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A train goes by. A modest clapboard house with a porch. Two

entrances. A PAPERBOY tosses a paper onto the lawn in front of

the house. The front door opens and Maggie appears fresh out of

bed, wearing only a jacket and panties. Heedless of being seen

this way, she scampers out to the sidewalk to pick up her

delivered paper: USA Today. She tears off the plastic bag and

rips into it, looking for her letter. She finds it. A smile on

her face, then she scampers back into the house.


INT. MAGGIE'S HOUSE - THAT MOMENT
Maggie skips back into her house which she shares with Father

and Grandma. A cozy and eclectic place creatively furnished on

a shoe-string. She rushes into: KITCHEN WHERE BOB KELLY,

fiance #4, is packing cans into a backpack. Bob, 38, has a

pleasant face and a body that is almost shockingly buff. He's

wearing a T-shirt that reads: "Mountaineers Do It Against the

Wall.", Maggie dances over, waving the paper and singing.
MAGGIE

She canned him, she canned him...


Bob test the weight of the backpack adding dehydrate food.
BOB

Come here, Mag, and try this on.


Maggie puts the paper on the kitchen counter and starts to read

aloud, paying no mind to Bob, who is sticking her arms through

the straps of the backpack.
MAGGIE

Listen: "Dear Ms. Carpenter, I

apologize to you for this unfortunate

matter. Ike Graham's column will no

longer be appearing in this paper.

Best of luck in you upcoming marriage!"


Bob continues to hold up the weight of the backpack as he straps

it onto Maggie's shoulders.


BOB

That-a-girl! You sacked him.

(checking pack)

This is the weight of the pack you're

going to have to carry in the Himalayas.

Tell me if it's too heavy.


Bob lets go and Maggie FALLS BACKWARD, disappearing behind the

counter, and hitting the floor, with a THUD. Bob looks down at

her. Maggie's voice rises from the floor behind the counter.
MAGGIE (o.s.)

It's a little... It's a little heavy...

Help me, baby.
Bob has no answer. He reaches a hand down. He yelps as Maggie

pulls him down on top of her, out of frame. We HEAR them giggle

and kiss.
INT. USA TODAY LOADING DOCK - ANOTHER DAY
Fisher uses the dock for a photo shoot featuring men and women

in evening and formal wear from Escada for G.Q. Fisher is not

actually shooting the camera, but rather supervising it.

Fisher claps his hands and calls the models to attention. Then

he goes onto the stage and sets the models in their positions.
FISHER (cont'd)

Remember, we are putting the "fun" back

into formal.

(to Ike)

I just say that for the agency guys. I

don't even know what that means. Now

follow me.
INT. USA TODAY OBSERVATION ROOM - DAY
Elevator doors open. Ike and Fisher exit and walk towards the

coffee table.


FISHER

Ike, I really liked the Runaway Bride

piece, and since I do freelance stuff

for G.Q., I'm in a different position

now...
IKE

What are you trying to say to me, Fish?


They stop walking.
FISHER

Vindication. How would you like to get

some? A chance to prove that, though

your facts weren't entirely straight,

your theory was correct.
IKE

(hiding his hope)

The real story on Miss Carpenter.
FISHER

All the gory details.


They start walking again.
IKE

(excited)

The anatomy of the black widow spider

of Maryland.


FISHER

It wouldn't be a bad way to get you

back into writing feature pieces

again.
IKE

(enthusiastically)

This is good. It is a good story,

Fish.
They stop at the coffee table and grab something to eat.
FISHER

(nods)


If she runs, then it's a cover story.

All true. All accurate.


IKE

(confesses)

Okay, you were right. I hated my

column, but I can do this assignment.


FISHER

Then you've got it. If you leave

tomorrow for the hinterlands, you'll

have plenty of time before her next

wedding trot.
IKE

"Paid vindication" That's what I call

justice.
FISHER

Justice, yes. Paid, I don't know.

They like the idea, but my hands are

tied with budget restraints.


IKE

But I'll get my normal fee, right?


He walks away.
IKE

You want me to do it on spec?!


