5. Rent Control
An attractive couple in their early 20's, Holly and Calvin arrive in the Big Apple fresh from Iowa. They are optimistic, naive and eager to succeed as actors. However, they find the path to success in New York a little more treacherous than they thought. The sky-high rents throughout the city force them to move in temporarily with Holly's Aunt Agatha, an eccentric woman with fifteen cats and an addiction to diet pills. Aunt Agatha lives in a rent-controlled, spacious 1-bedroom apartment on 90th St. and Central Park West, a very posh neighborhood. After six weeks of futile apartment-hunting and numerous other New York humiliations, Holly and Calvin are ready to call it quits and head back to Iowa. At their moment of greatest despair, they discover Agatha's dead body on the kitchen floor. The poor woman has overdosed on diet pills. After panicked deliberation, Holly and Calvin come up with their scheme: If they pretend Agatha is still alive, they can keep the rent-controlled apartment, remain in New York, and still have a chance to succeed as actors. The main obstacle to their plan is the obnoxious and sleazy Vincent Lasso, the building manager/son of Leonard Lasso who owns the building. Vincent suspects foul play from the start, and Holly and Calvin must use all their wiles to maneuver around him. To that end, they enlist the help of Dennis, the neurotic young elevator man, who is in love with Audrey, the building's most beautiful tenant. Rico, the janitor who is not entirely sane, also enters the picture, and the situation becomes even more chaotic. As Holly and Calvin begin to win the battle over Agatha's apartment, they find they are losing the war over their relationship. Little by little, they become more like deceitful New Yorkers and less like the innocent and trusting Iowans they were. This leads to suspicion, infidelity and finally betrayal. In hilarious fashion, the mad struggle to hold on to Agatha's rent-controlled apartment deteriorates into a struggle for Holly and Calvin to determine the true nature of their relationship, their identities and their future as actors and New Yorkers.