A HOMELESS MAN, who from his tatty suit may have been a top
broker this time last year, is picking through a bin in
Manhattan’s deserted night-time financial district.
The street starts to vibrate. A TERRIFYING GROWL approaches.
A huge black shape smashes into view – THE DARK KNIGHT’S
BATMOBILE! Our audience wonder if they’ve wandered into the
wrong movie. The Homeless Man dives for cover.
BAM! The Batmobile smashes into a row of parked cars.
We hear manic laughing from inside the car, which screeches
and careers violently into a sign reading `WALL STREET’.
Sirens herald THREE POLICE CARS in hot pursuit.
The Batmobile roars up Wall Street, bashing against the New
York Stock Exchange, thumping up and down the Federal Hall’s
steps and finally smashing at high speed into the rear end of
the famous ‘Charging Bull’ statue. Two enormous bronze
testicles thud onto the Batmobile’s bonnet and roll away.
The cop cars screech up, surrounding the Batmobile. TWO OLDER
COPS and A ROOKIE surround it, weapons drawn.
A HELICOPTER appears, blazing the Batmobile in white light.
An older Cop flashes the rookie a dirty look, then points a
FLASHLIGHT into a tiny window. THE BATMAN – actually drunken
English socialite ARTHUR BACH TEMPLEMEAD in a costume –
lowers the window and offers a handshake.
OLDER COP 1
(seen it all before)
Are you familiar with the
expression `I can explain
OLDER COP 1
Out of the car, please.
Terribly sorry, but in the film
they used a different model to show
the old Batchap getting in and out.
This one has no doors, so I’d have
to squeeze out the back arsehole
first. Which nobody wants…
(TO COP 2)
Apart from you, cheeky monkey!
It’s a joke! Okay, okay.
Arthur wriggles awkwardly out of a rear hatch. The bronze
bull teeters, a little scarily. He stands, wobbly. His Batman
utility belt features a big water pistol, a firework, a hip
flask and line of shot glasses. And, inexplicably, a big red
stapler. The younger cop is desperately fighting the giggles.
OLDER COP 1
Okay, explain everything.
Well. What with having spunked 1.6
million fat Alberts on this little
runaround, I thought why not take
it a step further and try to
actually collar a few ne-er do
wells? It worked for the
billionaire Bruce Wayne, why not
the future billionaire Arthur Bach-
Templemead? Will I have to do
OLDER COP 2
How much have you drunk, Arthur?
To use the technical medical term –
megabloodyshitloads. Either that or
I’ve had a stroke! But fret not, I
have a designated driver.
The cop shines his flashlight back inside, revealing A
BEARDED HOMELESS OLD MAN IN A CRAPPY 60S `ROBIN’ costume.
Where’s my five thousand dollars?
Arthur counts out a huge wad of cash.
The Boy Homeless here neglected to
say he’d never driven.
Or that the only reason he’s sober
is to be ready for the conspiracy
of leopards about to seize
It’s LIZARDS! English prick!
Arthur hands another wad of cash to Cop 1.
I trust this will cover all repairs
to New York and any inconvenience
to your good selves?
He turns and tries to get back in.
Up up and away! Ah, no, that’s the
The bronze bull collapses fully, crushing the Batmobile.
INT. 23RD PRECINCT. CELL – NIGHT – LATER
Arthur sits, minus mask, in a cell with Homeless Robin and
VARIOUS CRIMINALS and DRUNKS, including A HUGE GUY IN A
CHICAGO CUBS SHIRT, sporting a terrifically swollen eye.
JAY, a drunk with a bandaged neck, is ranting away at Arthur,
who’s paying close attention, genuinely fascinated. Cash
sticks out of various pockets.
Then the crazy motherfucker cut me!
Said I cut the bombita with pig
Rude man. And who threw hot
Americano in whose face again?
I did in his. No half and half
neither. That shit burnt!
Jay laughs hard, as does GARY, another crook. Arthur, out of
politeness, tries to join in the laughter.
I burnt my sister’s hair.
(high fiving him)
Ho wanted to evict me, just ‘cause
I don’t fit her definition of
hygiene. Plenty of places to take a
shit, toilet’s just one of them.
Just ask the a-rabs.
It’s like a chat show, this.
(looking into an imaginary
It’s been said of my next guest, by
Jay the bandaged lunatic, that
she’s `a sick-ass, whacked-out,
(to a PROSTITUTE)
Carmella, when did you first dream
of becoming a crack whore?
Mother died when I was six.
Oh G-d, I hate when that happens.
My father raped me when I was
Sounds like you had six relatively
What do you do?
I model riding boots, I spend
money, I sleep with women. But I
have weekends off and I am my own
The cell door swings open.
OLDER COP 1
Hey, The Drunk Knight. Your Fairy G-
I never thought New York’s
underbelly could be quite such
agreeable company. I shall never
forget you. Farewell.
The crooks look back at him sulkily. Arthur looks guilty.
INT. 23RD PRECINCT. CORRIDOR. NIGHT – LATER
Arthur’s attorney ELVERTON DEVERE is leaving with him.
I don’t think your mother will be
Really, Elverton – if a chap can’t
help out a few chums, whatever
their station in life.
The other crooks from the cell are leaving alongside them.
Each has given his or her word to
put the criminal life behind them.
EXT. 23RD PRECINCT. NIGHT – CONTINUOUS
Arthur steps into a blaze of paparazzi flashes.
I am the Batman. Gotham can sleep
(points at A CAMERAMAN)
Don’t point that shit at me, bitch!
I will FUCK YOU UP!
Jay attacks the cameraman violently. Gary piles in.
Yes! Yes! Kill the lizards!
Arthur pushes past the press.
Arthur! What will your mother say?
Didn’t she send you here to get you
out of the British papers? Arthur!
He turns to those crooks who aren’t fighting.
Anyone need a job? My last driver
resigned after I filled his limo
with squirrels. Preferably sober,
clean driving licence?
The crooks all look unsure. Apart from one….
EXT. MANHATTAN- NIGHT
A different, extremely flashy car zips through Central Park,
the back full of released crooks, the huge Chicago guy – his
name’s MARTY – at the wheel.
The car passes A MALE JOGGER. It stops and backs up. Arthur
opens a door and beckons the jogger, offering champagne. The
jogger gets in. The car sets off again.
Anyone know a good bar?
EXT. CLUB – NIGHT
The car pulls up outside a very rough-looking dive club. Out
falls Arthur, laughing his head off, along with champagne
bottles, footballs and rich boy’s toys. Following him are
his crook friends, the jogger, TWO MIDDLE-AGED TOURISTS and A
DANCING MAN in a leotard twirling a big sign reading `CHEAP
Like the pied piper, Arthur leads his disciples into the bar.
JUMP CUT TO:
EXT. BAR – LATER
Arthur staggers out, leading a bigger crowd! (IN A CONGA?)
He’s even more drunk, arm in arm with Carmella the prostitute
and a very attractive young woman, SOFIA. He produces A BIG
He releases the firework; it flies at a crazy drunk angle,
people screaming and diving for cover. It explodes into a
shop sign reading `CHECKS CASHED’.
Oh, man. Nobody tell you about the
EXT. MANHATTAN – NIGHT
A very long line of excited people stand at an ATM, Arthur at
Roll up, roll up, folks, let’s fix
this thing right now.
(to his first customer)
How much, sir?
Um. $800 please.
Coming right up.
(keys it in)
Fries with that?
The man laughs, along with others in the line, including
Sofia who catches his eye.
Congratulations everyone! THE
Arthur dials a number on his gold iPhone.
Pierre? Arthur Bach-Templemead. Can
you squeeze me in for a little
snack? Yeah, just me and a couple
INT. FANCY RESTAURANT – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS
The Maitre D’ enters from the kitchen and is stunned to find
the restaurant incredibly stuffed with people, so there’s
standing room only. People are even sitting on tables. It’s a
very eclectic mix of people.
An angry, stuffy old man and his wife and daughter sit
horrified at the center.
Arthur’s flanked by Carmella the prostitute and Sofia from
the ATM line.
Pierre! We’d like 182 pate de foie
gras, 182 chateaubriand steaks, a
motherlode of chips and your entire
wine cellar please.
The daughter of the stuffy couple – she’s ERICA – speaks.
Erica? Fancy meeting you here!
Er…Everybody, this is Erica – the
very best friend forever of my
girlfriend Susan. And Erica’s
parents Ernest and Margaret.
(to Erica and her parents)
Are you familiar with the
expression `I can’t explain
Who are the women with you, Arthur?
Oh, um, this is Sofia. I believe
she works for Avis. Checks the cars
for dings, dead people in the
trunk, that sort of thing. And
this is Carmella. Anyway…
What do you do, Carmella?
Whatever you want. But no
penetration without a rubber.
It’s all gone a bit tense.
Carmella’s joking. She’s actually
a…queen. Of a very small country.
Is she now?
It’s terribly small.
Rhode Island could beat the crap
out of it in a war.
Yes, it’s a small place.
85 cents in a cab from one end of
the country to the other. I’m
I think I understand how small it
Just had the entire country
carpeted, this is not a big place.
You need to grow up, Arthur.
That’s easy for you to say, you
haven’t got 50 pairs of short
trousers hanging in your closet.
Maybe we should go somewhere else.
Maybe you should.
He gets out his ultra-exclusive Black Visa Card.
Could I have all those lobsters to
EXT. PIERRE HOTEL – DAY
The bright dawn sun explodes on the windows of Arthur’s
castle-like $56 million penthouse atop the Pierre Hotel.
INT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT – DAY – CONTINUOUS
A huge jacuzzi is full of contented liberated lobsters,
surrounded by the most amazing toy boat armada in history.
We cut around the vast, opulent 20’s apartment, scattered
with unconscious revellers from last night. A mixture of old
extravagance and modern excess, the place is stuffed with the
toys of the boy who has everything:
An old gun cabinet is stacked with enormous water rifles.
A `Bodyworlds’ plastinated corpse is posed, swinging from a
chandelier, a bottle of champagne in its hand.
Damien Hurst’s shark in formaldehyde is half out of its
smashed tank, a REVELLER’S FEET protruding from its jaws.
Unconscious partygoers are slumped on plush seats in a home
cinema themed to look like the set of `Roadrunner’, while a
screen plays episodes of the cartoon.
A naked couple lie in a sleeping embrace in a room converted
entirely into a sandpit, complete with giant toys.
Big Chicago Marty, Arthur’s new driver, lies on a big sofa,
consulting his sports pager.
Homeless Robin is filling pans and antique vases with water.
A huge photo of Arthur modelling riding boots fills a wall,
beside an old red London telephone box, converted into an
aquarium, bubbling with colorful fish.
INT. BEDROOM – DAY – CONTINUOUS
Bowler-hatted Arthur and Sofia are having sex…
Cup of tea? Nice hot cup of hot
Rosy Lee right up your fanny?
….beneath a rotating solar system mobile good enough to
grace a national planetarium, on a bed floating magnetically
three feet above the floor.
INT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT. HALLWAY – DAY – CONTINUOUS
A key is turned and the door to the apartment opens. A
SENSIBLE WOMAN’S SHOE steps over a reveller.
INT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT. ARTHUR’S BEDROOM – DAY – CONTINUOUS
Arthur and Sofia are in an even greater frenzy. The floating
bed is wobbling scarily.
Hugh Grant Mr Bean self deprecation
mad cow disease Yorkshire pudding
bad teeth rain rain rain rain!
INT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT. GREAT ROOM – DAY – CONTINUOUS
AN OLDER WOMAN’S HAND pulls on A SURGICAL GLOVE.
INT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT. ARTHUR’S BEDROOM – DAY – CONTINUOUS
The older woman enters the room carrying A PLASTIC TRAY AS
USED AT AIRPORT SECURITY. This is JANE HOBSON, the British
aristocracy’s longest-serving nanny.
(brightly, as he humps)
Unfazed, Hobson busies herself picking up Arthur’s trousers,
and emptying wallet, matchbooks, and iPhone into the tray.
She hits a remote. The curtains fly open. A HUGE TV flips on,
showing news coverage of Arthur’s antics last night.
I’m afraid your impromptu stimulus
package failed to reignite the
(reading a receipt)
De Cache Cocktail Lounge: $23,897?
Umm…Celebration of Kwanzaa.
Hobson’s reading a text on Arthur’s phone: `So excited ur
funding my movie!’
The African heritage festival
celebrated five months from now?
She replies: `I was drunk. Piss off.’
(noticing Sofia’s stopped
having sex with him)
Why are you stopping? Oh, sorry.
How impolite of me. Sofia, this is
Hobson, my nanny.
He’s merely shaped like an adult.
Is she going to stay here?
Hobson, could you come back in a
minute and a half please?
Negative. You’re seeing your mother
Nobody told me.
Actually I did, on the other side
of the vast moat of champagne known
as `last night’.
Hobson picks up Sofia’s panties and bra from the floor like a
crime scene officer.
I wouldn’t recommend letting him
get used to your breasts, dear.
Addictive personality. He was at
mine until he was six.
I had to dab Tabasco sauce on the
nipples to see him off…
I can’t do this.
She pulls away from Arthur, grabs her clothes and jumps out
of bed, nearly tipping Arthur out.
I support your decision 100%. Will
you be requiring a taxi, or just be
getting in a random passing car?
Sofia storms to the door, clutching her clothes. Arthur can
see other revellers being removed by HOTEL SECURITY.
Say goodbye to your new friends,
Arthur. They have to go back to the
Arthur covers his head with the sheet.
Cancel my mother please, Hobson.
I’ll work from bed today.
But Hobson hits a touch-sensitive screen on the wall. The
magnetic bed thuds to the ground. She taps another control.
MUSIC: HORRIBLE, DEAFENING DEATH METAL
Not the death metal, please!
(shouting over the music)
Aren’t you a fan of Carcass?
Hobson reads off an album cover in a little wall screen.
