In a Lifetime
a Chinese take-away, since cooking has never been her
passion. Elsie moved in with her son’s, after her husband
Billy had suffered a deadly stroke. Elsie and Bill met 1945
in war-torn Berlin, when the tall, fun-abiding Rugby player
served time in the US army.
Ellen hopes to impress her mother-in-law by giving her
a birthday party. To make ends meet, Fred’s family is in
desperate need of another, even bigger loan from Elsie.
Fred (60), Elsie’s son, lost his job as well as a substantial
share of his retirement money due to global financial
downturn. Neither does Fred's son Steve (25) make much
money with his dot-com business. And daughter Bridget (18)
is fed up with low paid jobs; she is dreaming of a show biz
career. What makes things worse, they are in great fear of
being chased away from the family home, since there is no
money left to pay off the mortgage dues.
Elsie hasn't the slightest idea about her son’s financial
crisis. She has been made believe that family affairs were
quite wonderful and under control.
The birthday reunion takes quite an unprecedented turn:
Neither the economic downturn nor the desperate family circumstances are being debated. However, long-kept
secrets as well as memories of old times are revealed.
Elsie has never told her son of the miseries of war-torn
Berlin in 1945, about the face of starvation and the rat
holes that housed the deprived folks. At long last, Fred,
Steve and Bridget learn about World War II history as
well as particulars of Elsie’s teenage years. Also Fred
reveals himself with respect to his younger self, what he
was going through in Vietnam and the struggle for a new
life after the war.