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How To Lose Friends & Alienate People Movie Script

Writer(s) : Peter Straughan

Genres : Comedy, Romance

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                    HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS AND ALIENATE PEOPLE




                         
                                 Written by

                              Peter Straughan




                                               09/05/07 SHOOTING SCRIPT
         FADE IN:

                         

          1 TV SCREEN - BLACK AND WHITE MOVIE 1
           ...British, fifties, a melodrama. We're looking at an
           ACTRESS - glamorous, young - but very much in the back
           ground of the scene - a secretary typing at her desk.

                          REVERSE
           A YOUNG BOY sits watching the film, his clothes and the
           room around him telling us this is England in the 1960s. He
           is staring raptly at the actress.

           SIDNEY (V.O.)
           All my life I've been a Looky-
           Loo.

                          DISSOLVE TO:

                         

          2 INT. GOLDEN GLOBES AWARDS - EVENING 2


                          SLOW-MOTION
           We are CLOSE on an extremely handsome YOUNG MAN staring
           past us with a dazzling smile.

           SIDNEY (V.O.)
           My name's Sidney Young. I'm a
           journalist...a hack. (Beat) Yeah,
           that...that isn't me.
           We PAN right and down to our hero - SIDNEY YOUNG -
           thirties, an odd-ball with a knack for getting people to
           dislike him.

           SIDNEY (CONT'D) (V.O.) (CONT'D)
           This is me at the Golden Globe
           Awards in L.A. this year. That's
           my Armani tuxedo. That's a Rolex
           Sea-Dweller 4000 watch I'm
           wearing.
           Still in SLOW-MOTION we TRACK BACK and see that Sidney is
           at a table with several other people, all staring raptly
           past us to the stage which is out of shot.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Those people all around me -
           they're all famous. They're my
           friends.
           Beside him sits a beautiful young woman - SOPHIE MAES
           (20's).

           2.

                         

                         

           SIDNEY (CONT'D) (V.O.) (CONT'D)
           That's the actress Sophie Maes.
           This morning she told me she
           would let me have sex with her if
           she won the Best Actress Award.
           Still in SLOW MOTION, Sophie suddenly covers her face with
           her hands and begins to stand.

           SIDNEY (CONT'D) (V.O.) (CONT'D)
           She just won the Best Actress
           Award.
           Sophie walks out of the shot. Still sporting the fixed
           smile, Sidney claps in SLO-MO along with everyone else in
           the room. We TRACK away from Sidney past tables of
           CELEBRITIES towards an EXIT.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           My life didn't used to be like
           this.
           We PUSH THROUGH the EXIT DOORS and find ourselves
           impossibly looking at...

                         

          3 EXT. LONDON - LEICESTER SQUARE - LATE AFTERNOON 3


                         

          4 SLOW MOTION TRACKING SHOT 4
           ...a crowd of FANS held back from us by a red rope, craning
           their necks to see us more clearly, waving, cheering,
           shouting, cameras flashing... Rain lashes down.
           A CAPTION reads: "Sidney's Life, One Year Ago. Bafta
           Awards. London."

           SIDNEY (V.O.)
           Looky-Loos. That's what They call
           you when you stand out in the
           rain all night just to catch a
           glimpse of Them going by.
           REVERSE - CELEBRITIES walk down the red carpet, pausing to
           wave at the fans.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           I used to pretend it was
           different for me because I was
           getting paid by a magazine or
           newspaper, whatever. But that's,
           you know...I just loved watching
           Them. I'd stand outside looking
           in through the window and think
           what it would be like to somehow
           get inside. But there was only
           one way to get past the thin red
           line that separates the
           celebrities from the civilians.
           You had to be famous.

           3.

                         

                         

                         

          4A EXT. SECURITY POINT - LATE AFTERNOON 4A

           Sidney stands talking to a young PR WOMAN at the security
           gate. He has a small, ugly PIG on a leash.

                          PR WOMAN
           Babe?

