RAMONA AT MIDLIFE is a dramatic comedy about a single mother and former Literary It Girl who discovers that her unflattering current reality is the subject of a hot filmmaker’s newest project. As Ramona faces up to her disappointments and wrecked friendships, she finds true creative power and is finally ready to become her best self.
"Dear Patti Smith, When you were raising your kids in St Clair Shores, were you ever lonely like me?"
Fifteen years ago, essayist Ramona Lee published a book that made the New York Times Bestseller List and, for a brief moment, was a Literary It-Girl. Now in her 40’s, exhausted, her creative life is on hold, Ramona is a single mother working at a pet clinic and raising her precocious daughter, Kiki. But when Ramona’s estranged husband Carlos, an actor, tells her that a hot filmmaker’s newest project seems blatantly ripped from Ramona’s life, old wounds reopen. Ramona's ex-bestie Imani thinks she's overreacting ( "Consider it an homage" Imani advises) but Ramona feels wrecked.
On the playground, Ramona learns that Sage, a young mom and Instagram star, is the source of the trouble. “I kind of think of you as a cautionary tale for women artists,” Sage confides. Her flatline about to be revealed, Ramona needs to reclaim her own story. Determined to face what ails her, Ramona consults a lawyer, mends old friendships, and even starts dating again, all the while writing letters to her artistic idol, Patti Smith, wondering how Smith survived domestic life and re-entered the world as an artist in her prime.
Finally, Ramona wrangles a meeting with the filmmaker. He admits to "borrowing" her story but before Ramona can claim her due, Kiki calls — she's stranded and needs her mom. Ramona sees that she's no longer the girl in those old essays and also knows she will write again but right now, her first line of duty is her daughter. Ramona rushes to Kiki. And on Rockaway Beach, a sighting! Is it Patti Smith? Or just a sign that Ramona is all right?
WHY WE NEED THIS MOVIE RIGHT NOW
Our film reimagines what happens to women over the age of 40. And begs the question: Why is a woman’s story still most marketable when told by a man? While stories by and about women over 40 are finally starting to see the light of day, there is still so much work to do. How are we seen? In what light? And by whom? No empty-nester looking for meaning, Ramona is a working mom, raising a nine-year-old on her own, showing up every day at a mediocre job, too exhausted to ask for more. Until now. Forced to take a good hard look at herself, Ramona will emerge a woman in her prime, redefining what prime looks like.
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