pp1-63, 1o1-126 of unnamed screenplay, scanned with errors
first scene heading:
POV from inside a moving car: A tree-lined street, the suburbs, summer. The sound of WIND.
first full dialogue:
ZACK (v.o.) When I was a kid ...
As we begin, these first images should seem pure and vivid, more dream-like than real.
POV from inside a moving car: A tree-lined street, the suburbs, summer. The sound of WIND.
ZACK KING, 10, already old for his age, rides in the front seat of a 1984 Chrysler convertible, top down. His mother, LELA, drives. A scarf protects her hair. Zack's little brother, MATT, age 5, sits in back along with sacks of groceries. Everybody's happy.
ZAeK (v.o.) When I was a kid ...
The car pulls into the driveway of a modest house.
ZACK (V .0.)
My mother was always asking us what we wanted to be when we grew up •••
Zack reaches back and unfastens his brother's seat belt.
My brother Matt wanted to be a policeman, then a fireman, then a doctor, then Alice Cooper ...
While Matt runs off to play, Zack helps his mother unload the groceries. He makes sure to carry the heaviest bag.
ZACK (v.o.) As for me?
ENTERING THE HOUSE, Zack almost steps on a pair of men's Penny Loafers in the vestibule. Then he notices his mother seting down her bags and hurrying up the stairs. She turns back to Zack and gestures for him to 'stay put.' But Zack waits a moment, sets down his bag of groceries and goes up after her.
ZACK (V .0.) What did I want to be?
At the top of the stairs, Zack peeks around the corner and sees •••
His mother listening outside a closed door. She appears stunned, as if she'd just been stabbed. She disappears for a moment, then returns with a Polaroid camera and kicks open the door .••
ZAeK (V .0.)
The same thing I want to be now.
Zack'S POV: Partial view of his parent's bed. A NAKED MAN and ANOTHER WOMAN are caught in the act.
ZAeK (V .0.) Not my dad.
Close on 10 Year Old Zack squeezing his eyes shut as his mother shouts "Smile" and the Camera Bulb FLASHES.
INT. BEDROOM - MIDDLE OF NIGHT
27 Year Old ZACK KING opens his eyes. He's disoriented.
WOMAN'S VOICE (O.C.)
Zack looks over at the beautiful HOPE SEACORD, age 27, who is next to him in bed.
HOPE (gently) Bad dream?
Relieved that it was, Zack smiles slightly and says, somewhat impulsively:
EXT. TIMES SQUARE - NYC - SUMMER - DAWN
Early morning, the City still asleep, Zack, dressed in a smart suit, heads to work. He talks on his cell phone, using an ear piece. superimpose: Monday.
What happened to the get-down-onone-knee-as-the-ball-drops-in-Times Square plan? Or the put-the-ringin-the-jello-at-ehristmas plan?
I don't know. Something came over me. It felt like the right time.
WOMAN'S VOICE So what did she say?
As Zack descends the subway platform
I'm going under, I'll call you back ...
EXT. 23RD STREET/5TH AVENUE SUBWAY STOP - DAWN
Coming out of the subway station, Zack is back on the phone.
WOMAN'S VOICE ( answering)
ZAeK Well, she said
HOPE (with emotion)
EXT. OFFIeE BUILDING - eHELSEA - DAY
ON ZACK, entering the building as the Woman on Phone SHRIEKS WITH HAPPINESS.
ZACK And guess what?
INT. OFFICE BUILDING LOBBY - DAY
Zack steps into the elevator. As the Elevator doors close:
She kept saying 'Yes.'
A SERIES OF QUICK SHOTS: Zack and Hope in a variety of sexual positions. Missionary, Doggystyle. The 'Viennese Oyster.' 'The Suspended Congress.' Each shot punctuated by Hope saying, sighing, shouting
From a classic '69 position -- Hope takes a break in the action to raise her head and say matter-of-factly, "Yes."
Finally, from the cowgirl position, Hope collapses on top of Zack. They're sweaty and out of breath.
BACK TO ZACR, going up in the elevator with one OTHER PASSENGER.
WOMAN'S VOICE Sounds hot.
Because there is nothing hotter than the sex of the newly engaged, am I right?
Nothing hotter, that's right.
The only other PASSENGER in the elevator looks perplexed at overhearing Zack's half of the conversation.
So tell me, Zack, are you happy? Are you deliriously-can't-believethis-is-happening-isn't-Lifecompletely-amazing happy?
Zack smiles because
He is happy. Then BING, the elevator door slams open -HARD CUT TO:
START MUSIC/eREDITS OVER THE FOLLOWING:
Zack's backpack lands on his deSk. He turns on his desk light, powers up his computer, as he plays voice mail on speaker phone.
wide angle on the honeycomb of office cubicles as Zack takes a seat. The first one at work, as always.
INT. PORT AUTHORITY BUS STATION - DAY
eLOSE ON THE GRATE OF A GREYHOUND BUS as it pulls into a terminal. The sounds of BRAKES. The burst of air being released as the bus doors open.
The driver, then a few passengers disembark (only their legs and feet are visible.) Then a man wearing a well-worn pair of Penny Loafers steps out of the bus and keeps moving •••
Pan up to reveal the back of a MAN, mid 50s, wearing a RED MEMBERS ONLY JACKET, pulling a small suitcase on wheels. We move with him through Port Authority Terminal as he walks ...
INT. SPANGLING OFFICES - DAY
From behind, as Zack walks the narrow honeycomb of cubicles. It's mid-morning now. His associates are working all around him. Busy, hectic place.
(on his headset)
You wanted the abbreviated lead time. How do I know --
Zack plops into his swivel chair.
Because you left a paper trail, Martin --
Pinned to the partition walls, various mock-ups of Zach's current projects: Multi-colored plastic cup holders. Miniature State License Plate name tags.
So I suggest you Hansel-and-Gretel it back to your desk and call me when you figure it out.
On a shelf: Prototypes for bobble-head dolls of various pop stars.
ZACK (O.S.) (new call)
it's Zack. What can I do for Let me call it up --
Camera pans: Between Purchase Orders and Spec Sheets, there are pictures and mementos from his life -- Zack as a Best Man at a wedding, next to an attractive couple. A fingerpainting from a 3 year old. An 8 x 10 photograph of Hope from an attempted modeling career.
EXT. CONSTRueTION SITE NEAR TIME'S SQUARE - DAY
eamera continues to pan: BAND and MOVIE POSTERS are plastered on the temporary wood fencing of the construction site. Against this backdrop, the Man in the Red Members Only
Jacket pulls his suitcase into Time'S Square .•.
Close on the Man as he comes to a stop. (We only see his profile. ) What's left of his hair is blowing every which way. There'S something sad but irresistible about the man. Beat as he breathes in the city. He looks around at the myriad of brightly-lit billboards -- the dazzle of the Big
Apple, then he steps out of frame as ...
INT. MEN'S LAVATORY -
Zack King steps up to a urinal, unzips his fly and prepares to pee.
Zack'S boss, BILL COCKBURN, mid-50'S, sidles up next to Zack. Both men stare straight ahead.
King, we got ourselves a situation
with Nike •••
Situation? I hear it's a deep
That, too. Can you help?
when do you need it solved by?
Cockburn smiles, shakes his johnson.
Thanks. I would say, 'Don't let me down,' but you wouldn't know how.
Cockburn flushes and exits.
Finally, Zack can pee in peace. As he does, he glances down, and his face grows concerned. Something is very wrong.
ZACK (to himself) That's not good.
INT. OFFleE - DAY
CLOSE ON Zack's computer screen. He googles: Blood in Urine.
JILL THE RECEPTIONIST (O.S.) Craig from Nike, Line 2 __
While skimming the search results, Zack hits line 2.
CRAIG FROM NIKE (ON FILTER) The color is off! The swoosh was supposed to be blue!
(calm under pressure)
Look, Craig, I understand you're worried.
CRAIG FROM NIKE (ON FILTER) Worried? I'm downright panicked.
ON COMPUTER SCREEN: Have Blood in Urine? Learn how this can happen and why.
I'm sure it's nothing
CRAIG FROM NIKE Nothing?! I got 50,000 bird's egg blue swooshes, but our spec says color 802 cobalt blue--
Zack exits the web site and clicks open the Nike file.
Let me get up to speed, and I'll be in touch later today.
The moment Zack hangs up •..
JILL THE RECEPTIONIST (ON INTERCOM) Lines 1, 3 & 4. Also, Zack, your
The other workers near his station look up. This is news. JJFiance?" "Whoa." IJGet outta here!"
Guys, there hasn't been time to tell you --
A celebration erupts. The high fives. The back slaps all around. "Congratulations!" "You're the man."
