M Y B E S T F R I E N D ' S W E D D I N G
by Ronald Bass
First Draft Screenplay
INT. BOULEY RESTAURANT, NEW YORK - NIGHT
Dim lighting, crowd buzz, a long line of the rich, the celebrated,
the congenitally impatient. Everyone in this queue holds a
reservation at least an hour overdue. Tourists can't even make the
line. PAN ahead to...
... the burnished dining room, the tables of power, the elegant
service. Covertly, many eyes are drawn to the one table receiving
by far the most lavish service of all. Captains hover, presenting
delicacies, pouring wines, murmuring obsequiously to a guest whose
person they screen from our view. We can see, however...
... the honored guest's companion. Ignored, bemused, across the
table. This is DIGGER DOWNES, 36, darkly attractive. Kind eyes,
an intellectual's mouth, Saville Row's most unobtrusive and
conservative chalk-stripe suit. He is gay, but you wouldn't guess
it. Loyal and wise and generous, and you might. He watches with a
quiet twinkle, as the Captains now step back, revealing to us...
... their most unlikely icon. JULIANNE POTTER, almost 28, wears
her favorite bulky sweater over a bunch of other stuff she pulled
together in fifteen seconds. She is unkempt, quick, volatile,
scattered, and beneath it all, perhaps because of it all, an
original beauty. Dark liquid eyes, a cynical mouth, slender
expressive fingers, which point to...
A variation on our squid ink
risotto. Trace of Moselle, to
sweeten the stock.
She doesn't like that idea at all. Shoots him a sharp look of
doubt that makes him smile. Murmur...
Don't kill us on this one, it's
a long shot.
Places the moist lump of black rice before her. She takes a
surprisingly small amount, rolls it over her tongue. Makes dead
flat eye contact with Digger. And nods, it's actually quite nice.
The Captain breathes with relief. She turns her dark eyes to him.
The tone says they're pals...
I'm writing it up as inventive and
confident. Which it is. Off the
record, I'll need an extra boat of
the ink. Or a salt shaker.
I'll toss a coin.
As the Captain splits, Digger looks around at the other tables,
which makes many pairs of eyes awkwardly glace away.
Is it ever embarrassing, having
your bum kissed in public?
If your ass isn't chapped, you
are not a good-writer of note.
She glances at her two remaining waiters, who shamelessly fawn
Is it sad to be an editor, and bask
only in reflected insincerity?
I've adjusted, and thanks for asking.
She leans forward, as if sharing something conspiratorial.
See the pull of a book like
Twenty Chefs, is not who I
put in. It's who I leave out.
Which is everyone you couldn't
Plus some guys whose food I don't
Pushes the risotte across to him. He lifts a fork.
This fellow from Newsday ever
She shrugs. Pulls a cellular out of a large, jumbled bag.
I'll buzz my machine. Inventive
and confident, yeh?
She dials. He tastes.
Is Newsday a real interview, or
just some cute guy you're setting
me up w...
... I don't send you men, anymore.
You don't know what to do with them.
She's punching in her code.
Sometimes I do. Like for two months.
Over the phone, we hear her answering machine...
MAN'S VOICE (V.O., soft)
Hey. It's Michael.
And her face changes. Warms. Just to hear the guileless voice.
God, it must be, what, months, huh?
I can't wait to talk to you. I'm
in Chicago at the Ritz Carlton...
She looks impressed and surprised. Fancy place for this guy.
Call me four in the morning,
whatever, we gotta talk.
As she hangs up. She still has that look in her eye. Digger has
never seen that, and he likes it very much.
Who called? The man of the
She smiles. A sweet, natural smile that makes us like her, too.
The Bohemian sophisticate has vanished.
No, no, the opposite. That's
my best friend, Michael O'Neal.
He sounds desperate to talk.
The wandering sportswriter.
He pushes the risotto back her way.
I didn't know you two had a
Her gaze sharpens. Hmmn?
The look in your eye.
She blushes. Shakes her head, no way.
Sophomore year at Yale we had
this one hot month. And, you
know me, I got restless...
He knows her. She got restless.
So I get up the nerve to break
his heart. I tell him there's
this dreamy exchange student
from Pakistan who wants to,
And he gets this... look. He
says, "I knew I couldn't hold
your interest", which, of course,
makes me feel like the shallow
bitch I've always been...
He nods, yeah.
Then he says, "But what makes
me want to cry. Is I'm losing
the best friend I ever had."
Hears the feeling. In her voice.
And when he said it, I knew.
I felt the same.
Silence now. She covers with a smile.
So I cried. For maybe the third
time in my life. And I kissed
him. And we've been best friends
Ever since. Fingers turning her wine glass...
Nine years, we've seen each other
through everything. Losing jobs,
losing parents, losing lovers...
travelled all over, we've had the
best times. The best times of my
life, maybe. Just drinking and
talking. Even over a phone.
No, he's nothing like me. He's
like you. Only straight.
No offense taken.
He's the salt of the earth. Kind
and loyal and generous. The one
constant thing in my life, is he'll
always be there.
He's still in love with you.
That stops her. She has to say...
Maybe. But it never gets in
Something she probably hasn't confessed out loud before. Digger
Well, he has a true friend in
He wants her to know he sees that.
Whenever George tells someone
how steadfast I am, he always
makes me sound boring.
Solid and genuine is not boring.
Michael can be completely insane...
A young waiter arrives. Sets a boat of black squid ink beside her
There was this one night in
Tucson, like six years ago...
we got amazingly drunk, I mean,
Keith Richards time...
The kid tops off her glass of meursault. Looking at her.
God, I haven't thought of this
in so long...
The waiter hanging now. Openly listening.
I can even believe we did
Digger sees the guy listening, gestures to her with his eyes. So
she looks up.
Could you give us a minute?
The kid stunned, speechless. People lose jobs for a lot less.
You won't miss much, I promise
there was no sex.
He reddens and disappears.
I've lost interest.
He takes a razor from his dinky
little dopp kit, cuts his fingertip,
takes my hand, does the same to me...
She places the tips of her index fingers together.
He says, "Swear. When we're both
28, if we've never been married...
we marry each other!"
And laughs again. Can you believe that? But Digger isn't smiling.
She wonders why. Begins to spoon black squid ink onto her risotto.
See, he figured that would be a
sign from God, or someone of
comparable authority, that we'd
misunderstood our destinies.
He still has this real serious look. She's still spooning ink.
We never talked about it again. I
don't know what made me think of...
And everything. Stops. She lifts her spoon, mesmerized by the
gravity of his tone.
You'll be 28 in three weeks.
How old is he?
Holy. Fucking. Shit. It hits her like a ton of lead bricks. She
shovels some swampy risotto into her mouth, without looking.
Desperate. To talk.
She shovels in more drippy black goop. It is really disgusting.
He's not proposing marriage,
there's no way I'm buying one
word of th...
Then why are you compulsively
eating? If you're not hysterical?
More goes in. Her lips and mouth completely black. Like a circus
He can't do that to me!
We're about to find out.
Ink is now dribbling out of the black hole of her mouth and down
her face. She absently dabs a napkin, keeping some of it from
reaching her sweater.
When I turn him down...
She realizes the full weight of the truth.
We'll never be the same.
I have a suggestion...
I'll have to kill myself before I
Staring in each other's eyes.
That was it.
INT. JULIANNE'S BATHROOM - LATE NIGHT
Julianne furiously scrubs her blackened tongue with a toothbrush.
Gray foam pours from her mouth, spattering the oversized basketball
jersey she wears as a nightshirt. In the mirror, her troubled eyes
dwell on Michael, flick to the cordless phone standing ominously on
the closed toilet lid.
She spits, sticks her tongue way out. Incredibly black. Great.
Depressed, terrified, and disfigured for life. She snatches up the
hated phone, and wanders aimlessly into...
... her bedroom. West Village view. Defiantly jumbled, aggres-
sively eclectic. Traces of wonderful taste mixed with I-like-it-
you-got-a-problem-with-that? She stumbles around, rehearsing...
This is awkward timing, Michael,
I just joined this convent, and
they never give your deposit ba...
Stops. Full-length mirror. She straightens her hair, to look her
Michael, I'm married.
... and I have two weeks to live.
Michael, I'm trying to be gay,
don't confuse me.
She turns to continue pacing, and walks straight INTO a dresser.
Stuns her, momentarily. Enough, already! She punches up the
number, primping absently in the mirror. When it connects...
I was calling Michael O'Neal,
but seeing it's so late, I could
just leave a mes...
No such luck. Cut off. Waits. And then...
Good evening, sir. You've been
enrolled in the Obscene Call Of
The Month Club, and th...
Hey! God, it's so good to hear
She forgets herself. Because it's good to hear his, too.
I've been calling for days!
Yeh, well my old machine kept
eating messages. I tried
constructively ignoring it in
hopes of improvement, but finally...
MICHAEL (V.O., urgent)
Look, I have to ask you something.
Something so incredibly important,
that if you turn me down, I don't
know what I'll d...
I just have to tell you this one
thing first, okay? I mean this
will hand you the biggest laugh
of your adult life...
Silence. Come on girl, suck it up.
I was thinking about you, and I
remembered this unbelievably insane
night we spent together in Tucson,
like a thousand years ago?
More silence. Really quiet.
I mean, there's no way you could
possibly remember the...
MICHAEL (V.O., soft)
Are you kidding?
Stops her. Like a brick wall. The sweetness in his voice.
I think about that night all
She's going to have a heart attack.
But it's not why I called.
She blinks. It's not. And just as a tsunami of relief begins to
I called because I met someone.
And her smiles breaks off. Like a spine snapping. Because there is
something in his voice.
Well, that's great. You haven't
really had anybody since Dingbat
You don't understand. I've never
felt this way about anybody!
Never. She sits down, hard. Right on the floor.
And she's all wrong for me!
I mean she's a junior at Chicago
University, she's twenty years
old! Like when I first met you.
Like when. Julianne's mouth is suddenly dry.
And her dad is like this billionaire
who owns the White Sox and some cable
empire, and you know how I've always
been miserably awkward around those
kinda stuffed suits...
She's finally making her mouth work...
But they're so down to earth, such
You've met her parents.
MICHAEL (V.O., quiet)
See. We're getting married.
There's a knife in her heart. She can scarcely breathe.
Michael, it's Wednesday night,
you can't possibly be getting
married on Su...
Actually, it all starts tomorrow.
It's one of those four-day weddings,
with all the traditional events, and
ten million people flying in from
JULIANNE (incredibly lame)
Aren't you... working this weekend?
I mean, is that responsible?
Well, the Sox are at home. SI's
letting me do a profile on the Big
Hurt. That's Frank...
... Thomas, yeh.
She's staring at herself in the mirror.
Jules. I'm scared.
A straw to lunge at.
Well, maybe we should talk ab...
I need you.
So heartfelt. A lifetime of emotion welling in her eyes.
If you can't come. And hold my
hand. I'll never get through this.
Please come, please.
I can't wait for you to meet her!
HOLD ON Julianne. Staring in the mirror. Like watching the end of
INT. BEDROOM - LATER
The closet, the armoire, all the drawers are wide open. Two huge
suitcases open on the bed, into which Julianne is flinging clothes,
as she fumbles to smoke and dial at the same time. Over the phone,
DIGGER (V.O., machine)
You've reached Digger and George.
Brevity will be appreciated.
JULIANNE (in a rage)
IT'S ME AGAIN, WHY AREN'T YOU GUYS
UP HAVING SAFE SEX??
SNATCHES up a tiny, clingy, sexy dress. Pouts at it.
OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, WHY AREN'T
YOU INTERRUPTING IT TO ANSWER
She holds the dress against her body. It's hot.
YOU, YOU, YOU! IT'S ALL ABOUT
YOU, ISN'T IT??
She clicks OFF. Checks the dress in the mirror. Raises the short
skirt a little higher.
INT. DIGGER'S CHEROKEE, JFK AIRPORT - EARLY MORNING
Digger driving the open-air Cherokee up the ramp to United Airlines
departures. Julianne, wind-whipped, trying to light a fresh
cigarette from the butt of the last one. He glances over. Hates
to see this...
You can't get lung cancer and
die in four days. Go to Plan B.
She sucks deep. Really deep.
You have no appropriate sense
of emergency. My best friend
is ruining his life.
No, he's ruining yours.
Same difference. If you love
someone, it's your duty to save
them from themselves.
You have a real philosophy of
It's called the Law of Love,
She is tight enough to snap. And at the edge of tears. Staring
out at the skycaps, clinging to her cigarette, as he eases to the
Why don't we have a drink? You
could catch a later fl...
I'm a busy girl. I've got four
days to break up a wedding, and
steal the bride's fella.
She finally looks at him. He doesn't say anything.
He's adored me for nine goddamn
I can see why.
She knows him maybe five seconds,
plus she has billions of dollars,
plus she's perfect, so don't go
feeling sorry for Miss Pre-Teen Illinois!
He's not. So her voice softens. Which shows the hurt.
And don't go feeling sorry for
me, you don't know me that well.
We're only friends.
I stand corrected.
Tears now. Stand in her eyes.
I'm making a big mistake, huh?
Maybe you'll learn something.
He wraps his hand over hers. She looks down at it.
I'm gonna bring him back, man.
Against all odds, y'know. Cos
if I don't...
She wraps her fingers around his.
... I gotta live with it forever.
Looks in his eyes.
And at my wedding. I'll be the
only bride with her own best man.
And she kisses his cheek.
Jumps out of his car. Before she cries. Yanks her bags from the
back. Brave smile.
They trade small salutes. And then she's gone.
INT. O'HARA AIRPORT, CHICAGO - MORNING
The jetway disgorging passengers into the swarming ant colony
called O'Hare. Julianne lugging multiple carry-ons, trying to pull
fly-away strands of hair into place, nervous as a schoolgirl,
looking all around, and...
... there he is. MICHAEL is tall and square-shouldered, a boyish
grin, an unruly shock of hair. He looks gorgeous, sweet, and just
dangerous enough to be irresistible. Worthwhile stakes. His face
lights to see her, and she...
... RUNS to his arms, shedding bags along the way, slamming off
heedless civilians, to be...
... SWEPT OFF the earth in strong arms, spun around, laughing like
crazy, their cheeks tight together. When he sets her down...
... he kisses her nose. His arms are still around her.
Can you believe it? Can you believe
I'm actually gonna do this?
JULIANNE (lost in his eyes)
He beams. Turns. She follows his gaze, and...
... there she is. KIMBERLY WALLACE is 20, small and slender, but it
is a body to die for. The face is striking, not at all perky and
vapid, but lovely and interesting. Worst of all, intelligent.
She walks toward them purposefully, her eyes locked to the woman in
her fiancee's arms. At the last moment, Michael releases Julianne
... THROWS her arms around the startled visitor. HOLDS her tight,
with such genuine warmth that Julianne can only, slowly, hug back.
As Michael beams.
This just makes everything so
Her arms stay around the slightly dazed Julianne. The younger
girl leans close, confides...
All I've heard, from the day I
met Michael, is Julianne this,
and Julianne that...
I think the best part of marrying
this guy is finding you.
Pale gray eyes. Alive with joy and intimacy.
I've never had a sister.
INT. KIMMY'S CONVERTIBLE - DAY
Kimmy TEARING down the throughway in her Mercedes 500 SL, a
dashing, confident driver. Julianne riding shotgun, hair flying, a
total wreck, in the open convertible. Michael is happily crouched
on the little platform behind their seats, hugging his knees. The
roar of the wind makes it impossible for him to hear them.
My heart's in my throat, here.
Right off, I have to ask this
You need a few dollars.
Kim glances over. At eighty miles an hour. A bittersweet look.
Dry. Just like he said.
Her eyes at once admiring and regretful.
I can be quick. I can even
Shakes her head. An endearing youngster.
But I can't be dry.
Can you watch the road?
See. Dry. It's in the delivery.
She looks back to the highway.
This is a very presumptuous
and burdensome fav...
... you want a menage on your
KIMMY (straight back)
No, that wouldn't be burdensome.
Julianne studying the delicate, angular profile. Hard not to like
My classmate Angelique shattered
her pelvis line dancing in
Abeline on Spring Break.
Looks over. The sweetest smile.
Be my maid of honor.
Julianne just blinks.
You can't believe what it'd
cost to bring in a temp.
Uh. How about promoting a
bridesmaid? Someone you know
for at least forty-five minutes.
We CUT OFF a huge SEMI who BLASTS his horn. Kimmy fearless,
oblivious, and analytical...
The bridesmaids are my only two
female relatives under forty.