`Vomited Anal Tract’ is surely a
classic of its genre.
OKAY, OKAY, I’LL GET UP!
Arthur sits up. Hobson stops the music.
I’m going for a shower.
I’ll alert the media.
EXT. BALCONY SHOWER – DAY
Arthur stands naked in his shower – a big glass cube jutting
out from the balcony like something from a David Blaine
stunt. Hot jets of water are blasted from holes in the cube’s
ceiling. Arthur can see Manhattan far beneath his bare feet
as he showers.
To Bombay, a travelling circus
Arthur grabs a pair of binoculars which hang on a hook.
They brought an intelligent
elephant and Nellie was her
We see Hobson on a little screen inset into the glass wall.
She’s on a phone at Arthur’s computer.
Female Tom Hanks!
INT. SITTING ROOM – DAY – CONTINUOUS
Hobson – in front of an Ebay screen full of purchases – picks
up her own pair of binoculars and looks down.
Heading east towards Park Avenue.
Through Hobson’s binoculars we see A MIDDLE-AGED
BUSINESSWOMAN who does look vaguely like a female Tom Hanks!
She’s early today…
Can we invite her up and dress her
as Forrest Gump?
Just for a laugh! We’ll pay her.
Do your armpits.
Mr. Miller? My employer
inexplicably agreed to purchase
`Authentic 1981 `Funshine’ Care
Bear’? For $11,000 plus shipping
costs? Sorry, but that transaction
will take place over my dead body,
and I’m feeling rather well today.
INT. SHOWER – DAY
Arthur’s still peering down through his binoculars.
Hobson! That was your birthday
present! You like bears!
A PRIEST WITH THIN SIDEBURNS emerges from A DINER…
A MASTURBATING MAN IN A 70TH STORY APARTMENT OPPOSITE…
Wank Williams…That man has the
constitution of an ox.
Hobson glances up at Arthur, washing himself on the screen.
That reminds me, clean your
genitals. Heaven knows what
wildlife that girl was harbouring
between her thighs.
INT. ARTHUR’S DOJO. DAY – LATER
Arthur, in expensive baggy yoga pants and collarless shirt,
is doing self-invented yoga to Indian `meditation’ music.
I give you `Sideways farting
Hobson is sitting, exasperated, going through various
Arthur, you have to stop giving
I’m a philanthropist.
With the emphasis on the `pissed’.
Really, what is it about unearned
wealth that brings out such idiocy
in those who have it and those who
want it? The way you’re going,
you’ll have spent your inheritance
before you’ve inherited it.
(shifts to new pose)
`Eagle pointing at lesbian.’
Why did you fire Jessica?
What kind of yoga teacher won’t let
a pupil invent positions? She was
a Nazi with a pan pipe C.D.
`Upwards Pooping Astronaut’.
Interesting. It looks more like
`Rich twit hiding from mother.’ May
I remind you, she finances your
I know, I know. Never bite the hand
that fists me.
EXT. MANHATTAN – DAY
Arthur and Hobson are in a huge Bentley. Marty’s at the
wheel, still in his Cubs shirt but sporting a chauffeur’s cap
and tie. As he drives, he checks a bleeping sports pager. He
nearly hits a pedestrian, then goes back to the pager.
You don’t seriously intend to keep
employing this gentleman?
Give the guy a chance, Hobson. He
got laid off in Chicago…
But he doesn’t know his way around
So? I want interesting, fun people
around me, not drones who just get
the job done…
Arthur sees something out of the window.
Marty! Stop the car!
Marty hits the brakes, pitching Arthur and Hobson forward.
EXT. MIDTOWN MANHATTAN – NIGHT
Arthur hurries up to A SMALL GROUP OF TOURISTS.
The Chrysler Building. Designed by
William Van Allen…
A TOUR GUIDE wearing a name badge reading `Naomi’ is talking.
She is gorgeous, wearing vintage clothes, clutching a
clipboard. We understand why Arthur stopped the car.
…and inspired by the machine age
of the 1920s, this magnificent
structure was the world’s tallest
building for 11 months before the
Empire State stole its thunder.
She looks out on her sullen, miserable tourists.
The Chrysler got its name when the
builder went bust in the 1928
Cement Famine and had to melt down
his Chrysler to make the pointy bit
at the top. If you peer closely you
can still make out remnants of a
hub cap and a sticker reading `Honk
twice if you voted Hoover.’
Some tourists laugh. Some don’t. Arthur’s transfixed.
That was a joke, folks. It was
built for the Chrysler corporation.
Naomi shares an eye roll with A NEWSSTAND GUY who’s clearly
in love with her.
The spire is a beauty, especially
on a winter’s morning when the sun
hits it and it just seems to…
GRUMPY FEMALE TOURIST
How tall is it?
1047 feet madam, not allowing for
pigeon shit. Okay, let’s cross.
Naomi leads the tourists across the busy road. She has to go
back to grab a teenager in the headphones, who didn’t hear.
Arthur hurries alongside Naomi.
Can I join your tour please?
Sure. It’s $15, plus $5 for the
free authentic street pretzel.
Sorry, my bosses make the prices.
Arthur produces his wallet full of high-end credit cards.
Sorry. I can’t take cards.
Ah, owe me it. I start on that
corner every day on the hour…
Just as Naomi’s reaching the other side, a cabbie, driving
very aggressively, nearly hits her.
Hey, you big blind jerk! Doesn’t
your braille windshield work?
!NO ME HINCHAN LAS PELOTAS!
PEGUELO ENCIMA DE SU ASNO, USTED
PINCHAZO GRANDE SU MADRE ES UN PUTA
ENORMA Y SU PADRE NO TIENE NINGUIN
The cabbie’s shocked – but laughs and blows Naomi a kiss. She
Wow. What did you say?
Just generalised criticism of his
parents and genitals.
(to the tourists)
Everyone make it over alive?
Excellent. Next we enter Times
Square, world famous for New Year’s
Eve, when a Waterford Crystal Ball
descends at eye-poppingly slow
speed for the inexplicable
entertainment of a million drunk
fools. Many people think the square
is actually a square, despite
blatant evidence otherwise.
Sir? What shape is Times Square?
More tourists laugh this time. Some…
GRUMPY MALE TOURIST
When do we get the pretzel?
Soon, sir. Soon.
She checks her watch and leads the party inside a laundromat.
Okay, next the very Laundromat once
used by George Gershwin, Donald
INT. LAUNDROMAT – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS
Naomi approaches a washing machine just as it ends its cycle
and makes a loud buzz.
…Mr Big from Sex and the City and
three of the 9-11 terrorists.
She starts unloading the machine of a large man’s whites –
vests, underwear, shirts, all stained red by a baseball cap.
She transfers the laundry into a tumble dryer and feeds it
quarters. Arthur stays close.
The Welsh poet Dylan Thomas drank
himself to death at the Chelsea
Hotel half an hour after losing a
sock in this very dryer.
Are you abusing this tour to do
Are you abusing the tour to stalk
Arthur stares at the big tumble dryers.
These things are amazing. Have you
ever put all your father’s clothes
on and just got inside one?
Naomi looks at him, bemused but intrigued as she heads to the
EXT. TIMES SQUARE – DAY
Hobson’s out of the car looking for Arthur.
Where the blazes is that boy?
EXT. STREET – DAY – CONTINUOUS
They emerge into the street.
Ahead, the jewel in Manhattan’s
crown, the Empire State Building.
This iconic symbol of American
corporate might was adapted during
World War 2 in case of attack from
enemy forces. At three minutes’
notice the entire structure can
retract into the ground like a
That’s not possible. I should know,
I’m a civil engineer.
You’re not being very civil to me.
Some tourists laugh.
The building doesn’t retract; the
ground rises up.
Exactly. The ground rises up! Thank
They were going to install giant
legs so if a plane was flying at
the tower it could run away. But
where’s it going to run?
Manhattan’s in the way.
It’d have to jump in the Hudson.
Victory to the Nazis. Is that what
The group approaches a pretzel stand.
Okay, folks, your pretzel awaits.
The group lines up to get their pretzels.
Do I know you from somewhere?
If you go on Perez Hilton or TMZ.
What are they?
The gossip websites.
That the internet? Ah, my
computer’s too old for all that.
For the internet? Seriously?
Life’s too short for all this
You consider the internet an
So why do people gossip about you?
Ah, that was a joke. I’m nobody.
Arthur feels a tap on his shoulder. Hobson.
You’re late for your mother!
Sorry, this pretzel stand is a
watering hole for the crazies.
(raises her voice to
The soup kitchen’s just up and to
the left, honey.
Hobson, this is…
(reads her badge)
She’s with you?
Delighted to meet you, Naomi.
Normally one has to go to a bowling
alley to meet a woman of your
Ooh, Grandma’s got jokes.
You aren’t the first woman who
walks the streets this young man
Who’s this? Joan Rivers’ older
Obviously. Seriously, who is she?
My nanny. Well, she started as
that, but these days she’s more of
an all-round enforcer and
Naomi looks at her watch and glances to the tourists, chewing
on their pretzels. She starts to walk away.
Sorry, I have to get out the cattle
prod and haul ass. Got another tour
starting in eight minutes.
Can I call you?
Naomi starts to walk away.
I don’t give my number to grown men
with nannies. But as you may not be
a grown man, it’s 917 476 2030.
Manhattan swallows the lovely stranger.
INT. TEMPLEMEAD HOLDINGS – DAY – CONTINUOUS
They cross a huge foyer, passing a big sign reading
`TEMPLEMEAD HOLDINGS INC’ to the elevator.
But what if this is the one?
This is just like the Komodo
dragon. Everyone else is happy to
see one in the zoo and leave it
there. You had to own one. Thank
goodness that handbag manufacturer
was prepared to take the poor
You said he’s in London Zoo!
He is, Arthur. Are you the only one
allowed to joke now?
INT. TEMPLEMEAD HOLDINGS. RECEPTION AREA – DAY
Reception is manned by GRANT, a too-cool-for-school, young
Aryan beefcake straight out of an Abercrombie & Fitch spread.
Arthur and Hobson enter.
I don’t like it here.
Of course you don’t. People work
Good afternoon, Mr Bach-Templemead.
Hi Grant. Tell me – which of your
parents are you most like?
Abercrombie or Fitch?
(doesn’t get the joke)
I have no connection with that
store. My family name is Von
Krausehoff. Take a seat please.
Arthur and Hobson sit down. Grant picks up a phone.
White mid-rise briefs…mmmm.
Don’t fret, Arthur. This won’t take
long. Then we’ll have ice cream.
A LARGE OFFICE DOOR opens spookily of its own accord.
Come in, Arthur.
Arthur heads to the door. VIVIENNE BACH-TEMPLEMEAD a
formidable, tanned American widow in her sixties, shakes his
You know I prefer `mother’.
I’m sorry. You look more like a
Vivienne nods to Hobson as the door to her lair shuts. An icy
breeze passes between biological mother and surrogate.
INT. VIVIENNE’S OFFICE – DAY – CONTINUOUS
The office boasts many glass cases full of trophies and
framed photos of Vivienne’s younger self showjumping and
holding trophies aloft. There’s one small photo of Vivienne,
Arthur’s late father GERALD and Arthur as a toddler.
Vivienne’s engrossed in a document, making notations. Arthur,
clearly uncomfortable here, sits in a low sofa before her.
(not looking up)
So. How are you, Arthur?
Quite busy. I have a riding boot
shoot for Petrie Dressage…
But Vivienne’s buried in her work, not listening.
What else…I’m meeting Ivanka
Trump for brunch to discuss the
environment. She’s sending her
helicopter to avoid the traffic…
Vivienne’s still not listening.
Crashed my Batmobile into the
bronze bull on Wall Street…
She’s still not listening. Has it always been like this?
…which caused a hole to swallow
up the New York Stock Exchange…
She’s still not listening.
..the world economy to collapse and
the planet to descend into looting
Still not listening.
What else? Um…tripped over in the
shower this morning. Head split
open, found a family of meerkats
hiding in there! Hated the thought
of the little lads being homeless
so I bricked up the remaining half
of my brain, popped them back in
and Hobson glued my skull back
Still not listening.
I’m thinking of buying a giant. I
think the market’s right for it.
Arthur stops. He watches Vivienne. He lets out a huge belch.
Nothing. A big fart. Nothing. Opera. Nothing.
You really are a shoddy mother.
Vivienne eventually looks up.
Did I hear you say you were meeting
Ivanka Trump for brunch? That’s
nice. Right. Today we’re going to
have a friendly chat. Then a
serious talk. And lastly make a
timetable. How does all that sound?
Amazing. Do you have any vodka?
What happened, Arthur? You were
such a sweet baby.
I still wake up in my own poo
Right, that’s it for the chat. Time
to transition to our talk.
Vivienne hits a remote control. A large wall-mounted screen
fills with a changing collage of him drunk, dancing, puking,
making out with women, beside countless news headlines.
This insanity has to end, Arthur.
As the delightful coffee-coloured
gentleman who runs this country
said, `The time has come to set
aside childish things.’
Can’t Hobson set them aside for me?
Susan is a splendid girl. Her feet
are on the ground, she’s of fine
Oh. That’s what this is all about.
I’m not marrying Susan. I don’t
And? You think I spent my marriage
to your father skipping through
Not after you ran him over in the
Bentley, no. Susan’s boring. She’s
Ditto your father. The aristocracy
doesn’t marry for `fun’, Arthur.
It’s about stability. Continuity…
…and sinking your fangs into
Susan’s father’s bank account.
The Johnson family’s considerable
equity in a stormy financial period
is merely a side issue. Burt is a
pillar of the community.
His baby formula was taken off the
market in six African countries!
A completely innocent error in
places where there’s precious
little for children to live for
anyway. The families all got gift
baskets as compensation. That
little bump in the road aside, Burt
is a devout Christian.
Yes, because they’re never insane.
