Not a day after moving in together, Maggie and Jon both come down with the worst flu in decades, the dreaded raccoon flu. Now, trapped at home, they're forced to share every living, breathing, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, puking, suffering, miserable moment together.
Unless the flu gets them first, these two are gonna kill each other.
Maggie and Jon couldn’t be more in love. That’s why they’re moving in together.
Unfortunately, before they can even finish unpacking, they’re both walloped with the worst flu anyone can remember – the dreaded racoon flu. Now they're trapped at home together day after day, taking a crash course on the ugly side of their significant other.
And as sick as they both feel, empathy and understanding don’t come easy.
As it turns out, the sneezing, the sweating, the coughing and the puking, the fever and the flaming shits – that's nothing compared to the unexpected differences the two discover about one another.
Maggie is cautious and private; Jon is open and expressive.
Maggie believes in medicine and bedrest; Jon believes in herbal remedies and hugs.
Maggie feels suffocated and railroaded; Jon feels shut-out and rejected.
Soon, unacknowledged fears of intimacy leave Maggie feeling trapped and cornered by the man she loves. Oblivious to her unspoken discomfort, Jon happily persists in preparing for a big, silly housewarming celebration, an event that Maggie never wanted. The more she pushes away, the more he fights to get closer, to prove that he cares by caring for her.
As the wretched week of illness drags on and on, temperatures rise and hostilities mount – until the couple descends into all-out war. Sledgehammers and fists fly, jobs and lunches are lost, and the flu proves to be the ultimate test of their relationship.
Can their love survive the cold?
Jon is played by Michael Blaiklock, seen in Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, Wet Hot American Summer: FIrst Day of Camp, and Brooklyn 99. Maggie is played by Madeline Walter, who's appeared in shows like Comedy Bang! Bang! and Children’s Hospital, in countless Funny or Die and Upright Citizen’s Brigade videos, and on her comedy podcast, Definitely Dying.
The script was written by J Wilder Konschak and was inspired by a real flu and a real girlfriend (who’s now his wife and mother of his child). It was directed by Stirling McLaughlin & J Wilder Konschak, produced by Spaceship Town, LLC. Cold War was shot during the winter of 2015 in the Chicagoland area, and will be released by Stadium Media on digital home entertainment March 23rd, 2018.
by Stirling McLaughlin and J Wilder Konschak
When you first move in with someone new, it can be stressful. You’re testing whether your relationship still works in close-up. And caring for someone who’s sick? That’s another test. And having someone care for you when you’re sick? That’s yet another. They’re all scary escalations of intimacy.
We don’t believe there’s a LESS romantic form of intimacy than cleaning out someone’s puke bucket – and we don’t believe there’s a more undeniable form of it either. Being kept up all night
by some coughing mope who stinks of vapor rub? How much closer can you get? Getting sick with your loved one is one of life’s most humiliating and humanizing forms of romance, and that’s why it’s perfect for a fresh romantic comedy.
At its core, that’s what this movie is about: intimacy. It’s a perfect storm of intimacy-intensifying catastrophes. These two start living together. She’s sick, taking care of him. He’s sick, taking care of her. And now they have to fight it out: just how intimate are they going to let things get? Just how close is too close? And this story isn’t just about softer, sweeter side of that closeness, either — but also the fear of getting too close, and the fear of scaring the other person away.
Visually, we ride the flu along with our lead character, going from warm, bright, familiar romantic comedy tropes, to a more ragged, hand-made, and unconventional style, one that boldly leaves
in the brush-strokes and the bumps. To support that, we’ve chosen performers with extensive improvisational comedy experience on the UCB stage, helping us to provide naturalistic, human-scale performances – not only because it’s appropriate for a movie about human flaws and closeness to show human flaws and closeness, but because this kind of playful, sometimes surreal comedy works best when grounded in familiar human behavior.
In the end, this is an anti-romantic comedy with a hidden romantic heart, utilizing elements of magical realism, aimed at an audience who seeks out smart and original comedy with a unique tone and idiosyncratic voice. Maybe, if we’ve done it right, we hope it can become the next big sick day tradition: chicken soup, PJs, and Cold War.