Identical twin debutantes from
Nashville, who are basically
vengeful sluts. With amazing
Which was the disqualifying
The twin part. I like to remain
impartial in my contempt.
Sees the off-ramp, and SLICES across FOUR LANES of speeding bullets
in a heart-stopping nanosecond. This kid could drive for Penske.
Julianne has to pound her chest to get her heart started. Looks
back to see if Michael fell out...
... he is absurdly wind-blown. Gives her a beautiful grinning
thumbs-up. Loves this stuff.
This means I have four days
to make you my new best friend...
Brings Julianne's eyes back...
And since I already know everything
about you. Including intimate
facts I'm mortified to have heard,
but too envious to forget. It's
time for you to learn about me...
Easing off the freeway. She meets Julianne's glance...
Force yourself. To get personal.
Sounds like a plan.
INT. DRESS SHOP, NORTH MICHIGAN AVENUE - MORNING
The place is stunning. High-ceiling, soft light, large rococo
mirrors, Louis Quatorze sofas and chairs. Michael wanders rest-
lessly, fish out of water among designer displays and stylish
Takes a look at his watch.
INT. DRESSING ROOM - MORNING
A period sitting room, ringed with mirrors along its tapestried
walls. Kimmy sits on a Louis Treize loveseat next to a stack of
costly gowns. Watching with an expertise beyond her years, as...
... Julianne stands on a platform. A seamstress fitting her into a
sleek pale daffodil-colored gown. There are pins everywhere, as
the seamstress struggles toward a perfect fit. Continuously
looking to Kim for approval.
If you'd rather the lilac...
Julianne shakes her head. This one is beautiful.
I thought bridesmaids had to wear
the same dress.
Not you. You won't be comfortable
unless you're distinctive.
Julianne glances over.
What else did he tell you...
... you hate weddings, you never go.
Oh. Well, yeah.
You're not up for anything
conventional, or popularly
assumed to be female priorities.
Including marriage. Or romance.
And she stops. Not wanting to offend.
... not even love.
The look holds. The seamstress keeps working, as if she's deaf.
That's why Michael and I were
the wrong fit. Right from the
He said that, too.
She stands up. Walks to the platform. Smooths her hand over the
fabric down Julianne's back, along her hips. Communicating to the
seamstress with her irritated expression.
Well, I thought I was like you.
And proud to be. Until I met
rumpled, smelly old Michael...
Pins start to come out. Kimmy points, these, too!
And then I found I was just a
sentimental schmuck. Like all
those flighty nitwits I'd always
She leans forward. So they can look at each other.
Funny world, huh?
Julianne swallows. It is that.
I need a smoke.
And before anyone can breathe, she steps OFF the platform RIPPING
the living shit out of the gown, right down the side. The seam-
stress' eyes FLASH OPEN in abject horror. Julianne, a deer in
headlights, looks quickly around at the evidence of her screw-up in
six different mirrors.
Kimberly just steps to her, fingers the tear...
It's mostly the seam. Let's
get this to Carlos.
And UNZIPS Julianne down the back. In her rush to step out,
Julianne STUMBLES, but her arms are pinned by the pulled-down dress
and she just...
... TOPPLES like a felled oak, THUDDING on her face, the gown
RIPPING some more, the seamstress SCREAMING like an idiot.
Then. Silence. Julianne looking up helplessly, a trussed hog,
bound in her dress.
Just. Don't. Move.
Like you talk to a three-year-old. Deftly, Kimmy pulls the
dress free, leaving Julianne in her underwear. Signals to the
seamstress, let's go.
Don't you have to be somewh...
... just my bridal shower. And
Michael has to meet our dads and
the groomsmen at Comiskey for a
Opens the door...
Other than that...
Closed SOLID. Gone.
INT. DRESSING ROOM - LATER
Julianne sits on the loveseat in her bra and panties, lighting one
cigarette from the butt of another. Suddenly, she hears...
... an ARGUMENT outside the door. Strains to listen. It does sound
like Michael and Kim. We can't make out the words. She jumps up,
dashes for the door, STUBBING her toe on the platform, SHIT!, falls
heavily AGAINST the door with a THUD that makes her wince, and...
... the argument stops. Damn. She opens the door a crack. Sees
nothing. Opens it wider to reveal...
... a teenaged BOY looking right at her. He sends a true shit-
eating grin and she SLAMS the door hard enough to RATTLE walls.
She PACES furiously, helplessly, arms around her half-naked self,
... soft knock. The door opens a crack, and her daffodil gown
comes through it.
Come in, and shut the...
Stops. Because it's Michael who has entered. With the dress.
So he does. She flushes and SNATCHES up her own clothes, which
were characteristically tangled in a heap, and tries desperately to
untangle them enough to cover herself. He is amazed and amused by
Should I turn around, or someth...
Michael, I'm in my underwear!
She's TEARING at her clothes, only making more of a mess.
We've seen each other a lot
more naked than this.
She seems ready to rip her clothes apart, so he gently takes them
from her hands. She tries to stand unselfconsciously as he easily
I mean, we were skinny-dipping
in Greece, just as pals, less
than two years ago.
She GRABS the clothes and covers the front of herself. Looking at
him with a mix of emotions she couldn't begin to sort out.
Things are different now.
He looks in her eyes. And nods, a little sadly. Guess they are.
Well. I leave with two thoughts
in my mind.
He walks to the door. Puts his hand on the latch. Looks back...
MICHAEL (even softer)
You're still a very pretty
The look holds. And holds. There is such feeling on both sides,
she doesn't know what to make of it. She swallows.
What's the sec...
And he's gone. She looks around at six different VIEWS of her
uncovered backside. Hmm.
INT. HOTEL UNDERGROUND GARAGE - DAY
The parking valets wait by their stand as the convertible pulls up.
These girls must be late for something, the way they're jumping out
of the car.
... luckiest guy in the Northern
Fucking Hemisphere, is all I'm s...
What? Because I'm a little
... most sentimental schmucks I
pity want a honeymoon after their
wedding. Just to top it off.
The valet gives Kimmy her ticket.
I can't expect the NBA to hold
up the playoffs...
They're walking fast toward the garage elevators...
I'm excited Sports Illustrated
gave him this kind of shot, he's
only there a ye...
So your honeymoon is exactly where?
It depends. If San Antonio sweeps
Sacramento, we could start there.
Or Phoenix. Or depending on Indiana-
... garden sports, all. Little swing
of maybe fifty degrees Fahrenheit,
represents a packing challenge, but
there's fine food and cocktails at a
choice of Embassy Suit...
At the elevator. Kimmy SLAMS the button.
It's his career, I'm supportive.
Look, I've been everywhere, I've
seen the world, I've laid on a beach.
I want to be with the man I love.
That's what makes it a honeymoon.
End of story. Okay?
I'm just saying he's lucky.
An empty elevator arrives. They get in.
Takes one woman in a billion to
put up with his array of shit.
The guy is a one-man festival of
Kimmy SLAMS the penthouse button. Looks at her calmly. Go on.
Well. You've been introduced
to the symphonic range of...
... his snoring, yeah. He says
it's worse than ever. That
Julianne imitates an incredibly annoying high-pitched SNARL. Three
times. Kimmy nods.
Well now it has this sorta
phlegm rattle behind it...
Stopped at the lobby. A family of four gets in. Oblivious, Kimmy
DEMONSTRATES the phlegm rattle. Really gets into it. As the
family watches, Julianne tries her own version. Like that? No.
More like this. The family is looking at each other.
Guess what? Earplugs work.
... cigars in bed? I broke him
on that. But the bathroom's a
swamp, he wears Reeboks to dinner,
tells the same, admittedly funny,
jokes three hundred times...
Sucks in a breath...
... loves action movies, subscribes
to Playboy for godsake, reads over
my shoulder, can't keep track of
the checks he writes...
Ninth floor. The family gets out. The door closes.
He sucks soup through his
A trademark move, don't touch
But he sure can kiss.
It's been awhile. I'll take
After two weeks of cataloguing
all his faults, I made a command
decision that changed my life.
She SLAMS the EMERGENCY STOP button. We JOLT to a halt.
I threw the list away.
Shakes her head.
He's not a balance sheet, so
many wonderful qualities, so
many faults. He's Michael.
From her heart.
And loving him means loving
all of this.
Do you get nervous in small
So it's sweet of you to be
Let me rephrase that...
But nothing ever could, ever
did, give me a moment's pause
about this marriage...
Do you get hysterical in small
... except one.
Julianne's face. Stops.
Kimmy nods. Confides...
You'll always be there. In his
mind. The perfect creature he
loved for all those y...
Well, perfection can get wearing
I'm not joking. I had to face
up to all my competitive drives,
and believe me, I've got 'em.
And the answer was so simple.
I was gonna predict that.
Julianne blinks. Excuse me?
You're enshrined in his heart
and memory. Unassailable.
Which works out great.
I've missed a step.
He has you on a pedestal. And
me in his arms.
Oh. Julianne smiles. LUNGES for the EMERGENCY button, YANKING it
so hard it comes OFF in her hand. A terrifying BUZZER ensures.
Jesus, we're trapped!
No, this happened to me once,
almost, it was excruciating!
Begins BANGING random buttons, out of control. Kimmy watching
this. Julianne looks WILDLY up...
There's a panel up there, you
could boost me...
RIPPING off her platform shoes.
You know how little air is
in these things? I've seen
statistics! Once you're trapped
Kimmy taps her. Points to the lighted panel. It says PH, they've
reached the Penthouse.
God! Then the door is jammed!
Takes a heavy platform and begins BANGING the metal door with all
her strength, sending resounding BOOMS throughout the area, as
Kimmy reaches and...
... presses DOOR OPEN. The metal doors part, opening directly onto
the banquet room, just as a mighty blow comes down, and the platform
FLIES from Julianne's hand straight BETWEEN...
... two identical stunning YOUNG WOMEN, serving as twin hostesses
for the shower. A beat of mutually-stupefied looks, and we hear
the shoe CRASH somewhere, to a small spattering of SHRIEKS.
Mah Gawd, it's the bride,
and the woman she'll nevah
live up to!
KIMMY (mutters to Julianne)
That would be us.
Did she say th' wrong thang
agin? It is so in character!
AMANDA and SAMANTHA NEWHOUSE, 19-year-old twins. True Southern
belles, with the faces of angels and bodies made for hot oil
wrestling. Mandy's hair is dyed ash blonde, Sammy's is amber.
Otherwise, the experience is similar.
(thrusts out her hand)
I'm Julianne Potter, and...
... we'd be the vengeful sluts.
We came in complementary colors.
Have you sized up the groomsmen,
Jules? As M. of H., you get
first fuck. Don't pick the
short, hairy, rich one.
... unless he has a hump.
The girls cast identical blank looks at Kimberly.
KIMMY (to the sluts)
Dry. I told you.
WOMAN'S VOICE (V.O.)
Is this Michael's Julianne?
All eyes turn to an elegant woman of barely 40. She has her
daughter's hair and eyes and slender form. But the bearing rules
half an empire. Fonda would envy.
I'm Isabelle Wallace, and my
handsome new son scarcely did
you justice, girl.
She takes both of Julianne's hands, and our heroine is sort of
magically charmed. As if touched by Glinda the Good Witch of the
Now, my husband says to scoot
you over to the ballpark, so
you can hang with Michael. But
first, you have to meet a lot of
really old women.
Looking warmly in her eyes...
That is, if you've absorbed
Flicks a glance at the twins. Leads Julianne off...
MANDY (O.S., pouting)
We sayed one fuck.
INT. TAXI, SOUTH SIDE - DAY
Cab crawling toward COMISKEY PARK through stifling traffic.
Julianne oblivious, cellular to her ear...
Desperate measures! Do you
hear me? Digger, are you the...
SQUAWK. Static. Then...
I don't know, hit men, whoopee
cushions, saltpeter, something!
The girl is impossibly impregnable.
Even I want her to get the guy!!
Tell him the what? The truth...??
She shakes her head. What a guy.
That desperate. May I never get.
INT. LUXURY BOX, COMISKEY PARK - AFTERNOON
Game in progress. Watched by Michael, three groomsmen his age, two
middle-aged men, and one bodyguard. Suddenly, a dull THUMPING at
the door. It keeps up. They finally all look over. The bodyguard
gets the door, revealing...
Which of you gents ordered
One single tray. Holding fourteen beers. Balancing on one hand.
Michael JUMPS UP, terrified at the impending mayhem this sight
Wow! Lemme give you a ha...
Michael. You'll unwittingly
imply that I'm clumsy.
He stops in his tracks. The guys whistle.
Think of that. And as well as
I know you.
She goes first to the bodyguard.
Sorry, ma'am, I'm on duty.
JULIANNE (lovely smile)
It's Miss. And thanks. That
leaves two for me.
Heads down the row...
Julianne Potter, this is Hank
and Gerry from SI, and you know
She's nodding, flawlessly plucking two beers each from perimeter
of the tray, keeping the rest perfectly balanced in the center.
Michael is flat dumbstruck. Next, a tall patrician gentleman with
rolled-up sleeves on his hand-stitched silk shirt...
Oh. This is my father-in-law,
Once again, she gracefully plucks two beers for the distinguished
How are you doing this? You're
Sets them down. The man has a smile wonderful in its ease.
If he gives you grief, I'll have
him skillfully beaten, where the
wounds won't show.
I guess getting him whacked would
be politically out of the question.
Under the circumstances. Charmed
to know you, Jules.
Nice meeting you, too, Walt.
A nod between equals. She moves on...
And, this guy, you know...
She sure does, and effortlessly balancing her one-hand load, she
dips to kiss a porky, balding guy with big-time shoulders.
Straight on the lips.
They go way back. He is uncomfortable at this rich man's wedding,
even as gracious as everyone has been. His watering eyes twinkle
at her, and the voice has a trace of Boston...
You gonna be my boy's best man?
Despite SHOUTS from the others...
Best everything, Joe. But I'm
going to dance with you.
Dance? You don't dance! You
learn to dance??
Her innocent smile.
Moves. You've never seen.
BIG reaction from the guys, as she heads toward Michael with the
last of the beers, not looking down at the FIELDER'S MITT which
lies right in her path, and as his lips part to scream a warning,
... neatly AROUND it. He's in shock.
You're an impostor! What have
you done with my best friend?
As he takes away the remaining beers...
And how was the hot dog?
Hot dog? His eyes fix on her left breast. HUGE mustard stain.
She can't believe it.
Cheap and unnecessary. We were
EXT. LUXURY BOX ROOF - DAY
Michael and Julianne sit with their beers on the edge of the luxury
box roof. The game, the stadium, spread out beneath them. Yet
they are alone in the world. She dangles her legs, and we can hear
her kicking the glass below.
I just admire your maturity,
that's all. I mean, there are
people who would find that kind of
perfection boring. Day after day,
year after year...
... see, that's what I thought at
first. How can you like someone
that perfect? No potential for
Drinking their beers. Side by side. Both stare only at the game.
Luckily. The closer I watched,
the more the fault came into
focus. Each imperfection its own
adorable slice of vulnerability.
She's too genuine.
How can you trust someone you
can never mistrust?
Keep sipping. Never look at each other.
No matter how many times I
leave the toilet seat up, she
forgets and puts it down.
My very point. Here's another one...
Shakes his head. This one really gets him.
Every day. She makes the bed.
Quite the little eccentric.
At first, I thought it was a
gag, but she's always done it!
This is not the ammunition Julianne was hoping for.
Is there a coup de grace in
She admires. Tommy Lasorda.
Waiter! Check, please!
She finds him "personable."
Can that kind of defect be
passed on genetically?
She looks over now. And Michael is looking back. Smiling the most
wonderful smile. Her reaction shows that she thinks it's for her,
Then again. She has a few good
Hating herself for asking, but seeing no way out...
Gimme like, eight and nine off
the top ten list...
First girl I ever knew. Who
lets me give her a bath.
The look in his eyes. She can hardly bear it.
And when I hug her, even in
public. I don't have to let go
right away. She lets me hold
her as long as I want.
He seems so deeply in love.
Nice kid, don't you think?
A beat. A slow nod. A quiet...
Looks like, from here.
INT. SOUTH SIDE CLUB - NIGHT
A slender black woman sings a SOARING Gospel number, backed by
three ladies who could each solo in any church choir. It is
mesmerizing, stirring, transcendent. The unseen audience CLAPPING
FIERCELY in rhythm, SHOUTING support. SLOW PAN now...
... every face is black. We aren't in church at all, but a
venerable blue club. One of those places you'd swear everybody's
played, from Robert Johnson to Bessie Smith and back again. As
the song ends, there is APPLAUSE, some RAPPING on tables with their
knuckles or their drunks. We keep PANNING to a far corner. Three
Julianne leans across her beer to Kimmy...
