STORYTELLING by Todd Solondz
TITLE CARD: Fiction
INT. MARCUS'S DORM ROOM - NIGHT
The time is circa 1985.
Vi and Marcus finish making love. Marcus has cerebral palsy.
Hey, you want to hear my short
(lifts a MS from a shelf by his bed)
I can read it to you.
You mean, again?
Well, I changed the ending a
Oh. What happens now?
Well, actually, it's the same, but
longer. I think it's better.
Well then, maybe you should just
read the ending.
But it won't make any sense if you
hear it out of context.
I think you should leave it the
way it was. It was good.
So you don't want to hear my new
You'll read it in class tomorrow.
Anyway, I have to go. I promised
Melinda I'd help her with her
She rises, starts dressing.
You're tired of me. I can tell.
Marcus, I'm tired. That's all.
You've lost interest...You hardly
even sweat any more when we
I was never much of a sweater. You
Look, Vi, I don't blame you. You
feel You feel pity now. The
pleasure isn't there any more. The
kinkiness has gone...You've
EXT. CAMPUS GREEN - DAY
It is bright and sunny.
INT. MR SCOTT'S CLASSROOM - DAY
Mr Scott, who is black, presides over his class. Marcus is
reading from his story, Vi at his side. Catherine, a stunning
intellectual, sits near the teacher. The rest of the students
(Amy, Elli, etc.) listen closely and take notes.
"...but when he saw her...it was
as if he could walk like a
normal person. His legs didn't
swing, his arms didn't spaz
away...He wasn't a freak any more,
for she made him forget his
affliction. No more cerebral
palsy! From now on "CP" stood
for...cerebral person. He was a
Pause. Marcus and Vi exchange looks.
I thought it was really good,
Marcus...Really moving and
Yeah, I thought it was really
And I mean, really good word
choices. It kind of reminded me a
little of Faulkner, but East Coast
Or Flannery O'Connor. She had
And Borges. He was blind.
Updike has psoriasis.
Um...Maybe I'm wrong, but, um, I'm
afraid I found the whole thing to
be a little trite. Its earnestness
is, well...it's a little
embarrassing. And those
adjectives, they're a little
flatfooted. And redundant. I'm
sorry, but...Anyway, what do I
know? Don't even listen to what I
say. I mean...
Catherine is right. The story's a
piece of shit. You express nothing
but banalities and, formally
speaking, are unable to construct
a single compelling sentence. You
ride on a wave of clichés so worn,
in fact, it actually approaches a
level of grotesquerie. Ad your
subtitle, 'the rawness of truth'
is that supposed to be a joke of
some sort? Or are you just being
(beat; then checking his class book)
OK. Who's next?
EXT. CAMPUS COURTYARD - DAY
Marcus, upset, rushes outside, Vi in pursuit, desperately trying to
Marcus, wait up!
What do you want?
Don't be so upset. It's OK...
What the fuck are you talking
about? What's OK?
You know he hated my story also.
Your story was terrible!
He moves on, she keeps up with him.
Marcus...You'll write something
better next time!
Patronizing fuck! If you had just
been honest with me in the first
place I wouldn't have read it. I
knew it was shit. But - idiot! - I
That's not fair! I was honest!
Just because I wasn't sucking up
like that bitch Catherine.
Well, I sure didn't hear you voice
your opinion in there when it
I admit it - I was scared! I was
shocked, in fact , by what he
said. And he's so...convincing.
I'm sorry if I let you down, but
really, I still say he's just
one opinion. I don't even like his
books that much. They're all so
aggressively confrontational. I
don't care if he's won the
Catherine and Mr Scott walk by together in the distance.
You just want to fuck him. Like
Catherine and every other white
cunt on campus.
He leaves her.
INT. VI AND MELINDA'S DORM ROOM - NIGHT
Melinda lies on her bed with some homework, watching Vi.
...But Marcus! You can't just
unilaterally decide to end things.
This is a relationship we're
talking about! A friendship! You
don't just...Fuck you!
She hangs up and enters her bedroom, in tears.
Fuck him! Fuck him! Fuck him...
Vi? Are you OK?
Yes. I'm OK. I'm totally OK.
Melinda rises, puts a hand on her shoulder.
You did the right thing.
I know that. Fucking cripple. Why
do I waste my time with
undergrads? They're all
so...juvenile! Uch! I just thought
Marcus would be different. I
mean he's got CP!
What are you gonna do now?
I dunno...go to a bar...get
about me. I'll be fine...
She starts changing into a new outfit.
EXT. BAR - NIGHT
Students hang around outside. Vi goes inside.
INT. BAR - NIGHT
Vi walks up to the bar.
Can I have a beer?
After getting her beer, Vi turns around and suddenly notices Mr Scott,
who is sitting alone. She goes over to him.
What are you doing here?
What are you doing here?
I'm sorry. I didn't mean, I just
didn't expect to run into you
here, that's all.
Well, now you have.
Vi laughs, sort of, ten blushes.
Yeah, um, then...are you alone?
Can I join you?
Mr Scott gestures for her to sit down with him.
