THE PRIDE is a character film. It has a plot, but it is not plot-driven.
To us, the story described below seems only fairly interesting, at best. The real fun lies in the behavior of the characters
as they live out the plot. It is for this reason that you are encouraged to read the screenplay. It should also be noted that
if you want to really enjoy the screenplay, and want to discover the events as they unfold, then you should skip the synopsis
click to read the screenplay
This is a downward spiral of a character piece, in which the main characters destroy the relationships binding them together.
The first scene establishes their closeness to each other. NICHOLAS is the general manager of a pretentious trattoria in
Pasadena in the December of 1999. EDMOND, a waiter losing the love and patience required for his job, rooms with another
waitress, MONICA, who's in a stormy relationship with another waiter, ANTHONY. TERRY is another waiter, an unstable recovering
alcoholic, trying to stay sober while coping with the news that his new French girlfriend, PAULA, was recently engaged to
two men at the same time. LISHELLE, another waitress, is hiding from her roommate, DONNA, the fact that she kissed her boyfriend.
The rest of the film intercuts and blends the pressures facing the six friends.
After work, Lishelle comforts Donna, who is upset about the breakup she secretly caused. A week later, Lishelle discovers
that Donna has been lying about having a job. Unable to pay their bills, Lishelle is forced to eventually evict her. Preoccupation
with the mounting guilt causes Lishelle to crash her car twice in one drive. Her anguish further intensifies when Donna confesses
to her how ashamed she felt about her own deception.
After a week of drinking, Terry ends his temporary break from Paula, only to be later dumped when she wrongfully suspects
him of cheating. Acting on advice from Nicholas, he wins her back by finally sobering up and resisting the temptation to
call her. Paula invites him to come home with her to France for the holidays, but at the airport, he tells her that he thinks
they should take a long break so that she can be on her own for a while. Mistaking this for an easy let-down, she warns him
that she will now probably rebound to some other guy. In order to secure her happiness and permanent acceptance of his honesty,
he attempts suicide.
Over the same time period, Edmond kicks various guests out of the restaurant as his self control gradually deteriorates,
including a restaurant owner named GREG. Meanwhile, Nicholas receives frequent updates from his mother about his terminally
ill father, eventually hearing that he only has a few days left. The day before he flies home, the stresses with which both
he and Edmond are dealing induces a vicious confrontation in front of customers. Upon his arrival at home, Nicholas then
lashes out at his mother for not realizing that his father wants to suffer.
Edmond also spends the month comforting Monica through her turbulent struggles with Anthony. However, when Edmond accuses
her of selfishness, they get into an argument that results in her moving into her own apartment. Then her conflicts with
Anthony escalate until they physically attack each other during an argument on Christmas Eve. They fight during a montage
that shows Lishelle letting Donna disappear from her life without ever confessing, Nicholas and his family preparing his father's
body for the morgue, and Greg approaching Edmond and apologizing. At the moment Anthony finally subdues Monica, they realize
the futility of their struggle for compatibility. He lets her go, and she leaves.
VINCENZO, their tyrannical owner, is making everyone work on Christmas Eve. Throughout the month, Edmond, Nicholas, and
Anthony make repeated attempts to persuade him otherwise, but are unsuccessful. And on New Year's Eve, Anthony discovers
that Vincenzo has underpaid the entire staff.
In the last scene, at the restaurant, Edmond repeatedly phones Monica, who has quit, to apologize, but she never answers.
At the hospital, Terry lies in a coma, Paula at his bedside. Back at the restaurant, Anthony calls Vincenzo to confront
him and ends up quitting on the spot. Lishelle can't quit because of her finances, but Edmond convinces her to quit anyway,
after suggesting she move in with him. He then brings a check to a couple seated at one of his tables - Greg and his wife.
They thank him and wish him a happy New Year. After hearing about Vincenzo, Nicholas tells Lishelle over the phone that
he quits, too. He refuses to be put through to Edmond before hanging up. After Anthony and Lishelle leave, Terry dies at
the hospital, and a final montage shows all the characters - a second family to each other just a month earlier - fated to
live with the loneliness resulting from their weaknesses and unforgiveness. Edmond, shown pouring champagne for his customers,
has at least regained control of his temper from the peace he has rediscovered.