INT. BEDROOM - APARTMENT - DAY
The sweet silence of slumber. Suddenly, an alarm clock on a
nightstand SHRIEKS the operatic tones of Maria Callas.
A well-manicured hand, nails painted pink, slaps the snooze
button and mutes Maria. A few seconds reprieve.
Then, another clock, stationed on a dresser, broadcasts the
FORTISSIMO POUNDING of the "William Tell Overture." Toes,
also painted pink, swing out of bed and run to the dresser.
LETTY MAYER, late 20s and beautiful, turns off the music.
She opens a dresser drawer and surveys panties that are
arranged by color, from white to beige to black. Behind the
panties are rows of bras, also organized by color. Letty
pulls out some taupe undergarments, checks them against her
nails and replaces them in favor of a pink bra and panties.
Letty goes to her closet and removes a tailored, pink linen
suit. She lays it on the bed. Beast, her cat, jumps on the
bed and settles into the jacket. Letty swoops the animal off
her clothes and brushes cat hair from the suit.
Listen, Beast. What have I told
you about linen?
The scolding is cut short by an "Urge Overkill" song that
SCREAMS OUT from another room. On cue, Letty heads down the
hall, dressing as she goes. She CLUCKS for Beast to follow.
INT. KITCHEN - SAME
Letty turns off the alarm clock that BLASTS "Urge Overkill"
from the counter and checks the time against her watch.
She swings open a cupboard to look at cans of cat food
arranged by type. Seafood on the left, chicken in the
middle, then, naturally, beef. Letty reaches for a can.
(looking at Beast)
It's liver saute.
Letty considers the cat a moment, and chooses another can.
Fine, then, chicken in gravy. But
you're going to have to eat the
INT. BATHROOM - SAME
Letty puts the finishing touches on her make-up and pulls
back her hair, plastering an errant curl into place with hair
spray. Yet another alarm clock sounds, this time BLARING the
voice of shock jocks MARK AND BRIAN.
INT. ENTRY HALL - SAME
Letty hurries down the hall and turns off the clock, which is
mounted near the front door. She bends down to kiss the cat
good-bye, grabs a briefcase and leaves.
EXT. HALLWAY - CHASEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - DAY
A school bell BUZZES. Grade-schoolers, clutching lunch
pails, scurry past Letty, who stands outside an office door.
She straightens her jacket, takes a deep breath and starts to
turn the handle.
Letty is stopped cold when CHANDRA, 7, the victim of a bloody
nose, runs up to her, bawling.
Miss Mayer. Miss Mayer.
Letty looks quickly at Chandra, her watch, the door.
Goodness, this is a bad one. Tip
your head back.
She bends down and pushes back Chandra's head. Chandra, off
balance, places one very bloody hand on Letty's jacket lapel,
staining it for all eternity.
Letty, grimacing, takes the bloody hand firmly in her own and
guides Chandra down the hall, coaxing the child as she goes.
Come on. Pinch it, Chandra. Pinch
INT. PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE - CHASEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - LATER
PRINCIPAL GAIL LAUER, 40s, sits in uncomfortable silence with
BILL JOHANSEN, the 50-something school Superintendent. Also
present are MRS. MONTES, who is a School Board Member, and
two other BOARD MEMBERS.
Principal Gail glances at the clock. Mrs. Montes taps her
foot. Johansen clears his throat.
Well, I have a full calendar today,
and I'm afraid...
The door bursts open. Letty stumbles into the room. She
clutches her briefcase to her chest, trying to cover her
Mr. Johansen, hello. I'm so sorry
I'm late. It's very nice to meet
Letty continues to hug the briefcase while awkwardly bending
down to shake hands with Johansen and the others.
The Superintendent was just getting
ready to leave.
I do apologize. A student had a
A crisis, you say?
A bloody nose...
There is no response. Letty reluctantly lowers the briefcase
and reveals the stain.
A bloody nose of epic proportions.
OK, Miss Mayer. Ten minutes. Wow
EXT. PLAYGROUND - CHASEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - LATER
A bunch of BOYS play kickball in a haze of sawdust. Chandra
sits on a bench, clamping an ice pack to her nose. JENNY, a
limber 8-year-old, hangs upside down from the jungle gym.
Letty talks on her CELL PHONE. She glances around to monitor
her wards, eyes darting like a hawk's toward the kickball
No cherry drops, Jenny.
(into the phone)
Yes, hi. I'm calling for Paul
Could you tell him it's Letty?
He can't? Um, well, tell him, tell
him that they went for my math
Letty dials again. She sees two boys fighting over the ball
and moves in to break them up.
Not so rough, guys.
Mom? Hi. You'll never guess
what...I've got the best news.
No, about work. How about dinner?
Brawl averted, out of the corner of her eye, Letty catches
Jenny make the daring Cherry Drop back flip off the bar. She
blows a series of ANGRY, STACCATO NOTES on her whistle.
You're in trouble, young lady.
(into the phone)
I know, Mom. But it's the only
place I can call from.
Can you tell Ruth about dinner?
Paul's fine, just fine.
The class bell BUZZES.
Got to go, Mom. The monsters call.
INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT
Tuxedoed waiters glide through the tony restaurant, where the
patrons dare speak only in hushed tones. Letty sits sipping
wine with her mother, MRS. MARTHA MAYER, immaculate in a
cream suit, young looking for her 50-odd years.
Letty's sister RUTH--early 20s and pretty, with flyaway hair
and an ever-present smile--bounds into the restaurant, oozing
happiness. Letty discretely waves her over.
Sorry I'm late.
Letty pours her a glass of wine.
Letty was just getting ready to
tell me her good news.
(leaning toward Letty)
Letty, dear, is that a cat hair on
Letty removes the nasty hair from her blouse.
So, I got the district to approve
my after-school math program.
Ruth smiles at her, but vacantly.
How wonderful, darling.
What does that mean for you?
I'll be running it three days a
Will you get time off to do that?
Not now, but maybe later, if they
like the program.
Ruth stares around the restaurant, a shit-eating grin
plastered across her face.
What's up with you?
Me? Nothing. Tell me more about
Not a job, a promotion.
No, Mom, it's more of a prestige
Letty passes her hand in front of Ruth's eyes.
Ruth. Calling Ruth.
Just go ahead and tell us.
There's nothing to tell.
Are you sure, Dear?
No, really. Tell me about the
Well, my theory is that people can
really enjoy math, but they lose
Ruth can't hold it a moment longer without bursting.
I'm getting married.
Mrs. Mayer's eyes immediately fill with tears. Ruth leaps up
and hugs her mother. Other diners glance toward the table.
One WOMAN IN THE RESTAURANT taps the side of her glass with
her fork and raises a silent toast to Ruth. Other DINERS
follow suit. Ruth grins back and starts to giggle.
I'm so happy for you. It's just
Mrs. Mayer dabs her eyes with her napkin.
My goodness. A wedding. My
Ruth dashes around the table to embrace the stunned Letty.
Can you believe it?
Ruth sits back down and pulls a gorgeous ring from her purse.
She slips it on and wiggles her finger in front of Letty and
her mother, who peers at it with approval.
Tell us every detail.
You've only known Jake a few
Three and a week.
Isn't it great?
My goodness. What about an
engagement party? We must start
(signaling a waiter)
Champagne. Girls, we need some
Off Letty's frozen smile, we
INT. BEDROOM - LETTY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Letty's in bed, drawing a giant multiplication chart. PAUL
LASCHER, early 30s, handsome in a corporate way, shrugs off
his expensive suit.
He opens a drawer of Letty's dresser, and removes a neatly
pressed T-shirt. He smooths out another shirt he has
accidently rumpled in the process.
So, another one bites the dust.
It's not another one. It's my
Aren't you happy for her?
She's only known the guy a few
Paul lays his folded trousers across Letty's desk.
Can I put these here for tonight?
(pointing to the closet)
In there's better.
It's kind of romantic, don't you
I really think if you're going to
spend your life with someone you
want to know them pretty damn well.
Paul sits on the bed, and leans against a pillow.
Believe me, I know your feelings on
The receptionist said you called
earlier about something.
Letty holds up her multiplication chart and shows it to Paul.
My math program. The
Superintendent said he'd fund it.
Good going. I knew you could do
Paul kisses Letty on the cheek.
It looks like we're both bucking
Huntley told me today that if I
come through on the Benton
deposition, they may consider me
for senior associate.
Letty hugs Paul.
Congratulations. We should
I was thinking dinner on Friday
with James and Meg at the Saint
I mean tonight.
Letty sensually caresses his shoulders.
Like right now...
Actually, I need to review the
deposition questions tonight.
Oh, ok. Maybe.
But I thought if you don't mind,
you could listen and see how I come
Sure. Of course.
Letty continues coloring her multiplication chart.
Letty, please, I need your full
Letty puts the chart down and sits up straighter.
Let me have it.
INT. CLASSROOM - CHASEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - DAY
Letty rubs her eyes with fatigue. Bobby stands next to her
holding a crumpled paper bag.
My dog ate my turtle, and the shell
went crunch. I brought it for show-
The children perk up at this news.
I'm sorry about your turtle Bobby,
but you know we only have show-and-
tell on Mondays. Today, we're
scheduled for grammar.
But my mom says I have to throw it
Bobby opens the bag. He reaches in to remove the turtle. The
children TITTER. Letty's on him in a second.
Don't even think about it.
She grabs the bag. From outside, there is a KNOCK. Letty
and the students look toward the window.
It's Ruth. She's been crying. She waves to Letty. Chandra
waves back at Ruth.
Letty puts up her finger to signal "just a minute" to Ruth.
She sets the turtle bag on Bobby's desk.
Class, why don't you...
Ruth knocks on the glass again. Letty glances at her
distraught sister and walks quickly toward the door.
You guys pull out your verb sheets
and review them.
Letty leaves the room. The class watches through the window
as Ruth throws her sobbing self into Letty's arms.
EXT. HALLWAY - CHASEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - SAME
She says she won't even come if Dad
Mom won't miss your wedding.
She'll come around. I promise she
Letty glances through the window at her classroom, where
Bobby waves the turtle over his head.
I'll talk to her, and to Dad, too.
A few wisely-chosen guilt tactics
and they'll be ours.
Maybe if we had them both to dinner
Letty looks again at the classroom, where the students are
lobbing the turtle back and forth.
You always throw the best dinner
Letty's attention snaps back to Ruth.
Oh, wait a minute, now I see where
Mom and Dad? At dinner together?
Are you crazy?
Ruth starts to sob--big, loud, air-gulping sobs. Letty pats
Maybe, though. Maybe it would
work. I could throw you an
engagement party maybe.
Principal Gail, trolling the halls, spies Letty with Ruth.
She dispatches a stern look in Letty's direction.
(nodding toward Gail)
You know what, Ruthie? I better get
back to my class, OK?
And the party?
Yeah, it'll be fun.
Ruth grabs Letty in another hug.
Thank you so much.
INT. CLASSROOM - SAME
Letty strides into the classroom, pulls the turtle away from
Bobby and drops it in the trash.
Who can come up here and give me a
sentence with a "to be" verb in it?
Who was that girl?
Come on up, Zach.
Zach approaches the board and begins to write, "I am..." He
doesn't get any further before Letty cuts him off.
Zach begins again, but Letty stops him when he reaches "am."
Zach, you know the line by the "a"
has to come straight down or it
looks like an "o."
Zach looks back toward his classmates for help.
What's wrong, Zach?
Letty picks up a piece of chalk and writes an "a." She
erases it furiously and works at it until the "a" is perfect.
Try again, Zach. Like that.
Letty jabs at the board with a piece of chalk. Zach freezes.
He sees Letty's shoes, her arm, her contorted face, and,
above all else, that perfect "a" staring right back down at
Letty grips Zach's arm, guiding the chalk to form what looks
like a pretty good "a."
I don't believe it. You still
can't do it.
I'm sorry, OK, Miss Mayer?
No, it's not OK. You'll never get
to college on OK.
Letty's fingers press into Zach's arm. A tear slides
ominously down his cheek.
It has to be good, Zach. Do you
Zach wrests free of Letty. He's in full cry now. He backs
away, stumbles, then makes a run for his seat. Bobby
SNICKERS at Zach's misfortune. Other children glance around,
Letty looks vacantly at the children, stares at the board and
looks at the children again.
