A-to-Z Challenge (2016 edition): U is for Unfinished Business

It’s April A-to-Z month! Interested in signing up? Unfortunately it’s too late. I know! But even if it it, check out the 1400+ bloggers signed up and striving to complete this month-long challenge. They need YOU to cheer them on!

NOTE: Changes are happening! I’m no longer filtering these movies through the W-story structure, because it’s too rigid. Instead I’ll be using Jami Gold’s Basic Beat Sheet. BUT if you liked Mary Carroll Moore’s W-story structuring method, you can find info all about it here.

Disclaimer: This is MY version of a plot break down. You might decide I’m entirely wrong and spewing nonsense, and that’s cool. It’s all relative.


And my ‘U’ movie was Unfinished Business starring Vince Vaughn, the cute guy from …and some other people.

Let’s break this one down then.

Inciting incident: Upset that his boss, sales manager Chuck (she’s a girl) is dropping his salary 5% even though he’s one of the best salesman at the company. Dan (Vince’s character) quits his job and leaves, and he ends up hiring Tim, a 67-year-old disgruntled old man laid off by the same company Dan works at, and Mike Pancake, a young dude who doesn’t have anything and Dandecides to pick up as his protegee. Danwants to be there more for his family, too. He’s a bit of a workaholic and he isn’t even aware his son gets bullied and that his younger daughter notices all of the bullying her brother endures.

End of the beginning: Fast forward a year later and Dan and his odd team of Tim and Mike finally land a deal. So they’re off from St. Louis to Portland for the traditional ‘handshake’ to seal the deal, only they are facing off against Dan’s old boss, Chuck. Chuck has seduced the guy who was going to ‘shake hands’ with Dan to seal the business deal. But Dan is given a chance if he chooses to accept it and that involves heading to Germany and going toe-to-toe with Chuck for the business deal.

Pinch point #1: Tim, Mike and Dan head off to Germany to seal the deal once again. They end up going to Germany at the wrong time, when the country is busy with the Fplsom Festival, G8 and Oktoberfest. So they have to settle on unorthodox hotel stays. Worse they’re dipping into all of their finances, so they need to close the deal and soon. Meanwhile Dan realizes that his son is getting bullied, and he can’t seem to find the time to talk to him. Dan remembers he has a friend, Bill Whilmsley, in Germany that’s tight with his business contact. So he needs to find him at Folsom.

Midpoint: After connecting with their German contact, Bill , Dan and Mike and Tim set up a plan and they party hard to celebrate their sure closing of the deal.

Pinch point #2: Dan, Mike and Tim are ready to hit their second business meeting hard, but they end up not impressing the dude and they leave the meeting dejected having lost it. Dan ends up talking to his son and they have a heart-to-heart. Chuck does her little victory dance for pushing out the competition for the deal. He also talks to his daughter after he learns she beat up a kid because she was trying to defend her brother, the latter being teased by bullies. Dan figures he has to head home and be a father, and that he’s failed as a businessman. Following the failure of closing the deal, Dan understands from Tim that they’re broke and there’s no coming back from the financial hole they’ve dug themselves.

Crisis: So Dan realizes he has to shut down their small company and release Tim and Mike (which is bad news for them because Mike has no other job and he’s never went to college, and Tim has been laid off and he wants the money to divorce his wife and leave his loveless marriage).

Climax: Dan ends up getting a burst of inspiration after a bender of a night and waking up to the noise of a marathon he decides to run again because he hasn’t done that since he became a workaholic – it’s one more thing he gave up. So he does this run, gets Tim and Mike together and they rally for one last stand for their small company. They have to head to the G8 summit and go through the throngs of protesters and avoid getting maced and pushed back by police. They eventually push through with the help of Dan’s contact, Bill and they meet the big guy behind the business deal they’ve been following from St. Louis to Portland to Germany. The big honcho dude meets Dan and after a bit of a shake down involving testing Dan’s loyalty to Tim and Mike, they finally “shake hands” and Dan, Tim and Mike have their first major client.

Resolution: Dan heads home and he watches Mike Pancake reunite with his friends (now less a virgin because he had some fun times in Germany) and Tim with his new lady (apparently you can divorce people via an app). And Dan is met by his own family, and they all hug and Dan promises that he has to balance life better and prioritize his family and friends before chasing business, even if everything worked out in the end.

Have you ever had a crazy business trip? It makes working look like fun…are you allowed to have that much fun at work? I kid, of course! I hope everyone’s having some fun at work. 🙂

2 thoughts on “A-to-Z Challenge (2016 edition): U is for Unfinished Business

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