Gee, thanks. Well, um...I just
wanted to say that I'm really
happy with the class and,
um...I know you must here this all
the time, but I'm also a
great admirer of your work. A
especially...really, um spoke to
me. God, I hope I'm not
'Cause I...um...I really agreed
with everything you had to say
last week about how bad my story
And I also agreed with what you
said today about Marcus's story.
It is a piece of shit.
You have beautiful skin.
So Catherine seems like she might
become a really good writer.
Maybe. She's OK.
Aren't you going out with
I'm sorry. It's none of my
business. I didn't mean...
I'm not 'going out' with
Do you think I have a potential as
Thank you for being honest.
Mr Scott leans over and touches her hand.
I have so much respect for you.
EXT. STREET - NIGHT
Mr Scott and Vi walk together in silence.
INT. MR SCOTT'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Vi and Mr Scott enter. He turns around and looks at her. Pause.
Can I just freshen up for a
He indicates the direction of the bathroom.
It's over there.
INT. MR SCOTT'S BATHROOM - NIGHT
Vi enters, locks the door behind her. She looks at herself in the
mirror, then notices a snapshot of Catherine: she is naked, legs open
wide. Other erotic photographs lie beneath Catherine's.
(to herself, almost chanting)
Don't be a racist. Don't be a
racist. Don't be a racist...
INT. MR SCOTT'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Vi emerges from the bathroom to find Mr Scott lounging on the bed.
It's a really nice place you have.
Is the rent high?
Take off your top.
Now...take off the rest.
She does, and he looks hard at her. Finally he rises.
He starts making love to her, from behind.
Say, 'nigger, fuck me.'
Oh, bu...uh...I can't say that.
'Fuck me hard!'
Fuck me hard!
Say, 'Nigger, fuck me hard!'
Nigger, fuck me hard!
Nigger, fuck me hard!!...
NIGGER, FUCK ME HARD!!!...
EXT. MARCUS'S DORMITORY - NIGHT
Lights are out.
INT. MARCUS'S DORM ROOM - NIGHT
Marcus looks in the mirror, ponders his reflection.
There is a soft knock at the door. He turns away from the mirror and
opens it. Vi is there, teary-eyed, disheveled.
Can I come in?
INT. MR SCOTTS CLASSROOM - DAY
Vi finishes reading her story to the class.
'...So John flipped her around and
slammed her against the wall. Jane
braced herself: she thought about
her mother. She thought about
Peter. She thought about God...and
rape. ''Say, 'Fuck me, nigger.
Fuck me hard.''' John's flesh
abraded her soft skin. There would
be marks. She acquiesced, and said
what he asked her to say, and did
what he asked her to do. She had
entered college with hope, with
dignity, but she would graduate as
Why do people have to be so
ugly...write about such ugly
characters? It's perverted. I know
you all think I'm being prisssy,
but I don't care. I was brought up
in a certain way. And this
Yeah, well, it did seem a little
affected. Like by using taboo
language you were trying to shock
us about the hollowness of your
I think it was a little bit
It was completely racist, and
beyond that I felt deeply offended
as a woman. As if a woman can
only operate from experiences of
And so weirdly misogynistic. I
mean, why does Jane go through
with this? Is she stupid?
Hey, But wasn't this a rape? Or
...did I miss something? Because I
- I'm confused. Because if this
was a rape, then why would she be
It was confessional, yet
dishonest. Jane pretends to be
horrified by the sexuality that
she in fact fetishizes. She
subsumes herself to the myth of
black male potency, but then
doesn't follow through. She thinks
she 'respects Afro-Americans,' she
thinks they're 'cool,' 'exotic,'
what a notch he 'd make in her
belt, but, of course, it all comes
down to mandingo cliché, and he
calls her on it. In classic racist
tradition she demonizes, then runs
for cover. But then, how could she
behave otherwise? She's just a
spoiled suburban white girl with a
Benneton rainbow complex. It's
just my opinion, and what do I
know...but I think it's a callow
piece of writing.
Callow and coy. Jane wants more,
but isn't honest enough to admit
it. In the end, she returns to the
safety of her crippled
(translation: sexually impotent)
This is bullshit! Her story was
But it happened!
I don't know about 'what
happened,' Vi, because once you
start writing, it all becomes
fiction. Still, it certainly is an
improvement over your last story:
There is now at least a beginning,
a middle, and an end.
TITLE CARD: 'NONFICTION'
INT. TOBY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
A Lower East Side tenement apartment. A dogma '95 poster hangs above
Toby, down and out and in his thirties, leafs through his high-school
yearbook. He reads an inscription: 'Toby, I just know you're going to
become a movie star! Please don't forget me when you make it to the
top! I will always love you - Pam'.
He picks up his phone and dials.
Hello, is this Pam?
Who is this?
Toby -? Oh, hi! How are you?
Oh, fine. How are you?
So what's going on?
That's what I was gonna ask you.
Oh, yeah, well...um...I was just
calling because, well, I was
wondering if you still remembered
me, which I guess you do...
So. Look at where we are: the year
2000! Can you believe it? I mean,
did you ever think we would
actually make it?
Um, well, yeah.
So are you still acting?