She sits down at her desk and buries her face in her hands.
Letty's fists, clenched at first, slowly relax. She takes a
deep breath and raises her head.
I'm very, very sorry, Zach.
Zach continues to cry. Letty looks down at her desk. She
grabs a piece of construction paper and a jar of paste.
You know what, guys? Wednesday's
not a grammar day. It's a collage
day. It's a collage ON THE WALL
Letty jumps up. She slaps the paper on the wall with some
paste. She motions for the students to join her.
The children slowly approach her. Zach lags behind.
And, Zach? Zach, I want you to be
in charge of paste.
INT. BEDROOM - LETTY'S APARTMENT - DAY
Letty lies in bed. The alarm clock BLASTS opera. Letty
fumbles for the switch. She can't turn it off. She yanks
out the cord.
Letty gets out of bed, walks to the dresser and turns off the
second clock before it rings. She goes to the KITCHEN and
snaps off the alarm, then heads down the HALLWAY and shuts
that alarm off, as well.
Letty hurries back to her BEDROOM and crawls into bed. Paul,
toweling his hair dry, walks in.
What are you doing? You're going
to be late.
I'm calling in sick.
Paul sits on the bed and puts his hand to Letty's forehead.
You don't have a fever.
I don't feel like going to work
Won't it be hard for them to get a
substitute this late?
It'll be OK.
But what about that math project?
Paul, I just can't go. Is that OK
with you or am I committing some
Forget I asked.
I'm just...I'm so tired lately.
Maybe you ought to see a doctor.
No, it's not like that.
Letty starts to cry.
It's just I've got those parent
conferences, and I'm supposed to
set up the math program by next
And shopping for Ruth's dress and
that, that engagement dinner.
You can get out of the dinner.
No, I can't. I've already
convinced both Mom and Dad to come.
Come on, Letty. It'll get done.
Paul touches Letty's shoulder. She pulls away from him.
I don't think so.
Of course it will. Remember the
big talent show you planned last
year? And what about the Christmas
benefit when Santa canceled at the
last minute? But you still pulled
You just need to get more
Let's make a list of the things you
need to do, OK?
Letty nods her head, and Paul grabs a legal pad from his
INT. CLASSROOM - CHASEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - NIGHT
MR. and MRS. ANDERSON, over-eager parents, sit across the
desk from Letty, who stares at the legal pad in her lap. As
the Andersons talk, Letty twists a lock of hair tighter and
So at home, we've started our own
little library for Chandra.
We thought it would be a good
project for her to set up her own
Letty tries unsuccessfully to extricate her hand from her
But what I'm wondering is whether
we should also be spending more
time on her computer skills at
home. What do you think?
Because we don't want her to get
behind her classmates.
And we trust your opinion.
Chandra's always talking about Miss
Just the other day she came home
and told us about you taking care
of her bloody nose.
And she went on and on about the
collage. That seems very
inventive, Miss Mayer.
Letty stares blankly at the couple.
What the fuck. It's my job.
Off Mr. Anderson's raised eyebrow, we
INT. LIVING ROOM - LETTY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
The room is a mess of scattered papers and the math Twister
game. Letty sits on the ground crying. She makes a pyramid
out of the wadded-up tissues that surround her.
INT. BRIDAL SHOP - DAY
The upscale shop is festooned with pastels and lace and lots
of signs announcing "Sale Day." Frenzied women pick through
dresses as "Pachelbel's Canon" plays in the background.
Letty is wedged into a corner, sipping coffee. A CLERK
approaches her with a coffee pot and tray of pastries.
(rooting through the tray)
No more bear claws left?
Ruth bounces into the shop.
Oh, no thanks, I'm too excited to
The clerk gives Ruth an approving smile as Letty rips into a
sweet roll. Ruth looks through a nearby rack of gowns.
Do you have to call her Mommy?
Where's the old bag I sometimes
She said she'd be here at 10.
Ruth pulls a dress from the rack and holds it up.
What do you think of this one?
I'd have to see it on.
Ruth looks closer at Letty.
Have you been crying? Your eyes
are all puffy.
Letty self-consciously touches her eyes.
Things have been kind of stressful
But everything's OK?
Ruth is trying on a veil at this point.
Yeah, everything's under control.
What about the engagement party?
Everything's ready for tomorrow
night--except the artillery.
Thanks so much for planning it,
Letty. Jake's really looking
forward to it.
Letty sighs, moves to the racks and pulls out a dress.
You better start trying on before
the vultures get all the good ones.
INT. DRESSING ROOM - LATER
uth twirls around in a taffeta gown as Letty picks up
discarded dresses from the floor and hangs them up.
What about this one?
(with sisterly pride)
You look beautiful.
Martha Mayer is led in by the clerk.
Look, Mom, I think I've found the
You look just wonderful, Ruthie.
But I really think you should try
on a few more, don't you?
Letty and Ruth shoot each other a look of doom.
INT. BRIDAL SHOP - LATER
A bedraggled Letty and her mother fight the crowds to look at
dresses. They are bumped and jostled from all sides.
Has Paul heard about his promotion?
No, not yet. But you know Paul.
He's sure to get it.
Ruth comes out of the dressing room in another gown.
I don't like the bias cut on that
Mrs. Mayer holds up an ornate dress.
No more. I can't stand to try on
one more dress.
Letty, I think this would be
beautiful on you.
Paul could pop the question at any
Especially with a promotion in the
Go on, Letty. I want to see it on
Do you think I should?
Yes, yes. It'll be fun.
Letty takes the gown and disappears into the dressing room.
INT. BRIDAL SHOP - LATER
Letty emerges from the dressing room.
Mom? Mom? Ruth?
Letty peers around the corner, becoming a tad frantic. But
neither her mother nor Ruth is to be found. It's just Letty,
resplendent in ecru satin.
I think they went over to the next
shop to take a peek at shoes.
Letty pushes back her veil, sits down on the floor and takes
a sip of her now-cold coffee.
INT. LETTY'S LIVING/DINING ROOM - EVENING
A "House and Garden" picture of elegance. Letty, Paul, Ruth
and Jake stand at nervous attention, decked out in their
A KNOCK marks the first arrival. Letty opens the door to her
mother, who does a quick reconnaissance of the room.
I gather he's late as usual.
(to her mother)
Can I get you a glass of champagne?
The doorbell RINGS. Letty greets her father, a mid 50s
business type, and his wife MONICA, a younger version of
Hi, Dad, Monica. I'm so glad you
Suddenly, the parents are face-to-face, Letty standing
Mom, this is Monica. Monica, my
The two Mrs. Mayers make appropriate MURMURS. Letty's
parents stare each other down. Ruth shifts from foot to foot.
Silence falls in the room with a thump.
Dad, Mother, you've met before,
Ruth takes a dramatic gulp of air. The evening hangs in the
How've you been, Martha?
INT. LIVING ROOM - LETTY'S APARTMENT - LATER
Mr. Mayer and Monica cozy up to each other on the love seat
while Mrs. Mayer, Ruth and Paul sit on the opposite couch.
Letty passes hors d'oeuvres, and Jake doles out napkins.
It's mushroom-time, folks.
(biting into one)
I like the touch of cilantro. It is
cilantro, isn't it?
You can always call it, Dad.
You must get your cooking skills
from your father, Letty.
Uncomfortable silence falls on the party. Monica wipes the
edge of Mr. Mayer's mouth with her napkin.
Ruth's narrowed the dress hunt down
to two, Dad.
Tell me about them.
One's a silk...
Not in front of Jake, Ruthie. It's
Ruth looks at Letty nervously.
I remember how hard it was looking
for my dress. I must have been to
Mrs. Mayer clears her throat. More silence.
You know what I think we need?
Martinis. How about martinis to
That might be nice.
As long as you have...
Puglia olives. Would I forget?
A round of martinis coming right
Letty leaves with Paul hot on her heels.
INT. KITCHEN - SAME
Letty shakes the martinis while Paul gets out the glasses.
Ruth enters the kitchen and sidles up to Letty.
How can I help?
Paul, can you hand me the olives?
Ruth, I need you to, what was it?
What about the souffle? Has that
Yeah, I just put it in. But the
squab, I think that needs to be
Paul hands Letty the olive bottle.
Kind of icy in there.
Thank God we have alcohol.
Letty skewers olives and puts them in the martinis. Bits of
fleck rise from the olives, then swim to the tops of the
What's the matter?
Letty grabs the olive bottle.
Letty stands still, fixated on the olive bottle.
Olives Aux Herbes De Provence. I
got the wrong kind of olives.
Ruth holds up a glass.
What's all the dreck?
(in a sarcastic French
It'll be fine.
No, no. They've got to be Puglia
olives, packed in a light brine
with a flavor that doesn't
overpower the palate.
Jake enters. The three turn on him.
You can't leave them alone./Get
back in there./Are you nuts?
Jake whirls around and exits.
Letty looks for olives, banging open the cupboards one after
the other. Quicker and quicker. More and more frantic.
INT. LIVING ROOM - SAME
Jake, Mr. Mayer, Monica and Mrs. Mayer stare at each other,
listening with alarm to the wild slamming of cupboards in the
What do you think of those Lakers?
INT. KITCHEN - SAME
Letty paws through her purse.
What are you doing?
Can you loan me a 20?
I'm going to the store.
I think you're overreacting.
Letty turns her best school marm look on Paul. He hands over
a crisp bill.
Letty, dinner's almost ready. The
I'll be back before you can say
Letty leaves from the kitchen's back door. Ruth heads to the
living room. Paul leans wearily against the counter,
savoring one of the herb-filled martinis.
INT. GROCERY STORE - NIGHT
Fluorescent lights beat down on Letty. She races through the
aisles. She clutches her keys in one hand, a $20 bill in the
other. Letty careens around a corner. At the last second,
she avoids smacking into another shopper. She stops.
Shelf after shelf of olives...black olives...all black.
BACK TO SCENE:
Letty darts up and down the aisle, searching, searching.
Letty scurries to the front of the store. She taps a STORE
CLERK on the shoulder. Six people waiting in line mutter,
I can't find martini olives. All
you have are black.
(without looking up)
Letty whips down an aisle. She starts to sweat.
An OLD LADY blocks her path.
Excuse me, Miss. I can't reach the
Letty pauses. She reaches up and hands the woman a can of
And a turkey and giblets, too,
please. She does like her turkey.
Letty grabs another can, throws it in the Old Lady's cart and
darts away while the Old Lady continues to talk.
The sign for Aisle 2A. Olives. Lots of them. Green. All
shapes. All sizes.
BACK TO SCENE:
Letty's shoulders relax. She scans the shelf.
Labels of olives: big, small, with pimentos, without. None
from Puglia, Italy.
BACK TO SCENE:
Letty zooms back to the front of the store. To the clerk.
They're not there. I need the ones
She gets no response from the clerk, who counts change for a
customer. Letty gestures wildly with her hands.
They're the ones that are packed in
brine, but they don't overpower
the, you know, the palate.
(without looking up)
Specialty foods. 7B.
Letty's off again. To the land of pink peppercorns,
dehydrated mushrooms and Chinese 5-Spice. But no olives.
Not a single bottle.
Letty paws through the shelves, knocking things over as she
scours the aisle. She is oblivious to the mess that
An EMPLOYEE with a price checker walks half-way down the
aisle. He spots Letty and rushes away.
Where are they? Where are they?
More and more items crash to the ground. Letty is beyond
EMPLOYEE (OS FILTERED)
Manager to 7B. Manager please.
Where are they?
Letty pounds her fist against the shelf. More goods fall.
Shoppers stare. The Manager rushes toward Letty.
What's wrong, Miss?
Tell me where they are.
She gestures. She knocks over a bottle of fat-free
Lingonberry preserves. It crashes to the floor, spewing jam.
I think you should go now.
I need my olives.
It's time to leave.
The Manager places his hand on the small of Letty's back as
if to guide her out of the store. Letty backs away. The
manager grabs hold of her wrist.
Letty whacks him in the shoulder with her free hand. She
pushes him away. Hard. He staggers against the opposite
Customers and employees gather at both ends of the aisle,
riveted by the spectacle.
Call security. Where's security,
Letty takes her arm and slides a shelf-full of products onto
the floor. They crash and break. She screams.