Zack is enjoying all this when the Receptionist's Voice on Intercom cuts through the brouhaha --
JILL THE RECEPTIONIST (ON INTERCOM) Zack, she wanted you to know that
her parents will be joining --
EXT. OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
Zack bursts out the door of the Office building, running Across the street, the Man in the Red Jacket is buying roasted peanuts from a vendor. We only see him from behind as he turns to watch Zack disappear into the subway ...
INT. HARVARD CLUB - DINING ROOM - DAY
Close on HOPE SEACORD, who, incidentally, appears even more stunning in daylight. She's talking to her parents, off screen.
Here's what you don't get about Zack:
EXT/INT. GIVENCHY'S JEWELRY STORE - DAY
Zack arrives at Givenchy's Jewelry store, where he pushes through the revolving door and enters the store.
He's self-made. He didn't have a trust fund. He put himself through school --
INT. HARVARD CLUB - DINING ROOM - DAY
And while SUNY-Buffalo may not be Ivy League, it is known as the Harvard of the greater Buffalo area.
INT. GIVENeHY'S - DAY
Lit glass boxes that seem to float. A crisply-dressed worker takes out the ring zack had placed on layaway.
HOPE (0. S. )
He paid off his mom's house, takes care of her and has basically been the father to his brother.
Zack produces two credit cards and says, "You'll need both."
HOPE (0. S. )
And, OK, his job may not be flashy, but he got it all on his own.
INT. HARVARD CLUB - DINING ROOM - DAY
Not like someone we know who works at the Gagosian gallery, because her parents are two of their biggest customers--
WOMAN (0 • S • ) Now sweetie --
EXT. STREETS OF NYC - DAY
Among a sea of bodies/faces walking through mid-town, Zack darts and side-steps through the throng until
He stops outside a novelty store on Broadway. In front of a row of GUMBALL MAeHINES, Zack feeds a quarter into the one that spits out toys, souvenirs, plastic rings.
HOPE (0. s. )
No, you have to accept that not everyone's forefathers came over on the Mayflower.
INT. HARVARD eLUB - DINING ROOM - DAY
Somebody had to build that boat, and Zack's people probably did. And lucky for us because that boat didn ' t sink --
(scoots out her chair, stands)
He's minutes away. So get a happy face about this, and get one now.
EXT. STREETS OF NYC - DAY
Zack sprints across 44th Street as Hope emerges from the Harvard Club to greet him. As Zack makes it to Hope:
(sees Hope's been crying) You OK?
Hope puts a smile on, fixes his hair, and brushes off his suit jacket.
It slipped out. I couldn't help it. I was so excited
No, that's good, right? It gave them time to get over the shock.
Yes, but my parents are oldfashioned. And they didn't understand why there was no ...
She stops because Zack holds out a small plastic globe from the gumball machine. Beat. Hope is confused at first. A gumball ring? To Hope's credit, she smiles. Perfect.
But when Hope opens the plastic gumball globe, she finds
a sparkling, out-of-Zack's-price-range diamond ring.
He slips the ring on her finger.
HOPE (means it)
Wow. I love it. It's so ...
INT. HARVARD CLUB - DINING ROOM - DAY
VIVIAN SEAeORD (not thrilled)
Meet Hope's mother, VIVIAN SEACORD, as she scrutinizes Hope's engagement ring and its tiny diamond. Vivian's wedding ring sports a fist-sized stone.
She is a long-limbed brunette with a gleaming, Botox-smooth complexion, a pixie haircut and a saccharine smile.
VIVIAN SEACORD Well, it's lovely? Don't you think, Jack?
Meet Hope's father, JACK SEACORD, an intimidating presence
a large, athletic, Mitt Romney-like man in his late 50's. He puts on his reading glasses to get a better look.
So it's official. congratulations.
An awkward beat.
I think you're both handling this very well. If she were my daughter, I'd be in an ambulance with chest pains right about now.
Another awkward beat as they all laugh nervously.
Look, there's not a guy in the world good enough for your daughter.
You don't know me. I can sit here and tell you how much I love her and I do -- but it'll just be words, won't it? And there's nothing worse than a big talker. Actions speak. I'm confident over time you'll feel differently about me. For now, I'll just look forward to surpassing your astonishingly low expectations
Hope beams. This is why she loves Zack. For Vivianne and Jack Seacord, it's subtle, but something shifts.
Waiter, I think we all may need a drink.
INT. MEN'S ROOM - HARVARD CLUB - MOMENTS LATER
Zack steps up to a urinal and unzips. For the moment he's feeling good, as if he's just passed a crucial test.
But as he pees, he glances down. That same something unusual has caught his attention. Worried, he sighs. Not again.
MOMENTS LATER, at the bathroom sink, Zack is on his phone.
WOMAN'S VOIeE (ON FILTER) Dr. Shaff's office.
Yes, it's Zack King. I'm going to need a referral --
INT. HARVARD CLUB - DINING ROOM - DAY
Zack returns to the table where the mood is not only better, it's downright giddy.
that's a wonderful idea .•.
Zack, Mom was just saying
It's true. We don't know you. And it's high time we did. Jack?
Vivian thought a little dinner party this Saturday night •••
Informal. Just the two families.
It'll be nice to finally meet your mother and your brother.
Honey, doesn't that sound good?
On Zach, as he forces a smile.
EXT. HARVARD CLUB - DAY
The Door Man blows a whistle and the Seacords' chauffeurdriven town car pulls up to the awning.
The driver opens the back door. Vivian is quick to climb in. Jack looks back at his daughter, and then lowers his eyes to Zack, who is noticeably shorter than Hope.
Zack and Hope smile in Jack's direction.
(under his breath) Next time lose the heels.
Only if you lose the tie.
HOPE eoming, Daddy. (hugs Zack)
They love you. They just don't know it yet.
As she ducks into the back seat, Zack calls out.
ZACK This is a good tie!
Hope smiles as the driver shuts the door.
Zack waves at the pitch black windows as the Seacords' town car drives away.
EXT. STREETS OF NYC - DAY
The street crossing sign flashes 'Don't Walk' but nothing stops the Man in the Red Jacket who walks out into the busy street.
On another city street, Zack King waits for the street light to give him permission to cross. He's on his cell phone.
ZACK (into phone)
Mom, what are you doing Saturday?
Let me check my calendar - free why?
Zack sighs. of course. Then a call waiting BEEP. He checks his ealler ID. It reads: Dr. Lamson's Office.
I got another call. I'll tell you tonight.
(clicks to the next call) It's Zack --
INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - DAY
Close on a Green blur.
DOCTOR LAMSON (O.S.) Look, it's always a concern when one pees blood.
A Green eurtain is pulled away, revealing .•.
Zack naked under one of those humiliation-inducing paper robes.
As Zack lies back, the paper robe CRINKLES.
So we're going to do a routine ultrasound, just to take a look.
During the following, a rather attractive Nurse, wearing latex gloves, applies clear jelly to zack's abdomen.
NURSE Cold, sorry.
Zack smiles, as if to say it's not cold. But it is cold.
Hematuria can be caused by any number of things, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, jarring physical activity ...
The Doctor begins to rub the probe on Zack's stomach.
Then I think I can explain. My girlfriend and I just got engaged .•• and talk about jarring physical activity. Wow. We've been perhaps a bit over-enthusiastic in the uhm physical expression of our --
Angle on the Ultra-Sound machine monitor. A black and white peek into Zack's insides.
Now we're looking at your bladder.
Zack strains to see the monitor. The Nurse turns it so he can see better.
What, with the variety of new positions -- and the significant increase in frequency
(to Nurse) I'm sorry --
NURSE No, please --
Pretty much we're going at it nonstop all the time, every moment, some days it's all we do --
DOCTOR Like bunnies --
Bunnies could only be so lucky --
Zack laughs and laughs. But he's the only one laughing.
NURSE Roll onto your side.
ZACK's POV: The Doctor's face betrays some concern as he studies the monitor. In the background, the Nurse looks concerned, as well.
ZAeK (growing nervous)
So I think that pretty much most likely is the reason, don't you?
See that brighter spot right here.
ZACK What is it?
DOCTOR Don't know yet.
(pulling off gloves) But let's hope it's nothing.
Close on Zack. Uh-oh.
We're going to need to schedule an additional test ASAP ...
ZACK How's next week?
How's first thing tomorrow. (beat)
And in the meantime, Zack, no sex.
EXT. THE GAGOSIAN GALLERY - MADISON AVENUE - DAY
Zack, typing on his Blackberry, enters the Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue where ..•
INT. THE GAGOSIAN GALLERY - DAY
Hope is showing a well-heeled, elegantly dressed EUROPEAN COUPLE one of Damien Hirst's House Fly paintings.