                          SIDNEY
           Babe Three. Yeah.
           She looks doubtfully at the pig.

                          PR WOMAN
           Babe was a cute little piglet.

                          SIDNEY
           Harry Potter used to be a cute
           little piglet too. What do you
           want? Tempus Fugits...

                          PR WOMAN
           He hasn't got any ID.

                          SIDNEY
           How many pigs are coming tonight?
           Look, I was told to bring him,
           hand him over to the producer,
           Bob Milton, inside. You want me 
           to leave him here with you,
           that's fine...

                          PR WOMAN
           No, you can't leave him with me.
           I've got...Hold on, I'll...
           She looks around, helplessly. She begins to unhook the red
           rope. Sidney tries to hide his excitement.

           PR WOMAN (CONT'D)
           If you're positive that you're
           supposed to...
           An OLDER PR WOMAN stalks over.

           OLDER PR WOMAN

                          (ICILY)
           Well, well, Sidney Young.

                          SIDNEY

                          (RUMBLED)
           Well, well...clipboard Nazi-type
           woman.
           She turns to the SECURITY standing beside them.

           OLDER PR WOMAN
           The pig doesn't get in.

           4.

                         

                         
           She starts to walk away.

                          SIDNEY
           What about me?

           OLDER PR WOMAN
           I was talking about you.

                         

                         5 MOMENTS LATER 5
           Sidney and the Pig are being "escorted" away from the red
           carpet by the Security.

           SIDNEY (V.O.)
           The Looky-Loos dream is that one
           day they will somehow get to
           mingle with the stars. But the
           Industry can't allow any
           mingling. Stars have to be kept
           away from civilians, have to be
           quarantined, so they don't become
           normal. Like us.
           They pass a ravishing HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS walking the other
           way. She looks curiously at the pig as she passes. Sidney
           stares after her, longingly.

                         

          6 INT. SANDERSON HOTEL - EVENING 6

           TRACKING through the doors and into the lobby of the
           exclusive hotel.

           SIDNEY (V.O.)
           But after the awards come the
           parties - the Miramax Party, the
           London Records Party and, best of
           all - the Sharps Magazine Party,
           so exclusive that there are no
           pass-alongs, no plus-ones, no
           press.
           We find Sidney checking in at the desk.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           (to Receptionist,

                          HORRIFIED)
           How much? I only want to stay for
           one night!

                         

          7 INT. ELEVATOR - MOMENTS LATER 7

           Sidney stands in the rising elevator, suit bag in his hand,
           holdall at his feet.

           SIDNEY (V.O.)

           5.

                         
           This is where the movie stars can
           finally relax, secure in the
           knowledge they are among their
           own kind.
           We see the PIG'S SNOUT poking out of the zip of the
           holdall.

                         

          8 INT. HOTEL ROOM - EVENING 8

           Sidney turns from the mirror to face us. He is wearing a
           WAITER'S UNIFORM of white shirt, waistcoat, and bow tie. He
           is also wearing a WIG and FALSE MOUSTACHE.

           SIDNEY (V.O.)
           And that is when I strike.
           He picks up a tray of canap�s from the bed and looks down
           to where the Pig watches him from the floor.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           I want you in bed by ten. And no
           porn.
           He tosses the pig one of the canap�s.

                         

          9 INT. HOTEL - EVENING 9

           Sidney, tray in hand, peers around the corner to the
           entrance to the hotel's roofed COURTYARD. The Older PR
           Woman we saw earlier stands at the door, a formidable
           presence. As we watch she greets an approaching CELEBRITY
           gushingly. Seizing his chance Sidney darts towards the door
           and, tray held aloft to cover his face, slips through into
           the courtyard beyond.

                         

          10 INT. HOTEL COURTYARD - SHARPS MAGAZINE PARTY - MOMENTS 10


                          LATER
           ...as Sidney emerges from the washrooms, now dressed only
           in the white shirt and black trousers. He scoops up a
           passing glass of champagne, checks his moustache and
           surveys the courtyard - a room full of glamour: tanned
           skin, diamonds, beautiful dresses, beautiful suits,
           champagne. He stands surveying the crowd of A-list
           celebrities in front of him, dazed.