And where did he get Jesus?
Burt paid his debt to society years
He strangled a fireman! Who
strangles a fireman?
I’m sorry, Vivienne. I’ve met
someone else very lovely who, as
far as I know, isn’t related to
anyone who would kill an unsung
hero in cold blood.
Un-meet her. Arthur, you’re the end
of our line. We need an heir.
I nearly gave you an heir!
Oh, give me strength! A Bach-
Templemead having a child by a lap
dancer called `Mystery’?
That was just her stage name! To
give her more mystery when
she…waved her fanny around. Her
real name was…what was it again?
Susan is 33 this year. Her egg
inventory has dropped by 23% since
you met her. You risk having no
sons, or worse, some pea-brained
hunchback who hugs everyone!
Great! I like hugs! And some of
them are really good at math.
(heading to the door)
You know the `Frog and Toad’ books?
Of course you don’t. Hobson read
them to me while you were off
riding horses over stripey poles.
They’re about fun and friendship,
not how many unspasticated tadpoles
I can squirt up a rich girl.
Your father would turn in his grave
to hear this nonsense…
That I won’t follow in his
footsteps and marry a woman I hate?
I think he might climb out of the
grave and dance on it.
Vivienne holds up the document she was notating earlier.
My will, which I have updated to
designate Grant in reception as the
You wouldn’t! You’re my…
…Vivienne? Try me.
Vivienne opens a draw and takes out A HUGE RING BOX.
Shall we segue to the timetable
part of our meeting?
INT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT – DAY
The liberated lobsters are now living happily at the bottom
of the London phone box aquarium. Arthur eats lunch alone at
a huge table, THE BIGGEST DIAMOND RING IN THE WORLD is beside
him. Hobson brings a plate of vitamins.
Ah. The ring your father gave your
mother, I recall.
(feeling its huge weight)
Did he knock her out with it, then
drive her to the church in the
trunk of his Bentley?
No. Your father was a gentleman.
What’s gentlemanly about dying
before I knew him? That’s just
rude. Did he ever love my mother?
They had their days.
Ah well. At least he doesn’t have
to wake up every day to a woman
with a face like saran wrap
stretched over a gargoyle.
Arthur stares at the ring again.
What about Naomi?
Arthur. I say this with love:
Even by modern male standards
you’re a breathtakingly immature
little shit. Coupled with the kind
of money you have access to, that’s
deadly. Susan may not have a four
hour stand up routine about the
Flatiron Building, but she’s a
solid girl who will look after you.
I have you for that.
Yes forever. You’re Hobson.
INT. NAOMI’S APARTMENT – DAY – CONTINUOUS
Naomi answers a giant old cellphone in her modest apartment,
cooking for her dad, RALPH, a bear of a man slumped in front
of the TV watching CSI. A picture of Naomi and her elderly
mother, in hospital, is on the wall.
ARTHUR (O.S, ON PHONE)
This is your English stalker.
Oh, hi! What’s up?
I’m sorry, I’ve never really
understood that question. Are you
free tomorrow night?
Sorry, I’m polishing my yacht.
INT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT – DAY – CONTINUOUS
Arthur’s on the toilet in a bathroom whose walls are entirely
covered in a photographic mural to make it look like he’s
sitting at the top of a ski slope, with skis on his feet.
Is that a euphemism for something
No, it’s a lie. I have a creative
writing class. Tonight?
Arthur glances down at the ring box on the floor.
I have a contractual commitment.
You got it.
A voice-activated toilet paper dispenser spits out a sheet.
Sorry, I was talking to something
else. So. What do you want to do?
INT. NAOMI’S APARTMENT. DAY – CONTINUOUS
Naomi dishes out the food on cheap plates. It’s all a big
contrast to Arthur’s setting.
Movie? Come on, you’ve got to try
harder than that.
What have you always wanted to do?
It’s a first date, Arthur. Not our
Every date will be our honeymoon.
Ewww. Okay, uh, picnic in the
park…or dinner with a view. I
INT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT – DAY – CONTINUOUS
Arthur’s standing at a sink. A list is beside him, reading
`Picnic in park, movie, dinner, view.’
What sort of food do you like?
Anything but guts and mushrooms.
Okay, enough questions.
Oh come on. This all helps build up
a profile of you before I trick you
into my basement. I’d hate to not
have your favourite snacks ready.
Turkey Jerky and Pez. Are we done?
Just that I….
The line goes dead. Hobson is standing behind Arthur, the
ripped out phone cord in her hand.
Time to get engaged, Arthur. The
Komodo dragon can wait.
EXT. JOHNSON MANSION. NIGHT
The original Delorean from `Back to the Future’ putters up to
Burt Johnson’s imposing, tacky mansion. The car stops and the
gull wing door swings up, revealing an extremely drunk
Arthur, clutching a bottle of champagne.
INT. THE JOHNSON MANSION – NIGHT
AN EXTREMELY STIFF, MISERABLE OLD BUTLER answers.
Hi! Is it June 19th at 7 pm?
No, sir. It’s 8.34.
FUCK! We overshot! Time travel can
be a real cunt sometimes, don’t you
think? I’ll be right back. See you
in an hour and a half ago…
The butler doesn’t laugh.
INT. BURT’S STUDY – DAY – LATER
Arthur and the butler enter the large, paneled study.
Would you care for anything while
A trampoline and a selection of
woodland creatures if that’s not
too much trouble.
The butler leaves. Arthur gazes around the room, which is
filled with antique Christian iconography. The ceiling fan is
in the shape of a cross. A large, scary Jesus statue, palms
outstretched, stares at him from beside a fish tank.
He sees a cocktail cabinet.
He opens the cabinet. Nothing but bottles of water.
Sorry. Actually, you couldn’t,
(points to the water)
…turn this into a nice 1990
Romanee Conti, could you?
He sips the water as if it’s wine. Lifts it to Jesus.
He checks out a huge, very old, rusty sword on the wall.
Beneath it is a small information plaque.
`Genuine Sword of the First
Crusade. Excavated Germany, 1972′.
He looks around, then reaches up and takes it off. It’s VERY
heavy and clanks to the ground, slamming his foot.
Jesus Fucking Christ!
Sorry. It’s not like you shouted
`Arthur Fucking Bach’ when they
pinned you up. Sorry. Sore subject.
Arthur lifts the sword again, brandishing and twirling it,
making the noise of a Star Wars light sabre.
Feel the force, Luke.
He swings it in a full arc…CLUNK!
Arthur has decapitated Jesus! Where’s the head? The door
opens. BURT JOHNSON, a large, imposing man with a tiny
crucifix around his neck, fills the doorway.
I, er, had a bit of food stuck in
my teeth and couldn’t find a
Burt, unperturbed, takes the sword from Arthur.
Heck, this sword went through three
crusades. Beheaded 1000 moslems.
Nothing you can do to harm it.
Burt walks straight past headless Jesus to the water cabinet.
Arthur looks around desperately for the head.
You don’t, um, have anything
stronger, do you?
Arthur laughs nervously. But Burt’s not joking.
`The drunkard and the glutton shalt
come to poverty: and drowsiness
shalt clothe a man with rags.’
Surely a glass of sherry at
Burt clinks glasses with him.
Peace be with you.
And also with me.
He sees Jesus’s head! It’s sitting on top of one of the
blades of the ceiling fan!
Arthur. Can I be honest with you?
You’re the real Slim Shady? I knew
My faith teaches me to hate the
sin, not the sinner. But with you,
I struggle with that belief.
Burt turns away to get a glass of water.
You could switch to Judaism.
(glances up at the fan)
Bit warm in here. Do you mind if I
put the fan on?
Arthur turns the fan on a low setting. It rotates slowly, the
head going around with it. Burt turns away to pour more
water. Arthur grabs the moment to speed up the fan again,
until it’s going fast enough and Jesus’s head falls off.
Arthur catches it. Arthur gets behind Burt, out of sight
Anyway, Arthur. However I feel
about you, my daughter loves you.
Yes, it’s a problem, isn’t it?
Arthur reaches out and, unseen by Burt, he reaches out of
shot and puts the head back on Jesus’s body.
Let’s knock our heads together and
find a way to stop her loving
me….Got it! We’ll tell her I’m on
the sex offenders register….No, I
am and she knows.
Joke, sorry. Ah. We’ll say I’m gay!
I did once dabble actually, so I
can tell a plausible story.
You made love to a guy?
One Moslem doesn’t make a mosque,
You made love to a Moslem?
No, sir, it was Prince Alois of
Lichtenstein and he made love to
me. The fact that it took three
bottles of poppers and a Jacuzzi
full of Krug to loosen me up
confirmed my heterosexuality.
Arthur notices that Jesus’s head is on backwards.
Burt picks up a Bible from his desk and quotes from memory.
`If there is a man who lies with a
male, they shall surely be put to
Crikey. Couldn’t there just be some
kind of on-the-spot fine?
Burt really hammers the table this time.
You will stop this talk and marry –
my – fucking…
Jesus’s head falls off. Arthur peers around. It’s nowhere!
Both Arthur and Burt see Jesus’s head at the bottom of the
fish tank. It floats back up to the top.
It’s a miracle! He is risen!
But SUSAN, Burt’s beautiful daughter, enters with her best
friend Erica – who Arthur met whilst at the restaurant the
Hi Susan. Erica.
Burt looks from Jesus’s head to the sword, figuring it out.
Sorry to make you wait, Arthur. I
was talking to your mother. I hear
you have something to ask me!
Arthur feels Burt’s smiling face – and hating eyes – on him.
Shall we go?
INT. RESTAURANT – NIGHT
A VERY PRECISE FRENCH WAITER performs the specials menu with
ludicrous elan. Susan is rapt, taking it all very seriously.
…the chef has bathed the bass in
a parceline of Chilean fennel and
finished him with a little gift of
kobe beef. Also I have a
progressive tasting of Kumamoto
oysters en gelee which evolve on
the palate, from light and
refreshing to complex and spicy. A
short story with a twist at the
end! Le fin.
Susan chuckles approvingly, knowingly, the twit. She coos
with delight and claps in appreciation.
Do you have something with less
words please? The chef doesn’t have
to re-cook it, just scrape off the
nouns and trim out all that
gibberish in the middle.
He’s just joshing, Dominic. I’ll do
the skate in wood ear mushroom.
Excellent decision. Sir?
A bowl of champagne and a spoon.
The waiter leaves, despising Arthur.
Arthur, did you really have to be
so icky to Dominic?
I’m sorry. I just can’t handle the
whole specials act. It’s not a
Shakespearean soliloquy, it’s some
heated up dead things that aren’t
on the main menu.
A WINE WAITER slams a bowl and spoon next to Arthur. He pours
You know, I was grumbling to your
mother about how things are with us
sometimes. How I’m sure you’re
trying to drive me away…
Arthur slurps his champagne.
But she was explaining that
relationships are like property
purchases; invest only in high-end
stock, avoid anyone ‘up-and-
coming’, then hold onto the
property through thick and thin to
deliver maximum return! Isn’t that
Is it possible to buy the house but
then rent it out? Sorry, joke. I’m
not suggesting pimping you.
Arthur sees a very frail, rich old woman dripping in
diamonds, passing by on her walking frame.
Look. You after our first child is
Arthur. Why can’t you learn to
laugh at genuinely amusing things?
YouTube clips of babies giggling.
Susan. Why are we together?
I love you, Arthur. And you love
me, whatever you think.
We don’t have the same sense of
humour. We don’t like the same
films, food, music. You like
horses, I think they’re arrogant
Don’t they say opposites attract?
That depends on the opposites.
Racists and the Nation of Islam
don’t secretly want to 69 each
other. Susan, you’re beautiful.
You’re bright. You’re fucking
loaded. Is there really no one else
who could make you happy?
Well, I had a thing at college.
That was serious for a while. But
She stops herself.
Daddy what? Prayed to Jesus for it
not to work out, then shot the
bloke behind a meat truck? Because
Jesus would consider that cheating.
Susan places her hand on Arthur’s.
Ask me, Arthur.
Arthur takes Susan’s hand.
Susan. You’re the only woman…at
A waiter tops up Susan’s wine. Arthur, now very drunk, holds
out his champagne bowl to be refilled.
You’re not happy, Arthur. Nobody
who drinks like you can be happy.
How do you know? What if the
drunker I get the better it is for
me? Not everyone who drinks is a
poet, Susan. Some of us drink
because we’re not poets.
The waiter arrives with Susan’s fish and Arthur’s drink.
A real woman could stop you from
It’d have to be a real big woman.
Ask me, Arthur.
Arthur sinks to his knees. Susan waits…and waits. Arthur
has passed out. Susan kicks him awake. He fumbles away in the
gloom, getting out the ring box and trying to get it on her
At table level, Susan waits, irritated.
Susan pulls her hand up, and gazes at the huge, glinting
diamond – pushed onto the end of her thumb.
Susan. Would you marry me? Take the
weekend if you want…
Yes, I’ll marry you.
She nods imperceptibly at the waiter.
Ladies and gentleman – the happy
Music starts. A congratulatory round of applause. Confetti is
thrown. The whole restaurant cheers. Susan whips out her
Blackberry and starts hitting keys.
Erica will be the planner.
Erica? She hates me.
Who I love, she loves.
Oh, come on. She always looks like
she wants to set fire to my face
then put it out with an Uzi.
Susan’s phone rings.
Hello…thanks, daddy! Sorry, hang
on, I have Erica calling…
What’s going on? I only just bloody
Arthur’s phone rings. The caller I.D reads `Vivienne’. He
kills the call and sits, horrified, as the entire restaurant
celebrates his grim fate.
INT. PIERRE HOTEL BASEMENT GARAGE – NIGHT – LATER
In the gloom we track past the crushed Batmobile, the
Delorean and other famous cars, to find Arthur sitting in
KITT from `Knight Rider’.