This black-and-bluish monochrome is made entirely of dead flies. It's so of the moment. Isn't it a perfect metaphor for the fear and uncertainty that prevails ... ?
(notices Zack) Excuse me.
Hope abruptly breaks free and crosses toward Zack.
I was in the neighborhood
Just this moment when I saw you --
At a doctor's appoint (ment)
I thought to myself -- Lucky me.
No, I feel like I'm the lucky --
This mini-love fest is interrupted by the distant sound of a person clearing their throat. Zack notes the growing impatience of the two European customers in the background.
This may not be the best time --
(backs up) My place tonight?
ZACK ( smiling) You bet.
EXT. NYC STREET - DAY
Rush hour. Crowded streets. Work day over for most people. Not Zack. Among a sea of faces, wearing his wireless ear piece, he rolls calls.
EXT. STREET OUTSIDE ZACK'S APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY
As he walks toward his apartment building, Zack is still on the phone. He stops to adjust a flyer for a neo-punk band taped to a light pole.
ZACK (ON PHONE)
No, Bombay can't swap out the swoosh. Sure, we can try Sri Lanka but what if I can get New Dehli •..
Zack is at the front door of his apartment building, taking out his keys.
ZAeK (ON PHONE)
.•• to piggy back on the laces yes, tomorrow, their time, first thing.
Zack hangs up and starts to turn the key. Behind him, in the door's reflection, the Man in the Red Jacket approaches.
MAN (O.C.) Hello, Zack.
Zack freezes, slowly turns around and finds ...
The MAN in the Red Jacket, mid-50'S, standing near the curb. The Man smiles carefully.
It's good to see you, too.
Beat as Zack gives the man a quick once over.
please tell me that's not an erection.
The wonders of Viagra. My body may be almost 60, but my dick feels 16. (beat)
Look, I know it's been awhile
ZACK I'll be right back.
Zack enters his building.
INT. APARTMENT BUILDING STAIRWELL - MOMENTS LATER
As Zack climbs the stairs, he's back on his cell phone, calling the same friend from earlier that day.
You're not gonna believe this
INT. ZACK'S APARTMENT - MOMENTS LATER
Zack closes the door to his modest apartment.
At least now you know he's not dead.
No, he's very much alive.
Zack loosens his tie, removes it, pulls open his closet door and hangs it on the tie rack with other pre-knotted ties.
WOMAN'S VOleE What's he doing now?
Zack ~eans to the side so he can look out his window where he sees Norm chatting up the people on the street who pass by.
I don't know. Running for mayor?
WOMAN'S VOICE (laughs)
So he's still the same.
Zack's POV: Down below, Norm opens a Red Bull and before he chugs it, looks up toward Zack in a third story window, and raises the can, as if making a toast --
ZACK (smiling back) Cheers, you fuck.
WOMAN'S VOICE What did you say?
I gotta go. Don't worry about me. I'll just give him what he came for.
Zack yanks open his sock drawer where he finds an envelope filled with cash. He takes the money and exits the frame.
EXT. ZACK'S APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY
Norm tosses -- as if shooting a basket -- the Red Bull can. It banks off the pole with the Neo-Punk band flyer and lands in an NYC-provided trash can. Score.
Norm turns to find Zack outside his building.
Zack. The Zack-ster. The Zackattack.
Beat as Zack considers what to say. (Important note: Zack is respectful during the following scene, but slightly detached.)
Here, this is what I can spare.
Zack offers the cash-filled envelope.
I don't need your money. Your old man's flush.
Something about the way Norm is dressed -- the old shoes, the worn out Members Only jacket, suggests Norm may be lying.
For a rainy day, then.
Never rains in Florida.
Beat as Zack reluctantly pockets the money.
So that's where you been?
Lately, yes. But as you know, I like to get around.
A PEDESTRIAN passes by Norm and Zack.
NORM Beautiful day, isn't it?
The Pedestrian looks a bit stunned at Norm's uncommon friendliness.
I was hoping you'd ask me up.
Actually, I'm on my way to an appointment.
NORM Then I'll walk you.
They walk. Norm greets two more pedestrians passing by.
It might help us both if you just cut right to it and tell me what you want.
Who said I want anything?
ZACK You usually do.
I'd like to spend some time with you. Some quality face time.
ZACK It's a bad week.
I'm sorry to hear that --
Bad in a good way. I mean, it's gonna be a great week. It's just bad in terms of --
You don't have time for me.
There may be a twenty minute window next Tuesday.
That's the best you can do?
Well, by next week, it could be a whole new world. None of us knows how long we have. You could step off that curb and get run over by a garbage truck. I could choke on a chicken bone. An air-conditioner could dislodge from a tenth floor window and crush us both. Now is all we have, son. This moment ... Now.
with all due respect, Norm, do you know how long it's been?
Five years. Two months, twelve days, nine hours
ZACK You're guessing
Let's just say it's been too long. Which is why I thought you could fit me in.
Zack arrives at his car. An older model of something modest.
Maybe next time if you give me a little warning --
NORM Not my style.
ZACK (smiles) Of course not.
And you can't teach an old dog --
(as he gets So, take care. you're OK.
in his car)
And, Norm, I'm glad
Zack gets in the car,starts the engine. Norm taps the passenger window. Zack rolls it down.
One thing I appreciate about you, son -- You're easy to find. Same apartment. Same car. Nothing changes.
Actually, Norm, everything changes except the wonder that is you.
Norm smiles at the thought.
As Zack drives away:
Zack checks his rear-view mirror.
Zack's MIRROR POV: Norm King, standing in the middle of the street, waving, getting smaller, shouting .••
CAN'T YOU CALL ME DAD?
A mixture of feelings run through Zack -- relief, sadness, rage, as he turns the corDer
INT. ZACK'S CHILDHOOD HOME - DAY
Close on LELA KING, mid 50's, a once~upon-a-time beauty who has let herself go, sitting in her Lazy-BOY recliner. Zack has just surprised her with the big news.
LELA KING (O.S.) And she said IYes?'
Oh, Zack, I'm so happy for you. It's what you wanted.
Lela gives Zack a hug. It's the hug of a mother and son who love each other.
Now about Saturday night --
INT. LELA'S BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Zack and Lela go through Lela's closet that is stuffed full with clothes, circa 1972-1989.
Mom, when was the last time you bought yourself anything --
Well, if you wait long enough, everything eventually comes back into style.
(under his breath)
You may need to keep waiting
Sweetie, I've got plenty of nice things. Besides, I don't want to waste your money
It's not a waste, Mom. get a second chance to impression.
We don't make a first
Your father used to say that.
Zack shudders at the thought.
ZACK Speaking of Norm
Let's not. I'm having such a nice time.
Lela pushes past him to do battle with her closet.
It's just you won't believe --
I'm relying on your eyes, Zachary.
Tell me --
Lela pulls out TWO PARTY DRESSES. They're colorful and lovely if only this were 1976.
Which one do you love most?
(not liking either) That's a tough call.
Wait, here's what it's missing.
Lela puts on a big, floppy, floral-patterned hat.
I don't know about the hat.
But it's the whole reason for the outfit!
Zack gently removes the hat.
Zack, are you worried I'm going to embarrass you?
No, Mom, never. Actually, yes.
And Lela laughs.
EXT. ZACK'S CHILDHOOD HOME - DAY
Zack exits his childhood home, followed by Lela. It's a modest house from the Eisenhower era.
Can't you stay for dinner? You don't look like you've been eating--
Hope and I have plans.
But there are things to go over about the house -- some bills, that exterminator (keeps calling) --
All of which can wait till next week.
Zack opens the door to his car.
Zack, honey, you're not yourself.
I'm fine. Don't worry.
It's my experience that when one of my boys says, 'Don't worry,' that's when I probably should.
EXT. ANOTHER SUBURBAN HOUSE - RIVERDALE - MAGIe HOUR
As Zack pulls up to a different modest Eisenhower-era house, he is on his cell phone.
ZACK (ON PHONE)
I need a favor. Fashion emergency
WOMAN'S VOICE Zack, hold on •..
In the b.g., a small child can be heard crying out, JlMommy, where is it? Where is it?"
Something's been lost ... and until it's found, I can't do much of anything ..•
Zack's POV: A front lawn strewn with toys, one toy catches Zack's eye.
ZACK (ON PHONE)
Is it partially clothed, blonde, and about eight inches tall?
wait a minute. Where are --?
A woman appears in the picture window - meet TAMARA O'MEARA the face behind the voice. She's lovely in that overextended, sleep-deprived, single-parent way.
Zack holds up Barbie.
Seeing Zack with the doll, Tamara hurries out of view ...