                          SIDNEY

                          (TO HIMSELF)
           You can do this. You belong here.
           You're a star. You're a big,
           bright shining star...

           6.

                         

                         

                         

          11 INT. HOTEL ROOM - EVENING 11

           The room is trashed - furniture over-turned, mini-bar open
           and broken bottles all over the floor. A weird squealing
           which could almost be human is coming from the bathroom.

           ASSISTANT MANAGER (O.S.)
           Hello? Sir?
           The squealing stops.

           ASSISTANT MANAGER (CONT'D)
           Is everything alright?
           The door opens and the Assistant Manager walks in and
           stands staring around him in horror. Behind him the pig
           emerges from the bathroom and slips out of the open door,
           across the corridor and straight into the open lift...

                         

          12 INT. SHARPS PARTY - EVENING 12

           Sidney is talking to a very famous and very drunk Hollywood

           ACTRESS.

                          SIDNEY
           No, when I'm in L.A. I stay at
           the Sunset Marquis, when I'm here
           I always stay at the Sanderson.
           It's, you know, I don't feel at
           home these days unless I'm in a
           hotel.

                          HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS
           So what do you do?

                          SIDNEY
           Oh, I'm a writer. Movie writer.

                          HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS
           Oh great.

                          SIDNEY
           Yeah. Got one in pre-production
           now. You know it's really weird
           running into you like this
           because just the other day I was
           telling the producer I thought
           you'd be perfect for the lead.
           She starts to laugh.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           No, seriously, you would,
           because, you know, you have this
           mixture of intelligence and
           beauty and fragility that we're
           looking for and, uh...

           7.

                         

                         

                          HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS

                          (SMILING)
           What's the film?

                          SIDNEY
           Tits of Fury.
           She laughs.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)

                          (SMILING)
           I'm joking, I'm just...It's a bio-
           pic. About Greta Garbo. That's
           why I thought of you. You have
           those amazing cheek-bones
           and...are they real? Have you had
           plastic surgery?

                          HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS
           No. Have you?

                          SIDNEY
           Me? No, hardly anything. A penis
           reduction as a child, that's
           pretty much...
           She laughs again, snorting into her drink. Sidney can't
           believe this - she likes him!

                         

          13 INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR - EVENING 13

           The lift doors glide open and the Pig trots out and around
           the corner. The PR Woman is still at the door to the
           courtyard, berating one of her staff. The Pig sails past
           them both, unnoticed, and disappears into the party.

                         

          14 INT. SHARPES PARTY - EVENING 14

           A YOUNG MAN sits drinking at a table. He slips a little bag
           of Ecstasy from his pocket and takes one.

           UNDER THE TABLE
           As the Young Man pushes the bag back into his pocket. The
           Pig sits at his feet watching as the little bag slips back
           out and DROPS to the floor. The Pig sniffs at the bag...

                         

          15 SIDNEY AND HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS 15
           ...still talking. The place is crammed now, and hot. Sidney
           wipes sweat from his forehead.

                          HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS
           Oh god, I'm drunk.

                          SIDNEY
           Are you?

           8.

                         

                         

                          HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS
           I'm so drunk. I haven't eaten
           and...

                          SIDNEY
           You feel okay? Because my room's
           just upstairs if you want to lie
           down or, or loosen any, you know,
           morals or...

                          HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS

                          (LAUGHING)
           What is your name again?

                          SIDNEY
           Clark. Clark Baxter.
          He takes a sip of his champagne and his moustache comes
          loose and hangs limply from his face.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           How'd you do?
          The Actress stares at him in surprise but Sidney doesn't
          notice - he is staring past her to where there is something
          of a COMMOTION amongst the guests. The PR Woman is hurrying
          across the room, hissing into her ear-piece. Somebody
          screams. Then to Sidney's horror a group of guests scatter
          in panic and the cause of the commotion is revealed: the
          Pig charges into view, heading straight for him.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)

                          (MUTTERING)
           Oh, shit...
          The Pig suddenly skids to a halt and stares at Sidney with
          hot eyes. The PR Woman follows the Pig's gaze and spots
          Sidney.