Oh, no, not any more. No, um, I
kind of came to terms with myself,
I realized I had done what I had
to do. And it was time to move on.
Oh. So what did you do after you
gave up on acting?
Well, I went to law school, if you
can believe that.
Mike, Toby's roommate and cameraman, enters looking for a towel, then
goes to take a shower.
I believe it.
Yeah, well, it was really all kind
of a joke - and a rip-off, so,
uh...so I dropped out.
Oh, that's too bad.
Yeah, well, then it got me
writing, so that was a good thing.
Anything I might know about?
Well, um, I kind of let things go
on this novel I'd been really into
- I mean, the whole publishing
industry is totally corrupt. I
mean, really, it's finished.
That's too bad.
I worked over at a homeless
shelter for a while, drove a cab
to pay the rent, but, I mean, that
was like - I mean, I have some
That's good. So then what do you
I'm a documentary filmmaker.
Oh? Anything I might have seen?
N-not yet. I'm hoping to get a
grant for this one project on
teenagers. Geez, remember when we
Yeah. You didn't wanna take me to
Oh, I don't remember that...
Well, but it was so long ago. We
were so different back then...
Uh, well, anyway, so I'm looking
for subjects for this documentary
on teenage life in suburbia. Kind
of an exploration of the mental
psyche of its mythology. I wrote
to Derrida to see if he'd like to
do the narration. But everything's
still kind of in development at
I work in a shoe store right now.
But it's cool. I'm not ashamed. I
mean, really, I have a much
stronger sense of self now. And,
uh, anyways, it's really very
Yeah...um...so anyway, tell me.
What about you? I'd heard through
the grapevine you were producing
Yeah. But not any more.
Oh. Tired of 'life in the fast
Yeah...So you're um...you're
Great. How old are they?
Eight, six, and four.
Wow, that really is great. In a
few years, who knows, maybe
they'll want to be in my
Listen, Toby, I can't really talk
right now. Do you mind if I call
(to himself, after pause)
Maybe she has caller ID.
EXT. FAIRFIELD HIGH SCHOOL - DAY
It is bright and shiny.
MR. DEMARCO (V.O.)
Do you have any hobbies?
INT. MR. DEMARCO'S OFFICE - DAY
Scooby, seventeen, and Mr DeMarco, the guidance counselor, sit opposite
No, not really.
Any books you like to read for
None at all? How about those
I hate reading.
All right, Scooby, let's not beat
around the bush. With your
attitude, you're not going to get
'OK.' So you just don't care.
Let me ask you, not as your
guidance counselor, but...as a
friend: what do you want to
do with your life? I mean, what
kind of long-term goals can you
C'mon. Talk to me. Tell me what
Well, I mean...I wanna be on TV.
Maybe have a talk show or
something. Like Conan. Or early
Ah-hah. And how is it you hope to
achieve this goal?
I dunno. See if I have any
EXT. LIVINGSTON HOME – EVENING
The sprinkler system is still on.
INT. DINING ROOM – EVENING
The family is sitting waiting at the table: FERN, Scooby's attractive
mother; MARTY, his bullish father; BRADY, sixteen, his handsome jock
brother; and MIKEY, ten his smart youngest brother.
CONSUELO, the maid, brings some bread to the table.
Did you knock on his door?
Yes, but he just shouted at me and
used the f-word.
No response. Pause.
Would anyone be interested in
being hypnotized after dinner?
Let's just start.
I don't know what's wrong with
Maybe he's gay.
Don't ever say that.
What if he is?
Marty, ignore him.
He's vegetarian, doesn't do
And even if he is...
Gay people are people too, you
know. You're just being
I don't care is he's gay. I'm
cool. I mean, it's not like I have
to share his room or anything.
I just want to know what the hell
he's doing in his room that's so
interesting he doesn't come down
Maybe he's building a bomb...just
Don't even joke about that!
I'm serious! What happens if he
blows up the school?
A tense pause, followed by a distant crushing sound.
I'm going in there.
Was anyone in my room today?
Is everything OK?
My CD case like totally collapsed.
I'm gonna have to recatalogue all
Hey. Can you pass the salad over.
Steak's really good tonight.
Got a lot of homework?
Whaddya mean you don't know? You
either got a lot or you don't.
What's not to know?
You started filling out your
college applications yet?
I'm not going to college.
What are you going to do?
What DO you know?
Dad, I'm trying to figure things
out right now, OK? It's like,
really hard, and I'm just
listening to some old Elton John
Brady mouths: 'Gay!'
Out! Leave the table!
You heard me: leave the table!
Man, I am out of here! This family
is so fucked!
Mom, it's not fair if Brady can
say the f-word and I can't.
Yeah, well, Mikey, listen up.
Cause here's a lesson: life's not
EXT. LIVINSTON HOME - DAY
A red sports car drives up front. Esposito, Brady's buddy, drops off
Brady and Cheryl, Brady's cheerleader girlfriend.
A cleaning woman walks along the sidewalk on her way to the bus stop.
I'll talk to you later, man!
INT. TV ROOM – DAY
Brady, still in his football outfit, tracks in some dirt. Cheryl
follows him to his room, giggling.