Beat. WHOOSH as Tamara pulls open the front door and lets SOPHIE, a three year old girl with break-your-heart curls, run outside to Zack. Tamara follows, flipping off her phone.
Zack hands Sophie her much-missed Barbie and he lifts her in the air.
Sophie giggles. (Note: Zack is great with Sophie. A natural.) Tamara smiles. Saved by Zack.
INT. SUBURBAN HOUSE - KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER
The day'S dishes are stacked in the sink. Tamara washes and Zack does his best to dry. During the following, Sophie climbs allover Zack, turning him into a human jungle gym.
Of course I'll take your mom
She needs something nice -- elegant but understated -- and preferably made in this century.
TAMARA what's the occasion?
My engagement party
You don't seem excited
NO, I am. It's just ... Norm. He couldn't have picked a worse time to show up. Not to mention he's up to something, and it can't be any
Tamara looks at him. She knows there's something more.
Zack sighs, busted.
I don't want to upset you.
I went to see this doctor about a little medical problem
Well, he saw something, says it could be anything - it's probably nothing - which this test tomorrow will prove - but still I'm kind of -
Wow, that's a relief to have finally said it. I mean, for you to have said it.
Zack's Cell Phone RINGS. He sets down Sophie, checks Caller ID, then answers.
(on phone, cheerful) Hey, you! I'm just leaving Tamara's.
Zack makes the 'I'll call you' signal to Tamara and then heads to the door. Tamara calls out, "Congratulations."
ZACK (on phone)
She says congratulations. (beat, to Tamara)
Hope wants you to come Saturday. Says you're invited. Please come.
ZACK She'll come!
(as he exits the house)
Me? No, I'm getting in the car right now. How was your day?
EXT. TAMARA'S HOUSE - EARLY EVENING
As Zack gets in his car, still talking to Hope, he waves toward Tamara and Sophie who watch from the window. Sophie kisses the glass.
INT. HOPE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
In Hope's swanky apartment, Zack and Hope go at it, kissing, spinning, mauling each other until Zack falls back on the feather bed.
Hope kisses Zack, moves lower as she begins to unbuckle his belt--
Zack rolls her over and pushes up her skirt.
Hope smiles as Zack goes down.
HOPE Yes. Yes. Y. e --
The phone RINGS and Hope'S sleek answering machine picks up.
HOPE (RECORDED GREETING) Hi, this is Hope. You know what to do. So do it.
Hope reaches back and, between moans, tries to turn down the vol ume • BEEP.
VIVIAN (ON MAeHINE)
Hope, honey. pick up. We can see that your light is on.
(to Zack between her legs) Don't stop.
Mom, can I call you back--?
Zack hesitates but Hope signals for him to keep going.
VIVIAN (ON FILTER) I'll be quick. Our small dinner party on Saturday is now not so small.
Hope moans softly.
VIVIAN (ON FILTER)
A little bird, your father, told the wentworth's who told the Bells and the Wyeth-Bacons. And now they all want to come •••
(at the same time)
But you -- lower -- promised it would be -- higher -- an intimate gathering -- we agreed--
with her available hand, Hope forcefully brings Zack's head between her legs. She moans again.
VIVIAN (ON FILTER) Honey, are you on the toilet?
Noooo, Zack's over. He's helping me hang -- oh god -- the Schnabel. Yes, Zack. That's the spot.
VIVIAN (ON FILTER) How does it look?
Great. It's great! Mom, I'll call you later --
Hope slams the phone down just as she ORGASMS. But her legs have Zack in a head-lock, and as she thrashes wildly, zack experiences mild whip-lash.
Finally, Zack is released. While Hope comes down to earth, Zack holds his neck as he tries to catch his breath.
HOPE Let me do you.
Hope makes a move on a very interested Zack, who then remembers:
Ohhh. No, can't. The doctor said ••.
What doctor? Is something wrong?
Oh, no. No worries. I'm so good. (looks at Hope, wants her
I can't ... be late for Matt's gig.
HOPE (means it)
That's what I love about you. The way you put others first.
EXT. KENNY'S CASTAWAYS - NIGHT
Zack parks his car, turns off the engine. He lets out a sigh, trying to rid himself of any leftover horniness.
Zack pops his trunk, removes a LARGE BOX which he carries past a line of neo-goth, bleakly dressed in black YOUNG PEOPLE all waiting to get inside. Zack enters the club.
INT. KENNY'S CASTAWAYS - NIGHT
Zack is placing the contents of the box out on the 'Merch' table where a YOUNG MAN sells band T-shirts and self-produced eDs. All items read SeREAM. zack is the 'supplier.'
These are the new night shirts and hooded sweat shirts. Cool, huh?
OTTO, from Matt's band, approaches Zack.
INT. GREENROOM - KENNY'S CASTAWAYS - NIGHT
otto leads Zack backstage. For someone covered in tattoos, otto speaks with a surprisingly refined British accent.
Seems we've run into a bit of a
Meet MATT, age 24 - shaved head, arms heavily tattooed, his face gaunt and violated at various junctions with metal knobs and bands. Presently, he's throwing things. Kicking chairs. This is not your typical punk rock star tantrum. There's something desperate and sincere about his outburst.
ZACK (gently) Matt.
Matt turns and sees his brother and looks at him with a sudden vulnerability. The look of 'Oh, you're the only person who can truly understand. '
INT. BACKSTAGE - MOMENTS LATER
Matt leads Zack to the corner of the stage, just out of sight from the crowd below.
Matt's hand with painted black fingernails holds back the curtain as Zack peers out into the impatient crowd.
MATT Over in the corner.
ZACK'S POV: In the far, back corner -- even in the dim, club lighting -- Norm King sticks out.
Can you fucking believe it?
Aw, shit. I knew he was in town, but I didn't think he'd -
What do you mean, you knew he was in town?
He just showed up this afternoon, out of nowhere.
And you invited him to my gig?
ZACK Of course not.
Well, you could have warned me!
I didn't know he'd come here!
And why's he here? Is he dying or something?
I don't know. How would I know?
(approaches with Matt's guitar)
There you are, lads. It's time to rock.
Fuck off! I'm not playing with that fat fuck in the house
Matt storms off.
Did I hear him right? He's not playing?
Give me a minute. I'll handle it.
INT. KENNY'S CASTAWAYS - MOMENTS LATER
Zack pushes through the standing room only crowd to the back of the club where Norm is holding court. FOUR GROUPIES -dressed in black goth-like garb -- listen as Norm has to speak louder than usual to be heard over the in-house music.
He was always musical! I'd play Sinatra on the stereo and he'd sit there in his diaper, tapping out the rhythm on his lap!
ZACK Excuse me, Norm ..•
Hey, Zack. Join us. Everybody, this is Mattie's brother. Not a musical bone in his body. But he has other gifts--
ZACK Can I have a word
This is Panther, Tank, T-Rex. And this is Chloe.
I've slept with more brothers of famous rock stars than any girl here.
Norm laughs the loudest, gives Zack a wink.
My brother's not famous.
Sleep with me and he will be.
Norm hoots, slaps Zack on the back.
ZACK I'm engaged--!
All the more reason, one last fling before you get the ring --
Can I speak with you alone please?
Zack pulls Norm away from his new friends.
What are you, burying the
ZACK What are you doing?
Me? I came to hear Mattie play.
Look, you can drop in out of the blue and see me anytime. Because I can handle it. But Matt can't.
Well, that's a problem
I know. Matt's not gonna play until you leave. So you gotta go.
Norm doesn't budge. And the crowd begins to chant "Scream, Scream, Scream."
Norm, you need to go!
I came to hear my son. And that's what I'm going to do --
(signals the bouncer) Security!
And if you want to have Maurice throw me out, bring it on. I wasn't expecting this to be a cakewalk
ZACK You know his name?
I make friends easily.
Norm nods in Maurice's direction. Maurice gives Norm a thumbs up.
Look, Zack, I gotta start somewhere. If nothing else, when I'm dead, you and your brother will remember that there was a point at which I tried, and maybe unsuccessfully, but tried nonetheless, to make amends
Are you dying? Is that why you're here? Have you come back to die?
Sorry to disappoint you, son, but we're all dying.
On Zack -- That cuts.
The Crowd chants louder, get in a pushing match.
"Scream, Scream, Scream!" Some fans Someone else turns over a table.
ZACK Listen, Norm. very ugly.
It's about to get
People are going to get hurt. So could you please get out of here now!
Then, miraculously, the crowd begins to CHEER and CLAP.
Well, looks like he's decided to play after all.
In disbelief, zack looks back as .•.