Fucking olives. Fucking, fucking
Two SECURITY GUARDS turn the corner. Letty spots them. One
No, no, no. Go away.
Guard One continues to approach, cooing encouragingly. Letty
throws a jar at him. It clips him in the head. He turns
away, bleeding. Guard Two pulls out a billy club.
Call police. Now.
Letty stops. Dazed. She turns around. Guard Two walks toward
her. His stance suggests he's stalking a wild animal.
Letty tries to brush off the jam that dribbles down her
skirt. She looks to both ends of the aisle.
Faces, dozens and dozens of faces, stare down at her. People
point. One boy LAUGHS.
BACK TO SCENE:
Letty backs against the shelf. She slides down it until she
is sitting on the floor. She buries her head in her knees,
INT. LETTY'S ROOM - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
The room is furnished like a Hyatt Hotel minus anything you
might use to kill yourself. Letty sleeps.
MICHAEL, mid 30's, in jeans and T-shirt, sits in a chair next
to the bed. He looks intently at Letty, checks his watch and
taps her on the shoulder. She stirs.
Miss Mayer? Miss Mayer?
Everything's a morning blur. Gradually, items come into
focus -- the intercom for the nurse, the door with a window
in it, the three tissue boxes on the bedside table. It's a
hospital, all right. Letty's vision is filled suddenly by
Michael's concerned face peering into hers.
BACK TO SCENE:
I know you've had a rough night,
but I have a few questions for you,
Miss Mayer, or Letitia.
Letty pulls herself up to a sitting position.
Do you mind if I call you Letitia?
(consulting his notes)
First off, Letty, can you tell me
where you are?
I answered these questions last
I know this can be a real drag, but
the attending physician on day
shift is required to do his own
prelim exam when a patient is
admitted during the night.
Hillview Psychiatric Hospital.
Great. Now, Letty, I'd like you to
remember three items. I'm going to
ask you to repeat them in just a
few minutes. They are chair, cup
and ball. Did you get that?
OK, let's subtract 6 from a
succession of numbers starting with
And 85 minus 6?
No, 79. Sorry, this makes me
It's OK. It's not a pass-fail kind
Letty smiles uncomfortably.
Now the three things I asked you to
Chair, cup and ball.
Letty smiles, a real smile this time.
Let me shift gears here a minute...
Do you ever hear voices that other
people don't hear or see things
What about patterns? Do you find
yourself checking and re-checking
locks? Or washing your hands over
and over again?
Letty shakes her head "no."
How about arranging your
possessions in a certain way?
Yes? Go right ahead.
Sometimes my food, and my clothes,
and my underwear.
Michael leans closer.
How do you sort it--by lace and
What if it's got a pattern?
Is this really important? Because
I don't think it's a problem.
(looking at his notes)
How long has it been since you've
done something you've enjoyed,
A while, I guess.
That must be really difficult.
Letty tears up. Michael puts his hand lightly on her arm.
Hey, it'll be OK. We'll make sure
Letty gives him an appreciative look.
For now, why don't you just take it
easy while I confer with my
colleagues. A nurse should be in
INT. LETTY'S ROOM - LATER
Letty, dressed and made up, sits rigidly on the bed. She
writes in her organizer. DR. ROBERT EMLEE, early 40s and in
jeans, enters with his own organizer.
Hello, Letitia. I'm Dr. Emlee, and
I have some questions to ask you...
I did this already.
It's hospital policy...
To be interviewed every hour?
I'm the only doctor making rounds
Well, I don't have hallucinations.
This doctor, was he tall, with dark
Yeah, and a dimple.
Dr. Emlee shifts uncomfortably.
I'm afraid Lhe's not a doctor.
Psychologist, therapist, whatever.
Michael, the man who came to see
you, is a patient.
What kind of place is this?
I apologize for the inconvenience,
but I must ask you some...
I want to see my mother
We discourage family visits for the
first 48 hours after an emotional
trauma like the kind you've
I don't think you understand. I
You'll have to. Your family agreed
to the conditions not to see you
when they admitted you to Hillview,
We can talk about how that makes
you feel, but we can't change the
Letty sinks back on her pillows, the wind knocked out of her.
Dr. Stone's evaluation from last
night indicates you're experiencing
a great deal of anxiety, probably
related to depression...
Dr. Emlee continues to talk. His words become more and more
distant as the RINGING in Letty's head grows louder.
We need to talk about starting you
on drug therapy. Most depressive
personalities benefit from a drug
like Prozac or maybe Zoloft...
INT. REC ROOM - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - SAME
It's a bigger version of a waiting room you'd find in a
doctor's office. And it has more games.
Some patients watch television. Others play pool. Several
form a group around Michael, who holds the same notebook he
used in his session with Letty. JOHN, unkempt in a bathrobe,
hands him a few ratty dollar bills.
I'm in for 5 for manic depressive.
THOMAS, late 40s and in a suit, waves a $5 bill at Michael.
I'll go with that as well.
Michael takes the money, and turns to MARIE, late 30s.
(to John and Thomas)
You two always bet manic
Tell me more about the guard she
No, just hit in the head.
What about voices? Does she hear
Not that she admits to.
Is she a washer?
No, but she is exceptionally
She arranges her underwear by
Michael motions to MRS. HALLSTROM, mid 50s, who shuffles by.
Mrs. Hallstrom, you want in?
All tapped out.
I'll float you.
Mrs. Hallstrom keeps walking.
It's been weeks since she played.
What about you, Marie?
(handing Michael a $20
I'll say major depression
complicated by obsessive compulsive
And could I get my change in ones?
INT. HALLWAY - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - NIGHT
Letty lags behind NURSE GATES, early 30s and in civilian
clothes, as they walk down the hall.
Treatment schedules are posted on
the bulletin board. Dinner at 6,
lights out at 10 and no
fraternizing between patients.
(pointing as she goes)
That's the rec room. We show
movies there on Wednesdays and
Fridays...And this is the dining
Letty stops in her tracks at the sight of the room, an
upscale version of a college cafeteria. Groups of people eat
and talk. A paper airplane sails from one table to another.
I'm really not that hungry.
Just eat whatever you want. This
will give you a chance to meet some
You know, my mom's coming to get me
tomorrow. I'll be leaving.
It's OK, Letty. I'll be right here
INT. DINING HALL - SAME
Nurse Gates guides Letty to a table where John, Mrs.
Hallstrom, Marie and Thomas sit.
So I said to my publisher this
afternoon, I said, don't you even--
Hi, gang. I want to introduce you
Letty, this is Mrs. Hallstrom and
Marie, and John and Thomas.
Just discussing my pesky publisher.
May I ask what you do when you're
Let the poor girl get some food,
for Heaven's sake.
I'm a teacher.
As you may have gathered, I'm a
John snorts. Thomas ignores him. Mrs. Hallstrom stares down
at her plate.
I don't like to say novelist. That
sounds a little grandiose, but I am
on my third novel and...
Excuse me for interrupting, Thomas,
but we really should get some
Nurse Gates leads Letty to a table, and hands her a plate.
Letty looks up to see Michael at the other end of the table,
doing a card trick for two OTHER PATIENTS.
Now I'm going to say that the card
you picked was the Ace of Spades.
He flips the top card up and it's the Ace of Spades. The
Michael turns toward the nurse.
Michael, this is Letty. She just
Letty stares at Michael coldly.
I missed you during rounds this
Letty turns and leaves, carrying her empty plate with her.
This doctor thing has got to stop.
Nurses Gates hurries after Letty.
EXT. HALLWAY - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Letty stands outside the waiting room door. She tucks her
blouse into her jeans and enters.
INT. WAITING ROOM - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Letty's mother sits on the edge of a couch in a room that
looks much like the library of an English country manor. She
springs up as soon as she spots Letty. They rush to each
other. Letty's mother strokes her hair.
I'm here, Sweetheart. I'm here.
It's going to be OK.
I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
Oh, Letty, what happened?
Mom, I was there, and I just, I was
They didn't have the olives, and I,
I got so upset. I don't know how it
I've talked to Doctor Emlee, and he
I'm so glad to see you. You can't
believe the people in here.
They've got patients posing as
Everyone says it's the best
facility in the area for this sort
I just want to go home. Can we go
I think the best thing for you
right now is to stay here and get
Maybe I should talk about this with
Ruth, or Paul.
We all agree with the doctor, Dear.
He thinks it's safer for you to
stay here for a while.
Letty listens, waits, can't absorb it.
You all really think I need to be
But what about Beast? Who'll...?
Ruth's already taken him home.
And my class. It'll be hard to
find a good substitute. And what
about my math program?
Paul said he'd call the school.
And your father thinks he's
convinced the guard not to press
charges as long as you get help.
For his injuries. I guess you...I
guess he got hit in the head.
Mrs. Mayer holds out a duffel bag to Letty.
I packed up some of your clothes,
and I can bring whatever else you
Letty refuses to accept the duffel bag. Her mother sets it
on the floor and stands. Letty is five again.
Mom, no, please don't go. Please.
Letty's mother holds her. Mrs. Mayer, crying, pulls away
from Letty. She kisses her daughter on the cheek.
I'll see you soon.
As soon as Dr. Emlee says.
Letty's mother walks out the door. Letty stares after her.
INT. LETTY'S ROOM - NIGHT
Letty, crying, unpacks her duffel bag, laboriously smoothing
and refolding every item she puts in the drawer.
Finishing her task, Letty goes to the mirror and stares at
her reflection. Finally, she fixes her makeup.
Letty leaves her room. We follow her FOOTSTEPS down the
hallway. In the distance, Letty sees the Rec Room. She
hears the CLAMOR of voices. Every step is agony.
Letty stops herself just before entering, trying to collect
Four people bet OCD and clinical
depression so I split the pool.
Yeah, her diagnosis was no mystery.
Especially the OCD.
Sick realization spreads over Letty's face.
Fuck, I mean, anyone who color-
codes her panties has big problems.
Letty freezes. Michael rounds the corner. He stops when he
sees her, falters, recovers his composure.
Hey there. They're showing
"Groundhog Day" if you...
You took bets on my diagnosis?
It's no big deal. We all compare.
ho do you think you are?
INT. REC ROOM - SAME
Patients are grouped in front of the TV, watching Bill
Murray. Heads turn as they hear shouting in the hallway.
Not even a moment's hesitation before, one by one, they get
up and hurry to the hall. Only Mrs. Hallstrom remains.
INT. HALLWAY - SAME
John, Marie and others gather around the fighters.
Don't take it personally.
You have no right, no right to take
the worst thing that's ever
happened to me and make it into
some kind of game.
Stop acting like you're someone
special. You're just like the rest
I'm not the one who's masquerading
as a doctor. I'm not the one
I'm not the one who's
schizophrenic. I don't see people
who aren't there or run around
Letty pounds her fist against the wall.
Go, Girl!/ Come on, Michael.
Oh, no, you're perfectly sane.
That's why you're here.
Letty looks like she's been slapped. She thinks for a
moment. The patients wait, breathless, for her retort.
Go fuck yourself.
Michael grins at Letty. She turns, and strides down the
hall. There's a smattering of applause. It grows stronger.
We see Letty's eyes fill with tears as, behind her, the
INT. LETTY'S ROOM - NIGHT
Letty, unable to sleep, tosses and turns. She gets out of
bed and paces the room nervously, trying to hold herself
together. She slumps to the floor and starts to cry.
INT. GROUP THERAPY ROOM - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
r. Emlee and seven patients sit in a circle of metal folding
chairs. Michael, who sits next to Emlee, practices rolling a
quarter back and forth across his fingers.
Letty sits across from Michael and Emlee, her legs and arms
crossed tightly. The group concentrates on Mrs. Hallstrom.
I can't stop thinking about the
things I did wrong when my daughter
And how's that make you feel?
I just feel like sleeping. All the
Hell's bells, you can count me in
on that. I haven't had enough Z's
since I ran those sleep disorder
experiments at Stanford back in the
We really miss doing things with
you, Mrs. Hallstrom.
Michael, sitting next to Mrs. Hallstrom, squeezes her arm.
Maybe when I hit my manic phase
Group members smile.
I've noticed Letty doesn't much
like to do things with us.
The group looks expectantly at Letty.
Oh, no. Of course I do.
Then why are you so defensive?