Mikey sits on the sofa while Consuelo continues her housework.
Do you have any brothers or
Really? How many?
Four brothers and five sisters.
Why did your parents have so many
children? I mean, if they were
poor, wouldn't it be better to
have just one or two?
It was God's will.
But do you really believe in God?
And heaven, hell and angels and
all kind of stuff?
INT. DINING ROOM – EVENING
The Livingstons are eating dinner.
So? How was school today?
The same. Same as what?
Just the same.
A tense pause.
We're studying the Holocaust in
We did the same thing last year
How was the class?
Well, I'm supposed to watch
Schindler's List for homework. The
movie's like almost four hours.
And then I'm supposed to write a
report on survivors.
You know any survivors, Dad?
Hmmm...Do I know
Well, technically your Zeda is a
He was in a concentration camp?
Well, no. But he had to escape the
But I thought he came over to
America before the war.
Well, he did. With his family. But
his cousins, they had to stay and
they were all killed. And if he'd
stayed, he would have been killed.
So in my book he's a survivor.
Even though it was only his
cousins that were killed?
But that could've happened to him.
Or to me, if I'd been alive. Or
You mean, then, we're all
Well...yes. If it hadn't been for
Hitler, he wouldn't have had to
leave Europe. We would have
But then, in a sense, since you
would never have met Dad if your
family had stayed in Europe...if
it weren't for Hitler, none of us
would have been born.
A long pause.
Get the hell outta here!
Man, it's just, like,
INT. PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE
Toby sits across from Mr Kirk.
Tell me: you make a living at
Well, sir...uh...I'm actually not
doing this for the money. When you
make a documentary, you do it for
many reasons, but money is
certainly not one of them.
I don't get it.
Well, sir, a lot has happened to
the landscape of the suburban high
school since I was a student, and
I feel it would be a valuable,
perhaps even enlightening
endeavor, to chronicle the
changes, to get intimate with the
realities kids and parents face in
American schools today.
Yeah, well, whatever. I'll let you
know if there's interest.
INT. HALLWAY - DAY
Toby pauses by the receptionist before leaving.
Excuse me, where's the bathroom?
INT. LAVATORY – DAY
Toby rushes to the urinal. Scooby is sitting in a corner, smoking a
joint, observing him. Toby smells the pot, turns and smiles at him.
You a pervert?
No...Actually, I'm a documentary
Oh. You mean, like, Blair Witch
Well, no. I'm doing one on high
school students, in fact.
Well...it's kind of a sociological
study in the aftermath of
Is this to like get into Sundance?
Yeah, well, it's possible they
would be interested in it.
Actually, there is some interest
from the Sundance Channel.
HBO and MTV have also shown some
So you have connections...
EXT. LIVINGSTON HOME – NIGHT
The lights are on.
You see, we're trying to do a film
on suburban lifestyles...
INT. LIVINGSTON HOME – NIGHT
Toby sits in the living room surrounded by the Livingston family.
Marty fingers a card that reads: TOBY OXMAN, DOCUMENTARIAN. His address
and phone number are printed below.
...kind of An American Family for
the new millennium...
I thought this was about kids
getting into college.
Oh, it is. I mean –
Which is it? You gotta keep your
You're absolutely right. The focus
is on the college admissions
And you want Scooby to be the
focus of all this?
Scooby and a few other students of
Oh, well, I don't have them yet,
Either Scooby is the focus, or
Yeah, I thought I was the focus.
I wanna be the focus.
Brady slaps him.
Toby, we need this to be a
Well, I suppose I could
'Cause Scooby does have a quality
that I've been looking for, a
quality that is emblematic of
American today. It's part
disillusionment, part hope...
Consuelo comes in with tea and Twinkies.
Boys, take napkins...Napkins...
Not to be crass, but what do we
get out of this?
Don't worry, he doesn't mean
Oh, I know, I know that. Well,
sharing your story, your ups and
downs, and so
forth, can I hope, be an
Yeah...How do we know we won't be
No, it's true.
Mr Livingston, I fully understand
and I share your concerns. You
fell vulnerable. And I know that
this is a very difficult question,
but what it comes down to is: can
you make a leap of faith in me, in
the same way that I have to make a
leap of faith in you?
ON VIDEO: INT. LOCKER ROOM – DAY
Big Esposito, in football attire, surrounded by Brady and other
athletes, talks to Toby. Kids whip towels at each other in the
This is a great school. I don't
care what anybody says. I mean,
it's not perfect, but like the
people are really cool, like the
teachers and kids...they really
care and all. And I know that they
make fun of New Jersey all the
time, but I don't care. 'Cause
they're just snobs. 'Cause Jersey
is where America's at!
ON VIDEO: INT. EMPTY SCHOOL HALLWAY – DAY
Walking down these hallways just
like the ones I once walked down
as a teenager, I couldn't help
thinking back to a time when every
day I woke up depressed, suicidal,
consumed by despair. Had things
changed? Was the competition to
get into the most prestigious
schools still a requisite rite of
passage? Beneath these masks of
courtesy and friendliness I knew
that there were darker forces at
work...and I knew that Scooby was
the key to revealing the truth...
