Ever wish someone would “drop dead”? Robert Burns did… and to his horror it is now going to come true.
Robert is a washed-up songwriter who foolishly asks “the universe” to kill his best friend, but after becoming convinced that his wish could soon become a reality embarks on a journey to save his one true love.
Inspired by the popular beliefs in ‘cosmic ordering’ Ask the Universe is a romantic comedy with a unique, modern twist. At its heart is the tale of a self-centred and absorbed man who has a false notion of love until his fiancée publicly walks out on him on the night of their engagement. While in the gutter of his emotional journey, Robert must discover the selfless nature of true love if he is to find redemption and happiness. Set in the picturesque mountains of the Scottish Highlands and the beautiful city of Glasgow, with its Victorian buildings and narrow cobblestone alleyways, Ask the Universe evokes the type of lyricism found in Scottish films such as Local Hero and Gregory’s Girl, and provides its audience with a comical yet heart-rending tale of love, self-sacrifice and generosity.
Robert Burns, a ‘one hit’ songwriter, jilted by beautiful fiancée, Liz, at their engagement party, is both the protagonist and antagonist of the story. Sadly, Robert’s public humiliation triggers a downward emotional spiral and the hereto-successful Robert subsequently loses all confidence and self-belief while constantly drowning his sorrows with whisky. A year later, worried best friend Ashley doesn’t know that Liz has since married and encourages a Christmas gathering to help Robert and Liz find closure. Unfortunately, Robert is still desperate to get Liz back and with the encouragement and assistance of a beautiful stranger he picks up on route, Maggie, decides to try and woo her back. At the gathering the eccentric Maggie suggests the group engage in a mysterious ritual to ‘Ask the Universe’ for what they most desire, giving Robert his chance. However, by now Robert has learned Liz is already married and in a drunken rage wishes Ashley would “drop dead” after she lashes out at him for his selfish behaviour. Soon afterwards, as the other wishes made at the gathering all come true, a horrified Robert concludes Ashley is now in mortal danger. As time is starting to run out, the two friends embark on a frantic race against time to reverse the death wish and discover their love for each other along the way.
Wonderfully written by the award winning writer / director Eleanor Yule (Blinded, Peter Mullan and The Mystery of Hammershoi, Michael Palin), Ask the Universe provides a positive “feel good” portrayal of its characters and their idyllic middle class surroundings that is targeted at both the 15 – 25 and 25 – 55 year old markets.