He follows him.
CUT TO:
EXT. MARYLAND HIGHWAY - DAY
We see Ike driving down the highway. The car sputters a little

as he and Fisher continue their conversation in voice-over. (If

needed by the editor.)
FISHER (V.O.)

Don't say "spec" like it's a dirty word.

Nobody ever paid Shakespeare to write a

play! Plato never got a book advance...


IKE (V.O.)

Oh yeah! I happen to know from

reliable sources that Nietzche got

expenses and a rental car.


We hear Fisher laugh.
IKE (V.O.; cont'd)

I'm going to make this work, Fish. I'm

going to do it!
Ike's car drives into Hale, passing a billboard reading,

"Welcome to Hale."


CUT TO:
EXT. HALE STREET - DAY
Ike drives down picturesque Main Street. He passes Hale

Hardware. Sign says: "At Curl. Be back soon."


EXT. ATLANTIC HOTEL - DAY
A BARBERSHOP QUARTET is singing in front of the only hotel in

town. Ike pulls up and goes inside.


INT. LOBBY/ATLANTIC HOTEL - DAY
Ike has checked into the Atlantic Hotel. The clerk, LEE, hands

him his key. Ike asks about room service and the restaurant.

An OLDER WOMAN asks him if he plays bridge as he goes up the

stairs to his room.


EXT. HALE MAIN STREET - DAY
Ike exits his hotel as the Barber Shop Quartet finishes singing

"Camptown Races."


He now walks down the charming main artery of the town, looking

exactly like what he is: a cynical New York out of his element

on sunny Main Street, USA. KIDS ride by on bikes, streaming

balloons behind them. A balloon hits Ike on the face. As he

crosses the street, he mutters into his tape recorder:
IKE

I think I'm in Maryberry.


Flags hang on all the storefronts and the place sparkles with

wholesome attitudes as PEOPLE greet each other familiarly. Ike

comes to beauty parlor called "Curl Up and Dye". The place is

doing business and crowded with WOMEN.


INT. BEAUTY PARLOR - DAY
Cindy, the manicurist, does Mrs. Pressman's nails. Maggie sits

on the floor next to Peggy's salon chair, fixing the base of a

barber chair. She tightens a screw and looks up, satisfied.

Cindy's dog is on the floor near Maggie.


MAGGIE

Cindy, you better 86 Sprout. He seems

to be enjoying the petroleum

distillates.


Cindy rolls over in her chair, picks up her dog and rolls back

to her station.


CINDY

That's it. Back to obedience school.


MAGGIE

(to Peggy)

Okay -- have a seat... gently,

carefully.


Peggy sits in the chair. Maggie spins her around and around.
PEGGY

(delighted as

she spins)

You're a goddess!


MAGGIE

I didn't even need to change this

gasket, just put in a little hydraulic

fluid.
PEGGY

Stop it. When you talk like that, I

get turned on and it frightens me.


JUST THEN. Ike enters the salon, taking off his sunglasses.

Peggy hops off the chair.


IKE

Hello. I'm looking for Maggie

Carpenter. There was a sign at the

hardware store across the street...


PEGGY

Are you a reporter?


It's a little early in the game for Ike to be thrown off guard.
IKE

(shocked)

What?
PEGGY

(eyeing his loafers)

It's been our experience that anyone

with some sort of gewgaw on his loafers

ends up being another big city reporter

wanting to interview Maggie.


IKE

About her upcoming wedding and all.


PEGGY

No, about her getting that asshole from

New York fired.
Ike smiles down at his loafers and shrugs.
IKE

I am just such a reporter. And you are?


PEGGY

Peggy Phleming. Not the ice skater.


Peggy steps aside. Ike moves toward Cindy and Mrs. Pressman.
IKE

And who are these lovely ladies?


Te ladies shake his hand and introduce themselves.
CINDY

Cindy. Maggie's unmarried cousin.


MRS. PRESSMAN

Mrs. Pressman. No relation.


PEGGY

And you are?


IKE

(turning toward her)

Looking for Maggie.
PEGGY

Yep. Maggie -- Someone to see you.