An Angry Matt takes the stage. He storms around like a caged animal, wielding his guitar like a machine gun. The crowd erupts in a frenzy. He comes to a stop in front of his microphone.
Close on Matt. His lined eyes red from rage· or crying, or both. He doesn't move. Looks like at any moment he could explode. He waits for them to stop cheering.
The crowd knows what he wants and gives it to him. The room grows eerily quiet - pin-drop silence.
And to think you wanted me to miss this.
Matt is motionless for a time. Then he ..• SCREAMS.
The crowd goes wild as the drums pound and the guitarists wail away.
Matt screams again. And again.
Norm stands motionless, his smile frozen, as the pain of each scream hits Norm like a bullet.
Then, as Matt scratches out a guitar solo, Zack looks at Norm. They speak the following LOUDLY over the music.
(smiling over the pain) Are there lyrics?
No, he just screams. That's what he's known for.
I don't think he's quite yet found his sound. But still, he's very talented
ZACK And angry.
well, I'm proud of him. Never been prouder.
Norm turns to leave.
And he'll know that how?
NORM You'll tell him.
Norm heads to the door.
zack watches Norm leave, then looks back at •••
Matt who sees Norm exiting and then lets out the BIGGEST, MOST-FROM-THE-GUT SCREAM OF ALL .•.
SCREEN TO BLACK.
We hear the sound of WHEELS moving fast on Linoleum.
INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY - DAY
Zack, on a hospital gurney, being wheeled down the hall.
The gurney BANGS open swinging doors. Superimpose: Tuesday.
Yes, regarding my condition
INT. OUTPATIENT SURGICAL ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
All around Zack, the pre-procedure rituals are in full swing. Gloves snapped on. Surgical masks lowered into place. Everything is happening fast.
I've noticed a pattern •.. the man who impregnated my mother with me -the last time he showed up -- I got hives. Other times it's been
Bright Overhead Lights are turned on and swung down past his face and focus on his genital area.
As a kid it was nose bleeds, the kind that came on suddenly and only stopped when he would leave. So could it all be related?
The Nurse hands the Doctor a Draconian-looking metal-pronged surgical device.
You've got to be kidding -- no, come on -- Ow, OW!
(kicking and writhing) MUTHAH-FUCKAH!!!
We haven't done anything yet.
ZACK You haven't?
Now you may feel this
Zack goes white.
NURSE Just relax.
RELAX?! ! !
INT. HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM - DAY
Zack, post-procedure, gingerly finishes getting dressed. Next to him, Matt waits, asleep. Zack nudges him.
Hey, bro. How was it?
zack shrugs. What does one say?
Did they really stick a tube up your --
Zack shoots him a look.
It's either that or we talk about what the fuck Norm is up to, showing up at my fucking gig --
The Nurse enters the room. Matt notices.
(under his breath) Hello, Christmas.
Call for your results Friday morning. And the doctor strongly recommends you take it easy the rest of the day.
Zack half laughs. Yeah, right.
EXT. OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
Zack carefully climbs out of the taxi that has pulled up in front of the Spangling Office building. His Blackberry rings.
(on cell phone) It's Zack.
Zack kicks -- ow -- the door closed.
TAMARA (ON FILTER)
I just want to make sure you're
I am now. I mean, I won't know till Friday, but thanks for, uhm, asking.
TAMARA (ON FILTER)
I don't know if you feel up for it.
Zack stops outside his office building.
TAMARA (ON FILTER)
Well, there'S something you really should see.
ANGLE ON: Norm in his red jacket watches from across the street as
Zack hails the next available taxi.
INT. BLOOMINGDALE'S - DAY
Lela stands entranced looking at herself in a three-sided full-length mirror. She wears a classy, understated pantsuit that compliments her shape.
I don't recognize me. I mean, I know it's me. It's just not the me I know. It's the I-didn't-knowthis-could-be-me me. Zack?
Bing-bing-bing. We have a winner.
Lela turns, smiles at her son.
There is one other option.
zack nods. He's game. Lela takes Option #2 into the dressing room.
This is nice, you're doing this ••.
BLOOMINGDALE'S CLERK (appears with a dress)
I knew we had it in your size.
TAMARA Thank you.
Now if you'll excuse me.
She takes the black dress from the Sales Clerk and heads for a different dressing room while Zack's Blackberry keeps vibrating.
(checks his text messages) You don't need to get anything. It's just an engagement party ...
This isn't for your party.
Tamara steps into a dressing room.
No, I'm going on a date. Ablind date.
Tamara pulls the curtains closed. Beat as Zack processes.
ZACK Wow, that's news.
No, it's weird is what it is. But I can't sit around forever. I mean, it's been almost three years.
Zack continues to type on his Blackberry, but notices •.. Tamara's feet as she steps out of her jeans and into her dress.
My neighbor set it up. Says he '8 a nice guy. So I thought, "Why not?" Can't hurt, right?
We hear the CLACK of the Curtain Rings as Tamara slides open the Curtain.
Hey, I can't seem to reach -- the zipper -- can you ... ?
Zack hesitates before stepping into the dressing room.
ZACK I won't look •.•
Zack closes the curtain, so it's just the two of them.
Alone. Small room. At first Zack fumbles with the zipper at the base of her naked back. But the zipper catches. He laughs nervously.
I got it, I got it.
It takes a few tugs. Finally it un-sticks and Zack slowly, carefully, zips up her dress.
TAMARA (facing the mirror) So what do you think?
Zack lets himself look at Tamara's reflection in the mirror. He sees her in a way that he's never seen her before. Simply put, she's stunning in the dress.
TAMARA Too slutty?
Just slutty enough, I would think.
That's the look I'm going for. (beat)
Is something wrong? Do I have food in my teeth?
No, it's just you look - great.
You're just saying that because it's true.
ANGLE ON: Lela's Dressing Room curtain as it slides open, revealing her in an second, equally resplendent outfit. But no one is there to see her.
Hey, where'd everybody go?
Zack exits out of Tamara's dressing room, followed by Tamara. Lela notices, but is quickly distracted as Zack and Tamara are effusive in their praise. "Wow" -- "It's great, Mom" -"Eileen Fisher must have had you in mind."
But which one? Which one?
Is there some law that says you can't have both?
EXT. BLOOMINGDALE'S - DAY
carrying shopping bags, Tamara and Zack squeeze into and share a section of the revolving door, circle around and then exit, LAUGHING onto crowded Lexington Avenue.
Lela is right behind them, giddy from a big shopping event for the first time in years.
LELA KING NOW that was fun.
TAMARA Yes, it was.
ZACK (to Tamara)
Thanks. It was nice of you --
As Zack gives Tamara a hug goodbye, he senses something.
It's almost as if he knows someone is watching. He turns and looks acroSS the street toward where Norm is standing ...
ZACK'S POV: A momentary glimpse of a man in a red jacket as a city BuS pulls in front, wiping the screen.
TAMARA What is it?
Come on, let's get you back to
INT. ZACK'S CUBICLE - NIGHT
Zack has stayed late -- and is the only one left in his area of the office -- and he's working at his computer.
JILL THE RECEPTIONIST Before you freak -- uh -- you should know I lost mine when I was seven. And I've spent my whole life wishing--
What are you talking about?
JILL THE RECEPTIONIST Dads. Yours. He's in the lobby.
INT. SPANGLING CORPORATION - RECEPTIONIST AREA
Zack enters the reception area where Norm is waiting.
Nice digs. very nice.
ZACK What are you doing?
JILL THE RECEPTIONIST (reappears with her coat) Excuse me, Zack's dad.
It's barely noticeable, but Zack's face twitches whenever the word 'Dad' is used in conjunction with Norm.
JILL THE RECEPTIONIST I'd just like to thank you, for what you said. For years, there's been a ... hole.
So you see what I'm saying? He '8 the proof
JILL THE RECEPTIONIST Yes, I see -- proof.
Jill leaves, grateful for her brief, but clearly profound contact with Norm.
Poor girl, she lost her father when he was about your age from a rare, fast-acting cancer ..•
ZACK What am I proof of?
That you can not have a dad and still turn out wonderful.
OK, Norm, this is not OK.
Norm begins to APPLAUD.
You can't just show and stop clapping. clapping?
up at my work Why are you
Your old man's giving you a standing 'a.' Do you know why?
ZACK Haven't the slightest.
I saw you with her today. And I approve.
I knew it. You were watching --
She's perfect for you. Perfect.
No, she's not. That's Tamara, Rafe's wife.
Oh. Rafe -- how is my 01' buddy Rafe?
He died in a car crash. Almost three years ago.
(beat as he waits what he thinks to be the proper length of time to wait)
Well, the living still got to eat. Let's get a bite.