VARIOUS SHOTS OF SCOOBY
Scooby, Scooby, Scooby...What are
you thinking? College, SATs, your
parents, your brothers, your
friends...How is it you deal with
all this stress?
ON VIDEO: INT. CLASSROOM – DAY
A school psychologist sits at her desk.
ELIZABETH ST. CLAIR
The pressure to get into the
college of your choice is
incredible. You know, they did a
study recently of the youth in
Bosnia during the bombing, and
they found that the stress the
young people experienced there was
less than what American high-
school students go through when
applying to college.
Is that right?
ELIZABETH ST. CLAIR
Oh, my God...
INT. EDITING ROOM – NIGHT
Toby and his editor examine the footage on an AVID.
So whaddya think?
Well, I'm not really sure what
you're trying to say. It's funny,
I suppose. But it seems glib and
facile to just make fun of how
idiotic these people are.
I'm not making fun. I'm showing it
as it really is.
You're showing how superior you
are to your subject.
No, but I like my subject. I like
No, you don't.
Yes, I do. I love them!
The camerawork's nice.
Thanks. I'll tell Mike.
Well, it's still just a beginning.
I know I can...dig deeper.
EXT. LIVINGSTON HOME – DAY
It is bright and sunny.
INT. LIVINGSTON HOME – DAY
Fern is in the kitchen talking on the phone. She has a list of names
and notes in front of her. Consuelo dusts in the background.
Toby and Mike stand nearby with a video camera, recording everything.
...but Marj – may I call you Marj?
– what it really boils down to
is...what does it mean to be a
Jew?...Exactly. Tzedakah. Charity.
And the new wing at Beth Israel
is...Well, actually, last year you
gave $500. But this year $1,000
would not only be a mitzvah, it
would bring you to a new
level...Yes, of course. Your gift
would also give you a Chagall
menorah and two tickets to the
dinner dance this spring...Because
it's true: Israel needs us now. If
not now, when?...Well, that's
wonderful...I'll speak to you next
week...You too! Take care!
She hangs up just as Scooby walks inside, fresh from school.
Hi, Scooby! How was school today?
Ready for tomorrow?
The SATs, knucklehead.
I'm not taking them.
He walks off.
ON VIDEO: INT. DINNER ROOM – EVENING
The family is eating dinner. There is a tense silence, finally broken
I was looking through Scooby's
SATs practice books this afternoon
and I took one of the practice
tests. Guess what score I got?
550 verbal, 520 math. And I'm only
in fifth grade!
Everyone turns to glare at him.
INT. CHILDREN'S BATHROOM – NIGHT
Scooby is brushing his teeth when Marty enters.
We have to talk.
Whaddya wanna talk about?
Don't screw around with me. You
know what I'm talking about.
You're taking those SATs. You're
taking those SATs or your CD
collection is history. You're
taking those SATs and you're going
to college. You're taking those
SATs if I have to strap your ass
to a chair, but buddy your taking
(under his breath as he starts walking away)
Tired of this shit...
INT. SCHOOL GYM - DAY
Toby and Mike shoot footage of the students as they take their SATs.
Scooby is filling out his SAT in such a way that he creates a pattern
of filled blanks that spells: FUCK THIS SHIT.
EXT. LIVINGSTON HOME – DAY
Toby and Mike are interviewing Brady and Cheryl in the driveway. Off to
the side, Mikey tries hypnotizing a cat.
So are you surprised that Scooby
took the SATs after all?
Not really. He's kind of a wuss.
OK. How about you, Cheryl? Were
I dunno. Whatever.
Hey, how come you drive such a
(joins their laughter)
I don't know...That's interesting,
though. A cool car. Is that
something that's real important to
INT. SCOOBY'S BEDROOM – DAY
Scooby handles a gun his friend Stanley has given him.
Pretty cool, Stanley.
How'd you get it?
It's my Dad's He hides it under
some old TV Guides in his closet.
Gee, your Dad's smart.
Is it loaded?
No, I don't think so...
Scooby points it at his head.
Scooby, don't! Be careful!
I'm not an idiot, man. I watch TV.
I Know. I'm sorry. I'm just...a
little nervous, I don't know why.
You should be.
Scooby points it at Stanley, gets a terrified reaction, then tosses the
Here. You can keep it.
He lies down. Pause.
You know...I like you.
Yeah. I know.
I know. Everyone knows.
Do you think that you'd let
OK. If you feel like it. Just give
me a second.
He pulls a bag of mushrooms out from beneath his night table, takes
some and offers to Stanley.
You want some?
Scooby flicks on a CD, then lies down.
DREAM SEQUENCE – EXT. LIVINGSTON HOME – DAY
While Stanley goes down on Scooby, the camera pans away from Scooby to
reveal Marty and Fern being burned at the stake in the front yarn,
writhing and screaming in agony.
I'm so sorry! I should never have
made you take the SATs!
The camera then pans to reveal Conan O'Brien approaching.
Hey, Scooby! How's it going?
Conan O'Brien? Whoa! What are you
I'm looking for a last-minute
guest for my show. Any
I'll be your guest!
Really? Well, all right! Let's
take a look at the television and
see how we look.