I don't think we need to sacrifice
Letty to pep up a slow session.
You're the one who told everyone
about her panties.
Michael grimaces at John. Letty's head is bent down.
Maybe you'd like to share some of
your feelings about OCD or
depression with us, Letty.
Letty eyes the doctor. She's dangerously close to tears.
Do we have to talk about this?
I think in the spirit of group
therapy, it's beneficial for each
of us to open ourselves up to the
Michael reaches his hand behind Dr. Emlee's head, catching
Letty's eye in the process. Michael pulls a silver dollar out
of Emlee's ear.
Letty looks but doesn't respond. The other patients ignore
Michael. Emlee is oblivious.
You never know, Letty, how the
person sitting next to you may be
able to shed light on one of your
Michael goes for a bigger trick. Reaching again behind the
doctor's head, he produces a small bouquet of paper flowers.
Letty, almost against her will, smiles.
...by revealing something that's
going on in his or her own life.
Michael waves the flowers back and forth behind the doctor's
head. Letty's smile broadens.
(responding to her smile)
There, now, I knew you'd feel
better once we discussed group
process. Let's talk a little about
INT. LIBRARY - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Letty ponders a shelf of ratty paperbacks. Michael turns the
corner, thumbing through a dog-eared book. Letty spots him
and moves away. Michael sidles up next to her.
Looking for a romance?
What are you looking to read?
Michael holds out his book to her.
This is good.
Letty glances at the title, "101 MAGIC TRICKS."
But you're checking it out.
I've already checked it out 17
Michael reaches behind Letty. She pulls away. He produces a
scarf from behind her back, and presents it to her. She
doesn't take it.
You keep the book. I'm looking for
Letty walks away. Michael follows.
Hey, if you take the magic book,
I'll feel like maybe you accept my
apology and don't hate me anymore.
I haven't heard an apology.
Michael drops to one knee.
I'm really sorry I hurt your
feelings. I got a little carried
away. Can you ever forgive me?
Letty takes the book from him and walks away.
INT. REC ROOM - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Letty sits in an arm chair staring out at the garden. Her
attention is drawn to a nearby couch where Michael sits
opposite Mrs. Hallstrom, apparently playing cards.
Michael lays a card down.
Mrs. Hallstrom, I'm pretty sure you
could use that.
She shakes her head slowly back and forth. Michael places it
in her hand of cards.
Now, don't you have a gin rummy,
Go ahead, now, just lay those cards
Mrs. Hallstrom slowly spreads her hand of cards on the couch.
Hot damn. Gin rummy. I told you
so. You're three games up on me.
Mrs. Hallstrom smiles. Michael catches Letty watching them,
and Letty quickly looks away.
INT. LETTY'S ROOM - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - NIGHT
Letty opens her drawer to pull out a T-shirt. Several are
rumpled. She starts refolding them when she spots it.
There, nestled among her clothes, is a book of Emily
Dickinson's poetry. Letty picks it up, runs her hand over
the cover and starts reading.
EXT. COURTYARD - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Paul and Letty walk onto a postcard-perfect stone terrace
overlooking the garden. Paul pulls up a chair for Letty and
stares out at the scenery.
It's prettier here than I thought
it would be.
Yeah, I guess it's all right.
Are you all right?
That's a big question.
I hope it wasn't something I did.
Something you did?
That put you in here.
Of course not, no.
Is that why you're here?
I think we need to talk about some
Yes, I suppose so.
This has been really difficult,
this whole thing.
These past few weeks, it's made me
really go back and examine our
I mean, we've been going out for
four years, and it hasn't always
been so easy.
Especially this last year.
So, I've been thinking a lot...
I have too, Paul.
I talked to Ruth a little bit, and
I think it's about time...
I know. We can't just keep going
through the motions.
Exactly. It's time to make
You don't have to say anything
else. I've known for a while that
this was coming.
I just wish we'd done it sooner.
Paul takes Letty's hand in his.
Will you marry me?
Paul pulls a diamond ring from his pocket and puts it on
Letty's finger. She stares at it, mesmerized.
I had to smuggle it in here. I
guess you're not really supposed to
Or be up past ten or fraternize
with other patients.
I hope you like it. It's a Marquis
cut, 1.5 carats. They had one with
emeralds around it, but this was
simpler, more classic in its lines.
It's, it's really nice, Paul.
You can take it back and we can
have one custom made if you want.
No, you've done a perfect job.
So, what do you say, Let?
Letty looks him in the eyes for the first time.
Do you think, really, that it's OK
to get engaged when I'm in here?
Sure. We'll save the formal
announcement for when you're out. I
already told your mother. I hope
you don't mind.
So will you?
(working up a smile)
Of course. Yes. I will. I do.
Paul and Letty kiss, then hug.
EXT. COURTYARD - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - LATER
It's completely dark. Letty sits in the same position we saw
her in hours ago. Michael walks up to her.
You missed out on some great
broccoli florets at dinner.
I wasn't hungry.
John even managed to lob a load of
mashed potatoes into Mrs.
Finally. I was getting tired of
watching him try every night.
Was it bad news--the visit from
He looked pretty serious.
He asked me to marry him.
Very romantic setting.
It was romantic. He's very
So are you engaged, or what?
Letty holds out her hand, where the diamond glistens. Michael
bends forward to look at the ring, caressing her hand as he
Letty pulls away. The ring is gone.
What have you done with the ring?
Letty stands up.
This isn't funny. Paul would kill
Michael holds his hands in fists toward Letty.
Guess which hand.
Enough with the abracadabra.
he left one.
Michael opens his hand. It's empty. Michael addresses an
The fair maiden guesses
incorrectly. Should we give her
one more try?
The audience says one more try.
What guess you now?
The right one.
Michael opens his right hand. A plastic, Cracker-jack ring
rests in it.
Come on, Michael.
Michael grabs Letty's hand and slides the ring onto her
With this ring, I thee...
Letty pulls her hand away.
Really, this isn't funny.
OK, OK, I'll give it back.
Letty holds out her hand.
For a price.
A small price.
I won't do your portion of kitchen
And I'm not covering for you when
you sneak out to call Dominos.
I want a kiss.
Letty stares at him. She laughs.
Michael moves close to her.
Letty looks into his eyes.
Everything's a joke with you.
Michael and Letty kiss, long and deep. Letty pulls back.
She gazes at Michael. She steps closer to him.
They kiss again, longer and deeper.
They separate. Letty looks ready for another kiss. Michael
caresses her cheek.
He walks back toward the hospital door. He stops, comes back
to Letty. He hands her the diamond ring.
He walks inside. Letty watches him go.
INT. DR. EMLEE'S OFFICE - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Dr. Emlee and Letty sit across from each other.
The medicine's still bothering me.
It feels like I have cotton wrapped
around my brain.
We'll see about adjusting the
dosage if that doesn't clear in the
How are other things going?
I think I've told you all the news.
Let's see--the engagement. Oh, and
my sister's coming to visit me, and
they say my cat misses me.
The question, Letty, is how are you
I miss Beast a lot, too.
INT. MICHAEL'S ROOM - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - NIGHT
Darkness. Michael sleeps. A Christmas Carol BLASTS through
the intercom system.
Hark the Herald Angels sing...
Michael bolts awake. He stumbles out of bed, in wildly
striped boxers, and races toward the hall.
INT. HALLWAY - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - SAME
Doors open like kernels of popcorn exploding. Michael,
Marie, Thomas, John, then Letty.
The music BLARES on. Nurse Gates runs down the hall and
shouts to Michael.
What are you doing?
The music lowers. Mrs. Hallstrom, in a Santa cap, appears.
She distributes erasers as she threads through the patients.
Sorry, sorry. Candy canes are out
Mrs. Hallstrom gives an eraser to the nurse.
Come on. Come with me, Mrs.
Nurse Gates leads Mrs. Hallstrom away as the older woman
continues tossing erasers down the hall.
Marie stares at Michael's shorts.
Michael smiles awkwardly at Letty. She returns to her room.
INT. LETTY'S ROOM - SAME
Letty climbs into bed. She opens the bedside drawer, and
pulls out a Tiffany's ring box. There, cradled in the satin
lining, is the diamond from Paul. Right beside it is
Michael's Cracker Jack special.
Letty puts on Paul's ring. She studies her hand. With an air
of secrecy, she slips on Michael's ring. She quickly takes
it off. Wearing Paul's ring, she turns off the light and
snuggles into bed.
EXT. GARDEN, HILLV IEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Afternoon light casts long shadows in the garden of pruned
hedges and tea roses. Letty and Ruth power-walk down a
cobblestone path, heading away from the English Tudor
hospital that looms large in the background.
Letty wears a sweatshirt emblazoned with the logo for the
University of South Carolina Cocks.
I can't believe you finally gave me
Loaned you. And it's only 'til you
get out of here.
That settles it. I'm never leaving.
I can hardly wait 'til you're free.
Planning the wedding without you
has been a disaster.
(picking up the pace)
Mom and I fought for 20 minutes
over whether we should go with ecru
invitations or brilliant white.
Letty checks her stop watch.
What do you think?
And then the gold scroll or the
black Romanesque print?
Letty completely stops and faces Ruth.
Do we have to talk wedding details?
Oh, no, of course not.
I mean, you can always send me
fabric samples to look at or
pictures of dresses. But, it's
been so long since we've seen each
Of course. You're right. Besides,
we should be talking about your
They start walking again.
Tell me more about Beast beating up
that other cat.
Bloody furry mess, like I said.
Aren't you so excited about Paul?
Ruth stops this time.
What's going on with you, Letty?
Ruthie, do you ever wonder if
you'll meet someone else...someone
Power walking's forgotten. Ruth and Letty start to amble.
What's his name, Letty?
I didn't say...
Don't even try. What's his name?
INT. LETTY'S ROOM - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - NIGHT
Nurse Gates passes by the open door, and pokes her head in.
Lights out, Letty.
Letty closes the door. She pulls a nightshirt from a drawer,
disrupting a perfectly-folded T-shirt. Letty bends down to
straighten it, but changes her mind. She shuts the drawer.
Letty puts on the nightshirt, crawls into bed and snaps off
the light. She fluffs her pillow, and turns over. She rolls
Letty turns on the light. She goes to the drawer, opens it,
pulls out the T-shirt and refolds it. She shuts the drawer.
Letty yanks open the drawer again and looks at her handiwork.
It's a fight with the drawer. Opened and closed. Until Letty
takes a deep breath, pulls it open a final time, hesitantly
ruffles the T-shirt and slams the drawer shut.
She runs to bed and hops in, turning off the light and
burying her head under the pillow.
A few moments pass.
A KNOCK on the door. Letty opens it to find Michael.
We're supposed to be asleep.
Michael takes Letty's hand and pulls her toward the door.
We'll get caught.
No rounds for another three hours.
Michael checks the hallway and pulls Letty into it.
Nervous? Scared? Worried you're
not fit for a caper of epic
Don't be ridiculous.
Rendezvous at the closet in 30.
Letty forges ahead to the nurses' station, while Michael
turns a corner in the hall, peeking out so he can watch Letty
approach Nurse Gates.
NURSES' STATION - SAME
Letty, you should be in bed.
There's a spider in my room.
It's got a green dot on its back.
I can't go to sleep with it
Sounds awful. I guess we better
check it out.
Letty and Nurse Gates walk down the hall to Letty's room,
passing the alcove where Michael lurks in the shadows. He
sneaks into the main hall and pads up to the nurses' station.
NURSES' STATION - SAME
Michael wanders around the desk, crouches on the floor so he
can't be seen from the hallway and pulls the phone down to
his level. He dials.
Extra large pepperoni and
And two cokes.
Hillview Psychiatric Hospital on
Glenfield. Off the Fourth Street
Michael reaches up to a hook and grabs a white lab coat. He
puts on the coat, which identifies him as "Val Williams."
INT. LETTY'S ROOM - SAME
Letty and Nurse Gates, sprawled on their stomachs, peer under
It had this red spot on its back.
Mottled really. Green and red.
Nurse Gates looks Letty squarely in the eye.
I don't know why you feel you have
to lie, Letty.
If you feel lonely, or need to
talk, all you have to do is say so.
Well, OK, that might be good.
I understand you just got engaged.
Maybe that's where we should start.
