James L. Brooks
1 INT. BEDROOM - MEDIUM CLOSE - MALE FORM - LATE AFTERNOON 1
A shape fills the lower portion of the screen. It is a man's
back..... a perfect back... good dark color, slim, muscular.
LATIN MUSIC PLAYS... a song.... if you understood the words
you would hear love confronted and considered in a very
specific way...We are in a Mexico City suburb. The day is
hot; small beads of sweat are seen on the man's back, the
first indication that we are in slow motion..Perfect red
fingernails come into view...and now a woman's hand goes
beautifully to work...part sensual back scratch, part
massage. The hand cups bits of the man's back, a strong thumb
probes his spine, a long finger teases the very top of his
ass in a cute finger-pirouette and then continues down --
and, as the hand rises once more to the top of his back for
another trip down his upper body...
MAIN TITLES BEGIN: Full titles, minute after minute of titles
with some key dissolves helping us to represent some 30
minutes of time passage as the hand continues to scratch and
rub, the man making sounds of pleasure. The hand is getting
tired. Flirtatious no more, this is getting to be work...The
unseen woman shakes the hand vigorously, the man says a
single sound urging her to continue, the exhausted hand
complies, then stops, then the unseen woman changes hands as
TITLES CONTINUE.....The new hand, wearing a wedding ring,
goes to work then it too stops to rest..the man says
something in Spanish...important for us because it will
establish that there will be no subtitles and yet we
understand perfectly that he is asking her to continue. She
replies in Spanish lightheartedly, with a small and pretty
laugh, that her hands are tired. We understand. The man tells
her to continue. She continues, the rub now desultory and
resentful. She stops for another rest. The man wants more and
grabs forcibly at her hand -- his own hand coming into view
for the first time. She says, in Spanish, with no particular
anger, "you said you would never push me around again. If you
do, I will somehow break your arm so you can rub your own
back as high as you want." (NOTE: All Spanish dialogue will
be worked hard to provide something extra for the Spanish
speaking..working in tidbits or extra exposition, jokes etc.)
For now, the man's tone changes, placating her to continue.
Even as she resumes the massage they begin to have a domestic
argument in Spanish. This is no longer a massage we envy.
This back rub, going as it does from sex and hope to discord
and alienation, will be our only full direct knowledge of
2 INT./EXT. BEDROOM / DUSTY ROAD - OTHER ANGLE 2
Showing us the room and beyond, through the window, a school
bus stopping at the corner on a dusty road.
We now see the full figure of the woman's back as she looks
up with excitement and stops rubbing with the word,
"Cristina." When the man protests her stopping she indicates
they should both run and meet their daughter. He waves her
off. Stunned by his disinterest, she runs from the room.....
3 EXT. DUSTY ROAD - THE BUS 3
As CRISTINA, six years old and adorable, waits patiently to
step down. She sees her mother and grins and waves excitedly,
digging into her little pack to pull out an English book
which she displays with pride. Now she steps down from the
bus and, as she walks TOWARD CAMERA, narration begins. The
voice is of a girl eleven years older than the child we see.
To Princeton University's Director
of Admissions: In considering me
for a scholarship you have asked
for, and have every reason to
expect, an essay from me about
myself. And, as a clever high
school graduate, I of course
realize the subtext of this essay
about who I am and why I want to
enter Princeton, is actually to
make clear to you why you should
have me. I have gotten tips, from
friends who have preceded me to
college, that being a Latina, with
my grades, list of activities and
relative poverty, I am as good as
in if I simply do the dance and
work in a word like
"bipolarization" every so often.
And while I love dances -- this
dance of self is one I am afraid to
(young girl looks off and
I prefer to write about my mother.
4 INT. / EXT. HOUSE - SCHOOL GIRL'S POV - MOM 4
A drop-dead gorgeous Latin woman in her early 20's. As mother
and daughter move inside, a car pulls up with an ominous man
getting out. He nods in another direction calling our
attention to a police car parked off the street. The woman
does not notice - instead shepherding the child to her
father. The woman makes a big fuss over the text books the
child has..this is one supportive mom..again she is
disbelieving that her husband shows no interest, especially
when the child seems briefly hurt. The woman's husband looks
from the window and sees the ominous man coming. The woman
now does everything humanly possible to distract the child so
she does not see what is transpiring.
For my mother, that afternoon
eleven years ago was a watershed
not because of my father's
imprisonment but because it was my
first day at school....
5 INT. KITCHEN / HUSBAND'S ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON 5
This room is directly across from the husband's room. The
woman looks up to see her husband open the suitcase to show
the man a huge store of Mont Blanc pens and high-end watches.
The man gives her husband some money..all the time the woman
is chattering to distract the girl. Looking off --the woman
grows wide-eyed as she sees her husband count some money. The
undercover cop begins shouting orders. The woman raises her
voice to cover the argument in the next room which puzzles
There was never any pretense that
the gorgeous, vital, clever,
temperamental animal that was my
mother ever for a heartbeat
considered having any life of her
own. She ignored all her needs and
was alive only for me. It was
(a long beat)
At the time.
As she watches her daughter chew a cookie. Her daughter
begins to tell about her day, her young mother taking on a
glow we have not yet seen. And all the while she eyes the
action in the next room. Her husband makes a break for the
window. The other man points a gun at the ceiling preparing
to fire a warning shot. The woman moves ever so quickly to a
shelf of her favorite dishes, all the while talking to her
daughter, making much over the kid's new school books. It is
an impressive charade.
FULL SHOT - TAKING IN BOTH ROOMS.
And just as the cop shoots at the ceiling, in perfect timing,
she upsets the dishes, the resulting noise covering the
shot.. The woman asks her daughter what she learned
today..the daughter says she was taught a little English.
Mother is impressed as she watches the cop move her husband
toward the front door where other police await. Her daughter
starts to follow her gaze and she distracts her..brandishing
the Spanish/English book and asking her to say something.
6 INT. / EXT. KITCHEN - ON GIRL. 6
Standing proudly, smoothing her skirt.
CLOSE UP GIRL.
As she clears her throat and says directly into camera.
The girl and woman are enormously excited over this word even
though, outside, her life's mate is being loaded into the
back of a police car.(Note: Mexican police DO NOT duck the
perpetrator's head WHEN LOADING THEM IN THE BACK SEAT..they
just allow the concussion.) It seems the mother will save her
child the trauma of her father being carted off; but the
police turn on their siren and the girl turns to see her
father as the car pulls away. The child is stricken. A tear
starts to form in her eye. Her mother acts quickly. We are
about to see powerful emotion reversed by sheer force of
will..the mother leans down, gives three quick kisses - power
pecks - to the girl's cheeks and then an admonition in
Una lágrima...sola una sola...Haz
la mejor possible.
"One tear..only one...so make it a
good one." This was my mother's
instruction to me.
Baffled by the edict..
Holding up one finger. That's it..one tear..she means it.
As she complies..one great tear forming and falling..Her
mother's thumb wipes it away..But now her eyes well with more
tears..her mother gestures she must have strength and
resolve..and so she does..a toss of her pretty little
head...the eyes clear.
7 INT. MOTHER'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 7
As the mother, lying in bed with her daughter loses her own
fight with tears..managing with difficulty to keep her
convulsive sobs silent since her daughter and she are
intertwined like pretzels.
8 INT. GIRL'S ROOM - DAY 8
The girl works on her lesson plan..She is a study in beauty.
Her mother's daughter. Across the small hallway her mother
greets and deals with friends and family in a:
9 SERIES OF SHOTS 9
As the girl works..her dress changing as the days change
while different visitors listen hard to her mother across the
My mother dealt with our
considerable problems of survival
by talking..Always she discovered
her own best thoughts by sifting
through her own words.
The mother stops talking in mid-sentence, realizing she has
just solved something and makes a note.
10 INT. MOTHER'S BEDROOM - THE TWO OF THEM IN BED - NIGHT 10
Each night my mother promised me a
wonderful life.. Each night I
looked for a new expressive way to
tell my mother how much I loved
The child is ardent..clutching at her heart...kissing her
mother.. Holding her mother's face, talking directly into her
eyes. The mother, enormously pleased, is nonetheless thrown
by the extremes of it.
I just played and did my lessons
and every time I looked up my
mother was in the process of saving
11 INT. / EXT. MONTAGE - VARIOUS SHOTS 11
Her mother selling keepsakes..counting money..Friends and
relatives bringing food, clothing - toys.
Desperation in her hands was our
We see her totally intimidating a priest.
With this weapon she had her
marriage annulled - usually
impossible for the poor - and
somehow convinced an associate of
my father's to transport two
Mexicans North in style.
12 INT. SMALL AIRPLANE - MAGIC HOUR 12
The mother and daughter seating themselves. The mother is
enormously nervous with the prospect of flight. She sits,
the daughter ignores an empty seat and goes on her lap,
mother hugging daughter, daughter hugging the hug.
How you doing?
Hi. How are you? I am fine..
(she checks her book of
..happy, merry, joyful, glad,
As they taxi.
Are you her mother, sister..what?
The mother says, "solo español"---"only Spanish." The
daughter starts to chatter excitedly about the imminent
flight. Her mother quiets her firmly in order to pray for
their safety.. As the plane continues to taxi...We HEAR the
mother's prayer in Spanish. She then nudges her
daughter..who, with this gentlest of prods, repeats the same
13 EXT. AERIAL SHOT.. 13
The plane crossing the Rio Grande.
My mother's prayer for us, which
she made me repeat exactly,
represented a stunning look into
our future. "Please God, let only
the bad things change."
14 INT. SMALL PLANE - CLOSE ON THE TWO FEMALES.. 14
Use this image if ever you want to strike a coin depicting
the moment of no return. The child aglow with happy
anticipation..the adult brave and enormously anxious.
The pilot taken with the mother's looks.
How can I reach you? Address?
Telephone? Por favor. Por favor.
He glances over..this is not lechery, it is art
appreciation..an errant but decent man awed by the creature
he is drawn to..
My mother had redefined her own
passions. Blaming herself for the
father she gave me, she would never
again be lured by a man's rough
edges..She had decided that
goodness would be her catnip.
As she feels him looking at her and turns. With some
affection and regret, she shakes her head, "no."
As he mouths the word "ouch."
15 EXT. FIELD - NIGHT... 15
Plane landing on a dirt and grass strip...
16 EXT. FIELD - LATER - NIGHT - ON MOTHER AND DAUGHTER.. 16
Standing on the tarmac..Latin flavored music suddenly gives
way to a Texas country harmonica riff..The child tries to
comfort her apprehensive mother with the one wondrous fact
she finds so thrilling.
The mother hurries her along in the direction of distant
17 EXT. ELEVATED HIGH SHOT...HIGHWAY 17
The two of them waiting, small figures.
She raises her fingers like pistols. Shoots, blows in them
and reholsters them.
18 EXT. HIGHWAY - DUSK 18
Bus traveling the highway. The child looks out sadly.
19 EXT. NORTH VALLEY STREET - EARLY EVENING 19
As they disembark...the mother studying a slip of
paper...fearing she has made the mistake of a lifetime. The
child fascinated by all.
At the time, I was oblivious to my
mother's anguish. She loved and
lived to talk. Now, as if by a
witch's spell, words were no longer
her bridge but her barrier. In a
very real sense she feared she had
left herself behind.
ON THE TWO FEMALES.
The mother sees something. Joy returns.
A street full of stores with SIGNS IN SPANISH..She begins
walking the street asking passers-by for directions in
Spanish and is answered..her step lightens..she beams with
relief. So far so very, very good.
20 EXT. APT. COMPLEX - DAY - FIVE MONTHS LATER.. 20
An iron gate in front..small courtyard ringed by a second
floor horseshoe of apartments.
We moved into a place managed by my
mother's aunt. My mother worked two
jobs in two local stores paying a
total of 450 dollars a week...
21 INT. APT. - DAY 21
As the mother enters.
..just ever so barely enough.
22 INT. APT. - KITCHEN - CLOSER SHOT.. 22
Cristina taking a newspaper from her book bag and seriously
pondering - then circling grocery coupons.
ANGLE ON KITCHEN AREA.
Cristina taking a snack from the refrigerator..smiling at the
note her mother left...lighting a burner and melting cheese
on a tortilla.
But we were fine. We had it down.
If only I could have stayed six.
The CAMERA MOVES QUICKLY from the child to:
23 EXT. APT. COMPLEX - ELEVATED SHOT - SIX YEARS LATER. 23
The courtyard is lit with colored lights and candles..a
wedding reception is in progress -
EXTREME CLOSE UP - THE BRIDE.
Gorgeous round and full cheeks stretched into a deep,
BACK TO SCENE... music plays and we focus on Cristina, now
nearing 12 years of age..dancing with her mother and some
other smaller children.. The mother eyes the muscular back of
a Great Looking Man...who turns, and quickly oozes quality
sex appeal. She is turned on..They talk in Spanish...him
saying something hushed like, "I have been afraid to talk to
you. I need oxygen when I look at you." She indicates the six
children she is dancing with and offers to include him in
some ring around the rosey dance...He indicates the magic of
just the two of them...She quickly leads her little flock
A reed-thin FOURTEEN YEAR OLD BOY is staring at them...at
first the mother thinks this is adorable...the child eyeing
her as if he were a man..she indicates he should join the
rest of the children for a dance..
MOVING WITH THE BOY..
As he steps forward and it becomes clear it is Cristina he is
interested in... Before the mom can do anything about it, he
asks Cristina to dance and she readily accepts.
Satellite virginities falling with alarming speed..the first
time held by a male, the first time held close, the first
sexy (albeit touchingly awkward) gaze from half-closed male
eyes which utterly confuses Cristina. He begins to grind his
hips into his dancing partner.
ON HER MOTHER.
Not confused. It is exactly as if she sees her daughter about
to be run down by a car..only this time the thing to do is
scare the car.
She runs toward the boy -- he sees the force of nature coming
his way and makes a break but she gets him and actually lifts
him and throws him to the sidelines. Then pats him on the
head maternally and goes back to Cristina.
Somewhat proud of her mom as the boy leaves the scene.
That quickly it was clear she could
no longer work two jobs and leave
me to my own at night. The
following morning she did something
about it. A boy I never saw again
had changed our lives.
24 INT. BUS - DAY 24
The mother and her aunt, MONICA, take their seats..the bus is
filled with domestics..the mother, nervous, looks over to see
and greet... THE BRIDE from last night's wedding.
25 INT. BUS - DAY - 90 MINUTES LATER. 25
Este es Stone Canyon.
26 EXT. STONE CANYON - DAY 26
MUSIC CHANGE..as they disembark and start walking, joining
the busload of domestics into the canyon and up the
hill....they walk past a perfect country club fairway. Grand
trees from either side meet each other high over the road.
ON OUR GAL..AS THEY WALK
She sees the stuff...the dream that makes you migrate. She is
not awed..she is jazzed. To her aunt she does the Latin
version of OH.....MY...GOD!!!!!!!!...At regular intervals in
the background, one black SUV after another has a mother
taking kids home from school.
27 EXT. ATTRACTIVE HOME SECURITY GATE - DAY 27
Monica presses the security intercom. The gate swings open.
28 EXT. HOUSE - DAY. 28
In the foreground an expanse of turned up dirt...and huge
rolls of sod ready to be laid down. A catering truck stands
in the driveway.
29 INT. / EXT. HOUSE - GREAT KITCHEN / POOL - DAY 29
They enter..lots of glass French doors STAND OPEN to lawn,
pool and pool house. They look off.
DEBORAH NORWICH CLASKY, a cool beauty in her mid 30's, sits
dominating this three generation portrait of the Good Life.
She is wearing a straw hat and killer Hawaiian shirt..She is
a perfect dresser; meaning her clothes seem to say she
doesn't care, while every article is a true and gifted find.
She is drinking from a tumbler which is also of the "don't
hold your breath while you try to find something as terrific"
variety. She is flanked by her mother, EVELYN, 60, who is
drinking from a stemmed glass with two olives and her 14 year
old overweight daughter, BERNICE..who is reading, her
grandmother idly holding her hand..In the immediate area more
rolls of sod wait to be laid.
THE TWO LATINAS.
As they stand inside the kitchen not sure what to do next.
Then Deborah gestures that they should join her at the
pool..as they start out..
