Have You Met Sophie?
Ryan Coonan & David Muscat
Quirky Romantic Comedy
After years of flying under the radar, Sophie finds herself suddenly thrown to the masses of single suitors as her boss tries to marry her off.
She just wants to be noticed, he just wants to fire her.
'40 Year Old Virgin' meets 'She's All That'.
A genuine, lovable but largely unnoticeable character. A ‘Cellophane’ type character. If life was a photograph, she’d be a blur in the background. An avid self-help cassette tape listener, whilst she’s acclimatised to her isolated existence, she yearns to be discovered. 39 years old, she’s worked 20 years at Smith & Reynolds Global.
Son of the company CEO. Always seeking his father’s approval. Focused on the business and not much else. There is a personality under there but it needs a push to break out.
Worked at Smith & Reynolds Global for three years in Accounts Receivable. Like Sophie he’s an ‘invisible soul’. He is quite neutral in life, doesn’t have hobbies, no grand ambitions. Years of social isolation has decreased his drive. Until he meets Sophie. Under the surface though he has a heart of gold.
A well known made-up dictionary describes an 'Invisible Soul' as; someone continually overlooked by society. That person who passes you by but you couldn't attest to the colour of their tie if asked moments later. That person that you work with, but don't know their name or what they do. They're not necessarily what we've come to think of as 'weirdos', they are simply blurs. People out of focus. The world doesn't revolve around them, it simply just gets further and further away.
That is Sophie.
She lives an isolated existence. She works at a company that went through a major merger ten years ago and her role is reflective of her invisible lifestyle. She is in charge of Initial Customer Contact, an autonomous role, she works in a part of the office visited by few and she's been doing the same thing for the entire time she's worked there.
Each day she begins her journey to work through swarms of people blinkered by their own personal goals.
At 8:30am each morning she grabs a coffee from the cafe at the bottom of her building. Whilst conversations flow between regulars and staff ‘Hi John, how’s the kids?’, ‘Susan! We’ve got your favourite for lunch today’, Sophie still has to tell the staff her name to write on the coffee cup. Which they somehow manage to misspell as Craig.
An awkward elevator ride sees her yearn for even the slightest hint of eye contact which could lead to some social interaction. She reaches her office, not any larger than a broom-closet, but she does have an old desk fan, a small fish bowl with a sad looking Goldfish she calls Bruce and a cassette player. She fires up her computer, a Macintosh Classic (1990) which was a ten year old piece of equipment when she first started at the company. As it boots up she pops in a cassette tape, turns on the fan which splutters, places on her foamed headphones and begins listening to her ‘Unlimited Power’ by Anthony Robbins.
Dean, the manager of this regional office, enters his office and receives the daily run-down from his personal assistant (Tim Perkins). His office is a stark contrast to Sophie’s. He discovers a giant Cornish cheese hamper on his desk.. His PA explains it’s been sent by Corporate for him to pass onto Sophie, to congratulate her on 20 years of service. Flabbergasted, Dean sets off to discover who this Sophie is, he passes from department to department and finally stumbles upon a hallway previously unknown to him. The sound of whirling, sick, fan draws him to a door. He’s greeted by a shocked and flustered Sophie.
To the best of his knowledge, this is the first time he’s met Sophie, even though she explains that she’s been at every staff Christmas party, which he mistook her as waiting staff, five years in a row. It comes to light that 10 years ago when his father’s company merged with Smith Limited, she’d been working autonomously and figured the lack of interaction was testament to her stellar work. Her role is to reply to each customer email that comes in, advising them that their email had been received and they should expect a reply within 24 hours. Befuddled, Dean excuses himself and hands her the hamper only to discover she’s lactose intolerant.
Dean returns to his office, on route he grabs his PA. As they enter his office Dean vocalises the redundancy of paying an employee to do a job that could be automated when, without announcement and like a ninja, his father’s PA (Claire Hudson) is suddenly in their presence. She’s there to remind Dean that the company’s end of year financials are nearing and his branch is operating over budget. Should there be any areas he could ‘trim’ it would go a long way in saving not only his job, but the branch.
Sophie is busy at her work, typing at a furious ‘single finger’ pace. She’s excitedly distracted by her encounter with the boss. She gets into a conversation with Bruce, her goldfish, about how nice it was for him to acknowledge her service. It’s an unfamiliar feeling for her, but something she quite enjoys. She’s excited so much that she hasn’t taken into account the fact that she’s polished off half of the cheese hamper. A ‘woft’ consumes her tight, un-ventilated office.
Dean heads to Accounts to try to figure out what areas of the business he can ‘trim’. The number focus team of three frantically run through the figures. Shipping is up, but that’s offset by deliveries, overheads are stable but could be better, active revenue is good but there’s a discrepancy in staffing. The problem becomes clear to Dean, Sophie.
With some new found confidence Sophie makes her way around the break-out room, sticky taping posters inviting people to her 10 Year Anniversary party in office 10b with a crudely drawn map and free cheese highlighted. She seeks interaction from passer-bys but fails to make any connections. Sitting at a table is a sullen man, he too is an ‘invisible soul’. Summoning the courage she introduces herself and hands him a flyer. They strike up an awkward conversation. He’s Frank from Accounts Receivables, he’s been at the company three years and has a pet rock called Frank. There's an immediate attraction between the pair, but also an excitement because for the first time in a long time they are simply making a connection.
Dean heads to HR where he’s greeted by Toby. Without being forthright, Dean discusses the options available to dismiss a staff member. Toby’s dry response circles around the fact that without probable cause it’s almost impossible to legally let someone go.
It's a somewhat meagre gathering at Sophie's 10 year anniversary. Which is probably for the best as Sophie's office is small, however those that have come look around as if discovering planet Earth for the first time. Most importantly though, Frank is there. Dean makes it just in time to hear Sophie's speech. She thanks everyone for coming and regales them with a tale of her dreams. To find the one, settle down in the countryside and raise Lamars.
It's at this moment where Dean has the idea that if he can gussy her up, get her out there and dating maybe, just maybe, he can get her to leave the company on her own accord.
Operation 'Have you met Sophie' takes affect and with a crack team alongside him, they get to work.
Sophie takes pleasure in the new found interacts, suddenly thanks to Dean she's dating and meeting new people. People are helping her with her look, the way she talks, acts and engages with people. She is loving the attention.
That is of course until she discovers the reasons.
Will Dean succeed in ushering her out of the company?
Will Sophie find the one? Or was he under her nose all along, just like a little pet rock called Frank?