Off Letty's look of dismay, we
EXT. GUARD STATION - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - SAME
Michael pays the DOMINO'S PIZZA MAN and tries to walk past
the guard, JIM, who blocks his path.
I'm afraid I can't let you take
that in without the proper invoice.
It's a pizza.
All the same, rules are rules.
You don't understand. This is a
very important, very special,
What I understand is how low morale
gets when you're posted at a guard
station all night, Val.
Reluctantly, Michael opens the pizza box, and Jim helps
himself to two slices. Michael starts to shut the box. Jim
reaches in for a third slice.
INT. LETTY'S ROOM - SAME
Letty and Nurse Gates sit cross-legged on the bed, facing
each other. Letty's face is puffy from crying.
I don't mean to go on and on like
It's OK. It's good to let it out.
Michael passes the open door with the pizza box and points
down the hall. Letty stares right through him.
Did you ever tell Paul how you
He was graduating from law school,
and he just assumed I was OK with
We never really talked about it.
But I know he was disappointed in
INT. LINEN CLOSET - LATER
The roomy closet houses an inconceivable number of white
sheets and towels, arranged on wide, tall shelves.
The pizza, cokes and a candle sit in the middle of the floor,
which Michael has draped with a sheet. Michael stares at the
dwindling candle. C
INT. LETTY'S ROOM - SAME
I mean I'm just not sure I want the
same things now that I did even a
Nurse Gates nods sympathetically.
Is that so wrong?
Michael passes the open door again, waving his hands wildly
to attract Letty's attention. She doesn't notice him.
You can only do what feels best to
I guess so. I think that's right.
INT. LINEN CLOSET - SAME
Michael blows out the candle.
INT. LETTY'S ROOM - SAME
Letty blows her nose as she walks Nurse Gates to the door.
You've been so great. I just feel
a lot clearer about things.
And if I need to talk again...
Yes, of course. Whenever you want.
Letty gives Nurse Gates a hug.
INT. LINEN CLOSET - SAME
TAPS on the door. Michael looks up. He jumps to his feet
and lets Letty in, gesturing for her to sit. They lean
against a stack of pillows.
Sorry I'm late...
Michael puts his finger to Letty's lips.
A SERIES OF SHOTS THAT FADE INTO EACH OTHER:
A.) The two munch on pizza. Michael picks off black olives
and hands them to Letty, who plops them on top of her pizza.
B.) Michael hands Letty a cigarette. She gestures no. He
lights one for himself and begins blowing smoke rings.
C.) Michael offers Letty pizza. She clutches her stomach to
show that she's full.
D.) Letty indicates she wants a cigarette. Michael
demonstrates how to smoke, affecting the style of a 1930s
movie star. Letty follows suit.
.) Letty grabs a pillow and hits Michael over the head. He
pulls the pillow away from her. Letty stands up, grabs
another pillow and hits Michael again. He whacks her in the
back of the knees and she falls on top of him.
Enough of the fighting. They kiss. Michael strokes the back
of Letty's neck.
FOOTSTEPS approach the door and stop. Michael and Letty stop
kissing and look at the door. The FOOTSTEPS continue on.
Michael pulls Letty's shirt up. She starts to pull it over
her head, but can't get it all the way off in the cramped
space. Michael kisses Letty's mouth through the shirt. She
GIGGLES. Michael helps Letty off with the shirt.
He kisses her chest. Letty bites him lightly on the
Michael pulls away in surprise, grinning. Letty reaches up
and bites him again. Michael bites her back.
Letty reaches her hands behind her head, searching for
something to hold onto. She grabs a stack of sheets, which
topple onto Michael.
Michael sits up, trying to clear the sheets off himself and
Letty. Letty pushes him down and crawls on top of him.
CLOSE ON her hands as they unbutton Michael's Levis, and we
INT. REC. ROOM - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Mrs. Hallstrom sits close to the television, watching Joan
Rivers hawk jewelry on the Home Shopping Network. Michael
drapes the room with streamers, and surveys his work.
How's it look?
Shhh. They're coming to the cubic
I like those sapphire earrings
imulated sapphires. I bet my
daughter would love those, too.
Michael sees Letty pass by the room as she heads down the
hall. He follows her.
INT. WOMEN'S ROOM - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Marie enters with her toothbrush and toothpaste. She moves
towards the sink but stops as...
GIGGLES come from the stall. She looks closer, sees two
pairs of feet and one familiar pair of boxers.
Jesus...just get a room.
Marie walks out.
INT. STALL - WOMEN'S ROOM - SAME
Letty and Michael, partially disrobed and hugging each other
tight, burst into GUFFAWS.
INT. EMLEE'S OFFICE - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Letty sits on the couch. Emlee leans forward in his chair.
I think it's a problem that you
never told me about Michael. I had
to hear it from another patient.
I couldn't really say anything
because of that fraternizing rule.
Well, Letty, this does present a
liability issue for the hospital.
I'm a grown woman, Dr. Emlee. I
can take care of myself.
What about Michael? Do you know
the extent of his...
I know Michael's a schizophrenic,
and Mrs. Hallstrom's manic-
depressive, and John Lockyer has
episodes of psychosis, and I heard
a rumor that you suffer from
delusions of grandeur.
Go ahead and put the guard back up,
Letty. But you need to know what
you're dealing with.
I don't need a lecture. I care
Then that's even more reason to
listen. Look, schizophrenics tend
to withdraw from reality. They
experience emotional disturbances
that result in personality changes.
You could be lying next to Michael
in bed one night, and he could have
a hallucination, or a delusion. It
might happen when you're driving
Look, I know he's almost through
with treatment here. And, he's on
Drugs can help suppress symptoms.
But lots of patients stop taking
them when they're on their own
because the side effects are so
And, Michael's condition is often
worsened by periods of stress. He's
been in and out of...
I don't want to hear anymore.
I'd like you to promise you won't
carry on a relationship with
Michael. Otherwise, I'll consider
moving one of you to another ward.
First you tell me to do what I want
to, then you tell me to stop.
All I want you to do is think about
what's best for you. Really think
EXT. GROUNDS - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Letty lies in the middle of a copse of trees, reading Emily
Dickinson. Michael walks up and hands her a dandelion.
A daisy for the lady.
The lady knows this is a dandelion.
A rose is a rose.
Letty kisses him on the cheek.
Thanks. Where've you been all day?
Back-to-back sessions with the
I'm not allowed to see you anymore.
Really? Me too.
I had to sneak by the guards to get
here. They say you're highly
unstable, have a depressive
personality, and may hold back my
Wow. I'm bad news.
What's my rap?
Schizophrenic recidivism marked by
hallucinations and paranoid
Fuck. That's all true.
Really, though. My thoughts go
What are the delusions like?
I think people are after me, crap
When I was 18, my mom came home and
found me sitting naked on the
kitchen table. I thought I was God.
He waits for Letty to register the information.
Sure. But I took out a whole
I wish I could have seen that.
I'm starting to think that
everyone's crazy to some extent.
y Grandma Rosa says that some
trees get planted in rich top soil,
and they grow right up to the sun,
tall and straight. Other trees,
they start as seeds in the crevices
between rocks so they have to twist
and bend to reach the light.
But even though they end up
crooked, they're still trees, just
like the straight ones.
Lying on their backs, Michael and Letty stare up at the
(with a start)
Why in the world did you let me
start talking in metaphors? That's
no way for us to break up.
Break up? They wish.
Michael and Letty hug.
INT. NURSES' STATION - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Nurse Gates pours tablets from a potpourri of pill bottles
into little paper cups. A Federal Express delivery man with
a bunch of boxes stops at the station.
I need a signature, please.
Nurse Gates looks at the form.
What is all this stuff?
I just deliver it, Ma'am.
Well, who exactly is it for?
A Mrs. Eunice Hallstrom.
I see. Can you wait a moment?
Nurse Gates locks the medication in a cupboard, and hurries
down the hallway.
INT. GROUP THERAPY ROOM - SAME
Our usual cast of characters.
But how does that make you feel,
John, what Letty said about your
She doesn't know what the hell
she's talking about.
Nurse Gates barrels in. The group looks up.
I'm sorry, Doctor. I just need a
moment with Mrs. Hallstrom.
What seems to be the problem?
They say she ordered...Mrs.
Hallstrom, did you order a bunch of
stuff, because Federal Express...
rs. Hallstrom's face glows.
It's here, everyone. Come along.
She runs out. Nurse Gates follows her. A moment passes. The
patients look expectantly at Dr. Emlee.
Oh, fine, let's see.
They storm the door.
INT. NURSES' STATION - SAME
By the time the patients round the corner, the Federal
Express man is leaving, and Mrs. Hallstrom has ripped open
one of the boxes. She clutches a handful of jewelry.
For you, John. And, Letty. And,
Michael, I know you'll love these.
She hands Michael a pair of faux sapphire earrings. He clips
them on. Letty and several others carry necklaces. Thomas
sports a rhinestone tiara. The patients compare jewelry.
Mrs. Hallstrom, you ordered all
(to Mrs. Hallstrom)
Thomas got a crown and all I got
was a lousy bracelet?
You must have spent thousands of
Don't worry, Doctor, I didn't
Mrs. Hallstrom hands Dr. Emlee a fake ruby hair comb.
Mrs. Hallstrom, you can't possibly
afford to pay for this. It must go
Chatter in the hallway stops.
Why, no, Doctor. It can't. Most
of it's for my daughter, Lily.
She's coming to family day
tomorrow...all the way from
Cleveland with my grandson.
You can't be taking away their
"Welcome to California" presents.
It's going back. We'll contact the
company this afternoon.
Take the jewelry off, please.
The patients reluctantly remove their gifts.
But I have to keep something for my
Let's go back to group, and discuss
it there. Back to group, everyone.
The patients head back to group. Dr. Emlee turns to Nurse
(to Nurse Gates)
Increase her lithium to 600
milligrams, three times a day. Oh,
and Nurse, let's see about
canceling the cable.
EXT. PATIO - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
The place buzzes with festivity. A "WELCOME FAMILIES" sign
hangs from a patio beam. A table is laden with cookies and
lemonade and platter after platter of carrot curls.
Letty takes a cookie and looks toward the lawn where Michael
plays frisbee with his family, even his grandmother, ROSA.
Nurse Gates walks up to Letty.
Your mother's in the rec room,
INT. REC ROOM - SAME
Letty passes Mrs. Hallstrom, who sits by herself, holding one
small gift on her lap.
Letty spots her Mom across the room, and walks up to her.
Her mother has covered a table with swatches of fabric.
It's so good to see you,
You too, Mom.
You're looking good. A little
thin, but good.
Letty examines a fabric sample.
Thanks so much for doing this.
Ruthie and Jake are up to a million
things. And I just can't decide.
Letty rearranges the fabric samples on the table by color.
Which flowers did you order?
We haven't. I wanted to talk that
over with you, too.
Oh, OK, well, better to choose the
table cloths first anyway.
was thinking either the peach
moire or cream damask.
Letty holds up a swatch of bright yellow.
This would complement the blue in
the bride's maids' dresses. Look.
Where's your ring, Sweetheart?
We aren't allowed to wear jewelry
in here, Mom.
Just think, pretty soon, we'll be
doing all these wedding
preparations for you.
Of course, if that's what you still
want. Ruthie told me some silly
story about a crush on some boy
Letty pulls out a cigarette, lights it and starts smoking.
I haven't had a crush since I was
When did you start smoking?
I'll put it out if it bothers you.
The puckering, dear. It doesn't
seem so now, but in time, it will
cause wrinkles around the mouth.
Letty grinds the cigarette beneath her heel. She bends over
You know, your life isn't about
being in a mental hospital.
I hear this Michael fellow is
Don't forget that Paul's a
promising young attorney who loves
you very much...
Mom, look, if I want to dump Paul,
I'll dump him. If I want to screw
Michael or live with him or marry
him, then I'll do that.
Thomas, who sits across the room, looks up from his book.
I'm only looking out for you.
And if I want to smoke, I'll
Letty races out the door and into the garden. In the
distance, Michael spots her and jogs over. Letty's mother
watches them. Thomas approaches Mrs. Mayer.
Mrs. Mayer, I'm sorry but I
couldn't help overhearing. I just
wanted to say, not that it's any of
I think, really, I think I'd go
with the cream damask.