What have I done, Kitt? This
mistake’s up there with Hitler
joining his school debating team…
Go to bed, Arthur.
Arthur jumps out of his skin. But it’s Hobson, standing by
the car holding a dressing gown and a mug of cocoa.
And stop this self-pitying bibble.
You’re going to be fabulously rich.
Maybe I’d rather be fabulously
poor. Some poor people I see look
That’s either because they’re far
away or you’ve just given them
money. Arthur, poor people have to
work. They stand for hours in the
rain, waiting for buses full of
other poor people to take them to
things called `jobs’ which they do
all year round to pay for holidays
away from those jobs.
Don’t patronise me. I have a job.
Lying drunk on a bale of hay in
riding boots being photographed by
another pampered prick won’t
prepare you for the work I mean.
And I don’t want to see you suffer.
Take your fish oil.
INT. NAOMI’S APARTMENT, QUEENS – NIGHT
A very old Apple Mac sits on a cluttered desk.
Ralph is in his chair, eating Popeye’s Chicken n’ Biscuits,
watching CSI on an old TV with a tiny satellite dish on top.
When are we getting cable?
We have satellite.
Honey, that’s some bullshit aerial
from the 99 cent Store!
It’s a satellite dish!
I read the box! It said `No
satellite fees to pay because does
not receive satellite signals!’
That’s like saying `Hey – eat this
plate of broken glass! It won’t
make you fat. ‘cause IT’S GLASS!’
Naomi comes in, looking absolutely beautiful. She checks her
hair in the mirror.
It’s better than nothing.
Ralph unplugs the dish. The picture improves.
No it ain’t. Honey, I love you, but
you’re even cheaper than your mom.
And she bought food from yard
I miss her too, daddy. But now
she’s gone and if I’m going to keep
you in grits and Oprah the rest of
your life, you live by my rules.
But you live like you’re preparing
for a war. And you earn a decent
So? I want to know I can look after
What’s he do, this English bum?
Who cares? He’s nice. He’s funny.
On CSI, a female body is being unearthed.
Yeah and I bet that girl said the
same about her date. Honey, stay
home. I don’t want you ending up
like that poor girl.
A bad actress holding her breath?
She changes the channel to something else.
Stop watching CSI.
A beep from outside. She kisses him and leaves.
EXT. PARK – NIGHT
Arthur’s Bentley pulls up at a quiet part of Battery Park.
Sorry we drove around so long.
Navigation isn’t my driver’s strong
There’s a huge ding in one side of the car.
Or road awareness.
INT. BENTLEY – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS
Arthur and Naomi sit in the back of the car, while Marty
checks sports results on his pager.
Can you put this on please?
Arthur’s holding a blindfold.
On a first date? Are you crazy?
Arthur. We’re in Battery Park at
night. I’ve met you once – in the
company of your nanny. You make a
disturbing number of jokes about
stalking and basements. My dad
already has you down as a mass
murderer. And you want me to put on
I give you my word – if I kill and
eat you, you’ll never see me again.
She shrugs and puts on the blindfold.
EXT. NIGHT – LATER
Arthur guides Naomi in the dark. She stumbles.
Okay, I’m officially a little
She tries to pull her blindfold off.
Arthur removes her blindfold. She’s stunned to find herself
on a huge blanket under a tree in a clearing lit by numerous
candles. Before them is spread the most amazing picnic of all
time. Flowers are everywhere. A log fire burns in a grate.
Soft music plays.
You said you wanted a picnic.
He pours them glasses of 1928 Krug.
Arthur, I don’t know what to say.
Who did all this?
The picnic fairies. Who liaised
with the flower fairies, the candle
fairies, the log fire fairies, the
hidden sound system fairies…
He lifts a silver platter lid to reveal a vast pizza.
…and the pizza fairies.
A crack of a twig from somewhere.
Did you take account of the heroin
fairies who hang here at night?
But there’s nobody there. A cool breeze blows. Naomi shivers.
Arthur uses a remote to turn the log fire flames up.
It’s nice to keep it simple like
this. I’m sick of Michelin-star
restaurants. All that embarrassing
crap with the specials.
Are you kidding? Where I normally
eat, the special’s the one that
comes with a free toy.
Arthur lifts a grill lid to turn over succulent steaks.
You’re rich rich, aren’t you?
I get by.
`It doesn’t remotely matter how
much or what you spend it on’ rich?
Arthur shrugs and swigs champagne, pouring more.
Craziest thing you ever bought?
I once inadvertently financed a
terrorist cell who said they needed
£100,000 to open a falafel stall.
She laughs. She stops laughing.
Oh my G-d, you’re serious.
What’s the craziest thing you ever
told a tour party?
I once said the Manhattan we were
in was actually a movie set built
for `You’ve got Mail’, but that
after the film wrapped, everyone
moved to the set because there was
A sudden, very loud, very out-of-date ring tone. Naomi takes
out a huge ancient Motorola phone.
Yes, dad? There’s a small Tiffany
butter knife about two inches from
his hand but it might take him
eight months to dismember me with
Gotta go, battery. Love you too.
She ends the call.
Mom died last year. For eight
months dad ate nothing but Popeye’s
Chicken n’ Biscuits in front of
CSI. So I persuaded him to move in
with me. Where he eats Popeye’s
Chicken n’ Biscuits in front of
Sounds like you’re very good to
What are you gonna do? All those
years your folks tucked you in, did
their best to stop you from eating
crap in front of the TV. And then
one day, you’re the one saying `No,
honey, it’s bad for you! Go to
bed.’ Weird, huh?
(not relating at all)
Yeah. I hate that.
(looks at her phone)
Nice bit of kitsch. Where did you
AT&T store in 1998.
It’s…You’ve had it twelve years?
It’s a fine phone. Battery life of
eleven seconds, which cuts the crap
right out of conversations.
Something weird is happening. The world wobbles imperceptibly
as the background drops away. She hasn’t noticed yet.
I can’t believe these mofos who
gotta keep up with the latest
bullshit. CDs come along, so out
with the vinyl. Vinyl’s back in,
out with the CDs. I just kept the
vinyl. Way cheaper, and I get to be
incredibly hip once every 20
A beat. She looks around. And down.
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?
Cutting wide, we see that the picnic was taking place on a
grass covered platform with a tree planted in it – which is
being lifted off the ground by a crane!
I couldn’t decide between picnic in
the park and dinner with a view. So
it’s a picnic in the sky! Isn’t it
The whole thing is rising higher and higher and higher.
No it is not ace, you crazy English
bastard! This is dangerous!
Oh, sorry. Forgot. They said to put
He pulls back the blanket to reveal seat belts. He straps her
Naomi, it’s okay! It’s very safe.
It’s this company called `Aerial
Delights’. They specialise in
catering unusual events at a height
of 180 feet above the ground.
A gust of wind blows the structure, which swings. Naomi
So what got you into the walking
You’re seriously making date small
talk while this is going on?
Be still. Breathe deep.
(strikes a Zen pose)
`When you can be calm in the midst
of activity, this is the true state
of nature’: Huanchu Daoeren.
`Lower this freak show to the
ground and get me a cab’: Naomi
(handing her something)
Taste this truffle.
Naomi tastes it. It’s clearly delicious. She gazes around as
the crane swings them out over the Hudson. The view of
Manhattan, of the river, of the Statue of Liberty, is mind
bogglingly gorgeous from up here.
Naomi bursts out laughing. She sips champagne.
What the hell. Gotta go sometime,
right? At least it won’t be years
of pain like mom. Just a few
seconds of screaming and falling
with a truffle in my mouth.
So anyway. The tours…
Okay, okay. Be deep. Breathe still.
The tours are a temporary nine year
fill-in until I’m drowned in a
tsunami of apologies from everyone
who failed to recognise my writing
genius first time round.
What did you write?
A kids’ book. I sent a chapter to a
childrens’ publisher. Sunshine
Press’. The rejection letter was
the meanest thing I ever read.
Kids can be so cruel…
Arthur? We have a problem.
I told you, don’t worry. These
crane people know what they’re
Not that kind of problem.
Arthur feels a blade at his throat. He looks up to see A
JUNKIE, CLEARLY HIGH, standing over him.
Phone. And the watch. Hurry.
Arthur hands him his phone and watch.
Um. Out of interest, how did you
get up here?
What you talkin’ about, dog?
We see a sleeping bag and needles behind the tree!
Great. `Picnic in the sky’ followed
by `Robbed in the sky’!
Arthur get the giggles as the junkie reaches into his pocket
for his wallet. Naomi gets involuntary giggles too.
This isn’t funny, you lunatic.
The junkie stuffs his face with food, swigs champagne from
the bottle, then walks away. Phew. Then…
ARTHUR AND NAOMI
The junkie’s walking towards the edge, oblivious! Arthur
jumps up, causing the platform to wobble scarily. He grabs
the junkie’s arm. The junkie swipes, cutting Arthur’s hand.
OWWW! You don’t understand! We’re
180 feet up in the sky!
You on the same shit as me, yeah?
Good stuff, right?
No, we’re not high! Well we are,
but only in the literal sense.
The junkie hurries away again. He’s about to walk off the
edge. Arthur runs and grabs him. They end up in a messy
struggle, the platform rocking badly.
Hit the panic button! It’s next to
the truffle station!
Naomi’s panicking, searching desperately. Arthur and the
junkie roll over the posh food, right to the edge!
I can’t find it. Over here?
No! That’s the bouquet of world
Naomi finds the truffle station and hits the panic button.
Down in a Crane Cab an alarm goes off. The driver starts to
lower the platform.
Naomi tries to help Arthur as he struggles with the junkie,
but she gets slashed on the ear. She screams.
As the platform lowers, it swings back over the river to the
land and tips them all into the river!
INT. ARTHUR’S CAR – NIGHT
Naomi and Arthur – his face bruised – are sitting in the car,
both dripping wet. Naomi’s ear and Arthur’s hand are
I had fun tonight.
She stares at him as if he’s utterly crazy.
I can’t believe I’m saying this,
but so did I.
INT. ARTHUR’S PENTHOUSE – BALLROOM DAY
The room has started to fill with groom’s paraphernalia –
morning suits, top hats, shoes. Erica is sitting with a huge
sheaf of wedding admin and brochures. Vivienne, Burt and
Susan listen attentively, studying seating plans. It all
feels more like a council of war than a wedding preparation.
Summarising Phase Alpha: formal
wear for bridal attendants, groom’s
attendants, mens’ formal wear, St
John the Divine all confirmed…
ARTHUR’S lying on a chaise longue, hungover. A TAILOR
stretches a tape measure along him as if measuring a corpse.
Are there breathing holes in the
In case I’m passed out drunk rather
than medically dead?
Don’t worry, Thomas. This whole
thing’s just a joke to Arthur.
Hobson brings Arthur a glass of water and two Nurofen.
Thanks, Hobnobs. You are good to
Vivienne, irritated, hands Hobson a coffee cup.
Take this away.
Progress on the reception?
Black inked at the Emery Roth Room
at the Ritz-Carlton.
The screen lights up with a church graphic.
A first pass at the guest list.
Bride’s family and friends:
A 3-d layout of the church appears on a laptop. In the mock
up, the bride’s side of the aisle fills with hundreds of
computerised guests, many labelled with famous names.
Groom’s family and friends:
About a fifth of that number pop up on Arthur’s side.
We can arrange to screen off the
area behind your guests, Arthur. To
make it seem less desperate.
Arthur groans and leans over a bowl.
Sorry, everyone. that graphic’s too
colourful and this hangover’s a 7.6
on the Richter..the Sickter…
Arthur’s sick. Erica lays out more sheets.
Cakes, caterers, floral
Hobson reappears, wipes his mouth and takes the bowl. She
stands with it accidentally-on-purpose, very close to
Will there be anything else, sir?
No. You can leave.
Why all this crap now? What’s the
The wedding is in a month, Arthur.
A month? I was thinking more sort
of ten, fifteen years. Just to
really enjoy the anticipation of
the big day.
Arthur gets up.
Where are you going?
(gets out his cellphone)
Sorry, Dwight D. Bridalshower,
Operation Ball and Chain will have
EXT. MANHATTAN – DAY
Arthur is walking Naomi along the Hudson, this time in
daylight. He stops.
Here we are.
We’re not going to end up in the
Hudson again, are we?
I can promise you won’t get wet.
EXT. HUDSON RIVER – NIGHT
The Hudson is bare of craft….until, suddenly, a bizarre
mini submarine shaped like a dolphin, dives out of the water
in an arc. Arthur and Naomi are laughing inside it – until
they almost collide with a Circle Tour boat full of tourists.
EXT. MANHATTAN – NIGHT
Arthur and Naomi are hand in hand, walking along the street.
He’s a bit drunk, wobbly on his feet, a little morose.
Are you okay?
Yeah, fine. Actually…
But Naomi sees something on the other side of the road.
Arthur gets a a text from Hobson: `TELL her!’
Hey, Richey Rich. Want to go
somewhere really romantic?
It’s a big tacky shop: JACK’S 99 CENT STORE.
INT. 99 CENT STORE – NIGHT
`I’M TOO SEXY’ BY RIGHT SAID FRED PLAYING LOUDLY ON SPEAKERS.
The space is huge, garish and piled high with countless cheap
household cleaners, candies, foodstuffs and toys. Arthur’s
fascinated, a tourist in austerity.
Everything is 99 cents?
Yip. A whole penny less than those
bourgeois assholes at the Dollar
Arthur reads a doll’s label.
`Warning: This product contains
chromium, which may be linked to
chronic bronchitis and reproductive
That one was on the news. Everyone
else recalled them, the pussies.
Not my 99 Cent!
Arthur turns the doll over: a sticker reads `China’.
Maybe China’s trying to wipe out
the west’s children one by one.
He gazes around in wonder.
Oh, I love this place.
