Last Exit (2006 TV Movie)
Shattered windshields. Twisted wreckage. Last Exit is an action-suspense drama that tells the parallel stories of two ordinary women - one, a single mother barely supporting her handicapped son, and the other, a working mom precariously balancing her family with a high-pressure career - on one extraordinary day. Each woman's life frays under the weight of her circumstances and spirals out of control. As police officers race to save them, pieces of a shattered puzzle fall into place - maybe this wasn't just a tragic car accident after all. Both women fight for their lives, but ultimately, only one will survive
In a big city, Beth Welland is a divorced woman working as secretary in a law firm having problems with her boss and also financial difficulties to raise her ten year old handicapped beloved son, Benji. On the day of Benji's birthday, Beth's life is completely affected when she is cut up by the executive Diana Burke and misses the last exit in a highway, arriving late to her job. Meanwhile, Andrea is under pressure, depending on her presentation to an important client to be promoted in the company where she works, but having family problems at home, with her unemployed husband, two teenagers and a secret pregnancy. This incident early in the morning together with the stressed situations along their day will entwine and affect their lives and destinies.
- Two cars wreck in a heavy rain. One of the drivers manages to call 911 on her cell phone to report the accident. She says it was all her fault. Then she staggers over to the other car, saying she is sorry and that help is on the way. Suddenly a shot rings out and she collapses. The police arrive but cannot reach the driver trapped in her car. The woman on the ground is seriously injured and rushed to the hospital.
Beth Welland is the single mother of a ten-year-old special needs son, Benji, who uses a wheelchair. She was never married to his father, who nonetheless is an important part of Benji's life. Beth and Benji live in an inner-city apartment with no air-conditioning. Her job as legal secretary barely pays the bills and she cannot afford to have her ageing car repaired. On this particular morning, the car is hard to start. After leaving Benji with his father, she drives rapidly to work. Just as Beth approaches her exit, an SUV cuts in front of her, forcing her to swerve and miss the exit. On the SUV's bumper, Beth takes note of a sticker for a very exclusive private school. She is forced to take the next exit, which makes her late for work.
The SUV is driven by Diana Burke, an advertising executive with two teenage children and an unemployed husband. The Burkes live in a palatial home but Diana is worried about how they'll pay the mortgage. That morning her husband buys yet another gun on the internet. Diana is very angry and says he needs to be looking for a job. He reminds her of an upcoming interview later that day. Their daughter says she is too ill to go to school. Diana doesn't really believe her but there is no time to argue. She takes her son to school, not noticing that she cut off a car at the exit. Her mind is entirely focused on potential clients who are visiting that day. She is in charge of the presentation, which will ultimately determine whether she receives a big promotion.
Beth is late to work. Her boss was expecting an important document but the courier couldn't leave it because no one was there. She tries to sneak into her office but her boss angrily confronts her. He is due in court and needs the document, so Beth has to track it down. This time her car won't start at all, but the building tech support guy comes to her aid. They recently had a date and he wants to go out again, but Beth doesn't want to get involved. He is able to get her car started but warns her not to turn off the engine.
Diana's office is in an uproar because of the presentation that afternoon. Her boss insists that they go over it again. She is very nervous that something will go wrong but Diana says she is "on top of it." Then her son's school calls her in for an emergency conference since they were unable to reach his father.
The boy took one of his father's pistols to school just to show it to his friends. The principal says she will have to call the police but reconsiders and decides to expel him for the remainder of the term. Diana takes him home and returns to work, very stressed. Her daughter calls while Diana is driving, but her cell phone battery is dying. She locates the car charger but then can't get a signal.
Beth tracks down the courier and retrieves the document but narrowly escapes a parking ticket. When she finally delivers the document into her boss's hands, he fires her for constant tardiness. He is tired of her endless excuses. She and the tech support guy go out for coffee and he promises to help her find another job. Kindly he reminds her that she is young and needs to have fun.
Diana skips lunch and becomes nauseous. Her personal assistant is concerned but she tells him she's pregnant. Even her husband doesn't know yet. A call comes from one of their other clients who is filming a commercial downtown. There is a problem with the actress hired for the commercial and only Diana can straighten it out. Her boss is nervous about her leaving but she promises to return in plenty of time for the presentation. However, the problem takes longer to solve than Diana anticipated. Then she discovers that her car has been towed. The presentation materials were in the back seat. She takes a cab to the impound lot and retrieves her car, but it is too late. The clients came and went. Diana's boss is disgusted with her. Then her husband and children show up to take her out for a celebratory dinner. Just as they are leaving, Diana learns that the clients are still at the airport. Their flight was delayed because of a severe thunderstorm approaching. She tells her personal assistant to phone the airport, page the clients, and have them wait. Promising to join her family at the restaurant, Diana jumps into her car and drives off.
Benji's birthday is coming up and Beth wants to buy him a telescope. She goes into a store only to discover that it is owned by an old friend from high school. The friend remembers that Beth was pregnant during senior year. Beth senses a subtle put-down and quickly picks out a telescope. But her debit card is refused, which is very embarrassing. She goes to the bank to straighten it out, only to be told that they are closing. The security guard finally has to order her to step away from the door. Beth pawns her gold necklace and buys the telescope.
She goes to have dinner with Benji and his father, who has recently married. He is a teacher but will soon be promoted to principal. While Benji is on a tour of the kitchen, his father informs Beth that he wants custody. He points out that the child is getting too heavy for Beth to lift in and out of the wheelchair. Beth angrily says she will never give him custody, but he has already seen a lawyer. He can better provide for the child and he points out how Beth needs to get her life organized.
On the way home, Beth becomes distracted and nearly hits another car. She slams on the brakes, causing Benji to smash his face against the dashboard. He is crying and bleeding so Beth goes to the emergency room. He requires stitches but will be fine. Unknown to Beth he calls his father, who arrives and chews Beth out for her carelessness. He insists on taking Benji home with him.
Beth's car stalls at a red light. She tries to start it and the cars behind her begin honking when the light turns green. Diana is directly behind her, in a hurry to get to the airport. She yells at Beth, calling her "honey" and telling her to move the damn car. She finally pulls out of the line and drives away, but not before Beth recognizes the bumper sticker. Her car starts and she takes off after Diana. Catching up with her at the next red light, Beth picks up the telescope and exits the car. She begins hitting the car with the telescope, screaming that this is the car who cut her off that morning, making her late for work and causing her to lose her job. Diana is obviously frightened and passersby stop to stare. With one last blow, Beth breaks the telescope just as the light changes. Diana drives away and Beth follows. They drive recklessly and it begins to rain. Then both cars crash.
At the hospital, Benji, his father and stepmother are in the waiting room with Diana's family. They don't speak to each other. A doctor comes in and tells the Burkes that Diana will recover but they had to amputate her leg. Diana's husband asks to see her. As the doctor takes him back, he say it is too soon to know if she will miscarry. Diana is conscious and asks about the woman in the other car. She admits to shooting the woman with the gun her son had taken to school because she felt her life was in danger.
Beth's family learns that she has died. Benji cries and his father comforts him.
The scene jumps to several weeks later. Diana's family is with her for the ultrasound, showing that the baby is a boy. Her husband has finally gotten a job and everyone is happy about the baby. They help Diana into her wheelchair and the stump of her leg is visible. Her children ask if she will go to prison but Diana doesn't know.
The cops who worked the accident scene are reading a newspaper about the upcoming trial. One of them thinks Diana might get a suspended sentence because the other driver admitted she was at fault.
Benji and his father are shown leaving flowers at the site of the accident.