Maggie looks over from her sitting position on the floor. She

gives Ike the once-over, focusing on the shoes.


MAGGIE

(yelling to Peggy)

Reporter?
PEGGY

Yup!
Ike crouches to see Maggie on the floor just as she rises to her

feet. Ike straightens up. For a moment, he is thrown by her

beauty and intelligent eyes.


MAGGIE

I hope you have a different angle.

It's pretty much all been covered.
IKE

Originality is my speciality.


MAGGIE

Excellent.


PEGGY

Hold on -- Nobody interviews Maggie in

here unless they're getting haircut.
MAGGIE

She's the boss.


IKE

Sorry, no. I just got one.


MRS. PRESSMAN

(to Ike)

Excuse me, sir. I have an actual fact

for you.


IKE

(steps to Mrs. Pressman)

Yes, Mrs. Pressman.
MRS. PRESSMAN

It's her fourth time to the altar, you

know. Not seven like they said.
IKE

I know. Tell me something. Do you

think she's going to make it all the

way this time?


During the Ike/Mrs. Pressman exchange, Maggie looks at Ike.

There's something familiar about him. She looks over at Peggy

and beckons her to a copy of Ike's column affixed to a mirror.

A goatee and horns, have been scrawled on Ike's byline picture.

He's been "devilized". Peggy coughs as she recognizes Ike in

the newspaper clipping.


MAGGIE

She swallowed her gun.


Mrs. Pressman continues her story to Ike.
MRS. PRESSMAN

I'm not sure. Mr. Schullian runs the

newsstand, he's our local bookie, you

know, he's giving eight to one odds she

won't. He says she's so famous now,

maybe Vegas will give odds on her. I'm

going to wait to hear what the pros say.
IKE

Good fact. Well, you let me know.


MRS. PRESSMAN

Oh, I will.


ANGLE ON:
Maggie indicates column to Peggy. She looks over at the part of

the shop used to wash and dye hair. There's a sink, stool and a

cabinet affixed to the wall above sink, which holds various

shampoos and hair dyes. Maggie gets an idea. Maggie and Peggy

step forward toward Ike.
MAGGIE

Well, instead of a haircut, how about

a wash? You know, get all that city

grit out of it.


IKE

You'll answer my questions?


Maggie nods affirmatively.
IKE (cont'd)

(removing his jacket)

Fine. You wash, I'll ask the

questions.


PEGGY

Great.
Ike hands Peggy his jacket. A mystified Peggy leads Ike to the

sink. While she does this...
MAGGIE

Have a seat. Peggy, why don't you give

him the special treatment that

strengthens the follicles.


Ike sits in the chair near the sink. Maggie shakes out a smock

and puts it around Ike.


MAGGIE (cont'd)

So, what do you want to know?


Ike leans and rests his head on the sink. Peggy bends over him

and wets his hair. She grabs various hair coloring products.


IKE

Getting nervous?


MAGGIE

Nervous? Not at all! No. I've never

been more certain in my life. Except

-- I am having all kinds of weird

dreams.
Ike pulls the cloth down from over his face.
IKE

Weird dreams? You're going to tell me

about them?
MAGGIE

Yes.
PEGGY

(calming)

Let's just put this back here for the

aromatherapy.
Peggy recovers his face, then continues to fuss with the hair

coloring products. Maggie helps.


INT. BEAUTY PARLOR - LATER
Ike sits with a towel over his head as Peggy blow-dries the back

of his head. His back is to the mirror, his body faces Maggie.

Cindy does her own nails as Mrs. Pressman scratches off lottery

tickets. The dog, Sprout, sits in is basket.


MAGGIE

In another one...


PETE, wearing a hat, comes in the front door of the salon.
PEGGY

Hey, Pete, I'll be right with you.


Ike peeks out from under his towel as Maggie continues.
MAGGIE

I'm inside the church. Everyone I know

is there, only they're not really them.

They're like Frankenstein monsters, but

without the bolts coming out of their

necks. It's all very "Night of the

Living Dead". And here's the creepiest

part -- I look down at my dress and

it's red. I mean, I have no idea what

it means. Red's not my color!


