This is the first draft of this synopsis. It's very cut and dry, basically just a play by play at this point. I need to slash about 100-200 words (at least) and try to infuse it with some voice (in time for Pitch Wars!). Any help or suggestions for cutting are greatly appreciated and I'll do my best to return all critiques. Thank you!
Since Huntington’s Disease (HD), a fatal genetic disease, began killing his brain three months ago, HUDSON TRENT decided he will take his own life—a brave sacrificial suicide, just like his father’s. He never imagined he’d have to sign off on his incapacitated older brother, COOPER’S, assisted suicide, too.
Forgetfulness and soreness in his legs is nothing compared to the swarm of documentary producers demanding he and his mother, RENEE, pull Cooper’s vent tube. Renee needs the money the filmmakers offer to pay down the family’s medical debt, but Hudson is certain of three things. One, he can’t kill his brother. Two, he can’t strap his mother with more bills due to his own disease, and three, she can never find out he’s sick.
Hudson is driven to the top of a twelve-story building, his brother’s final letter tucked inside his jacket. Before he gathers the courage to read the note or jump, he’s interrupted by REMI, a whirlwind girl running from her own fatal mistake. The last thing Hudson needs is a friend. Still, he talks her off the roof and she talks him into breakfast for dinner.
When Remi accidentally finds a questionnaire from the documentary and sees bedridden Cooper, she convinces Hudson they should spend one night filming their own documentary, a joint suicide note with all their reasons for saying goodbye. Hudson is skeptical, but when he realizes his mother may be able to exchange the footage for the money she needs, he agrees. In return, Remi promises Hudson one last night of fun.
Through a wobbly late-night visit to a skating rink and a steamy first kiss at a Fourth of July pool party, Remi opens up to Hudson. Not only did her sister die, Remi ran her over with her car. Remi is paralyzed with guilt and grief, but Hudson is grateful his impending suicide means he’ll never experience the loss of his brother, especially not at his own hand.
The pair visit the cemetery where Hudson confronts his abusive father’s headstone. His father’s anger and violence were both symptoms of HD, so when Hudson lashes out, shredding his knuckles on the marble, his decision to die is reinforced. He can’t put others at risk with his own symptoms, especially his mother who has already suffered too much pain and loss.
With morning approaching, Hudson finds the strength to answer some of the documentary questions, finally confessing to Remi that he may get sick, too, but unable to admit that he’s already symptomatic. By sunrise, their feelings for one another have deepened, and Hudson can imagine his future playing out with Remi. If he lives, he’ll grow sicker and sicker until he’s just like Coop, then he’ll crush Remi’s heart when he dies—and after she’s already lost her sister.
His plan decided, Hudson leaves Remi in the care of a friend—outing that she’s suicidal—and heads back to the roof. There, he finds the letter he discarded from Cooper. He forces himself to read his brother’s last words, shocked to find that his father’s suicide wasn’t a brave solo affair, but assisted by Cooper. Hudson realizes it wasn’t his father who was brave, it was Cooper. His brother’s note ends with a plea: help him die and then, live.
His belief system shaken, Hudson rushes home to fight for his brother’s right to die. He argues with his mother over filming the documentary, admitting that one way or another, he will grant Coop’s final wishes, but Renee isn’t sold on taking Cooper’s blood money. They come to an agreement: they will allow Cooper to die, but they’ll do it privately and will not film the documentary.
While waiting for Coop’s final moment, Hudson, emboldened by his brother’s plea, sneaks into the psych ward to visit Remi, who’s on mandatory suicide watch. He could use a friend for the life he’s finally decided to live, but first she needs to know he’s sick. With his confession, Hudson realizes that his HD isn’t a choice he made, and he isn’t responsible for how others will respond to his illness. He leaves Remi to choose if she wants to befriend a sick person.
Back home, Coop passes away, and two weeks go by before Hudson gets a text from Remi. She’s been busy using their footage to create a documentary and has uploaded it to Go Fund Me, where it’s already raised over $25,000 for Hudson’s family. For the first time in a long time, Hudson feels hopeful.
He asks Remi for help with one last thing. Armed with the Go Fund Me information, his newfound hope, and Remi’s hand clutched in his, Hudson sits across from his mother and says the words he was always afraid to admit: I think I need to be tested.
Regardless of the results of his HD test, Hudson knows one thing for sure. He’s going to live.