How'd you find this pl...
Kim shaking her head. Looks admiringly to Michael...
Lived here my whole life,
never heard of it. Until
our first date.
She reaches slender fingers. Traces one back along his hair.
He finds all these spots,
everywhere he goes, it's a
Jesus, one d-back from the Bears
knows a place...
It's not just clubs. This guy
always knows the best everything.
The best guitar store, the best
beef ribs, the best Horowitz record,
was he always like the...
... always. The best dim sum, the
best camping stuff...
Stop, we're embarrassing h...
... best valley in New Zealand,
best... women's shoes...
I tried those on. When you
Now he's grinning at Julianne. And she likes that a lot.
Where was that, Florence, huh?
Together in the memory. As Kimmy watches.
The Vespa? Me hanging on behind
in the rain all night?
Till the gas ran out.
And, the first sniff of left-out...
I love Florence.
Julianne's eyes flicker. Could this be a teensy opening? Keeps
her eyes, her easy smile, and her killer instincts trained on
Take her there.
He nods, okay.
I mean, now. She's perky,
she deserves a honeymoon.
He draws a breath...
I heard. If San Antone sweeps
Sacramento. What is this shit?
You gotta get off the road by
September anyway, when does Fall
And the happy couple look at each other. They are awkward.
Julianne's heart soar like eagle.
Uh. I'm not coming back. For
Could this be. The Mother Lode?
Don't architects find a degree,
sort of... an asset?
The couple still staring in each other's eyes.
Well, the school will be here.
Architecture will still be around.
I travel every week. College
ball, motor sports, training
The most important thing. Is
And she smiles. Beautifully.
I'm just a baby. I've got all...
the time... in the world.
EXT. CLUB - NIGHT
Michael putting Kim in the back of a cab. As Julianne watches.
Because I could come...
To the twins' soiree? So they
can paw you and drool...?
JULIANNE (calls out, helpful)
They're gonna drool anyway!
Kim smiles. He kisses her, tenderly, through the open window. She
waves past him at Julianne.
KIMMY (to both)
Enjoy each other.
And drives off. As he watches after, Julianne comes up behind him.
Slips her hand up onto his shoulder muscle. Starts giving a little
Should I whistle down a cab?
Hey, cabs are expensive. I'm
Turns his head, to see her. She's still rubbing his shoulder.
Sometimes. About the dumbest
Share a smile. As always, it covers a lot of years.
The El's right down the street.
Unless you're afraid of the
She looks around. It is an issue. But she remembers...
No. I'm always safe with you.
She means that. He takes her by the hand. They begin walking...
Pretty amazing girl, you've got.
Make that kind of sacrifice.
What, leaving school...
... all of it. She's leaving her
family, her friends, everything she
knows. She's putting her career
on hold, and she seems a pretty
ambitious, driven, kind of pers...
In her way.
All to follow you in this dumb
job, where you travel 52 weeks
a year to College Station, Texas,
and such. It's not a job for a
grown man, Michael, Peter Pan
He's let go of her hand now. Looking down at the pavement before
him, fists in his jacket pockets.
I don't think she's naturally
the... submissive type. Aren't you
afraid she's gonna choke on this
stand-by-your-man shit after awhi...
MICHAEL (real quiet)
Hit a nerve. This is promising.
I mean Walter owns the Sox, cable
sports... most girls in her spot would
be angling to get Daddy to offer you
some juicy gig right here in t...
She would never. Never. Even think
Paydirt. Julianne's Geiger Counter is going berserk.
I guess you're right. That would
be deceitful... manipulative...
I got the point.
He looks over at her. No smile on his face. An edge we haven't
seen. She shrugs...
Still. All's fair in love and
That would be a girl. I don't
They've reached the stairs to the El. A rickety train RATTLES
above them. As they start up, she slips her arm around his
Forgive me, okay? I was talkin'
He slides his arm around her shoulder. Pals. They climb out of
INT. HOTEL BATHROOM - LATE NIGHT
CLOSE on a shallow pool of water in a bathroom sink. Green powder
pouring in, a hand SWIRLING it around, until...
It's Albanian, I think. Or Mongolian.
Or Canadian. One of those. I bought
... it becomes truly disgusting lumpy green mud.
I figure, what the hell. Can it
make me look worse?
Follow the hand up as it SLATHERS the shit across her face in great
green dripping gobs. She's juggling the wall phone, trying to keep
it mudless, as she assures Digger...
Dig, of course. Of course, of
course, of course, of course I
have a plan. Certainment!
More green slime. The Julianne we know disappears.
How? I ask myself, what would
Lucy Ricardo do in this situa...
Desecrates three hotel towels, wiping her hand.
Well, one worked, once.
THROWS them in the bathtub. Fastidiousness a short suit.
Ricky wouldn't let her in
Reaches for her toothbrush, absently. All her attention is on the
conversation and the hideous green face in the mirror.
I recall it differently, but
Without looking, picks up a tube of hotel shampoo...
So in the version, you're Ethel,
with better fashion instincts.
Squeezes it all over the toothbrush.
This puts you in charge of Plan B,
the unprincipled and insanely
dangerous back-up plan...
Lifts it toward her mouth, liquid shampoo dripping from the
In case simple lying doesn't work.
At the last second. She stops. We don't know why, because she's
still never looked at the brush.
Question. What happens if you
brush your teeth with shampoo?
Turns on the tap. Tries to scrub the toothbrush clean, and DROPS
the phone into the green swamp, which SPATTERS all over her front.
Euucch. She's stymied, agitated, circling the sink, leaning down
HOLD ON. I'M COMING IN FOR YOU!
She sets the toothbrush down in her toiletries kit. Decides to
YANK on the phone's cord, and the receiver SPRINGS out, BOPPING
her in the face. She's so filthy at this point, she just wipes it
clean on her nightshirt. Tells Digger...
You okay? This is one of those
Lifts the toothbrush and tube of paste from her kit.
Right. Your role. You know guys
from Sports Illustrated, yes? I
mean, you can walk right in there...
Squeezes on the paste, lifts the brush to her mouth...
You could get access to letterhead,
JAMS it in her mouth, brushing as...
... or even, maybe, their fax.
Stops. The funniest look on her face. Down to the toothpaste
Which says BEN GAY.
INT. TIFFANY'S - MORNING
Julianne and Kimmy cruise the stately display cases. Everywhere,
the Tiffany logo, the silent, watchful staff in morning coats. As
they browse, Julianne takes a blueberry Danish from a paper sack,
and begins to eat.
The staff notices. So does Kim.
It's an homage thing.
Awkward girls grow up on Audrey
Hepburn movies. You wouldn't
Kimmy doesn't. But wipes a blue glob from Julianne's face.
Anyway, I think you're wrong.
What you were saying before.
About Michael's job.
Oh, that. I forgot I even said
I just think you're wrong, is all.
Probably am. Forget I brought it
Points to some jade pins. Kimmy wrinkles her nose.
I mean, he loves his job.
Bad games, bad towns, bad pay, bad
flights, bad hotels, real bad food.
Homeless, rootless, lonely, maybe
your copy gets into one issue out
What's not to love?
None of this is lost on Kimmy. She's wondered the same.
But he always says...
... whatever is manly and
Kim nods slowly. Way ahead of her.
Why would he trade that for
running, say, a big piece of
the PR at a powerful, complex,
challenging conglomerate like
Kim stares back. A strange look.
That's just the sort of thing
my father and I discussed.
Julianne just blinks. Amazed.
I'm not stupid. Say, how
Pointing to tiny golden scissors in the novelty case. Kim so
absorbed by the main topic, she has to force herself to focus on...
For the twins? What in the
world is th...
Gold nose hair clippers.
Points to the tiny hand-lettered sign. Indeed. Kimmy shrugs, not
So you don't think Michael's
as happy with his job as...
Julianne points to a matched pair of large...
Gold dog collars? They don't
Kim nods, oh. But can't keep her mind off...
You think he'd accept?
Michael. A job like that.
By any yardstick that involves
sanity, it would be the greatest
thing that ever happened to him.
Present company excepted.
Kimmy nodding slowly. Her yearing achingly apparent.
On the other hand, he's proud.
Last thing a man wants to admit,
is being trapped in a dispiriting
dead-end job that can never
support a family.
A very sweet smile.
Throw a man a life preserver.
He'll say, "Thanks, anyway,
I'd rather drown."
Kim nods again. Right. They are so bonded at this moment.
So... one almost has to...
What you said. Make it appear
that he's doing you the favor.
Kimmy bites her lip. Her eyes go down. Self-conscious to admit...
I couldn't really... do that.
After, you know...
Her voice trails off.
JULIANNE (kind, but wise)
... lying. All the time.
That brings the gray eyes up. Julianne bats her dark ones...
Oh, darling, my pitiful desires
and ambitions are dirt beneath
the manly boots of your priorities!
Kimmy has to smile small. A self-awe gal.
JULIANNE (pouring it on)
Two hundred seedy motels a year?
Dinners out of vending machines?
Waiting for you in vermin-infested
corridors of dark crotch-rot locker
rooms? This stuff makes me hot!!
The very words I've used.
Julianne 'thinks it over.' Kimmy waits for guidance.
We make Dad your co-conspirator.
Michael does a favor for Walter.
Walter's reorganizing his public
relations, needs a brilliant guy
who's close to him, who he can
Kimmy nodding. Hope overriding reason.
So you beg. Michael, please do
this for Daddy, please, please,
please, blah, blah, blah... it's
only for six months... it would
mean so much to me to help him out...
Turns up her palms. Viola!
He'll see right through it.
Only. If he wants to.
They share a smile.
In six months, he'll be happy,
He won't get mad, huh?
MR. MOONEY (O.S.)
May I be of any help, whatsoever?
Mr. Mooney is the most gracious Brit salesperson ever to offer
kindness, intelligence and thoughtfulness to a customer. He is
large, sixty, with disappearing hair, watering eyes, and a manner
that makes you think of immediately hiring a butler.
Bridesmaid gifts for two, well,
assertive, outspoken, Tennessee
KIMMY (still focused)
He won't be mad?
JULIANNE (to Mooney)
Nothing here seems to quite capture
their distinctive personalities.
Something customized, perhaps?
We can fashion most any item
Ah. Julianne nodding. Reflecting.
An object that might represent
what is closest. To their heart.
KIMMY (under her breath)
Don't even think dildo.
Julianne digs through her jumbled bag...
Could you do this...
Tossing an object on the counter...
In 24 carat?
It is a MASTERCARD. A gold one.
They smile at each other. More bonded than ever.
You don't think he'll be mad.
A beat. Can Julianne even make herself do this?
Your call. You can live a lie.
In a fabulous selection of Red
Roof Inns. Or you can make one
desperate stab at hap...
I just don't want to freak him
What do you think? Julianne stares into the soft gray eyes. It's
now or never. The smile of a dear sister...
How mad could he get?
INT. FASHION RESTAURANT - LUNCH HOUR
Julianne enters with a really nervous Kimberly in tow. Approaches
the maitre d'. We CLOSE to hear...
Oh, Mr. Wallace and his guests
have retired to the humidor.
Points to an escalator, leading to the mezzanine. Behind a glass
wall, what looks like a British men's club. Thirty guys and a
billion cigars. As Julianne starts toward it...
She turns back. Loves this shit.
It's unofficial, of course. But,
traditionally, the humidor is for
Great. I've got this girlfriend
at the Justice Department? With
all this time on her hands?
Her look is every bit as hard as his. He gestures to the
escalator. She takes Kimmy's hand, and up they go. We can see
Walter in a big leather chair, enjoying a major stogie. Kimmy
licks her lips.
They enter. Every head turns. A nice range of reactions, from
offended to attracted and points in between.
Piece of cake. I'll hang, and
think happy thoughts...
Kimmy nods. Heads over toward her father. Julianne walks,
confidently, even provocatively, to the wall lined with bins of
cigars. Every eye in the place is on her butt.
She runs her fingers over a few contenders. Plucks one out,
examines it, puts it back. Walks a little farther. Selects
another, big and black. Rolls it expertly in her fingers. Sniffs
along its length.
A guy comes over. Could be 40, successful, a broker's pin-stripe.
Nearly as attractive as he thinks he is.
Know what you're looking for,
Little lady, huh? She glances at his coven of buddies, who pretend
not to notice. Then, straight to the guy's blue eyes.
Yeah. Do you?
I asked first.
Ah. Wit. She holds up her cigar...
I like 'em long and hard. Kind
of... big around.
Runs it under her nose.
Smell is important, I'm a believer
Takes a match from a cut crystal bowl.
But you never know what you've
got. Till you run your tongue
And she does. Moistening the full length of the cigar. The boys
are laughing openly. She STRIKES the match. As she lights up...
I meant. What you're looking for
in a man.
She glances at his wedding ring. Then, straight into his eyes.
Actually, I'm partial to married
The way she says that. The guy swallows. We can see some of the
air has been sucked from the room.
Why is that?
It's so much time. When I phone
Explosive LAUGHTER from the peanut gallery. As she jams the big
Clemente Churchill into her mouth, she sees Kimmy waving her over
from across the room. Without even looking at the guy she's just
... she crosses the room, Walter stands politely, looking very
dapper, very powerful, and focusing on her with considerable
interest. He waits until she sits on the edge of a costly leather
She can't read this guy. Maybe that's how he built an empire. She
You're a woman of insight.
He sits on the arm of his chair. Close enough to speak quietly.
My wife and I love this marriage,
and deplore its circumstances.
He puffs his cigar. Julianne puffs her. Kimmy looks on, a kid
watching the grown-ups...
As you guessed, my daughter is
unhappy about giving up her life.
And, in my opinion, cowardly in
avoiding the necessary confrontation.
Then he stops. As if reading Julianne's eyes.
Mike has a world of ability.
I'd do anything to have him in
One more puff.
Except ask him.
Julianne is a little stunned. Kimmy looks helpless.
He'd resent it. And me. And,
most important, Kim.
No smile on his lips. Straight talk.
He's a great kid, but he's still
a kid. Instead of recognizing
that his resistance comes from
insecurity, he'd turn it to anger.
To protect himself...
Spreads his hands...
... from realizing that he's
ignoring my daughter's needs,
despite how very much he loves her.
He looks to his daughter now.
They both have some growing up
to do. But they're good people,
they're starting with love.
They've got time.
I think you're making a mistake,
His eyes come back to her. A little sharply.
And that interests me. How
someone who knows him so well
could be so wrong.
A formidable guy. She meets his gaze.
See, I love him, too, as much
as anyone here. And for a
whole lot longer.
From her heart.
I think I know best what would
make him happy.
INT. TOILET STALL - DAY
Julianne, fully dressed, sits on the closed lid of a toilet seat.
The stall is tiny enough to arouse claustrophobia in an astronaut.
Her cellular phone pressed to her ear, she is listening angrily,
smoking ferociously, every call in her body running at red-line.
Okay, okay, okay, okay, I hear
you, all right?
She closes her eyes.
It is stupid, dishonest, desperate
beyond belief, and can't possibly
ever work. It can only end in
humiliation and disgrace. Now can
I say two words?
Deep drag on the cigarette. For strength.
Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it!
Do it! Do it!
She's striped her gears. COUGHS horribly.
All right, twelve words.
INT. PUBLIC RESTROOM - DAY
Julianne exits the stall. To face three BLACK TEENAGE GIRLS. Just
staring at her.
You do it, girl.
Julianne nods to the kids. They nod back. Damn straight. She
exits the restroom, into...
... glaring sunlight. We are in the middle of the BROOKFIELD ZOO.
And sitting on a bench, eating popcorn from a bag...
Wow. What was going on in
Some crazy person.
EXT. ZOO - DAY
Michael and Julianne walking together. He's eating his popcorn.
She carries a cardboard container with nachos, a gooey fudge waffle
cone, and a large drink.
You're not eating.
I never eat when I'm serene.
You never eat when you're
I switched that around when you
She swirls a single nacho chip in cheese. But her heart isn't in it.
Last zoo we were in was...
Beijing, yeah? Sure. The rhinos
Boy, those were the days.
And when she looks over. His eyes are waiting.
Yeah, they were.
They're passing the hippo pen. But they don't notice.
That was nice. The way you
So was that. He's feeling restless, something. Doesn't know quite
what to say.
It's weird being the groom. All
these things Kimmy has to take
You need a baby-sitter. That's
what I'm here for.
He holds her eyes. Then looks down. Awkward. And the way he's
doing it begins to excite her.
He looks up, neither one of them noticing that as they walk, she is
... CRASH into a chest-high metal stand that displays animal facts.