NT. REC ROOM - LATER
Letty and Michael walk through the rec room toward the dining
hall. Nurse Gates bends down in front of Mrs. Hallstrom, who
sits where we last saw her.
It's OK to be upset.
Upset? Why of course not. My
goodness, no. I'm sure she just
got hung up.
Letty and Michael stop.
Mrs. Hallstrom, why don't you join
my family for dinner. You'll love
my Grandma Rosa.
That's so sweet, Michael. But,
really, I've so many things to do.
If you change your mind, we'll be
in the dining hall.
Michael and Letty walk on, exchanging a sad look.
INT. DINING HALL - LATER
Mr. Santucci and Mrs. Santucci sit at the heads of the table.
Letty sits between Rosa and Michael.
What do you need now?
(to Mr. Santucci)
Send down the lamb. This girl's as
thin as a stick.
Oh, no. I'm stuffed.
Tell her to eat, Frank.
(whispering to Letty)
You can't turn down Grandma Rosa's
Or my eggplant. I make the best
eggplant in L.A. The mozzarella I
use, it's so fresh it sweats.
Letty heaps more food on her plate.
Michael says you're a teacher.
I was. I'm hoping I'll still have
a job when I get out.
Mrs. Hallstrom walks into the room, wearing her Christmas
stocking cap. She starts to dispense erasers.
What's she doing?
Mrs. Hallstrom, practically skipping, zeros in on Grandma
Rosa. She hands Rosa the gift meant for her daughter.
Rosa, Rosa, you must have this,
Mrs. Hallstrom, join us. Please.
But, by this point, Mrs. Hallstrom's already bounded away,
divesting herself of more and more erasers to bewildered
parents and delighted children.
She clambers onto a table in the middle of the room. Marie
gets up from another table and leaves the room to get help.
Merry Christmas to all. Ho, ho,
Michael, we've got to stop her.
Michael pushes back his chair. He's trapped between the
table and the wall.
My goodness, it's so very warm in
here. So warm.
She takes off her cap and tosses it to a surprised looking
man. But she doesn't stop there. With haphazard abandon, she
begins to disrobe, first her blouse, then her skirt.
Way, way, way too warm for
December. Now, let's sing Jingle
Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the
The group looks on in horror, mesmerized by her behavior.
Then, almost as one, the patients spring into action.
Michael bolts over his dining table and runs to Mrs.
Hallstrom. He jumps onto her table, trying to restrain the
dancing woman so he can wrap his sweater around her.
By this time, John, Thomas and Letty have surrounded her in a
protective enclave. Michael sets Mrs. Hallstrom on the
ground. She looks up at the group, and continues belting out
NT. LINEN CLOSET - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - NIGHT
Letty and Michael lie on the floor next to each other,
trading puffs on a cigarette. The glowing ember is the only
light in the room.
You must have thought about it.
I just want to see Beast.
Where would you go?
The mission up in Santa Barbara.
That's where I always go when I get
My dad used to take me there when I
was little. It's totally quiet.
And you can see the ocean for
They smoke for a while.
What else would you do?
I'd like to drink a bottle of red
wine with you and then make love to
you and spend the whole night
together. And we'd get up in the
morning and spend hours lounging
around and reading the paper.
And we'd eat Spaghetti-O's in bed
from the can.
How can you even mention Spaghetti-
O's after eating Grandma Rosa's
I have a terrible confession.
Tell the doctor.
I don't like lamb.
Michael sits up.
Then it's over.
Michael lies down.
It's a good thing my family loves
Your family just met me.
You're right. I guess I was
projecting. What I should have
said is, "It's a good thing I love
It's OK. You don't have to say
But I do. I love you, too.
Michael and Letty lie still, looking into each others eyes.
INT. MICHAEL'S ROOM - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
osters of Harry Houdini and Doug Henning. Handcuffs and
card decks all over.
Your Honor, I feel I should be
released. I'm sufficiently able to
Michael stops. His eyes glaze over. His head darts toward
the corner of the room.
(to the corner)
Nothing's there. Nothing at all. But Michael keeps staring.
A KNOCK on the door. Michael's eyes refocus. He opens the
door to find Letty.
John and Nurse Gates are waiting
Oh, right. I'm ready. How do I
(straightening his tie)
Great. I came to tell you to break
a leg, and to give you this for
Letty hands him the Cracker Jack ring.
INT. COMMITMENT COURT - DAY
Michael sits near the front of the courtroom with half a
dozen other patients from various institutions.
Nurse Gates sits a few rows back near JOHN'S MOTHER and
Michael's family--Mr. and Mrs. Santucci and Grandma Rosa.
JUDGE MILTON, 60s, questions John, who's on the stand.
Why have you petitioned to leave
I haven't had an episode in more
than a month, Sir.
How do you plan to support
My family's helping me out, Your
Where will you live upon release?
John's mother nods encouragingly at him.
Where do you plan to reside, Mr.
With my mother.
Is your mother here today?
John points to her. John's mother waves at the judge.
That's the bitch. That cock-
sucking bitch. She put me here.
She did. She's the Satan that did
As bailiffs remove John from the stand, Michael offers a wan
smile to his family.
INT. COMMITMENT COURT - LATER
Michael, outwardly poised and collected, sits on the stand.
His hands are clenched in tight fists.
The records indicate no major
episodes in the past four months.
And it seems you have the support
of the staff.
But I see you've been in and out of
the hospital more than ten times.
Eleven, Your Honor. But I'm on a
new medication now.
Do you feel ready to re-enter the
Yes, Sir. My family is prepared to
support me until I find a job.
They've already located an
apartment for me that's very near
Very well, then. By order of the
court, you are released. I wish
you good luck.
Michael's shoulders relax. He opens his fist. Inside is the
Cracker Jack ring, and the magenta circle it has imprinted on
EXT. COMMITMENT COURT - LATER
Michael walks to the car with his mother, father and
grandmother, who keeps tousling his hair with pride.
INT. VISITING ROOM - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Letty stands awkwardly in front of Paul, who sits in a
What's so urgent? You've got me
I need to tell you something, and
I'm not sure how.
You can tell me anything.
Do you want to postpone the
wedding? Is it too much pressure?
That's a load off my mind.
Paul, I want to break off the
I don't mean to hurt you. I know
this is a terrible thing. And I
have really loved you.
Whoa. Whoa. Have really loved me?
Letty, it's natural to be nervous.
But we're going to work through our
I've met someone else.
It doesn't matter who.
Have you been seeing another
It's a doctor, isn't it? That's
unethical. I'll have him rung up
on malpractice charges so fast his
head will spin.
He's a patient here.
Paul considers this a moment.
Of all the crazy things. I
understood when you dropped out of
law school. And during this whole
mess, I've tried to be supportive.
But, really, Letty, what can you be
I love him.
You're going to throw away our life
together for some shared experience
with a looney-tune that you
misguidedly think is love?
Here's the ring.
No way. You keep the ring. You'll
come to your senses.
I've made my decision, Paul.
You keep it, Letty. This is not
over. Our life is not over.
EXT. FRONT STEPS - SAME
Paul walks out the door and down the steps past Michael, who
runs up them two at a time.
How's it hanging, Paul?
Paul turns to watch Michael as Michael swings open the door
and sails into the institute.
INT. VISITING ROOM - SAME
Letty waits as a NURSE opens the door to the ward. Letty is
about to step through, when Michael enters.
Visitor for Ms. Mayer.
Letty whirls around.
Letty and Michael hug.
Letty, Michael, you have about five
minutes until visiting hours end.
The nurse retreats.
Tell me all.
I was brilliant, or at least
So there were no problems?
Not a one.
And did you go to the mission?
No, you goof, I came to see you.
I saw Paul leaving. Did you do the
So, it's over?
Did you see your new apartment?
One bedroom, second floor, no view.
No, I need some serious household
First off, you'll need to go to
Target. And, let's see, what
should you buy?
I better make a list.
List schmist. You'll remember.
INT. HALLWAY - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - NIGHT
Letty sits in the corridor opposite Marie and Thomas. They
are playing BLACKJACK. Letty deals.
Letty hands one over. Thomas flips over his cards.
Letty looks to Marie, who waves her off. Marie is fine with
her cards. They look down the hall. Nurse Gates walks beside
JAMIE, a man in his late 20s, who wears the same dazed
expression Letty did the morning after she was admitted.
Dr. Stone will ask you some
questions, and then we'll get you
Nurse Gates and Jamie come upon the gang.
Lights out in 15, Guys.
Nurse Gates continues down the hall, hand firmly planted
under Jamie's elbow as he weaves unsteadily beside her.
Wow, that first night is hard.
It's going to be a difficult few
weeks for him.
It really makes you think.
It really does.
They look down the hall at the retreating figures. They look
at each other.
I'll put in 5 that it's a straight
diagnosis of depressive
Are you kidding? With those glazed
eyes? I'm willing to bet 10 there
was some break with reality going
on there. Psychosis. Without a
INT. DR. EMLEE'S OFFICE - DAY
Letty is curled up in a chair opposite Dr. Emlee.
But what I really can't believe is
that I'm starting to actually miss
Have you been in contact with the
principal about your job?
I thought about calling, but I want
to wait until I know when I'll be
Then, you should call.
I think it's about that time,
Letty. The charges against you
have been dropped, the drugs have
evened out and you seem to be
dealing with your life quite well.
Are you saying I'm through with
Let's not be hasty.
I'm saying we should plan a release
date for early next week.
Off Letty's excited face, we
EXT. TARGET - DAY
Crowds, crowds and more crowds. Michael pulls unsuccessfully
at a shopping cart that is stuck to another.
A MATRONLY WOMAN walks up, nudges Michael out of the way and
yanks the cart out of its row. She rolls it toward Michael,
grabs one for herself and is on her way into the store.
ichael takes several deep breaths. With trepidation in his
step, he heads into the great unknown of the crowded store...
EXT. TARGET - 30 MINUTES LATER
Michael emerges from the store, quite pleased with himself
that he made it out alive. He commands a cart heaped full of
useless gadgets and trinkets, a half dozen picture frames and
about 20 decorative pillows.
EXT. GROUNDS - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Letty and her mother walk briskly through the gardens.
Must you walk so quickly?
It's good exercise, Mom.
I've got 26 years on you. If we
could just slow down, we could talk
so much easier.
Letty slackens her pace.
I'm so thankful you'll be leaving
next week. If you want me to pick
you up, I will.
I've already made arrangements.
Ruthie mentioned that Michael might
be coming for you.
Letty stops and wags her finger at her mother.
Mom, we agreed. You can visit, but
you're not allowed to mention
Not even if it's something
Nyet. That's the condition.
Mother and daughter keep walking in silence.
Have you spoken to Paul at all?
One more and you're out.
A deal's a deal.
The two walk on in silence.
Have you heard the figure on how
much Queen Elizabeth's going to pay
in taxes this year?
Letty stops walking. She turns a sunny smile on her mother,
then hugs her. L
I knew you had it in you.
INT. LETTY'S ROOM - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Letty neatly folds garments and lays them in a suitcase. Dr.
Emlee looks on.
So, we'll meet every Tuesday and
Friday. And if you have any kind
of emergency, you can page me.
OK, good. That's good. Thanks an
awful lot for everything, and for
coming down here to see me off.
It was just a little going-away
I have a going-away gesture for
Letty puts her hand in her suitcase and rummages through the
clothes, creating a jumbled mess. She snaps the luggage
closed. Bits of clothing hang out. They LAUGH.
INT. NURSES' STATION - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Letty sets her duffel bag down next to two suitcases. She
hugs Marie, John, Thomas, then walks over to Mrs. Hallstrom,
who hangs back from the group. Letty embraces her.
I'll miss you, Mrs. Hallstrom.
There's no response. Letty goes to Nurse Gates and hugs her.
Take care, Letty. And, let me know
if you need help with any spiders.
You know I will. Thanks for
Letty walks toward Michael, who gathers up her bags.
See you later, guys.
Michael and Letty walk through the VISITING ROOM...
Aren't you supposed to throw a
bouquet or something?
Aren't you ever quiet?
They walk out the doors onto the FRONT STEPS OF THE HOSPITAL.
Michael grabs Letty's hand as they hurry down the steps.
I've heard the mission in Santa
Barbara is the place to go.
