1 EXT. FITZGERALD/GRAHAM APARTMENT — HOLLYWOOD – DAY
North Hayworth Avenue, off Sunset Boulevard. A quiet, tree-
lined residential street. Note the small apartment complex
set back from the curb.
CAPTION: HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA
Our narrator is HENRY OBERT (O-BURT)(30).
This is where where F. Scott
Fitzgerald died on December 21, 1940.
INSERT ARCHIVAL PHOTOS of Fitzgerald. His work. His life.
HENRY (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Fitzgerald was one of the truly great
American writers of the 20th century.
Tender is the Night. The Last Tycoon.
This Side of Paradise. And, of course,
my favorite, The Great Gatsby. But
Fitzgerald ended up out here. Writing
movies that never got made. Drinking
too much. Alienating people. Losing
2 EXT. FITZGERALD/GRAHAM APARTMENT — SIDEWALK – DAY
Henry stands on the sidewalk. Full of promise and hope.
Wears a pizza delivery outfit as he stares at the apartment,
more with reverence than curiosity.
CAPTION: HENRY OBERT
I stop by here sometimes–out of
respect. Fitzgerald had this amazing
3 EXT. FITZGERALD/GRAHAM APARTMENT — SIDEWALK – CONTINUOUS
Henry crosses the street–heading for his parked Honda. He
unlocks the car. Swings open the back door.
But he wasted it. He wasted his
Henry yanks a MAGNETIC SIGN out of the back seat and slaps
it on the outside of the driver’s door: PIZZA STARZ. One
last glance at the fabled apartment complex.
HENRY (V.O.) (CONT’D)
When I sell my novel, I won’t make
4 INT. ALAN AND COLETTE’S HOUSE — LIVING ROOM – DAY
The man (40’s) and woman (30’s) sit on the couch in their
tastefully-decorated San Fernando Valley home. Expensive
taste in clothes. Her cleavage a bit too obvious. Both
seem a little uncomfortable. Uncertain.
CAPTION: DR. ALAN & COLETTE MOONEY
They look off to the side, speaking to someone off-camera.
We thought this was going to be a
You know, like the Kardashians.
They listen. Here comes the bad news.
Oh. Really? A documentary? This
is going to be a documentary about
our writing group?
The whole group. Not just us, right?
Not that it should be just about
They look at each other: A documentary? They try to mask
So this is going to be like–like
what I saw the other night on cable?
About bees mating.
Or that, um, that one about the
Colette nods, remembering.
Powerful. Yes. Powerful.
We love documentaries.
They look at each other again: What have we gotten into?
Natasha, the Russian peasant, dressed
5 INT. ALAN AND COLETTE’S HOUSE — DINING ROOM – EVENING
A POSTER BOARD SIGN–someone went to Kinko’s–is posted
prominently reading: QUIET, PLEASE–WRITERS AT WORK.
…consumed totally, completely,
absolutely, by endless thoughts of
Yuri fondling her breast, his other
hand groping her womanhood, knowing…
They sit around the dining room table. Colette, convinced
she’s the next Amy Tan, reads aloud from her TYPED PAGES.
The others all have copies in front of them. We recognize
Henry, the frog waiting to become a prince, making copious
notes and Alan, oh-so-proud, hanging on every word. Beaming.
Three others round out the group:
Younger MAN (early 30s). Unshaven. Always thinks he’s the
coolest guy in any room. Can’t avoid glances at the camera.
CAPTION: WILLIAM BRUCE
The OLDEST MEMBER of the group (over 60) sits with his arms
folded as he listens, shifting in his chair. Captain Grumpy.
CAPTION: JOHN K. BUTZIN
Finally, the young (mid-to-late 20s), angelic, WOMAN listening
intently, the one who probably stopped to rescue a cat on
her way here.
CAPTION: HANNAH RINALDI
…Any second that she might explode,
her chastity spraying across the
ceiling…Spraying across the ceiling
like passionate graffiti. Natasha
never thought such a moment possible.
“Have I satisfied you, Natasha?”
Yuri had inquired after their fourth
round of vodka-soaked lovemaking.
“Nyet, Not yet,” Natasha stated,
exhausted, but grateful.
Awkward silence around the table as Colette removes her
reading glasses and waits. Alan clears his throat, looking
6 INT. HENRY’S APARTMENT – DAY 6
Henry’s sparse studio apartment. Minimal furniture. His laptop
is set up on an old door, stretched across some blue plastic
There are BOOKS piled everywhere. All sorts of books. And
PAPER — pieces of paper, including letters and cards and
printed emails, dozens of them, are taped throughout the
We are introduced to Henry the writer: pondering over his
battered laptop, pacing up and down the floor, checking his
nearly empty refrigerator, stretched out on his Goodwill
couch, watching TV.
Finally, inspiration. Henry rushes to his desk and taps out
a sentence or two on his computer, feeling proud for his
I graduated from the University of
Illinois. English major. Taught
high school for a couple years, but
hated it. Moved out here to be a
7 EXT. HOUSE – DAY/NIGHT 7
As Henry’s voice over continues, we see him in uniform with
pizza in hand at the front door of a house. Rings doorbell.
I work two jobs. Delivering pizzas
and cleaning carpets. Good jobs for
8 INT. HOUSE – DAY/NIGHT 8
Henry cleaning the carpets as the heavily-tattooed MOTORCYCLE
DUDE points to a dirty spot: Over here.
You meet lots of interesting people.
9 INT. HENRY’S APARTMENT – DAY 9
Henry points to the letters on the wall. C.U. picks up on
phrases like “We regret to inform you,” or “Sorry, but this
story isn’t right for us,” or “The Baxter Agency currently
isn’t accepting new clients.”
I have two unpublished novels.
Working on my third, Pizza to Go.
These are my rejection letters.
Rejected by agents. Rejected by
publishers. When you think about
it, it’s pretty amazing how many
ways people can reject you.
10 INT. ALAN AND COLETTE’S HOUSE — DINING ROOM – NIGHT 10
Henry, John, Alan, Colette, Hannah, and William sit around
the table. Impressive buffet of cold cuts, cheeses, and
shrimp has been set out.
Our writing group meets every Tuesday
night. Mostly at Alan and Colette’s.
Sometimes we rotate.
John helps himself to some shrimp. Then helps himself to
HENRY (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I love coming to the group. Everyone
always has such constructive feedback.
It’s like we’re all in this together.
I really like the way Yuri is
Well, if you ask John K. Butzin…
Can’t help looking at the camera. Making sure it’s on him.
You’re still going to have to explain
why this Natasha dame goes AWOL on
her husband. Still kinda iffy to
Another glance at the camera: Did you get that?
I was bothered by that, too. Why
would Natasha betray a reliable,
dependable husband for a washed-up
All eyes on Colette. She shifts in her chair. Uncomfortable.
An uneasy silence. Colette is blocked–nowhere to go
creatively. Her face tightens up. Bites her lip.
Oh God. I’ve been rewriting and
rewriting and rewriting and–
Poodles. It’s OK.
No. It’s not OK. I still can’t
explain Natasha’s motive. What’s
the use? I’m not a writer.
William to the rescue.
Whoa. Whoa. Time out. The dude’s
good in bed. Trust me, that’s all
the motive she needs.
Roger that. Torpedo Chapter Three.
Blow it up. Get the focus back on
–Yes. I was thinking the same thing.
Make it clear that Natasha wants to
Colette makes notes furiously, nodding in agreement.
Writing can be such a solitary
existence, so it’s good to have this
outlet where you can meet other
writers and exchange ideas. Here it
really is all for one and one for
11 INT. ALAN AND COLETTE’S HOUSE — DINING ROOM – NIGHT 11
Later that evening. Meeting is over.
Alan, Colette, Hannah, Henry, William, and John are all
standing up now. William stretches. John reaches for more
shrimp. Friendly banter. Laughter.
Who wants coffee?
Everybody does. William taps Henry on the shoulder.
Lend me ten bucks? I’m having cash
Thanks, bro’. You’re the best.
12 INT. HENRY’S APARTMENT – DAY 12
Henry sits at his desk, staring at the blank computer. Lost
in thought. Emphasis on lost.
This new novel Pizza to Go is about
Scott, a pizza delivery guy in LA.
He comes across some interesting
characters. I like what I have so
far, but it’s only a hundred pages
and I’m stuck…
13 INT. HENRY’S APARTMENT – LATER – DAY 13
Henry stands in front of the mirror in his apartment, wearing
the Pizza Starz hat and shirt. Ready for work.
…Haven’t written a word in the
last two weeks. Not one. Hannah
teases me about having writer’s block.
14 INT. ALAN AND COLETTE’S HOUSE — DINING ROOM – NIGHT 14
FLASHBACK to the last group meeting. Focus on Hannah. Her
smile. Her warmth. She listens and comments. Actively
engaged in the conversation.
…I keep thinking about her. She’s
all I think about. Really would
like to ask her out.
15 INT. HANNAH’S APARTMENT – DAY 15
Hannah reaches for a pair of READING GLASSES and slips them
on. Talks to someone O.S.
What do you think? On or off? Do
they make me look smarter? I need a
She takes the glasses off. Puts them back on. Off again.
Debating. Hannah prepares herself with a series of quick
breaths and waves her hands in the air. Then she stares
directly into the camera.
Hi. I’m originally from Prescott,
Arizona. Followed my mom out here
about four years ago. That’s her
Camera picks up a wisp of a WOMAN (over 50)in the background,
waving, with an equally pleasant smile.
CAPTION: MAUREEN RINALDI
My parents are divorced. Not her
16 INT. RESTAURANT #1 – DAY 16
William favors jeans and faded tweed jacket. Sits in the
corner of a Valley restaurant, nursing a cup of coffee and
talks to the camera.
What do you want to know about me?
I’m 27. Single. A virgin.
He flashes that wicked, seductive smile.
Just kidding. I’m actually 28.
Hometown is Modesto, California, A
sprawling junk heap of a town without
a soul. Why did I come to LA? Um,
because I knew you were here and
that you’d loan me a hundred bucks
if I needed it. Right?
WAITRESS #1 refills his coffee cup. Her reward is that smile.
She walks away. William admires the view.
I already got her number. Maybe I’ll
text her. Maybe I won’t.
Eyes back towards the camera.
So ‘bout that hundred bucks? What
A hint of desperation in his voice.
OK. What about fifty? C’mon, bro’.
Support the arts.
17 INT. HANNAH’S APARTMENT — DAY 17
Hannah continues talking to the camera. Maureen still in
I’ve always had this knack for telling
stories. Ever since I was a kid.
She’s a natural.
Moved here. Took a couple writing
classes. Decided to go for it.
24/7. Total dedication to my craft.
The writing always comes first. My
latest effort is called Sleeping on
the Moon. It’s about rejection. And
pain. Not really about the moon
itself. More of a…
She searches for the word that escapes her. Maureen to the
18 INT. RESTAURANT #1 – DAY 18
William continues talking to the camera.
So. LA? I’m here because of Bukowski.
Charles Bukowski. Greatest writer
INSERT ARCHIVAL PHOTOS of Charles Bukowski.
LA is his town, man. If I’m gonna
be a writer, then I have to walk in
Bukowski’s shoes. Experience and
capture the plight of the working
He waves to WAITRESS #1.
I like the people in the group. But
they can’t write worth shit. But,
man, Hannah is something. She’s the
only reason I keep going. Not because
I’m learning anything. Hell, no. I
just think she’s hot.
19 INT. HANNAH’S APARTMENT — DAY 19
Hannah leans forward towards the camera, as if to hear better.
My favorite writer? Favorite writer.
Hannah goes blank. The smile disappears as her face goes
into noticeable contortions. This is worse than Final
Jeopardy. She turns quiet, squirming.
Favorite. Wow. Hard to say. I’ve
studied Composition more than actual
Literature. Gee. I know Maureen
Searching for a last name, Hannah looks back to Maureen for
That’s the one. I hear she’s good.
But my favorite writer? Let me think
about that a bit, OK?
Short beat. Hannah lowers her voice, almost a loud
I didn’t go to college.
20 INT. JOHN’S MOBILE HOME – DAY 20
John is holding court at his mobile home, showcasing the
finest in furniture from Sears. John stuffs his home with
various MILITARY ARTIFACTS–photos, equipment, books. He’s
got it all. John talks to the camera.
Everything John K. Butzin knows
about writing comes down to two simple
words: Tom Clancy. Yes, sir. Tom
Clancy. The man’s a genius. Does
his research. All those nitty-gritty
technical details. Now that’s writing!
John K. Butzin has one agent very
interested in Roaring Lion. And a
publisher up in Oxnard is looking at
it as we speak. Plus a certain
cousin’s best friend has a neighbor
who has an in with Clint Eastwood,
so Hollywood might be calling soon.
Don’t know how the other members of
the writing group will handle all
this success by one person. They
better not be pussies.
21 INT. ALAN AND COLETTE’S HOUSE — LIVING ROOM – DAY 21
Alan and Colette remain on the couch. Talking to the camera.
All smiles. Much more comfortable with the camera.
Well, I’m an optometrist in Glendale.
And I write full-time.
Our last name’s Mooney. You could
call us Mooneys. We get that joke
all the time.
The couple giggle at the joke. Forced.
Which writer do I admire? Hmmm. How
about John Grisham? Look at all
that money he’s made! Just teasing,
John. We know you deserved every
dime, but, hey, John, could you spread
it around a bit, pal?
Alan likes to tease.
She gives her husband an affectionate squeeze.
Colette, here, is the real writer.
I’m more of an idea guy. I come up
with great ideas, but don’t always
follow through. I’ll show you.
