1 ailing grandmother, 2 brothers, 6 cremated dogs, and an odd last wish.
Faced with their grandmother's dying wish, two brothers are tasked with stealing her
dead dogs' ashes from her ex-husband, their grandfather, on his 80th birthday.
This is dysfunctional even for them.
At the deathbed of their beloved grandmother, two grandsons, Nate and Robert, are tasked with an unexpected dying wish: to steal back the cremated dog remains from her ex-husband, their grandfather, so that her ashes can be scattered with theirs, all while keeping it from their mother and the rest of the family. The ashes rest in a columbarium in the old family brownstone, still inhabited by the grandfather and his new wife. After hasty contemplation and the usual dispute, the brothers decide that although the request is an odd one, it’s in line with the dysfunction that has defined the family for generations, and they're morally compelled to complete the bizarre task.
While attending the grandfather's 80th birthday party, Robert innocently distracts the dinner guests while Nate follows the grandmother's detailed directions to the hidden columbarium... only to find it's been moved! So much for the object’s “liberation” being a “piece of cake.” Dejected but determined, the brothers are forced to pivot when they discover the columbarium is now the living room centerpiece. With the help of their 5-year-old cousin, they distract the party-goers, stealthily scoop the dogs’ ashes into an old Altoids tin, and sneak off with the contraband.
When back at their grandmother's house on what is expected to be her final day, the brothers regress into a grief-fueled squabble over who can claim the credit, and the ashes are accidentally destroyed in the process. Their exhausted mother breaks up the fight, only to reveal that she too had been swayed by the persuasive matriarch into stealing some of the ashes, unbeknownst to the boys. Together they present the ashes to Grandmere, finding solace, humor and martinis in the precious and bittersweet last moments.
Starring Kate Mulgrew, Molly Ringwald, Dan Bittner, and Alex Breaux
Directed by Roger Mancusi & Katie Schiller
Written by Nicholas Mancusi & Roger Mancusi
Produced by Nicholas Mancusi, Roger Mancusi, Katie Schiller, & Kieran Altmann
Executive Produced by Bronwyn Cornelius & Bess Donoghue
Based on the short story "Columbarium" by Nicholas Mancusi
Director of Photography Melissa Langer
Production Designer Claire DeLiso
Costume Designer Michelle J. Li