The camera pans to reveal a TV standing on the lawn.
Conan turns on the TV and we move inside it to see Conan and Scooby
sharing some talk-show patter and repartee.
Welcome to the show, Scooby.
Nice to have you here.
Great to be here.
And thank you for dressing up for
us. This is very classy. Tell us.
What kind of professional plans do
you have? What's in your future?
Well, I was thinking...I might
work for you.
Ahh...tell me. What do you want to
do for me? What's your idea?
Be your sidekick, you know, and
maybe eventually become a TV talk-
TV talk-show host, OK. You were at
sidekick eight seconds ago, then
TV talk-show host. You'll be a
Latin dictator in a bout a minute.
Let's see what they think of the
first idea. I'm curious
what the audience thinks. Folks,
what do you think: should Scooby
be my new sidekick?
Scooby, new sidekick, everybody!
Bigger round of applause.
RETURN TO REALITY: INT. CHILDREN'S BATHROOM – NIGHT
Scooby has spaced out while flossing. There is a knock at the door.
Hey. What's up?
There's something I need to talk
about with you.
There are some rumors...
And like, don't take this the
wrong way...I mean, I'm
know...I've got a good reputation
at school and, well...I really
don't want it ruined.
He is visibly upset. Pause.
No prob. I'm cool.
EXT. HIGH-SCHOOL PLAYING FIELD – DAY
A football scrimmage is in progress. A play ends, and the Coach comes
on to the field, barking:
Esposito, What the fuck do you
think you're doing? You're
tackling like a bitch
on my football team, son! You
gotta bend your ass over and hit
somebody! You understand me?
You understand me?
Then do it!...Livingston! That's
the way to hit that hole, son!
Brady waves a Cheryl in the stands.
We're gonna become a football team
today, guys! Let's move the ball!
Move! Move! Move! I wanna see you
hit those holes! Defense, fill
those goddam gaps! Let's go, guys!
Let's do it!...
On the next play Brady runs to catch a pass, but is moved down by
shouting, 'KILL HIM!!!'
Cheryl jumps up, alarmed.
O.S. cheerleaders finish their 'Go Bucks!' cheer, but Brady doesn't
INT. HOSPITAL ICU – EVENING
Brady lies unconscious in bed, hooked up to machines. Marty, Fern,
Scooby, and Cheryl stand around him.
INT. LIVINGSTON HOME – NIGHT
Mikey sits at the kitchen table with Consuelo. He is eating ice cream.
When I'm in high school I'm not
going to play any football. I'm
just going to concentrate on class
What did you do in high school?
I did not go to high school.
Weren't there high schools in El
We had to work. My family was
Must've been hard being poor.
I'm still poor.
But, Consuelo, even though your
poor, don't you have any hobbies
or interests or anything?
But like, what do you like to do
when you're not working?
I'm always working.
But when you're not. Like now.
What do you like to do?
This is work.
But it's not like real work. This
is just babysitting.
Consuelo stares hard at him in silence.
You know, your job's really not so
bad, if you think about it. You
should smile more often.
ON VIDEO: DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE OF:
(1) Driving-along-the-neighborhood shots; a lam post; a sign; a
floating straw wrapper.
When the sky is clear and the sun
is warm, you're reminded of how
beautiful things can be: a lamp
post, a sign, a straw wrapper
blowing in the wind…But when that
dark cloud appears, you realize
how fragile the balance of life
(2) The neurologist Dr Barry Jordan discussing Brady's condition:
When Brady first arrived at the
hospital he was unresponsive to
verbal stimuli. Wee performed a CT
scan which demonstrated a large
subdural hemotoma with mass
effect. Since the removal of the
subdural he's been in coma.
(3) A psychologist discussing the effect of the Brady crisis on his
When I first met the Livingstons
it was in the first twenty four
hours of Brady coming in after his
tragic football accident and they
were acting in a fairly typical
(4) The Livingstons consulting with Dr Goodman in a hospital waiting
We're not the ones who need the
help. My son needs help.
My son's in there! He can't even
feed himself, he can't eat – I
don't even know if he's going to
be a vegetable or not, for
The picture freezes and then zooms into a close up on Scooby.
But what about Scooby? How would
this effect him? What meaning is
to be found in this?
INT. EDITING ROOM – DAY
Toby and his editor finish watching this latest footage.
This is definitely better.
You think so? You don't think that
this might not be a little dry?
This is entertainment you're
making, Toby. This story about a
kid in the suburbs and the state
of the college admissions process
has, with this Brady crisis,
evolved into something much richer
and more provocative.
Yes, I know…But still, it should
be somewhat entertaining.
I mean, without this footage,
without this rigorous
documentation, it would feel
No, no, no. No exploitation. This
is serious…But don't you find it a
little funny too, at the same
You've got a family tragedy on
your hands. Will you tell me
what's funny about that? About a
kid in a coma?
Nothing, I guess…
I mean, why are you making this
documentary if you can't treat
your subject with appropriate
OK, you're right, you're right…
You know, we need to screen what
we've got…invite some regular
people, just some random off-the-
street types…and see what real
people think of this.
