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Twist of Faith
Tagline: In Heaven, there's only one Judge. But many lawyers.

Ambulance-chasing lawyer Darren Rose (Ray Liotta) is killed at the scene of an accident while trying to sign a new client who's trapped in her mangled auto, when an ambulance plows into him. Though his soul makes it to the Pearly Gates, he's denied entry to Paradise because of his shady career leading otherwise good people down the "wrong path." Rose argues with a feisty St. Peter (Whoopi Goldberg) until he's finally allowed to "take it to a higher power" and appeal the decision. "Here, there's only one Judge..."

Rose's counsel is none other than the Archangel Gabriel (Ashley Judd). Even with an angelic lawyer who's got 2,000 years litigation experience under her golden sash, Rose doesn't win the case. He does, however, get offered a plea deal. ("The Big Guy's all about second chances.") Rose is sent back to "The Living" to retrieve the souls of people he himself has corrupted. Rose wakes up in the hospital, just a minute after being pronounced dead...

Back at work, he's welcomed back with open arms by his "protιgι" Eric Harding (Tom Welling), an affable young go-getter. Darren begins to track down the people he'd urged to lie on the witness stand and fake injuries to get deep-pocket settlements. He has little-to-no luck getting anyone to give back the money. Eric catches wind of Darren's plan and decides that it would hurt the law firm's business. He plots against Darren, setting his mentor up to take a big fall.

Suddenly, Darren is faced with a class action malpractice suit by all the clients he's "helped" in the past. Gabriel shows up to warn Darren that Eric is working for "the Other Side," but Darren doesn't believe it. In the parking garage under the law offices, Darren asks Eric for help, only to find that the young turk has engineered the whole suit. Seemingly righteous, Eric lays into Darren, telling him how betrayed he feels by Darren. He becomes belligerent, and they fight in the middle of the exit ramp. A car careens toward them; Eric right in its path. Darren pushes his former friend out of the way, and "takes the hit" himself.

Once again, Darren finds himself standing before St. Peter. This time, Peter opens the Pearly Gates for Darren, where Gabriel waits with a knowing look on her face. She tells him that he's passed his test when he sacrificed himself for his first "lost soul." She takes his hand, telling him that he was just supposed to change himself. "The Big Guy gave people the gift of free will; he won't take it back. You can try, but you can't really make other people decide what's right and what's wrong. This time, you made the right decision."

Pitch by Matt Gallagher and Grant Sumich

-- Script Pitch III Co-Host Commentary --
by Stephen Lucas

Stephen's Analysis:

"Twist of Faith" is one of the freshest pitches I’ve read in this contest. Sure, we’ve seen movies about heaven and ‘the big guy,’ but this one may actually work. However, the success it has lies greatly in the hands of a director.

As of now, though, this pitch is well constructed, thought out, and potentially good. Personally, I’d like to see this as a smart comedy as opposed to the hit-and-miss, in-your-face comedy that heaven-set comedies have too often resorted to. ("Down to Earth," anyone?)

Rating: B

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