He picks up his mini-digital Olympus RECORDER off the coffee
table. Thinks for a second.
Idea for romantic novel.
Alan catches himself.
No. Make that, idea for romantic
He winks at the camera–showing he’s hip to the jargon.
Possible movie option, too: Frovers.
They couldn’t be friends. They
couldn’t be lovers. So they became
Satisfied, Alan turns off the recorder.
22 EXT. COLETTE’S GARDEN – DAY 22
Colette opens the sliding glass door and steps out into a
beautiful garden area. Quiet and private. Camera follows
her over to a solitary BENCH.
This is where I come for inspiration.
I believe a writer must have quiet
and solitude. I’ll meditate. Write
in my journal. Set out my creative
path for the day. This is my Walden
Colette sits down on the bench. Takes in the environment.
Favorite author? I’d have to say
Joan Didion. Her writing sends
shivers down my spine. Though Joyce
Carol Oates has been known to bring
me to actual orgasm.
23 EXT. COLETTE’S GARDEN – DAY 23
Colette sits on her bench, reading a BOOK. C.U. reveals
that it is a novel by Joyce Carol Oates. Colette appears to
be getting into the story just a bit too much.
24 EXT. COLETTE’S GARDEN – DAY 24
POOL GUY and GARDENER hear Colette’s sensual cries drifting
over the hedge. What the hell? They exchange puzzled looks.
25 EXT. COLETTE’S GARDEN – DAY 25
Back to the present. Camera picks up a FRAMED PHOTO OF OPRAH
from a corner of the bench. Holds it up for camera.
Oh, this? I keep Oprah out here for
luck. She’s done so much to help
writers. I know I’m going to be on
her television show one day. I just
Colette can already see the moment in her mind. Short beat.
Then she looks off-camera–listening to someone.
What? Oprah doesn’t have a TV show
anymore? Really? Since when?
Short beat as she hears the answer.
Short beat as she tries to cover.
I knew that. I did. I-I knew.
26 INT. HENRY’S APARTMENT – NIGHT 26
Henry stands in front of his mirror. Checks his appearance.
Again. Talks to the camera.
Tonight’s the night. I’m going to
ask Hannah out.
Henry becomes lost in thought. Regroups.
It’s time. I like her. She likes me–
I think. I’ve got to take action.
Still stuck on Page 100. So I’m
asking Hannah out on a date tonight.
It’ll be great. And I’ll put this
writer’s block behind me.
Checks his appearance one last time in the mirror.
Wish me luck.
27 INT. ALAN AND COLETTE’S HOUSE — LIVING ROOM – NIGHT 27
Alan sits in his favorite chair, talking directly to the
I’m the group leader. After all,
getting together was my idea. They’re
all my patients. That’s how we met.
First one published gets a free eye
Alan cackles a bit too hard at that joke. He listens to a
question being asked.
Why did I form the group? To help
Colette. Oh, I certainly enjoy the
creative process, but Colette?
Writing is her dream. I’d do anything
for her because…because she’s my
dream. So there you have it.
Alan reaches for his tape recorder.
Possible names for future characters.
Anthony Gilmore. No, wait. Make
that Anthony T. Gilmore. Much
better. Slate McCoy. Fletcher Peck.
Fiona Foxx. And…a man known simply
Satisfied, Alan turns off the recorder.
28 INT. RESTAURANT #1 – NIGHT 28
Place is empty. Alan, Colette, William, John, and Henry
gather around the center table.
The WRITERS AT WORK poster is propped up against a nearby
empty chair. Hard not to notice the EMPTY CHAIR at the table.
Hannah is missing.
Waitress #1 pours coffee all around. Henry fidgets in his
chair, focused on the empty chair.
How come we never chow down at your
This is my place. Close to the working
John rolls his eyes.
Where’s Hannah? Anyone know?
Nobody responds. Alan checks his watch.
Time to get started.
Shouldn’t we wait for Hannah?
Let’s go, people. I’m ready to read.
William’s right. We’ll start. She’ll
William starts passing out pages. Henry eyes the empty chair.
Colette looks over William’s pages. There are only three.
She has a puzzled look.
William, aren’t these the same pages
you read last time?
Nope, they’re different.
They look the same.
They’re different. I changed a word.
Writing is rewriting, Colette.
Bukowski said, “Write five words.
No. Dorothy Parker said that.
One word? Jesus H. Christ.
It’s my creative vision, John.
Which we are here to support. This
is William’s decision.
Let me just read. See if you can
pick out the word. Tell me if it’s
better, or worse.
One goddamn word.
Henry continues staring at the empty chair.
29 INT. RESTAURANT #1 – NIGHT 29
The evening meeting is winding to an end. John stands up to
stretch. Alan slides papers into his leather satchel.
HANNAH’S CHAIR remains empty. Henry remains concerned.
I wonder what happened to Hannah.
It’s not like her to miss.
The mystery is quickly solved. Front door opens. In rushes
Hannah, dashing directly towards the others, looking harried.
I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry for missing
What happened? Your car break down?
Maureen. Is Maureen OK?
People. C’mon. Look at her. That
glow. Hannah met a guy. She got
Hannah gives William a playful smack on the back.
As a matter of fact, I did meet a
His name’s Brian.
Check out Henry. He looks absolutely horrified. No!
Hannah takes a deep breath and flashes a smile the size of
the Grand Canyon.
He’s my new agent!
She remembers the camera.
(Directly to camera)
An agent. I’ve got an agent!
Surprise and silence. The writers look at each other and
then back at Hannah. Not quite sure how to react.
Stunned as Hannah turns her attention back to the group.
That writing class I took? Well,
for the final project, I turned in
the first chapter of Sleeping on the
Moon. I guess the teacher liked it.
Then he gave it to his friend who’s
an agent. Brian. He called. Had to
see me right away. Brian wants to
Bet Brian wants more than that.
Playful smack from Colette to William on the shoulder: Behave.
That’s so great, Hannah.
I salute you, young lady.
And he does.
Yes. Fantastic. Fanntasstic.
Henry takes it all in quietly, unable to speak.
Alan bounces up and gives Hannah a big hug as the others
immediately start peppering her with questions.
30 INT. RESTAURANT #1 – NIGHT 30
Colette, Alan, John, William and Henry encircle a beaming
Hannah as Waitress #1 snaps their PHOTO.
31 INT. RESTAURANT #1 – NIGHT 31
Alan pops the drugstore CHAMPAGNE and pours into the cheap
plastic cups, as Colette passes them around to Hannah, Henry,
John, and William.
Everyone clinks their cups together.
Thank you. But I just want to remind
everyone that we’re all in this
together. I couldn’t have come this
far without the group.
All for one . . . .
But our camera picks up on the individual writers and
something is amiss. Everything seems a beat off. People
appear happy, but a little subdued. The joy seems a bit too
I’m merely the first one to get
signed. But we’re all going to have
an agent soon.
Well, as a matter of fact, there’s
an agent in Santa Monica very
interested in John K. Butzin. He’s
reading the manuscript as we speak.
The others let John’s remark pass without comment. William
taps Henry on the shoulder.
Hey, can you lend me ten bucks?
Henry is still a bit dazed by this unexpected turn of events.
Thanks, bro’. You’re the best.
Henry’s eyes can’t leave Hannah.
32 EXT. RESTAURANT #1 – NIGHT 32
The front door to the restaurant swings open and the writing
group members tumble out into the evening. Alan carries his
WRITERS AT WORK sign.
William makes a move towards Hannah, but the the ever-
protective Henry grabs her gently by her elbow, cutting
William off. They start walking in one direction. William
and John head out in the other. Meanwhile, Alan and Colette
wave enthusiastically to Hannah.
Congratulations again, Hannah!
Yes, yes. Way to go, Hannah!
Thank you! ‘Night.
Alan and Colette continue to smile and wave until Hannah is
out of ear shot.
Well, Hannah’s got an agent.
She must have slept with him.
Of course she did.
33 EXT. CITY STREET – NIGHT 33
Henry and Hannah arrive at her car. She unlocks the front
door of her clunker-of-a-Ford as Henry waits.
I’m so proud of you, Hannah.
Your turn will come, Henry. You’re a
better writer than I am. So much
better. You went to college.
Hannah looks directly into the camera, pointing to Henry.
He’s a great writer. Henry Obert. I
knew him when.
Henry, clearly embarrassed, puts his hand up to block the
camera. Tries to change the subject.
Listen. Maybe some afternoon we
could go for a drive. There are
some special places I’d like to show
Sure. I can’t believe I’ve lived out
here four years and haven’t seen —
She stops in mid-sentence. A light goes on in her head.
Four years. It’s been four years
since I moved here. And now I have
an agent. It’s the number four again.
My lucky number. I should have known
this was going to happen.
There is no one more deserving.
Hannah rewards Henry’s praise with a peck on the lips. And
a warm hug.
Hannah steps in her car, starts it up and rolls down the
I’m going to dedicate my novel to
A final wave and Henry watches as she disappears into the
night. He sighs.
34 INT. MONTAGE OF SHOTS – DAY 34
A series of shots featuring the writers writing–or, at least,
trying: Alan pauses between eye appointments to record an
William continues scribbling at the restaurant, this time
eyeing WAITRESS #2.
Hannah, sitting cross-legged on her bed, types away on her
Colette sits on her private bench, seeking inspiration.
John sits at his keyboard. Vintage black-and-white war movie
plays on the TV. John appears more interested in the movie.
Henry stares at his laptop. The screen is blank. Henry
surrenders yet again and flips off the computer.
35 INT. HENRY’S APARTMENT – DAY 35
Henry, sitting in his studio apartment, wears his pizza
delivery outfit. Ready for work. Talks to the camera.
I’m happy for Hannah.
Still, her getting an agent sort of
ruins my plans, doesn’t it? I mean,
Hannah has an agent. I don’t. That
won’t work for dating. I can’t ask
her out until I get an agent.
Henry gestures at a PHOTOGRAPH taped to the wall among his
That’s Richard Benedict. He’s written
seven novels. Fantastic writer.
INSERT ARCHIVAL PHOTOS of Richard Benedict.
The Fitzgerald of his generation.
Richard Benedict made me want to be
36 INT. ALAN AND COLETTE’S HOUSE — LIVING ROOM – DAY 36
Colette dressed in a leotard, practices basic yoga on a mat
in her living room. Chanting. Overly dramatic, as always.
Takes a break and talks to the camera.
My novel is called Nyet, Not Yet.
It’s about a Russian woman who comes
to this country in search of love.
It was inspired by a story I heard
from one of my massage clients, Yuri.
Yes, it’s true–I used to do massage.
In fact, that’s how I met Alan, though
I certainly didn’t give him the kind
of massage he really wanted. At least
not the first time.
Colette allows herself a slight smile at the memory.
I will get an agent. It comes down
to this: if Hannah can get an agent,
I can get an agent. After all, I am
a graduate of Mills College.
37 INT. HANNAH’S APARTMENT – DAY 37
Plopped down in her rocking chair, Hannah talks to someone
O.S. Maureen goes about her day in the background.
Have I thought of my favorite author
yet? No. Not yet. There are so
many, you know?
The deep breaths and waving of hands begin again. Here comes
that smile as she looks directly into the camera.
So. I am somewhat superstitious.
Yes. Guilty. I’m drawn to the number
4. I was born at exactly 4:04 p.m.
on April 4th. 4-4-4-4. That wasn’t
an accident. No way.
She’s dead serious.
Certain things I’ve learned to avoid.
Black cats. Cracked mirrors. Oh.
And the number 13 especially. I hate
the number 13. Hate it.
Conversation interrupted by RINGING DOORBELL. Hannah frowns
at the interruption as Maureen scurries to the door and opens
it, revealing Colette hiding behind a HUGE GIFT BASKET. She
breezes in. Takes over. Over the top.
Hi…Hi…Hello everyone. I was
just in the neighborhood and–
Colette freezes when she notices the camera.
Oh, Hannah. I’m so sorry. I didn’t
know they’d be here–
Yeah, right. Hannah springs up. Follows Colette as she sets
the basket down for all to admire.
Colette. What a lovely surprise!
Hugs all around between Hannah and Maureen and Colette.
Hannah looks blown away by the gift basket.
My, what’s this?
Oh. It’s nothing. I just had to
say “Congratulations” to my new
Hannah is truly touched. Maureen notices a CARD attached to
“For Poodles…Now may we have sex
again? Love, Alan.”
What? Embarrassed, Colette snatches the card from Maureen.
Hannah is more focused on the gift. Doesn’t really hear.
So sweet of you, Colette.
My pleasure. Say, Hannah…about
Hannah looks over at Colette: What?
Is he–Is he taking on new clients?
Gee. I don’t really know.
Colette blurts out without thinking.
Think you could ask?
Awkward situation for Hannah. How best to respond?
I guess so. Maybe.
Because if he is…
Let’s talk about this at group
Oh. Of course. Of course.
Long beat. Conversation over. The three women wait for one
another to speak. Colette checks her watch.
A hug for both Maureen and Hannah.
I’ve got to go. Talk soon. By the
way, everything in the basket–gluten
A final wave to the camera and Colette disappears.
Colette Mooney. My, that woman is
A light goes off in Hannah’s head.
(To herself; counting
on her fingers)
Colette Mooney. C-o-l-e-t-t-e M-o-o-
She can’t finish the count. The ugly truth is staring her in
13 letters. Oh, dear…
Hannah and Maureen exchange concerned looks.
38 INT. ALAN’S OFFICE DAY 38
Hannah and Henry sit together in the reception area. Alan
breezes in, ever-smiling, greeting both enthusiastically.