Boink..three stooges retro..those French doors were not open
after all. Monica hits first. The women at the pool react.
Deborah and Bernice running. Evelyn momentarily attempts to
join the rush.. she half rises and then thinks better of
it..too late in the day for sudden movements.
Gee whiz in heaven...How are you?
(a bit hyper)
Don't worry..I'm not mad...I was
looking for decoration to put on
the glass so people would stop
walking into it and instead of
taking what they had in stock,
which was awful, I special ordered.
I'll design something myself which
I should have done in the fi...
Our heroine, seeing the blood flow from her aunt's nose,
gestures that Monica needs help not conversation.
..and what difference does that
make when your nose is bleeding.
Shut up, Deborah.
Now you got it, Mom.
Deborah grabs at paper towels, gets an ice pack from the
freezer and then grabs some cash from a bowl in the
kitchen..She has, moment to moment, the enormous desire to
feel loved that only the seriously hard to love can
Here, take these.
Was that strange to give you
money..I just felt badly that..
She pockets the cash.
30 EXT. HOUSE - BACKYARD - DAY 30
Moments later. As the group arrives at the outdoor table.
Evelyn makes half-hearted incomplete gestures of shaking
hands, nodding, indicating a seat...each simple act a test
which she fails -- every gesture a bit too late and then
some..simply too much for her to manage with the drinks under
her belt. In the background workers roll out sod, the yard
becoming more beautiful even as we look.
She is my niece. She and her
daughter live in the apartment I
manage. Yolanda, who worked for
you, lived there before she went
back home. That's how I heard about
So who am I interviewing?
On our gal..as she, not understanding the word, smiles and
Our gal thrown. Not knowing how now to react.
She doesn't mean it as a
compliment. It's more of an
This is my daughter Bernice and
this is my mother, Evelyn Norwich..
Excuse me...Glad you're okay.
(then to other Latina)
Our gal smiles back in appreciation.
No, stay..this involves you.
I wouldn't want some kid around for
my interview. You understand, Mom.
Strength of character..empathy..big
heart..taste for futility - God I
She eyes with disapproval her mother's empty glass.
(then to Bernice)
Stop. It's just a conversation -
not an interview. Please sit.
Don't you want to get out of the
She indicates a shaded seat. Deborah is protected by hat,
umbrella, sun glasses while her guest sits bareheaded
enjoying the rays and indicates she is fine. Underneath
Deborah's surface is a Russian roulette of deeply felt
emotions..at this moment she is earnest and vulnerable.
DEBORAH (TO OUR GAL) (CONT'D)
You guys want some lemonade?
Let's just talk. I have two
children. My husband works
nights..he's a chef and has his own
Do you work?
I helped run a commercial design
company until ten months ago when
it was downsized to zip. Okay. I
have two children. I like the house
to be like me in that I'm very
loose and meticulous at the same
time. It's all about first names
and closeness here but I care about
the place, you know. It's what they
used to call homemaker..
The two visitors exchange a wide-eyed look. Which Deborah
sees and understands.
I'm not leaving time for you to
Monica says, in Spanish, "this woman is very strange. The
only thing I understand is she has two kids." Deborah leans
into Monica. Face to face, tender but unblinking..
Too bad for you that it just never
occurred to you to check on how
much Spanish I know.
(a solid beat of
I'm sorry what I say about
you...don't hold it against her.
I don't speak any Spanish. But I'm
not an idiot - I talk for an hour
and you say two words. What did you
Monica squirms - unusual for her.
Never mind. You got your nose
bopped. I got my feelings hurt.
As Monica paraphrases what has happened, her translation is
DIALED DOWN for the:
(as Deborah continues
I will major in linguistics and
make sociology my sub-
concentration. Because it has been
my experience that the barriers of
language are more than we dare
admit. That, as much as we
translate, finally we will never
understand each other. My mother's
name, for example, beautiful in
Spanish, becomes leaden and awful
when pronounced by a non-Latin.
DEBORAH (IN THE CLEAR)
What's your name? Llamo? One of my
five Spanish words..
She pronounces Flor in the Latin way...lots of RRRR's with a
curling of the tongue sound at the end.
She pronounces it flat like the "floor" we walk
on...throughout the following each of the women sticks to
their pronunciation as indicated by the extra "r's.
Flor..what I walk on?
MONICA AND EVELYN
It means flower, right?
Yes. Flower. Florrrrr.
Deborah is beginning to feel criticized...she takes a
beat..eyes everyone with some hostility.
(directly to Flor)
Is there some school of the ear I'm
flunking out of right now?
Flor says to Monica, in Spanish, a tip to pronounce her name.
Monica warns Flor to leave it rest..since Deborah is becoming
clearly and strangely pissed..
What did she say?
CLOSE ON FLOR...
She feels the tension but, so far in her life, her own
irrepressible personality has served her - so she moves
forward with surprising and quiet confidence and assurance.
She tells her aunt to repeat her words so that now, for the
first time, she is, through Monica, talking directly to
She says..If you curl your tongue
and let it be loose you will have
it..that it's hard for Americans..
She says it's great that you try so
hard. Many people wouldn't bother.
She gets me....
She smiles at Flor, who returns the smile.
You want some lemonade? Take some
She pours some for Flor and Monica. Then she closes her eyes
and pauses in utter dedication to a final effort:
It is perfect..Flor grins at Deborah's victory...claps her
(a Spanish word)
Deborah feels relief..free for a moment from the dark
corridors of self-criticism..She is lighter, prettier,
innocent..Wholly and completely attractive.
Whew, dense but stubborn, right?
(an important declaration)
What you just did with me is just
what kids need..patience and
encouragement. Alright, money...
Bernice rises like a shot to take off..
Look forward to seeing you.
As she leaves.
(absently to Bernie)
(then with not a
... the job is six days a week,
seven to seven..the kids and all
housekeeping, how much a week would
Monica translates..Flor, embarrassed a bit by the directness,
ducks the question..saying in Spanish -- "whatever you say.."
No.. This is an important
question..if you ask for too little
it means you don't value
yourself..too much and you're
(after Monica translates)
Flor is dumbstruck by the challenge of this pop quiz but not
without some native wit and style to maneuver around it.
(extremely heavy accent)
One thousand dollars.
Deborah falls for it until Flor laughs..others join...Deborah
now a big smile, snort of a laugh, putting her hand to her
face and shaking her head.
As Monica uses Deborah's reaction time to, in mid-laugh,
flash four fingers to Flor..
Catching the gesture and secretly indicating to Monica they
should go for six.
Six hundred dollars.
Flor shoots her a look of fear...a tense beat.
Welcome to the family..
Deborah kisses her..sort of on the mouth. In the midst of
Flor's delight she is thrown by Deborah's kiss...it is the
first of many borders to be violated.
31 EXT. CLASKY HOUSE - DAY. 31
As Flor and Monica exit and can finally show their full joy.
32 EXT. STONE CANYON - EVENING. 32
JOHN CLASKY driving a smallish SUV. He is an upbeat,
talented, successful man with an ego as balanced as a high-
end watch; who loves his wife, kids and job. In other words,
watch out, John.
33 EXT. CLASKY HOUSE - EVENING. 33
As John pulls into the driveway next to a catering truck and
exits his SUV carrying a large wrapped tray..
34 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - EVENING. 34
As John moves quickly through the downstairs, he puts the
tray on a counter where food servers are working.
I brought some dessert.
As he moves on, we see in the background the workers unwrap
and react to a fantastic concoction. A caterer (who we may
notice looks at him like royalty) falls in beside him and
whispers to him.
She came down to check on the party
and realized the gardeners hadn't
finished rolling the sod.
35 INT. / EXT. CLASKY HOUSE - BACKYARD - NIGHT 35
JOHN'S POV - DEBORAH AND TWO FEMALE CATERERS.
Deborah is wearing a party dress. They are rolling out the
last huge cylinder of sod, completing the now beautifully
manicured backyard. It is hard manual labor involving
physical strength. The female caterers are complaining that
it's too heavy but Deborah is undeterred.
(to catering women)
We can do it. Come on.
She falls over the roll..getting filthy..but it gives and
they gain momentum...one of the catering women falling down,
one losing pace.. Deborah,however, gains the upper hand. Yet,
even while succeeding, she remonstrates herself.
Why... do... I... care.. so..
much.. about.... CRAP?
And now she wins.. the cylinder of grass rolls all the way
out and she jumps on the seam in victory. She is dirty,
spent and triumphant..the components for a solid sexual
experience..and, in truth, as the exhausted caterers half-
heartedly applaud the bizarre victory, she has gotten off.
She looks with mother's pride at the lawn. Then sees John.
Can you believe they left without
As she looks at her handiwork - John looks at her..A
grin..half laugh.. He loves the dame.
DEBORAH (BREATHLESS) (CONT'D)
Looks great, huh?.... You're not
I was getting a kick looking at you
look at it.
Not the answer she wanted..
I better get dressed again in case
anybody's just a half hour late.
She hits a switch at the door and the backyard area is now
fully illuminated -- set up for a dinner party for 20 or
so....all details thought about and done to a "T". This is
the outdoor lighting nobody nails..the twinkling of a half
acre..the path to the pool like a runway to heaven. As she
looks at it all she has a wistful moment.
(a replenishing sigh)
Okay..We're okay here.
Why can't everything be like sod?
There's no wait, no dung, nothing
you have to do right and yet it's
perfect. It covers up all your
dirt and makes things immediately
pretty..then, the miracle, if you
just give it time, it roots and you
can't tell it from the real thing.
(a look to her husband)
No reaction. Nothing to say.
Huh? Oh sure..I, uh..Well, no, I
don't have anything particular to
Oh, John why don't you just take
out a knife and kill me all
Somewhat crushed, she prepares to exit.
How'd you get there..Hey, wait a
I'd like to figure this one out.
What would have been the great
thing for me to say after you said
the sod sentence?..Really.
That's actually a good question.
There you go. I surprise sometimes.
I would have liked, if after I
compared the sod to life, if you
had said, "Exactly!"
She turns to leave.
Yeah. But to say that and mean it
I'd have to think the same way you
(some sense of mischief)
It's worth a try...I had something
else to tell you...it'll come to
36 INT. OLIVE GARDEN TYPE RESTAURANT - NIGHT 36
Standing in a nicely decorated middle class restaurant,
Cristina, totally bilingual, speaks to the American hostess
with a pronounced and charming accent as her mother, standing
beside her, bounces with energy and joy.
Could we have a table for two,
Flor says something to her in Spanish..the daughter waves it
off and when the mother persists, she translates.
Smoking or non-smoking?
Before her daughter can translate.
The hostess laughs..They are seated at the two ends of a
banquette and each automatically picks up her place setting
and "scootches" closely together. Cristina picks up a menu
and points to the prices.
Flor scoffs -- says she's making six hundred dollars a
week..then looks at the prices and does a take. The hostess
returns --- Cristina points to the menu.
This is just for the starter?
Flor, encouraging her daughter's spirit of adventure, places
her hand over the prices in the menu.
Uh-huh..And those men would like to
buy you a drink.
The daughter translates...the hostess points out the early
30's, well dressed, quite nice looking businessmen. Flor
addresses the men who are several tables away. Cristina
moves uncomfortably but responds to her mother's nudge to
This is very embarrassing but--
"what's wrong with you? I'm with
my daughter for God's sake!"
Then hostess, Flor and finally Cristina laugh. Cristina
relishes getting back to ordering from the menu...in a moment
that is a bit noteworthy..
And I would like to begin with the
37 EXT. STONE CANYON - DAY - 6:30 A.M. 37
Flor smiling..enjoying the canyon..as she walks the mile plus
from the bus stop to work..one of a straggly line of
domestics. Deborah jogs into view.
Hi, Flor..See you up there.
Deborah runs past..She is clearly upset..She is also more
than a stay-in-shape jogger. She is an athletic woman fueled
by an ever flickering pilot light of anxiety. This makes her
seriously quick. She is highly aware of passing
everybody..She needs to pass everybody..Her voice trails
behind her as she announces to all as she approaches.."left,
please," "left," "left."
38 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - UPSTAIRS - DAY 38
John enters his son's room..GEORGIE, age 9.
Okay...think SERIOUSLY about
getting up. You don't have to get
up yet but are you thinking
seriously about it?
39 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY. 39
Bernice is making French Toast, doing something novel with
the filling and the last cooking process. Some great idea
which will have us making a mental note to try it at home.
40 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - UPSTAIRS DAY - DAY 40
John opens Georgie's door again.
Georgie gets up..
Yeah, good morning.
You as mad at me as Mom 'cause of
John pauses..aware his answer will have repercussions but
No, Georgie, I'm not.
Are you mad at me?
41 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - KITCHEN DOORWAY - DAY 41
As Flor enters from outside.
Morning, good to see you.
Morning. Good too.
She notices the French Toast.
She demurs. Bernice holds out one slice on a spatula,
indicating Flor should just tear a piece off which she
does...One taste and she marvels -- her mouth dropping open
at this kid's ability to make something mundane
Her mother enters on her way upstairs. She is thoughtful,
tense and sweaty - her run having failed to exorcise her
current demon. She greets Flor and then shakes her head,
making a vain attempt to communicate her troubled mood to
Flor in some sort of sisterhood based on life being a fucker.
Bernice prepares a plate for her mom while, in the b.g., a
GOLDEN RETRIEVER named CHUM approaches Flor from behind with
a ball in its mouth. Flor is checking out the kitchen...
what's in each drawer, etc .....Deborah is impressed by the
self-starter display and indicates same to Bernice.
I had an idea for a breakthrough in
French toast so I made breakfast. I
don't want to be teased about it..
No sarcasm. No tough love. Just try
it and if by any chance you have a
Right..mean ol' me. I can't play
right now. I have to do something
about your brother.
I had an idea for a recipe. When
has that happened? I got up early
to do this. At least taste it, for
Oh, it's good...oh God, it's rich --
Oh God, it's good.
By the way, you could do without
The approval rug pulled out from under her, Bernice looks at
her mother. But Deborah is unaware of having hurt her
daughter because her attention has been diverted so that
Deborah AND THE CAMERA LOSE FOCUS ON BERNICE as the teenager,
distraught, moves from the room.
DEBORAH (TO FLOR) (CONT'D)
NO..NO! FLOR!....Never do fetch.
Chum is nudging Flor with the ball and Flor was about to
accommodate him by taking it before Deborah's warning shout
stopped her in mid-sentence.
I mean it, NEVER!
ON Flor's stunned reaction to the outburst.
I'm not mad. I'm thinking of you.
This is me being nice..
Then using her hands to demonstrate.
Just no taking ball from dog.
Trust me on that one.
CLOSE UP ON Chum going nuts with Deborah's hand passing in
front of his face ignoring how urgently he offers the ball.
You and me. We are fine. Just a
(she gives her waist a
(Flor is totally confused)
Could you make some coffee? Cafe?
Deborah directs her to the most complicated cappuccino
machine Italian overpriced artists ever devised.
42 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - UPSTAIRS - MASTER BATHROOM - DAY 42
Deb in the shower...you have never seen so many shampoos,
conditioners and bath balms...never seen so huge a
sponge..such fluffy towels.
Skylight over the shower allows a beam of God's warmth. There
is a fireplace in the bathroom. The only significance of
this being that these people have a fireplace in their
bathroom. The woman who made it all happen is putting in a
contact lens..She is upset. We see that she has one blue eye
and one brown.
This isn't an argument, honey.
Yes. Yes it is. So stop being so
No..it's not. Because I understand
I can't be wrong about that too.
This is a fight. We're having a
fight. Yo, I feel anger.
Deborah turns from the sink revealing one brown eye and one
blue. She blinks, realizes one lens is not in and turns back
to the sink.
Can I have a moment?
John exits into the..
43 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - MASTER BEDROOM - DAY 43
As John awaits his wife...a beat and she enters with two blue
eyes. Even though she is attempting reason and self-control
her voice is filled with tension and goes from loud to
Okay..Let's get someplace here.
44 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY 44
As Flor works methodically - orienting herself..she is able
to hear their totally foreign words and though their volume
registers on her a bit - basically she remains blithe.
Loading a dishwasher, memorizing where everything is..
