother DARLENE, who watches Bachelorette with a TV remote in one hand and rosary beads in the other. FLORENCE their nosy neighbour is a best friend to Darlene and a daily fixture at their house.

SHIRLEY, Nick’s now live-in girlfriend, wins his love with her young daughter Tasha. Shirley and Nick’s mother Darlene, butt heads on more than one occasion, but Shirley makes a go of it and moves up from waitress to working as a clerk at the local diner. Tasha takes a liking to Nick and their bond paves the way for Nick to ask Shirley to marry him, a love Nick thought he would never see again.

Nick showing paternal love for Tasha is not a moment too soon, as Nick finds out he has a much older daughter LUCY from his fiancé and widow Rose when they were young in Rose Blanche. He must get Lucy back in his life for his own peace of mind, and of course, because Darlene said so. Hardships, death, love, family backpacks, lunches, and sacrifice consume almost every person lucky enough to be above ground and get in a car in the morning. It’s life. People think two tragic deaths are impossible. How could someone be so unlucky? In Rose Blanche, where NICK comes from, they would even go as far as to say you were trying to get attention.

NICK longs for the day-to-day life that you could call boring, but around every corner there is a collision of worlds with family that he just can’t make right. Insurance claims about death and horrific car accidents keep Nick on edge, which is his strength and weakness. When he hits the highway, it is hard to know what turns life will bring.

Nick realizes striving for love amidst family tragedy is the hardest journey he will ever face, it’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s a chance he must take to survive.


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