39 INT. ALAN’S OFFICE – DAY 39
Rows of EYE GLASSES on display as Alan guides Hannah over to
the fitting table. Henry tags along.
Thanks for seeing me today, Alan.
No problemo. Let’s get you some new
Something that makes me look smart.
You’re already smart, Hannah.
Hannah gives Henry’s hand a playful squeeze: Thank you.
Alan and Hannah sit down opposite from each other. Henry
pulls up a chair to the side. Alan selects a pair. Puts them
Hannah shrugs her blase reaction.
Alan removes the brown-colored frames. Studies them for a
second. Then — inspiration arrives.
Excuse me. One sec.
He reaches inside his coat pocket for his RECORDER. Speaks
Ah. Name for character. Alexander
Brown. Wears brown-colored glasses.
Of course he would.
Henry nods, agreeing. Satisfied, Alan puts the recorder
away and reaches for another pair of glasses.
You know this great idea for a novel
hit me this morning. It’s called
Alan tries the second pair on Hannah. She checks herself in
the mirror. Then she shows Henry. They both shake their head:
No. It is a funny moment between friends. They laugh as Alan
reaches for pair #3.
It’s about a dog who becomes human
for 24 hours in order to rescue his
kidnapped owner. I love this idea,
Could be a winner.
Alan puts the third pair of glasses on Hannah. She checks
herself in the mirror, finally liking what she sees. She
looks over towards Henry.
What do you think?
Poor Henry. She does look good. He’s falling even harder for
her by the moment.
You look great, Hannah.
Hannah can’t decide. She studies herself in the mirror as
Henry studies her. Henry reaches for his ANDROID and snaps
a photo of her. Alan brings them back to real time.
Question: You think your agent might
be interested in this idea? Does he
have a dog?
Oh. I don’t know–
How about a cat? It could be a cat.
Um. Sure. Probably could be.
Think about mentioning it to your
agent, OK? Unleashed. Dog — or cat —
Alan beams with pride at his imagination on display. Hannah
fidgets. Avoids Alan. Henry jumps in to save the moment.
I’ll help you develop the idea, Alan.
Alan looks pleased. Hannah looks grateful.
40 INT. RESTAURANT #1 – DAY 40
The TWO MIDDLE-AGED WOMEN (CUSTOMER #1 AND CUSTOMER #2) sit
across from each other in the nearly-deserted restaurant.
Body language suggests an intense, passionate, personal chat.
A writer has to hear everything. On
the streets. In the restaurants.
But something’s amiss. Customer #1 stops abruptly, glancing
at the table next to them: William has suddenly materialized.
Sitting with a cup of coffee and a legal pad, scribbling.
WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT’D)
My dialogue has to be real so I’m
everywhere. Standing behind you at
the checkout stand.
Customer #1 resumes conversation, but looks sharply back at
William. His head is tilted towards them. Listening.
WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Peeing next to you at the urinal. I
watch. I listen.
Customer #1 says something to Customer #2. Looks back at
William. His head is still cocked as he makes notes.
WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Writing down scraps of conversation.
Customer #1 grows more agitated. Customer #2 tries to calm
her down. Finally, Customer #1 shoots up and marches over
to William, her finger jabbing in the air towards the
notebook. William shrugs, playing dumb.
WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT’D)
That’s right. I eavesdrop.
Customer #1 reaches down and grabs the notebook from William.
He tries to stop her, but too late.
WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT’D)
How else do you accurately capture
the misery of the human condition?
She reads the page and shows it to Cutomer #2 who reads the
notes and is equally shocked.
WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Now Bukowski says “An intellectual
says a simple thing in a hard way.”
The two women start yelling at William. He keeps shaking his
head. Customer #1 tears the page into shreds.
WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT’D)
“An artist says a hard thing in a
Waitress #2 comes over. The women talk to her and she starts
yelling at William. Customer #1 poking her finger in his
chest. Escalates to a push. The COOK comes out and starts
yelling at William.
WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Gotta love it. That’s me. Simple.
Surrounded by yelling people, William breaks through the
circle and moves towards the door. The BUS BOY yells, too.
WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Powerful. An artist.
41 EXT. JOHN’S MOBILE HOME – DAY 41
John grins for the camera. The reason why sits next to him
in the matching LAWN CHAIRS.
The WOMAN is clearly younger than John. Plainly dressed in a
faded sweat shirt. Little makeup. Nervous in front of the
camera, but she looks more at us than she does at John. He
can’t keep his eyes off her.
CAPTION: SIGRID HAGENGUTH
Meet someone very s-p-e-c-i-e-l.
Here with us today all the way from…
Coaxing Sigrid to finish the thought.
Oh! That accent! Found her working
at the hardware store. Went in for a
drill bit. Came out with a prime
candidate for Mrs. John K. Butzin.
42 INT. HARDWARE STORE – DAY 42
Watch Sigrid work. Hard. Uber hard. Stocking shelves. Running
cash register. Consulting HER BOSS — an older man.
Assisting customers. Moving boxes. Always wearing a red
employee vest. She does speak with a thick accent. Sincere,
German. Stops. In
Apologies. American only. I come
from Dusseldorf, yes? Came to this
great country 90 years ago — no, 90
days ago. Apologies. Took job in
store as cleaning lady. Promoted to
cashier. Now assistant, assistant
43 INT. JOHN’S MOBILE HOME – DAY 43
Sigrid stands next to a wall display. Everything and anything
to do with the U.S. is hanging on this wall: Magazine covers
of Obama. A U.S. flag. Burger King logo. Photo of Jay Leno.
N.Y. Yankees pennant. Whatever comes to mind for the U.S.
seems to be taped, tacked, glued or whatever to that wall.
This my ‘Wall of America’ tribute,
yes? To my new country. And in the
center, of course, the three men I
admire most in America.
First we see the FRAMED PHOTO of a certain business mogul.
Herr Trump. Very rich. Very famous.
Then we move on to the second PHOTO of a certain TV celebrity.
Herr Simon Cowell. Very rich. Very
famous. Very sexy.
Move on to the third PHOTO. Hey, we know this person:
Ja. My special guy. Herr Bootzin.
About to become very rich. Very
famous. Already very sexy.
Then maybe Sigrid Hagenguth becomes
Mrs. John K. Bootzin, ja?
44 EXT. COLETTE’S GARDEN – DAY 44
Colette sits. Focused on the WHITE ENVELOPE in one hand.
Alan sits next to her, squeezing her other hand. Photo of
Oprah on the other side.
I know this is a rejection letter.
I can’t open this. I can’t be
rejected today. I take rejection so
I bet it’s good news.
She opens the envelope. Peeks inside. No letter. Just the
SMALLEST POST-IT NOTE flutters out on to the ground. Colette
picks it up.
“Sorry. Not interested.” I knew it.
How can such a big rejection come
from such a small piece of paper?
Colette folds the Post-It Note in half–and then in quarters.
Holding it in her hand, she begins to chant. Alan holds on
to her hand and pats her on the back. Good husband.
45 INT. HANNAH’S APARTMENT – DAY 45
Hannah and Maureen watch with interest and obvious
appreciation as Henry, dutifully wearing his uniform, cleans
their living room carpet.
Open PIZZA STARZ ÍBOX on the breakfast bar. Looks like Henry
has brought dinner, as well. Hannah’s iPhone goes off. As a
courtesy, Henry stops the machine.
Hello? Yes. Oh, hi, Brian.
(LISTENING) Really? (LISTENING) Oh
my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!
Hannah starts jumping up and down like a little girl while
Maureen and Henry look on in bewildered anticipation.
Oh my god!
What’s he saying?
He sold my novel.
Brian sold Sleeping on the Moon!
Now Maureen starts jumping up and down. Henry can’t hide his
Oh my god! Oh my god!
Yes, Brian. I will. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. I will.
Promise. Thank you!
Hannah turns off her iPhone. Mother and daughter can’t
believe the news. Jumping up and down. Warm embrace.
In turn, they both embrace Henry, who also shares the
genuine, sincere moment.
You did it, Hannah! You did it!
I’m so proud of you, dear!
Another embrace between mother and daughter. This could go
on all night.
We need to tell the group!
The smile disappears from Hannah’s face.
The group. Oh, dear. The group. No,
no, I can’t tell them about this.
She looks to Maureen for support.
It will seem like I’m bragging or
something. I mean I’m the one with
an agent. Now this. It could be
too much, too soon, don’t you think?
Henry understands. He wants to help.
Suppose I tell them? They could hear
the news from me.
Hannah lights up at the suggestion. She goes to Henry and
gives him a tight hug. So very tight. Blesses him with another
friendly peck on the lips.
Thank you, my friend. I can always
depend on you, can’t I?
46 INT. JOHN’S MOBILE HOME – DAY 46
John talks to the camera.
That’s great for Hannah, her little
book deal, and all. But John K.
Butzin has some news to announce, as
John holds up a BROCHURE.
I’ve just inked a deal with U R the
Publisher, a reputable company based
in New Delhi. They publish 5000 titles
internationally every year. Paying
‘em two hundred dollars and they’re
going to format and publish my novel
Roaring Lion. I’ve waited for this
moment forever. Finally, a Butzin
is going to be a published author.
A voice drifts in from another room.
Yoo-hoo. Mr. Published-Author-to-Be.
Sigrid would like you to come in for
personal, private autograph. Please.
John gulps. Then he remembers the camera. Makes a “cut”
motion with his finger across the neck.
47 INT. HENRY’S APARTMENT – NIGHT 47
Henry’s turn to host the group meeting. Alan, William,
Colette, and John share the lumpy couch and the folding metal
chairs. Open PIZZA STARZ BOXES in the background.
Everyone is enjoying a single slice of pizza off a paper
plate–except for John, who is inhaling two pieces at once.
The mood is somber. Quiet.
Hannah’s just lucky. That’s all.
John tries to agree, but his mouth is too stuffed with pizza.
Cheap FLOWERS from Ralph’s and BALLOONS in full display on
the coffee table. Henry stands–listening–by the front
Here she comes!
Henry opens the door. Hannah floats in.
The serious expressions suddenly, magically, turn to broad
smiles. Henry is the first to offer a hug.
Alan, William, Colette, John give her a standing ovation.
Hannah notices the balloons and flowers.
Ohhhhhh. For me? You shouldn’t have.
Way to go, Ms. Published Author!
Everyone gets a hug from Hannah. William gives Hannah an
extra long hug.
We’re all jealous, Hannah. Just
No. Seriously. We’re all jealous.
Nervous laughter around the room.
You’re all making too much of a
When will your book come out, Hannah?
A year. Takes about a year.
So how much did you get?
Don’t ask her that.
Why not? How much did you get?
I did OK. Leave it at that. What’s
important is that I owe this success
to all of you. I would be lost without
this writing group.
(Louder than normal)
I don’t know if anyone heard.
All eyes turn to John, still inhaling pizza.
But U.R. the Publisher has agreed to
publish Roaring Lion by John K.
Puzzled looks are the reaction.
U.R. the Publisher?
They self-publish. E-books. Print on
That’s right, Obert. But I’ll have
my book in two weeks. None of this
B.S. waiting around. John K. Butzin
will be a published author. And be
Well, John. Congratulations.
She leans over and gives him the briefest of hugs. There are
other congratulatory murmurs coming from the group.
My, two published authors in the
group. The rest of us are going to
have to catch up.
48 INT. HENRY’S APARTMENT – NIGHT 48
The meeting gets down to business. Alan, Colette, Henry,
William and Hannah, wearing her new glasses, listen as John
reads from Roaring Lion.
Gunner stared out over the bleak
horizon, seeing one dead Viet Cong
after another lay scattered on the
bloody hillside. He had won this
time, but Gunner knew Charlie would
be back in the morning. By god, he
would be ready. So would his M60
General Purpose Machine Gun and Mark
2 Fragmentation/Hand Rifle Grenade.
John finishes and sits back in his chair, quite pleased with
OK, John. Nicely done. Let’s get
Henry, as always, has been making notes.
Well. In terms of the characters–
–Hold on, Obert. I wanna hear from
John points towards Hannah.
We’ll hear from everybody.
I don’t want to hear from everybody.
She has a book coming out. John K.
Butzin has a book coming out. I want
to hear from Hannah, author to author.
Oh, screw you.
This is really going against the
spirit of the group, John. Everyone’s
opinion is valid.
Hers is more valid. What’d you think,
Hannah? Tell me.
Hannah struggles to speak. Clearly uncomfortable.
I-I . . .
The words freeze in her mouth. Awkward silence. Finally.
Going outside for a smoke.
William thunders away from the group. Colette watches him
I’ll go talk to him.
Colette follows, calling after William.
Let’s take a fifteen minute break,
Embarrassed, Hannah excuses herself. Henry trails along after
her, leaving a muttering John and calm Alan alone. Alan
reaches for his recorder. Talks into it.
Ahhh, idea for Michael Crichton-type
novel. Members of Antarctic research
station attacked by mutant penguins.
Satisfied, Alan turns off the recorder while John reaches
for more pizza.
49 EXT. COLETTE’S GARDEN – DAY 49
Colette is back on her bench. Standing behind her is a
mysterious MAN (Over 40) who favors black clothes and dark
CAPTION: DR. XIROMAN
I want you to meet someone special.
This is my spiritual adviser. Doctor
Xiroman has taken a vow of silence
for one full year to protest climate
change. What an amazing man. Dr.
Xiroman is going to cleanse the air
of all this rejection.
Camera goes to Dr. Xiroman. Somber, expressionless. Does he
even have a pulse?