I dunno, Toby. We really have a
long way to go. You still need a
lot more footage, and it's
probably a little premature to
OK, then we can invite serious
We're not ready.
Hip alternative types who will
understand the process better…
We're not ready!
Well, I need to see this with an
What's an audience going to tell
I don't know. Maybe they'll like
INT. LIVINGSTON HOME – NIGHT
Mikey opens the refrigerator, takes out a bottle of grape juice, pours
a cup for himself, then accidentally spills it all on the floor.
Consuelo! I spilled some grape
juice on the floor!…Consuelo?!
INT. BASEMENT RECREATION ROOM – NIGHT
Mikey goes downstairs, finds her alone in her bedroom. She appears to
Consuelo. Are you crying?
Yes, you are. I can tell. What's
Mi Jesus…mi jesus…
Mi Jesus esta muerto!
Consuelo, I'm sorry, but you know
if you don't speak English I can't
Who is Jesus?
You have a bay?
Gee, I didn't even know you had
any children. But why are you so
upset about Jesus?
Oh. How did it happen?
He was executed. He was on Death
Row and then he was executed.
How did they execute him?
Maybe it's for the best…I mean, if
he was guilty of doing something
wrong…People who are bad should be
killed. Don't you think so?
Jesus was not bad.
Maybe he was and you just didn't
But still, you can't be sure.
I am sure.
But really, you never know.
Why was he on Death Row?
For rape and murder.
Consuelo, what is rape exactly?
It is when you love someone, and
they don't love you. And then you
do something about it.
Sometimes I feel like my parents
don't love me.
Well then, when you get older you
can do something about it.
A long pause.
Consuelo? I spilled some grape
juice upstairs. Do you think you
could clean up the floor now?
INT. BRADY'S BEDROOM – EVENING
Marty and Mikey sit by the comatose Brady, who lies now in his own bed.
Dad?…Do you think that Brady will
ever get better?
One in a million recover.
Maybe he's that one in a million!
Mikey, there's optimism, and then
there's stupidity. It's a very
I don't think there's any hope,
either. I was just trying to make
you feel better.
Dad?…Would you let me try
hypnotizing you now?
Yeah. Sure Go ahead. Hypnotize me.
OK. Stay there. I'll be right
Mikey hurries off to fetch his hypnotizing apparatus. Marty sits and
Just a sec!…Be right there!
Mikey returns, sets himself up across from Marty and takes out a shiny
Dad, can you turn around a bit,
Thanks. All right. Now you must
look at this shiny object and
concentrate. Relax your legs.
Relax your arms. Relax your
shoulders. Now keep your eyes on
the shiny object…Your eyelids
are getting heavy…heavier…You're
getting sleepy…sleepier…Now let
your eyes close shut…and you
Marty's head drops.
Now you are completely under my
power. I am the only voice you can
hear, the only voice you will
listen to. Now. When you wake up
you will be in a good mood. You
won't worry so much about Brady.
And I will be your favorite from
now on. If Brady dies, you can be
sad for a little bit, but I will
still be the most important person
in your life. You will never be
mean to me, and always give me
whatever I want. Also, you should
fire Consuelo. She's lazy. Now
when I snap my fingers, you will
remember nothing, but you will do
everything I have asked. One. Two.
Mikey snaps his fingers and Marty wakes up.
Hey, Mikey. You wanna get some ice
EXT. LIVINGSTON HOME – DAY
A couple of maids are walking by with white babies in strollers.
ON VIDEO: INT. SCOOBY'S BEDROOM – DAY
So like, yeah…I caved in. I mean,
I had to. My parents, they're like
…still really depressed about
Brady. So I wrote the bullshit
essay. Filled out the
applications, did the
interviews…Y'know, I figure I can
always drop out.
So where'd you get in?
But what did you get on your SATs?
200 verbal/710 math. Kinda weird,
I know. But I think they thought
it was, like, good-weird.
ON VIDEO: INT. LIVING ROOM – EVENING
Marty and Fern sit on the sofa.
We used pull.
You know, you have to. Sometimes
you just have to, Toby.
But what kind of pull did you
I have a cousin. Very big giver to
the alumni fund.
It's all about who you know.
Look, we're not suckers. Everyone
else is out there doing the same
EXT. LIVINGSTON HOME – DAY
Scooby watches Toby and Mike as they try fixing their jammed camera.
Damn, Toby…This thing won't open
Let me try it, let me try it.
(takes camera from Mike)
It's um…The button is just stuck.
Hey, um, Toby? I was wondering…Is
the documentary almost finished?
Uh, yeah, we're getting there.
Can I see what you have so far?
Sure…um…yeah, as soon as I have a
screening I'll let you know.
INT. LIVINGSTON HOME – DAY
Mikey and Consuelo are playing cards.
Gin! I win! Let's play again!
He starts dealing another round when Marty suddenly appears, back from
Come here, give me a hug!
Gee, you're home early!
Yeah, uh, listen. Why don't you go
upstairs and keep your Mom and
Brady company for a bit? I need to
speak alone with Consuelo for a
He runs up the stairs, pretends to disappear, but stays to observe.
