Service Not Included

Created by Mike Peacock, The Pitch 2022

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Rex had a dream - to open a restaurant, a wonderful place where each meal would be a work of art. But the reality, was different. And, after five years of endless bills, surly staff and tricky customers; it is with a sense of relief that Rex realises that the restaurant is going to have to close forever. That night, he meets Rowan; a homeless man, rummaging through the bins outside. On the spur of the moment, Rex invites him inside. As he begins to cook - for the first time in a long time from the heart - the restaurant fills with the most wondrous smells, and Rex finds himself in a place of creativity that he thought he’d lost. When it’s over, he has an epiphany: if the restaurant is going to go down, then it is going to go down with a bang… The next Saturday - the very last day when the restaurant will open - he declares will be a night for the homeless. That night, the restaurant is filled with life… and laughter… and joy. Word spreads - and soon others are offering to help. It seems that Rex’s restaurant isn’t going out of business quite yet…

Biblical Connection

‘Service Not Included’ was inspired by the Parable of the Banquet, found in Luke chapter 14 verses 16-24. It’s a story of tremendous grace, favour and welcome, but it’s also a story of rejection too. Those for whom the banquet was originally prepared have turned their noses up at it - sometimes for the most trivial of reasons. Instead of giving up, the host seeks out those who will truly appreciate what he offers. In my version, Rex the chef has been striving for years and yet finds that appreciates what he has to offer. When he meets Rowan, he undergoes a seismic shift in perspective. I love the concept of grace. In a society where you get-what-you-pay-for and ‘there’s no such thing a free lunch’, it can seem like such a ludicrous, wasteful extravagance. And yet, when we encounter it, it can have such a profound affect. In the film, I really want to focus on the transformative affect that it has on Rex himself as he changes his priorities - as well as the mixed reaction amongst those closest to him as he takes such an illogical, seemingly foolish step.