Dr. Xiroman walks over to small fire pit and meditates as he
places his hands over the rising flames. Colette begins a
New Age chant for added support.
50 INT. RESTAURANT #2 – DAY 50
THREE YOUNG MEN in the corner booth. Jeans and baseball caps.
Very animated conversation. Loud, punctuated by laughter.
They think they’re the only people in the joint. The WAITRESS–
EUDORA (20’s)–with the purple streaks in her hair and
matching purple glasses, refills their cups.
William sits alone at the counter, impossible to hide his
disdain. He talks to the camera with the three men in the
See those jokers back there?
They “write” for TV. Town’s full of
them. Creative vultures. Anything
for a paycheck. Fade in. Fade out.
C.S.I. 24. Who Wants to Suck My —
William scoffs as the disdain drips from his mouth.
Gimme a break. Television. Telecrap.
They’ve sold their souls to the devil.
For what? A house in Malibu? A tennis
William glances over his shoulder, shaking his head in
disgust. Another table catches his eye. TWO ATTRACTIVE WOMEN
engage in friendly banter over coffee. William stares them
down, making friendly eye contact.
The woman facing him returns eye contact. She smiles. William
smiles, watching them as he continues.
That will never be me. I will never
compromise my vision for financial
gain. I’d rather borrow money from
friends than sell out for a quick
The two women stand up. William is stoked. This is too easy.
But the women instead go to the three TV writers. Immediately
invited to sit down with them.
William can’t believe it. What the…
“…Gatsby had an extraordinary gift
for hope, a romantic readiness…
51 INT. HENRY’S APARTMENT – DAY 51
Henry reads from The Great Gatsby.
“…such as I have never found in
any other person and which it is not
likely I shall ever find again…”
Henry is always moved whenever he reads Fitzgerald. Putting
down the book, he talks to the camera.
You know, the year before he died,
Scott Fitzgerald made a grand total
of $13.13 in royalties from his
writing. I guess Hannah’s right
about 13 being unlucky.
A question is asked O.S. Henry listens.
Sure. Sure. I know that. Gatsby
does end tragically. But that’s
fiction. Hannah…She’s real. Our
story will have a happy ending.
Pause. Henry rethinks.
Maybe. Maybe a happy ending.
His confidence flies out the door.
Hope. Hope we have a happy ending.
52 INT. ALAN & COLETTE’S HOUSE — LIVING ROOM – DAY 52
Alan and Colette hold court on their living room couch,
talking to the camera.
There’s been one rule in this house.
Whatever Colette wants, Colette gets.
Thank you, Alan.
They look at each other adoringly. Real or fake?
She wants a Mercedes? No problem.
Credit cards? How many? Her own
business? Done. An agent?
Colette eats it up.
Call it karma or serendipity or
kismet. Whatever. But it just so
happens that very well-known literary
agent David Keller–
–Very well-known. He’s so known.
Exactly. Well, guess who is coming
in tomorrow to see Dr. Alan Mooney
for an eye examination and new
Colette starts squealing in anticipation. Alan nods with
confidence and flashes a “thumbs up.”
I love you, Poodles.
Love you more, Poodles.
53 INT. ALAN’S OFFICE – DAY 53
The casually dressed MAN (40’s) sits in the waiting area for
Alan Mooney, spending time on his iPhone, conducting business
as he waits.
CAPTION: DAVID KELLER
He doesn’t have to wait long. Alan personally comes out
into the waiting area to fetch him. Big grin. Hand extended.
Dr. Alan Mooney.
David, caught off guard by the doctor’s sudden appearance,
winds up his phone conversation.
Let me call you back.
David stands up.
They shake hands.
I know. Big fan. Big fan.
David can’t help but notice the camera.
Oh, that. They’re doing a little
documentary about my writing group.
Just act natural.
Lowering his voice.
It was supposed to be a reality
54 INT. ALAN’S OFFICE — EXAMINATION ROOM – DAY 54
Standard examination room. Alan guides David into the chair.
Great. Let’s start out with a basic
Alan flips a couple SWITCHES. Eye reading CHART appears on
the wall. Alan turns off the lights.
OK, David. See if you can read that
first line for me, please.
Very good, David. Would you like to
try for what’s behind Door Number
Three? Try this one, please.
Alan brings up a different line on the screen.
20/25. Looking good, David. But
anyone can identify simple letters
and numbers. Let’s see how you do
reading a more challenging text.
Alan brings up a different page. Several paragraphs on a
Good. Read me the first paragraph,
Natasha, the Russian peasant, dressed
oh-so-slowly, consumed totally,
completely, absolutely, by endless
thoughts of Yuri.
Oh. Very nice. Very nice. Now the
next paragraph, please.
David looks rather puzzled, but complies.
“I never, ever thought I could feel
this way,” Natasha said excitedly.
“Nor could I,” Yuri said happily,
his body dripping with enormous beads
Man. Wow. Gee. Isn’t that great
writing? My wife Colette wrote that.
The patients just love reading her
stuff. It’s from her new novel,
Nyet, Not Yet.
A loud KNOCK on the examination room door. David is saved by
My, I wonder who that could be.
He walks over to the door, opens it and feigns surprise to
see Colette. She moves right in.
Hi, honey. So sorry to intrude.
Colette? Gee, this is an incredible
coincidence. We were just talking
about you. And here you are!
Colette is locked like a laser beam on David Keller.
Oh, where are my manners? Colette,
this is David Keller. David, this is
my wife, Colette Mooney. The writer.
Pleasure to meet you, David.
Actually, Colette wrote this beautiful
prose you’ve been reading, David.
Honey, I can’t believe this
Well, I was just dropping off–
Oh, of course. Thanks for bringing
it by. Say, honey, David’s been
reading that first page of yours.
You don’t happen to have any more of
that opening chapter, do you?
Colette thinks for a second.
As a matter of fact, I think I do. I
think I do.
Colette searches her large PURSE and produces a manila folder.
Say, how about that?
Colette hands the manila folder to David, who accepts it
reluctantly. He’s been had.
How about that?
55 INT. ALAN’S OFFICE — EXAMINATION ROOM – DAY 55
Colette sits in the chair, Alan stands behind her, massaging
her shoulders. Both share that smirk of satisfaction.
That went very well.
Oh, yes, Poodles. Very.
Though David Keller did seem in a
hurry to leave.
The sooner he can begin reading.
Colette buys that. Of course.
I bet he calls tomorrow with an offer.
I bet he calls tonight.
Alan’s left hand starts to slide down towards Colette’s chest.
She doesn’t notice–her mind is elsewhere.
56 EXT. OUTSIDE ALAN’S OFFICE – DAY 56
DAVID takes Colette’s pages and tosses them in city TRASH
CAN, muttering to himself as he walks away.
I did it.
We did it.
57 INT. HANNAH’S APARTMENT – DAY 57
Hannah sits cross-legged on her living room floor, wearing
her new glasses, reading typed pages. Henry sits close to
her. Not too close. Waiting. Hannah finishes. Impressed.
Henry. This is good. So good.
Hannah nods. Really.
But I’ve only got 100 pages. Can’t
seem to move forward.
I’m dying to know more about Scott
and Christy. What great characters.
Yeah. Sure wish I knew what was going
to happen with them.
Hannah gives Henry a friendly tap on the knee for
You’ll figure it out, Henry. It’ll
pass. Focus on your writing. No
distractions. The writing comes first.
Henry lets it sink in. Changes the subject.
Say, um, remember I offered to drive
you around and show you a couple
58 EXT. RICHARD BENEDICT HOME – DAY 58
The imposing house screams success. Henry and Hannah sit in
Henry’s parked car, taking it in.
Who lives here?
Oh. That writer you like?
Like? No. It’s much more than that.
Henry struggles to put it into words.
…Reading Richard Benedict…made
me want to be a better writer. He’s
that good, Hannah.
Can’t say I’ve read his stuff. Nice
59 EXT. FITZGERALD/GRAHAM HOME – DAY 59
Henry and Hannah stand on the sidewalk in front of the North
Hayworth home. Henry seems barely able to contain his
Here we are.
Hannah stares blankly at the house.
North Hayworth Avenue. Hollywood,
Hannah smiles politely, but it’s clear she doesn’t recognize
Big clue time. Sheila Graham.
Still nothing registers with Hannah.
OK. Give up? Writer Sheila Graham
lived here. Fitzgerald was her lover.
This is where he died on December
Hannah lets it all sink in.
Fitzgerald? He’s the one who shot
No. Fitzgerald. F. Scott Fitzgerald.
He wrote The Great Gatsby.
The name doesn’t register with Hannah.
(Reciting from heart)
Gatsby believed in the green light,
the orgiastic future that year by
year recedes before us. It eluded us
then, but that’s–
I’ve never read it.
Henry can’t hide his surprise.
Hannah stops, cognizant of the ever-present camera.
Could you turn that off for a few
You know they can’t. What’s wrong?
Hannah hesitates. Counts to three. Lowers her voice.
I’ve never read The Great Gatsby.
Henry. I never went to college.
I’ve heard of Hemingway. A little.
Fitzgerald. Somewhere. But I don’t
have your education. Your smarts. I
haven’t read all these great novels.
My stories come from my heart.
Henry lets it all sink in. Hannah looks at the house.
Tell me about the book.
Gatsby is about social position and
the American Dream and . . .
Henry stops. Rethinks his explanation.
Actually, it’s quite simple. Boy
meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy
moves heaven and earth to win the
And it’s your favorite?
Henry nods with his heart.
So how does it end? Does boy get the
Long beat. Then Henry reaches into the back seat of his car
for his KNAPSACK. Puts it on his lap, unzips it. Pulls out
his personal copy of Gatsby.
Here. Take my copy.
He hands the well-read book to Hannah.
Now you can find out for yourself.
60 INT. JOHN’S MOBILE HOME – DAY 60
John is on the telephone, clutching a copy of Roaring Lion.
He does not look happy.
Yes. I’m still holding. Where are
you again? New Dehli? Oh.
John stares at his book, shaking his head. Waits for a few
Sigrid is in the background, doing light housekeeping, trying
not to listen, but obviously can’t avoid it.
Butzin. John K. Butzin. Right. That’s
me. Roaring Lion. Yes. Well, I
have a copy of my book you sent, but
there must be some mistake…Well,
you put a dog on the cover. Not a
lion like we agreed.
John holds the book up for the camera to catch the
unmistakable dog barking on the front cover.
Plus the back cover is written in
Chinese. Chinese…Yes, I know
Chinese when I see it. One of those
Chinese assault rifles almost cost
me an eye at Hamburger Hill…
John listens–trying to remain calm.
I seem to be missing pages 1-0-7 to
1-1-2…Yes, I’m sure. And what in
blazes is this Chapter Eight?
Sigrid keeps cleaning. Stoic expression.
This Chapter Eight isn’t mine. It’s
about hormone replacement for women.
Do you think John K. Butzin would
write that? Must be from another
goddamn book. So what the hell you
going to do about this? You, sir,
are dealing with a decorated veteran–
a combat veteran–of the United States
John waits for an explanation.
Yes. I’ll hold.
John looks again at his book in disbelief. Then he remembers
the camera. Forces a faint smile.
Minor details. That’s all. All that
truly matters is that John K. Butzin
is finally a published author.
But catch Sigrid’s expression. She is quiet. More than a
little concerned at what she is hearing.
61 INT. RESTAURANT #2 – DAY 61
Henry and Hannah at a table, sharing coffee. Eudora the
waitress swings by with a refill, hair purple as ever. Hannah
thumbs through her copy of Gatsby, looking interested. And
pleased. Eudora notices the book.
Great book. Classic.
Henry nods in agreement. Eudora moves on.
Oh, I needed this break. Thank you,
It’s just that I’m starting to feel
the pressure, you know? There is so
much riding on this first book.
Don’t be silly. Sleeping on the
Moon will hit the bestseller list.
You’ll be the toast of the literary
world. And I’ll come over to Beverly
Hills and deliver a pizza to you.
Beverly Hills, ah…
62 EXT. HANNAH’S APARTMENT / CITY STREET – DAY 62
Parked on the street in front of Hannah’s apartment. Henry
and Hannah, this mutual admiration society, stand by the
car. Hannah still has her copy of Gatsby. Short beat.
What a dear, sweet friend you are.
Hannah graces Henry with another hug. Another quick peck on
the lips. But wait–Henry wants more. He kisses her back.
More than a peck. Too much more. Hannah, surprised, pulls
back–her hand on his chest: Stop.
No distractions. The writing comes
Henry nods reluctantly: Understood. One last hug from Hannah
before she heads for her front door, smiling back over her
shoulder at Henry. Henry watches her leave, knowing that
this was absolutely, positively, the best day of his life.
63 INT. HANNAH’S APARTMENT — LIVING ROOM – NIGHT 63
The writing group meets. Hannah, Henry, John, William, Alan
and Colette sit around the living room, pages in front of
WRITERS AT WORK sign on display.
Maureen, trying not to be in the way, goes from writer to
writer, carrying a large TRAY OF VEGGIES.
Alright. Whose turn is it to read?
All eyes on Henry. He shifts uncomfortably in his chair.
Oh. Um. Someone else go. I don’t
have anything new ready tonight.
Concerned looks all around.
It’s been weeks, Henry.
I know. Still can’t focus.
Don’t be a pussy, Obert. Get writing.
Complete the mission.
Writer’s block can be very serious,
John scoffs in disbelief. Maureen offers William some veggies.
He helps himself and checks out Maureen as she moves on to
What’s so hard, bro’? I mean, you’ve
got Scott and Christy. Two friends.