Ike listens intently and stares steadily into her eyes. Peggy

removes the towel. His hair is divided into equal parts and

dyed orange and red.
MAGGIE (cont'd)

So what do you think?


Ike stares back at her, the tickle of suspicion creeping up his

spine.
IKE

I think you'd look good in red.
PEGGY

No, she's talking about your hair.


Maggie swivels his chair so that Ike faces the mirror. Ike

looks at his brightly colored hair.


MAGGIE

You're all ready for football season,

Mr. Graham.
Ike stares at his hair in total confusion. With icy calm, Ike

rises from his chair and primps the end of his hair as if giving

it the finishing touches. Then he sees his defaced newspaper

clipping and all becomes clear. He picks up the article and

shows it to everyone. Ike does a slow burn.
IKE

Yes, I think I nailed the personality

profile of the women of Hale.
Ike turns and puts the clipping up on the mirror.
IKE (cont'd)

(to Peggy)

My jacket, please.
Peggy hands him his jacket.
IKE (cont'd)

(sarcastically)

Thank you.
Ike moves toward the door. He spots Pete.
IKE (cont'd)

(putting on jacket;

to Pete)

Excuse me, Pete, do you know a place

that sells shampoo... Strong shampoo?
PETE

Doc's Pharmacy. Third and Elm. Tell

him Pete sent you. Want my hat?
IKE

No thanks.


Ike smiles at Maggie and exits.
MAGGIE

(to Peggy)

He seems crabby.
CUT TO:
EXT. MAIN STREET - DAY
In front of beauty salon, Maggie follows Ike out.
MAGGIE

If you're looking for Elm Street, it's

that way.
She puts on her sunglasses.
IKE

Thank you.


He walks the other way.
MAGGIE

If you came down here in the pursuit of

happiness, you might as well go back.

Because you can't make me feel bad.


She stops walking and turns to Ike.
IKE

I'm not here to make you feel bad. I'm

here for vindication. In my heart...
MAGGIE

You have one?


Ike walks back to Maggie.
IKE

I feel I'm right about you. You got me

fired, lady. You destroyed my

reputation and you screwed up my hair.

You chew men up, spit them out and

loved it. And I'm down here to satisfy

myself on that point.
PASSERSBY stare at Ike's hair and giggle.
MAGGIE

Did something happen to make you care

about reality?
IKE

Yes. Conviction. Conviction that I'm

onto the truth. You're going to do the

same thing to "poor bastard number four"

that you did to the last three. You're

going to run again. And I'm not

leaving until you do.
MAGGIE

You're going to be very disappointed.


IKE

We'll see.


MAGGIE

I'd love to stay and chat, but I've got

to get back to work. I still have my

job.
He stares at her for a beat, stung by her words.


MAGGIE

I have nothing to hide, Mr. Graham.

Talk to whoever you want. You might

actually stumble upon a fact or two.


Maggie walks away. Ike walks a few steps and stops at a KID on

a bike.
IKE

Hey, kid, I'll give you ten bucks for

your hat.


Kid agrees. Ike puts the hat on and starts to cross the street.

An OLD WOMAN walks by and hits him with a newspaper. Ike is

stunned.
EXT. MAGGIE'S HOUSE - DUSK
Maggie pulls into the driveway in her truck. She's in a fine

mood as she walks right in the house.


INT. MAGGIE'S HOUSE - DUSK
Bob, Walter, and Maggie's GRANDMOTHER JULIA sit in the living

room. Grandma is sewing one of Maggie's wedding veils. Walter

drinks wine, Ike wears a hat.
WALTER

You know, when I only see one dog, I

know I've had too much to drink.
Te family dog, Skipper, sits near a ceramic dog table. Maggie

smiles as she walks in the front door and puts down her tool box

and bag.
MAGGIE

You'll never guess who came crawling

into town with his tail between his

legs.
IKE (o.s.)

Who?
Maggie enters the parlor to see Ike smiling evilly from his seat

on the couch.


IKE (cont'd)

(innocently)

Hello, Maggie. I just came by to

apologize to your family.