Well, I’d like you to believe it’s
because I’m a poor girl reduced to
buying `Depressed Chef’ burgers-in-
a-can to Right Said Fred because I
don’t know where my next paycheck
is coming from. But the truth is –
bargains get me hot. Got it from
ma. Drives my dad crazy. The tour?
She takes his arm.
Looking west, the ladies’ hygiene
products. Note that the more
natural-sounding the name, e.g.
this ‘Vermont Breeze’ Feminine
Spray, the more lethal chemicals it
contains. Watch out for the
products cunningly labelled to make
the dumber consumer think they’re
getting the real thing: ‘Special
J’, ‘Crampbell’s Soup’, ”Aunt
Janina’s’ Maple-Style Syrup…
Arthur holds a tin with a Coffee Mate-style logo, reading
`Friend of Coffee’.
The store music changes to RICKY MARTIN: `LIVIN’ LA VIDA
And ah, the music: Dated sounds for
lonely people to buy cheap shit to.
They pass AN OLD WOMAN who is going through a stack of
identical tins of cheap beans.
I once watched a woman shoplift an
8-pack of toilet scrubbers down her
panty hose to ‘Everything I do, I
do it for you’.
Arthur just stares at Naomi.
Why are you staring at me?
You’re good at fascinated.
You’re good at fascinating.
A CRASH. The old woman has knocked over all the beans.
Are you okay? Let me help you.
He hands her a tin.
Not that one.
(offers her another)
(shaking the tin)
No. There’s less beans in it.
(sniffs the tin)
She stares and thinks. Arthur puts the tin to his ear.
No. I think I hear a mouse inside.
Arthur shakes and sniffs another tin.
Oh my G-d. This is a good one. No
He slips her a dollar and whispers to her.
Quick, before someone gets it.
Naomi gazes at a different Arthur to the fool who nearly got
You got a good one here, honey.
She hurries away.
Look. Us in a year’s time.
ANOTHER OLD COUPLE push a cart past. THE OLD WOMAN sneezes.
The old man produces a tissue and gently wipes her nose.
If you got ill, I’d care for you.
I’ll get ill.
The music changes.
Oh, man, Phil Collins. Gotta get
out when they start playing Phil
Collins. Want to see how to get a
quarter from a shopping cart?
INT. HIGH END RESTAURANT – NIGHT
Arthur, Susan and Erica – her laptop open – are at dinner.
Hobson’s salting Arthur’s soup, then checking the
Tiger Woods has confirmed!
I didn’t know you knew him.
Why is he coming?
He agreed to daddy’s fee. This is
going to be the happiest day of my
She looks at Hobson.
Why is she here all the time?
If you can bring Erica, I can bring
She’s my wedding planner.
She’s my Hobson.
Hobson leans into Arthur while tidying his napkin.
Tell Naomi. That’s an order.
INT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT. NIGHT
Arthur’s giving stunned Naomi a tour of the huge apartment.
Reminiscent of a French castle
perched 500 feet above New York,
the penthouse was known from early
days as the `Chateau in the Sky’.
He leads her out onto a second rooftop ballroom.
A second ballroom. Obviously. Gotta
have a second ballroom.
Where George Gershwin and the
Astors danced to Shep Fields and
his Rippling Rhythm Orchestra.
He grabs her in a ballroom dance move.
Come on, cheap girl. We can be Fred
Austere and Stingy Rogers.
I just need one of your collection
Behind the telephone box fish tank.
See you on the balcony.
Arthur goes onto the balcony. Naomi’s notices a figure
sitting in the dark, stifling a cough. Hobson.
He’s not like other men, you know.
I think I realised that as I
plunged into the Hudson with a
junkie. But I like him. He’s fun.
Hobson fights another little cough. She gets up.
I know he is. That’s the problem.
What does that mean?
I’m sure Arthur will explain.
EXT. BALCONY – NIGHT
The live version of Simon and Garfunkel’s `The 59th Street
Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy’) is playing on speakers. Arthur
and Naomi look out over the view, the park, dark and empty in
contrast to the cheering and clapping on the recording.
Naomi sips her wine. Arthur throws back a whisky.
Your kids’ book. What was it about?
`Vlad the Inhaler’. About an
asthmatic boy detective.
Oh, it was dumb. `The Boy Whose
Heart Escaped’. It was about this
kid who wakes up to find his heart
has climbed out and is shinning
down the drainpipe to freedom.
I love it.
Rainbow Press said it was too
disturbing. But it wasn’t literal –
there wasn’t a kid lying there with
a gaping hole in his chest. It was
just this cute little heart
bouncing up and down shouting `You
can’t catch me, mofo!’. I’m
Did he catch the heart?
Never got that far.
Arthur wobbles a little more.
You like the hooch, don’t you?
Only if I’m sad, happy or bored.
There’s this bit in a book Hobson
used to read me as a kid that says
it all: `We must stop eating
cookies, Frog!’ cried Toad, as he
Frog and Toad! I loved Frog and
`Frog put the cookies in a box.
`There’ he said. Now we will not
eat any more cookies.’ `But we can
open the box.’ Frog tied some
string around the box. `There’ he
said, `Now we will not eat any more
cookies’. `But we can cut the
string and open the box’.
Naomi lays her head on Arthur’s shoulder.
So Frog took the box outside. He
shouted in a loud voice, `Hey
birds, here are cookies!’ Birds
came from everywhere. They picked
up all the cookies in their beaks
and flew away. `
Now we have no more cookies to eat’
`Excellent!’ said Toad, `I am going
home now to bake a cake.’
They might be about to kiss. But Arthur holds back.
That was beautiful. It’s like you
read it yesterday.
INT. ARTHUR’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – LATER
Arthur’s blissed out face, lying in bed in the soft light.
Frog and Toad stayed on the island
Hobson’s reading `Frog and Toad’ to Arthur.
They ate wet sandwiches without
iced tea. They were two close
friends sitting alone together.
Hobson closes the book and turns out the light.
I couldn’t tell her, Hobson. She
isn’t the Komodo dragon. She’s my
You’re quite sure about this?
(under her breath)
INT. NAOMI’S APARTMENT. DAY
Naomi’s sitting with Ralph, who’s scratching off lottery
I don’t know, honey. What’s this
teabag even doing here? Couldn’t he
make it in Lord of the Rings land?
Not that it matters, but he’s a
You have my full permission to
EXT. SHOWJUMPING FIELD. DAY
A HORSE clears a showjumping barrier. Grant applauds.
Bravo, Vivienne! Well done!
Arthur’s watching, sweating in the sunshine, while Marty and
Hobson wait in the Bentley.
I’d be wary, Grant. She’s planning
to ride you around the course next.
Her last boyfriend broke his ankle
jumping that ditch. Had to be
destroyed on the spot.
Vivienne canters her horse up to them.
Arthur. What’s so urgent that you
had to come all the way out here?
I’m in love. With a woman who isn’t
exactly who you’d describe as
Susan. She’s called Naomi.
Arthur, we’ve been through this!
Won’t you at least meet her?
What family is she from?
The Snarts of Detroit.
Never heard of them.
No, because they’re normal. She’s a
walking tour guide, her dad’s a
retired car worker.
Susan will generate quality sons,
not oil-soaked car monkeys.
Unbelievable! Why don’t you just
keep me here, pay a servant to wank
me into a bottle once a day…
…then inject it all into a field
of heiresses and see who farts out
a thoroughbred first?
We need an heir!
Fine! You can have one with Stevey
Steroids here! Surely even your
uterus has had a face lift by now.
Arthur storms away towards the car.
That’s enough, Arthur…
None of your business, J Crew.
You are so ungrateful to your
mother. She adores you!
Arthur. Come back here.
You can shove your inheritance up
your horse’s arse!
Arthur jumps into the car and it pulls away. Vivienne sits
shocked on her horse. But then she throws it into a gallop
and catches up.
Suit yourself, Arthur. Follow your
heart. But do be aware I consider
what you’ve squandered so far an
advance on your inheritance. That’s
about $17 million.
Why would you do that? You’d never
get it back.
No. But you’d spend the rest of
your life in court. There’s a
simple solution to all this. Marry
Susan. And cheat with the nobody
INT. DINER – DAY
Arthur’s very drunk, maudlin, sitting opposite Naomi. He’s
holding his menu upside down.
Have you been at the cookies?
I ate the whole jar.
(realising it’s serious)
Oh, man. What? What?
I’m engaged. To another Susan.
Woman. Engaged to another woman.
She slams her menu down.
I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you.
What are you talking about? This is
bullshit. Who do you think you are?
Is this some rich guy thing?
I was going to tell you! I just…
Naomi gets up and puts on her coat.
Yeah, yeah, you just.
Please, Naomi! I didn’t mean for it
to get to this! I planned to just
be your friend but then I started
to fall for you and I thought `I
can’t marry Susan, I might fall for
Naomi!’ But I thought `No I have to
marry Susan or I’ll be poor so I
won’t fall for Naomi’ But then I
did fall for you! Because you’re
brainy and funny and gorgeous and
too smart to do walking tours.
You’re too smart, Snart. Smart
Snart. There’s a 99 cent cereal.
Anyway, so I went to see Vivienne,
and I said `I can’t marry Susan, I
love Naomi she’s my Frog my Toad’ I
don’t know any more.
Thanks. Then she said `Noooo, if
you don’t marry Susan, I’ll make
you pay all the inheritance money
back even if you can’t – ha ha ha’.
Okay she didn’t laugh but she might
as well have, the evil cow. Because
it’s like all the money ever and
they’ll put not just me but both of
us in prison and your dad, like in
Dickens. There’ll be ghosts, and
He stops, his mouth flapping like a fish.
Maybe if I’d spotted this facet of
your personality earlier we
wouldn’t be having this
She heads towards the door. Arthur regains his lucidity for a
Toad? Stay a bit longer. Please?
‘cause it’ll reduce the proportion
of my life I’ll spend feeling
Naomi watches him take another big slug of wine.
Arthur looks confused.
Bea Arthur? What’s she got to do
with all this?
She shakes her head and goes.
INT. NAOMI’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Naomi’s looking very sad, shaking – because she’s comforting
Ralph, who is sobbing on her shoulder.
It’s going to be okay. I’ll get you
a beer, yeah?
I just have to be alone for a
minute…Oh, G-d, I can’t bear
INT. DANE COOK CONCERT – NIGHT
Arthur sits miserable, drinking, as he sits beside Susan at a
Dane Cook gig.
INT. NAOMI’S APARTMENT. NIGHT
Naomi’s been crying. She’s reading the screen of an ancient
Apple Mac: `THE BOY WHOSE HEART ESCAPED’ by N J Snart. She
reads a paragraph – and smiles. This stuff isn’t so bad.
INT. ARTHUR’S PENTHOUSE – BALLROOM – NIGHT.
Arthur and Susan are getting a dance lesson from a
CHOREOGRAPHER, clicking her fingers to a club anthem version
of the awful Jefferson Starship song. Arthur dances terribly.
Hobson watches sadly.
INT. NAOMI’S APARTMENT. NIGHT
Naomi’s typing, getting back into it.
INT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT – BATHROOM – DAY
The tailor is positioning a top hat on Arthur’s miserable
head. He’s shirtless and unshaven.
INT. NAOMI’S APARTMENT. DAY
The sun is coming up over Queens.
An ancient dot matrix printer spits out a final page. Naomi
is at a desk with A PILE OF FINISHED MANUSCRIPTS and
envelopes to various publishers. One is to `Rainbow Press’.
EXT. MANHATTAN – DAY
Naomi’s pointing at the Chrysler Building for a particularly
grumpy bunch of tourists of all types and ages.
Designed by William Van Allen and
inspired by the machine age of the
1920s, the Chrysler…
RUDE MALE TOURIST
Hey. I got a question.
Please, interrupt. Hell, who wants
to come home with me and butt in
with questions while I’m watching
Letterman? `Yo. How tall is Dave?’
Sorry, sir. Late night, no sleep,
long day. What’s your question?
The opening bars of a familiar song start up somewhere,
filling the street. Suddenly, some of the members of her tour
group start lip syncing to Phil Collins.
RUDE MALE TOURIST
How can I just let you walk away,
just let you leave without a trace?
When I stand here taking every
breath with you, ooh…
MALE TOURIST 2
You’re the only one who really knew
me at all.
A van with speakers on the top is parked nearby, pumping out
What is going on?
OLD FEMALE TOURIST
How can you just walk away from me,
when all I can do is watch you
TEENAGE BOY TOURIST
‘cause we’ve shared the laughter
and the pain…
And even shared the tears.
A Yellow Cab goes by, the driver lip-syncing out the window.
NEWSSTAND GUY (CONT’D)
You’re the only one who really knew
me at all.
The song hits a hard club mix. Arthur bursts from the back of
the van in a frog outfit! The `tourists’ launch into a well-
(lip syncing too)
So take a look at me now, ‘cause
there’s just an empty space.
And there’s nothing left here to
remind me, just the memory of your
Take a look at me now, `cause
there’s just an empty space, And
you coming back to me is against
all odds and that’s what I’ve got
to face…Just take a look at me
The song builds to a dance crescendo.
A magical moment. The crowd watches. How can she say no?
Sorry to be a wet blanket, folks.
he’s getting married. But I guess
he didn’t choreograph that bit for
But..but this took ages to
rehearse. I had the frog outfit
specially made. These aren’t actual
I gathered that, Arthur. Are you
capable of doing anything without
it being a grand gesture?
What do you mean?
It’s like Hobson said. You’re not
like other men. If you were normal,
if the money and the booze didn’t
cloud everything, you’d deal with
the fact that you’re engaged,
rather than just looking for ways
to win me back. But it was a lovely
routine, really. Fantastic outfit.
I just wanted to see you.
He takes out his flask and has a swig.
You need to see someone, Arthur.
INT. ARTHUR’S PENTHOUSE. SHOWER – NIGHT
Arthur’s in his cuboid David Blaine shower. He picks up his
Hobson! Female Tom Hanks has had a
But Marty pipes up on the little inset Hobson screen. He
looks at a note in Hobson’s handwriting.