Tell their story.
That’s the problem. I think the
Changing? How so?
Lately I’m feeling something much
deeper, much richer. Scott and
Christy, um, growing closer.
The other group members appear puzzled.
Christy’s a beautiful, wealthy author
in Beverly Hills. How close can they
Follow me. Something happens.
Christy has an epiphany. She-She
realizes her feelings run much deeper
now for Scott.
Henry does everything he can not to look at Hannah. Short
Nah. Don’t buy it.
They’re friends. Why muck it up?
Don’t put ‘em in the same foxhole.
Is this Scott wanting to go beyond
the friendship? There’s no way
Christy would suggest it. What do
you think, Hannah?
Yes. Hannah, what do you think?
All eyes go back to Hannah. She does not want to answer.
Gee, I-I guess…I really never
thought of them that way.
Hannah shakes her head. Chooses her words carefully.
No. It’s always been a friendship.
Henry takes a moment. Thinking.
You don’t see anything possibly
happening between them?
No. Friends. Nothing more.
I’d be uncomfortable with any changes
in the relationship.
Message received. All eyes on Henry. Defeated.
OK. Thanks, everyone. I’ll try to
have something on paper next time.
Remember, Obert. Complete the mission.
64 INT. HANNAH’S APARTMENT — LIVING ROOM – NIGHT 64
Meeting over. Writing group starts breaking up. William
leans in close by Hannah.
Got a sec?
William motions Hannah over to the corner of the living room,
away from the others. She follows, looking puzzled. Henry
watches with curiosity. William starts speaking to Hannah in
hushed tones, trying not to let anyone else overhear the
More hushed tones from William. Hannah shakes her head.
But if I loaned you money, then I
wouldn’t have it.
Hey, I just figured, you know. You
got that big advance. Help out a
fellow writer. I’m good for it,
Sorry. It’s bad luck to loan money.
OK, then, just give it to me.
Henry makes a point of moving in and standing directly by
Hannah, staring William down. Henry and Hannah make eye
contact. Henry looks to her: Are we OK? Hannah looks away.
Colette comes up next to William.
How much do you need?
William looks surprised.
65 INT. JOHN’S MOBILE HOME – DAY 65
John sits in his comfortable chair. Sigrid is nearby, at the
computer. John talks to the camera.
This is a big moment. Roaring Lion
has been posted on Amazon.com. Now
all books. Your fiction. Your
nonfiction. They’re ranked on Amazon
by sales. Obviously everyone wants
to be number one. They say a book
is selling well on Amazon if it’s in
the top 5000. Time to run it up the
flag pole. Sigrid?
Nervous, Sigrid takes a deep breath and taps away on the
computer keys. She waits, focused intently on the screen.
(Reading slowly aloud)
2,472,899 . . .
Silence. Long silence as it all sinks in. John seems suddenly
uncomfortable. Sigrid types away on the computer keys again.
Reads off the screen.
Tom Clancy. 32.
John discovers a new interest in the ceiling.
66 INT. HANNAH’S APARTMENT – DAY 66
Hannah plops in her chair, upscale SHOPPING BAGS at her feet.
Maureen hovers in the background.
How am I doing? OK. Sort of. Brian
called. Looks like there’s real
interest in movie rights for Sleeping
on the Moon. Yeah, thanks.
Heavy sigh. Not excited in the least. Matter-of-fact.
But I don’t dare say anything to the
group. They find out I’ve got a
movie deal–I don’t know. I’m sensing
enough jealousy as it is, you know?
Could be awkward if they found out.
It’s a real–what’s that word?
That’s it. I’m in one.
67 EXT. JOHN’S MOBILE HOME – NIGHT 67
WRITERS AT WORK poster taped to the front door.
68 INT. JOHN’S MOBILE HOME – NIGHT 68
Full meeting of the writing group, all crammed around the
dining table. Henry and Hannah sit apart.
A single BOWL OF PRETZELS has been placed before them. Hannah
reads from her typed pages. Alan, William, Colette, and Henry
hang on her every word.
John is half-listening at best, more interested in the
MAGAZINE he’s thumbing through.
William REACHES UNDER THE TABLE and gently squeezes Colette’s
hand. Surprised, she pulls her hand away.
(Reading; with feeling)
“Please come home, Michael.” “Why
would you want to marry me, Kyra? I
barely graduated high school.”
“Michael, I don’t care about some
silly college degree. You’re the
most intelligent person I’ve ever
known. You are my shining star.”
Then Colette puts it back and squeezes William’s hand. It’s
his turn to be surprised.
Hannah slides off her new reading glasses, waiting for someone
to react. The room falls silent. Alan steps in.
OK. Comments. Anyone?
No response. Group members look at the pages. At each other.
No one steps forward.
I value your feedback. We’re all in
this together, right?
Colette–Did the new scene work for
Colette seems thrown by the direct question.
Oh…Gee…Hannah. What? I mean,
you’re being published. This is
But my editor wants rewrites. Am I
Colette punts. Alan jumps in to save his wife.
Of course you are, Hannah.
You got the deal. You got the check.
First one to be published.
John CLEARS HIS THROAT rather loudly: What about me, butthead?
William ignores him.
I think what I’m hearing from the
group is…is…you’re fine. We all
love it. Nothing here to critique.
You don’t need us–well, it’s not
that you don’t need us, but, you
Alan’s voice trails off before he can dig himself any deeper.
More silence as Hannah wrestles with this unexpected reaction.
Finally looks to Henry for help.
What do you think, Henry?
All eyes on Henry. He hesitates. Then —
Yes. Actually, it is really good,
but there are a couple things–little
things–I’d point out. For example–
Holy Douglas MacArthur —
All eyes on John. Finally holds up magazine to reveal that
he’s been reading VARIETY.
“Hollywood decides to go sleeping on
First-time scribe Hannah Rinaldi,
repped by Brian Barkley of SoHo,
scores six-figure movie deal. Ink is
still fresh, but Barkley boasts keen
John keeps reading. Various reactions, mostly muted, around
the table. Can Hannah’s face turn any redder?
69 INT. MONTAGE OF SHOTS – NIGHT 69
Members of the writing group struggle to deal with Hannah’s
Alan and Colette sit on their living room couch together,
wearing matching pajamas, staring straight ahead like zombies.
His tape recorder sits on the coffee table. Alan reaches
for it. She grabs it from his hand and throws it.
William sits at the counter of Restaurant #2, drumming his
fingers on the legal pad, half-heartedly trying to write.
WAITRESS #3 pours him some more coffee, trying to make eye
contact with him. William ignores her.
John sits in front of his computer screen, but he can’t
concentrate. Gives up. Shuts down computer. Flips on TV.
Another war movie.
Henry stares absent-mindedly at his wall of rejection letters.
Hannah sits at her computer–the only one actually working
at the moment–but she stops long enough to take a deep,
deep sigh. A lot weighs on her mind.
70 EXT. ALAN AND COLETTE’S HOUSE — DRIVEWAY – DAY 70
Alan arrives home. Steps out of his Lexus. Whistling. Happy-
go-lucky. Pauses in the driveway to record another idea.
Idea for novel. Perhaps screenplay.
The Amazing Doctor Eckleburg. An eye
doctor turned crime fighter. Ladies
71 INT. ALAN AND COLETTE’S HOUSE — LIVING ROOM – DAY 71
Alan sails through the front door. His smile disappears.
William is plopped on the living room couch. Shirt half
unbuttoned. Smoking. He freezes mid-puff.
SOUND OF SHOWER AND COLETTE SINGING OFF-KEY echoes throughout
the house. Alan turns quiet as he makes the connection.
Just, um. Just stopped by to…read
some pages for Colette. Yeah.
There are no pages on the coffee table in front of William.
72 EXT. COLETTE’S GARDEN – MOMENTS LATER 72
Alan steps outside. Somber. Focused. Acts like the
Terminator in his scanning of the area. Man on a mission.
What is he looking for? He finds it almost immediately,
zeroing in on Colette’s bench. Alan marches over and grabs
Colette’s prized framed photo of Oprah. Clutching it in his
hand, Alan looks at Oprah’s smiling face, then back towards
the house. Then he takes the frame and smashes it down on
the ground as hard as he can. Next he jumps up and down on
the smashed frame multiple times. Not satisfied, Alan bends
down, picks up the photo and rips it to shreds with his hands.
There. That felt good.
Pool Guy and Gardener have witnessed the whole scene. What
the hell? They exchange puzzled looks.
73 INT. HENRY’S APARTMENT – DAY 73
Henry talks to the camera.
Hannah’s avoiding me. She doesn’t
respond to emails or voice messages.
She’s “busy.” Always an excuse.
74 INT. HENRY’S APARTMENT – DAY 74
Henry talks to the camera–his concern unmistakable.
Things have definitely changed between
us. I did get to go to her place
for dinner last night.
75 INT. HANNAH’S APARTMENT – EVENING 75
A spruced-up Henry sits down for dinner. All smiles.
Hannah wasn’t there. She was in New
York with her publisher. But Maureen
and I had a lovely time.
Maureen passes Henry more vegetables.
76 EXT. COLETTE’S GARDEN – DAY 76
Colette sits on her private bench. Note the NEW PHOTO OF
OPRAH in a new frame. Colette talks to the camera.
Yes. You noticed. I replaced the
photo. I may be replacing other
things around here soon…I was just
using William…for research.
She holds up THREE MORE LETTERS.
Speaking of rejection…three more
letters saying Nyet, including one
from David Keller. I should have
offered him a massage. How much
more rejection can I take?
Colette stares at the letters, focusing on remaining strong.
“We keep going back, stronger, not
weaker, because we will not allow–
Her voice cracks. She stops. Fighting for composure
–Rejection to beat us down–
Colette’s frustration is boiling into anger as she struggles
to keep it under control.
–It will only strengthen our resolve.
To be successful there is no other
way.” Mr. Henry D. Thoreau.
77 EXT. COLETTE’S GARDEN – DAY 77
Smoke rises from the fire pit, burning what’s left of the
letters. Colette sits cross-legged, devoting her full energy
to chanting and beating her hands on a small DRUM.
It isn’t enough today. Watch as Colette’s solemn chant
dissolves into tears of frustration.
Dr. Xiroman places a comforting hand on her shoulder, trying
to calm Colette down.
78 EXT. JOHN’S MOBILE HOME – DAY 78
Sitting outside in the cheap lawn chairs with Sigrid, John
addresses the camera. He cleans up pretty good.
This is going to be a great day for
John K. Butzin. Yes, sir. First
official book signing.
Sigrid holds up a copy of Roaring Lion. The dog on the cover
has had an image of a lion slapped over it. Sigrid beams
Ready and raring to go. Of course,
it would have been better to do this
in an actual bookstore, but, hell,
they’re dropping faster than Charlie
at Dak To. Not to worry. Since Sigrid
works at the hardware store, they’re
going to let her favorite author
sign a few books there.
More than a few books. Many, many
Ja, my Strudel. Many books.
79 EXT. HARDWARE STORE – DAY 79
SIGNS in front window announcing hammers, ladders, paint on
sale. Also a handwritten PIECE OF PAPER taped to the window
with masking tape, announcing AUTHOR SIGNING.
80 INT. HARDWARE STORE – DAY 80
John sits at his card table in the corner. Alone. A stack of
books sit piled in front of him. CUSTOMERS walk all around,
ignoring John completely. John tries to stay relaxed, smiling
and nodding at people, not being too forceful.
Sigrid, wearing her little red work vest and glasses, stands
off to the side, beaming with pride. She hurries over to a
cash register, takes the telephone out of her surprised boss’
hand, and jumps on the store’s PA SYSTEM, blasting throughout
(On PA system)
Attention shoppers. Famous author,
Mr. John K. Bootzin, signing new
best seller. Up front of store.
John K. Bootzin. Also, special
today in plumbing department.
Ballcocks. Two for one. All
customers guaranteed will be
81 INT. HARDWARE STORE — DAY 81
The PILE OF BOOKS seems untouched.
82 INT. HARDWARE STORE – DAY 82
Still no takers. Sigrid comes over to console him.
Sorry, Strudel. Seem to be shooting
John looks past Sigrid. His face brightens. A smiling Alan
has arrived, flanked by Colette, Henry and Hannah. Hannah
holds a cupcake. Alan has a bottle of champagne and some
plastic cups. But there is no touching, no direct
interaction, between Colette and Alan.
John stands up. Clearly touched.
Hey-Hey. The cavalry’s arrived.
Look who’s here.
Wouldn’t miss your signing, John.
Hannah presents John with the cupcake and leans in for a
friendly peck on the cheek. Colette aims her cell phone
camera at John.
John half-smiles in response. Henry reaches over and shakes
Thanks, Obert. Where’s the Bukowski
Awkward silence as the group members exchange puzzled looks.
William said he’d meet us here.
What a turd. Never liked that punk
Maybe he’s still at our house.
Maybe he is. Maybe I should go see.
Maybe you should.
What’s that about? Henry studies John’s book. Flips to the
back cover. Surprised.
This is in Chinese.
All eyes on John. Squirming, he looks over to Sigrid: Help
me. She thinks for a second.
John nods convincingly in agreement.
(Except John and Sigrid)
83 INT. JOHN’S MOBILE HOME – DAY 83
Sigrid sits alone on the couch as John floats in and out of
camera, humming to himself, dancing like Fred Astaire. John
is happy. Sigrid seems more subdued. Marked contrast.
John addresses the camera.
Know what the hardware store manager
said? He said today was their most
successful book signing. Ever.
A question is asked. John listens.
This was their first book signing?
Think, John. Think.
