Melting - Synopsis

Max Wheeler is a veteran TV foreign correspondent. He has spent a great deal of his life traveling to the world’s hot spots, interviewing presidents and dictators, covering war zones, and bringing to light general stories of interest. He has led a very full life, but he hasn’t always found time for self-development.  

When his much younger wife dies, Max is shaken to his core. For a while Max spirals into a personal meltdown. In an effort to deal with his loss, Max resolves to lose himself in his career, including traveling to cover a crisis in the refugee camps on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. For a while he begins to focus less on his own loss and more on the plight of others.

But there are changes at the television network. And, when he flies home, he finds his network has some wacky plans for him, which Max rejects. He now finds himself unemployed and his meltdown continues.

While attempting to deal with his grief Max browses in a Los Angeles book store. There he meets the beautiful, young Angelina who introduces him to a fascinating commune in the Hollywood Hills. Still trying to manage his grief, Max has a riotous sexual misadventure with Angelina, forcing him to flee in embarrassment.

Max takes strength from his friends – Al, Mos and Harry – and re-connects with his four adult children. For the first time, Max sees his son Tommy playing guitar with his band. Max is surprised by the depth of the pride that he feels in watching his youngest child perform in public.

With a major shift in the television broadcasting market there are no jobs available, but he’s offered a job hosting a new reality-TV show. However, realizing its futility, he declines the job and is then forced to evaluate his life and career as a journalist. With broadcasting and newspapers out of the question, he reluctantly takes a job with an internet news company, where he has a brief affair with his boss: the half Chinese/half Jewish Amy Apple.

Max is sent to cover stories on headhunters in the jungles of Borneo and glue-sniffing street kids in Cambodia. But he’s forced to cut short his trip when he receives a phone call from the States - his mother is dying  Caught in a downpour in Phnom Penh, Max suffers severe chest pain

As Max sits with his ailing mother in Miami, memories of his childhood flood back. He muses on the fact that he hasn’t cried since he was a small child.

Amy tells Max he is to be given own show, but the deal falls though when the company is sold, leaving him with no job at all.

When Max is caught up in a hostage situation with an Iraq War veteran the trauma affects him profoundly. Later, in his apartment, Max collapses in the shower.

A sixtieth birthday party is held for Max. All his family and friends attend, including Max’s new girlfriend, Laura. It’s an emotional experience for Max, especially after he sings a special little song with his young grandson Toby. For the first time since he was a child, Max finds tears running down his cheeks.

© 2014 Martin Guinness

Home Review About the author Buy the book The book Synopsis