EXT. SANTA BARBARA MISSION - MAGIC HOUR
In the background, the Spanish-style mission blends into the
hillside. Letty and Michael sit on a bluff, holding hands.
They look out at the ocean, where the sun heads toward the
waves in a fiery red glow.
INT. HALLWAY - MICHAEL'S APARTMENT BUILDING - NIGHT
Michael and Letty walk down the hall. Michael stops at a door
and showcases it. He jingles the keys.
This is it -- 3B. Check it out.
Open up. I want to see.
Close your eyes.
Letty claps her hands over her eyes. Michael opens the door
and guides her into his castle.
INT. MICHAEL'S APARTMENT - SAME
OK. Open them.
Letty surveys the territory. Forget tables, chairs and
couches. Throw pillows are strewn everywhere.
You like it?
Letty picks up a pillow and runs her hand over the fabric.
She pauses a moment before speaking.
I love the pillows.
Throw pillows, Letty. The sales
lady said they're the latest thing.
Very trendy. Let's see the rest.
Michael leads Letty to the bedroom.
INT. BEDROOM - SAME
A futon bed, draped with a mosquito net, rests in the corner.
Two TVs take center stage.
It's TV heaven.
I was tired of watching what
everyone else wants to watch. Now
we can watch two shows at once.
Let's try out the bed.
Michael grabs her hand and pulls her toward the door.
You've got to see the kitchen
INT. KITCHEN - SAME
Do you like it?
I love your apartment.
You'll never get rid of me.
Michael kisses Letty on the lips.
What do you say we go out to dinner
Out? Are you kidding? I've got
all the fixings here.
Off Letty's look of surprise, we watch Michael open a
cupboard door. The shelves are filled from top to bottom
with cans of Spaghetti-O's.
Letty squeezes Michael in a bear hug.
INT. BEDROOM - MICHAEL'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Letty, in a T-shirt, and Michael, in boxers, lounge on the
futon. They watch both TVs -- one tuned-in to Jay Leno, the
other to David Letterman.
Michael eats from a can of Spaghetti-O's. Letty reaches over
with her fork and snags a mouthful from Michael's can.
How can you not like the Top 10
I like it. But Headlines are
You're so wrong.
Letty takes her remote and increases the volume on her TV.
As Letterman gets louder, Michael zaps his volume.
It's a war. Letterman then Leno get LOUDER and LOUDER and
LOUDER until Letty makes a might lunge. She wrests Michael's
remote from him. Letty MUTES both TVs.
It's sex time.
Michael mockingly checks his watch. Letty climbs on top of
him. Michael rolls on top of her.
I think it's my turn.
CLOSE on their faces as Michael gently licks the side of
Did I get spaghetti sauce on my
Michael licks Letty's nose.
Michael and Letty look into each other's eyes, bathed in the
blue light thrown off by the twin televisions.
Michael places a pillow gently beneath Letty's head. He
caresses her face.
Letty's eyes are alive to every look, every touch. Michael
kisses her slowly on the forehead, the nose, and the lips.
CLOSE on Letty's hands as she reaches up to stroke Michael's
forehead and caress his temple.
CLOSER on her hands as Letty runs them through Michael's
hair, then twists a curly lock around her finger.
SOFT MOANS as we
INT. BEDROOM - MICHAEL'S APARTMENT - DAY
CLOSE on Letty's hand, resting on the comforter on Michael's
bed. The alarm clock RINGS. Letty's hand slaps it into
INT. BEDROOM - MICHAEL'S APARTMENT - LATER
Letty's still in bed, a look of bliss across her face.
Letty? Rise and shine.
Michael's face fills her vision.
BACK TO SCENE:
Letty's eyes close.
I'll be forced to tickle you.
Letty opens one eye and glares at him.
How about this? It's 10:30.
Letty bolts upright.
I'm supposed to meet the principal
in half an hour.
I'll see you tonight.
Michael gives her a kiss and walks into the LIVING ROOM.
Michael adjusts his tie. Letty, naked, runs into the room
and throws her arms around his neck.
You, too. Kick ass today.
Michael walks out the door. Letty thinks for a minute. She
flings open the door and yells to Michael's retreating back.
INT. HALLWAY - SAME
My apartment tonight. You can meet
Michael swings around.
Sounds good. Oh, and Letty?
You've got one hell of a great
The door across the hall opens. A LITTLE OLD MAN stares at
Letty's naked figure. She slams Michael's apartment door.
INT. LIVING ROOM - MICHAEL'S APARTMENT - SAME
Letty collapses in GIGGLES.
INT. PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE - CHASEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - DAY
Letty sits across from the principal.
I didn't have any choice but to
include the parents' letters in
Well, I understand. I know my
behavior was poor.
So, in light of how the parents
feel, and the fact the students are
doing so well with the substitute,
I don't think I can put you back in
the classroom just yet.
Look, Gail, I've been a good
I know, Letty. But the incident
with Zach was frightening for the
Now if you'd come to me, explained
what was going on...
Believe me, I wish I'd understood
what was going on. I've worked
really hard to get better.
I'm glad you're doing well.
I've already thought about how to
tell the kids where I was.
Letty hands the principal a letter.
And I'd like to send the parents
this letter of explanation. With
your support, I think they can
The principal reads the letter.
It's a very nice letter. But I
have to go with what's best for the
What does that mean?
I need someone to work on budget
Or, of course, you could take a
sabbatical the rest of the year.
INT. BANK - DAY
Michael sits at a back desk with MR. SMYTHE, who wears a
three-piece pin-striped suit and taps a pencil on his knee.
It's not that we're doubting your
intelligence, Mr. Santucci. But
your work history shows so many
I know, but as I said...
I appreciate your candor about your
illness, but my bosses are
I can do the job.
Between you and me, my uncle, he
has some mental problems, and I
know what you're going through. If
it were up to me, I'd hire you.
Michael's already standing.
Right. Thanks for your help.
He shakes Mr. Smythe's hand, and, downcast, gets out of the
bank as quickly as he can.
INT. LIVING ROOM - LETTY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Letty sits on the floor. She gulps down some aspirin, then
hauls Beast into her lap. The doorbell RINGS.
Michael walks in, and looks around.
Gosh, Letty, this is a great place.
He kisses her, and lies down on the floor to stroke the cat.
This must be Beast.
That's Mr. Beast to you.
How was your day?
I bombed. It's either work in the
office or nothing.
Yeah. How was the job search?
Michael makes a thumbs-down gesture.
Who ever said sanity was fun?
It doesn't matter. It'll work out.
As long as we have steak.
It's a well-known fact that a red-
meat dinner can cure the blues.
You and Beast wait here. I'll be
back in a jiff.
Letty gives Michael a tired smile. Michael jumps up and
leaves. A moment passes. The door opens again.
While I'm gone why don't you slip
into something a little more naked?
EXT. GROCERY STORE - NIGHT
Michael walks out of the grocery store, loaded down with
bags. He carries a bottle of wine and a bunch of flowers.
He passes two ladies who gossip outside the store.
I can't believe he did that.
What a weirdo.
Michael stops abruptly. He turns back and looks at the
women. They LAUGH.
Michael starts toward the car. He hears more LAUGHTER from
the women. He turns back and walks up to them.
Don't ever talk about me again, you
The women pull back in fright.
INT. KITCHEN - LETTY'S APARTMENT - LATER
Letty, in a skimpy negligee, lights candles on the table.
Michael enters with the groceries and wine.
I thought maybe you got lost.
The store was busy.
You got wine. That's great.
Would you mind if we just called it
an early night?
You go ahead and relax. I'll cook.
I think I should go home.
Are you OK?
Big restaurant interview tomorrow.
But what about the red meat-blues
You know, we've got that dinner
with my parents tomorrow, too. I
should really get some rest
Michael gives Letty a kiss good night. He leaves. She
stares after him. Reluctantly, she blows out the candles and
starts putting the groceries away.
How's filet sound?
INT. RESTAURANT - DAY
The coffee shop hasn't opened for business yet. Michael and
six people in their early 20s fill out applications.
ichael stares blankly at his application. He fills out his
name. He can't get any further.
TWO OTHER APPLICANTS glance toward him. Michael tries to
write. He can't.
(under his breath)
No, no, no. Not now. No.
The other applicants look toward Michael and quickly avert
their eyes. The RESTAURANT MANAGER walks up to the group.
Michael grabs his briefcase and walks out of the restaurant.
His application, incomplete, remains on the table.
INT. KITCHEN - SANTUCCI HOUSE - NIGHT
This kitchen is the heart of the home--copper pots, two pasta
makers and every size wooden spoon made.
Letty, lightly dusted with flour, mixes fresh pasta with her
hands. Mrs. Santucci peers into the bowl.
More water. It's too pasty.
Letty pours in more water.
I'll never Mget the hang of this.
All the Santucci women go through
Letty smiles at her and kneads harder. Mr. Santucci enters
and kisses his wife.
Hi there, Letty.
Mr. Santucci looks in the pasta bowl.
It needs more water.
He dumps some in. Letty looks sadly at the gloppy mess.
(to Mrs. Santucci)
Maybe we should make lamb next
Michael walks in.
How'd it go?
Michael takes his tie, holds it up like a noose and lets his
tongue loll out of his mouth.
Four interviews. Four no-gos.
The restaurant, too?
I couldn't even face that one.
Mr. and Mrs. Santucci look at each other.
That's OK. We can call and
reschedule in the morning.
You don't have to take care of me,
An uneasy silence falls in the room.
Maybe we should save the job talk
for after dinner.
Michael looks in the bowl of pasta dough that Letty continues
to labor over. He reaches in to help with the mixing.
Just promise you'll love me even if
I end up in a job where I have to
wear a blue polyester cap.
I think you know I'd love you even
more in a blue polyester cap.
INT. BATHROOM - MICHAEL'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Michael finishes brushing his teeth. He opens the medicine
cabinet, pulls out a prescription bottle and pours a pill
into his hand.
You're going to miss the Top Ten.
He raises the pill to his mouth, then opens his hand and lets
it drop in the sink. Michael runs the water and watches the
pill swirl slowly down the drain.
Michael stuffs the pill bottle in a bottom drawer. He opens
the door, sprints into the bedroom and leaps onto Letty, who
lies on the futon. Letty SCREAMS and LAUGHS.
INT. MCDONALD'S RESTAURANT - DAY
Michael sits in a booth drinking coffee. He bows over an
application, pen in hand. About a third is filled out.
INT. SUPERINTENDENT'S OFFICE - DAY
Letty and Superintendent Johansen sit on the floor, which is
covered with math games, posters and charts.
I think I could get the program up
and running in the next two weeks.
From what I understand the
principal has removed you from
She's worried that I'm unstable.
Johansen studies her.
But I wouldn't push for the program
if I wasn't ready.
What about the office work?
I'd have to do that, too. But I've
gotten better at pacing myself.
Are you sure?
I'll call you if I have problems.
I have to say I'm inclined to give
it another try.
Letty hugs Johansen.
But, Letty, why don't you give
yourself three weeks to set it up
INT. MCDONALD'S RESTAURANT - NIGHT
Michael sits in the same booth, eating a hamburger. About
half of the application is now completed.
INT. TUXEDO SHOP - NIGHT
Letty and her mother sit in silence. Letty smiles at her
mother. Her mother gives her a very tiny smile back.
Michael hurries in.
Hey, Letty. Mrs. Mayer.
I got worried. Are you OK?
Michael pulls a blue polyester hat out of his pocket and puts
it on. M
How may I help you?
Michael, the shop's about to close.
Maybe you could try on your tux.
Michael heads to the dressing room in the back of the store.
(to Mrs. Mayer)
Michael just got a job. Couldn't
you congratulate him?
I will, Dear. I promise.
He's been looking everywhere for
weeks, Mom. It's not that easy
after you've been locked away.
Letty looks toward the back of the store. Her mother looks
at her. Letty ignores her mother.
I've read that lots of people my
age are supplementing their incomes
these days by working at McDonald's
and Burger King.
Letty looks at her mother, tries to read her.
I'm going to take that as an honest
effort at being open minded.
Don't be fresh.
Just remember that I love him.
Michael walks out of the dressing room and advances toward
the two women, bowing in Cary Grant fashion as he nears.
Letty's mother turns to her daughter, who beams brightly at
the dashing Michael.