Well, John K. Butzin set the bar
pretty high for the next writer, let
me tell ya. That’s right: 1-2-3-4-5-
6-7-8-9-10-11. Eleven books sold.
Sigrid clears her throat and flashes ten fingers in the air.
Oh, that’s right, Strudel. You
borrowed one at the store to help
prop open the side door. I forgot.
Ten books. But there are now at
least ten homes in California where
folks have books by Melville.
Hemingway. Clancy. And now Butzin.
It’s a humbling thought.
John goes back to his routine. Sigrid offers up a supportive
smile, but she doesn’t seem quite as impressed.
84 INT. ALAN AND COLETTE’S HOUSE — DINING ROOM – NIGHT 84
Alan sits at the writers’ table. Alone. Talks to the camera
in whispered tones.
I’ve made an important decision as
group leader. I’ve decided to ask
William to leave the group. Now it
has absolutely nothing to do with
that incident at our house. It has
nothing to do with the fact that I’m
now sleeping in the guest room. But
let’s face it–the kid’s a slacker.
No contribution to the group. Zero.
Zip. Nada. I’m sure he’ll be fine
85 INT. ALAN AND COLETTE’S HOUSE — DINING ROOM – NIGHT 85
William kicks his CHAIR over. Alan, Colette, John, Henry and
Hannah sit calmly around the table. Henry and Hannah apart.
There’s no need to get so upset.
Fine. I was going to quit anyway.
Leave this bunch of losers.
William makes eye contact with Colette: You too? She looks
away: Sorry. Only fuels William more. He points to Alan.
Christ. You and your stupid recorder.
And your stupid ideas. And your stupid
William clenches his fist and pretends it’s a microphone.
Name for character. Bobby Blow Me.
Gimme a break.
Alan sits stone-faced. William turns to John.
And G.I. Joe over here with that
piece-of-crap, self-published tripe.
Who are you kidding?
Flustered, John starts to stand up. Alan grabs John’s arm,
pulls him back down.
Just ignore him.
William continues on his rant with Colette.
Colette, Colette, my pet. News Flash
for you: Oprah’s not calling–unless
she needs a massage. Get real!
Oprah? She’s not on TV anymore.
I know that.
William turns his attention to Henry.
The great Henry O. Man, you got the
gift, bro’. But your head is up
your ass over poor, sweet, successful
Hannah and Henry avoid looking at each other as William smiles
Hannah. Hannah. Hannah. We could
have been so hot together. I’m just
as good a writer as you are, but you
sure look better in a skirt —
I don’t need any of you. I don’t
need any of your pointless, pedestrian
feedback. I’m a writer.
You’ve got goddamn three pages.
They’re a great three pages! You
just don’t appreciate my dedication.
You’re a pretend writer, William.
Silence. William is surprised that Hannah speaks out.
She’s right. You act the part. You
like the lifestyle. You hit on women.
You quote Bukowski. But Bukowski did
the work. Each and every day he
wrote. That’s your problem, William.
You don’t do the work.
I don’t do the work? Man, that sounds
frickin’ hilarious coming from you.
When’s the last time you wrote
That hits a nerve. William and Henry stare each other down.
Enough. William flips off the group with his middle finger.
Mumbling, grumbling under his breath, he starts to leave.
Pauses at the WRITERS AT WORK sign. Picks it up.
Not the sign!
Too late. William RIPS it in two. And a second time for
good measure. Throwing the pieces on the ground. Stomps out
of the house, slamming the front door.
The group turns quiet for a long beat. Everyone calming down.
Alan takes control again — eyes still darting over to what’s
left of his beloved sign.
Let’s move on. Next item. Richard
Benedict is going to be doing a
signing at Wordsmith next week.
Alan looks directly at Henry.
Who wants to go?
86 INT. BOOKSTORE – DAY 86
Large bookstore. Long line. Why? Because Richard Benedict
is in the building, doing a signing of his new novel The
Hannah, Henry, Alan, and Colette stand in line together,
waiting. Colette is holding one copy of the BOOK. Hannah
has one. Henry has one.
Alan reaches inside his coat pocket for his RECORDER. Snaps
Idea for novel. Jealous husband
murders his tramp-of-a-wife and buries
her chopped-up body in the back yard.
Colette pretends not to hear. Line inches forward. Alan cranes
his neck to see what’s happening.
Mr. Benedict, I just want to thank
you. No. You’ve inspired my writing–
No. Hi. I’m Henry. I just think you’re
Colette puts a friendly hand on Henry’s shoulder.
Let me tell you something, Henry.
Henry looks to her, expecting words of comfort.
One day, I’ll have a signing like
Colette looks around, already imagining the event.
87 INT. JOHN’S MOBILE HOME – DAY 87
John is bent over his PRINTER, jiggling the front end, trying
to open it. Tapping it on the side. No luck.
Nope. Not going to see Richard
whatever-his-name-is. John K.
Butzin, author, doesn’t need to stand
in line anymore. No, sir. This soon-
to-be best-selling writer is spending
every minute, every dollar, on
promoting Roaring Lion.
Try as he might, John can’t open up his printer. Sigrid
appears. Leans in. Effortlessly opens up the printer. Takes
the cartridge from John. Snaps it in. Shuts the lid. Done.
John grunts his thanks.
Strudel, check my sales ranking again.
Sigrid steps to the computer and taps a couple keys. Stares
at the screen.
(Reading out loud)
1,644,973 . . .
Not quite the hoped-for response. Turns quiet inside the
mobile home. John clears his throat.
Wow. Look how far I’ve moved up
Sigrid types again. Reads off the screen.
John Grisham. 12.
Forget about John for the moment. Watch Sigrid as her eyes
dart around–from the screen, to John in the chair, out the
window. Back again. This is the moment. Sigrid gets it
now: John K. Butzin is not the author he pretends to be.
Very quiet in the mobile home.
88 INT. BOOKSTORE – DAY 88
The AUTHOR (50’s) sits at the signing table, obliging, but
not outgoing, grunting hello to people and smiling (somewhat)
for photos as he signs BOOKS. He is not here by choice today.
CAPTION: RICHARD BENEDICT
The young CLERK hovers nearby, assisting with books and trying
to keep the line moving.
Henry is first, followed by Alan and Colette, then Hannah.
Henry clutches his copy. Good luck trying to rip it from
his hands. The four get nearer to Benedict.
He’s older than I thought.
I’ve never seen him before.
Pleasure to meet you. No. Honor to
meet you. He She They is my favorite
Closer…Closer…Closer they get to the table. Richard signs
away. Henry seems transfixed by him. Now it’s his turn to
have his book signed.
The moment has arrived. Henry stands directly in front of
Richard Benedict. Henry seems nervous. Too nervous to speak.
Richard looks up and for the slightest, milli-second their
At that exact moment, RICHARD’S CELL PHONE GOES OFF. He
Henry stands there, unable to move, staring at Richard while
he speaks on the phone.
No response. Alan nudges Henry. No good.
Sir? We need to keep the line moving.
Alan intervenes. He takes Henry’s copy of the novel and slides
it over to Benedict. Benedict scribbles his name quickly and
slides it back with no eye contact, yelling on the phone.
Absolutely not! I’ll sue that bastard
Alan grabs the book and gives it back to Henry, nudging him
We need to move, Henry.
Alan and Colette slide their book over to Richard.
Richard looks up at her for a split second and decides to
ignore her. Another scribbled signature as he remains on
Colette takes the book, trying not to look hurt. Alan grabs
Henry and they leave the area. Hannah is next up. She puts
her book down on the table.
Damn it! That simply won’t–
Richard glances up. Sees Hannah standing there. He stops in
Richard hangs up the phone.
The two start chatting. Camera goes over to the shell-shocked
Henry, still clutching his book, watching as Hannah and
Richard carry on. Henry is so disconcerted by what he sees
that he fails to notice Eudora, still with purple hair and
matching glasses, the very next person in line behind Hannah,
waving at him.
89 EXT. BOOKSTORE – DAY 89
Outside bookstore. After the signing. Alan and Colette walk
ahead. Henry and Hannah follow. Colette, Henry and Hannah
each carry book bags.
So what did he say?
Who!?!? Richard Benedict. You know,
the guy who just held up the line
for five minutes talking to you?
(Over his shoulder)
Ten. It was closer to ten minutes.
I don’t know. We just talked.
He sure liked you.
We just talked, Henry. I mentioned
my book. He started asking about it.
Writer to writer. No big deal.
No big deal? Talking to Richard
Benedict. No big deal!
Colette keeps walking. Biting her lip. Very quiet.
You gave him your phone number.
Look, a guy like that reads more
books in a week than I ever have.
Why would he bother call–
Just then, Hannah’s iPhone goes off. She answers. The other
three stop in their tracks.
Hello? Who? Richard? Oh. Richard.
Henry inches closer to Hannah, forcing Hannah to move back,
creating an uneasy dance between the two. She turns her
back on Henry.
Coffee? Oh, God. I don’t know,
Richard. I really appreciate the
She listens. Her face is anguished. Finally —
This isn’t a good time. Call me later.
Yes. I’ll think about it. Yes. Bye.
Hannah turns off her phone. Alan, Colette, Henry stand there,
gaping jaws wide open.
This isn’t fair. This just isn’t
First, you get an agent. Then you
sell your book. Then the big movie
No. This isn’t fair. And now Richard
Benedict wants to have coffee with
you? All this is happening to you.
And only you. Isn’t there anything —
I don’t know–some kind of cosmic
creative crumb for the rest of us to
I don’t like what you’re suggesting,
Colette. You know how hard I work.
How devoted I am. And I have been
totally supportive of your writing.
I’ve encouraged you all along.
You wouldn’t introduce me to your
Brian didn’t want to meet you. I
Hannah has earned her success.
Butt out Mr. Idea Man.
Hannah is a writer. She devotes
herself one hundred percent to
writing. Not one hundred percent to
sleeping with writers.
Henry steps in. Finally.
Why don’t you two just go on ahead?
It’s not fair that she be the only
C’mon. Let’s go.
Colette marches off in a huff; Alan in pursuit. She looks
over her shoulder, shouting back at Hannah.
13! 13! 13! 13!
90 EXT. CITY BENCH – DAY 90
Henry and Hannah sit on opposite ends of the bench. Hannah
looks distraught, lost in thought, simmering.
Henry knows to keep his distance. Waits.
91 EXT. COLETTE’S GARDEN – DAY 91
Colette looks frazzled. Pondering. Plotting. She finally
notices the camera.
I know. I’m a shit for exploding at
Hannah, aren’t I?
Runs her hands through her hair.
Poor, sweet, superstitious, everybody-
Starts massaging forehead–trying to reduce stress.
If she can succeed, so can I. “We
were born to succeed, not to fail.”
Hears a question O.S.
Who said that? I don’t know.
Somebody famous. Somebody with an
Now come the deep breaths. More stress control.
I can’t accomplish anything without
an agent. They won’t come to me.
Fine. I’ll go to them. I’ll make it
92 EXT. CITY BENCH – DAY 92
Hannah and Henry remain on the bench. Hannah takes a breath
and finally breaks her silence.
Your writer’s block?
It’s because your focus is always on
everything else. Gatsby. Fitzgerald.
Whoa. Henry isn’t about to argue.
Listen to me, Henry Obert. Your
writing must come first. Take this
passion you have. Put it on the page.
Forget everything else. All you’re
doing is wasting…
Hannah continues the lecture, speaking from the heart.
She’s right. But I know what’s really
happening here. Hannah’s telling me
she has every intention of talking
to Richard Benedict. She has every
intention of seeing him.
93 INT. HARDWARE STORE – DAY 93
There. On the discount table up by the cash register lies a
pile of Roaring Lion books under another handmade SIGN: 50%
OFF! Sigrid stares at the pile of unwanted books in quiet
contemplation. Heavy sigh.
Sigrid glances up. Her boss watches her from the cash
register with a certain longing. He smiles. Sigrid returns
Back to business. Sigrid pulls a wad of DOLLAR BILLS from
her hip pocket. Counts quickly. Then picks up John’s books,
one by one.
94 INT. JOHN’S MOBILE HOME – DAY 94
John looks like the proverbial kid in a candy store. In
total shock as he clutches a handful of TWENTIES.
Wow! All the books sold at the
Ja. Every one.
John claps his hands together. There is a certain spring in
Didn’t I tell you, Strudel? Write
it and they will read.
John can’t contain his enthusiasm as he paces the mobile
home, his mind racing. Sigrid is more composed.
Get some more copies down there.
Maybe do another signing. Yeah.
No. Time for a real tour. Fresno.
Bakersfield. Stockton. Call a few
bookstores. Let ‘em know John K.
Butzin is coming. Lock and load.
And he’s off, leaving the frame, already planning his big
adventure, leaving Sigrid alone.
Facing the camera, she nods slightly. Then offers us a small
95 INT. LOIS PIPER AGENCY – DAY 95
The small reception area for The Lois Piper Agency. Tastefully
decorated. PHONES constantly chirping.
The young MALE ASSISTANT behind the counter, obviously paid
to be patient, points to the framed sign on the counter, in
large letters: NO UNSOLICITED MANUSCRIPTS WILL BE ACCEPTED.
Colette and Dr. Xiroman will not be deterred. She holds a
thick MANILA ENVELOPE.
I have to see Ms. Piper. We just
need five minutes. 1-2-3-4-5 minutes
of her time.
The assistant points back to the sign.
Can you just please stick your head
in her office, tell her that Colette
Mooney is here. I know she’s busy,
but she’ll certainly want to see my
The assistant ignores her.
I’m a graduate of Mills College.