Consuelo. Mrs. Livingston and I have discussed this, and we've come to
the conclusion that we are not very happy with your work lately, so
we're going to let you go.
I-I don't understand.
We've been happy with you in the
past, but now we think maybe it's
time for a change…uh…I know you've
had trouble at home and maybe, you
know, some of that is reflected I
But, Mr Livingston, I work very
hard for you and your family!
I understand, I understand that,
and I'm sorry it had to end this
EXT. LIVINGSTON HOME – DAY
Consuelo exits the house and trudges towards the bus stop, carrying all
her belongings. Other cleaning women are waiting for the bus as well.
INT. SCOOBY'S BEDROOM – DAY
Scooby is looking at the address on Toby's 'documentarian' calling
card. He picks up the phone and dials.
INT. SHOE STORE – DAY
Dave, the store manager, leaves a costumer for a moment to pick up the
Florsheim. Can I help you?
Hi. I…uh...I'm trying to reach
Sorry, he's off today.
BACK TO SCOOBY
…on the phone.
EXT. HIGHWAY – DAY
Scooby drives his Mom's shiny new SUV to New York.
EXT. A RUN-DOWN TENEMENT NEIGHBORHOOD – DAY
Scooby pulls into a spot.
INT. TOBY'S APARTMENT BUILDING – DAY
Scooby climbs a stairwell, rings a bell. Mike opens the door.
Hey, uh, Mike. Is Toby here?
Uh, no, he's not.
Oh. Do you have any idea where he
I think he's at a test screening.
EXT. TOBY'S APARTMENT BUILDING – DAY
Scooby hurries outside only to find his car stolen.
INT. SUBWAY – DAY
Scooby rides a train.
INT. SCREENING-ROOM FACILITY – DAY
Scooby sees a sign that reads: 'American Scooby: test screening.' He
goes into the screening room.
…of the documentary being screened.
ON VIDEO: EXT. LIVINGSTON HOME BACKYARD – DAY
Marty talks to Toby poolside as he prepares a barbecue.
I think Scooby's like a lot of
kids. He just hit a…a speed bump.
Now he's gonna find his way, his
path is gonna be cleared, and I
think he's gonna continue his
education at a good college. And
everybody else is gonna be happy.
...But Mr Livingston, aren't you a
bit fearful that Scooby will be
confronted with hollow values and
I don't know why this is so hard
for you to comprehend. I had a
terrific time in college. I've got
a terrific job, a comfortable
salary, terrific wife, three
terrific kids…and every year I
give to the alumni fund. Now why
are you trying to make college out
to be a bad thing, a negative
experience? You were unhappy?
Well, to bad! Get over it! Stop
trying to impose your misery on
others by going around saying,
'Life is bad, life is horrible.'
Life is tough on you? Well, boo
ANGLE ON THE AUDIENCE
ON VIDEO: EXT. LIVINGSTON HOME - DAY
Scooby talks to Toby in the Backyard, Marty seen in the distant
...Well, yeah, my Dad is kind of a
goofball. I just have to pretend
to go along with his ideas. 'Cause
he really doesn't get it: like I
could be the next Oprah, for all
he knows, but he's never even seen
ANGLE ON SCOOBY
...watching himself on screen
ON VIDEO: NEW ANGLE ON SCOOBY
...as he continues talking to Toby.
What is most important to you?
I dunno. I'd like to be good at
something. It doesn't have to be
TV. I mean, it could be
movies...Anything. I'd be willing
The audience laughs.
But I'd like to be, you
know...famous. Not necessarily a
superstar, just famous. Be
recognized. Get fan Mail.
ON VIDEO: TIGHTER ON SCOOBY
...still talking to Toby.
Uh, Scooby, now I understand how
you want to be a TV talk-show host
and all, like Conan O'Brien, but
did you know even he went to
Yeah. He went to Harward.
ANGLE ON SCOOBY
...watching the film and listening to the audience. The laughter is out
of control. He is devastated.
INT. LIVINGSTON HOME - NIGHT
Marty and Fern are in bed watching the news.
Mikey appears in the doorway.
Mom? Dad? Can I sleep with you?
They flick off the TV.
Of course, honey. Come in bed with
us. Come on.
Mikey gets in bed with them.
Snug as a bug in a rug. Yeah, here
you go, pal. All righty...You're
EXT. LIVINGSTONE HOME - NIGHT
Consuelo approaches the house stealthily.
ANGLE ON FINGERS
...opening the back of the house;
stuffing towels under bedroom doors;
turning on the kitchen stove's gas;
switching on the main gas valve in the boiler room.
EXT. LIVINGSTON HOME - NIGHT
A very long pause.
FADE TO BLACK.
EXT. STREET NEAR LIVINGSTON HOME - EARLY MORNING
Scooby gets off the bus with a few cleaning women. He walks homewards.
EXT. LIVINGSTONE HOME -DAY
Scooby sees reporters, policemen, firemen, ambulances, gas company
vehicles, and neighbors surrounding his house.
Toby and Mike suddenly appear with their camera trained on him.
Oh, my God, Scooby! I'm so
sorry...I'm so, so sorry...
Don't be. Your movie's a hit.