45 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - MASTER BEDROOM - DAY 45
BACK TO SCENE:
You, mister, are crazy making..I
can't take this calm thing you've
started doing. It's like this is
your way of letting me know there's
something deeply wrong with me
because I'm not calm.
Let's not go all over the
If you're going to talk to me
please have the decency to raise
(a beat then sudden
urgency and change of
Let's make a break for it.
What are you talking about?
He signals her with his eyes and head and then takes a large
but tentative step away from the spot where he was
standing...then additional faster steps. He gestures with
enormous energy for her to follow him to his new spot in the
room. She eyes him suspiciously.
Just for a second.
She walks to him...he puts an arm around her shoulder. And
gestures back to where they were standing. He talks in an
almost hushed, conspiratorial voice.
We don't have to be those people.
Nobody's watching. They've been
masquerading as us for a while
here..I'll distract them - you make
a break for it and I'll meet you
You're ridiculing me because I care
No. I'm not. I mean this..let's get
away from those two in case they're
as miserable as they look..
(urging..like a Southern
Come on, baby.
He is looking at her with wit and conviction..trying to
squirt lighter fluid at the flame of their love. Deborah
looks up at him..intimacy of a different sort.
Let me ask you a question..let me
change the subject..Forget for a
moment that you won't support me
Well, I don't think...
She makes a noise of frustration to stop him..It works. John
is rendered still and intimidated by her conduct but he is
"man" enough for his jaw to set...to pause for a beat as he
looks her straight in the eye..And walks back to the spot
they occupied previously.
Here's the question. It's been on
my mind more and more. Do you do
that calm thing for the purpose of
What? Why would ...
(on her exasperated look)
Why would anyone do something to
someone they love for the purpose
of messing them up?
He hates that look of isolation on her face..He needs to make
her feel better.
Deb, since high school we've been
able to read each other...take
advantage of it..The answer to the
question is,"absolutely not." Now
take a look and tell me if you
She looks at him..with a finger motion he directs her gaze to
CLOSE on JOHN'S EYES.
Open, smiling, trusting. Trying to get a laugh out of her.
CLOSE ON DEBORAH'S EYES.
Studying, questioning, probing, doubting, exhausted...
I don't.. believe you. I think you
just want me to feel badly about
46 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY 46
John enters - not seeing Flor - goes to the Sparkletts water
container and fills a cup...He is shaken..
Great God in heaven save me.
Boy meets girl.
He turns with a start to see Flor smiling at him. Gorgeous
squared. His first word is inadvertent.
Whoa...whoa...I didn't know Deborah
had found someone... You work here?
You're going to help with the house
You work here and you don't speak
any English at all?
The sound of feet on the stairs..Deborah and Georgie enter.
All she has to do is dial 9-1-1 and
press two for Spanish.
(even before she enters)
(to John enunciating the
This is Flor.
(pronouncing it perfectly)
Deborah reacts, grabs some coffee and pushes Georgie along.
Look, I'll take Georgie to school.
No. I'm doing it..show Flor the
Flor is trying to figure out what's expected of her then
Deborah gestures impatiently for her to fall into step and
come with her.
47 EXT. CLASKY HOUSE - DRIVEWAY - DAY 47
The biggest, baddest, BLACKEST SUV..there is some subtle
custom work so the vehicle impacts us in ways we cannot quite
fathom. Deborah is wiping away a tear as she gets in and
shares a woman to woman moment with Flor.
Fuckin' hombres, huh?
She sniffles. Flor nods uncertainly. A small voice from the
I just didn't want to sing last
Yeah. Well you said you would..You
said you wanted to. I asked you
five times. Then when I have the
whole party paying attention you
As she puts the car in gear...Georgie sings insanely well.
But he's just two lines into an old blues standard:
It doesn't do any good now,
She presses a button on her dash and a glass partition comes
up between front and back seat thereby cutting him off in mid-
song. Flor is utterly baffled by the notion of putting a
divider between parent and child. But Deborah is calling for
her to pay attention to the car's navigation screen.. a
Spanish voice says, "route guidance system starting."
I've programmed it for Spanish..
Look, it will take you anywhere and
then back home. If you figured out
how to make coffee on that thing
it's all downhill.
The MALE SPANISH VOICE talks about imminent left turns. Flor
is thrown by the amount of oddness..All the while Georgie is
singing his little heart out in the back seat. Flor,amused by
the boy, suppresses a smile...maybe the first time in her
life she's had to suppress joy. But Deborah never misses
DEBORAH (TO FLOR) (CONT'D)
This is stop gap..You, kiddo,
you're going to have to learn
48 INT. RESTAURANT KITCHEN - LATE AFTERNOON 48
John cooking...the theory that nobody's sexier than when they
are seen doing what they do best applies here.. In the
BACKGROUND John's number two, PETER, the Sous Chef, being
bossy and anal as he organizes his cooking and GWEN, who
spends most nights trying not to show her enormous affection
for John. At the moment, John's work is a strange mixture of
art and cloddishness.....the hands blur with expertise...but
he keeps dropping items.....each time a Latin kitchen worker,
ALEX, 20, dives on the spillage..At one point they bump.
(sharply to Alex)
Not the best place to stand, fella.
No. It's me. You're the new
I didn't mean to...
No..no..it's okay. It's me being
Two people head for John almost simultaneously. PEG, an arty
looking woman in her late 50's..wild, scraggly gray hair,
enters lugging an ice chest and the maitre d'.
You are going to be so happy..
The Maitre D' enters.
I have something very important to
John makes a no-brainer of a decision pointing to the woman
who promised happiness. She hefts her ice chest up on the
Perfect cod this is John -- John,
perfect cod..Best one I've seen all
season and he was swimming twenty
The fish is that special, a sentence that kicks out for a
writer, the right brush stroke for an artist. You get it..
You want to learn something? You
want to pack it away?
The kid nods.. he picks up the fish.
Cradle it...Put it in the cooler
but not on its side.. In the same
position it swims.
(important added thought)
And check the ice pack..make sure
it can drain away..if it can't the
chlorine can hurt the flesh. Do all
that and nobody can put a fish in
the fridge better than you...and
that's a solid start.. First day
and you already did something
Yes, I understand.
Oh, sorry..I forgot.
He whispers in John's ear..
Damn.. "ohhhh damn."
What, buddy, what?
Victor spotted a food critic..
The New York Times..I'll bet they
sent her out just for us.
(hands John a slip)
Here's what she ordered.
Look, if you're nervous take a
I don't need a walk.
I'll walk with you..I know a
What do you think I'm worried
about... how I'll cook? That's not
(looks at slip/then to
The lady wants fish. Get the fish.
He starts to prepare for cooking.
I worked in a kitchen once in New
York that got four stars. It was
like a line formed for the chance
to become an asshole. People's
accents changed. The heart went out
of the place. You understand.
I agree with everything you've
said. I admire you for your
feelings. I hope to adopt them as
As he works..Let's be clear here...this is that sequence that
either kicks out or doesn't..no food channel..no simple knife
stuff..something casually brilliant..meticulous...smart and
gifted as he prepares the critic's meal.
He is talking quickly..almost to himself.
I don't know what to root for.. the
thought of one star makes me
nauseous..but with four there's no
place to go but, "Oh my God, they
took away a star."
Three..three and a half. That's
what you want..No. Wrong! Three and
a half you feel disappointed that
you just missed out on four. You
know what you want? Three and a
(a eureka moment)
That would be perfect!!
(getting off on it)
It would mean you're good..but
you're not good enough to feel
disappointed that you just missed
out on excellent..but nothing truly
bad happened, you still got your
three and a quarter stars. Which
encourages you to try and
improve..And you still get enough
respect so that you can get good
people to work with you..Business
is good but not crazy. You're right
there underneath the radar where
you get to mind your own business.
That's a solid life.
He tastes a sliver of the food dish he is preparing.
(with professional honesty
and some regret)
Aw, man..this is amazing. No three
and a quarter here.
49 INT. CLASKY KITCHEN - DAY. 49
Evelyn, having a glass of white wine and a sandwich, is
talking to Bernice in the kitchen also including Flor though
she is only catching a word here or there..
Well, I'm in the vitamin section
and this little hip hop
girl..what's her name..Grammys -
adorable -- big voice..subtle
phrasing...oh, she's famous..the
kids know her...oh - little blue
Flor looks concerned over Evelyn's displeasure with herself,
a fact picked up by the older woman...It is actually a small
but resonant good-natured, affectionate moment between the
lush and the Latina.
God Bless the language barrier, it
keeps you from being bored with me.
Spoken to directly like this, Flor is confused..
Anyway, she said, "aren't you
Evelyn Wright?" First of all, that
she recognized me from the old
covers and then she .... Oh, please
her name..it makes the story so
much better...She said,
"Whenever I think everything is.."
Pardon my French..pardon her French
(back to quote)
"a mother hmmmhmmm...I put on one
of your records.."
Awwww. How sweet....
Evelyn looks transparently vulnerable for a second. Flor
reacts. Bernie squeezes her grandmother's hand..Flor smiles.
Just such a lovely thing to come
from the blue....
Deborah enters, carrying a load of packages. With lightning
speed, her eye picks out...the glass her mother is drinking
Oh, Mother...It's not even noon.
It's almost two o'clock.
God, where is this day going...Flor
could you come with me?
Grandma, tell Mom what happened.
Deborah leads the way out...but Flor stops before following
her out to give Evelyn a gesture of support and appreciation.
50 INT. BERNIE'S ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON 50
John is in Bernie's room - helping her with her homework.
They lay at right angles to each other..He is testing her.
This is going to work.
I don't know anything.
Free your mind...the president
whose policies many consider
responsible for the Great
I don't know...
Name a vacuum cleaner..
And this vacuum whooshed all this
money out of everyone's pockets.
Got it. I no longer know nothing.
And Hoover was followed in office
I'm just drawing blanks. I'm
embarrassed. It's my own fault I
spent my time on math, which I'm
lucky if I don't flunk anyway and..
The guy we are looking for is not a
What's ruse mean?
Phony. So this president was not a
ruse..He was the real thing.
(she looks at him blankly)
(enjoying her father's
Rusevelt..If I'd ever heard of the
word before - that would lock it
in..It's so stupid it might work
Deborah enters followed by Flor. They are carrying several
boxes of clothes...
Surprise new clothes..
Bernie gasps..As she looks at a sweater..
What'd I do right?
Bernice tries on the sweater over her T-shirt..and mirth
ends..The sweater is tight...Bernice picks up a blouse and
then skirt and checks the size.
ON FLOR AND JOHN.
As they are COUPLED BY THE CAMERA ANGLE as each catches on
and is dumbfounded.
Whose style, wit and grace should not have to be used to
deflect such trauma. But so be it, as, though mightily stung:
Thanks, mom..I'm glad you didn't
get here a little earlier or else I
wouldn't be able to tell you that
your gift is a ruse. Please, excuse
She exits to her bathroom.
51 INT. STAIRWELL - EARLY EVENING 51
Flor one step behind John and Deborah who are moving quickly
down the stairs...John pissed..Deborah feeling the futility
of anyone understanding her point even as she makes it.
She's right between the two
sizes..I thought about it..what am
I supposed to do encourage
her...what is it? - DENIAL? Or
motivate her to get herself in
Flor tries to slide by..Something surreptitious in her
behavior..Deborah suddenly turns to Flor.
She holds out her hand in a "we women understand" gesture.
Flor does not waver..just meets her eyes.
Me puedo ir?..go..can go?
(a bit nonplussed)
I'll drive you to the bus stop.
And that fast they are gone.
52 EXT. CLASKY HOUSE - DRIVEWAY - DAY 52
As John gets in his seat..then sees Flor approaching the door
and hops out to open her door...apologizing as he goes.
Sorry. I'm cracking.
As he moves back to his side of the vehicle.
Flor hears this from inside and nods in agreement.
53 INT. JOHN'S CAR - EARLY EVENING.. 53
As they drive down the canyon. He is wildly frustrated. Even
if Flor were not there, he would be talking to himself
anyway, in the manner of bag ladies and all of us.
I am running out of excuses for the
lady of the house.
Flor doesn't understand his words...yet fully agrees. But
then John takes rein of his emotions.
But you know, you gotta watch out
for the times you think you're
absolutely right..But, man, Bernice
has finals tomorrow. She didn't
need this one..And just that look
on her face when she got the gifts--
(now his voice cracks; he
--like for a second she thought all
her problems with her mother had
Flor is flabbergasted..she peeks to see if he is actually
crying. At first her heart is touched by John but then there
is distinct disapproval (a real roll of the eyes) that the
macho meter can read that low. He looks at her and she faces
My mother did not understand her
male boss. His heart was good and
he was rare in not flirting with
her. But they were starkly
different. Privacy and dignity were
the same word to my mother.
Naturally, when she found herself
sitting next to a man who cried
over his child's hurt she had no
idea how to process the event.
Meanwhile, he has stopped for traffic near the end of the
canyon. Flor takes the opportunity to bolt.
She opens the door and starts to get out though the car is
still rolling a bit...
What are you doing? Let me take you
all the way.
Reluctantly she re-enters the car..It rolls another ten feet
to her bus stop and she gets out again.
How weird was this ride? Sorry.
No es nada.
He doesn't quite know what that means...indicates same in a
little helpless gesture..
54 EXT. BUS STOP - EARLY EVENING.. 54
As Flor is dropped off...the goodbye awkward.
The job was taxing her. She had no
template for confusion let alone
While waiting for the bus, Flor suddenly turns and runs a few
yards...and then back..and waves off the looks from her
colleagues - many of whom are overweight..many of them
adorable. All puzzled for the moment as they watch Flor
unsuccessfully try to shake off her day.
55 INT. FLOR'S APT. - EVENING 55
As Flor enters -- kisses her daughter..distraught and
distracted. She walks immediately to the refrigerator and
takes out a chocolate cake and a bottle of milk...she cuts a
huge slice of cake and puts it in front of her startled
daughter..in Spanish riding her on being too thin..the
daughter gestures at her mother's own slim figure.
It was so unusual for my mother to
ask my help that I realized
immediately she was losing her
battle to be uninvolved with the
Flor asks her daughter how to say something in English.
Try it on.
Flor asks again in Spanish...trying to find a precise
phrase.. The nuance important to her.
Please try it on?
Flor knows the word "please"..it's not what she wants...what
she wants is a way to say, "try it on" in a manner which is
not a request..or order, but is, rather, friendly and caring.
Her daughter works on the problem.
Just try it on?
Just try it on.
Just try it on.
(improvement each time)
Just try it on...just try it on..
She's got it.
Our culture embraces fullness in a
woman. You, the women of the
admissions committee, as
intelligent as you are, have no
idea how casual and complete such
acceptance is back home, in the
land of the size 16 bikini.
56 EXT. BUS STOP - NORTH VALLEY - PRE-DAWN 56
Flor is the only one waiting. An empty bus stops and she gets
57 EXT. STREET - NEAR BUS STOP - HIGH SHOT - FIRST LIGHT 57
As we see Deborah cross Sunset Blvd., overtake and pass two
UCLA men running at a good clip as Flor's bus stops.
CLOSE ON FLOR..
As she strides purposefully up the street.
This is one of the cultural
differences between us which I wish
to explore academically at
Princeton. American women, I
believe, actually feel the same as
Hispanic women about weight.
58 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - EXTREME EARLY MORNING 58
The house asleep. Flor walks carefully up the steps.
....a desire for the comfort of
59 INT. BERNIE'S ROOM - FIRST LIGHT 59
Bernie asleep on the bed...Kleenex abounds...the solid sleep
earned by a few hours of sobbing. She looks touchingly pretty
and decidedly round. Flor looks for, finds and carries out
the new clothes Deborah had given her daughter.
And, when that desire is suppressed
for style and deprivation allowed
60 EXT. STREET - STEEP INCLINE 60
ANGLE ON DEBORAH & KILLER HILL:
Two young athletic men and one woman considerably ahead of
her on the steep incline.
They turn and look confused at Deborah who is so far behind
them she has no need to pass..They turn away. Deborah
struggles to turn it on and does so...huffing to just behind
them where she utters one more strained:
And then passes.
...dieting, exercising American
women become afraid of everything
associated with being curvaceous,
such as wantonness, lustfulness,
sex, food, motherhood..all that is
good in life.