Behind them, coming from the inner office, we hear LOIS PIPER
If I have to read one more vampire
story, I swear I’ll drive a stake
through my own goddamn heart.
MANUSCRIPT comes flying out of her office. Loose pages
splatter everywhere in the main office. Lois Piper quickly
follows. Older. Tired. Needs a drink. Now.
CAPTION: LOIS PIPER
Vampires! Zombies! Harry Potter
knock-offs! People writing about
their dogs! Just shoot me now!
It is at that moment when Lois first notices the camera.
Caught off-guard. What the hell??? Colette cranes her neck
over the assistant.
Ms. Piper? Ms. Piper?
Lois turns her attention to Colette. Who are you? Then–
magically–Lois changes. A big smile replaces the scowl.
She marches towards Colette, who is clearly not expecting a
Lois walks right past Colette and instead warmly shakes hands
with Dr. Xiroman.
Dr. Xiroman. I can’t believe you’re
here. How lovely to see you again.
Dr. Xiroman nods his head in greeting.
Just in the neighborhood? Please
come in for a minute.
Another glance at the camera. Then, taking Dr. Xiroman by
the elbow, Lois guides him back towards her office, completely
snubbing a bewildered Colette.
My family talks about you all the
time. You were so helpful to my
sister. She’s doing much better.
Colette stands there helplessly, watching her future walk
away. The assistant points in their direction: Get in there!
96 INT. PIPER OFFICE – DAY 96
Lois plops down behind her desk. Stacks of MANUSCRIPTS cover
her desk. Dr. Xiroman sits quietly in one chair. Colette
sits next to him.
Look at my desk, Dr. Xiroman. Look
at all this. Do you know what it is?
Crap. It’s all crap. Crap. Crap.
Crap. I hate my job. I hate my life.
Dr. Xiroman nods: I understand.
Know what I feel like doing?
She looks at the camera.
Come in closer. I want you to get
this. Closer. C’mon. More. Closer.
Satisfied, Lois takes her free hand and SHOVES ALL THE
MANUSCRIPTS off her desk, sending them flying on the floor.
Colette looks aghast. Lois seems free at last.
That was so…liberating. I haven’t
felt this good since that night in
Paris with Salman Rushdie.
Lois growls like a tiger at the memory.
I envy you, Dr. Xiroman. Know that?
Look at your life. Your work. You
helped my sister. You’ve helped so
many people. You have such a positive
message to share.
The camera picks up on Lois as the light goes on, the wheels
start turning in her head.
Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a
minute. A positive message to share.
Helping people. That’s it!
Of course. Dr. Xiroman, you should
write a book. This could be a whole
–It’s perfect! Television. Your
own blog. Personal appearances.
Dr. Xiroman has no reaction. Colette can’t believe what she
Getting from Xiro to One by Doctor
Xiroman. Oh, I like that.
–In fact, as long as you’re here
today, why don’t we just get you
under contract? I know just who to
call in New York.
But–But. What about me?
Lois shoots her a look: What about you? Colette backs down–
not wanting to spoil the moment. Lois yells for her assistant.
Finally a slight smile crosses Dr. Xiroman’s face.
97 INT. PIPER OFFICE – DAY 97
Dr. Xiroman beams as he signs the standard agency contract
so quickly drawn up for him. Lois and her Assistant appear
COLETTE fidgets off to the side. Then Lois hands her the pen
and points her towards the contract.
Co-Authors. Actually I’ll be listed
as junior author. It’s not exactly
what I wanted, but at least now I
finally have an agent. And a book
98 INT. PIPER OFFICE – DAY 98
Lois and the Assistant wave goodbye as Colette and Dr.
My novel will have to wait a while
longer. Nyet, Colette. Not Yet. But
99 EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET – NIGHT 99
Henry delivers another pizza. Pockets the money as he walks
back to his car, whistling. Checks his delivery list. Stares
at the next address in sudden disbelief.
100 EXT. RICHARD BENEDICT’S HOUSE – NIGHT 100
Henry stands in the doorway, glumly clutching the PIZZA BOX.
Hesitates. Finally rings doorbell. Pause. Followed by LOUD
LAUGHTER. Door swings open. Richard stands there, wearing
only his jeans. His hair is a mess.
You’re late, Pizza Boy.
Richard finally notices the camera.
What the —
They’re with me. Your total comes to
nineteen dollars and sixty-five cents.
Richard pulls a crumpled twenty from his jean pocket. He
hands it to Henry. Then reconsiders, calling inside.
Babe, I need a single.
C’mon, babe. Got a dollar for Pizza
Richard gives a last glance to the camera. He’s got better
things to do. Off he goes.
Short beat. Hannah comes to the door wearing Richard’s shirt
and little else, carrying a single dollar bill.
Her words freeze up as she recognizes Henry. Henry and Hannah
lock eyes for a long beat. Poor kid. This is the moment.
Reality smacks him in the face. Hard.
Hannah starts to hand Henry the money. He puts his hands up:
No thanks. Hannah doesn’t press. Henry can’t hold back any
No distractions. The writing comes
He’s making me a better writer.
Yeah. I bet he is.
Quietly seething, Henry nods towards the camera.
How much better are you, Hannah?
Show us. Who wrote Slaughterhouse
Five? D’ya know?
No, No. This could be quite
educational. How about Native Son?
Why isn’t it enough that I’m your
Lord of the Flies? Portnoy’s
Complaint? Do you know any author?
Harry Potter–You must know Harry
Why isn’t it enough that I believe
in your writing?
–Sophie’s Choice? Anything published
in the English language.
–That I believe in you?
You didn’t read Gatsby, did you?
Never even opened it, I bet.
She hesitates. Not for long.
I’m not the one delivering pizzas
for a living.
Score one for Hannah.
I’m not the one wasting my talent.
You’ve read all those books, sure,
but my book is being published. Is
Henry has no comeback. Hannah stares him down. The dollar
bill drops from her hand on to the ground. She retreats
back inside the house, firmly closing the front door, leaving
Only then do we notice the number of the house: 4441.
101 INT. HENRY’S APARTMENT – NIGHT 101
We’ve never seen Henry like this. He rips down all his Richard
Benedict photos from the wall. Collects all his Benedict
books. Stuffs everything in a CARDBOARD BOX. Next he turns
his attention to all the rejection letters on the wall. Lot
of rejection. Gives them a long look. Then he snaps up the
photo of Hannah from near his computer. He takes the photo
and tacks it dead center in the middle of all his rejection
Henry stares at the photo, oblivious to the camera, consumed
by Hannah’s radiant smile. His latest, and most painful,
rejection. It’s over.
Henry understands what must be done. He goes over to his
desk. Sits down at his laptop. One last glance over at
Hannah’s photo as he turns the computer on.
He contemplates for a second. Then begins typing.
102 INT. JOHN’S MOBILE HOME – DAY 102
Sigrid’s Wall of America has been taken down. A few nail
holes and tape marks are all that remain–except for the
single PHOTO of John still hanging in the center.
103 EXT. JOHN’S MOBILE HOME – DAY 103
Back to the two lawn chairs–with one prime difference.
Sigrid’s chair is empty. John sits by himself. This is a
softer, more reflective, John talking to the camera.
Well, Strudel shipped out.
A side glance to the empty chair.
Oh, she wanted to stay, but… I
didn’t have time for a relationship.
Not with my book selling like it is.
She, well, she became collateral
damage. Hated to end it. What a
dame. I mean…Sigrid. She had the
smarts of my first wife. The body
of my second wife. Thank god she
wasn’t anything like my third wife.
I did the right thing. Yes, sir.
Good acting, John. He looks back to the empty chair. Can’t
avoid reaching over and giving the arm rest a little love
104 INT. JOHN’S MOBILE HOME – DAY 104
John packs COPIES OF HIS BOOK ever-so-carefully into an old
standard issue military DUFFEL BAG.
What matters now is that the Roaring
Lion book tour is about to begin.
Can’t wait to hit the road and meet
the good people of this nation.
Good American people.
John gazes over at his photo on the wall. Salutes himself.
105 INT. ALAN AND COLETTE’S HOUSE — DINING ROOM – NIGHT 105
Meeting of the writing group. Not yet started. John, Alan,
and Hannah sit around the table. No refreshments being
served. No small talk. Everyone is quiet.
Hannah looks fantastic. More makeup. Nicer clothes. Fidgets
in her chair. Seems anxious. Stares at her new KINDLE.
FRONT DOOR opens and closes. FOOTSTEPS approaching. It’s
Henry. Looks determined. Man on a mission. Carries a satchel.
Sorry I’m late.
John grunts something. Hannah remains quiet. Avoids eye
contact with Henry. Henry reaches into his satchel and pulls
out stapled, typed pages. Multiple copies. Hands one to
each of the three group members. Puts another down where
Colette will sit.
Wutch you got here, Obert?
New pages. I’m ready to read.
Way to go, Henry.
Even Hannah looks surprised. She and Alan thumb through their
copies. John sniffs at the front page. Henry slides in across
from Hannah. Looks satisfied. FRONT DOOR opens again. MORE
FOOTSTEPS. Colette arrives with Dr. Xiroman in tow. Xiroman?
The others exchange puzzled glances.
Christ. What’s he doing here?
I’ve invited Doctor Xiroman to join
our writing group.
You must be joking, Colette.
I am not joking. And, as a matter
of fact, I’ll have all of you know
that the doctor and I are soon to be
published authors. We’ve signed with
The Lois Piper Agency.
Colette stands there, waiting for the applause and
congratulations, but all she receives is stunned silence.
You can’t do this.
Why not? With William gone, we have
Henry’s right. We all have to agree
on new members.
I don’t care about your silly rules.
I am the leader of the group–
–Oh, please. Alan.
I am the leader of the group.
And Dr. Xiroman is my co-author and
he is joining “the group.”
He is not.
Hannah can’t take it any longer. She throws up her hands.
The room turns quiet. All eyes on Hannah. She composes
Surprise all around. Hannah avoids looking at Henry.
It’s time. Richard is going to mentor
me. Today’s the 22nd. Two plus two
equals four and we all know four’s…
Her voice trails off. Why bother explaining. Just do it.
Anyway, I’m quitting.
There. She said it. Hannah looks so relieved. She’s done.
Indignant, Colette stares her up and down.
Points to Dr. Xiroman.
Well, in this case one plus one equals
one very successful writing team. I
can’t believe you, Hannah. You’re
doing this just to upstage our news
about landing an agent.
No, this is what it’s all about.
The spotlight always has to be on
Little Miss Sunshine. Her agent. Her
book deal. Her movie deal.
John shoots to his feet.
News flash for you all. John K.
Butzin is also saying Sayonara.
Heading off on my international book
Damn straight. Tijuana.
I’m done with you pussies.
John snatches up his folder and marches out of the house.
Silence. Colette starts to sit down at the table–motions
for Xiroman to join her. Final straw for Alan. Stares
directly at Colette.
Get out. Now.
Colette can’t believe what she’s hearing.
As the leader of this writing group,
I’ve determined your actions are
contrary to our stated purpose. Get
You can’t kick me out. I live here.
She’s right. Alan considers his options.
Fine. Then go to your room.
Points to Xiroman.
And take him with you. Won’t be the
Alan means business. Colette stands up straight. Gathers
up her materials.
We’ll certainly have plenty to discuss
Go by yourself. I’m done.
Oh. Just like always–Alan finishes
She grabs Dr. Xiroman’s arm.
Come, Dr. Xiroman. I’m looking forward
to working with a real doctor. On
our new book.
Colette and Dr. Xiroman disappear. Frustrated, Alan takes a
deep breath. Reaches inside his coat pocket for his recorder.
Turns it on.
Idea for novel.
Alan hesitates. Thinks for a second. Turns off the recorder.
Slides it across the table to Henry.
Here. Take it. Maybe you can use
some of my ideas in your novel.
Alan flashes a “thumbs up” sign to Henry and to Hannah. He
starts to leave, but remembers the camera.
This was supposed to be a reality
That’s off his chest. Alan leaves Henry and Hannah alone at
the table. Awkward silence.
He stands up. Calmly puts his typed pages back in his
satchel. Leaves Alan’s recorder on the table, walks away
without looking back.
Henry . . .
Don’t waste your breath. He’s gone.
106 INT. BOOKSTORE – DAY 106
Hannah’s book release party. Great turnout. Her professional
PHOTO adorns a POSTER announcing the publication of Sleeping
on the Moon. Boy, Hannah looks terrific in that photo.
Richard hovers around the makeshift bar, drink in hand.
Maureen, looking radiant, accepts the congratulations of
well-wishers. TABLE prominently centered has piles of Hannah’s
novel, waiting to be signed.
Hannah talks to the camera, looking especially radiant. This
is her day and she is more than ready for her close-up.
Totally different in wardrobe and appearance.
Exciting, isn’t it? I’m so nervous.
I don’t know half these people. Most
of them are Richard’s friends.
Hannah waves to Richard. He waves back. Hannah glances around
the room, as if looking for someone in particular.
Nobody’s showed up from my old writing
group. Not one. Probably shouldn’t
be surprised. Haven’t really heard
from anyone in months.
She is asked a question.
Favorite writer? You keep asking me
that. Too funny. Sorry. Still can’t
think of one.
107 INT. BOOKSTORE – DAY 107
Hannah sits behind the table, signing books. Maureen stands
behind her helping to orchestrate the line of people.
Hannah acts very gracious. Signing a book, smiling and
chatting up the guests. She seems at ease. Everything is
going her way. She looks past the line. Her eyes light up
and she jumps to her feet.
Oh my God!