It says here you shouldn’t forget
to clean your junk. I guess that’s
Marty? What are you doing there?
Hobson left me in charge. She’s
gone to bed. She had a headache.
She’s had quite a few headaches
She blacked out.
INT. HOBSON’S ROOM. DAY
Hobson’s in bed, watching a Discovery Channel documentary
about grizzly bears. Arthur hits pause.
Put my bears back on, Arthur.
Not until you answer my question.
Hobson closes her eyes. She hams the next bit.
I’m travelling down a white tunnel.
To – a garden? Mother? Father? Why
is it so hot? Who’s the red
gentleman with the big pitchfork?
Will you cut it out?
Arthur. There are three books. This
is important. Take them back to the
She feigns a melodramatic death.
Hobson, please. Don’t die any more.
It’s getting very boring.
Arthur. Old women, like bears, get
sore heads. Are you okay? You look
a little lost.
Naomi doesn’t want to see me.
A terrible shame she had to go. A
little tart like that could have
saved you a fortune in prostitutes.
Listen, old woman. Don’t ever talk
about Naomi that way again. What
gives you the right to be such a
snob? You’re just…you’re just…
Mary Poppins with a menopause!
Arthur storms out, slamming the door. But within 10 seconds
he returns, humbled, ashamed – a regretful naughty child.
Hobson, I’ve never raised my voice
to you. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry too. You know, Arthur,
you may be growing up.
Do you want anything?
I want to be younger.
Sorry, it’s your job to be older.
Hobson. If you’re feeling better
tomorrow, will you accompany me
She pats his hand gently.
Of course, Arthur.
INT. CAR – DAY
Marty and Hobson are staring, bemused.
How do I look?
Arthur’s wearing a huge, ludicrous wig and beard. Hobson and
Marty fight giggles.
I can’t have this getting out. I’m
in the public eye.
Yes, it would be disastrous to harm
such a dignified profile.
He looks, scared, at the building.
It’s going to be okay, Arthur.
INT. AA MEETING – DAY
AA MEMBERS are sitting in a circle. MEGAN, a respectable-
looking, smart woman, is speaking.
I was waking up four, five, six
mornings a week in different mens’
Arthur (in his ludicrous disguise), Hobson and Marty enter.
I wanted to die. To be nobody.
INT. AA MEETING – DAY – LATER
A man, JAMES, speaks emotionally.
I steal from my friends, my family.
I sold my son’s pedal car so I
could score junk…
Arthur – utterly depressed – has his head in his hands.
I accidentally backed my car over
my mother outside Walgreens…
Marty chuckles. He tries to fist-bump James.
Marty! This isn’t a sports bar in
Chicago. These people aren’t here
I had a business, a home and it’s
all gone! I’m in this fucking grave
and they’re pouring the earth in!
Whoooaaahh. Okay, cut. I don’t know
about anyone else, but this isn’t
exactly killing my thirst.
Well why did you come…What’s your
Arthur thinks. Seriousness – his least favourite thing – is
upon him. He takes a deep breath. But –
I’m sorry, you’re not going to
convince me my life isn’t fun.
And no offence but if I ran over my
mother, I’d be out celebrating.
Which is what I plan to do right
now. Come on, Hobson. Marty.
Arthur leaves, the door swinging behind him.
I’m Jane. And I believe I have a
dependence on alcohol…
The woman confessing is Hobson – on Arthur’s behalf!
…and because I have done nothing
with the astonishing opportunities
handed to me, apart from pissing
away my inheritance and drinking
enough to kill a rhino.
Arthur, having heard, comes back in.
But imagine being me! I once ended
up in bed with the daughters of
three of the Rolling Stones. But a)
I don’t remember a thing about it,
b) apparently I was sick on two of
the women before c) losing control
of my bladder on the third. All
such fun…until the strangers I
pay to be my friends have gone, the
fog parts and there’s a hole so
big, you could pour all the
champagne in the world into it and
never fill it up. But I’ve got so
much potential, a good heart, I’m a
good person, even if I’ve
completely wasted my short,
precious life because I somehow
convinced myself that happiness is
a Komodo dragon, a case of booze
and the memory of having once
stripped naked to Beethoven for a
coachload of German tourists who I
met outside the Rainforest Cafe.
She’s done. An awkward silence.
It’s always the quiet ones.
EXT. MIDTOWN MANHATTAN – DAY
The car drives through Manhattan.
INT. CAR – DAY
Arthur stares out of the window, beaten, drunk.
Thanks, Hobson. Maybe you can go
every time I crave a drink?
Hobson doesn’t even crack a smile. Arthur gets out his phone
and scrolls – past Naomi’s name, to Susan’s. He dials.
Susan? Look, I know the wedding
date is set. But fancy bringing it
forward? I just want to get it over
with. In a good way. Think about
He ends the call. Silence. He looks to Hobson.
It’s the agony of possibility,
Hobson. It just hurts too much to
know I could still be with Naomi if
I had the guts.
Just promise you’ll never ask me to
sleep with Susan for you.
EXT. MANHATTAN – DAY
Naomi’s riding the bus. Her phone rings. `Number withheld’.
She rolls her eyes and answers.
Arthur, if that’s…
Hello? Yes. Yes, I did…Yes.
Sorry? Really? Well I worked pretty
hard on it..Love to…Love
Incredibly excited, she grabs a pen and writes on a walking
tours brochure: `JULIAN BARBER…RAINBOW PRESS…’
I’ll call in dead to work. Bye.
She writes `TUESDAY 11.30′ and an address.
INT. NAOMI’S APARTMENT – DAY
There’s a ring at the doorbell. Ralph answers. It’s Hobson.
Good afternoon, Mr Snart. Is Naomi
You must be the nanny.
I must be.
Ralph embraces her.
Please stop this, I can’t inhale
and am in danger of treading on one
of your knuckles.
Ralph releases her.
If you and your undershirt would
walk two paces back I could enter
Naomi appears, looking more of a writer than a tour guide.
Ever since I met Arthur I liked
him. We have to make sure these two
wonderful kids stay together…
Try not to talk. It’s not your
words but the breath which bears
them. Perhaps you could repair to
the East Wing and make me a cup of
tea? I wish to speak to Naomi.
Arthur is having a pre-wedding
party tonight. You should come.
Oh, should I? Are all the other
girls he passed up going too?
Hobson picks up a letter from Rainbow Press and peruses it.
Don’t you want to show Arthur how
well you’re doing?
Tell him thanks, but I have a
Arthur doesn’t know I’m here. He’s
far too decent to be involved in
something so tawdry. You could
bring your father. A magical
experience before he’s too big to
leave this apartment.
Why would I go to this? Why would I
do that to myself?
My dear, if there’s one thing old
women can tell, it’s young men in
love. And the food promises to be
Hobson has a slight dizzy spell and sits down.
Are you alright?
Better than you, dear.
You really look out for Arthur,
Yes. And it is a job that I
Ralph comes back and with a cup of disgusting-looking tea.
You really look out for this
gentleman, from what I’ve heard.
Ah, what am I gonna do? The no-kill
pet shelter won’t take him.
Ralph hands Hobson the cup of tea.
Thank you. Would you go the
bathroom and commence washing? You
only have three hours and it could
be quite a project.
Ralph goes. Naomi takes the tea.
I appreciate what you’re trying to
do but I’m not going to that party.
Hobson gets up, still dizzy.
Have you seen a doctor?
Yes. And he has seen me.
I think Arthur has a very good
friend. May I kiss you on the
Is it something you feel strongly
But Hobson falls back into her chair heavily, looking sicker.
Dad! Call 911.
EXT. JOHNSON MANSION. NIGHT
HORDES OF SMARTLY-DRESSED RICH PEOPLE are gathering on Burt
Johnson’s mansion for the society night of the year. A high-
level security presence is much in evidence.
INT. JOHNSON MANSION. BALLROOM – NIGHT
A LIVE BAND plays a cheesy soft-rock version of `Addicted to
Love’. ARISTOCRATS mingle with CRASS NEW MONEY TYPES mingle
with TIGER WOODS. The band finishes the song.
Thanks. We’re going to move things
up tempo now with `The Only Thing
That Looks Good On Me Is You.’
The band start playing again. Partygoers hit the dance floor.
Vivienne, Susan, Burt and Erica pass a huge ice statue of
Susan and Arthur in a loving embrace and amazing catering.
Splendid affair, Susan.
Don’t thank me, thank Erica.
Erica shrugs modestly. Arthur appears. Burt puts a big burly
arm around him and squeezes him a little too hard.
EXT. JOHNSON MANSION. NIGHT
Naomi climbs out of a crappy cab. She’s on her phone.
With all due respect, Hobson,
you’re talking out of your frumpy
English ass. Arthur needs to know!
INT. HOSPITAL – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS
Hobson’s in bed looking ill. Ralph’s fussing over her pillow.
Hobson slaps him away.
You are not to pull him out of that
party on my behalf.
But Naomi’s gone. Ralph tries to plump the pillow again.
You’re gonna get through this,
babe. Then who knows what the
future may hold?
EXT. PARTY – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS
Naomi hurries past A DOOR MAN with a clipboard.
Excuse me, madam. Name? Madam?
Naomi grabs the arm of A MALE GUEST.
Snart plus one.
She hurries in with the bemused, but delighted man. The DOOR
MAN checks his clipboard.
INT. JOHNSON MANSION. NIGHT – CONTINUOUS
Naomi enters the party, releasing the man, who’s disappointed
to see her go. She looks around for Arthur, getting admiring
looks from other men – and women.
Nice dress. Vera Wang?
Ross Dress For Less. You know where
Naomi moves on. The Door Man appears, looking around for the
gatecrasher. The man whose arm she took on the way in – he’s
called JUSTIN – is also on the prowl for her…
INT. JOHNSON MANSION. BALLROOM – NIGHT
Burt takes to the stage to applause.
When Arthur proposed to my
daughter, I was overjoyous. The
Bach-Templemeads are my kind of
people: classy. Respectable. Well
spoken. People like in Shakespeare
in Love, who esprouse the same
values I have always upheld both in
my business and spiritual life. But
tonight isn’t about me or America’s
leading independent formula brand.
Arthur takes the stage to wild applause.
Thank you, Burt! I’ve actually
prepared a little surprise song
with my friends here.
The band starts playing `Close To You’ by the Carpenters.
Arthur sings to Susan, down in the crowd.
Why does cash suddenly appear,
every time you are near?
The audience laugh.
Just like me, it longs to be, close
to Sue. Why do cars fall out of the
sky, all of which, I can buy…
I’ll sing a proper song.
You say potayto and I say potahto,
You say tomayto and I say tomahto,
potayto, potahto, tomayto, tomahto,
Let’s call the whole thing off! You
say AA, and I say `no way’, you say
`Red Bull’ and I say `Go away,
Rehab, No way, Red Bull…
INT. JOHNSON MANSION – ANOTHER LARGE ROOM
JUSTIN approaches Naomi, who’s still looking around for
We meet again!
Yeah. Have you seen Arthur?
The ballroom. I’ll take you to him.
Justin takes Naomi’s arm and leads her at a leisurely pace.
They pass a portrait of Susan.
I’m so happy for Arthur and Susan.
Justin points at a portrait of Susan.
Isn’t she beautiful?
Of course she is. Why would Arthur
marry a pig?
The Door Man appears, seeing Naomi.
What business is your family in?
Hm? Oh, I’m the heiress to a
fortune built on small pets.
Hamsters, mice, doglets…
Tiny dogs. The technology’s not
perfect. Seeing a horse the size of
a can of soup fall dead before your
eyes – that shit stays with you.
They walk through a door, ending up in a garden.
EXT. GARDEN – NIGHT
Are you sure he’s this way?
Naomi turns to A WOMAN.
(to a WOMAN)
Excuse me. Have you seen Arthur?
That way. The ballroom.
Naomi hurries away – running straight into the Door Man.
Excuse me, madam. You’re not an
I know that. I’m here to give
Arthur some very important news.
Of course you are.
(takes her arm)
Shall we discuss this outside?
Get your hands off me!
They tussle. Arthur intercedes.
It’s okay, Jeff. She can stay.
Arthur, can I talk to you?
INT. HOSPITAL – NIGHT – LATER
A MAN IN A WHITE COAT is on the phone beside Hobson’s bed.
MAN IN A WHITE COAT
We ran tests. It was just a dizzy
spell. We’ll be sending her home
But what about the other blackouts?
Hobson snatches the phone from the Man in a White Coat.
Arthur, I’m fine. Do not leave that
INT. JOHNSON MANSION – DRAWING ROOM – DAY
Arthur’s on the phone, coat on, in a big empty panelled room.
HOBSON (O.S, OFF)
Especially now that Naomi is there.
The call ends. Arthur looks across at Naomi, at the other end
of the room, looking so beautiful.
She’s fine. They’re sending her
home. Do you want a drink?
No, thanks, Arthur. I should go.
But you came all this way. There’s
ridiculously fancy food, there’s…
Arthur. Please. Can you just call
me a cab?
You’re a cab.
No laughter this time. It’s not funny. He takes out his
iPhone again. Stares at it.
Shit. Hobson usually…
Orders cabs to take the girls away?
Arthur’s busted. He scrolls the phone for a cab number.
Thank you for coming all this way.
I’m sorry for all the stupid
presents and calls and gestures.
Naomi looks up at a portrait of Burt and young, prissy, but
She was a looker from the get-go.
What were you like as a kid?
Nuts. I thought the moon followed
me. I would walk and think the moon
went any place that I did. I
thought it meant something special
would happen. So I’ve been waiting.
What an ass.
Arthur sees a sound system. He goes over and plugs his iPhone
into it, then takes Naomi in his arms.
Arthur. We’ve been through this.
Call that cab please.