(laughing in disbelief)
Right, you think you can show up out of nowhere, not say why, spy on me, crash my workplace and then ... I mean, Norm, do you really think I would sit and have a meal with you?
INT. DINER - NIGHT
A WAITRESS (her name tag reads PENNY) flips a page in her pad, ready to take the orders of an on-edge Zack and a relaxed Norm, who sit in a corner booth.
You guys know what you want?
Yes, Norm. What do you want?
Tempt me, Penny. What's good?
Depends what you're in the mood for?
Well, I usually get to know a woman better before I answer that, but since you asked
Norm laughs at his little joke. Zack isn't laughing.
He doesn't like to see his old man flirt.
But you do it so well.
Thank you, Penny-for-your-thoughts. We'll need a few minutes.
I'll be right back then.
We'll be watching you go.
Penny laughs as she exits.
Seems your old man's still got the touch.
(notices Zack's curious stare)
I'm just sitting here trying
to figure out why you've come back. Why now.
Norm cracks open a menu.
Oh, I know -- my autographed Mickey Mantle baseball -- you got it out of hock and you wanted to give it back to me. No?
You may want to peruse the menu.
Or. You came back for Matt's 8th grade orchestra concert, but you're just a bit off on the date.
Did you figure out what you want?
I want to know why he's here.
Zack smiles. Then Norm smiles.
NORM (to Penny)
We need a little more time.
Look, I know I was a terrible dad. You'll get no argument from me --
Oh, I got it! You're finally making good on that promise to go camping. Just you and your boys, sleep under the stars, make Norm burgers and smores. Is that right? I can't wait to tell Matt •••
You're usually better at this. Something's off. Something's bugging you and this time I don't think it's me.
(flagging down Penny)
Penny, maybe just bring an assortment of your best desserts
NORM How's work?
I don't want to talk about work.
NORM How's love?
I don't want to talk about love.
That's too bad because, Zack, there's doing well at work and the love of a good woman -- there's nothing else.
That's funny, Norm. I mean, you cheated on mom more times than I probably know, and you haven't ever held down a job for more than a year or two.
Zack notices that a SMALL BOY with a TRASHY LOOKING WOMAN have entered the diner. They wait to be seated.
And, by the way, maybe somewhere in there, one of your great loves should have been your children, don't you think?
I'm worried about you, Zack.
ZACK That's bullshit. because you want father you never
You're worried to feel like the were.
Nevertheless, I am. Worried.
Well, don't be. I'm fine. I'm better than fine. In fact, I'm doing great.
You don't seem great.
I might have cancer, OK? I was tested today for cancer. They rammed a tube up my penis! Satisfied? Because there's nothing else to say.
ZACK (CONT'D) (laughing)
She sends it ... to everyone in Riverdale
I'd heard this but I didn't believe it --
And the card reads: This Holiday Season, May All Your Dreams Come True! Love, the King family.
Zack laughs and laughs until
ZACK And then he left
Silence as Zack chokes up. Tamara listens quietly as ...
I'm sorry. It's late.
It's too late for him. Gotta go.
TAMARA Zack? Call anytime.
SCREEN TO BLACK:
EXT. MADISON SQUARE PARK - 23RD & 5TH AVENUE - DAY
At the small park across the street from Zack's Office Building, Zack stops to buy a bagel. The Flat Iron building looms in the background. Superimpose: Wednesday.
NORM (O.S.) Somebody's avoiding me!
Zack turns, stares in disbelief.
ZACK You're still here.
Of course. How can I leave with so much going on? Your engagement. This cancer scare.
ZACK I can handle it
NORM I'm not so sure
Norm's cell phone rings. He holds up a finger, as if to say 'One moment.'
NORM (whispers) I'll call you back. (beat)
I know, but I need more time •.•
Whatever that person wants, go. Because I'm gonna be fine.
Zack heads toward the office entrance. Norm hangs up and follows.
Now what are you doing?
I'm flanking you. Think of me as your wing man.
Norm, how do I say this nicely?
Don't. Let me have it.
Okay. I've never wanted to see you less. There. I really tried to say that nicely
understood. But Zack, you've never needed a father more --
But I don't have a --
Zack suddenly stops talking, because what is the point! He crosses the street, darting through traffic, while Norm stays
behind, calling out:
Yes, you do. Which is why I'll be right here. Waiting. Right here. When you need me! Right here!
Zack disappears inside where he flashes his ID to the security Guard and we hear him say faintly, "Don't let that
man in this building."
__ Zack, at his station, throws himself into work. E-mails. J-Pegs. Nike-related business. He's on edge, distracted, due to Norm who looms over everything he does on this day.
__ Norm, at his spot, gets situated, overly friendly to all who pass by.
_~ Zack, in an argumentative phone call, is interrupted by Jill who asks: "zack, did you know that your .•. (dad)?" An irritable Zack says, "Yes" and continues with his call.
__ outside, Norm still waits.
__ Close on the MID-DAY SUN, trying to break through an overcast Gray Sky.
__ Zack moves through the office, talking on his wireless headset. Passing the conference room window, zack looks down, sees Norm standing across the street in his spot, speaking with TWO STRANGERS -- a SOMEWHAT TRASHY WOMAN and a YOUNG BOY. Norm appears to be asking them a favor and hands
them money. Zack continues on.
Zack pees. He reluctantly looks down. Yes, blood.
On his return t~om the bathroom, Zack checks again and sees that the TRASHY WOMAN and YOUNG BOY have brought Norm a
£==t 1==g bot doa_ Norm takes it, pretending that it weighs
a ton, m~kQg ~ raCE and thG 19WfG ~QX lau<~ns - LJocK W'o.:U"'''' on"
__ Back at Zack's desk, he takes a bite of sandwich. On Zack's computer, Hope is on video I-Chat, eating a salad as she sits at her desk at the Gallery. They have lunch 'together,' mixing small talk and work. But Zack seems
-- Down below, Norm hasn't moved. Even though he's beginning to tire.
All of the above culminates with .••
INT. SPANGLING CORPORATION CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY
Late in the day, Zack is in mid-presentation at a production meeting in the conference room.
Zack is too involved to notice that outside LIGHTNING FLASHES. The SOUND of a HARD RAIN slaps against the windows.
If we handle this right, from now on, every time you see a blue swoosh on a Nike tennis shoe, we will be responsible for that swoosh. There will be no blue swoosh without us --
Zack's fellow employees APPLAUD.
But one final loud CLAP of THUNDER and FLASH of LIGHTNING cause Zack to stop.
ZACK'S BUILDING - DAY
Zack approaches the lobby's wall of glass, looks outside .•• ZACK'S POV: A thunderstorm, mid-deluge. Across the street, under a street light, Norm stands, getting drenched. As promised, Norm is still right there, waiting.
On ZACK -- aw, fuck.
END MUSIC AS:
INT. ZACK'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
The door is pushed open and Zack enters, followed by a completely drenched Norm. With every step Norm takes, his shoes make the SQUISH sound of something soaking wet.
One night. That's all.
Zack flips on a light.
Waterlogged, Norm takes in the room -- sees the organized, everything-in-its-place-ness of it all.
Just how I pictured it.
Norm pUllS on Zack's baggiest SUNY-BUFFALO sweatshirt and sweatpants. Zack's clothes on Norm are stretched almost to the point of ripping. A section of Norm's belly is exposed.
Norm looks at pictures from Zack's life. Zack at 13 with a fish he caught. Zack with his mom and brother for the Church Directory. Zack as best man with Rafe and Tamara. Then he finds one photo tucked among the others. It's the Holiday Card from years ago with the picture of Norm in bed with the Secretary. It's a quick moment, but a sobering one for Norm.
zack exits his room only to find Norm's wet clothes have been arranged on the radiators throughout the apartment and on the shower rod in an effort to help them dry quickly.
INT. ZAeK'S KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS
Zack enters to find Norm rearranging the dirty silverware in the dishwasher's silverware basket.
zAeK What are you doing?
It's a little known fact: If you put the dirty forks in one slot, dirty spoons in the next, table knives, you get the picture, then when you go to unload, it's one simple grab.
And a real time saver --
There's a KNOCK at the door. Saved. Zack goes to open the door.
NORM (to himself)
So much to teach you.
Zack opens the door and finds Hope on the other side, holding keys.
BeYr you. I've been calling --
ZACK (blocks the door) Oh, right. Hi.
You gonna let me in?
HOPE Very funny.
Hope tries to enter, but Zack won't let her in. HOPE'S POV: The clutter in Zack's apartment. That's unusual.
HOPE What's going on? (beat)
Are you with someone?
Zack can't find the words but he looks guilty.
You know, Zack, it's normal to want to have one last fling.
(a slight beat)
I just need you to be honest _
Okay, there is someone (here).