We have followed him as she is WIPED from frame. His face from
shock... to amusement.
Now, there's my girl.
... to tenderness. PAN back to see her wearing everything from her
cardboard container. Nachos, fudge sauce, Diet Coke, the works.
It is really awful. Kids, bystanders, laughing cruelly. Her eyes
fill with tears, and she tries bravely to smile against it...
See, I can only do it with
He takes out his handkerchief. And with that and his hands, gently
scoops the worst of the mess off her. The fact that he's touching
her breasts and her body is something they pretend not to notice.
She laughs softly, and a few tears fall, even though she doesn't
know why. Such an odd, raw, confusing moment. To the world
looking on, they are lovers.
See, better already.
And he kisses her face. Not quite her lips. But only an inch away.
We can feel her heart pounding. He strips off his shirt, only a tank
We'll go back to the bathroom,
you'll put this on...
Okay? She sniffles, okay. Swallows.
Bet you're glad I'm here to
take care of you.
He puts his arm around her.
Bet I am.
Holds her close, as they start toward the restroom...
Hope that crazy person's not
We're on their backs...
She doesn't scare me.
EXT. BEACH CLUB, LAKE MICHIGAN - SUNSET
Julianne in T-shirt and shorts, rushes onto the deck of a sprawling
beach club. Clutching her bag, she quickly surveys the scene...
... the entire beach has been taken over by the wedding party.
Young folks, old folks, little kids, maybe 200 people. We SCAN
with her to find a crowd around...
... a three-on-three volleyball game. Kimmy and two groomsmen on
one side, facing Michael and the Tennessee debs. The twins wear
spectacular bikinis and are surprisingly athletic, as well as
predictably uninhabited. As the next point begins, Kimmy serves...
... Sammy in back makes a nice dig, lobbing to Mandy who sets for
Michael's vicious SPIKE straight THROUGH his best man's hapless
defense. The crowd cheers Michael, and as he turns, Mandy gives
him a savage...
... CHEST BUMP of congratulation, that any NFL linebacker would be
proud of. It puts the surprised Michael straight on his butt.
Laughter, applause. The twins pull him up and Sammy gives him a
hot kiss on his ear that makes the crowd react. Kim plays good
sport. Julianne watches Michael's body for a beat, then...
... dashes off. Down the beach, several barbecue grills have been
set up. Manned by beach club staff and family alike. Michael's
pop, Joe, is dispensing beers from a keg. Kim's mom, Isabelle, is
coordinating the beans, potato salad and corn-on-the-cob table.
Julianne races across the sand to...
... a huge smoky grill where Walter is basting baby back ribs,
clearly enjoying himself. Julianne runs up to him, says something
into his ear. He looks at her. Then turns his station over to a
club steward, and follows Julianne down toward the lakeside.
CLOSE now. As they stroll together, she's a little breathless.
He's watching her profile, curious, silent. At the water's edge...
Is anybody watching?
I hope so. This is all too
mysterious to waste on just me.
She reaches into her big bag. Pulls out a single folded sheet of
I picked up Michael's messages
for him, at our hotel. I stole
His face darkens. The easy smile fades. He holds up his palms...
Julianne, reading my son-in-law's
mail, is not something...
Sir, this is important! Haven't
you ever in your life cut one
corner, to make something important
turn out right?
His smile returns. Just a little.
Matter of fact, that's how I got
The look holds. She thrusts the paper out. He still doesn't take
It's a fax from Sports Illustrated
from Ben Isaacson, Michael's boss.
I know Ben.
She opens the paper.
"Mike. We still have no answer to
our E-mail of Wednesday. Which
option do you select? I don't mean
to rush you, but Personnel needs to
tie up the loose ends."
He takes the paper. We see it now. Looks authentic.
I think he's been fired.
It doesn't say th...
He's said some things over the
past few weeks. Look, this is why
I came up with the idea of you
offering him a job.
He looks up. He's listening. Closely.
And why I couldn't say anything
before in front of Kim.
She bites her lip. Seems so earnest.
I just think of how... desperate
he must be feeling. He's marrying
a rich man's daughter, and he's
about to become destitute. You
know the kind of job market he'll
And you think he's kept this to
He's too proud to beg for help.
And if you wait till this comes out,
your offer will be like charity.
He's staring at her. But his mind is working behind his eyes.
If you do it now, it's like he's
helping you. He can accept with
He taps the paper with the back of his knuckles.
This fax could mean... any number
She nods. She knows that.
Maybe. I should call Ben.
Then it could all come out, sooner
or later. Nobody should be in on
this. Just you and me. Or, more
She takes the paper back.
What if, what if I could find
The long straight look. Maybe he's hooked.
I never noticed. Kimmy has your
INT. LOBBY, RITZ CARLTON HOTEL - TWILIGHT
Tall, gangly, young DESK CLERK. Lank hair, pimples. He looks up,
beams to see...
She's flirting her ass off.
You still haven't straightened
And she reaches across the desk with her lovely, slender hands.
Does it for him. Her fingers brush his chest on the way back. We
can assume a woody.
You know, my friend, the one
whose message I picked up... ?
He does. His eyes flick toward his stately female SUPERVISOR,
helping another guest across the way.
Well, he's still with the wedding
party. And he asked me to get
something he needs real badly from
his room... ?
The boy swallows hard.
He's in 1526. If you could just
let me ha...
See that woman?
Not only does Julianne see her. The woman is looking back, while
she's talking to her customer. Not a pleasant look.
She said, if I ever pull a stunt
like that again...
You'll lose your job...
... tear my pecker off. Is what
INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR - TWILIGHT
An elevator OPENS, revealing Julianne, carrying a gym bag. She
looks down the long hallway, sees a maid's cart. Heads the other
way, briskly, to...
... a small ALCOVE. Opens the gym bag, pulling out a bath towel.
Begins to yank her top up OVER her head...
ANGLE... the young MAID now pushing her cart down the hall, wheels
SQUEAKING, and from nowhere...
... Julianne DARTS into her path, barely covered by the towel held
tight across her, she is grinning, blushing.
The maid can only blink.
I locked myself out, 1526, please
And looks frantically up the hall, mortified that any moment a
stranger could happen upon her predicament. Her eyes dart back to
the maid. PLEASE. The maid just stares. Stares.
INT. MICHAEL'S ROOM - TWILIGHT
Julianne alone in his room, looking around frantically. No worries
about this guy making his bed every day, stuff, clothes, strewn
everywhere, the bathroom looks like a cherry bomb just detonated.
She's tramping through a bachelor's debris, wearing only her towel,
There it is. The corner of his LAPTOP sticking out from beneath a
discarded bedspread. She SNATCHES it up, OPENS it, sets it on the
cluttered desk, and...
... stops. There are wallet-sized SNAPSHOTS of Kimmy. Some alone.
Some as a little girl. Some with Michael. And next to them...
... the plastic fold-out wallet inset. That he has not yet quite
rearranged. So she picks it up. Leafs through, until she finds
what she was praying would be there...
... Julianne grinning. Michael's arm around her. On the deck of a
boat. They have drinks in their hands. Happiness in their eyes.
And she stares at it. Jesus, God, how long has he carried this
around? She flips through further, all the rest have her in them.
Maybe half a dozen. Her heart is throbbing. Her eyes are damp.
Back to the one on the boat. She slips it from the plastic window.
Holds it. Then, gently...
... puts it back where it belongs. PUNCHES up the goddamn laptop.
This is it, girl! Do or die.
You wouldn't change your
password, would you? You
never change anything.
Those words make her bite her lip. Damn, I'm becoming a senti-
mental slob. TYPES in...
Yes! We're in! Punching keys. Letters flying across the screen.
Okay, we're ready. Types...
(reads as she types)
Mike. I hate this downsizing
shit as much as you do. But I
know this can't become as a
INT. BEACH CLUB CARD ROOM - EVENING
Through the window, the wedding party barbecue has extended into
night. Lanterns, music, lots more food, lots more drinks. In the
distance, on the sand, Michael is slowdancing with Kimmy. Some-
where nearby, the soft CLICKING of keys. We PULL BACK to see...
... a small clubby room. Books, leather, polished woods. Only
two people here. Walter, looking on stony-faced, as a determined
Julianne grimly "struggles" to "find" what she's looking for in
Michael's laptop. And then...
... she stops typing. Looks at the text on the screen. Her eyes
sharpen as she "reads" what Walter can't see. It's an Oscar
performance for our desperate girl. She turns the screen around...
Mike. I hate this downsizing...
He reads. Reads. Reads. All the air comes out of him.
And Kimmy doesn't know.
She shakes her head. Nope. No way.
I'll tell her I've reconsidered.
She nods, gravely. Right. He looks in her eyes.
You're a smart girl, Jules.
She forces up a fleeting smile of gratitude. But Walter isn't
smiling at all.
Wish my daughter. Bad your
INT. CHARLES TROTTER'S BAR - NIGHT
The hot saloon in Chinatown. Upscale, downscale, jammed, Michael
and Kimmy at a small table in a far corner. CLOSE on them...
Sure you're okay?
She looks really scared. Turns her drink in her hand. Looking
down at it.
It's not just a gag, huh?
No, it's, uh... a real big favor.
He takes her hand, tenderly.
I wish you'd just... come out
with it. I mean why are we
waiting for Jules?
She smiles up at him. The best she can.
She loves him so much, and she is sick with worry.
What's good of having a big
sister, if she...
Stops. Gestures with her eyes. Because her big sister has just
... looking fabulous. Julianne wears a long sleek sarong, slightly
see-through. Her hair is bound up with silver pins. As she moves
through the room toward us, we can see that, for once, her make-up
is flawless, understated. When she arrives at the table...
... Michael is beaming, admiringly. He stands up.
Wow and wow. You have a date,
Never can tell.
He holds her chair. She exchanges an intimate smile with the
You make me think of that song,
we used to...
And he starts humming. The song is, "The Way You Look Tonight."
Someday. When I'm awfully low...
They sit. He looks from Julianne to his bride.
Okay, kid. You're on.
Kim's eyes flick to Julianne, who nods, supportively. The kid
takes a breath.
It's really my father. Who
needs the favor.
His face sort of comes to a stop. Nothing she can read, yet. He
He's... he's reorganizing some of
the divisions of the company...
His eyes flick to Julianne. She looks down.
He never mentioned that. Neither
... and public relations is a big
problem area for him.
She can see it now. In his eyes. She just can't tell how bad.
He needs someone incredible,
someone really close, who he
Like family, huh?
So quiet. So cold. She is terrified.
It would only be, maybe, six
months? Or three or four? It
would mean so much to him...
She swallows. Straightens her spine.
And to m...
(sharp, to Julianne)
... and you knew about this.
Real quiet. Against the noise of this place.
I think you ought to listen to
her, Michael. This is her life,
Just the thing. To bring that anger near the surface. He turns
Well, which is it?
A demand. Sharp. Accusing. She doesn't like that...
You gonna tell me Daddy thought
this one up? All of a sudden, I'm
the only jerk alive who can help
him deal with the press?
She's trapped. Angry, scared. A deer in headlights.
Why don't you start being honest
for one fucking sec...
I am honest!
All of a sudden, I'm supposed to
drop out of school, forget my
family, forget my career, forget
all the plans I had for my life...
Well, forgive me for screwing up
He can't even believe he's hearing this.
I'm sure glad I'm hearing all
this now, before it's too late!
What is that sup...
And what am I supposed to do with
my life, huh? I am 28 years old!
I work in a low-paying, low-status,
zero-respect job which,
unfortunately, I happen to fucking
love. How inconvenient.
No problem. A little bullshit
about Daddy's "needs," and presto,
I'm a lap dog in high society.
Michael, it sounds like a
Does it, really? How come you
never took some sell-out
establishment job? You had plenty
Glares in her eyes.
I'll tell you why. Because that
isn't you. And it isn't me,
either! We're the same person!
Back to Kim...
What a sweet little picture. Mommy
and Daddy aren't losing a daughter,
they're gaining a eunuch!
Well, if that's the way you f...
Damn straight, it's how I feel!
What's their wedding gift, a little
gold collar that says "Mikey-poo"?
Or do I have to change my name to "Binky"?
She's crying now. Real tears on her face.
Great! Tears! The big equalizer.
You wait till two days before the
wedding to drop this on me, and
I'm just supposed to roll over and
She is sobbing now. She can't help herself. Which makes him
totally crazy. He jumps up.
Fine. I'm an insensitive, chauvinist
asshole, and you're well rid of m...
A wrenching cry from her heart. It stops him cold. And before
Julianne's astonished eyes, Kimmy reaches out a trembling hand...
Michael, you are so...
Choking back the sobs.
... so right. And I am so very
Michael blinks. Julianne blinks. For different reasons.
We can't go down two roads. And
still be together.
Her fingers stretch, beckoning.
We settled this. And I reneged.
That wasn't fair.
Please, please, take my hand.
You have to forgive me, and forget
this ever happened...
People are watching, staring. These two see only each other.
... or I'll die.
A frozen, forever moment. He steps to her...
... LIFTS her up in his arms. Into the deepest, most heartfelt
KISS. And as she clings to him, people begins to APPLAUD, and
whistle, and laugh.
Julianne. In her pretty dress. Closes her eyes.
INT.JULIANNE'S HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Julianne in her nightshirt, her back to us, sobbing into her
cellular as she paces the room...
... see that's what I never
counted on! I never heard of
a brilliant moron before!
We CLOSE as she WHIPS around, startling us with her grotesque day-
glo PURPLE face mask. The green was better.
I mean, the little twerp
Losing it. We know the drill.
SHE IS SO WRONG FOR HIM!
Clutching the phone.
Michael and I are the same person!
Self-absorbed and imperfect and
vaguely loveable! We deserve
Tears are flowing. Which, over this mask, is not a pretty sight.
I'm out of hope, I'm out of sneaky
ideas, I'm at the end of my
rapidly-fraying hysterical little
rope! Help m...
She TRIPS over an open suitcase, and DISAPPEARS from frame. The
THUD is slightly alarming.
God, I hate this hotel.
HOLD. On nothing is particular.
And I hate talking to your machine!
INT. JULIANNE'S ROOM - EARLY MORNING
REAR VIEW of Julianne asleep on the floor, sunlight streaming in.
A soft knocking on a door, somewhere nearby. She barely stirs.
The knock becomes a strong RAPPING, and she fights for conscious-
ness. Her back still to us, she...
... rises, STUMBLES to the door, which is now pulsing with an
insistent POUNDING, and THROWS it OPEN, as we SNAP to...
REVERSE ANGLE... CLOSE on Julianne's face, still encased in a now-
decomposing PURPLE MASK, her eyes SPRINGING wide, she SCREAMS in
shock, and we SNAP BACK to...
ORIGINAL ANGLE... Digger, watching impassively at the high-strung
SHRIEK. In the silence that follows...
You stole my line.
He touches his face, and she realizes!
Starts CLAWING at the overripe mask, but he grabs her wrists.
Chill. We don't want your face
coming off with it.
Chill? Since when do you say
When I'm talking to children.
She looks in his eyes. Realizing at last.
You flew all the way h...
I noticed. I'm on the noon back.
We have this thing with George's
family in the Hamptons.
You're butting in.
He still holds her wrists. She brings one of his hands to her
lips. Kisses his knuckles.
I really resent this.
INT. BATHROOM - MORNING
Julianne seated at the sink, staring into the mirror, as Digger
gently applies soup, cloth and water to easing away the mask. A
paleontologist restoring a Bronze Age artifact. By the side of the
half-filled sink, rests her plugged-in curling iron.
What I mean, when I say annoyingly
perfect, is that there is nothing
annoying about her perfection.
It is vulnerable and endearing.
And that is annoying as shit.
You like her.
If I didn't have to hate her, I'd
She looks up at him and WINCES, as the movement makes him scrape
her face. He's sorry.
Last night, she was crying, these
big, real tears, when she thought
she'd lost him. It was like there
was a knife in her heart...
Looking in his eyes. Needs him to hear.
... and I put it there. I hated
myself, I grieved for her, I
couldn't enjoy one second of it!
And then, when it didn't work...
Can you believe this?
I was devastated.
Go figure you.
Because I realized. When I see
him say "I do," that knife will
be in my heart. And it will be
She holds his wrists now. To stop him. To plead for
... every time I think of him,
forever, which could be a lot.
She almost choked on that last part. So she composes herself.
You watch a guy caress his
girlfriend's butt. You see an
Old Spice commercial. Sentimental
moments are everywhere, when
you're in the right frame of mind.
She swallows hard. Fights for a grip on her determination.