(looks to Walter)

When I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I pushed a

story. I made a mistake.
WALTER

In other words -- he's only human. An

he brought us a bottle of wine.
Raises the bottle to Maggie.
IKE

They made me put my hat back on.


WALTER

Oh, yeah. Scared the hell out of

Skipper.
MAGGIE

You've got to be kidding me.


Maggie stares at them both.
BOB

(enjoying the moment)

No, no, you should have seen Skipper.

(then, imitates

growling)

It wasn't that funny.


Maggie gives him a look that says, "You are not absolved." She

smiles stiffly, looking back at Ike. She then sits on the arm

of Bob's chair and puts her arm on his shoulder.
MAGGIE

So, the forces of good and evil have

already met.
Maggie takes the wine bottle from the table next to Walter. She

snaps a look to Bob, who follows her.


BOB

I'll help you take into the kitchen.


GRANDMA JULIA

Check on the crabs, Bob.


We overhear them murmuring in annoyed tones about the wedding

plans as they exit... Walter puts down his drink.


IKE

Gee, I hope they don't have a fight out

there. You don't think they'll call it

off...?
WALTER

Well, wedding cake freezes. This we

know.
IKE

You know, your daughter seems...
Ike notices that he's been sewn to the veil.
GRANDMA JULIA

Sorry.
IKE

That's okay, Grandma.
Grandma cuts the thread and separates the veil from Ike's sleeve.
IKE (cont'd)

(continuing his thought)

... Like such a lovely girl.
Walter points to a portrait painting on the wall.
WALTER

Like her mother.


IKE

(seeing the portrait)

Ah, beautiful.

(gets up to admire

the portrait)

I just can't see her leaving multiple

grooms in the dust like that.
GRANDMA JULIA

Oh, yes, you can. She's has 'em all on

tape.
IKE

She has a tape?


WALTER

(good-natured)

Yeah. Lee at the hotel videos wedding.

I mean Maggie didn't know she was going

to make the hundred-yard dash.
Walter gestures to a pile of video cassettes on the bookcase.

Ike checks on the tapes.


IKE

Dad's fishing trip, Grandma's knee

operation, Grandma's birthday...
WALTER

Gotta tell you this about my daughter.

My daughter makes real good time, even

in a long dress and heels. Maggie may

not be Hale's longest running joke, but

she certainly is the fastest.


Walter cracks up.
GRANDMA JULIA

(sarcastically)

Ha ha.
CLOSE ON: A tape. It reads: "Maggie I, II, III." Ike's

interest is more than piqued. Ike picks it up. They get up and

go to the dining room.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. DINNING ROOM/MAGGIE'S HOUSE - NIGHT
The family dog, Skipper, steals food from the table. Walter

scolds him. Walter whacks his crab with his hammer and Ike

copies him.
WALTER (cont'd)

Emma and I were only blessed with one

child, not for lacking of trying.
MAGGIE

This is good, Dad, don't leave anything

out.
Ike's hammer flies out of his hand. He goes to pick it up.
WALTER

So I've come to see it as a bonus,

really, that we've been able to plan,

and pay for, so many weddings.


MAGGIE

Not this one. This one's on me.


Walter reacts.
IKE

That's fair.


MAGGIE

Despite what you think, I don't do it

on purpose. And I have no intention of

doing it again.


BOB

That's right, Maggie. Just keep your

eye on the ball.
Ike raises his eyebrows in question. Bob explains.
BOB (cont'd)

Sports psychology. It was my major in

college.
IKE

Ahh.
BOB

(false modesty)

I'm the town's unofficial fitness

trainer. Big advocate of the mind and

body combining for success. You could

say or you can quote me, I'm a glass

half full king of guy.


MAGGIE

(boasting)

Bob's the head of the P.E. department

at the high school. And he coaches the

football team. And he's climbed

Everest.


To Maggie's satisfaction, Ike shoots Bob a look of begrudging

respect. Nobody who's been up Everest is a total clown.


IKE

(impressed)

Everest. Is that right?
MAGGIE

Twice...


IKE

Really?
MAGGIE

(sticking it to Ike)

Without oxygen...


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