Arthur looks down into her eyes and hits `PLAY’ on his
iPhone. Music starts: it’s not a slow, smoochy song but big,
brassy and upbeat.
MUSIC: `NELLIE THE ELEPHANT’ BY MANDY MILLER
Arthur ballroom dances Naomi at speed around the room.
To Bombay, a travelling circus
came, they brought an intelligent
elephant and Nellie was her name…
What the bejeezus is this?
Hobson used to sing it to me.
One dark night, she slipped her
iron chain. Off she ran to
Hindustan and was never seen again.
Nellie the Elephant packed her
bags, And said goodbye to the
circus, Off she went with a
trumpety trump, Trump trump
It’s energetic, wonderful, as romantic as any slow dance.
They stop dancing. Arthur stares at Naomi. At last, they
kiss. But the music stops. It’s Vivienne.
Is this the tour guide?
She’s a writer.
Is this the Vivienne?
Crowded field, writing.
Maybe someone will see her
We all know who’s seen her
Oh, of course, you don’t know, do
Arthur suddenly goes pale.
Vivienne, please. Don’t…
What is going on here?
My son became fond of you. You’re
not the first. Or the last, I
imagine. Anyway I was scanning his
monthly expenses – which always
makes for entertaining reading, all
those gifts for all those girls –
and found he’d bought an entire
publishing company called…what
was it now? Rainbow Press.
You bought Rainbow press? So you
could tell them to publish my book?
He knows people, dear. I’m sure you
do too, though the people you know
tend not to own books, let alone
publishers. Arthur, I trust we’ll
see you back at the party? Susan’s
a little worried.
Vivienne leaves. Naomi storms away. Arthur chases.
NAOMI! PLEASE! I didn’t think I
would ever see you again. I was
just trying to give you some…
Confidence? Self esteem isn’t a
gift, Arthur! It isn’t a fur coat
or a thousand billion orchids or an
apartment made from truffles or
whatever else you rich freaks use
to express love!
Arthur looks incredibly hurt.
I do express love! I love you!
Don’t say that!
You just told me to! And stop going
on about me being rich! You think
it’s easy being trapped by money?
Naomi gets her old phone out. She speaks into it.
Hello, Amnesty? Come quick!
Arthur’s being held against his
will in Guantamoney Bay!
Stop riffing with me! How dare you
do what you did. I didn’t need your
money to feel good about myself!
No. Being cheap gives you that.
At least I’m prepared to have fun.
To live. I’m not all `Oooh look at
me with my antique food, aren’t I
cool?’ And…and…your phone’s
RUBBISH! It’s made of bits of old
doorbell and vibrator, I bet you
can only get calls from 1994 on it!
As long as I don’t get any from a
drunk, rich fuck up like you!
A door opens.
Hello? I heard shouting.
I’m an employee of Arthur’s. I came
to complain about the conditions.
Mr Bach-Templemead, I know you
thought putting half and half in
the staff kitchen was an
But some people prefer Coffee Mate!
You were disrespectful. I quit!
Naomi walks away, slamming a door behind her.
Because you changed the creamer?
Arthur, Marty called from the
It’s okay, Hobson’s fine. I spoke
to her doctor.
Apparently you didn’t.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – NIGHT
Hobson is lying in bed, looking even iller than before.
It’s just a headache!
Stop saying that! You bribed a
hospital orderly to tell me you
Oh, bothersnaps. What do doctors
The door opens. Marty enters with a shopping cart.
Da dahhhh! I give you the amazing
costly, health-giving presents!
Arthur starts to produce gifts for Hobson: jewellery,
expensive bath products, perfumes, clothes, a DVD…
‘Wake up and Smell the Carcass’..
(reads the DVD)
`A compilation of the band’s most
stomach-churning music videos and
deathly live performances…’
He produces a DARTH VADER HELMET.
Put this on, please.
I don’t want to put it on.
Put it on. Or I’ll fire you.
Okay, or I won’t fire you.
She dons the full face helmet.
How much did you waste on this
Arthur and Marty laugh.
I see you’ve decided not to grow up
She sounds like Darth Invader!
Finally, Arthur unwraps a very high-end DVD player and TV.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – NIGHT
The room is dark. Arthur, Hobson and Marty are all on the
bed, bathed in blue light from the huge new TV.
Stargazer, known for her
distinctive white mottled back…
It’s a documentary about grizzly bears.
…is determined to catch the
salmon, despite the treacherous
A DOCTOR enters.
Mr Bach-Templemead? Do you have a
INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR – NIGHT
Arthur’s looking delighted. But the doctor is grave.
Home? That’s great news. Isn’t it?
INT/EXT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT. HOBSON’S ROOM – NIGHT
We see a short montage of Arthur, now sober, taking care of
Hobson with Marty’s help: Reading to her…Watching another
bear documentary…Arthur doing silly yoga for Hobson…
INT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT. HOBSON’S ROOM – NIGHT
Arthur is quietly cleaning Hobson’s room. He stumbles on a
document. It reads: `THE BOY WHOSE HEART ESCAPED’ BY N J
SNART. FINAL MANUSCRIPT.’ He opens it.
How did this get here?
I have no idea.
You might have a brain tumour but
you’re not a complete veggie burger
just yet. Has Naomi been here?
She dropped by once or twice.
Frightful needy trollop.
I thought she gave up writing.
Arthur’s reading the manuscript, bearing Hobson’s notations:
`Shorten’, `Wonderful – do NOT cut!’, `Beautiful. I cried’.
Just trying to spare her outright
humiliation while I’m still here.
Don’t wear yourself out. You’re not
going anywhere soon.
He taps the top of a state-of-the-art heart monitor.
World’s most advanced heart rate
monitor. The tiniest problem will
alert your own private platoon of
paramedics camped out downstairs…
Hobson takes Arthur’s hand.
Arthur. I’ve loved caring for you
so much. But you’ll never grow up
with me around. So either I retire.
Or I die. Option 1 involves too
much paperwork and blather with
having to find somewhere else to
live. And no offence to you, dear
She glances at a MASSIVE PILE OF BEAR DOCUMENTARY DVDs beside
THE WORLD’S BIGGEST TEDDY BEAR.
…but I think we’ve exhausted the
bear-based entertainment. Which
leaves option 2.
Arthur can’t fight the tears any more.
You’re a good son, Arthur. You can
do anything with your life that you
want. Just like I did.
But you spent half of it looking
after a spoilt drunk twat.
Exactly. Sorry Arthur. I’m past my
Sorry, Hobson, You don’t win this
one. I need you to care for me.
(holds up a pill)
Now take your fish oil.
INT. HOBSON’S ROOM – NIGHT
Arthur, in a chair at the end of the bed, wakes with a start
from a dream. He looks across to Hobson, who is very still.
The expensive monitor is dead. He jumps up.
(hammering the machine)
Why the fuck has the stupid thing
not gone off?
GET UP HERE! SHE’S NOT…
He sees that the monitor is unplugged. The cord is in
Hobson’s hand. It’s over. Hobson’s dead.
Arthur sobs his heart out.
INT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT – DAY
It’s a few weeks later. The place is very, very messy. The
place also seems to be heavily splattered with all colors of
SPLOTCH! A big lump of red paint thuds into Hobson’s giant
teddy bear, which is already heavily spattered.
Arthur’s sitting naked, apart from a helmet, in his tiny army
paintball tank. He’s in a blank, drunken daze, firing paint
at the teddy. The tank turret rotates. He shoots walls,
possessions, furniture. He stops.
Would Frog ever get up again? Or
would he just sit in his tank,
crying and soiling himself until he
died of dehydration because he
didn’t even have the energy to eat
a wet sandwich.
He looks down at an ashes urn.
Hobson! Why are you in there when I
(lifts lid off urn)
He’s rewarded with a face full of ashes. Angrily he spins the
turret through 360 degrees, firing paint.
Marty comes in – and is hit hard by paint.
How’s the tea?
Shockingly bad, thanks, Marty.
Want to talk about the Cubs game?
Nahhh. Can I be alone please?
Marty goes. Arthur picks up his phone and scrolls down to
Naomi’s name. He thinks for a moment, hits `call’.
INT. NAOMI’S APARTMENT. DAY – CONTINUOUS
Naomi is shopping. She looks at the phone, sees Arthur’s
name. She so wants to answer. But doesn’t.
INT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT – DAY – CONTINUOUS
Arthur stands on the balcony. He peers down at Manhattan far,
INT. PIERRE HOTEL – HOTEL BEDROOM – DAY – CONTINUOUS
A COUPLE are having sex. A BODY falls past the window.
INT. PIERRE HOTEL – RESTAURANT – DAY – CONTINUOUS
The body falls past a window. A huge crash from off.
EXT. PIERRE HOTEL – DAY – CONTINUOUS
PASSERSBY are staring in horror at a yellow cab, its roof
caved in, the DRIVER shaking in shock.
Tilt up to find Hobson’s HUGE teddy BEAR lying on the roof.
EXT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT. BALCONY – DAY
Arthur’s on his phone again.
(leaving a message)
Naomi? I doubt you’ll ever get
this, because your voicemail
probably consists of a 4000 year
old woman who writes the message
down in hieroglyphics then loses it
down the back of her incontinence
loin cloth. Hobson died. Hobson
died and I’ve fallen apart…
The doorbell rings from off.
Marty! Can you get that? Marty!
Naomi? Could you get it? Hello?
He throws the cellphone off the roof. A couple of seconds
pass. We hear a very faint howl of pain from whoever it hit.
INT. CORRIDOR – DAY
Arthur opens the door. It’s Vivienne.
Arthur! You haven’t answered the
phone for eight days. Susan’s
beside herself. What’s going on?
What do you think’s going on?
She bustles in past Arthur. A PLATOON OF MAIDS follows.
Chop chop! You cleany penthouseio!
Come on, Arthur. Have to pick
yourself up, lad. It’s like when
Nixon my Great Dane had to be put
down. Frightful state for days. But
I pulled myself together.
You’re comparing Hobson to…a dog?
Well, yes. A faithful, humble
Um, I think I’d like you to leave,
if that’s okay. Now?
Remember who pays for this
apartment, Arthur. For everything!
He guides her out the door.
You had damn well better be at that
Don’t worry. If I’m going to drink
myself to death I’ll need
resources. Bye Vivienne…
My mother’s dead.
He slams the door. The phone rings again.
Hello? I’m sorry?
INT. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE – DAY
Arthur is sitting in an estate attorney’s next to MR FINKE,
a small, dirty man. ATTORNEY MARGARET AHERNE is at a desk
opposite them, reading from a will.
The last will and testament of Jane
`I leave my life savings to the
Tulare Bear Sanctuary, Tulare
Aherne hands Mr Finke A CHECK for $8,864.
That’ll explain the strong smell of
bear shit. Sorry.
Aherne opens a tiny envelope.
To Arthur Bach Templemead, I leave
She produces a teabag.
To operate kettle, press red
button. Milk in refrigerator;
that’s the big box with the pretty
light that comes on when you open
Arthur. You’re going to be okay.
Now it’s your turn to look after
someone. All my deepest, fondest
love, my dearest boy. I’m smiling
down at you – or more likely, up at
you – forever and ever, H xxxxxxxx.
INT. ARTHUR’S APARTMENT – DAY
Close up on the KETTLE, steam issuing forth from the spout.
Then a MUG with the teabag in it. The kettle boils. A hand
pours hot water into the mug. Milk is added. And a drop of
EXT. CHURCH – DAY
Burt and Vivienne are standing outside, greeting GUESTS.
I just want you to know, if he
doesn’t show up for this wedding, I
can’t know what I’ll do.
Don’t worry, Burt. He’s cleaned
himself up. He’s stopped drinking,
he’s anxious to get a real job.
He’s become a responsible citizen.
EXT. FIFTH AVENUE – DAY
Arthur is stalking – drunk but determined – through the
crowds. He comes upon a group of tourists standing by a tour
bus. Naomi’s now wearing a headset mic, pointing south.
Due to a tragic error in the
architect’s drawing, the original
Statue of Liberty unveiled in 1886
was just seven inches tall. 100,000
New Yorkers rioted, having come
expecting to see something more
impressive than a garden gnome
holding up an ice cream…
Arthur pushes his way through the tourists. He sees her bus
You’re on a bus? With a microphone?
Girl’s gotta have a dream.
Naomi. Can you take the next 60
Are you okay? You’re a mess. You
look like you…now.
Sorry. I accidentally swallowed
three bottles of hand sanitizer.
Drinking was the only way I could
get the courage to come here and
say this: I don’t need the money. I
love the money. But I don’t lie
awake all night wondering how I’ll
live without ever seeing it again.
I just wonder what it’s like to go
24 hours without a steak tartare.
Naomi looks unconvinced. Arthur pulls out his wallet and
takes out a load of credit cards.
The American Express Centurion card
– you have to spend at least
$250,000 a year to keep it, which I
blow in a quiet week.
He drops it down a drain. He produces another card.
Sotheby’s `World Elite’ Mastercard
for art collectors.
Drops it down drain too. The tourists are enjoying this.
And King of all idiotic reckless-
insanity: the Visa Black Card.
This last one he hands to a PASSING HOMELESS MAN.
PIN 3487. Daily ATM limit $180,000.
The man runs into the road. As Arthur talks, out of focus we
see the man hit by a car, but get up and keep going.
(producing fancy iPhone)
The world’s only platinum iPhone.
With police radio app.
He tosses it over his shoulder. It lands in the beef juice
pan of a Street French Dip stall. A BIGGER CROWD is
gathering. Arthur takes off his jacket.
Alexander Amosu. Vicuna wool, shorn
once every three years from the
South American camelid – $50,000.
He throws the jacket in a passing cab’s window. He takes off
Westmancott trousers, ten months to
design, fit and make. $21,000.
He hands the trousers to a PASSERBY. Off with his watch!