61 INT. CLASKY MAID'S ROOM - EARLY MORNING. 61
Flor at work on a sewing machine..opening seams, moving
buttons, even steaming where the buttons have been
62 INT. BERNIE'S ROOM - MORNING 62
Flor is in the room...having put the altered clothes back in
place..Bernie's alarm clock rings..She wakes and sees Flor.
Hey..buenas dias, Flor..
Flor holds up the new clothes and indicates that they are
Yes..Well, taste she has..
Bernie starts her morning routine..her back to us when:
(damn good English)
Just try it on.
Bernie, though her back is to us, does a "take" then turns
Hey!!!! When did you learn to...
(cutting her off)
Just try it on..
Too tight..it doesn't fit.
Flor clearly doesn't understand..
Just try it on..Hey?!
Flor extends a blouse and skirt.
Okay. I'll show you..
She steps behind a closet door to try the clothes on,
muttering pessimistically before she does so. CAMERA STAYS ON
BERNICE (O.C.) (CONT'D)
Lovely way to start the day.
World's most trim Mexican learns
her first sentence and uses it to
watch me grrrrunt my way into...
And then....silence...Bernie, open mouthed, steps out wearing
the clothes which fit like a glove. Flor beams..then laughs
at Bernie's reaction as she keeps checking the waist and
looks into the mirror.
To see Bernie in the foreground as Flor looks on..nods
approval and leaves.
The fit of the clothes is as mystifying as it is nice..she
picks up another shirt..checks the size tag and then studies
it a bit.
CLOSE UP SHIRT..
As Bernie's fingers find the barely visible holes where the
buttons have previously been.
63 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY 63
Flor at work..Chum, ball in mouth, comes to her and nudges
Lo siento. No.
Chum, momentarily depressed, walks away..Bernie enters. She
is a bit overwhelmed -- her voice breaking a bit even with
Flor turns..Bernie moves to embrace her.
64 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - DAY - FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER 64
As John comes down the stairs..He looks apprehensive..From
the den comes the sound of singing..it stops him from going
out the front door as he turns to check it out.
65 INT. DEN - DAY.. 65
John finds Evelyn and Georgie in their night clothes. They
are singing an old song...something like "LUSH LIFE" -
something preposterous for a nine year-old boy..but you can't
knock the quality of the voices..world class. They see him
Every time he has a nightmare, I
teach him one of my old songs. That
way the nightmares have a purpose.
But I don't have to sing it for
Right. You're clear on that..
How many did you sell of this song?
(embarrassed in front of
He likes to know that stuff.
She was huge.
Seventy-six thousand..which is
great for a jazz album.
They resume harmonizing. As John leaves, the song lyric
making some comment on:
66 EXT. CLASKY HOUSE - DAY 66
As John, growing tense, walks toward the front gate..Chum
proffers a ball and accepts defeat as he bends down to pick
up the New York Times. John's body chemistry launches a
surprise attack...anxiety and dread...He takes his newspaper
to a wire bench in the front driveway..He finds the
section..opens to the page..and just like that his life
67 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - DAY. 67
John enters..Georgie is going up the stairs..Flor putting out
I am okay.
John nods and heads upstairs.
67A INT. CLASKY HOUSE - UPSTAIRS - BERNIE'S ROOM - DAY
He looks in Bernie's room. She is loading her backpack for
Georgie enters the scene..
A kid offered me a trade..Let me
He starts to follow him to his room.
Dad!!! He can wait.
Let him wait..Yours is obviously
You don't even know how important
the trade is..
Let me just do Georgie.... Here.
He hands her the newspaper...
68 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - GEORGIE'S ROOM 68
We MOVE with John and Georgie to Georgie's room where he goes
to his collectibles..He holds up a card..
He says he'll give me any three
silvers for him.
I don't know...This is the one you
started with..You really want to
give up your first card?
Note: this is an involved discussion on both their
parts..NOTHING in John thinks it is trivial.
I know..that's why I needed you.
..this is your favorite..
I think he'd go higher.
But it's not numbers..it's.....
They are interrupted by a never quite heard before sound of
69 INT. KITCHEN - DAY 69
Flor and Evelyn jolted..they exit to follow the sound..
70 INT. BERNIE'S ROOM - DAY 70
As they enter holding the paper. She has been smacked in the
heart by gleeful and prideful emotions...It is disorienting
for her to experience the rush of pleasure.
For God's sake..why did you...
WHY?!!? CRAZY FATHER, WHY?!? Why
aren't YOU screaming?..
I'm getting there..just the stunned
thing has to get dealt with...
(reading from newspaper)
John Clasky, who at 25 made his
mark on the New York restaurant
scene when JAMMED lived up to and
survived its silly name, has re-
emerged as a young and confident
veteran taking chances with his
combinations in so subtle a
If he gave me six...
(catching her excitement)
Wait a minute, your sister's
Evelyn indicates to Flor that the good news is about
John..and so she studies him a bit..
"...beginning with the succession
of appetizers, each one with its
own stunning and fully realized
agenda, is constantly yet casually
(emotional and earnest
Ah, Dad...this is so great...
Now here's the thing...
She tears up...Evelyn rubs Bernie's back..looks at Flor and
taps her heart...Flor indicates she should leave and does.
Bernice continues reading with a lovely sense of mission and
moment. John is taken with his daughter's delivery.
"Eating at this perfect smaller,
passionate restaurant inspires
one's own abandonment of caution.
To wit: John Clasky is the best
chef in the United States."
Look how great you read it.
Evelyn and Bernice hug him..
John..John...Oh, my God you even
look different to me....
What are you talking about?
I wonder what mom will do?
71 INT. BEDROOM - LATE AFTERNOON 71
Deborah is ripping John's clothes off..buttons fly..shreds of
cloth..John is laughing - happy.
What is this?
I don't know.
She rips at her own clothes and then exclaims in passion.
72 EXT. NORTH VALLEY - DAY. 72
Flor walks to the news stand - as if to buy something --
changes her mind and LEAVES THE FRAME only to RETURN A HALF-
BEAT LATER where she reads to the dealer from a note.
New York Times..
73 INT. FLOR'S APT. - NIGHT... 73
Cristina, standing, translating the review into Spanish for
her mother...as she comes to the last sentence.
Wow..."John Clasky es el mejor chef
en Los Estados Unidos..
74 INT. CLASKY MASTER BEDROOM - DAY. 74
The Claskys are engaged in sex. John's brief sounds are
exuberant..they shift position so that Deborah is on top
BRINGING DEBORAH INTO A CLOSE SINGLE. Suddenly her smile
fades - she hits the skids.
Oh, damn it --- what am I going to
do? Everything seems so surely
This IS WEIRD. And then the small, distinctive sound of Deb's
climax...then, in a relatively small voice.
Okay here...okay there...good,
She falls off him...an arm across her eyes, lying on her back
down the bed from him...
Puzzling over what just happened..a few false starts forming
his thought...then finally..hesitantly...
(from the vortex of
He scoots to her side.
You know, I guess I got used to you
getting a little blue after
Something else I do wrong.
She grabs something and starts walking toward the bedroom.
You've gotta stop walking away.
If I stay, I will say awful things
to you that I might not even
She exits to the bathroom.
75 INT. JOHN'S CAR - DAY. 75
Very upset as he drives. Then comes to the red light at the
end of the street and sees Flor walking with others. An
awkward beat as he waits for the light to change and they
acknowledge each other..the light remains red..she confers
with another woman.
Yo leÌ la crÌtica buena.
The woman tells Flor how to say it in English.
I read your good review.
He nods..still the light doesn't change.
The light changes.
Not so far...How you doing?
The light has changed - cars are beeping..she is about to let
him go off but realizes he will wait for her answer.
I do fine.
He nods and drives off.
76 INT. RESTAURANT - DAY 76
As he enters....the phone is going off the hook..As he passes
the maitre d's desk. Their conversation is strangely hushed
and very, very quick.
Should I stop answering? We're
booked for two months solid.
No, no, no, no, no....I want to
keep some walk-in business..I want
this to stay neighborhood.
Impossible. There would be
riots..You should hear the
desperation in their voices..Best
day of my life.
We'll serve a full menu at the bar
Then where do I put the people
waiting for a table? It won't work.
Do this for me.
There's no way.
Do this for me or I'll set my hair
on fire and start punching myself
in the face.
Yeah..you're right...that was an
unusual way for me to make myself
understood..But you'll do the bar
Yes, of course, John..
77 INT. RESTAURANT KITCHEN - DAY 77
I need to talk to you.
They walk into the cooling room.
78 INT. RESTAURANT - COOLING ROOM - DAY 78
Again there is a kind of strange rapidity to the conversation
sparked by John..
What's up? What's wrong?
I've gotten a fantastic offer for
my own place..Everybody wants to
back me since the paper came out.
What's your reaction?
Honestly? Because I've had this
very unusual reaction.
I've had a hard on almost all day
and it won't go away. Like I'm
riding on the back seat of a bus
with bad shocks and every other
passenger is a gorgeous woman with
a yellow sports top whose leaning
over. It's like every dream I ever
had and some even I didn't have the
balls to dream..
So you're considering taking it?...
(he looks at him)
Okay, here's the thing. I can't
lose you and still keep the hours
I'm keeping. I can't do my life
unless I can hold onto you.
I think I just gave you an
incredible bargaining position.
79 INT. CLASKY BEDROOM - NIGHT 79
As John and Deborah lay next to each other.
So you gave away twenty percent of
the restaurant without talking to
me about it.
Yeah. If I didn't do it - I'd have
been coming home just to sleep.
(trying to make livid more
Remember the other day when you
asked me the perfect response to
something I said?...I'm asking you
now..what would you like my
response to be to your giving away
twenty percent of the business
without asking me?
(with great enthusiasm)
"You're ma man!"
Okay! So that would be???
My dream response from you, yes.
I'm not quite there..Actually, I
just had this flash that the reason
women in the old days used to faint
was to avoid doing acts of violence
(a beat then)
And I was all worried about
figuring out the timing just to
talk to you about renting a place
for the summer.
Well, I think you got your timing.
80 EXT. CLASKY HOUSE - DAY 80
A man is parked at the gate in an open convertible..He is
great looking...We HEAR Deborah's excited voice over the gate
Be right out...
81 EXT. CLASKY DRIVEWAY - DAY.. 81
As Deborah calls behind her as she opens the door...
Mom, you want to come?..the
realtor's here..Okay, see you
She clicks the gate open and walks to the man..perfect 40
year old great looking surfer sort..Deborah does the very
slightest of "takes" at his looks..As she gets in..
I'm Mike..there's one great rental
that just came on..so we're
starting at the top..
As they pull away...
82 EXT. CONVERTIBLE - DAY.. 82
Deborah's hair whips across her face...it's bothersome.
I'll never be one of those girls
whose hair blows perfectly in a
Move your seat forward..
Puzzled, she uses the electric lever and the seat budges
A little more..just..good.
The Realtor uses his switches and raises his window a
bit..her window a bit less and monkeys the position of the
half windows in back...Deborah turns around checking out the
odd tweaking and then faces forward. Her hair blows perfectly
and beautifully behind her...
Oh, you must be trouble.
On his small laugh...
83 EXT. CLASKY RENTED BEACH HOUSE - DAY. 83
As they move toward the house...seeing the beach beyond.
Gorgeous, huh..Pretty, fabulous,
beautiful. What word is the same in
(taking it as a
84 INT. CLASKY RENTED BEACH HOUSE - DAY. 84
As Deborah, Flor and Evelyn enter. They carry boxes of stuff.
I don't care if it's a rental..this
place is getting a fixing.
She leads Flor to a small bedroom.
(to Flor with gestures)
This will be yours..
Flor doesn't understand..certainly doesn't want to.
Did you ask her if she could live
Come on...there's no buses from her
to here. There's no question.
Double come on...
Deborah uses her hand as if weighing something momentous like
the law vs. the bible then with heavy sarcasm.
The Barrio - Carbon Beach..The
Barrio - Carbon Beach. What to do?
Don't worry. I'm putting nicer
stuff in here too.
When Flor gives no indication of anything - just standing,
somewhat stupefied..Deborah takes her by the hand and leads
85 EXT. CLASKY - BEACH RENTAL - DAY 85
As they move through a little courtyard area toward the
You must learn English. Why won't
she learn English? I'm going to
have to learn, "you must learn
English," in Spanish.
I think Flor is perfect and we
should do all we can to keep her
Gee, you took the words right out
of my mouthay.
86 EXT. PCH - DAY 86
As she leads Flor along the highway side of Carbon Beach -
passing houses until she sees a Hispanic man washing
someone's car in a driveway. Evelyn is many steps back.
Oh, good. Do you speak English?
Yes, I do.
Would you translate for me?
He looks at Flor..my God.
He speaks to her in Spanish..a lavish, poetic compliment.
Flor, in full control, says, in Spanish.."Would you please
just find out what she wants." Evelyn joins them.
Wait till I say something before
you start in..
(he looks at her)
I rented a house here for the
summer and now she must sleep at
the house because of the bus
He translates along with Deborah's speech.
Stricken. She turns to Deborah.
Flor talks briefly in Spanish.
She can't because of her daughter.
You have a daughter? You have a
whole daughter you haven't
It's a little crazy that I don't
The man translates.
Don't translate asides.
The man says in Spanish to Flor.."You work for her?"--Flor
answers, "just tell her that I can't live here." Deborah
doesn't like that the man has initiated more conversation.
She can't live here. Her daughter.
(beat then big decision)
Her daughter can also live with us
for the summer..
The man tells Flor..she answers directly to Deborah..
The man asks Flor who speaks in Spanish..
I don't know. She just doesn't want
Will you please just tell me what
She said, "I just don't want to."
If she didn't tell us about her
child she has to have a deep sense
of privacy. We can figure out how
she can still live at home. Hell, I
don't mind driving her at night.
Let's spare the world you on the
Well, what do we do?
The Hispanic man translates the last sentence. Deborah and
Flor stare at each other..Deborah's next words are somber and
have enough body language to transcend the need for
translation...the jig is up.
I'm sorry, my friend, this is what
I need. It's just for the summer. I
don't want to lose you. But ....
Flor indicates there is no need to translate. A beat.
Yo vivo aquÌ.
She'll live here.
The man says something in Spanish to Flor as she starts to
walk away and she is thrown enough by the statement to
actually stumble as she looks back at him...then, before
Deborah can admonish him.
HISPANIC MAN (CONT'D)
I said, "God protect you from that
87 EXT. FLOR'S APT. COMPLEX - DAY 87
As Cristina, trying to suppress her grin, skips quickly down
the stairs moving towards a truck from John's restaurant.
Flor follows tight lipped - resolved. They each carry many
clothes on wire hangers. A group of girls on the balcony
literally cheer Cristina on.
Cristina grins hugely back at them.
88 INT. MALIBU TUNNEL - DAY 88
The two women in the truck and then..
89 INT. TRUCK - DAY. 89
As the truck leaves the tunnel and all is cliffs, sand, and
waves..Cristina taking it in, unaware that her mother's eyes
never leave her.
She gasps frequently..MAJOR GIANT ORGANIC GASPS OF WONDER AND
PLEASURE..This is awe as an active physical exercise. The
MOVING SHOT dramatizes the crossroads of the mother-daughter
relationship as the TWO SHOT finds Flor becoming first
blurred then lost as we focus on Cristina exclaiming over
each new sight.
(over this incidental
The first time one sees natural
beauty which is owned by others
confounds the senses.. I had never
imagined the word "money" could be
associated with anything but the
anxiety of not having enough. I
didn't know God had a toy store for
90 EXT. CLASKY BEACH HOUSE - STREET SIDE - DAY 90
The truck in the driveway..the women walking through a front
door into a court yard.
91 EXT. CLASKY BEACH HOUSE - BEACH SIDE - DAY 91
Georgie, in a swim suit, talking to CHUM in the manner of
people trying to excite dogs.
Who wants to go swimming?..Yes, who
wants to go swimming?
The dog goes crazy with excitement -- then, droll for a nine
year old, Georgie turns to his grandmother (who is sunning
herself and reading) and addresses her in precisely the same
way. Evelyn has a drink in hand..
Who wants to go swimming?..Huh..
Not now..But I promise I'll go in
the summer after next.