HOPE (suddenly in tears) I knew it.
He's 57. Balding. On the chubby side.
Oh. Oh! He's your dad.
Angle on Norm, listening, as Zack and Hope whisper the following:
That's not the word I'd use. He's more of a donor.
Beat as Hope is confused.
In my dictionary, Dad is a verb.
Angle on Norm, moving down the hall, doing whatever he can so as to get a look at Zack's girl.
ZACK (0. s. )
Dad's do things. And Norm doesn't. Hasn't. Never will.
I want to meet him.
No, you met my mom and my brother, but I draw the line with Norm.
I've spent my whole life trying not to be him. And if you meet him it might very likely freak you out.
But what if it only makes me love you more
That's not a risk I'm prepared to --
Hope pushes her way into the apartment.
Hello? Hello, Mr. King?
Beat. Norm steps out into the living room, wearing the illfitting sweat suit.
Hi, I'm Hope. Zack's fiance.
NORM Norman King.
Norm begins a slow cross down the narrow hallway. Although dressed in a mish-mash of Zack's borrowed gym clothes, he carries himself with the gentlemanly air of a man from an earlier era.
(under his breath, with a tiny hint of respect) Unbelievable.
But please call me Norm.
In a gallant gesture, he takes her hand and kisses it.
Nice to meet you, Norm.
The pleasure is mine.
OK, let's get you a cab.
EXT. ZAeK'S APARTMENT BUILDING - NIGHT
Norm peeks out Zack's apartment window as •••
zack puts Hope in a cab.
He's sweet. A big teddy bear. I see a resemblance. You have the same chin, or eyes, or something
Oh, no -- I'm nothing like him. Nothing at all.
INT. ZAeK'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Zack re-enters to find Norm with arms open and a big grin.
That girl. Whoa. WOW!
(basking in this moment) I know, right?
Son, you got the touch. eause she is lovely, too.
What do you mean, too?
Well, so's the other one. The widow. I mean, they're both clearly fine, fine women. You've got yourself into quite a pickle
What are you talking about?
And I son. great
don't know how to help you, Except to tell you Norm's two
There are many amazing women in the
And you can't marry them all.
AS Zack exits into his bedroom:
ZACK Good night.
INT. ZACK'S BEDROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
Zack lies face down on his bed. There'S a light KNOCK on his door.
NORM Zack, you asleep?
Norm flips on the bedroom light switch. Zack squints from the sudden light.
I was thinking since this is my only night, you might come out and
sit with me --
INT. ZACK'S KITCHEN - NIGHT
Zack takes a seat at his small kitchen table. Norm sets out two cereal bowls, two spoons, and a box of Lucky eharms.
Your favorite, am I right?
Yeah, when I was five.
Beat. As Norm pours the cereal, the milk:
Then think of it like old times.
Zack hesitates, then accepts the offering.
Zack and Norm continue to eat Lucky Charms in silence.
FADE TO BLACK:
We hear the sound of a HAIR DRYER.
INT. ZACK'S LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Norm is dressed for the day in his clothes except for his pants. He's presently using Zack's hair dryer to dry them. Superimpose: Thursday.
Norm turns. Zack is standing in the doorway, ready for work.
I gotta run. I hope you got what you wanted. Just pull the door hard behind you ,make sure it locks.
NORM Uhm, OK. So ...
Zack extends a hand to shake.
ZACK Well, then ••• (beat) Goodbye.
Norm clearly wants more. But the handshake will be all. Zack goes.
INT. ZACK'S CUBIeLE -- DAY
Zack at work. Busy morning. Phone lines lit up. He hits the button for line 2.
ZAeK (ON PHONE)
LELA (ON FILTER)
Honey, I tried you at home first.
ZACK (ON PHONE) What's wrong?
LELA (ON FILTER) Everything's fine. I just need $5,000.
Zack can't help but ••• laugh.
SMASH eUT TO:
EXT. STREET eORNER - WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN - DAY
Zack's car comes to a sudden stop at the street corner where Matt stands, waiting.
Matt gets in the car.
This is some shit, huh?
Matt holds up a CD.
My latest. To take the edge off.
EXT. FDR (EAST SIDE) HIGHWAY - DAY
Zack drives up the FDR with Matt riding shotgun, listening to the heavy percussive beat of Matt's latest. They SHOUT over the music.
He's staying with you?!
Just for one night. Don't worry. Elvis has left the building.
You mean, fat Elvis!
Beat. The brothers share a moment of levity.
Zack hands Matt a Fed Ex Package. Matt opens it and pulls out ••. various sizes of MAN'S WIG.
I wasn't sure what size. I can return the others.
You want me to wear this?
Yeah, for the party this Saturday.
Are you fucking kidding me?
Come on, Matt. It's been a rough week. Norm. The tube up my dick! Now this thing with Mom!
OK, OK, I'll wear it --
Beat. For Zack, a brief moment of relief. Then ..•
As they drive on, Matt(on the eD) starts to SCREAM:
EXT. ZACK'S CHILDHOOD HOME - DAY
Zack's car pulls up at the house.
What Zack and Matt see: The house is in the process of being covered/draped by a huge, striped tent. Long, cylindrical sandbags are being placed along the house's foundation to seal the bottom of the tent. WORKERS empty the house. OTHER WORKERS carry several large industrial fans inside.
ZACK No, this can't be
As Zack and Matt get out of Zack's car, they are met by Lela, who is distraught but smiling.
Mom, what's going on?
Thanks for coming. It was a free inspection, but somehow it's not so free. It seems we're infested.
And they've got pictures. Wait till you see the pictures -they're chewing away at our foundation --
Mom, Mom -- It's OK. I'll take it from here.
Why don't you and Matt go make us all some lemonade?
Matt leads Lela into the house.
OK, gentlemen, let's see the pictures:
MOMENTS LATER --
Close on Pictures taken on a Digital Camera: The images look legitimate. Termite damage. wood shavings on joists. Definite proof.
ZAeK What's this?
These are Powder Post Beetles.
ZACK And what's this?
WORKER Drywood Termites.
Nasty suckers, no doubt. problem, mother fuckers: not our house.
Just one That's
The Man acts as if he doesn't understand what Zack said.
Oh, now you can't speak English -you certainly could when you sold your bill of goods to our mom --
To the workers who have continued to work:
You can stop! stop!
But, this, only way, to get rid of, infestation .••
Here's how we get rid of the infestation. You gather up your shit. You pack it up. And you leave and you never come back --
Zack stops when he sees
Norm standing in the yard.
Oh, Christ. What are you
Your mother left a long message on your phone machine. And I thought maybe she could use my help.
ZACK (to Norm) You got balls.
(to the workers) Pack it up. Let's go!
Let's not overlook the larger issue here.
Oh, and what's that?
Someone's taken advantage of your mom.
Someone's always taking advantage of Mom. And I'll handle it the way I always do. Without you.
Son, I took a subway and two buses to get here. And I'm not turning back --
Lela (followed by Matt) swings open the door. Zack crosses toward them, attempting to block their view --
Hey -- OK, I have everything under control
My lord. Is that Norman?
Lela leans against the door frame for support.
LELA What's he want?
I have no clue. He just showed up. And I can't seem to get rid of him.
Lela gingerly assesses her hair, combing it with her fingers, one hand tucks the loose ends behind her ears, while the other hand absently smooths out her blouse.
LELA He's older.
Angle on Norm coming up the walk, his face solemn, his gait slow and formal, milking the gravity of this reunion.
Hello, Lela. You look wonderful.
(her voice cold and strong)
Hi, Norm. It's been a long time.
NORM Mattie, my boy.
(a deer in headlights)
Something in Matt starts to change. His Berlin wall of rage comes tumbling down. zack senses the shift.
zAeK Matt, stay strong
MATT Oh. Oh boy.
Be a man
I - can't - help - it. I'vemissed - the big guy.
Matt moves toward his dad for a much-needed hug.
Moved by their reunion, Lela stares awestruck --
I'll get more lemonade
She starts for the door, but before she gets inside, she bursts loudly into tears.
ZACK (to himself) This is so fucked.
EXT. ZACK'S CHILDHOOD HOME - LATER THAT DAY
Zack supervises the worker's hasty departure. They finish loading up the last of the fumigation supplies - the rolledup tent, the over-sized fans. Zack points out some tarp clips that were left behind. Norm and Matt watch.
Are they Ukrainian?
They're outta here is what they are.
In the late 90's, I dated a string of Ukrainian women. Big hips. Great girls. Full of life.
TWO WORKERS pass by, talking in Ukrainian to each other.
WORKER ONE (in Ukrainian)
Asshole Americans. Not my fault she's a dumb broad.