Who wants the watch Neil Armstrong
wore to step on the sun!
Arthur flings it in the air. A crazed fight breaks out.
Arthur stands before Naomi in just his underpants and socks.
These are from The Gap.
I’m so sorry about Hobson.
They step away from the tourists.
I’m sorry about the Rainbow Press.
It’s okay. So how did Susan take it
that you’re not marrying her?
You haven’t told her?
What’s it to you? She’s your arch-
Are you six? She isn’t my enemy.
She’s the woman you proposed to!
I couldn’t tell her! Today’s the
biggest day of her life!
The wedding’s today? When?
12. Which is…
(looks at his wrist)
Where’s my watch gone?
(looks at her watch)
It’s eight minutes to.
It’s too late, then.
Naomi hands Arthur her phone.
I don’t know her number! It’s in my
phone’s address book in that gloop.
St. John the Divine. Can we please
just get me some clothes…
St John..Fourth largest church in
the world…111th and Amsterdam.
It’s about four miles. Better
You want me to go there? Like this?
What’s the alternative? Jilt Susan
at the altar? Can I expect the same
treatment when you dump me?
No! I love you!
Naomi starts herding her tourists onto her bus.
Naomi! Susan’s dad will…
Arthur. Prove you’re not the same
pampered little boy who can have
what he wants then toss it aside
when he’s bored. Then we’ll talk.
She sits in the driving seat and belts up.
Naomi! I don’t even know the way!
5th…right on Broadway…left at
Times…Right on 7th…back on
Broadway….right on Amsterdam. The
church is the big stone pointy
thing full of rich people.
The bus door shuts. Naomi drives away.
A taxi stops. Arthur feels for his pockets. Ah shit.
Um, can anyone spare…
(to the DRIVER)
How much to St. John the Divine
About 15 bucks…
(to the crowd)
Can anyone spare $15 please?
What about tip? You cheapskate?
The crowd just stare back. The taxi drives away.
Arthur looks at a STREET CLOCK: 11:53.
Arthur starts running in his underwear.
INT. CHURCH – DAY – CONTINUOUS
GUESTS are taking their pews.
EXT. FIFTH AVENUE – DAY – CONTINUOUS
Arthur runs along Fifth.
INT. CHURCH – DAY – CONTINUOUS
Susan is being fussed over by BRIDESMAIDS.
EXT. BROADWAY – DAY
Arthur runs up Broadway, passing a Watch and Clock store.
Every timepiece reads 11:54.
INT. CHURCH – DAY – CONTINUOUS
Burt, sitting in a pew, looks at his watch. He looks around
for Arthur then scowls very scarily.
EXT. TIMES SQUARE – DAY
Arthur stops, out of breath. He sees A LINE OF STREET
ENTERTAINERS. That gives him an idea.
Gather round for the nearly naked
Yoga man – YOGI BARE! I give you…
Arthur strikes a sequence of silly poses and names.
`Chicken forgetting birthday’…
TOURISTS throw money. Arthur grabs it up. He looks up at the
Times Square digital clock: 11:56.
A taxi stops. Arthur throws the money to THE DRIVER.
How far can I go with $1.95 and a
Japanese coin with a hole in it?
A block and a half.
Arthur jumps in. The cab screeches away.
EXT. SEVENTH AVENUE – DAY
The cab halts. Arthur jumps out and starts running again. He
sees A BUS with `COLUMBUS CIRCLE’ in its window.
We cut to people cheering Arthur, hanging on the bus’s front
bicycle rack. But the DRIVER sees him and hits the brakes.
Arthur’s flung forwards but gets up and keeps running.
He sees a Subway Station.
Excuse me, are there trains down
there, like in films?
Arthur runs down the steps.
INT. SUBWAY – DAY
A train pulls on to the platform. Arthur leaps aboard.
INT. TRAIN – DAY
Arthur stands among New Yorkers, none of whom bat an eyelid
at his appearance. He looks up at the stations.
(to A MALE PASSENGER)
Excuse me. Terribly sorry to bother
Without looking at him, the guy hands him a dollar.
INT. CHURCH. SACRISTY – DAY – CONTINUOUS
Susan is ready. She looks to the door. Erica, who is peering
out, shakes her head with an `I told you so’ look.
INT. NAOMI’S TOUR BUS – DAY
Naomi’s driving her bus up 42nd Street.
(into a headset mic)
…originally a rough
neighbourhood. Some say it was
called 42nd Street because it
wasn’t safe to spend more than
forty seconds on it.
A few grudging laughs from the tourists.
If you burst into song, you’re off
Huh? I want to see St. John the
Sorry, sir, that’s not on our route
I want to know if Arthur’s gonna
OTHER FEMALE TOURIST (CONT’D)
You should be there for him.
Other tourists agree.
It says here `ask about your
personalised tours’. I want the
personalised tour. To St. John the
ALL OTHER TOURISTS
So do I! St. John the Divine, St.
John the Divine, St. John the…
EXT. STREET. DAY
Arthur comes bounding out of another station. Clutching his
dollar, he sees a bus. He runs aboard, and up to the driver.
Ah! I’m trying to get to…
Arthur feels eyes on him. The bus is full of SCHOOL CHILDREN!
It’s a school bus! They all stare for a beat, then get out
cellphones to report the weirdo in their midst, who runs off
again and up Broadway, passing a store’s line of shopping
carts. He starts emptying them of quarters.
A police car rounds the corner.
Uh, unit 6J, we have reports of an
indecent exposure on a school bus.
Arthur jumps in a shopping cart; as the truck passes, he
launches forward, grabbing the rear fender!
INT. CHURCH – DAY
Burt gets up, squeezing past TIGER WOODS.
EXT. CHURCH – DAY
Arthur’s cab pulls up outside the church, surrounded by
ONLOOKERS AND PAPARAZZI. Arthur leaps out and fights his way
through the crowd. People start to recognise the crazed,
sweating panting weirdo in underwear. Paparazzi and
pedestrians photograph and film him. He runs into the church.
INT. CHURCH – DAY – CONTINUOUS
The church is packed with THE GREAT, GOOD, RICH AND FAMOUS.
Vivienne sits waiting. Arthur stumbles in at the back.
INT. CHURCH – DAY
Arthur’s trying to inch along the back. But the congregation
falls silent, watching him. He stumbles up the aisle, looking
up to Jesus, in similar scantily-clad appearance, on a cross.
I’m not him.
(shows his wrists)
Look ma! No holes.
Arthur slips in a side door.
INT. SACRISTY – DAY
Susan is sitting, sad, Bridesmaids comforting her.
Susan turns and is shocked to see Arthur.
Arthur? What’s going on?
Susan. I can’t…I can’t…
He leads her away from the bridesmaids.
The girl at the party? The one who
talked all that rubbish about
Coffee Mate? I love her.
Susan slaps Arthur. Hard.
Shut up! We’re getting married!
But I don’t love you!
And you think I love you?
Well, yes. What’s not to…
I never have.
Susan, you’re upset, you hate me.
It’s okay. Now I’m sorry, I have to
go, or your dad’s going to do
whatever he did to your boyfriend
Daddy never hurt Alex. He paid her
parents to send her away..
Lesbian. Yes. You may have noticed
that daddy is homophobic. He swore
he’d disown me if it happened
But…why do you want to marry…
Arthur glances across, sees Erica skulking.
Hang on. Am I your beard?
Why else do you think I’d spend
more than 30 seconds in your
company? You’re the perfect cover.
Have you been pretending to like
Dane Cook as well?
Wow. Wow. Well. Uh…
(heads to the door)
Thanks for your honesty. I don’t
feel so bad about calling this off.
Erica steps in his way.
Arthur, please. You can drink as
much as you like, sneak off to
Naomi. We keep the money. We live
our lives. Everyone wins.
I may be a weak, pathetic drunk.
But I won’t marry a lesbian Dane
Arthur pushes past Erica.
INT. CHURCH. ALTAR – NIGHT
Arthur stumbles out on the altar. The CONGREGATION stares. He
taps a mic from the pulpit like a stand up.
Good evening, St. John the Divine!
Anyone in from St. Patrick’s?
Bialystoker Synagogue? Manhattan
EXT. CHURCH – DAY
Naomi’s tour bus screeches up. She hurries out.
SINT. CHURCH – DAY
Arthur’s still before the congregation, telling a story.
…and the first turned to the
second horse and said `That dog
The hateful silence that only 500 angry rich people can
The joke being that it’s
inconsistent that the horses can
speak but the dog can’t.
Naomi creeps in at the back.
The wedding’s off. The bride has
had second thoughts. I can’t say I
blame her. Would you marry me?
You won’t be seeing me again, as
I’m going to be poor. I’ll be
shopping at the 99 Cent Store. Six
pork chops for under a dollar!
TIGER WOODS discreetly scribbles `99c Store, chops’ on a torn-
out Bible page.
Great. I’m glad we had this talk.
I’ll let you get on with the
A huge crucifix strikes Arthur hard. Burt, crazed with
hatred, drags him by his hair off the altar.
INT. CHURCH. SACRISTY. DAY – CONTINUOUS
Burt is bashing Arthur’s head HARD against a stone font.
Daddy, no! Stop it!
Vivienne bursts in. Followed by Naomi.
Burt! Get off my son!
But nothing’s going to stop Burt.
(louder than anyone yet)
Susan is over Burt, brandishing a Virgin Mary statue.
You wouldn’t hurt me.
Wouldn’t I? You crushed me.
I just wanted you to be happy.
Bullshit. You wanted to stop me
being a lesbian!
Shut up! Shut up you dirty little
Erica leaps on Burt, pummelling his face with her fists.
You want some more, bitch? Huh?
Arthur looks up at Susan.
Erica, that’s enough, honey.
Erica stops. Susan kisses her.
Why didn’t you tell me? We could
have worked something out.
Naomi give Arthur a look.
INT. CHURCH – LATER
The church is empty, apart from Arthur and Naomi on the
altar. Naomi’s trying to remove something from Arthur’s neck.
Vivienne is sitting alone in a pew near the back.
OW! Stop it! Why are you doing
Because I hate an infection! Keep
No, you keep still.
He kisses Naomi passionately.
What are we going to do, Arthur?
I’ll get a job. I’ll model cheap
riding boots for people with no
horses. You can write books about
boys whose lungs have run away.
Vivienne walks up to the altar.
A Bach-Templemead has never been
poor and we’re not about to try
that experiment with you, Arthur.
That said, you’ve shown strength of
character for once, instead of
blubbing on about frogs and
friendship. The inheritance is
yours. All I ask is, with Hobson
gone, you finally start treating me
like a mother.
Sorry, Vivienne. I can’t do that.
I beg your pardon?
You’ve never earned that title. I
wouldn’t fake it with Susan. I
won’t with you.
Arthur. I will withdraw this offer
forever. Don’t doubt me, boy.
Arthur shakes Vivienne’s hand.
Take care, Viv.
Arthur takes Naomi by the hand and they leave the church.
Arthur! Arthur! I am serious! If
you walk out of that door…
They’re gone. Vivienne sits in a pew. For once she looks
small, old, alone.
EXT. CHURCH – DAY
Arthur and Naomi step into the daylight, pushing past
paparazzi and press. Marty is waiting in the Batmobile, now
Sorry, Marty. This isn’t mine any
more. Fancy joining us for a bowl
of Special J?
Marty gets out. The three walk away up Amsterdam Avenue.
EXT. QUEENS – NIGHT
CAPTION: ONE MONTH LATER
INT. NAOMI’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Naomi’s typing, sipping `Sprike’ (fake Sprite). Beside her is
a printed manuscript titled `SNART’S FAKE NEW YORK – A Bogus
guide to the World’s Greatest City.’ On the computer screen
is: `…the 1765 Irish Hair Famine swept through Manhattan,
rendering every resident bald for a week.’
This is outrageous!
INT. NAOMI’S APARTMENT. SHOWER – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS
Arthur’s struggling with a very crap, piddly shower. Rather
than the glory of Manhattan from his shower-in-the-sky,
Arthur just has a bare wall opposite to look out on.
Operational heat controls in a
shower are a basic human right!
A hole in a pipe sprays his groin with hot water. He screams.
INT. NAOMI’S APARTMENT. SITTING ROOM – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS
Ralph and Marty sit watching sports, Marty cheering as the
Yankees are losing, Ralph miserable, The doorbell rings.
INT. NAOMI’S APARTMENT. BATHROOM DOOR. NIGHT
Ralph stands hammering at the bathroom door, holding a
Owww! My eyes! I’m blind!
Ralph hammers again. The bathroom door opens. Arthur’s
holding a giant bottle of cheap shampoo. His eyes are bright
What the hell’s in this shampoo?
Napalm? It sure as hell isn’t tea
Ralph hands him the package.
Package for you. With any luck an
apartment for you and Lurch.
I thought you liked me.
I may have been seduced by money.
INT. NAOMI’S APARTMENT. SITTING ROOM – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS
Naomi appears from the bedroom. She finds Arthur staring at
a framed photo of Hobson as a beautiful young woman holding
Arthur as a happy, laughing toddler. A note is attached.
(reading it out)
`Can I be your friend at least?
Love, Vivienne xxx. P.S. Lunch
sometime? P.P.S. The inheritance is
yours. It always was.’
Arthur looks at Naomi, at Ralph, at Marty.
On balance, I’d go for it.
They look at Naomi.
You were never happy rich, honey.
It’s only been a month. Be strong.
Remember: however hard life gets,
love will always find a way.
(off their stares:)
What? Can’t a girl make a joke?
EXT. MANHATTAN – NIGHT
Arthur steps out of a Bentley.
INT. AA MEETING – NIGHT
Arthur enters the AA meeting, clutching Hobson’s ashes.
Brought her for moral support. But
I’ll do the talking this time.
FADE OUT[amazonjs asin=”B004HO6I42″ locale=”JP” title=”Arthur (2011) DVD”]