John enters the scene..
You want to go swimming?
Oh yeah, you're off.
What do you think, wet suits?
Wet suits are for wimps..
Yeah, you're right..let me get
92 INT./EXT. HALLWAY / PATIO - DAY 92
Behind Flor and Cristina as they move toward the Claskys and
their destiny....Flor behind her daughter.
REVERSE - CLOSE ON CRISTINA.
As her eyes pop on seeing the Clasky beach house.
VERY CLOSE ON DEBORAH
As her eyes pop on seeing the stunning twelve year-old enter
her home, haloed by the sun. Again, Flor less distinct in
Bernice, just outside the open patio door, is putting on a
shirt over her bathing suit as she looks at Cristina and
emits a small, prescient moan.
Look at this child..Flor, you could
make a fortune at surrogate
Flor looks to her daughter for some understanding of what
Cristina is as nonplussed by the remark as her mother.
Hi. I'm John..It's good to see you.
(to Flor indicating
Hi. This is my daughter,
Bernice..I'm Deborah..And out
there...are Georgie and.
As she turns to gesture toward her mother and son, Evelyn has
almost reached them ..
I'm so glad to meet you. I'm a fan
of your mother's.
As all acknowledge each other Deborah tugs at Bernie's top
which is half tucked in.
(kidding around but right
No comparisons, please, no
Evelyn shoves her granddaughter for the self-
deprecation..Flor says something to her daughter in Spanish.
My mother says it's best if we get
out of the way and put our things
Have you ever been to the beach
I've never been anyplace but Mexico
and Texas.....before today.
John goes to a big toy box and opens it up..it is filled with
beach paddles, Frisbees and boogie boards.
Here's the most important place in
the house..grab this stuff whenever
Thank you..thank you so much.
Very little accent?
Her mom, not crazy about the lack of accent to begin with,
Thank you..there's an A.P. total
fluency class where they work you
pretty hard at sounding American.
Flor doesn't want her daughter to have an extended
conversation with Deborah of which she doesn't understand a
Right. Settle in..
Thank you. I am thrilled to be
93 INT. MAID'S ROOM - AFTERNOON 93
Deborah has re-decorated the room with casual
brilliance...Flor is tense..distraught...her daughter
giddy...excited over the sheets, the tv, the pile of
towels..a chaise..She goes to work on her mother to go
swimming....wanting her to appreciate the fun element of
being here...the spirit of the kid such that Flor relents....
94 EXT. BEACH - EVENING 94
Flor and Cristina, two sea nymphs, lit by the floodlights
from the beach homes.
John and Georgie in the waves..body surfing...they get to
shore...John sees the two females..dashing in the water in
their bathing suits..He remains hidden in a very shallow wave
as they run in...then once they are in he starts taking off
his wet suit hurriedly...
As he suffers the cold -- Georgie enjoying every moment.
95 EXT. CLASKY BEACH RENTAL - DAWN'S EARLY LIGHT 95
Wave lights still shining..On a dune sits Cristina, looking
96 INT. MASTER BEDROOM 96
As Deborah steps out on the deck and sees Cristina.
(in a loud whisper)
Hey, Cristina...hey...hey..What are
you doing up?
Cristina looks around -- then up..
Oh, hi..so beautiful..I was just
I know..Would you believe I had to
talk my husband into this?
(no reply/then more
Would you believe I had to talk my
husband into it?...do you hear me?
Yes...I just ..
(awash..a shy laugh)
I didn't know what to say?
(still calling down)
Do you want to come with me? -- I'm
going to the flea market.
I don't know what that...
It's the Rose Bowl... miles, actual
miles, of great things for sale for
God's sake...We can have brunch in
I don't want to wake my mother so
I'll leave her a note...I'll
97 INT. FLOR'S ROOM - MORNING - TWO HOURS LATER 97
As Flor wakes..looks around.
She goes to Cristina's bed...atop the bed is a note. She
picks it up.
I decided to steal your daughter for a bit.
With great energy born of bottled fury, Flor begins to go
through her daughter's things...finding her backpack and
extracting a Spanish/English dictionary.
As her finger points to:
And then she flips some pages feverishly..Her finger
"daughter .... hija"
98 EXT. PCH - EARLY AFTERNOON. 98
Stop thanking me. I love having the
It was an adventure which I'll
Your English is genius. Do you
dream in Spanish or English?
Just recently I've had a dream in
What was it?
I am so sorry. I -- uh..I'd ..I uh,
can't tell ..This is so
You could have just said you didn't
I, uh, guess so..but I do.
Look who's sensational.
99 EXT. CLASKY RENTED BEACH HOUSE - DAY. 99
Evelyn is sitting on the patio making sangria..Flor enters.
She is pissed.
She shows her the letter. Evelyn reads it and hands it
back..She is about to offer something..Flor waves it off and
enters the house..John comes in from the beach with his
kids..boogie boards...Evelyn hands him the letter..
She's wild-eyed over this..
John moves after Flor as Bernie reads the letter..
Sorry about the word, Georgie.
You want to know what happened?
No thank you.
100 INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY 100
I'm sorry..very sorry..
He indicates his watch -- then holds his fingers together.
They should be back soon..
Flor starts to cry. She sits in a chair..He sits not far from
Embarrassed, she says, in Spanish, to please leave her
alone..she turns from him..He walks to the wet bar and gets a
bottle of water...pours some..Her crying soft in the
background...He walks to her, sits near her and offers her
the glass of water which she takes.
Deborah made a mistake. I
understand how you feel...Do you
understand me at all, generally? Is
simpático the word?
He pats her on the back..She looks at him..
CLOSE ON FLOR..
Is he coming on?..
His kind eyes.
This is real eye contact..two vaguely humiliated people
finding real company for an instant. Without thought, she
duplicates his gesture and pats his back.
And when he seeks to add another pat, he misses, because she
is out of her chair..(This is as intimate as John has been
with another woman since he was married..) He calls out to
Un momento, huh?
She stops and turns to him.
I'm really sorry this is happening.
I just want you to know that. I am
He taps his heart as an indication of sincerity -- then a
flash of worry that he has inadvertently come on to her.
I didn't mean..
He makes a gesture of ardent love..
Makes a person to person innocent gesture..She finds herself
Well, the good thing about being an
idiot is that every once in a while
you cheer people up..Got to get to
CAMERA STAYS WITH FLOR
As he exits...thinks about John's demeanor, smiles again,
shakes it off as her mind fills with concern for Cristina.
101 EXT. CLASKY RENTED BEACH HOUSE - SUNSET. 101
Deborah's SUV loaded at the curb..She and Cristina begin to
carry things in...(NOTE: Cristina's hair has been restyled.)
102 INT. CLASKY RENTED BEACH HOUSE - DAY 102
Evelyn, Bernie and Flor are gathered in the living room. All
staring at her.
What? Something bad happen?
Enormously anxious on reading her mother's mood.
Cristina, tell your mother I just
played around with your hair..she
can put it back..no hurt feelings.
Not right now.
Flor puts an arm around her shoulder, leading her off and
speaking to her forcefully in Spanish.
You can't just take someone
Nuh-uh, Mom..don't go there..or
I'll go there and you know where
Evelyn stops on a dime. She leaves. Deborah crosses to
Bernice, who is highly concerned about Flor, and puts an arm
around her. A pleasant surprise..
Can you believe what Flor is making
this into..Shoot me if I ever get
that hard to deal with.
Bernice, unseen by Mom, does a long, muted, mock scream.
103 INT. FLOR'S ROOM - EVENING 103
MUSIC IN: Action, purpose, energy.. Flor is dictating in
Spanish as Cristina writes it down in English on a pad.
Cristina enormously uncomfortable.
INSERT - THE PAD.
The pad, in effect, lends subtitles to Flor's words. Cristina
winces with the words she records even while punctuating
You cannot take my child without my
permission..And, if you had asked
me I would not have given
permission. Is this why you did not
ask? Because you knew this. You
have no rights over my private
Reaching a decisive conclusion.
If you have any disagreement with
this, I no longer wish to work
ON CRISTINA'S LOOK
This is awful news.
For a decisive nod of affirmation. She adjusts her daughter's
hair to the way it was, takes the note and exits.
104 INT. CLASKY RENTED BEACH HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY 104
Flor enters in something of a fury and holds the letter out
to Deborah, who hates being cornered in this manner. She
actually places her hands behind her so as to avoid the note.
Flor shakes the letter at her.
Showing Cristina hidden but looking on... like a stage
prompter in the wings.
Flor with enormous emphasis stabs her finger at her own
You are not yourself...This was
written in anger. You sleep on it
and then if you still want me to
have it -- fine..I don't think you
will once calm and rational thought
returns. Just sleep on it.
Deborah exits to a bathroom and closes the door...leaving
Flor in the hall with the letter..Cristina reveals herself
and explains the situation to her mother. The last word we
hear before scene's end is "mañana."
105 INT. CLASKY RENTED BEACH HOUSE - BEDROOM - MORNING 105
Deborah surreptitiously finishing putting on her running
clothes and is making for the door when the alarm clock goes
off and John awakens.
She didn't even want us to know she
had a daughter - then, on the first
day, you take the kid without
asking. I think that's...
(starting to lose it)
What!?! Insensitive? Elitist?
Irresponsible? Perverse? Dizzy?
(slow and emphatic)
She looks at him...He has been atypical...Her immediate
emotional cocktail is panic, fury and deep, deep hurt. Her
words are slow...her voice ragged...
When is anyone in this damn house
or this damn life going to consider
my feelings? I just tried to make
a lovely kid feel welcome. There's
no reason to rake it over...I let
it go..and gave Flor the room to
let it go. Which I'm sure she has!
It's over!! So get on board.
She opens the door and almost runs into Flor who is standing
immediately in her way holding the letter.
106 INT. CLASKY BEACH RENTAL - DEN - DAY 106
Deborah stands over Cristina, who is writing in Spanish a
note Deborah is dictating. As John passes through the room.
I am deeply and sincerely sorry to
have upset you. Especially in
light of the deep connection, as
women, I believe us to have.
(sotto to John)
And to think I was worried about
Flor living here with her kid?
107 EXT. CLASKY BEACH RENTAL - PATIO 107
John is talking to all three kids in an effort to lift the
overall atmosphere. IN THE BACKGROUND we see Deborah handing
Flor her letter..Cristina taking sidelong glances...relieved
to see them shake hands (Flor engaging), hug (Flor
So here's the idea..I want to make
a serving platter for serving fish
using sea glass like this..
He holds out some sea glass.
I used to hunt for this stuff every
free minute when I apprenticed in
Italy. This is bits of broken glass
that the ocean sand blasts over the
years..great looking, huh? So you
guys go hunting and I'll pay 50
cents for any piece, a dollar for
anything as big as this and five
dollars for any color that isn't
brown, clear or green.
Do we have to do this?
Oh, come on...
Georgie and Bernice start off..
Come on, Cristina - go get em.
Her eyes widen and off she runs, intoxicated with being
included and having the chance to make money.
108 EXT. BEACH - DAY - VARIOUS SHOTS 108
The kids combing through pebbles.
Georgie becoming bored and stopping..
109 EXT. BEACH - SAME SCENE - SUNSET.. 109
Lots of people on their decks..hot-tubbing, sunning,
partying..rich people forming New Yorker cartoons in the
background as Cristina continues to doggedly collect her sea
glass. At one point, she comes upon a teenage couple making
out near a mass of pebbles, and politely asks them to roll
over so she can search the area.
110 INT. FLOR'S ROOM - PRE-DAWN 110
111 EXT. BEACH - PRE-DAWN.. 111
Cristina collecting sea glass.
112 EXT. BEACH - SAME SCENE - NIGHT. 112
Illuminated by the surf lights of the beach homes, Cristina
113 EXT. CLASKY'S RENTED BEACH HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON. 113
John exits his door and steps to his car..as he is about to
He looks up and steps around to where she is...there is a
battered wood table along the side of the house.
She overturns a large bucket and a small mountain of sea
glass spills on the table.
No..you don't have to pay..I'm
sorry. Don't worry, please.
No. I'm kidding..Instead of a
platter -- I'll just build a sea
glass building and serve fish
inside... Great, Cristina..Why
don't you count it and..
I have... Many times..I didn't
sleep. I counted.
So what's the damage...total?
Her eyes locked on his.
It depends on whether you consider
these four a color other than
green, brown or clear..
She takes them from her pocket.
Well, this one is borderline.
Oh my God, you found a blue..Nobody
finds a blue..You know how a blue
happens? I mean, before the ocean
blasts it for 30-40 years. Somebody
had to throw away an old Milk of
Magnesia bottle. You know what Milk
of Magnesia is?
He smiles broadly. The kid's a trip. He likes her.
So how much for the whole deal?
(unable to look at him)
Eleven hundred and one dollar.
Okay. We'll finish dealing with it
when I get home from work.
114 INT. FLOR'S ROOM - ONE A.M. 114
Flor asleep -- Cristina awake, alert..footsteps. She hears
John enter. She moves slowly so as not to awaken Flor.
115 INT. HALLWAY - ONE A.M. 115
As she enters from the back room and sees that John is
walking into the kitchen. Her eye goes to the hall table on
which there sits a fat envelope with her name on it.
116 INT. CLASKY BEDROOM - ONE A.M. 116
John enters the bedroom to find a note from Deb that she will
be late. He is disappointed.
117 INT. FLOR'S ROOM - NIGHT - ON CRISTINA 117
Not aware of being observed..opens the envelope and takes out
a thick wad of cash..almost swoons..as she goes about hiding
it..she is jolted by her mother's whispered incredulity...
She turns...the wad of money in her hand..
118 INT. POCKET KITCHEN - LATE NIGHT 118
The best chef in America has just fixed himself a snack as a
salve to his spirits. It's a little like Dagwood Bumstead as
a culinary genius..This is a snack we will remember and
copy...John is approaching a perfect moment...and this is a
guy who appreciates simple pleasures to the fullest...
119 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - LIVING ROOM 119
He carries the brilliant snack to the living room and is just
about to take his first bite when he hears emotional Spanish
voices approaching. He looks up.
ANGLE ON FLOR AND CRISTINA
As they enter. Cristina translating her mother's words.
My mother wishes me to represent
exactly what she says, nothing
And so, for the remainder of the scene, Flor will speak in
Spanish and Cristina will not only translate but render her
mother's emotion, sometimes including body language. It is
not only a translation but a reenactment.
CRISTINA AS FLOR
May I talk to you?
You mean your mother....
Cristina nods...not comfortable breaking the rule of only
speaking for her mother...She faces him, her back to Flor.
(looking at Flor)
Sure you can talk to me..
Cristina begins translating as her mother speaks in Spanish..
CRISTINA AS FLOR
I don't have to sleep first?
Flor waves the money..Cristina waves an empty hand as she
speaks for her mother.
CRISTINA AS FLOR
Did you give this money to my
I made this little deal..with all
the kids to...
CRISTINA AS FLOR
Flor advances on him past her daughter so Cristina now
translates from the background.
CRISTINA AS FLOR (CONT'D)
You don't tell or ask the mother
when you give a child a fortune for
looking on the beach for
stones..what is the word for this..
On hearing the translation of "sea glass" an exasperated Flor
turns so that her back is to John as Cristina admonishes him.
CRISTINA AS FLOR
No..not a name for the stones..a
name for the act..what you did..
As she spits out the word to her daughter.
As his eyes shift to Cristina fearing the word he will hear.
Oh, no..engreÌdo's going to be
Reluctantly taking the emotional stance of her mother to
deliver the word.
(briefly being herself)
It's hard to translate.
She takes half a beat..finds the word and now spits it out.
CRISTINA AS FLOR
John gets up and takes a conciliatory step toward Flor so
that now Cristina is in the middle looking up at them as she
translates for John
I had no idea it would amount to
that kind of money..I thought ---
sort of tops fifty dollars.
CRISTINA AS FLOR
Fifty dollars is a lot of money..
He has no idea where to take it from here -- the two females
look as he searches for the right thing to say..
(sighing to himself)
That fast Cristina translates.. Before Flor can react. John
talks directly to Flor..quiet,compassionate, a bit beaten.