There are 18,250 nights in the
next 50 years...
You've been working on this, huh?
... and having "done the right
thing" will only really be
comforting, oh, maybe, five,
She sets her jaw.
This is my whole life's happiness.
I have to be ruthless.
And you believe that.
His eyes are gentle and merciless at once. No way she gets off
He was in love with me every day
for nine years. I can make him
happier than she can.
It's not his happiness you're
feeling guilty about...
I don't know the meaning of the
I am breaking her heart in the short
run, but doing her a gigantic favor!
She would be miserable tagging
along after this insensitive doofus!
The man you love.
Beyond reason. The feminist
warrior will rise up in this kid,
and she'll be standing over his
sleeping form with a butcher
knife, selecting from a short
list of body parts!
Someday she'll thank you.
Let's not get carried away.
And the defenses drain from her clay-ravaged features. The real
Julianne is glimpsed.
I'd settle for. Someday, I'll
For doing this terrible thing.
Her eyes tear up.
Which, by the way, I can't
figure out how to do.
As the tears fall, he wipes at them, discovering...
Jesus. You're supposed to take
your make-up off before you
apply the m...
I KNOW THAT! I WAS DISTRACTED BY
Guess what I brushed my teeth
with last night?
He thinks about this. Following her eyes to the toiletries kit, he
browses for a moment...
Try less appropriate.
That was Thursday.
He stops on that note.
DON'T BE RIDICULOUS, WE'RE HAVING
A SERIOUS CONVERSATION!
I can't even say it.
Now. He's curious.
A hint. The first word is
"Preparation." Then comes a
letter of the alphabet,
perilously close to G.
She reaches to test her curling iron, BURNS her finger, SHIT!
KNOCKING the appliance into the half-filled sink. She LUNGES for
it, and a terrified Digger GRASPS her arm...
Considering the circumstances,
I'm not wholly against suicide...
Just not by electrocution in
front of me!
I've got this noon flight.
He reaches to pull the plug from the wall, and now she LUNGES to
grab his arm, slipping, her face falling forward, stopping an inch
above the sink.
How do you know you can touch
that plug? Are you a licensed
What do you suggest?
She looks from the plug down the cord, to the submerged curling
iron. And back.
Maybe they just seal off this
room. They have others.
He's staring at her. Sweet, but intense.
I didn't mean about that.
If I hear the words "tell the
truth," or any paraphrase thereof,
I dive into the sink and pull you
Looking at her. Looking at her.
Let's go meet Michael. I'll
INT. ARMANI - MORNING
Julianne has cleaned up pretty good. She sits with Digger on a
fashion-fabric sofa. They are side-by-side, studying something
with equal concentration. And slight concern.
I suppose it's too late to
It's too late to start over.
PULL BACK to reveal Michael in his wedding tux, submitting to a
final fitting from a stylish fitter.
You guys are heartless, my
bride picked this out.
Like I said, dazzling.
Is she going to dress you
Michael smiles over. Digger smiles back. They live each other.
Yeah, it's in the contract.
Well, then, I'll take it up
Michael motions, okay, c'mon over. Digger rises, goes to Michael,
the fitter steps back as Digger shows him...
The cut here, here... this
Fingers lightly traveling over the lapel, the side-stitching, the
cloth straight down the spine...
... trouser width, this is all
classic. Which means safe,
something I'd wear.
I should look different.
You should look like you
Yes? Michael's grin is back. Playful and friendly.
And I'm supposed to respect
your fashion tips, because
you're what, a New Yorker?
Something like that.
Julianne loves that the boy are getting on.
Long trip. Pretty nice of you
Well, I'm close to her. I wanted
to meet the one that got away.
Said so naturally. That embarrasses Michael, who looks down, his
smile suddenly awkward.
I'm just glad someone finally put
this thing in its proper perspective.
Steals a glance at Julianne. She rolls her eyes. What a goofball,
my outrageous friend.
I honestly wish I could...
I'll call George's parents.
Tell them I need a best man who
actually looks after me.
Julianne comes over.
They'd say that's my job.
She runs her hands over his jacket, smoothing it everywhere. With
tenderness that approaches transparency. Glances back at Digger...
I'll take it home from here.
Pinches Michael's ear. Looks in his eyes.
She looks down. Michael's nails are unclipped, with layers of
impacted dirt. She touches his fingertips, a little more softly
than she may have intended.
Everyone looks down. She ZIPS Michael up.
You don't miss much.
Part of being a New Yorker.
INT. HAIR SALON - MORNING
Cutting edge salon. Loud, PULSING MUSIC. Digger and Michael in
adjacent chairs, heads back, each smoking impressive cigars as
their hair is styled. Digger's stylist is a hot trashy female.
Michael's is a tall, flamboyant male in a day-glo vest.
Each man has one hand soaking, the other being worked on by a
manicurist, so Julianne goes from one to the other, removing their
cigars so they can exhale. A seraglio feel to the way she does
Now she's arguing with Michael's stork-like stylist. We can't hear
over the music, but she keeps tugging on Michael's hair, pretty
passionate about her point of view. Suddenly, she GRABS the
scissors to do it herself, and Michael...
... BOLTS out of the chair. WHOA!
EXT. O'HARA AIRPORT - DAY
Skycaps, guests of impatient travelers, a bus offloading forty
Japanese tourists. A taxi cuts off a van to reach the curb. Out
Michael. Opening the door for Digger and Julianne. Digger says
something, Michael gives him a strong HUG. Julianne raises one
finger to Michael, back in a second. Leads Digger off by the hand.
CLOSE on them now. Alone in the throng.
Digger just stares at her. Those maddening judgemental eyes.
You're going to say it, aren't
Tell him you love him. With
all your heart.
I'm taking my next book to
Tell him you've loved him for
nine years, but you were afraid
to realize it.
I'm moving this book to Viking.
Tell him you're afraid of love.
Afraid of needing.
To belong to someone.
He touches her hair.
We all do, beautiful. I'm sorry
Staring in her eyes. Even Julianne has run out of words.
Tell him you know this is the
worst, dumbest, cruelest moment
to do this to him. But there
it is, and he has to choose.
And what will he do?
Digger isn't smiling. His voice low, beneath the crowd...
He'll choose Kim. You'll stand
by her at her wedding. You'll
kiss him good-bye. And you'll
He holds up one finger. Almost touching her nose.
This is what you've come to do.
Now do it.
Wow. She looks frightened and moved, all at the same time. She
kisses him on the lips.
And walks away. He watches her go through the crowd. Take
Michael's hand. Lead him back toward the taxi.
EXT. SKYLINE CRUISE BOAT - DAY
The skyline of Chicago moves past us. Slowly. The NBC Tower,
Big weddings are so strange.
You keep saying that.
Up ahead, the Wrigley Building draws closer...
Kim has all this stuff to do,
I hardly see her.
Well, you've got the rest of
REVERSE ANGLE... they lean on the rail of a cruise boat, easing down
the Chicago River. Wind-blown. Close together.
Getting your bed made. Every
They smile at each other. Seem so comfortable together.
You miss her, huh?
No. I've got you.
She nods. That you have. Staring in her eyes...
Don't you throw up on boat?
If you like.
And she LURCHES over the railing, emitting a BARRAGE of incredibly
disgusting sounds, her feet FLAILING in mid-air. He laughs, as he
pulls her back down to the deck. Of course, it was all a joke. He
brushes back her hair. Sighs. Stares.
I've been thinking a lot the
last couple days. About us,
Well. There's a lot of memories
to choose from...
It's more than that.
That tightens her throat pretty good. When she tries to speak, out
comes a dry CROAK that makes him laugh again. Softer, this time.
I mean, it's embarrassing to
say it this way, but...
He stops. Her eyes WIDEN in a burlesque of anticipation. So he
smiles. She knows how to put him at ease.
You've sort of been... y'know,
the woman in my life.
You've been the man in mine.
Passing under the Michigan Avenue Bridge. No one knows quite what
And I was thinking this could be
our last time. Alone. Together.
Except for the hot affairs we'll
have twice a year.
Except for that.
She's smiling so easily. Who would guess her stomach is double-
I can hardly wait for your
She watches his surprise.
Boy, I never thought I'd hear you
say that. Can I come?
She holds herself together. Real soft with...
I couldn't have it without you.
He's glad to hear that. And then...
It's normal to have... second
thoughts, huh? To be scared.
Is this a change of direction? Or is it the direction she's been
I wouldn't know. I never had
that many first thoughts.
I mean, you commit to a wedding.
And then it seems like... this...
momentum, you know? You forget
you... chose it.
She nods. Understands.
You and I. I mean, in all our
relationships with other people...
We didn't use the word "love"
a lot, did we?
Kimmy says. When you love someone.
You say it, you say it out loud.
Right now. Or the moment...
... passes you by, yeah. She's a
Off in distance, the Centennial Fountain SHOOTS an eight-foot JET
of water across the river. For Michael and Julianne it goes
We don't have a song.
Kimmy and I. We don't have a song.
Is that a bad sign?
All Julianne can do is shrug. Then...
Someday, when I'm awfully low...
And the world is cold...
She doesn't want to cry. So she puts all the strength she has into
fighting it back.
I will feel a glow just Thinking of you...
And the way you look. Tonight.
He stops. Smiles that sweet, boyish smile.
Dance card filled?
I'll check. I have it on
powerbook, these days.
He holds up his arms. And she moves into them. He begins to dance
with her, turning so slowly. And, yes, people are watching.
(sings in her ear)
With each word, your tenderness grows,
Tearing my fears apart...
She holds him closer. Bites her lip.
And that laugh
That wrinkles your nose,
Touches my foolish heart.
He stops. He looks at her. She's still in his arms.
Where did we first hear th...
The night we met.
Right to his eyes...
The night we fell in love.
He doesn't know what to do with that.
So we heard it... like, right
that... that first...
We danced to it. Just like this.
Just like this. A long beat. And he has to say...
I won't lose you, will I?
Her eyes close. Then open. Utterly lost in his.
No. Because I won't let you.
INT. WALLACE ENTERPRISES - DAY
Julianne in crisp chalk-stripe trousers and a buttoned-up dress
shirt. Her coat slung over her shoulder, she wanders through
the Saturday-deserted office space. Desks, cubicles, monitors,
silent. A row of executive offices standing empty, waiting for
the custodian. Turning a corner, we hear...
... life, at the end of the hallway. A grand conference room with a
glass wall. Walter, in shirtsleeves, running a strategy meeting
for five. DEIDRE, his personal secretary, clicking every word into
her laptop at warp speed. Walter sees Julianne through the glass.
A comic take of pleased surprise. He comes out to greet her...
I thought Michael was picking
I told him, get the important
stuff, Kim's ring. I'll collect
Meaning, you. They smile at each other. Then...
Kim said, when he turned down
the job, there was no friction.
Julianne thinks back.
He smiles at her line reading. But his mind is always probing.
I haven't caused... a problem,
Nobody has. So far.
Her bright grin. His eyes linger on it.
Well, you're a little early...
I need to make some calls.
Could I use... your office?
INT. WALTER'S OFFICE - DAY
Julianne enters the spacious corner office, high above the city.
Closes the door, quietly, behind her. So anxious, she is
practically hyperventilating. She goes, slowly to the vacant
cherrywood desk. Its computer and monitor standing silent. She
is stalking it, like a deadly animal. And then. She is there.
Talking to herself, her own desperate support network...
You can do this.
Sacred, filled with doubt and conflict. Her hands clutch at each
other. Then, one flicks out. And the computer goes ON. The
screen GLOWS. Waits for her. Her mouth is sand, her stomach
water. She pulls the paper from her pocket...
... looks at it. Looks to the monitor. And begins. To type...
(mumbling to herself)
E-mail address. To Ben Isaacson,
Senior Editor, Sports Illustrated,
from... Walter Wallace.
And stops. Her heart is thumping.
See, you can do it. It's easy.
Doesn't look easy. Licks her lips.
You do it fast, it's over. Like
it never happened.
She sits. And recites as she types...
Ben. I need a favor.
Here we go. This is it. Types...
My daughter's every happiness.
And my wife's. And, least of
all, my own, are in your hands.
Nods, okay. Breathing hard. Types...
Knowing you value our friendship,
and the... cooperative
relationship between our companies...
I am hopeful of your help.
Touch, that. Thinks. It has to be. Types...
I have offered Mike O'Neal, my
new son-in-law, a great opportunity
in my company. This would also
enable my daughter to settle in
Chicago, near us, and pursue her
dreams and plans.
Almost there. Almost. Types...
To his own detriment, as well
as ours, Michael will not accept
our offer. While he works for you.
She stands up. Stares at the screen. Walks away. Walks back.
Still standing, types...
My daughter joins me in this
plea for your cooperation and
Is there a SOUND? Outside the door. She HOVERS over the ESCAPE
key. Waits. Waits. Silence. Types...
With gratitude. For your
She hits a KEY. The screen goes BLANK. The computer asks... DO
YOU WISH TO SEND? She tells the computer...
Are you crazy? Get him fired?
Types NO. The computer asks HOLD FOR LATER? And she types YES.
Just till tonight when I bring
him back. To look for...
She glances to her huge bag. Rummages through, pulling out a manila
folder. Lays it by the blank computer. Fans out a few pages in a
natural, disorderly way. Takes a step back...
And stares. Struck to her gut. But when she has done.
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY
Walter alone with Deidre now, signing a stack of documents, as she
efficiently places one after another before him. When he glances up,
he sees Julianne wandering the halls. Stands, tells his secretary...
(going through stack)
Off to rehearsal. Send out this,
and this, not this, this, and...
Slips on his coat. Oh... and by the way...
I'm holding four or five E-mails
I wrote over lunch...
On his way through the door...
Send 'em out.
INT. CHAPEL, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO - DAY
Julianne and Walter enter the rear of a striking Gothic CHAPEL,
pastel light slanting in through stained glass windows. We now
see the full effect of her outfit, a man's-style chalk stripe SUIT,
tailored to fit her body, set off by a bold silk tie. Solid
dynamite. She hangs back, while Walter proceeds down the vaulted
... Michael, Kimmy, Isabelle and Joe, who stand casually joking by
the altar. Scattered around are assorted groomsmen, ushers, an
obvious flowergirl. Coming toward us, up the aisle...
... the MINISTER, early 40s, lean and quite attractive. Mandy is
HANGING on his arm, pressing her body against him as they walk,
murmuring urgent murmurs close to his ear. He's a really good
sport, and really uncomfortable. Sammy is walking backwards,
right in front of them, DROPS her bag, and BENDS to retrieve it, as
if oblivious to major cleavage on immediate display.
Julianne is so lost in her own anxiety, she doesn't even notice,
Reverend Dyer, this is
Kimberly's somewhat butch
maid of honor...
... Mr. Julianne Potter,
prominent New York drag queen.
Today, the girls' voices are charmingly musically Southern, with
none of the extreme accents we heard at the shower. The minister
extends his hand...
Billy Dyer, Julianne. And I
love the suit.
She shakes his hand, smiles graciously, but her eyes flick to
Michael, now approaching up the aisle. The girls lead the minister
away. Michael arrives. Looks her up and down.
Takes me back.
She smiles. One that glows a little.
You sang the song. Least I
could do was wear the outfit.
Except now you're better-
Oh, yeah? Yes, ma'am. As she loses herself in his eyes...
I got the ring.
He pulls the box from his pocket. Somewhere, an ORGAN sounds. And
as he is about to hand her the box...
Such exquisite two-part harmony, Michael stops to watch.
Comin', to car-ryyy
It is amazing. Soulful vengeful sluts. He is enthralled. Julianne
simply impatient. She wants his attention.
No accents today.
Yeah, Kim told me they were
giving you their Dueling
Scarlet's act. Actually,
they're sophomores at Juilliard.
She takes the box from his hand. Opens it, as the singing CONTINUES
throughout. The ring is delicate hammered gold. One of a kind.
Will she like it?
She's staring at the ring.
My groom-person! Your family
His master's voice. He gives Julianne a smile. And goes. She's
left with the box.
Gazes at the ring. Lifts it out.
Well, I look over yon-der,
And what did I see-ee-ee?
Slips it on her left hand. Ring finger.
Comin too car-ryyy.
Touches it. Turns it on her finger. So many emotions.
It was a hand. Of a-a-angels.
Coming' for me-e-ee...
Tries to pull it off.
Comin' for to carry me home.
It won't come. Not even close.
INT. CRAB HOUSE - NIGHT
CLOSE on a bowl filled with squares of butter. HEAR the butt of
conversation from a rowdy, friendly joint. Julianne's right hand
REACHES to the bowl, fingers trace the rim innocently, then...