I'll say this, Dear. He looks damn
good in a tuxedo.
EXT. TRACK - DAY
Letty and Michael jog.
Aunt Lily is the one who married
your father's cousin?
No, that's Aunt Connie. Lily is
the one who looks like a hooker.
Oh. And, Harry, he's the one who
You don't have to know all this by
Saturday. It took me years.
INT. CHURCH - DAY
Every inch of every pew in the Baroque church is stuffed with
guests. Michael sits in the second row. He cranes his head
around as "Pachelbel's Canon" RINGS OUT and the FLOWER GIRL
Letty, in the first part of the bride's maids' procession,
heads down the aisle next. The bride is nowhere in sight.
But even so, as soon as Michael spots Letty, he stands.
Everyone else remains seated. They look at him. Michael
doesn't notice. He has eyes only for Letty.
Letty's mother looks at Michael with more than annoyance.
Begrudgingly, she also stands.
Following the lead, the entire church stands for Letty. She
smiles at Michael.
INT. BALLROOM - COUNTRY CLUB - LATER
A parade of guests pass through the receiving line to greet
Mr. Mayer, Monica, Letty, Mrs. Mayer, Ruth and Jake.
Michael hovers close to Letty. AUNT LILY, with fluorescent
red hair and a silver lame miniskirt, spots him.
What a beautiful wedding.
As she passes out of earshot,
Mrs. Mayer talks to her brother CORT.
Oh, and have you met Michael? He's
Letty and Ruth overhear this. They make eye contact. Ruth
raises her eyebrows toward Letty. Letty smiles back.
INT. BALLROOM - LATER
Ruth and Letty talk while Michael twirls across the dance
floor with Monica.
The worst was when I stammered
I don't think people even noticed.
I thought the ceremony was perfect.
That's thanks to all your help.
Cort, overweight and red from drink, approaches Ruth and
Uh oh, Uncle Cort at 6 o'clock.
Sorry to do this to you. But I am
Ruth turns and flees. CORT pounces on Letty and plants the
wettest kiss ever on her mouth.
I don't think I've seen you in two
or three years.
Has it been that long?
You were with that lawyer.
I'm dating Michael now.
Met him in the receiving line. What
is it that he does for a living?
Michael walks up to Letty and Cort as they speak.
Well, he just got a job...
In the restaurant business.
Letty looks at Michael, surprised.
Speak of the devil.
How did you guys meet again?
At the psych hospital.
I would've sent a card, but your
aunt and I, we weren't sure if that
was the thing to do.
That's fine, Uncle Cort.
So you were a volunteer over at the
Something like that.
When he could get time off from the
How about a dance?
You two go ahead. I'm going to go
bother that pretty sister of yours
for a dance.
Cort gives Letty another big, wet kiss.
Bye, Uncle Cort.
What's with the lie?
It wasn't exactly a lie.
People at weddings don't want the
Michael grabs a glass of champagne from a passing waiter.
It's not good to drink so much with
the medication you're on.
What's with this music? I'll go
talk to the D.J. and see if we
can't get something good going.
Michael heads toward the D.J. and confers with him. Mr.
Mayer walks up to Letty.
It's good to see you so happy.
Michael then walks back to Letty and pulls her out onto the
dance floor as "Twist and Shout" BOOMS OUT from the speakers.
Letty's mother departs the dance floor, grimacing. Ruth
shoots Michael a look of pure pleasure. And everyone begins
twisting, as we
INT. LIVING ROOM - MICHAEL'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Completely dark. Silent.
Letty, in a nightshirt, wanders in, and stumbles through the
room. She fumbles for the switch on the floor lamp.
The light comes on, illuminating a small circle. Just
outside of it sits Michael.
e stares straight ahead. Letty kneels down in front of him.
Michael? You should come to bed.
Michael remains focused on the space directly in front of
Did you take the aspirin and water?
You don't want to feel awful in the
I'll get you some.
Letty begins to stand up. The movement breaks Michael's
trance. He pulls her back down.
What is it? Are you OK?
Always the drugs.
I saw you talking to my Mom.
We both talked to her, Michael.
And your dad.
Why'd you tell her I wasn't taking
What do you mean not taking your
Why'd you tell?
I didn't talk to her about
medications, Michael. Don't be
Michael beats his hand on the floor.
Silly? Silly am I?
Michael, take it easy.
Silly, silly, silly.
I think I should call someone.
Michael reaches out, grabs the floor lamp, and pushes it
over. He lurches to his feet and pulls Letty to a standing
Don't upset my Mom. Don't you
upset my Mom.
Michael, calm down. Please. It's
Michael knocks some flowers over, then rips apart a pillow.
Letty hovers in back of him. He pauses. She puts her hand
on his back.
Michael whirls around. He slaps Letty's hand away. She
He stares in her direction, but he doesn't respond. Letty
can't make a connection.
Michael shoves his fist through a window.
Letty grabs the phone.
Not my Mom. Not my silly silly
Letty runs with the phone. Michael follows her. Letty
trips. She rights herself. She locks herself in the bathroom.
INT. BATHROOM, MICHAEL'S APARTMENT - SAME
ichael POUNDS on the bathroom door. Letty dials 9-1-1.
I've got an emergency. I'm at...
Michael HOWLS -- a long, piercing inhuman sound.
1450 North Jenkins. Apartment 2.
My boyfriend's out of control.
On the other side of the door, Michael SCREAMS. Another
What's going on in there?
Please, please, send someone.
No, he's having an attack. He's
INT. LIVING ROOM - MICHAEL'S APARTMENT - LATER
Letty, wearing Michael's tux jacket, is curled up on the
floor in a fetal position.
She stares...at the upset flowers, at the ripped-up pillows,
at a fist-sized hole ripped through an unsturdy wall. Her
gaze stops on a Spaghetti-O's can, lying empty on the floor.
KNOCKS on the door. Letty rises slowly, padding to the door
like an old woman.
The KNOCKS grow urgent. Letty opens the door to Ruth.
Letty throws herself into Ruth's waiting embrace.
Immediately, Letty cries.
After a moment, Letty steps back.
I'm sorry, so sorry. I never
should have called.
Ruth looks into Letty's eyes.
You did the right thing.
I ruined your wedding night.
I'm glad you called. Now, not
another word about it.
Ruth pulls Letty into the apartment and shuts the door behind
them. It is only then that she sees the destruction in the
living room. Horror flashes across her face.
Oh my God.
Tears stream down Letty's face. Ruth starts to cry.
Did he hurt you?
Letty shakes her head "no." Her sobbing intensifies. Ruth
puts her arm around Letty, and together, they sit on the
Ruth holds Letty until the crying eases.
Oh, Ruthie, what am I going to do?
You don't have to make any
But what am I going to do?
Do you want to go see him? I'll
take you if you want to go.
I can't. I can't see him there.
Ruth holds her close again.
I was so sure. I really thought it
We have plans, Ruth.
I know. I know.
EXT. SANTA BARBARA MISSION - DAY
Letty sits on the same bluff she once shared with Michael.
She smokes a cigarette, and stares out at the ocean.
EXT. SANTA BARBARA MISSION - LATER
Letty remains on the bluff, crying. A priest, passing in the
background looks over at her, and continues on his way.
EXT. SANTA BARBARA MISSION - NIGHT
In the darkness, Letty lies on her back. She stares up at
the moon and stars, bright against the night sky.
EXT. BOTANICAL GARDENS - DAY
Letty walks along a pathway with Paul.
I'm glad you agreed to see me.
I'm just glad there aren't any hard
Oh, none. None. I completely
understand what was going on.
How's work going? Are you back at
I start on Monday.
So things are back on track?
I heard about your friend.
I heard your friend was back in the
I just wondered, well, if this
meant there was a chance for us.
Because I think about you a lot,
and I still feel...
Our relationship meant a lot to me,
too, Paul. But it's over.
And Michael being in the hospital
doesn't really change things.
I think I've heard this speech
I'm really sorry.
Letty reaches up to hug him. He quickly disengages himself.
I've got a deposition that I really
need to get cracking on, so if you
Sure, I understand.
Paul starts down the path.
Letty runs up to Paul.
I need to give you this.
Letty hands Paul the engagement ring. He takes it and
continues walking as she stares after him.
EXT. HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - DAY
Letty walks up the steps to the imposing facility. We follow
her journey through the VISITING ROOM, past families
conversing with patients, to the NURSES' STATION.
Letty walks up to Nurse Gates, who gives her a quick hug.
John and Bill watch as Letty signs the visitors' register.
He's in Jamie's old room.
Letty walks down the HALLWAY and pauses outside Michael's
door. She KNOCKS.
INT. MICHAEL'S ROOM - HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - SAME
Michael is in the middle of taping up the same Houdini poster
we saw in his last room when Letty enters.
Letty and Michael kiss awkwardly. Dead silence.
How are you?
They smile nervously.
I guess we need to talk.
I guess so.
It's hard to know where to start.
Pretend like I'm your shrink.
Letty rolls her eyes.
Sorry. I'll be quiet.
I think about you all the time.
I sure know what that feels like.
And all the plans we have.
Yeah, the plans.
Letty looks out the window.
I've been thinking I could try to
visit you at night after work, and
then there'd be more time on
weekends to see...
Like I've told you before I don't
want you taking care of me.
Someone has to take care of you
right now, Michael. You tore up
the apartment. You stopped taking
But that wasn't me. I didn't mean
to do that.
Well then why'd it happen?
I don't know. I don't fucking
Letty and Michael glare at each other. Letty looks away.
I'm sorry. I didn't come here to
I didn't mean for any of this to
Oh, God, Michael, I know.
Why does everything have to be so
Michael shakes his head.
What are we going to do?
What do you want to do?
I know I don't want to lose you. I
don't think I could stand it.
Yeah, but can you stand to be with
me like this?
Letty waits. She looks away. She turns back and stares into
Michael's eyes. Finally, she says it.
No. I can't, Michael. I'm so sorry,
but I just can't handle all this
Letty starts to cry. Tears well up in Michael's eyes.
I know. I can't either.
Michael sits down on the bed and they hold each other.
I love you so much.
I love you too, Letty. I love you,
Letty and Michael grip each other. Finally, they pull apart.
Maybe we could just run away to
Tahiti and live on the beach.
That's the best idea I've heard in
a long time.
Letty wipes a tear from Michael's cheek.
Don't you have a magic trick or
something to make this easier?
How about something better? Like a
he couple kisses more tenderly than ever before.
I can still come visit you, you
Would that really be such a good
idea for either of us?
Just promise me you'll be OK, OK?
I will. And you make sure you take
care of yourself.
Michael puts his hand under Letty's chin and draws her head
up so he can look into her eyes.
Promise you won't fall for any guys
pretending to be doctors.
Letty shakes her head "no" as tears stream down her face.
I guess I should go now.
You should go.
Letty stands up and walks toward the door. She comes back
and embraces Michael again. Slowly, they separate, and Letty
leaves the room. Michael stares out the window.
EXT. HILLVIEW PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL - SAME
Letty walks out the door, down the steps and along the front
walkway -- until, finally, the hospital recedes in the
INT. CLASSROOM - CHASEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - DAY
Letty sits on top of a desk. Children of all ages stare her
down. A few familiar faces--Bobby and Jenny--grace the room.
Principal Gail passes outside the window and glances in.
First of all, I want to welcome you
to MathShop. I have lots of fun
games planned for us.
Let's see, Bobby, can you help me
pass out these cards?
Bobby doesn't move.
Is something wrong, Bobby?
Why were you gone so long?
My mom said you went crazy.
I had what some people call a
nervous breakdown. I wasn't
dealing with life so well so I
To a place for psychos.
To a psychiatric institution.
It's a place where you figure out
what you want, and what things in
your life aren't working. You
learn to look out for yourself and
Letty trails off. She sees that she's lost the class. Bobby
launches a spit wad that hits the boy in front of him.
Let me show you the best thing I
She walks up to Bobby. He twists around in his seat, trying
to hide the rest of his supply of spit wads.
Letty waves her hand around Bobby's head. The children,
stare, delighted. She pulls a bright coin out of his ear,
and hands it to him.
Wow./ Neat./ Do it again, Miss
Letty puts her hands behind her back and produces a bouquet
of paper flowers. Now, she's got the class hooked.