I'm sorry....I get why you are
upset. It might not look it but I
am good at getting things. Doing
something about it is something
else..I was going to talk to you
before I actually gave her the
money..but maybe I should have
checked before I started the whole
(he smiles/they don't)
I know what it's like when you feel
your kid is being messed with..I
get the message. It won't happen
again. It's late..I'm sure we'd all
Flor lets it out...her daughter hard pressed to keep up.
CRISTINA AS FLOR
To what..sleep? If this was small
enough to be helped by some little
apology, I would be a fool to bring
it up..I need to say more no matter
what the result. I need to be
impolite. You leave someone else's
child alone. It's simple, no? It
is too easy for children to feel
questioning their parents..and that
makes them less safe. Your wife
takes her for rides and changes her
hair..You give her money. Here..
(this next sentence
Cristina translates with
alarm and adds her own
Take back the money????????????
Flor hands John the envelope under her daughter's wrenching
gaze. They begin to exit..but Flor turns inadvertently
bumping into her daughter. Her voice softens.
CRISTINA AS FLOR (CONT'D)
I did not mean to be angry to you -
They turn to leave. John speaks with sudden volume and
What about hypocritical?
Cristina turns back..confused..her mother asks her for a
translation and she complies.. Flor then wearing the same
Yeah, you heard me. It's not like
you didn't do the same thing...
(hard on the translation)
Oh, yes. So go lecture
yourself..you won't need a
translator for that one...I mean
what am I lately... A recycling
bin?..just anyone dump in your
garbage and hope I make something
useful out of it...
Flor is confused and getting pissed but he is moving now and
pointing a finger at her.
Yes, you did the same thing...you
think I didn't know about altering
those outfits for Bernie..She tells
me her stuff....So, am I missing
something? Is there a real
difference between that and what
you are complaining about?
Cristina waits for a comeback from her mother to
translate..but doesn't get one..Instead her mother is a bit
mortified and considerably humbled..the pie smack into the
Sin diferencia. Yo interferÌ.
CRISTINA AS FLOR
No difference. I interfered.
Okay......I'm still not sure I did
the right thing keeping it to
myself. It felt disloyal to
Deborah..but my daughter really
needed someone to be kind to her
CRISTINA AS FLOR
I am very embarrassed. You are very
(something strikes him, he
I'll tell you, it's pretty wild to
say something and have the other
person just concede the point. I'm
CRISTINA AS FLOR
I will leave whenever it is good
for you and...
No..no..come on, man..
CRISTINA AS FLOR
But how can I work for you after we
talk like this?
You can't quit even if you want to
and you know why.
Yes, you do..
Flor is worried as John looks right at her..Is he coming on?
Because then Cristina will blame
herself for costing you the
job...and that guilt...I don't know
if you know about guilt..
Cristina doesn't have to check with her mother on this one.
Culpa, guilt, sÌ. We know. We are
(after her daughter's
Culpa, si..Por Dios, Si.
(on her own)
John gestures that there is nothing to be done. Flor nods.
So, welcome back.
She smiles..gets up..extends her hand..they shake.
Good night, Mr. Clasky..
Good night As they exit..their
backs to John, daughter following
mother...Flor speaks to her
No te puedo tener haciendo esto por
mi. Ahora tengo que aprender
CRISTINA AS FLOR
(over her shoulder to John
as they move)
I can't have you doing this for me.
I must learn English now.
No, dije eso por ti - no por John.
That translates to "No, I meant that for you, not John." But
Cristina does not translate the line. Nor..
You have a wonderful mother.
120 INT. FLOR'S ROOM - NIGHT 120
A Spanish commercial for learning English in a hurry is on
television..Flor on the phone ordering it..
Learning English would cost five
hundred and ninety nine dollars
down and 15 monthly payments of one
hundred and ten dollars...which
represents 48 percent
Mexicans. But not a penny was
121 EXT. MAIL BOX - DAY 121
As Flor takes a package from the box.
My mother showed an extraordinary
facility for learning the language.
122 INT. BEACH HOUSE - LAUNDRY ROOM - DAY 122
Flor listening to the tapes as she does laundry.
..as well as a totally committed,
obsessive work ethic, which blocked
out all else..She was her
As Flor silently mouths some English while listening to a
tape,Chum nudges her with a ball and, without thinking, she
takes it from his mouth and tosses it..Realizing, with alarm,
a beat too late that she has broken the rule.
123 EXT. BEACH - LATE AT NIGHT 123
Flor sitting on the sand...listening to her
tapes..continually forced by Chum's obsessive persistence to
throw him the ball.
124 EXT. BEACH HOUSE - LATE NIGHT 124
As John arrives...He bumps the walls on entering.
125 INT. BEACH HOUSE - LATE NIGHT 125
As John enters the house, clearly drunk. There is the sound
of skittering paws as CHUM approaches.
Hey, boy, I can use some up
But Chum feverishly digs his snout against a nearby piece of
furniture and retrieves a tennis ball and rockets away. John
follows, weaving a bit.
126 INT. BEACH HOUSE - DEN - LATE NIGHT 126
As John enters the room to find CHUM proffering the ball to
Flor who is watching one of video language tapes. She tosses
the ball without a look or a thought..then starts when she
sees John standing there. He cheers, seeing her predicament.
When she speaks English, at this point, her words are
You gotta do something about
Chum..Your arm's going to go.
She waves it off and hurries to get her tape and get out of
his way. Chum complicates the task, proffering the ball. Flor
wearily throws it.
Don't you sleep anymore?
No..You get more if you keep at it.
You're doing fantastic.
Now I am like a three year-old.
Your wife go out.
She say where?
(on his reaction)
Listen..I just forgot she was going
out..don't be a smart ass.
(jolted by his own remark)
Uh-oh..well, you and I communicate
mostly in apologies anyway..I'm
sorry. I should be whipped. I
should be stoned- it's been a while
- I meant to say, I think, don't be
smart, don't be kind, don't be
sensitive, don't be beautiful. I
meant to say, "hi, Flor, good night
Flor..that show you're watching is
going to be a hit."
He staggers out. Flor watches his lonely back for a beat and
then urgently gestures Chum to join him. Chum is reluctant,
but relenting, runs and accompanies his appreciative master.
Flor, now alone, finds herself staring at a framed picture of
John in the den. He is younger and smiling. She studies the
picture and then blinks when she realizes her own emotion and
purposefully goes back to her lessons.
127 EXT. P.C.H. - LA SALSA FAST FOOD PLACE - DAY. 127
Cristina and Bernice waiting in line at the Mexican fast food
place on P.C.H. with the towering signature Mexican male
figure on its roof. Deborah is parked curbside in the SUV.
How'd you get your mother to let
you go with my mother?
Well, your mother just said she
could use my help on a few errands
while you're in class...
Bernice nods. Then unconsciously moans.
No. Just that I hate summer school.
Why do you go then?
(looks at her)
I'm not sure I can explain to you
the concept of not doing well in a
class..in this case math...and the
system kind of insists on the
illusion that you've learned math --
so they make you go to summer
school..It helps them avoid facing
that they have failed in their
What do you mean they failed?
Oh. I see. Forgive me, I don't have
a real sense of humor.
Thank you, God.
(on Cristina's reaction)
The joke is?
As they get in the car..Bernice doing a little stutter step
offering Cristina the front seat..Cristina demurs.
128 INT. SUV - DAY. 128
As they get in..Deborah privy to the conversation now.
That you're better at everything
than I am...and I was thanking God
for there being this one thing
where I might have my nose in
Deborah can't think of what single thing Bernice could
possibly feel superior about. She is genuinely puzzled.
And that thing is???
Bernice deeply resents the question..She turns to her mother.
(ruefully to self)
That one even she knows is funny.
Cristina gives Bernice an appreciative push from behind.
Deborah, for some reason, feels she deserves credit for their
Look at you girls.
129 INT. BEACH BEDROOM - DAY 129
Deb working an outfit..her mother eyeing her..
Cristina's already read, on her
own, everything on Bernice's summer
reading list..And she's two grades
behind..Imagine if she went to
Bernice's school..And they'd kill
to give her a scholarship.
Talk to Flor...
Yeah..she's so open to new things.
130 EXT. GORGEOUS PRIVATE SCHOOL -DAY. 130
Deborah and Cristina standing in a grass bordered parking
lot...Deborah, feigning upset, tearing into her bag but her
focus is elsewhere as she periodically looks off. She is
Can't find my keys..
Another woman, ARLENE FOLSOM, calls to her..
They walk to greet Arlene.
Hi. This is Cristina..the girl I'm
always raving about..This is Arlene
Folsom..the school director.
(Barbara Boxer couldn't do
Hello..a pleasure to meet you, Ms.
Folsom. I couldn't believe how
beautiful the grounds were as we
drove in. I just think the balance
of the buildings to open ground is
so wonderful and must have been
very difficult to achieve.
Deborah smiles with pride at the elegant first impression
Cristina is making..all are grinning...the two adults
suspiciously so...sharing their delight.
Would you like a little tour?
First showing Cristina in foreground and her POV of this Drop
Dead Gorgeous Rich Kids School in the background and then we
MOVE CLOSER ON CRISTINA. We see lust in her reaction.
The experience was literally mind
boggling. My mind did boggle. My
cranial cells stunned. Even if I
had enough sense of wonder to
imagine such a school existed; my
sense of fairness made it
unthinkable that any school could
offer this much more than my own..
131 INT. BEACH LIVING ROOM - DAY 131
This is the last day of the summer rental - many packed
cartons on the floor. Deborah, Flor and Cristina engaged in a
momentous conversation..(NOTE: Throughout the following, and
quite beside the point, we see Flor periodically make the
motion of throwing the ball. But we do not cut to Chum,
rather we just hear his claws skittering after the ball as we
maintain focus on the momentous conversation.)
Nuh-uh, Flor you are not pinning
this one on me. I've got to finish
(no longer sure of herself
I just don't....Out of space this
school wants her to go for free?
We ran into the school head. They
want diversity...Cristina knocked
her out...I had nothing to do with
it. By the way, the scholarship is
worth twenty thousand dollars. And
early registration is tomorrow.
It is too far from our home.
You could move in with us in town.
Never, thank you...
Okay, then don't..By the way..the
phrase is "NO, thank you."
132 INT. FLOR'S ROOM - NIGHT 132
Flor has her earphones on listening to her English tapes..but
she is enormously upset as she watches her daughter
passionately pray in English..soon taking off the ear phones.
Please, dear God..Enter my mother's
heart and make her understand what
this school would mean.
Alright. I look.
133 EXT. L.A. PUBLIC SCHOOL - FLOR AT CRISTINA'S SCHOOL - DAY 133
Summer session - L.A. public school..ninety percent Hispanic.
Through Flor's POV, the place is seen not as crowded and worn
but as vibrant with community.
134 EXT. PRIVATE SCHOOL - FLOR AT BERNICE'S SCHOOL - DAY 134
Highly anxious and out of place, she sees the upper-scale
students..five percent Latino...No brochure can do it
justice. Overwhelmed by the implications, Flor's eyes tear.
135 INT. FLOR'S ROOM - LATE NIGHT 135
Cristina sleeps. Flor sits on her bed - no thought of sleep.
136 INT. BEACH HOUSE - LATE NIGHT 136
John enters, home from work ... as he passes Flor's door it
opens and she steps out. Before she can continue on, she sees
Evelyn at the foot of the stairs, carrying a glass of port.
Hi, Flor, want some port?
No, thank you, Evelyn.
(going up stairs)
Thanks for never judging me..Love
you. Love everybody. That's what's
killing me.. Sleep well.
She sees Flor approach John. Evelyn looks thoughtful.
137 INT. DEN - LATE NIGHT 137
John is about to pour himself a stiff drink. Flor startles
May I talk with you?
Deborah will be home soon. I just
talked to her.
I need real talk..Is it okay?
John does not answer immediately. The brief pause is noted.
(as they exit to beach
with a nervous laugh)
You have me a little worried...
He glances back, hoping to have his fears assuaged, they are
138 EXT. BEACH - NIGHT 138
He sits..she stands, gorgeous..The wind gusts periodically
blowing her dress against her body. He tries not to notice.
You know about Cristina and your
Oh, it's happened. Is it driving
Yes, nuts. I have no idea what to
do. Such an important thing.
It's a good school?
Tops. It's tops.
So you like it?
No. I hate the damn school. But
that's because they keep sending my
daughter home anxiety-ridden,
mostly over geometry..I mean you
"get" Bernice..In a decent world
her school should let her know how
great she is, right?
So, don't ask me..I'm worried about
my own kid there.
You don't have to worry about
Bernice. Nothing is going to change
He looks at her..Out of nowhere overwhelmed by someone
echoing and affirming his deepest most private thoughts about
his daughter..It is odd..being this deeply touched before he
knows what hit him..He makes little adjustments until the
It's great to hear someone else say
that out loud..Hard to explain.
I "get" it.
(a beat..then deeply, with
core feelings, a lament)
It will be okay.
No, I was thinking about you..
Your, "Ah, man" was for me? You
think I am in trouble with
It's just tough to be sane.
To know you're not just making
something out of nothing. That when
you think you're at some
crossroads - you are.
(she takes this in/nods)
....I never know a man who can put
himself in my place like you do.
How do you become that man?
I don't know...You introduce two
Jews in the desert and wait five
thousand years. Then, bingo,
somebody else who can see trouble
coming but can't do anything about
I don't understand.
I want to.
Nothing. I don't know what I'm
A sustained gust of wind which celebrates her shape in a way
which cannot be ignored.
Will you sit down.. Get out of the
She sits. It helps.
So you going to send her?
I don't know. But it does not feel
good. I think if she goes there it
will be one of two things..either
she will be odd...or she will make
herself the same as them.
That is EXACTLY the way I felt
about Bernice going there..Exactly.
I wasn't able to think it that
clearly...But that's how I felt. So
between odd and the same...you
gotta root for odd, don't you?
Yes, you gotta.
Camera begins to pull back...early in the move John's words
stop the movement.
This was a crummy summer.
Flor nods ruefully..then suddenly off a glance at him.
Not all crummy.
Suddenly there is a bit of danger..she rises quickly,
Thank you, good night. I go sleep.
You speaking English...It's, uh..
Nothing. Just.... Nice meeting you.
She gulps and exits...as the CAMERA PULLS BACK..ending the
summer at the rented house...as we transition to....
139 EXT. BIG BLUE BUS IN MOTION - MORNING. 139
Through the unusual center window we see Flor and Cristina.
Flor, at this moment, is assimilating against every fiber in
her body. Cristina is excited, certain her life is taking an
incandescent turn. Quite a contrast.
140 EXT. STONE CANYON AND SUNSET - MORNING 140
As the bus stops...Bernice is across the street, along with
some other kids and Deborah, who is wearing her running
clothes..Flor and Cristina exit the bus...
You just made it...I was getting
Deborah has a backpack loaded with books which she hands to
I picked up your books yesterday..
(by way of explanation to
This is one of Bernie's
Cristina taking it...
Oh, thank you..
As she shoulders it and almost falls over..
(impressed with the heft)
This is a great school.
I got you a little first-day-at-a-
A school bus appears and heads toward them putting a certain
deadline pressure on the transaction.
It's from me and....Bernice.
Okay? It is a big day.
Flor's uncertain reaction is taken as a yes.
What did we get her?
Deborah hands Cristina a locket..then, noting Flor's
It's from ALL of us. Your mother
It's not from me...
Deborah does a good-natured "TAKE" accepting Flor's reaction
as if it where an eccentricity..As Cristina and Bernice board
the bus, Cristina generally says goodbye to both women,
thereby depriving Flor of her own moment of passage with her
Have a great year, girls..
This is so great. It fills your
heart, doesn't it?
Deborah turns and sees Flor has already started doggedly up
141 EXT. STREET - HILL - ANGLE ON FLOR... 141
Walking up the hill, blinking in disbelief at her own
fury..Deborah in the background feeling a bit abandoned..Flor
keeps walking toward the camera..
There is a terrible crisis which
comes when your own personality is
not equal to the challenge you
face. When being who you are no
Deborah has started to jog. As she approaches Flor, she calls
for a clear path well in advance.
Flor does not alter course though she does start to walk
Deborah is close behind now.
Suddenly, Flor breaks into a run..She is lithe and quick.
