Trapped in his old hometown during a snowstorm, a charming con artist must spend Christmas with a dysfunctional family – and unexpectedly finds the family he never had.
Unique hook/twist – he falls for the family!
The worst thing to happen to him – spending time with this family/trapped in his old hometown.
Odd couples – charming con artist and wholesome woman.
Fish out of water.
Interesting inciting event – trapped in old hometown! Snowstorm!
The ultimate (blank) from hell – the dysfunctional family.
Time limit/ticking clock – (Christmas! Also, it won’t be snowing forever.)
Dilemma – con artist finds the family he never had and is lying to them.
I like where this is going! It’s the sort of Christmas film I would watch.
When you have a con-artist, you need a con. What’s his con that he’s playing on the family? Is he pretending to be a family member in a bid to get food and a bed to sleep in?
The inciting incident is whatever happened that led him to have to spend Christmas with this family (food and a bed?).
I would use another characteristic other than charming. Con-artist’s are (probably?) mostly charming… in my head it goes with the territory. Plus, it doesn’t really give him an arc and in this sort of Christmas family film, a strong feel good message is essential.
Why his hometown? He’s not really a fish out of water if he’s in the place he spent his youth.
When a blizzard traps him in a small town without any money, a selfish con-artist must convince a dysfunctional family that he is a long lost relative to get food and a bed over the Christmas holidays.
I’d love it if the climax of the film was the family knowing he wasn’t a relative all along, but since it was Christmas, they took him in.
Have you seen We’re No Angels? Highly recommend it if not. Similar premise starring Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray, and Peter Ustinov.
I think he needs an objective goal related to his “trade” and character. Like doing what he does best: the family that befriends him is the mark for his latest con. But then a snowstorm traps him at the scene of his latest crime. Consequently, there’s more dramatic tension.
A few more…
1. Trapped in his old hometown during a snowstorm, a con artist swindles a family into spending Christmas with him, whilst cops are on his tail.
2. Not wanting to be alone over the holidays, a con artist seduces a sweet wholesome woman, but must first spend time with her family, whom he grows attached to.
I can’t figure out whether his main goal/macro intention is to get out of there (and thus get to a locker filled with money) or to not be alone over Christmas.
The Inciting Incident – he’s on his way to locker of money. His car breaks down. Mechanics say two days. Snow storm happens as well. (The cops on his tail was going to happen later.)
Anyways – not wanting to be alone in a motel room, he seduces our heroine (the sweet wholesome woman).
And in order to spend time with her, he must spend time with her weird dysfunctional family, whom he grows to love.
He then spends a good chunk of time pretending to be something he’s not.
And then the cops are on his tail…