... SLIDE the bowl into Julianne's lap beneath the table. Her right
hand MASSAGES all the butter into a gooey revolving mess. We can
pick out familiar voices now, family in distance, the twins closer.
As, hidden from view, Julianne brings...
... her left hand from her pocket. Yep. The ring is still there.
The finger already red and swollen from pacicky efforts to pull it
off. And as APPLAUSE surrounds us, Julianne...
PLUNGES her ring finger into the morass of grease, frantically
TEARING at the ring, butter SPLURGING on her pants, everywhere, as
we PULL BACK to see...
... the long table covered with butcher paper, the family at the far
end, the twins down here with us, a mug of beer for each place, as
team of waiters with heaping platters of CRABS, which they...
... FLING across the butcher paper, as APPLAUSE continues from
everyone but Julianne, who still struggles secretly. As the waiters
set huge wooden MALLETS in front of each guest, Joe O'Neal rises,
POUNDS the table with his mallet for attention.
Like to welcome ever'body to
our little rehearsal supper...
He COUGHS, unaccustomed to public speaking. Walter and Isabelle
clap and call out support. So Joe lifts his mallet...
Okay, everyone stand up!
And everyone does. With one exception. Trapped. She JAMS her
left hand in her coat pocket, SMEARS her right palm sort of clean
on the underside of the table, GRABS her mallet and JUMPS UP.
To the bride, uh, goes the
honor... of cracking the first
Everyone applauses by banging their mallets. Joe RAISES his high.
But first, a toast!
And everybody SNATCHES up their beers with their left hands, as
Julianne DROPS her mallet with a HORRIFIC CRASH, grabbing her beer,
looking up to...
(on the spot)
A hugely embarrassing half-second. Bailed out by...
To our host, my cuddly Papa
Who taught me to play "Blue
Hawaii." On my nose.
With a look at Julianne, Kim sets down her mallet gently, and
performs a nasal HUM of the tropical standard, strikingly her nostril
repeatedly for vibrato. It is charming, and everybody watches.
INT. HOTEL BALLROOM - LATER
CLOSE on an actual, living, if geriatric, LION. He blinks from his
cage, bored as hell. HEAR the surrounding noise, chatter, LOUD
Sinatra music, of a very large party. PULL BACK to see...
... and overdecorated BALLROOM, in dim and dramatic lighting,
dripping with the trappings of ANCIENT ROME. The mingling guests
are the neatly one hundred females of the wedding party, most of
them older women. They are served by wandering well-built ATHLETES
in Roman togas or gladiator costumes. PAN TO...
... Julianne, still in her suit, hiding by a table piled with a
carload of grapes. Her left hand still buried in her pocket. The
eyes of a hunted animal. From nowhere...
She JUMPS a foot, both hands FLYING UP, left one awkwardly slamming
back into its pocket. The girls have snuck up behind her. They
have changed into hot gowns that are really only wide ribbons
wrapped around their bodies.
I know why you're scared of our
party. It's too hip.
Sinatra singing "Stranger In The Night." Hugely-muscled, half-naked
black and white studs, serving enchanted blue-haired ladies.
Kimberly wanted to tickle the
grandmas, so we figured, give
'em a cheap thrill. Walter
supplied the decorative
(points out the jokes)
Nose tackle from the Bears...
power forward from the Bulls...
defenseman from the Black
Hawks... my personal favorite,
the designated hitter...
... I'm partial to the tight end.
This is USDA Prime, largely
available, beef. With no notice-
able competition, present company
Now they stare at her. With identical, really odd, smiles.
And yet here you are. All
celibate and reclusive.
With those big, dark, haunted eyes.
As if you were harborin' some...
unspeakably... guilty... secret.
Well, I'm worried about something.
Something. Their expressions are deliciously, identically
Oh. I left this really important
file in Walter's office. I have
to send my editor some...
... figures. On territorial sales.
To close my book deal.
So Kim gave me the key. And
Michael's on his way, to drive
me down to Wal...
Oh. We thought it was the ring.
Julianne blinks. Ring...?
The one you better get the fuck
off your third finger left hand.
Ah. That ring.
Well. See. That was a...
reflex to see if it would...
... look good on Kimberly.
Right. And then it didn't want
to come off. Exactly.
Maybe it's happy there.
Oh the way out of the crab house?
We asked Michael if we could see
He said you told him. It'd be
safer with you.
An so it is.
Julianne for once is speechless. To our amazement, the girls wear
identical smiles of kindness and support.
Shut up, sugar, he's on his way.
Let's get to work.
INT. HOTEL KITCHEN - NIGHT
Huge gleaming chaotic kitchen. Cooks, waiters, working at top
speed. The three women RACE in, look around frantically, half the
guys stop to ogle the twins. CUT TO...
ANGLES... and industrial-sized jar of peanut butter. Julianne's hand
PLUNGES in, halfway to the rolled-up sleeve at her elbow. SMOOCHES
it around, real good. PULL BACK to reveal...
... she is surrounded by the twins and six guys, all SHOUTING
conflicting instructions. Julianne FLINGS off the excess SLOP.
Tugs for all she's worth...
TWIST IT! TWIST IT!
Nada. It won't budge. A sous chef WIPES her hand with a towel, a
janitor CRASHES a tool kit onto the counter. THROWS it open, pulls
... a spray can of WD-40. Instantly, her hand is BLACK. The guy TUGS.
No movement. He can't believe it.
It's mental, lady, you ain't
Sammy is rummaging through her handbag, pulling out...
There is nothing so tight, this
can't help it...
... a tube of jelly. The letter K-Y. Julianne just gives her a look.
Mandy pushes through with a butcher's CLEAVER...
I saw this on Hard Copy. People
cut off body parts and the
hospital sew 'em back o...
The look has turned toward her.
I saw the show.
... well, maybe it works on
FLOWER GIRL (O.S.)
Everybody turns. The little girl in the doorway. Southern accent...
Mr. Michael's here.
Everything gets real quiet. Mandy takes charge. She rolls down
Julianne's left sleeve, RIPS the hem out of the cuff, so that it
flaps down over her hand, covering the ring. Sammy wipes the black
stuff from Julianne's fingers.
Don't worry, baby. You could
pick your nose with that finger
and Michael would never notice.
He's a man.
The twins lead her off. We're on their backs for...
Personally, I think Mr. Michael's
marrying the wrong girl.
You're much more his type.
EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET - NIGHT
VIEW through a heavy glass door of the empty, dimly-lit lobby.
PULL BACK to see Julianne, just as she...
... KICKS the shit out of the glass! Almost breaks her foot.
I can't believe this!
PULL BACK farther to see Michael still trying keys from a large key
ring in the heavy lock. Sign over the door says WALLACE ENTERPRISES.
Traffic hustles by, oblivious to her suffering.
It's no big deal, she just gave
you the wrong keys that's s...
ISN'T THERE A GUARD? A JANITOR?
A FUCKING CLEANING WOMAN? I'LL
TAKE A BURGLAR! SOMEBODY'S
GOTTA BE IN TH...
And she SLAMS her whole BODY against the glass, making it rattle ominously.
WHERE'S A BRICK? FIND ME A
She looks around wildly, hysterical.
What is the big deal about
getting this file tonight?
A good question. She needs a good answer.
I promised Digger I'd E-mail him
From his face, that wasn't it.
They are very important figures.
Apparently. He's just staring at her.
I'm up against a deadline.
Me, too. I'm getting married
That's my point!!
Now. He really doesn't get it.
I mean, tomorrow... we'll all be
busy with more important things.
... tonight's my last chance.
I forgot how cute you look. When
you get impossible.
It's just... up there... right in
front of Walter's... y'know, computer.
If memory serves.
We could use... his computer, to...
just E-mail those suckers right ou...
Tomorrow is Sunday. Nobody's doing
business. Crack of dawn, Monday,
Walter'll take you up there...
Her eyes fill with tears. He is mystified. Smiles tenderly.
Give it up, kid.
Touches her hair.
You can't win 'em all.
And slowly, he takes her hand. Leads her way. She takes one
backward glance at the locked door. Her last dream dies.
INT. LOBBY, RITZ CARLTON - NIGHT
Michael and a disconsolate Julianne board the elevator. He presses
15, she pushes 11. Michael carries a handful of messages slips and
an envelope. As the car starts up, she folds her arms across her
chest, at the edge of tears. He doesn't know what to do.
Listen up, huh? Even if you blow
this deal, how big could it be?
(voice nearly cracking)
You're right. Easy come, easy go.
He's really concerned, can't bear to see her so upset.
She won't look at him. She wants to die. The bell RINGS, the doors
open to her floor. She just walks out.
And he follows. They stand now, she with her arms crossed, lip
trembling. She can't believe how close she is to losing it.
This thing means that much to
It means a lot.
He nods. Okay.
I'll call the house, Walter's
probably not even asleep...
Her mouth drops. She can't believe this.
I'll drive you out there, we'll
get the key, we'll go back to
She THROWS her arms around his, HUGGING him so hard, so close. He
laughs, she is so weird. She pulls back, beaming, glowing.
Come on, we'll call from your
She claps his hand. As they head down the hall...
If I fall asleep on the altar
He's trying to flip through the message slips in his free hand...
... you better be there to...
funny, these are all from Ben.
She's at her door, turning the key. He looks at the envelope.
The fax is from Ben, too. Man,
it's my wedding, and my boss can't
leave me alone...
(entering her room)
... maybe it's congratulations.
He follows her in, opening the envelope. Stops. Reads. And his face
suddenly... freezes. To stone.
(turning to him)
Michael? What ha...
Mike. I can't believe I'm doing
this to you on the night before
your wedding. But I think you
need and deserve to know...
And he looks up to her.
... what you're marrying into.
He hands it toward her. She takes it, hesitantly, and he walks past.
Toward the phone.
I received the following E-mail
this afternoon... "Ben, I need a
favor. My daughter's every
Her eyes BUG OUT of her head. Holy shit! We can hear him DIALING the
phone. She keeps reading, it's all there. How did this happen?
Isabelle? I need to talk to
"Mike, the funny thing is, he's
offering you a gig you'd be
stupid to turn down..."
I'm just tired. Please put her
"Maybe you should take the job.
And dump the girl."
And when she turns...
Jules. Could you give me a
He looks more sick than angry. As if the heart has just been cut
out of him. She doesn't know what to say or do, so she just stands,
She nods, stumbles out of her room, closing the door behind her.
Now she's in the empty corridor, clutching her big jumbled bag,
sinking down to sit on the carpet, her back against the door.
She doesn't look elated. She seems frightened, distraught, and
most of all, confused. Because she can't understand why. She digs
absently through her bag. Cigarettes. Box of matches.
She lights up. Draws deeply. Somehow, she seems near tears, and
laughs bitterly at that. Shakes her head at how fucked-up she finds
herself. Squeaking wheels approach, but she is too lost to hear them.
Miss, are you locked out,
She looks up. A small, wiry man of nearly 60, in a slightly faded
but neatly-kept uniform. On his cart, a ton of bags.
No, I just stepped out, because...
it's a non-smoking room.
And inhales deeply. Leans back against the door, to look up at him
Well, it's non-smoking floor,
too. Maybe you could go to the...
Why don't you have me arrested?
That wasn't sarcastic. He doesn't know what to say.
I mean that. Arrested, convicted,
put in solitary.
See, I'm a dangerous, criminal
person. I do bad things to
honest people. This, see, this
smoking? Tip of the iceberg.
Waves her hand.
Make a citizen's arrest, I won't
struggle. It'll be like getting
Al Capone on tax evasion.
Now she seems angry. But not at him. Her eyes fill with tears.
Can I... Can I help you, miss?
She squints at his nameplate.
Do you smoke, Richard?
Yes, ma'am, I do, but it's...
... a non-smoking floor, yeah.
Well, you know what?
And she takes the cigarette from her lips. Turns it around, holds
it out to him. Go ahead. He doesn't move. Please! And so...
... he reaches down, takes the cigarette from her hand. Staring in
her eyes, he takes a deep drag. Savors an expert nostril-inhale of
his exhaled smoke. Hands the cigarette back to her...
My grandmother always said,
"This, too, shall pass."
She swallows. Wipes at her eyes. Finds a smile.
Thanks, Richard. If you weren't
on duty, I'd buy you a drink.
He just nods. She waves. He waves back, pushes his cart down the
hall. As she watches him go, the door behind her suddenly OPENS,
... FALLS through it, flat on her back at Michael's feet. Staring up
at him, seeing that he looks as bad as she feels, she takes raw, deep
And crouches down. Close beside her. The cigarette drops from her
hand, unnoticed on the carpet. So he lifts it, crushes it on the
heel of his shoe.
I want you to quit this shit,
it'll kill you.
She just nods, obediently. Okay, I will.
She denied it. Said I was crazy
A bad combination.
He tries to smile. It's really hard.
There's this big brunch tomorrow
morning? At her place.
He lets the air out. Slow. So he won't cry.
She said "How can I call everything
off, what do I tell everybody?"
Shakes his head. Can you imagine that?
No, it's for the best, it really
is. We were so wrong for each
Maybe tomorrow, you'll feel dif...
The job thing would have broken
us up, eventually, anyway. She
couldn't have lived with it. I
know that now.
Julianne nods. Maybe that part is right. Maybe it would have
ended anyway. Maybe she can pretend she's not a monster.
And she's right, I'm crazy to
fall for someone. I hardly
Looks deep in her eyes. He's so glad she's there.
Hey. You still got that ring?
She holds up her left hand, the flapping sleeve falls away. The
ring is on a finger that is swollen and raw.
I tried it on. But it won't
He smiles at that. A sad smile of friendship. Then takes her
... into his mouth. It is something like a kiss. And when he
removes her moistened finger...
... he pulls the ring OFF. Nothing to it. She blinks.
It's mental, you know.
He doesn't understand that.
Should we take a walk? Or
maybe some food sent up, or
I just want to be alone. Is
She nods, sure. He kisses her cheek. Stands up.
Maybe I'll go back to New York.
Hang with you for awhile, huh?
She nods again. Whatever you say. He steps into the open doorway...
Or we'll go somewhere. If you
have the time.
If San Antonio sweeps
They smiles at each other. For real.
I've never been to Texas.
Imagine that. The look holds. Just above a whisper...
Thanks for coming to my wedding.
And then he's gone.
IN.JULIANNE'S BATHROOM - LATE NIGHT
Julianne brushing out her hair in the bathroom mirror, eyeing her
image with evident dissatisfaction, as she listens to the receiver
DIGGER (V.O. MACHINE)
Digger and George are with
family in the Hamptons until
Monday morning. Brevity is even
more in order than usual.
Hey, handsome. Brevity this...
Her eyes find the pack of cigarettes. Next to her toiletries kit.
Her fingers touch the pack. As if an object of significance. Takes
Amazing, huh? I didn't do things
quite your way. But... I got it
Cradling the phone against her shoulder, she carefully tears the top
of the pack completely open.
And forty years and nine grand-
children later, when I sit with
Michael on some rustic porch,
slogging through our sweet swamp
of nostalgic memories...
Reaches the pack toward the toilet.
No one is going to sweet the
Turns it upside down, emptying a dozen cigarettes into the john.
Of one weekend in Chicago.
Drops the lid with a CLATTER. Hits the FLUSH.
Talk about celebration...
She lifts a tube from her toiletries kit. Stares at it, real
I'm gonna brush my teeth with
Turns it over, reads all the writing. Yep.
I guess I'm too exhausted to
feel the elation I so richly
Squeezes some paste onto her brush. Carefully.
So I'm gonna hold calls at the
desk... while I get my...
(around, her mouthful)
God, it is toothpaste, they
should sell this stuff
commercially! Anyway, a girl
does need her...
Squints at her image. Laughs, spewing a little foam.
... well, we're a bit past
worrying about beauty sleep.
Let's just settle for not
frightening small animals.
She SPITS. Tells Digger's machine...
Anyway, I couldn't have done
it without you. Even though I
did, if you follow that.
Wipes her mouth. Stares off. The eyes a little dreamy.
Three words: Happily. Ever.
Well, you know.
SMASH CUT TO:
INT. BEDROOM - MORNING
Julianne sprawled all over the bed, mouth open like a carp,
sleeping mask against the daylight. A sudden RAPPING at the
door, and she...
... sits BOLT UPRIGHT. Utterly disoriented, until she pulls off
the mask. Stumbles out of bed, walking toward the firm KNOCKING,
... it stops. A message slip SLIDES beneath her door. She lifts
it, barely conscious. This wakes her up. In one.
(to the slip)
You're going where?