A blink of confusion...then something resembling innate
satisfaction as she quickens her gait and...the Race is on.
ANGLE AS DEBORAH DRAWS ABREAST OF FLOR.
Strangely, she is interpreting this as closeness. She is
Why am I not surprised you're
Deborah looks up the street at a delivery truck.
Oh, they're delivering my table.
Flor stays on task ..forces her stride. She just needs to win
so very much..that's all..to her current surprise, that's
You are fast.. Better pace yourself
Flor, even more upset and provoked by the words now lets it
Realizing she may not be a certain winner...she is concerned
as she goes after the rabbit.
Showing the delivery truck as finish line in the distance...
Flor fueled by desperation. Deborah, relentlessly gaining,
Decidedly anti-climactic..Deborah draws even -- passes her--
arrives at the house with a large margin of victory.
I love you for trying.
142 EXT. CLASKY HOUSE - DAY 142
She exits into her home.
Bent over, hands on knees, sweaty, gasping for breath. Flor
finally straightens up and, there being no other course,
continues her walk up the hill, to work.
When people exist under one roof, a
tiny society forms..the stuff of
novelas: masters and servants
unconsciously dancing in lock step
so that, when things go wrong,
143 INT. CLASKY HOME - NIGHT... 143
As John moves past Evelyn on his way to work. She looks at
him a little wild-eyed as they both stand in the doorway.
Straining a bit for breath.
You feel okay?
No. I've given up drinking.
(he looks at her/she sadly
I had to do it John..I need every
brain cell to watch out for all of
us..given the current climate.
Anyway. John, I think you're great
and I'm going to act accordingly.
144 INT. FLOR'S APT. - LATE AFTERNOON 144
Flor cooking alongside Monica --- a table is set for ten..A
banner proclaiming BIENVENIDA, MAMÁ.
My great Aunt Monica had finally
managed to get her mother to Los
Angeles and my mother was making a
145 INT./EXT. DEBORAH'S CAR / CLASKY HOME - DAY 145
Bernice sitting amidst Cristina and two other golden girls as
they arrive at the Clasky home.
I was with my friends who had
helped me understand real optimism.
As they pull in the driveway. Cristina and her friends exit
the car and squeal loudly at each other with the excitement
of having it all. Bernice exits last. She is not squealing.
146 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - NIGHT 146
As Deb finishes dialing a call..Cristina looking on...her two
friends watching a movie in the family room. A clock
prominently reads nine p.m.
Flor? Deb..Look, sorry to call you
so late, but they're still studying
and I'm going out but I promised to
get her back so if you want me to
cut off the school work,
fine...whatever you want me to do.
Well, okay..you think about it..
(she holds on to give Flor
And hey, if you're tired, or want
to play, let her sleep here and
I'll get her back there tomorrow.
You still want to think about it?
She hangs up...and exchanges a mischievous look with
147 INT. FLOR'S APT. - NIGHT 147
As Flor hangs up..
Though it is possible to judge
harshly my conduct toward my mother
in my first year at school; almost
all professional literature excuses
my behavior as developmental, since
I was entering an age where
rebellion and narcissism were to be
expected. And I was being mentored.
Monica and her newly arrived mother are there along with the
bride from an earlier scene and some of the girls who saw
Cristina off to Malibu..Women cooking in the kitchen..She
tells the girls, in Spanish, that Cristina may not make it.
They are disappointed...Flor thinks - then says something to
Monica who nods in agreement. Flor exits.
148 EXT./INT. CLASKY FRONT DRIVEWAY..NIGHT 148
As Evelyn stands there...a little in the shadows..
Deborah somewhat dolled up moving through the interior of the
149 EXT. CLASKY DRIVEWAY - NIGHT... 149
As Deborah leaves the house in a hurry.
Deborah turns, startled.
I need to talk to you privately,
"Honey?"-- Can't now, Mom...I'm
late..I was looking all over for
you...keep an eye on the kids. You
know my secret cell number.
Just give me a moment to talk
What is it? Are you buzzed?
No. I gave up drinking weeks ago.
(on Deborah's reaction)
Yes. Nobody noticed -- which shows
I probably conducted myself pretty
well as a drunk. But duty called
and I'm sober so may I say just one
One thing..go ahead...
Thanks..Deborah, you're going to
lose your husband and you'll never
find someone as good. There will
only be men who you know are cheap
and shallow and have no real warmth
in their souls. You may have gotten
by on those surfaces once but now
you've been spoiled by a good man
and you can no longer glide on such
thin ice. If you do not act
quickly you will soon cement an
awful fate for yourself. A life,
with no hope of repair, which has
already begun to turn desperate and
dumb. That's it. Drive safely.
She grabs a deep breath and then turns and walks to the
If we're out of coffee, it's over
Suddenly a sharp horn is heard..Evelyn jumps..then turns to
see her daughter calling to her from the driver's seat of the
You've done it again, Mom, made me
hate myself..One of the things I
can count on..
Honey, lately your low self-esteem
is just good common sense.
Deborah considers that last thought for a long beat before
she drives off..
150 EXT. STONE CANYON - LATE NIGHT... 150
Flor walking from the beginning of the hill........She looks
off to see John's vehicle approaching..She brightens..
Who doesn't see her..We can see his car's digital clock
As he drives past her.
151 INT. CLASKY HOME - NIGHT... 151
As John enters..Evelyn, in an adjoining room, moves to
John, better wait a minute.
But John hears Deb's crying from upstairs..
What the hell's wrong?
Nothing. In all futility, can I
urge you not to go up there.
But he is already moving quickly up the stairs..As he turns
at the top of the stairs WE SEE THE DOOR CLOSE TO BERNICE'S
152 INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT... 152
John enters the room on the double...passes Deborah without
knowing it..(she is partially obscured by the drape or some
such). As he passes....camera HOLDS ON DEBORAH..she is a
mess...goopy tear stains..seeing him and his concern brings
her grief to a higher ground...a sinner humbled by
goodness..a trembling lip of childlike vulnerability...
Deb..Deb?..where are you?
He is about to leave the room...she is about to let him but
an instinct leads her astray once more.
Here I am.
"Baby?" Stay there, John...Sit
down..I suddenly get what I have to
do...I just have to get the guts.
Is it absolutely necessary to make
it this...this scary..can you just
Not so easy.
(tender/ready for the big
Yeah..come on..it's me. We can
Do I ever hope so...I've been
seeing another man for the last
eleven weeks and it was nothing and
I ended it tonight..At first it was
just keeping an eye on the real
estate market..Then it was...what?
Me being insecure and looking for
some ridiculous vali...
A shock victim..he holds up a hand to stop her..
Go -- hold on...hold on...I'm
missing what you're saying..You
can't just keep talking and expect
me to follow it when you start the
way you did.......
Just what did you hear?
Well there was the crack in the
planet. That was noisy...
She looks at him...a solid beat...
There's an actual noise in my
Briefly he does the noise...
I met him about...
John holds up a hand to stop her...he needs to gather himself
to hear this..She waits...and waits...as he waits he grows
flushed and stunned with dread. Finally a word..
She takes that as a cue to start..
I met him..
He puts up his hand..
If you talk that fast...I'll never
hear you..there's a lot going
through my mind....Have you said
yet whether you slept with him?
So far I've just been talking about
a flirtation because the really
important thing for you to know...
Have you said yet whether you've
had sex with someone else? Because
I really am missing most of your
words. So help me out here..
I've been trying to explain that
for the first ten weeks there was
almost nothing to ...
(sincerely checking but
You still haven't said, right?
Is this your way of...
This is my way of...this is my way
of asking you whether..
He stops... staggering on the threshold of a diminished
Oh man, once I ask it...give me a
(several beats then some
manners for keeping her
I'm just trying to figure out
whether there's any way to avoid
(quickly closing this
argument with himself)
Okay, you're on..real short answer,
huh? Have you had sex with
I know you're very angry?
Ahhhh...I'm getting there, yes.
(on his look)
I think if you let me tell you the
full everything of this we'd be in
a position to deal with it
better..because eleven weeks ago
You don't believe that I miss your
words..I get three or four
tops...and then just see your mouth
moving with nothing coming out and
then I spin out and there's this
noise...But there's no way to miss
a "yes" or "no."
(core simple/eight years
(this gets her)
I made up my mind that I would
answer every question you had..I'll
answer anything and everything and
What other questions could there
Are you really that much nicer than
Well, you don't set the bar real
He get up and starts to exit..
No. Please, please, please..I
think if you listen to exactly what
happened and then do whatever you
need to...we'll..just let me tell
The doorbell rings...it's quite late...Deborah wondering
what's up..she looks out the window.
Oh, it's just Flor.
153 EXT. STONE CANYON NIGHT.. 153
As Flor enters the Clasky House...
154 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - LATE NIGHT 154
Flor sees Evelyn in the living room.
What are you doing here?
I want Cristina. I want to talk to
Mrs. Clasky. I want to quit.
I don't think you can do any of it
right this minute..
Oh, yes..Where's Cristina?
155 INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT 155
Deborah can barely look at him...
...then, when I was driving back
tonight after I ended the whole
yuck thing..I was feeling human.
I'm done with what's his name..a
relief... ..and now it can be like
it never happened and then I
thought that the only hope was that
I own that it did happen and that I
take my medicine here..because if
I'm walking around with what I did
and you don't know what I
did..there is a real limit to how
close we can be..you're with me and
I'm this person who has this bad
secret and we aren't really on the
same page ever again..so the reason
I took this chance in telling -- is
because I want us to be good..I
want us to be close. I want to
feel like you're not nuts to be in
love with me..So what I think is we
should talk till we pass out ..
Talk till we're so sick of each
other that there's nothing left to
do but take the first step out of
hell..So please let's not leave
this room until you've heard and
said everything..please say, okay..
She awaits his answer..He has heard barely a few words..
I've got to get out of
here..because you keep talking.
(as she starts to follow
She does. Just before he exits.
You've got to say something.
You are a terrible wife.
156 INT. MAID'S ROOM - NIGHT... 156
Evelyn stands in the doorway with Flor..they are looking at
Cristina and her two friends sleeping together.
I don't think you want to wake her
when you're this upset and the
other kids are right there and...
Flor makes a noise of frustration and retreats from the room.
157 INT. ENTRANCE HALL - NIGHT 157
As they arrive at the interior entrance, John comes down the
stairs just as Flor opens the front door.
Where you going?
I'm leaving....I have finally..
Me too..I'll drive you.
Yes..come on...it's past midnight
If you truly don't know why I say
"no" let me at last say the reason.
At least that will be a relief.
Have you no idea that I....
Before she can there is the sound of scratching toes on the
floor and a ball comes into lower frame with a dog's
snout..Flor loses her thought and tosses the ball.
As Chum, now the only happy creature in the house, fetches it
Look I have to get out of here
John exits to driveway...Flor makes one last toss..these
tosses have not made a dent in her anger and frustration.
Another toss and Flor follows John out the door.
No longer happy. He has lost his only easy mark. He stares at
the closed door..the ball drops from his mouth to the floor.
158 EXT. CLASKY DRIVEWAY - NIGHT... 158
John is at the car but Flor heads for the gate.
(as decisive as we've seen
I'm taking you.
Because if I don't -- I'll worry
about you and I can't handle that
right now, okay?
Flor emits a crooning sound.
(stunned and worried)
I never made that sound over a man
Flor shudders at her own sappiness as John opens the
passenger door for her...very much into his own torture he
nonetheless grabs her arm and guides her up and in..she
catches and appreciates his automatic gracious manners while
he is clearly fucked up...She is impatient with his
solicitousness almost slapping his hands away as he makes
sure her skirt doesn't get crushed in the door..The
frustration roiling in her.
Deborah watching them...
Her cuckolded husband closing the door behind her gorgeous,
CLOSE ON DEBORAH..
She trembles under the force of imminent justice.
159 INT. JOHN'S CAR - LATE NIGHT 159
Two pissed-off people..jaws set...breathing labored..As the
car starts and Flor looks back, she lets out a guttural and
(a quick and mighty vent)
For John, the first clear thing he has heard in a while..
Yes! Exactly! Well put! Teach me
that word sometime. I can really
She nods..there is almost a moment of relaxation..then the
anger fires an immediate need..She leans across the seat to
deliver an urgent message to him. The words come out
exponentially too forcefully.
I quit this job!
His spontaneous and forceful reaction surprises her..
I quit this job!!!!!
As he turns onto Sunset.
That's the bus stop.
I'll take you home.
No. Drop me at a bus.
Oh, shut up and stop telling me
what to do.
Okay...then let's do something
besides driving me home where my
Okay..we'll do something.
And I'm supposed to figure out what
because I'm a housekeeper and you
don't have to think.
Oh, don't do the class thing,
man..You don't know where I come
Alright, I know. But I can't be
responsible no more for making sure
nothing happens. That's another
terrible job I quit.
What are you talking about? I take
responsibility for anything within
a block. You have nothing to worry
about. That's my job.
Excellent. So you're going to
figure out what we do, right?
Yes. Okay. Big man figure out!
She points to a mall..He looks at her and pulls in.
160 EXT. MALL PARKING LOT - LATE NIGHT. 160
As she leaves the car and goes into a drug store. John, sober
faced, looks at Flor making an attractive and zestful beeline
toward an Hispanic market. This could be where it hits him
that he's on a date...If so..it's too late to duck..
161 INT. MEXICAN MARKET - LATE NIGHT. 161
As Flor enters the market..She calls to the young shop girl
as Marine medics for morphine.
The shop girl directs her to the make-up counter where she
starts shopping..lip gloss, blush, eye stuff..She starts
applying it at the check out counter.
162 EXT. OUTDOOR MALL - LATE NIGHT 162
As she runs back to the car.
163 INT. JOHN'S VEHICLE - 163
As she enters, there is a fury to her which he almost
This is me when I'm not working..
You have never seen me!
Well, you look familiar.
"man," where we heading?
I don't think I can handle public..
Yes, no...lots of people right now
You were going to figure this out!
164 INT. JOHN'S RESTAURANT - NIGHT... 164
As they enter the main restaurant...
I've never seen your place. Very
He heads for the kitchen.
I'm going to cook, Beautiful.
(on a dime correction)
I'm going to cook beautifully.
We both were not normal because we
are angry and we act like we are
angry with each other and we are
not..I am not. I am glad to be with
you. It feels comfortable to be
with you. If I just left the job
and never spoke with you it would
have been sin. You understand?
He stands next to her and, for want of a better physical
expression, pats her on her back..She eyes him, almost
critical about the lame extent of his aggression....He can't
quite look at her...He pats her again..
REAR ANGLE..THE PAT ON THE BACK.
The pat is becoming a rub..he cups her back..slides his
hand..she responds just a bit..
I think I'm inventing a horrible
new way of making out..
Not so horrible.....
His hand keeps going..he now hugs her to him even though they
both still face front.. like a loving couple on a walk to the
market. His hand squeezes her shoulder.
My hand is the only sane part of my
body..every other part wants to
jump off a cliff.
growing a sense of humor)
If the other hand could cheer up,
you could lift me up and carry me
He laughs. He takes his hand from around her. It is a bit
I don't know how to handle that
one. I think I already broke my
record for smooth.
I don't understand.
It's me. I'm not making sense. But
I can get you fed.
He goes to the kitchen. She begins to explore a little. She
goes to a cabinet and opens it to find a CD player. She digs
in her purse and takes out a CD.
165 INT. RESTAURANT KITCHEN - NIGHT 165
As John starts cooking up a storm...there is some velocity to
his cooking...he still seethes. Then reacts as Spanish Music
starts to play. He clears his throat as if he must make a
speech. Then does so again..some vocal spasm paying tribute
to the increasingly intoxicating tension he feels.
166 INT. RESTAURANT - DINING AREA - NIGHT... 166
Flor is lighting the candle at each of the twenty tables.
167 INT. RESTAURANT KITCHEN - NIGHT... 167
He is cooking..He is talking to himself.
Nothing to be nervous about. You
are not on a date...
FLOR'S VOICE (O.S.)
What are you doing?
She enters the room...dancing a bit..
Just lighting candles and picking
(notices his cooking)
She gets up on one of the counters and sits there, her feet
dangling...sings along a bit in Spanish. He is uncomfortable
anew. The nervousness mounting.
