Small, Beautifully Moving Parts (2011) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Sarah Sparks is pregnant and feeling wholly ambivalent, despite her boyfriend's pure enthusiasm. A committed tech-geek, she fears she is more interested in ultrasound technology than in what's being ultra-sounded. When her sister lures her to L.A. for what ends up being a terrorizing baby shower, Sarah keeps her rental van and hits the road in search of the source of her anxiety: her estranged mother, now living off the grid. SMALL, BEAUTIFULLY MOVING PARTS takes a comic and poignant look at one woman's coming-of-parenthood in the age of technology.

  • As a freelance technologist, New York based Sarah Sparks has always had more of a natural affinity to computers and machines than she has had with people. If it has mechanically moving parts, Sarah is attracted to it. That is why she is so anxious when she finds that she is pregnant, despite loving her partner, Leon. While starting her third trimester, Sarah is convinced to go to Los Angeles where her sister, über-mom Emily, plans to throw her a baby shower with a bunch of other über-moms that Sarah doesn't know. It isn't until the shower and discussions with Emily that Sarah truly comes to the realization that what she needs to ease her anxiety is to speak to her mother, Marjorie Sparks, from who she is estranged. The two have not seen each other since Marjorie moved away following her divorce from Sarah's father, Henry. Their estrangement was not a conscious one by Sarah, but became so, at least on Sarah's part, as time went on. Sarah has no idea of Marjorie's whereabouts or what she is doing. Through Henry, Sarah is eventually able to discover where Marjorie is, which is not an easy process to find in reality. Sarah learns from Henry and Emily that Marjorie does know about her pregnancy but still does not want to see her. Regardless, Sarah is determined to see her mother. As Sarah goes on a mission of discovery to locate and speak to Marjorie, the questions become if she can discover other things about her future life as mother along the way, whether she can find her "off-the-grid" mother, and if Marjorie does have the answers she's looking for if Sarah indeed can locate her mother.



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