NORM (in Ukrainian)
Did you call her a dumb broad?
Beat. One Worker looks at the other. Then he looks at Norm.
WORKER ONE Yes, that's what I said.
Norm smiles. As if he agrees. The Two Workers laugh. Norm laughs. Zack watches wondering What the fuck? Suddenly Norm grabs Worker One by the collar and head butts hlffi!
(as he dives in) It's on.
Suddenly it's a free-for-all - fists fly - as Norm, Matt and the Workers go at it. Zack is the last to join in.
Lela emerges from the house with a fresh pitcher of lemonade seeing the melee, she drops the pitcher, and as it shatters,
EXT. FRONT YARD - ZAeK'S eHILDHOOD HOME - AN HOUR LATER
Police Lights flash from Two Police Cars.
Scraped and bruised, Zack and Matt along with Lela sit on the porch watching as ••.
Norm talks with TWO POLICEMEN. The situation is serious, but whatever Norm says gets the policeman laughing.
In his twisted mind, this will be seen as a victory.
Zack waves it off, as if not a problem. When in fact it is turning out to be a huge problem.
The policemen get in their squad cars and drive away.
Norm approaches Lela and the boys.
That's what I'm talking about! The importance of relationships. Good thino yours truly remembered the arresting officer's father trom ~ne Riverdale Rotary Club. Otherwise I think they would've locked us up -And boys, thanks for having my back. What a team. The Fighting Kings.
(under his breath) Yeah, we're some team.
Hey, anybody up for some grub? My treat.
Beat. No takers in sight, it seems.
Zack shoots a look at Matt.
All that fighting got me pumped. I'm starved. Mom?
Only if we do drive through.
Norm smiles. A partial victory.
Drive through, it is. Zack?
Zack, in disgust, heads to his car.
Norm, Lela, and Matt watch as Zack backs up quickly and speeds off.
NORM Where's he going?
INT. TAMARA'S KITCHEN - DAY
A CHUNK OF ICE is broken into pieces in the sink. Tamara fills a large Ziploc bag with ice chips.
I don't need (ice)
Yes, you do. Hold still.
Tamara applies the ice to Zack's wrecked hand.
And your dad can't be all bad, defending your morn's honor that way.
I had it all under control. And then Norm --1 And now they've gone out to dinner, as if nothing ever happened, as if it's all suddenly OK •••
Zack watches as Tamara moves closer to readjust the ice.
They don't get it. He's up to something, he's not to be trusted. Am I the only one who can see that?
Sophie, post-nap, comes into the room.
Maybe try to enjoy him for whatever time you get.
(picks up Sophie) Hey, lamby.
Sophie notices Zack's hand wrapped in ice. She looks worried.
Zack removes the ice to show Sophie his damaged hand.
It's nothing. Just a little scrape, see?
Sophie moves closer, then kisses the hand.
TAMARA Now it's all better.
No. Mommy, you kiss it, too.
Beat as both Zack and Tamara hesitate. What's the big deal?
Tamara is about to kiss his hand when the phone rings.
I should probably get that --
Yeah, you probably should ...
While Tamara talks on the phone, sophie climbs allover Zack. He's a human jungle gym again.
Last thing, important think, look who I ran into ••.
On Zack. what? Then he sees
Hope standing over by a row of park benches. She smiles, shrugs slightly, as if to say, "This is awkward." (Note:
She's dressed in a less uptight, more downtown style.)
She's been waiting to talk to you.
EXT. STRAWBERRY FIELDS PLAYGROUND - MOMENTS LATER
Zack and Hope sit on a bench, in mid-conversation. While Hope talks, Zack effortlessly splits his focus with her and Henry who plays with other kids on the nearby jungle gym.
And I got my own place in the Village, it's a studio. And I pay for it myself. So it's all good.
ZAeR I'm happy for you.
Henry runs up.
He shows Hope a missing tooth.
Yep, it's still gone.
Henry turns around and runs off.
HOPE He seems great.
ZAeR (means it)
He is. He's amazing.
A beat as they both watch Henry play.
Look, I'm still (sorry) •.•
Thanks for your letter. I even showed my parents who, by the way, miss you.
ZACR Yeah, right.
No, they really do miss you. (sees someone)
Hey, I'll be right there --
Hope's new boyfriend arrives at the entrance of the playground. Picture a nose ring, slacker, the anti-Zack.
I would introduce you but he might punch you or thank you or both, so next time?
zack gives a friendly wave to the new boyfriend.
Hope starts to go, but stops, turns back.
Zack -- are you with her?
ZACK Huh? Oh, no. No.
What's stopping you?
On Zack. A good question. But before he can answer, he is interrupted by Henry who playfully jumps on him.
EXT. GARAGE/DRIVEWAY - ZAeR'S eHILDHOOD HOME - DAY
Zack's car pulls into Lela's driveway. Along with Henry, the car is packed full with camping supplies. Zack honks his horn.
MOMENTS LATER --
In the front yard, Zack is moving the contents of his chest to a larger ice chest he's borrowing from Lela. offers Henry a popsicle, which he takes and begins to open.
ice Lela tear
How long are you going for?
Who knows? We'll figure it out, take it one night at a time.
(to Henry, re: the
How is it, little buddy?
(softly to Zack)
You and your brother have done such a good job with him. He's doing great. But I worry you're forgetting about you
ZACK (laughs if off)
Mom, I'm on it. I'll take care of me. Later.
Zack, you're looking at later.
Beat. Zack looks at his mom.
I just wish you'd think about what you want --
Zack smiles, because he knows what he wants. And he's ready to go for it. We hear TINK--TINK--TINK!
SMASH CUT TO:
eLOSE ON •••
A tent stake is being hammered into the ground. And Zack is doing the hammering.
ANGLE ON ..•
A picture window. The sounds outside have brought Sophie to the window. Soon Tamara appears
TAMARA'S POV: Her front yard. A pup tent has been put up. Zack is driving in the final tent stake.
Moments later --
Henry helps Zack unload the rest of the camping supplies from Zack's car.
Tamara and Sophie come out of the house. Sophie wanders over to Henry.
Zack sees Tamara who looks wary.
I hope you don't mind
TAMARA Actually, I do mind
Since it's Henry's first time, I wanted it to be a real special spot. Soft, level ground.
(looks at Tamara) with a nice view.
Zack, this isn't going to (work)
Before you tell me why this is a bad idea or that you have other plans, just know: The tent's brand new. Sleeps four. But no pressure.
Before Tamara can counter
And we are stocked. We're ready for anything. Aren't we, Henry?
Henry goes back to playing with Sophie.
Tamara takes in the scene. The kids playing, the vast array of supplies, the tent, and finally, Zack, who stands before her, confident and determined.
That said, it's the wild. We'll definitely be roughing it.
ZAeR (CONT' D) (beat, smiles)
But it could be an adventure.
On Tamara. She's clearly touched, but we don't know yet what she's going to do.
PRE-LAP ..• the sound of APPLAUSE
INT. BOWERY BALLROOM - NIGHT
Matt steps forward into the bright stage lights of the Bowery Ballroom. We hear a crowd of people eHEERING
This is for family - old and new •..
And Matt begins to play his newest. (It plays over the rest of the film.) The song is spare, raw, honest. IT HAS WORDS.
As Matt sings, people in the crowd hold up cell phones, flick their lighters
INT. ZAeR'S TENT - TAMARA'S YARD - NIGHT
CLOSE ON the flickering light from an electric lamp~
Zack and Tamara, in sleeping bags -- wide awake. Between them, Sophie and Henry sleep.
Zack and Tamara whisper the following:
So, what's the going rate for the tooth fairy?
TAMARA We do a dollar.
Oh. So I guess ten was too much.
OK, in no particular order: How often should a five year old shampoo? Is it bad that he still naps? And when do he and I have the sex talk?
Maybe after you and I have the sex talk ...
Something in the way they look at each other suggests great possibility.
ZAeR Good point.
without disturbing the kids, Zack crawls to Tamara's side of the tent.
What els ? TAMARA e.
EXT. TAMARA'S YARD - NIGHT - eONTINUOUS
We're outside the tent now. The camera is slowly pulling back, up and away
There are so many questions.
TAMARA ( 0 • S • ) Fire away.
I'd love to know your thoughts on this one: Matt thinks potato chips count as a vegetable.
TAMARA (O.S.) (laughing)
But what if they're baked
Good, we agree. Now what about •••
As they continue to talk and laugh, the Camera continues its pull back, slowly rising up. Everything gets smaller, but more can be seen. The glowing tent, the yard, the stars.
Sunday, 11 October 2009
pp1-63, 1o1-126 of unnamed screenplay, scanned with errors