EXT. WALLACE ESTATE - DAY
Julianne climbs from her taxi. Only slightly in awe, she sets off
past the reflecting pool, which fronts a mansion of graceful stone
and timber. It's a hike today, because the circular drives is
clogged deep with Bentleys, Mercedes, and waiting limos, vying for
space with a score of delivery vehicles of all kinds, maintenance
trucks, catering and florist and food vans.
INT. GREAT ROOM - DAY
Julianne escorted into an enormous room, where brunch is in
progress for more than a hundred. She looks from the vaulted
ceilings, to the frescoed walls, the inlaid floors, the massive
pipe organ above the stone staircase, the oil portraits of Scottish
ancestors and their favorite dogs.
Isabelle has risen from the main table, and comes to her. All
smiles. Julianne is in the Twilight Zone. What are these people
laughing about? Do they still think there's a wedding?
Jules. We're so glad you
Takes her arm graciously. This woman would make Anne Bancroft look
coarse. As they walk...
Now, you have a choice. The idea
is bride and groom shouldn't see
each other on the magic day...
Julianne looking all around. Magic day it seems to be. Where the
bell is a bride or a groom?
So Michael stays put in the garden.
Kimmy stays in here...
Pointing. THERE she is, obscured by a cluster of the appropriately
fawning. She has the same hunted eyes and false, slightly manic
smile Julianne wore yesterday. This, at least, makes sense.
... and the guests go back and
forth. Where will you start?
CLOSE on Julianne. Watching the brave, frightened bride.
She looks tense.
Nerves. I would never have
EXT. ROSE GARDEN - DAAY
A steward leads Julianne to the edge of an expansive rose garden,
altogether elegant and comfortable with its long white picnic
tables, where nearly a hundred guests casually dine, served by
There, at the head table, Michael staring at us. He looks like a
poor attempt to cover a hard night. She locks onto his eyes. What
the hell is going on? He looks helpless, miserable. She gestures
with her head, follow me. Stalks off.
EXT. SCULPTURE GARDEN - DAY
Bronze abstract pieces, some quite large, face a huge set of
children's swings, regulation playground size. Julianne sits in
one, moving slightly back and forth. Trying to hold on to her
temper and her sanity.
In the distance, trucks are winding their way to and from the pond,
where crews are setting up tents, lights, heaters for tonight. The
circus has come to town. When she looks back...
Michael approaches. Before he can draw a breath...
I had the craziest dream last
night? Walter and Kimmy had
asked your boss to...
Look, I came down here to face
everybody. I didn't want to
slink away like some coward...
But the Scotch salmon was so
fucking good, you decided to
stay for brunch!
She hasn't told anybody, what
am I supposed to do?
Get married, apparently.
She comes OFF the swing, PUSHES him back two feet.
What the hell are you thinking
of, the goddamn wedding is SIX
He swallows hard. Trapped.
This is her family and her
And your point?
(ten years old)
Well. How come she didn't...
BECAUSE SHE'S AS CHICKENSHIT AS
YOU ARE, YOU MORONS ARE MADE FOR
He just blinks.
Hey. This is a serious matter.
Thank you. She POKES his chest, punctuating...
I'll be right back.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
A modern take on the Medieval castle kitchen, towering ceilings,
dark wood, copper pots hanging, a series of walk-in coolers and
freezers. The place is a madhouse of activity, as prep cooks
slice, chop, sort, every kind of food imaginable, and delivery
teams bring more.
The girls walk through. Alone together in the eye of the
hurricane. Kim choked with excess sentiment...
Look at all this beautiful food,
so lovingly prepared...
They'll eat it anyway, you ever
been to a walk?
Kimmy's lip trembles. This is not how she thought of her wedding.
The din is so horrific, Kimmy leads them into a walk-in meat
locker. Even here, two BUTCHERS are dressing Eastern-fresh corn-
You guys want to give us a
The men blink at each other.
We'd like to be alone with
On that basis. They leave. Kimmy sits on a stack of packaged
frozen fowl parts. Stares up with big, sweet, wet eyes.
How's he doing?
Julianne cannot believe this.
Who? The jerk who's running
This must be... very, very,
hard on him.
What with the psychosis and
Leans in. Listen...
When are you gonna come clean
with your folks?
Don't you see...
If you're waiting for "Do you
take this man?", that's
considered poor form.
... that this is all my fault?
Stops Julianne cold. Your fault.
Whatever delusions I drove him to,
there is truth at the heart of it.
I want him to work for my father.
I want to stay in school. I want
a life of my own!
Harder and harder for Julianne to push. Her mouth is dry.
Yeah, well, lots of couples are
I love him.
Fragile and strong at once. A plea.
Tell him it's my fault and
that I love him.
A long beat.
I'll be right back.
EXT. TENNIS COURT - DAY
The court has become a giant holding pen for tonight's BALLOONS.
There are maybe a billion in assorted colors already blowing in all
directions, under clear plastic sheeting which has ben spread
across the top of the court's chain-link fence.
Michael stands outside the court, clutching the chain link like a
prisoner, as Julianne comes through the gate. From somewhere, we
hear high, squeaky, alien voice-like SOUNDS. Incongruous
How is she?
Julianne absorbs this. As the bizarre SOUNDS continue, she WHIRLS
KNOCK IT OFF!!!
We now see three STONER COLLEGE GUYS, who have been filling the
endless array of balloons from helium tanks at center court.
Clearly, they've been inhaling their working materials.
A Nazi salute. When she turns back...
I asked you...
She admits it's her fault.
He absorbs that. And then...
Do you think she still loves
We watch the struggle inside her. Her voice drops...
Sure, she does. She's crazy
Now tears stand in both their eyes. The stoners are doing their
Alvin and the Chipmuks impersonation festival in the B.G., singing
in castrato harmony. But our two don't notice.
I keep asking, how can I explain
what happened? And I keep
getting that same answer all
I can't. And it doesn't matter.
I drove her to it, because I
want things my way. And even
if she did something tricky and
unfair... she was blinded by
Julianne swallows. For obvious reasons.
Does that make it right...
Love doesn't have to be right.
It just has to be love.
The stoner are now helium-crooning "Bridge Over Troubled Waters."
Actually, they're getting better.
She's giving up half her life
for me, and I'm bitching because
it hurts her.
Sail on silver girl
Sail on by...
She's a saint! And I'm a
Your time has come to shine,
All your dreams are on their way...
Tell her. I'll marry her at six
o'clock, if she'll still have me.
The stoners blend on the high note. It's pretty moving.
I'll be right back.
INT. ORGAN LOFT - DAY
PAN along a gigantic serpentine stack of wedding presents. Nearly
twelve feet high, the pile curves along the balcony, high above the
diners in the Great Room, extending al the way to...
... an organ loft. Alone, above the noise of the party, Julianne
and Kimmy have just reached the top of the staircase. Trapped
between ten tons of lavish gifts and the keyboard of the mammoth
organ. Dwarfed by their surroundings, Kimmy draws the hardest
breath of her life...
So. What did he say?
Julianne's eyes move over the young girl's face.
He said. Marry me.
Kimmy YELPS in her ecstasy, FLINGING herself against Julianne, and
they go DOWN full length across the organ's pedals, BLASTING the
room with a MONSTER CHORD of china-rattling volume and horrifying
As grown men and women SCREAM in spontaneous terror below, Kimmy
... LAUGH. And KISS and hug her new sister. And holds her tight.
EXT. WILLOW POND - DAY
Julianne and Michael walk the gravel path beside a breathtaking
POND, ringed with WILLOWS that dig heavy branches to the water's
surface. He is relieved, reflective. Head down, he never notices
that she is...
... dangerously freaked. Too petrified even to hyperventilate,
we're lucky she's breathing at all. We watch her life unraveling
before her glassy eyes.
(never looks up)
Thank God you were here.
(mumbles to herself)
I was so confused, so conflicted,
Well, it happens.
They pass an expanse of lawn which has become the event parking
area. Family vehicles, delivery trucks, service vans. Everything
that couldn't fit on the circular front driveway.
I might have thrown away...
Searching for the right words.
... your one chance for true
... yeah, that.
You never want to do that, see,
that's always a... costly
turnover. As they say in the
There's a vague Stepford Wife quality to her voice. He hears that
now, and looks at her. Maybe he can't tell she's frightened. But
he can tell she's something.
Are you okay?
She stops walking. She can't look at him, so she looks around.
Across the lawn crews are moving equipment into the brightly-
colored tents, unfolding and setting up stacks of tables and
chairs, raising the poles between which all those balloons will be
strung. At the center of it all...
.... a huge topiary White Sox batter, just completing a murderous
swing. He's maybe fifteen feet tall. She points to it...
The Big Hurt, huh?
Nellie Fox. Walter likes the
past. And he likes the little
So Julianne nods. Because she does too. Squints up at Michael.
Got a minute?
He nods, you bet. Worried for her. What is this? She looks in
another direction, and we now see that we have nearly reached...
... a stage that's been set up for the band. Chairs, music stands,
sound equipment. A gleaming dance floor, already in place over the
lawn. Next to it, a shimmering white GAZEBO. Like the centerpiece
of a wedding cake.
Why is the dance floor by the
She takes his hand. They walk toward it.
Kimmy's idea. She thought it
would be such a romantic place.
For our wedding dance.
Looking down at her.
Up the white steps now. Together. The gazebo floor has been
covered with hardwood. The perfect place. For a wedding dance.
... turns, suddenly. He almost runs into her. She is staring up
at him, so strangely, their bodies only inches apart. He is caught,
transfixed by the intensity in her eyes.
I have to say this quick, okay,
or I'll have this massive
coronary and you'll never have
to hear it. Which you need to.
Does that make any sense at all?
The coronary part does. We can feel her heart beating from here.
Jules, what's wrong...
This is the dumbest thing I will
ever do. So dumb, in fact, that
I can't. I don't think.
And then, she does. She puts her hands flat on his chest. Looks
in his eyes.
Michael, I love you.
A heartbeat passes.
I've loved you for nine years,
but I was too arrogant and
scared to realize it. Now I'm
He stares at her, dumbstruck. She moves even closer.
I know this comes at an
inopportune time, but I have to
ask this one really gigantic
Holds her breath. And...
Choose me. Marry me. Let me
make you happy.
And in a half beat of excruciating silence...
I know. It sounds like three
His eyes are loving. They care for her. She swallows, lost in
But when you think about it...
Slides her arms around his neck, and raises her mouth...
... to his. The most beautiful kiss she will ever offer. All of
her heart is in this, and as his hands touch her body...
... a SCREAM rips the world to pieces. They whirl to see...
... KIMMY, halfway up the path. Her hands across her mouth, as if
to stem the horror that pours forth as she SHRIEKS from her soul,
... runs. Back Down the path. Michael BOLTING after her, SHOUTING
her name. A frozen moment, and...
... Julianne TAKES OFF after him. All three running, SCREAMING
their various emotions at the top of their lungs, as workmen stop
to watch from neighboring countries.
Kimmy, staring from halfway there, has an insurmountable lead.
LEAPS into her convertible and PEELS OUT, just TEARING up the
gravel as she ROCKETS out of sight. No way to catch her. Still...
... Michael is racing for the cars. Julianne, sprinting her guts
out, losing ground with every stride. Michael JUMPS into a
MICHAEL, DON'T, YOU'LL NEVER
He GRINDS the gears. She keeps RUNNING. His engine FIRES.
SHE HAS TOO BIG A LEAD AND SHE
DRIVES LIKE A RABID ANIMAL!!!
He BLASTS OFF. She keeps going. Gasping for air, clutching her side,
she's dying here. Slams into a florist's truck, looks inside, shit!
Next, a butcher's van, looks inside, Jesus!
(to the world at large)
DOESN'T ANYBODY LEAVE KEYS
ANYMORE? WHATEVER HAPPENED TO
Up ahead, Michael has STALLED the Cherokee. She still has a chance,
DASHES to the next van. BORNSTEIN EXTERMINATION, a handsome
rendering of a rat above the TOXIC MATERIALS warning FLINGS the
door open. Stumbles in. Keys!
THANK GOD, A SAMARITAN!!
Michael SPEEDS away. She KICKS the ratmobile in gear.
INT. RATMOBILE, DOWNTOWN CHICAGO - DAY
Julianne tearing through traffic, desperately struggling to keep
Michael's Cherokee in view, while she shrieks into her cellular...
IT IS NOT GOING WELL!
Down the block, Michael WHIPS around a corner. We follow suit to see
his destination dead ahead. Union Station. The DISPATCHER RADIO
Uh, Unit Four Baker Charlie,
how we cookin' on that Skokiie
Now she's steering the car, tearing at the radio controls, and
screaming into the phone cradled on her shoulder...
THIS IS WHAT COMES OF TELLING
FIELD MAN (O.S.)
OR EVEN PART OF IT!
FIELD MAN (O.S.)
Uh, what happens if you got
that methyl-ethyl shit on
Michael RIPS into the train station's parking lot. We SWERVE
around a taxi, CUT OFF Harley, CAREEN into the lot...
GETTING WHAT YOU DESERVE IS
Uh, you got maybe thirty seconds
before you're sterile. For God's
sake don't touch yourself, or
Up ahead, Michael is OUT of his jeep and running.
AND I HATE TALKING TO YOUR
She SLAMS on the brakes, THROWING herself against the wheel.
YOUNGER FIELD MAN (O.S.)
Uh, this is One Monkey Zebra.
It wasn't bees in the gal's
wall, it was cats!
She TEARS the door open. SCRAMBLE OUT...
YOUNGER FIELD MAN (O.S.)
She says gas 'em, anyway,
she'll pay cash. Uh... how
do I pay this?
WITH Julianne now, RACING through the lot, Michael vanishes INTO
the Station, she PLUNGES in after him, BOUNCING off bystanders,
apologizing, lunging on, gasping for breath, past exhaustion,
threatening clumsily through the crowd like a staggering drunk,
catching a lucky glimpse as he heads...
... DOWN a staircase to the TRACKS. My God, what's he doing? A
second wind, fueled by panic, and she BOLTS after him, DANCING down
the steep staircase somehow without killing herself, reaching the
concourse to see him, running for...
... Track 29, a train already RUMBLING, ready to pull out, she
SPRINTS after him.
He DISAPPEARS behind the train, she FALLS, skids, springs up,
pushes through gaping onlookers, almost there, the train PULLS
But he's just standing there. His back to us. Watching it go.
Her body nearly collapses with relief. She pushes herself on, but
her legs aren't working right in their maxed-out fatigue, and she
lopes and staggers until she comes up behind him. He's still lost
in thought, staring after the train.
She tries to speak, but there's no breath. So she puts her hands
on her knees and just GASPS for air like a dog. Wheezing, panting,
trying once more to speak, but she can't yet, and then he casually
... JUMPS out of his skin! A heart attack seeing her.
He just blinks at this sweaty, ripped-up, maniacal figure.
Uh. I saw that moving...
FLINGING both her hands across his mouth. A frozen beat. He nods,
okay. Cautiously, she takes her hands away. At least she has made
him smile, in spite of everything. At least she's done that.
I have to make a confession.
Another confession. Besides
that I love you. This is even
This. He's waiting to hear.
The E-mail? You thought Walter
sent your boss? I wrote that.
You. WHAT?! Synapse overload.
You're not saying you actually...
you're saying that y...
(stricken with remorse)
... wrote it, yeah. I'm the
ARE YOU CRAZY?
She nods her head wildly, hair flopping.
ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY INSANE??
ARE YOU ON DRUGS???
Shakes her head, like a two-year-old.
(pacing in circles)
I mean, do you realize what
you've... well, of course you
realize, that's why you're
confessing, I mean... I mean...
how could you do that?
I didn't know it would get
sent. I just wanted you to...
get mad at Kimmy... and...
And watching. As this begins to sink in.
I've done nothing but slimy,
underhanded, despicable, not
even terribly imaginative,
things. Ever since I got
here. Trying to...
Staring in his eyes. Eyes she can't read at this point.
... to win you. To win you
Tears in her own eyes now. Big ones.
And I was blinded by love.
Like you said.
Shaking her head...
But that doesn't excuse any
part of it. I am pond scum.
Actually. Lower. I am the fungus
that feeds on pond scum. Lower.
The layer of mucous that cruds up
The pus that infects the mucous
that cruds up the fungus.
And to her amazement. The trace of a smile...
On the other hand, thank you.
She blinks at that. Which squeezes out a tear.
For loving me that much, that
He shrugs. Just above a whisper...
It's pretty flattering.
Except it makes me fungus.
Well, that part I knew.
She's never loved him more.
So you have to marry Kim.
Because she will actually make
you happy. I, in contrast, am
a shallow, neurotic psychopath,
with relatively little to offer.
