Overview… aspiring motivational speaker. Richard is obsessed with winning and success despite having rarely tasted either. He’s prone to go on about the “Nine Steps” – his personal program of willing yourself to victor – at the slightest provocation. His lack of achievement and paradoxical insistence on attaining it at all costs alienates him from his family, and his wife Sheryl is increasingly fed up. When logistical and financial complications force Richard to take the entire family (including his heroin-addicted father and suicidal brother-in-law) across the country in a rickety van in order to get his daughter (Olive) to a beauty pageant, he will be forced to finally confront his failings and the other forces that are tearing the family apart.
Personality… high-strung, humorless, and completely obsessed with winning. Richard believes that at the heart of every person there is a “winner” and a “loser,” and that succeeding is as easy as embracing the winner and ignoring the loser. His personal philosophy refuses to acknowledge natural limitations or the possibility of cruel fate – an amazing feat given the bad luck that seems to follow the Hoover clan with the persistence of a shadow.
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