Hannah bolts from the table, cuts through the line and finds
Henry standing alone.
Henry. Ohhhhh. Thank you. Thank
you. Thank you so much for coming.
Hannah throws her arms around Henry, giving him a long
heartfelt hug, almost smothering the poor guy–not that he
complains. She lets go and gives Henry a friendly once-over.
You’re the only one from the group
who showed up.
Still awkward for them to be around each other.
I can’t believe you remembered my
Well, pretty hard to miss that article
about you in People magazine. Just
wanted to say hi. And congratulations.
Maureen comes up behind Hannah. Beams at Henry, and waves.
Hannah, come back. Your public awaits.
Go on. They need you.
Yeah. Hot date. You know. Can’t keep
her waiting. A flight attendant.
(Buying the obvious
A flight attendant?
Well, then. Guess you can’t stay.
One sec. Wait here.
Hannah runs back to the signing table, pulls out a book and
scribbles something inside. She brings the book back over to
This is for you.
Hannah . . .
Henry accepts the book. Hannah gives him another long hug.
Do you want to say hello to Richard?
No. No, thanks.
C’mon. It will take just a minute.
I can’t. Really.
Dear, sweet Hannah. Please!
Just say hi.
Henry tries to back away. Hannah leans forward, grabs his
hand and tugs him in the other direction.
I’ve really got to —
Oh, c’mon. You’ll —
Then — BAM, Henry, not looking where he’s going, slams into
Richard accidentally, spilling Richard’s drink all over the
author. Horrified looks all around.
108 EXT. OUTSIDE BOOKSTORE – DAY 108
Outside the bookstore, Henry stands on the sidewalk, talking
to the camera as he clutches Hannah’s book.
Well, I did it. I showed up to
Hannah’s signing. I congratulated
her. I supported her, writer to
writer. And I finally got introduced
to Richard Benedict–formally. Sort
Henry opens up his copy of Hannah’s novel. He turns quiet,
obviously moved. He holds the book up for the camera to
Look. Hannah dedicated her novel to
me. Just like she promised.
Right beneath the printed dedication For Henry Obert, Hannah
has written, For Henry, My Forever Friend xoxoxo Hannah.
Henry studies the book for a second. Snaps it shut.
109 INT. KELLER OFFICE – DAY 109
Literary agent David Keller being interviewed for the camera
in his office. Stacks of MANUSCRIPTS on his desk. David
pulls one out.
This is why I love LA. True story.
This guy delivers a pizza to my house
one night. Then the very next week,
my wife has someone come in and clean
the carpets. Guess what? Same guy.
Small world, isn’t it? So we get
talking. He tells me his name’s
Henry. He’s a writer. He’s just
finished a manuscript. Offers us a
discount on the carpets if I’ll read
ten pages. I like that thinking.
So I read ten pages. Wow. I want to
read ten more. Before I know it,
I’ve read the entire book.
Just loved it. Fresh voice.
Interesting characters. And that
David thumbs through the manuscript.
The washed-up, impotent novelist
getting gunned down by Scott, the
jealous, underemployed, pizza delivery
man. This kid nailed it. It’s on the
page, know what I mean? So I intend
to sign Mr. Henry Obert and get Pizza
to Go out there. I predict a best
seller. Probably a movie, too.
I’ll call him with the good news. Or
maybe I’ll just order a pizza.
110 INT. HENRY’S APARTMENT – DAY 110
Henry taking down the rejection letters from his walls and
packing them in a cardboard BOX.
David Keller did call me. One week
later, he sold Pizza to Go to a New
York publisher. They decided to
rename it A Slice of LA. I did it.
I sold my novel.
Henry puts the last of the rejection letters away. Finally,
he picks up a FRAMED PHOTO. INSERT shows the six members of
the writing group from happier times–the photo snapped in
the restaurant. Full of hope and promise.
HENRY (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I miss the Tuesday night group.
They made me a better writer. They
taught me how to handle rejection.
Henry lingers on the photo before packing it away, as well.
111 INT. RESTAURANT #2 – DAY 111
Mostly empty. Henry sits at a booth, alone, a new copy of
Gatsby in his hands. He talks to the camera. CUP OF COFFEE
in front of him.
Hannah was right. The writing must
always come first. Everything else
waits. Everything. That’s what I
did finally. Finished my novel.
Sold it. Now? Now I’m open. Ready
WAITRESS stops by the table, refilling Henry’s cup. Then
setting the pot on the table, she reaches over and snatches
the copy of Gatsby.
Surprised, Henry glances up.
It’s her again. That young waitress with purple streaks in
her hair and matching purple glasses thumbs through the book.
Henry finally checks out her name tag: Eudora.
Clutching the book, Eudora recites from memory:
Gatsby believed in the green light,
the orgiastic future that year by
year recedes before us. It eluded us
then, but that’s no matter–
–Tomorrow we will run faster, stretch
out our arms further…
Eudora nods. Henry is amazed.
You know Fitzgerald?
Not intimately. He died here, you
December 21, 1940.
I go by there sometimes.
The place on Hayworth.
Is that weird. That I do that?
No. No. Not at all.
Eudora smiles, glad for the positive reinforcement.
OK. Good. Because, you know, I don’t
want people to think I’m weird.
Of course not. Do you write?
Kinda, sort of. But I’m thinking of
joining a writing group.
Henry bites his tongue. Eudora nods towards the camera.
So what’s this? Some kind of reality
show, or something?
Henry smiles. The two continue their idle chatter.
112 EXT. MOBILE HOME PARK, PHOENIX — DAY 112
Caption reads: PHOENIX, ARIZONA.
After a very successful book tour,
John K. Butzin heard the Grand Canyon
State calling. This is home now.
113 EXT. MOBILE HOME PARK (ARIZONA) — DAY 113
John’s trailer. COSTUMED CHILDREN knock on the door while
holding their trick or treat bags.
Real God-fearing Americans live here.
Good people. Not those La La pussies.
John opens the front door.
Trick or Treat!
John responds by dropping a BOOK in the first bag.
Look at this treat you get. A copy
of Roaring Lion by John K. Butzin.
The children are dumbfounded. John moves on to the next child.
114 INT. RESTAURANT #2 – DAY 114
William is back at the counter, looking as scruffy as ever.
Off to the side stands a GEEKY KID, gripping a FLIP PHONE
aimed directly at William. William talks to our camera.
C’mon. Admit it. You missed me.
It wasn’t as interesting once I left,
He winks. The Kid doesn’t move.
I knew the group wouldn’t last without
me. No way. Losers.
He nods towards his companion.
Him? Oh. It’s my new project. A
reality TV show based on my life.
You know…women I meet…thoughts
that pop into my head. Kid follows
me all around. 24/7. Actually I got
the idea from you guys. Same concept–
just better characters.
A question is asked.
Which network? Um, well…it’s
a…it’s P-P-A…Pasadena Public
Access. Oh, people watch. Yeah.
We’re on right after that pet psychic.
A waitress’s HAND reaches in and refills William’s coffee
cup. He likes what he sees.
He looks over to Geeky Kid.
Get a close-up on her. Nice and
William will never change.
And, hey, Kid. Lend me five bucks.
I want to leave an extra special
115 INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY (LOS ANGELES) — DAY 115
TWO POSTERS ON EASEL in the hallway. First poster announcing:
After I sent Colette packing, I was
ready for a new chapter in my life…
SATURDAY’S ADULT EDUCATION CLASSES.
PUPPET MAKING meets in Room 22, and QUILTING is in Room 24.
WRITING 20/20 is in Room 26.
And DOG OBEDIENCE is out in the courtyard, but we already
know that–the loud sound of BARKING DOGS and PEOPLE YELLING
“SIT” is heard in the background.
Second poster is a new version of QUIET, PLEASE–WRITERS AT
ALAN (V.O.) (CONT’D)
I found it teaching Adult Ed. “Writing
20/20″ is the class. Helping writers
to see. Inspired by my new self-
published e-book of the same title.
116 INT. SCHOOL CLASSROOM – DAY 116
STUDENTS scattered around the classroom. All adult. Ethnic
and demographic mix. Listening attentively. Taking notes.
The DOGS continue barking outside.
Alan stands in front of the class. Beaming. Excited, He CLAPS
his hands once.
OK. You’ve got ten seconds. Write
down the name of your character.
First name that pops into mind. C’mon.
Tell me your character.
Students think for a second. Start scribbling a name.
OK. Pass your names up front here.
Let’s see what you came up with.
Students hand their papers forward. Alan starts collecting
The right name is so important for
your character. OK. What do we have?
He looks at the first piece of paper.
Here’s one I haven’t heard. Heywood
That’s not it. Alan tries again.
Or is it Jablom? Maybe Jablowme.
Laughter and guffaws from the students. Alan looks puzzled.
What’s so funny? Heywood Jablowme?
Am I missing something? Heywood
The students continue to laugh. Poor Alan.
117 EXT. ALAN AND COLETTE’S HOUSE – DAY 117
Catch the FOR SALE sign posted on the front lawn.
118 EXT. COLETTE’S GARDEN – DAY 118
Colette engages in intense meditation on her bench. The garden
around her is now dead.
Dr. Xiroman and I wrote our book. It
actually did fairly well.
INSERT BOOK. Title in large letters: Getting from Xiro to
One by Dr. Xiroman in equally large letters. At the bottom
of the book, in very tiny letters, reads With Colette Mooney.
COLETTE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Dr. Phil turned us down. But we had
a lovely time on Anderson.
INSERT PHOTO of smiling Anderson Cooper.
Anderson actually wanted us back,
but Dr. Xiroman and Lois Piper started
dating. They eloped to Vegas last
month. Off on a world cruise.
INSERT PHOTO of Dr. Xiroman and Lois being married in Vegas
So in less than a year, I’ve lost my
husband, my co-author, and my agent.
But I still have Nyet, Not Yet. And
I will find an agent to sell my novel.
Look. I bought an ad in the trades.
Colette reaches for her reading glasses and shares the ad
copy with us, reading aloud:
“The magic fingers that just typed
the publishing world’s next best
selling novel are now waiting to
provide free massage to interested
literary agents. Experienced.
Sensitive. Discreet. Memorable. No
Junior Agents, please.”
Looking quite pleased with herself, Colette lets the copy
It’s how I met my last husband. I
think it can work again. No worries.
After all, I am a graduate of —
Her iPhone starts playing music, signaling a phone call.
Colette smiles in knowing satisfaction–publication is just
a touch away
119 EXT. MOVIE SET — DAY 119
The MOVIE CREW, on location, scurries about, trying to line
up their next shot.
Welcome to Sleeping on the Moon: The
Movie! It’s so exciting!
120 EXT. MOVIE SET — DAY 120
Hannah, looking good, sits in a chair, a BOOK on her lap.
She is talking to the camera. CREW in the background.
Let’s see. My book ended up on the
best sellers list. Stopping at Number
She crinkles her nose in obvious disappointment.
Then Richard left me.
I’m sure the two were connected. No
loss. Such an ego. But guess what?
I’ve gone back to school!
To underscore the point, she holds up a the book–it’s The
Look what I’m reading for class.
Isn’t that pretty, you know, what do
they call it? What’s that word?
She hears an answer.
Ironic. That’s it. Pretty ironic.
But I’m going to get my degree.
Then I’ll be smart. Really smart.
You know how you kept asking me that
question. Who’s my favorite writer?
Turns out I do have one. Mr. Henry
Obert. He’s become a great writer.
A published author.
I knew him when.
She likes her answer. But then hesitates.
Probably shouldn’t tell him I said
Keep it between us.
Goodbye Hannah. Good luck.
121 EXT. FITZGERALD/GRAHAM HOME — HOLLYWOOD – DAY 121
Well, my novel finally came out.
Seems to be doing OK.
122 EXT. FITZGERALD/GRAHAM HOME/SIDEWALK — DAY 122
Henry looks more confident. More poised. Better clothes.
The frog has become the prince.
He glances back at the building.
You know Fitzgerald said that all
good writing is swimming under water
and holding your breath. He was right.
But after all I’ve been through, I
think I’m finally ready to exhale.
He looks at his watch.
Oops. I’m late. Gotta go.
123 EXT. BOOKSTORE — DAY 123
SHOPPERS coming in and out of the store. POSTER in front
window announces book signing for Henry Obert, author of
Slice of LA.
Right next to BANNER announcing GOING OUT OF BUSINESS. And
next to the banner–a YOUNG MAN leans up against the wall,
waiting, passing time reading his KINDLE.
124 INT. BOOKSTORE – DAY 124
We jump to the woman clutching FOUR COPIES of Henry’s novel.
Wait a minute–we recognize those trendy glasses. It’s Eudora,
a rather pregnant Eudora.
Yes, I’m totally busted. I’m buying
four copies of A Slice of LA. One
for each member of my writing group.
Also because I think Henry Wayne
Obert is the greatest new writer of
the decade! Sexiest, too!
Eudora is having way too much fun.
OK. So he’s my husband. I’m biased.
But I still think the kid can write.
125 INT. BOOKSTORE – DAY 125
Henry sits at the table in the bookstore, graciously and
happily signing copies of his book for the SHORT LINE OF
This is his moment, the one that brought him all the way
from Illinois. He has arrived. As a person. As a writer.
Henry looks up. Eudora is nestled comfortably in a nearby
leather chair, reading away. She looks up.
They make eye contact. Her smile is all the encouragement
Henry needs. All that he will ever need.
He reaches for the next book to sign.
FADE OUT:[amazonjs asin=”B00J92616W” locale=”JP” title=”AUTHORS ANONYMOUS”]