Kim. Nod your head. Do as
He nods his head, still smiling. Her tears are running now. Maybe
she doesn't notice.
Just promise you'll never tell
me who you would have chosen.
If I hadn't confessed.
She chokes back a sob.
Cos if you would have chosen me.
Then I threw away a perfectly
good life. Just to be a decent
person. Which is a questionable
He nods, slowly. Because he's supposed to.
And if you would have chosen
some 20-year-old punk over me.
I'd have to kill myself.
Ah. His smile keeps getting smaller. More loving. More wonderful.
I'll take it to my grave.
Good. She looks around.
I'm so glad you didn't jump on
that train, before...
I came here, looking for her.
For her. The words leave a silence.
Why would she come here...
This is where I proposed.
Stares deep in her eyes. She needs to hear this.
I had to cover a game in
Milwaukee. She saw me off.
And when the train started to
leave... I jumped up on the
step, I help the handle, and
He grins. Has to admit...
... without a thought in my head.
I shouted, "Marry me."
I did. Now her eyes tear up again. And she doesn't know why.
And she gasped, and covered her
mouth, and the train was pulling
out, and suddenly she screamed
YES! Just once. And blew me a
What a girl.
I never forgot that.
It's two weeks.
That is so romantic.
Which makes him reach and touch her hair.
I just wonder if you know why.
It's because romance isn't
mystery, and tricks, and doubts,
and halting, unspoken longings.
That's not the real romance.
Tears in his eyes now. First time.
The real romance is saying yes.
Does she know that now? He looks at his watch.
Woulda been a nice wedding.
You can't believe you've lost
her! Sooner or later, you'll
find her, and you'll look in
each other's eyes, and you'll
see all that love...
Course, if it's later rather
than sooner, I'd hate to be you
at six o'clock.
You've got a lot of explaining
I'm just thinking of how she's
hurting. Lost. Alone. Like
her life is over.
That's little egotistical.
He glares at her.
But, undoubtedly accurate.
She claps her hands, galvanized by the emergency.
Okay, we'll split up. You go
to every romantic place you
guys have, I'll go... someplace
brilliant, and the first one
If you find her...
Strange tone. A gentle warning.
The kiss. May be hard. For
you to explain.
Because the only fear she
really has, is...
... me, yeah. And she likes
Tommy Lasorda. Case closed.
Looks at her own watch. Shit!
But if you do get to her first...
She looks up.
There is something you are
authorized to say.
EXT. TAXI STAND - DAY
Julianne sits on the fender of this guy's taxi. The driver smokes,
paces, while she waits for a connection on her cellular. Then...
Wallace egregious residence,
It's Jules, you guys haven't
had a call from, say, Kimberly,
Oh, she's slipped out, the
little monkey. Prob'ly with
Michael, doin' the nasty.
A shallow laugh...
Or crying in her nachos, down
at Comskey Park.
Julianne's face SNAPS to alert.
I had this crank call? From
some guy who thinks he saw her?
I said, what would a bride be
doin', on her wedding...
You are so right. What a
nerve on that guy! Bring my
dress to church, huh?
Signals the driver, let's GO!
I want to pick up a little
something for the ceremony.
INT. LUXURY BOX, COMISKEY PARK - AFTERNOON
Game in progress. Julianne and the bodyguard stand in the doorway
of the deserted skybox. Everyone Walter knows is going to a
wedding. The box is empty except for one cardboard container of
nachos, extra cheese, sitting alone before a pulled-back chair.
She wouldn't confide in me,
so I called the house.
He sighs. Feels terrible about all this.
Luckily, I got her cousin.
Julianne nods. Yeah, big break, there.
Going to the john, she said?
Could be there awhile.
INT. WOMEN'S RESTROOM - AFTERNOON
Julianne BURSTS into the enormous chaotic restroom. Looks around
wildly, no sign of Kim.
Everybody stops. Pays attention.
I GOT A WARRANT FOR MS. KIMBERLY
Silence. From the long line of stalls...
In here, you bitch!
Now everybody's really interested. Julianne ignores them, strides
to the stall. KNOCKS, like it's a door. No answer.
Let me in, baby, or I'll rip
this damn thing off its non-
GET THE FUCK OUTTA MY FACE OR
I'M GONNA MESS YOUR SHIT UP!!
Some scattered APPLAUSE. From down the line...
(O.S., still sobbing)
Over here, nitwit!
Oh. Scattered laughter. Julianne moves down the line. Stares at
the door. We hear the soft, muted crying from within. Slowly,
... drops to her knees. Bends her head low. PEERS under the door.
What she sees, prompts a sad warning...
And she crawls UNDER the door, on her belly. We go WITH her to
... Kim fully dressed, perched on the closed toilet lid, her knees
drawn up, her arms around them.
And pulls herself up to her knees. Kimmy tries to glare, but it
just isn't in her.
Haven't you done enough?
The world gets real quiet. An entire bathroom is listening.
Julianne cocks her head to one side.
In one minute. You are going
to feel so foolish.
WHY DON'T YOU JUST DRIVE A
STAKE THROUGH MY HEART?
Have you ever heard of.
Irony? Kimmy sniffles.
I threw my arms around your
husband. And kissed him with
all my heart. Because I was
so happy. For you. Nitwit.
And leans close. As Kimmy flinches.
He's going to take...
A stunned pole-axed moment. And Kimmy's eyes SPRING open. You
With your dad, yeah. Can you
guess why? Bitch?
Everything inside Kimmy BURSTS free in a torrent of tears...
HE LOVES ME!!
And DISSOLVES, sobbing, into Julianne's arms. A beat, for Julianne
to reflect, and then she strokes her tenderly.
Well, of course, he loves
Kisses the top of Kimmy's head.
Hell, even I love you.
Kimmy holds her tight. From her heart...
I never want to go through this
That's entirely understandable.
ANGLES... outside the stall. Julianne's feet sticking out under
Shit! THE TIME!
The two BURST out of the stall, hand-in-hand, at a desperate DEAD
RUN past us. HEAR them EXPLODE out the door, and...
... five stalls OPEN. Women exit, crying.
EXT. UNIVERSITY CHAPEL - TWILIGHT
A taxi pulls up in front of an ivy-covered CHAPEL, fronted by nearly
a hundred souls, milling about in attitude ranging from overstimulated
curiosity to clinical hyperanxiety. Our girls JUMP out of the cab,
and half the crowd starts running toward us, twins in the lead...
(cutting this short)
We were bonding, we lost track,
we're officially sorry, now
let's put it behind us.
Kim WAVES at her mom by the chapel entrance. And takes Julianne's
hand for support.
Believe me, we got a bride who's
worth waiting for, yes?
Out of our way.
EXT. DRESSING ROOM - TWILIGHT
White. Pure blinding white. Across FRAME floats more white, this
gauzy and ethereal. It settles, its roots planting deeply in the
bride's hair. TILTS UP to...
... the face of the woman who placed it there. Julianne's eyes,
appraising this bride we cannot see. And so softly...
Don't worry, sugar.
When he looks at you, it will
be as if...
The words stronger. Because there is no smile.
... he's never seen a woman
PAN DOWN the white until we are...
CLOSE on the bride's perfect slippers. HOLD. And...
INT. CHAPEL - EVENING
Begins to slowly PAN BACK UP the length of an exquisite gown. We
can tell from the organ, the nearby thrum of expectant voices, that
we are nearing the moment. We reach...
... Kimmy's hand. Firmly clasping Walter's. Keep PANNING, the
bodice, the lace, her throat, and finally, we are CLOSE on...
... the face of the bride. Now we understand the word radiant. We
also understand scared senseless. Our perfect, unflappable Kimmy
is in a trance of emotional overload where bliss and panic
The organ's noddling stops. Kimmy's eyes alerted, like a small
animal bearing a predator approach her thicket. Suddenly, the
CHORD. The Wedding March from Wagner's Lohengrin. Here. Comes.
The bride. And we SNAP TO...
FULL ANGLE... Kim and Walter. This is it.
REVERSE ANGLE... Kim's POV, the chapel, every pew packed, every neck
craning this way, the white satin carpet down the endless aisle to
Michael waits. Also in a zone of pseudo-consciousness. From which
he attempts a smile. Not comforting. Kim's POV WHIP PAN the
groomsmen, the twins, LOCKING FOCUS on Julianne, standing strong
and beautiful, a glow of her own in the daffodil dress. She sends
her little sister a WINK across the trackless miles of aisle. You
can do this, kid. So...
... Kimmy does. On her father's arm, she walks the gauntlet of the
world's intrusive admiration. One step at a time. The most beautiful
she will ever be. She is dazzling the crowd and managing to not throw
up at the same time.
And she's there. At his side. She glances back to her maid of
honor, just to make sure she's not working without a net. So
... CROSSES her eyes. Which lets the kid smile and finally take a
breath. Have a little fun, huh? Kim nods, got it, turns to...
The Minister. Who stands before them with a calming presence.
Thank God someone has done this before. The crowd has hushed.
The Minister's eyes are only for two. His words are for all...
Michael and Kimmy wrote these
words. She asked me to confide,
A ripple of laughter. Gentle and fine. They are setting in.
So he gets to say them.
A surprise. A pleasant one. The crowd adjust in its seats. As
Why do people get married
And on these words. We SNAP to Julianne. Share her interest in
the bluntness, the simplicity, the unorthodoxy of this beginning.
Why not live together amicably,
with no sense of obligation
beyond the moment?
Her eyes. She's listening.
As long as the sex is good. As
long as no one more interesting
has wandered into view. As long
as the thousand conflicts of two
individual wills remain
PANNING now. Other faces. Isabelle. Proud to the bone.
And when one feels the urge to
move on, to explore the new.
No guilt, no disgrace, no
Walter. His eyes damp. Against our expectation.
No agony of having dishonored
a time. When our hearts. And
the world were different.
Joe nods, as he hears...
Marriage is a lot to put up
Julianne once more. No breath. Rapt.
The answer must be. That there
is some need basic to the human
heart. That embracing... the obligation
of commitment... fulfills.
Her eyes have clouded. As if Michael is talking to her.
Some need to belong to one another
in a way which rages against the
notion... that all is impermanent.
Against the notion of mortality.
And suddenly, ALL the feeling rises in her throat.
Our love is bigger. And longer.
Than life itself.
And the tears come. They come freely, unhidden, unnoticed. As if
they were needed.
Michael now. Looking at his bride.
That's what we want. And marriage.
Is what we do about it.
Kimmy smiles at him. With love bigger than life itself.
We are fools in this. Thank
He is done. There is a silence.
Boy, that was good!
People LAUGH. The Minister holds up a sheet of paper. For the
crowd to see. Mostly paragraphs crossed out in red ink.
Michael and Kim also edited what
they want me to say...
The idea was, we're only marrying
once. We have to remember it
forever. Let's keep to the good
(squints at the sheet)
You may kiss the bride.
Bigger LAUGHTER. The Minister waves this off, his little joke.
Turns to the best man, pantomimes the ring. As the hammered gold
circle is handed to Michael, Julianne absently scratches her still-
swollen finger. Mandy taps Julianne on the arm, and produces...
... a matching ring. Take it! Gives it to her. So Julianne steps
forward. Places the second ring into Kimmy's waiting hand. Their
eyes meet, and hold throughout...
If anyone here can show just cause
why this man and woman should not
be married, speak now. Or forever
hold your peace.
Julianne CLEARS her throat. Kimmy's heart flutters. In the
silence... Julianne's wonderful smile. Just kidding.
Michael reaches for Kim's hand, turns her gently to him. Places
his ring on her finger. Holds her hands.
Kimberly. I promise to love.
And respect and comfort you.
To hear your voice and your
heart. Until we are parted
She swallows. Smiles a fleeting, beautiful smile. Fumbles
slightly, putting the ring on his finger.
Michael. I promise to love and
respect and comfort you. To
hear your voice and your heart.
Until we are parted by death.
Staring in each other's eyes. A moment so fragile, the Minister
waits an extra beat.
For the record, you each agree
to marry the other?
The Minister joins their right hands.
We haven't said much about God
this evening, I know. But He
is here. And He is happy. To
bless His wonderful children.
CLOSE now on Julianne. For the inevitable moment.
In that Michael and Kimberly have
given themselves to each other by
solemn vows, and the exchanging
Unnoticed by the world. Her eyes are close.
I pronounce them husband and wife.
Those whom God has joined together,
let no one put asunder.
The eyes open. Wet, brave, ready for...
Now. Kiss the bride.
Julianne watching. As Michael does.
EXT. WALLACE POND - NIGHT
This is what all the preparation was for. Tables, lights, balloons,
the guests dancing on the hardwood floor, at the base of the gazebo.
The bride and groom among them, relaxed and happy. Two who are one.
... the stage, the band playing. Julianne conferring with the twins
and the band leader, clear that she's giving the instructions.
Then, she takes her glass of champagne to the microphone...
... KLUNKS it, for silence. The band stops. The dancers follow.
All eyes are comfortably turned to the maid of honor. She looks to
the couple. Just below her. Then, to the crowd...
I'm a writer, too, not as
good as Michael. But I do
steal from quality.
She raises her glass. Everyone at the table does the same.
This is to my best friend. On
the occasion of his wedding.
Shouts of support, a few whistles. Silence. She tells Michael...
If I have truly come to know
your bride as my new sister.
This is in her heart...
She has to stop. Swallows. Because she will not let herself cry.
"Understand. I'll slip quietly
away from the noisy crowd when
I see the pale stars rising,
blooming, over the oaks."
Deep breath. Looks in his eyes.
"I'll pursue solitary pathways
through the pale twilit meadows,
with only this one dream: You
A hush. SHARP applause. From four hundred hands. But not from
his. He is too moved. Too understanding of what he has heard.
I don't have a wedding gift.
But this is on loan. Until
you two find your song...
And with that the band begins. The opening phrases of a song we
have come to know. Michael seems overwhelmed. Julianne nods
toward the gazebo...
... Michael takes his bride's hand, leads her up the stairs, into
his arms, as the twins step to the microphone, and guests begin to
applaud an unscheduled wedding dance...
Someday, when I'm awfully low,
And the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you,
And the way you look tonight.
Soft two-part harmony. As perfect as the words.
You're lovely. With your smile so warm,
And your cheeks so soft,
There is nothing for me but to love you,
Just the way you look tonight.
Julianne can cry now. Because she's tied with half the place.
With each word, your tenderness grows,
Tearing my fears apart...
And the laugh that wrinkles your nose,
Touches my foolish heart.
Julianne begins to sing. Unheard. Unseen. Even by the man she's
You're lovely, please don't ever change,
Keep that breathless charm,
Darling, please arrange it, cos I love you...
Just the way you look tonight.
The band keeps playing. The dance goes on. Two people lost in each
other. The way it's supposed to be.
INT. GREAT ROOM - LATE NIGHT
Bedlam. Julianne caught in the middle of the throng. A young
couple, dressed for travel, appear at the top of the staircase.
The SHOUT are deafening. The bride has her bouquet...
... she spots Julianne far below. THROWS it her way, Julianne
reflexively GOES FOR IT...
... not a fucking chance. The twins nearly TRAMPLE her in the
stampede, Mandy WRESTING the prize from Sammy's grasp. Everyone
CHEERS, and then the couple is...
... FLYING down the stairs, RACING through the crowd with a
protective phalanx of groomsmen bodyguards, heading for the door,
... Julianne, trapped in the crush, loses sight of the couple,
struggles against the flow, suddenly panicked by the certainty
that she will never see him before...
And then, he's THERE. He has Julianne in his arms. Holding her
so tight. An embrace so wonderful, so terrible, she could go mad
from the confusion alone. Against the din, he murmurs in her
Wherever I go. However far...
She sobs. Holds him.
Deep, deep breath.
You win a few, you lose a few.
Some get rained out.
And to her surprise...
(V.O., very softly)
You have a good time?
To her greater surprise. There are a few tears left, after all.
I did what I came to do.
(V.O., even softer)
She just can't speak now. So she doesn't.
I was thinking. Maybe you might
visit us for awhile. We've got
the room made up.
This fucking guy. God, she loves him.
I'll think about it. I'm okay.
Oh, you're more than okay.
Just above a whisper...
And with the last of her strength...
If the sun comes up, I'll see
you tomorrow, huh?
A chuckle. At the other end.
I'll play those odds. You have
We hear the CLICK. She turns her back on the stars. Shoulders
straight. Chin up.
She walks from frame.
FADE TO BLACK. HOLD END CREDITS.
My Best Friend's Wedding
Writers : Ronald Bass
Genres : Comedy Romance