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By Lauren McKean

GENRE: Independent, Drama, Comedy

After a last minute mix up a typical Portland family finds themselves hosting an unexpected foreign exchange student.


A father who manages all organic farms, a mother who works at a doggy cafe, and two boys in high school, the Bridj family is your typical Oregonian family that recycles, eats all natural foods, and roots for the Duck’s football team. One evening the family receives a call informing them that their foreign exchange student has arrived, there’s only one problem, they weren’t expecting anyone for six months. Sorting things out is not as simple as they may have hoped as the family reluctantly agrees to take Renee, a French foreign exchange student for three weeks. The family takes it all in stride though welcoming Renee the best way they know how; hanging a “Welcome to Oregon” sign and serving all natural, organic PB&J.

Renee is suddenly thrown into the general craziness of the Bridj’s routine going on hot sauna yoga excursions, lunch with Portlandian working moms, and a field trip to the Grotto. Exhausted by the tireless family and confused by the lingo Renee becomes closed off and quiet. Trying several different traditional Bridj family cures the family is baffled when nothing works. The next evening they receive a call from the exchange program coordinator. Voicing their concerns to the coordinator they receive several suggestions which they discuss over dinner.

Empowered by the talk the night before the two Bridj boys take Renee under their wing at school, intentionally including her in things with their friends. Surrounded by vibrant people her own age Renee opens up and begins to make friends within the group; going out and exploring Portland and the surrounding area. Renee, the Bridj boys, and Maddy become a tight knit group hanging out after school and exploring different parts of Oregon.

Towards the end of her trip the Bridj parents ask Renee about her lack of contact back home. Feeling comfortable with her host family Renee opens up about her home life revealing that her parents are on the brink of divorce and she recently broke up with her long time boyfriend. With the help of her new friends and family Renee begins to confront her anxieties about home.

Their final weekend is spent on a typical Oregon outing, camping. While on the campout Maddy and the youngest Bridj boy confess a long time love for each other while the Bridj parents make up for an earlier fight and the oldest Bridj boy celebrates standing up to several students that were bullying him. Renee realizes how lucky she is to have her US family and resolves to make things right with her family back in France.

With her time in the US coming to an end Renee says goodbye to her US family and friends at the airport. Before she leaves each member of the family offers her a piece of wisdom and a gift from the whole family, another quirky family tradition. Thanking the family she recounts her transformational journey over the past few weeks. Everyone is touched.

Renee arrives in France safely. As she walks the terminal she see’s her parents waiting for her by the entrance. Just then she receives an encouraging text from the Bridj family. With their encouragement in hand she heads towards her parents resolved to make things better between their family.

Chanel Ashley

"Very professionally shown?" Did I miss something? It's a single sentence, big deal, I could write a hundred of these, but what would that say about my ability add as a writer? Zero! I would prefer to read a screenplay as a measure of her work and ability.

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