You want a drink?
She considers the question totally..He is busy cooking..not
realizing how weighty she considers his question...finally
aware she has not answered and looks at her..
She regards him levelly..then makes her decision.
He gets out a bottle of vodka.
I, uh...don't think you should
Then excuse me, because if I had
the equipment I'd inject the vodka.
He starts to pour.
I think it is so important that we
are each clear-headed.
He looks at her..a beat...he puts the vodka away. Flor
beams..we have not seen her smile like this for quite some
It is very good that you did not
Keep things real, right?
I wouldn't have put it so well.
168 INT. RESTAURANT KITCHEN - HALF HOUR LATER - NIGHT 168
They sit at a small table in the kitchen..finishing the
greatest late-night meal in the history of Western man.
I will remember every
Tell you the truth..I wanted a shot
at cooking for you.
I'm very glad you liked it.
It's something watching you.
He looks up at her...she has not been seen like this for a
very long time, if ever.. lit up by a man.
Well, if it's anything at your end
imagine over here...scratch
that..the last thing you want to
hear is somebody going off on your
Don't be crazy. Tell me every
Okay, Flor, yes I will...They
should name a gender after
you..Looking at you doesn't do
it..Staring is the only thing that
makes sense..and trying not to
blink so you don't miss anything.
She squeals with laughter..He laughs a little himself and in
so doing loses his courage..He looks down at his
hands..shyness again belting him a good one..Still looking
Look..forgive me..I'm.....It's just
that you are drop-dead, crazy-
gorgeous..so much so that I am
really considering looking at you
again before we finish up here.
And now he looks at her.
CLOSE ON FLOR..
Utterly open...utterly optimistic...the half second before
being swept away.
Right now....immediately..we have
to dance or kiss.
He stands. She stands..He kids just a bit, clowning at
weighing the two options and then:
You sure you're not Mexican.
(smiling/he likes this)
What do you mean?
I meant you talk like a Spanish
You kiss like a Spanish fly..
(on her confusion)
Joking around. I don't know what
I'm talking about...
Yes you do.
She breaks and heads for the dining room. John has a moment
to consider.. He does not have his wits about him..a
condition every bit as fearsome as liberating.
169 INT. RESTAURANT - DINING ROOM. 169
As Flor rummages for another CD, enjoying every minute. She
places the disk in the player and exits.
170 INT. RESTAURANT KITCHEN. 170
As she returns...
This song...You see what a good
thing to tell you how you talk like
a Mexican song.
She begins to translate the lyrics.
When I kiss you, entire oceans rush
through my veins..
(he is wildly
Gardens of flowers blossom in my
He starts to make a comic gesture of awkwardness to get past
the event..she shakes her head at him..driving the words --
pointing emphatically..she will not have her poetry laughed
And you wander along my fertile
soil, picking its ripe fruit..A
nightingale undresses on my
tongue..And under its wings..
He laughs. She stops cold. Looks down..though just seconds
long, this still constitutes the first depression of her
I'm sorry. I don't know what I just
took out of you but tell me how to
get it back in there..I'm sorry.
CLOSE ON HER..
The downcast eyes rise to see him..
Then respect this.
He looks at her...they kiss..It is a kiss without an author.
God at the controls. They break. There is a beat then..
Here's something I never asked
anyone..Did nightingales undress on
Flor looks at him with enormous warmth. Her arms looped
around his neck..aware of the music.
Did they on yours?
(a long beat of
171 EXT. RESTAURANT - SOME TIME LATER 171
Moving camera...the small house turned restaurant..little
flickers of light...
My mother never told me the details
of her visit to the restaurant.
But she often referred to it as the
greatest conversation of her life.
172 INT. RESTAURANT - VERY LATE NIGHT... 172
They are lying post coitally in each other's arms on a sofa
just inside the dining room..They are covered by a table
cloth. They hold hands above the cover...each private but
still somehow in contact.
Oh, Johnny, why is everything so
Flor's pleasure zone is rocked. She smiles at his first
Spanish word. She is wrestling with large feelings of
pleasure and large ominous thoughts.
Is your mind racing?
I would say my mind has
evaporated...but that there are
remnants still standing waiting to
fall. It feels pretty good.
You think that will last?
It's already gone.
I understand what you mean.
I don't understand what I mean.
That it's getting late. That
responsibilities have entered your
brain. Don't hide that from me.
And really, one large reason we are
here is because you respect me as a
mother and I respect you as a
He is looking at her...she is disconcerted.
You're a great and wild mother.
You are a beautiful father.
She looks at him..they kiss...tenderness..heat...intimacy.
When Cristina was young, I would
say I want to take any man who
wants me to the park and I will
tell whether I want him from the
way he is with Cristina. I wish
you had been in the park then.
John considering and then the answer comes to him.
You know, I always think about when
you...Oh, there's no point. I talk
(a bit of emotion)
...because I don't know if we ever
Hey, hey..How do you get there?
Yes you do. Be honest.
I'm being honest.
(indicates their bodies)
Look at us - I think I call it
What are we going to do -- go home,
let our hearts go back in our
bodies, see each other a few more
times. Make a tragedy out of us..
She kisses him again...starts to cry....looks at him..emits a
small cooing sound.
There are some mistakes you cannot
risk when you have kids...Please,
are you ready to go?
No. I'm not. No.
Stay put for a second. Stay here.
Once our feet touch that floor, I'm
going to get too many brain cells
back. So don't be in such a hurry.
That floor, Flor, is going to eat
(she settles back/he is
So you think it was a mistake up to
(she nods "yes")
She nods again..trying to gut things out...but as her foot
touches the floor, she must say one last thing to him.
The mistake....I love it.
173 INT. CLASKY HOME - MASTER BEDROOM - LATE NIGHT. 173
Deborah's face is bleached from crying...the tear ducts of
her now brown eyes are parched dry..Evelyn sits eyeing her as
she looks through the window at the pre-dawn emptiness of
Stone Canyon. In her current shape she would give pause to a
staff worker at Promises..a shock victim walking through the
rubble after the bomb has dropped. Deborah's voice is
scratchy when she speaks.
Tell me again why I can't call him
on the cell.
Besides that he turned it off?
Forty messages start to look needy.
Mother, you're enjoying this.
No..Definitely not in the way you
You are enjoying it?!?
I am enjoying actually being of use
to my daughter. I am enjoying the
fact that I really know how to
advise you and the miracle that you
are so deeply disoriented that you
are gobbling up everything I say.
Deborah nods in agreement -- then looks at her mother in a
somewhat new way..as if Evelyn were an actual person instead
of an upsetting extension of herself.
There's one thing I'd like to say
to you about you and me.
You don't have to.
I want to.
(quite vulnerable and
You were an alcoholic and wildly
promiscuous woman during my
formative years so that I am in
this fix because of you. It is your
fault. I just needed..
(gestures heart to heart)
..that moment for us.
You have a solid point, dear. But
right now the lessons of my life
are coming in handy for you.
There's a car coming....
Evelyn moves to her.
It's him...he's got to tell me
Evelyn shakes her head "no."
Do you know that right now you are
your own worst enemy..that you
can't trust one thought in your
Then trust me and only allow
yourself to say one thing to
him..One thing..."I'm so glad
But I've got to know whether he
touched her - where he touched her -
how he touched her - if they broke
a sweat --- what they said - who
made the first move - how they left
it -- if anyone loves anyone or has
an intention of making contact in
the future - what she wore - how he
felt afterwards - whether anyone
..whether they held hands when they
The distinct sound of a door opening and closing from
Just those words I said. If you
want a prayer of coming out of
I know you're right..But..
(a small voice)
I forgot the sentence you said I
"I'm so glad you're back."
Okay..do I have to wait here?
No..he may not come up here..go to
Why wouldn't he come up here?
Do I need a little makeup?
You need a hose but you don't have
the time. It's fine that you look
like that. It's genuine..You can
Thank you, mom.
She takes a breath exits...
174 INT. STAIRWELL 174
She pauses at the top of the stairs..a breath..then unable to
help herself runs down them at breakneck speed.
175 INT. DOWNSTAIRS.. 175
John turning a light on when Deborah bursts into the room.
I'm so glad to see you
..that you're back.
John looks up at her - not knowing what to say...he is
thrown. His demeanor has changed...deeper..serious..
It's late, Deborah.
The wrong words start to form..she stops herself..
Well, I just wanted to say.. what I
She is on the stairway..he turns to go in the opposite
(way too loud)
He turns back to her...she stops herself from straying into
untried words but gestures whether he is coming upstairs to
(a beat then)
I can't sleep upstairs with you..
Just can't for now.
This rocks her..panicked she grabs at her life preserver.
I'm just so glad you're back.
Deborah's suddenly classy demeanor provides just the barest
of footings for them...He looks at her directly for the first
time since she told him.
She nods..then goes back up the stairs..
176 INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT 176
Evelyn, who has been standing close to the doorway, stands
clear to let her enter. As Deborah flies in wildly vulnerable
- her breath racing.
I am literally choking on unsaid
words..seriously. If this were a
restaurant ten people would have
their knuckles in my sternum.
The fact that you didn't just make
things worse should fill you with
In her current state, she has to process that one..and does.
Her breath slows.
177 INT. MAID'S ROOM - NIGHT... 177
The first time we've seen this room since Flor was working
the sewing machine...John enters. He is down, longing and
finality make for a brutal cocktail..He rubs his head and
sits near the sewing machine..He glances over and sees Flor's
Spanish/English dictionary..There is a knock on the door.
Deb, I'm done tonight. I don't
think we can jam anything else in.
It's me, Dad.
He springs from the bed and opens the door.
What's up, honey?
Just thought I'd check that you
were back and okay and all.
Mom was crying for six hours
straight and Grandma was in with
her all that time mostly saying,
"he'll be back..he'll be back."
I've got to get back to Georgie.
I just hate that you had that kind
of a night.
It's good for me to worry about
something that really matters
instead of the stupid stuff that's
usually on my mind...
(a big grin)
You're fantastic, Bernie...I love
It's a slant...
Hey..I know there's a lot you went
through but I knew all along that
Grandma was right about you coming
back..I mean totally knew it so I
wasn't that worried. But still I...
(some emotion out of
I really appreciate it, Dad.
Thanks....Stop staring at me..what?
You don't know what to say?
Right. I don't know what to say.
Just what you taught me..You're
178 EXT. STONE CANYON - MORNING. 178
Flor purposefully walking up the hill..
179 INT. CLASKY HOUSE - DAY. 179
As Flor enters...walks through a few empty rooms..then once
in the kitchen she sees the children and Evelyn are swimming
in the pool...she opens the glass door Monica bumped into on
180 EXT. CLASKY POOL - DAY. 180
Evelyn, Bernice and Georgie are in the pool..Cristina,
wearing a bathing suit, is on a chaise reading...
Hey, mom...Is it okay if we don't
leave right away?
The others call greetings..save Evelyn who studies the
situation and gets out of the pool..Flor is awkward..no idea
how to handle this...so she goes direct.
(as Cristina begins to
No..and we must say "goodbye." I
don't work here anymore.
She then talks Spanish to Cristina..admonishing her not to
embarrass them..something about Flor being prepared to go
nuts all over her daughter if she hurts their dignity...but
it is said with total calm.
Do I have to get out?
No, Georgie..Stay. I think you are
a wonderful boy..be good..like you
are. There are no monsters.
Bernice climbs out of the pool. Meanwhile, a flabbergasted
Cristina is staring at her mom who gives quiet two and three
word proddings in Spanish.
(severely to Georgie)
I can't believe you didn't get out.
I don't want to get you wet.
Get me wet.
(rushing to hug her)
Bernice hugs her. Evelyn hugs Cristina..
You're a beauty. Amazing girl.
Despite herself, Bernice starts to cry..moans to herself over
the display...Now, in the background, we hear a subliminal
human voice. Incrementally it will grow louder and be
recognizable as Deborah calling Flor from the master bedroom
window..Bit by bit, the others will become aware of this as
Flor ignores it...Bernice goes to embrace Cristina.
My last chance to have some of you
rub off on me..
I'm sorry you're so sad but this
could have been so much worse.
(from her depths)
And now Deborah calling "Flor" is getting hard to ignore but
Why don't you run upstairs and say
goodbye to Deborah?
Flor flashes a look of thanks.
I'll be in front.
Upset, Cristina runs off. She kisses Bernice..and walks
toward the house. As she passes under the bedroom..
Please come see me.
And then a crying Cristina appears on the deck. Flor glances
up and keeps moving underneath the deck where she faintly
hears the beginning of their exchange
It's okay, honey..we'll see each
other at school..I'm going to keep
an eye on you..I will.
Flor enters the house...
181 INT. KITCHEN - DAY. 181
She stands waiting..walks to the hallway and cranes her head
to see into rooms, wondering if John is there. Finally, as
she passes the stairwell, she sees Cristina on an upper
landing and says, in Spanish, that Cristina should get her
things and meet her out front. Cristina, agitated, moves off
to comply...then Deborah appears in the same spot.
Please stick your head in here for
Flor nods and starts up the stairs...
182 INT. MASTER BEDROOM - DAY 182
Deborah holds open the door while Flor walks inside..then
What's with avoiding me, am I this
As Flor just looks at her.
I know. It's a ridiculous question
but sometimes I'm ridi...
No. It's a good question. A fine
I was just thinking to answer.
Oh stop. Come on. Weren't we
(like a shot)
Well, I'm very, very disappointed
to hear that. It makes me feel like
(compassion forces a
We weren't close..but we were
connected...in a bad way.
You know something, I think we're
saying the same thing...Look as
long as we're doing closure..What
did you and my husband, John, do
Flor pauses for less of a beat than we would have imagined.
I can only tell you what I did.
That will be sufficient.
(these are tender
I became sure of what an incredibly
lucky woman you are and I must make
myself not envy you which is hard.
No, it's not hard. It's impossible.
Now please..I am exhausted.
Same here - believe me.
Deborah would hug..but it's only an eighth of a gesture
because Flor has turned to exit, calling for her daughter to
hurry as she goes.
183 EXT. CLASKY HOUSE - DAY 183
As she exits the house and moves to the gate where she
punches in the exit code...
ANGLE ON GATE
As it swings open to reveal John...
184 EXT. STREET - DAY. 184
As she moves alongside him and the gate closes behind her.
I was hanging out here waiting.
Can't give you guys a lift?
Flor shakes her head "no." She looks away for a beat so the
next thing she does is a considered action. She leans forward
and kisses him on the lips. John looks at her.
This is killer.
(on her confusion)
The gate opens and a sniffling Cristina is holding an armful
Let her have it..party favors.
She nods..bites back some emotion and turns from him.
Goodbye, Mr. Clasky..I am very
sorry we will not see each other as
She offers her hand, which John shakes while patting her on
They turn and begin walking down the street.
SHOT - STONE CANYON
The women walking toward camera, John briefly in the
background...As they begin their walk Flor begins talking in
The first minute we were alone, my
mother told me that I would no
longer go to the private school.
No. No..You can't. I won't be able
to forgive you..It will be the end.
I won't let you.
And then Cristina moves her hysterics to Spanish as she stops
walking and her mother takes her hand and pulls her along
with enormous dedication. CAMERA BEGINS A PULL BACK.
Cristina dropping presents..picking them up..one of them left
by the wayside..People noticing..Cristina's conduct violating
tacit zoning laws.
So we can see their faces in the struggle.
185 EXT. BUS STOP.. 185
As they wait...Flor talks sharply to Cristina to control
My mother changed our lives once
more. This time because she saw in
me, to her great alarm, a character
flaw of some size. She has taught
me to be a watch dog of my
character, to control my ambition.
I am not quite there.
One last yelp from Cristina as the bus arrives.
186 INT. BUS - DAY. 186
Almost empty - it's Saturday. Mother and daughter sit
together by the giant window in the center of the bus.
Cristina eyes her mother who is bearing her own heartbreak
with stoic dignity. The girl is becoming less inconsolable
and more in need of mothering.
For that reason should you choose
to grant me your scholarship my
mother, at my request, will be
relocating to the New York
Metropolitan Area so that she can
stay close during my time at
Cristina moves closer to Flor, who senses it immediately and
wraps her in her arms.. kisses her head.
I hope my essay has done her
justice. I love her with all my