           OLDER PR WOMAN

                          (INTO HEADSET)
           Sarah, get security! Code Red.
           Sidney Young got in!

                          HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS

                          (FEARFULLY)
           Who's Sidney Young?
          Before Sidney can answer the Pig charges.

                          SIDNEY
           Oh, shit!
          Sidney turns and legs it.

          ACROSS THE ROOM
          We are looking OVER THE SHOULDER of a tall grey-haired MAN
          who stands in the shadows watching Sidney run past. This is
          CLAYTON HARDING, his face hidden for the time being.

           9.

                         
           He lights a cigarette with a thoughtful air and watches
           Sidney's flight, rolling the BOOK OF MATCHES between his
           fingers.

           BACK WITH SIDNEY
           ...as the Pig catches up with him and lunges at his ankles.
           Sidney screams, trips and flies through the air, wig
           spinning free, hurtling straight towards a table of
           startled celebrities. We FREEZE FRAME.
           SUPERED TITLE - "How To Lose Friends & Alienate People."
           We hear the opening of David Bowie's Star.

                         

          16 INT. HOTEL CORRIDORS - LATER 16

           As the TITLES and song continue we see a protesting Sidney
           and Pig being escorted by Security through the endless
           corridors of the Hotel.
           Titles End.

           FADE OUT.

                          FADE IN:

                         

          16A EXT. LONDON FLAT - DAY 16A 

           A seedy flat in Shepherds bush. 

                         

          17 INT. SIDNEY'S FLAT - BEDROOM - AFTERNOON 17

           Sidney lies in bed reading a newspaper in his underwear. A
           phone is RINGING in the next room.
           Sidney begins to cut out a photograph from one of the
           papers - Sidney struggling with an irate Clint Eastwood and
           some Security Men. The phone continues to ring.

                          SIDNEY

                          (CALLING)
           Will you get that? (Beat) Will
           you get the phone?
           Sighing he gets up and scratching himself, stumbles through
           to...

                         

                         18 LIVING ROOM 18
           ...which we see is, bizarrely, an OFFICE - full of an odd
           assortment of JOURNALISTS, desks, antiquated computers and
           an old fax machine. The walls are lined with past covers
           from Sidney's magazine - The Post-Modern Review. One bears
           a photograph of Victoria Beckham with the title "Posh
           Spice? Like Fuck She Is."

           10.

                         

                         
          A JOURNALIST is talking on the phone by the door. The other
          phone is still ringing.

                          JOURNALIST
           Look, we don't hate celebrities
           at the Post-Modern Review, okay?
           We just don't think they should
           be taking themselves so
           seriously. For us a celebrity is
           a text to be deconstructed. Apart
           from Costner obviously.
          Sidney edges past him to where a LARGE WOMAN and a
          histrionic THIN MAN are in the middle of a argument,
          encouraged by the other members of staff.

                          THIN MAN

                          (SHRILL)
           I wouldn't do this the honour of
           calling it a review. It's a
           puerile, personal attack in, in
           alcoholic prose, in which
           incidentally you manage to
           misquote both Derrida and
           Lyotard. I am a...

                          LARGE WOMAN

                          (CALMLY)
           Girl.

                          THIN MAN
           ...an internationally respected
           academic and...

                          LARGE WOMAN
           Prick.

                          THIN MAN
           ...author of a very well received
           book on the history of culture
           and a...

                          LARGE WOMAN
           Fuckwit.

                          SIDNEY
           (threading his way past)
           Couldn't one of you answer the
           phone?
          As the argument continues behind him he reaches the phone
          with a bored YOUNG MAN sitting by it.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Will you answer that? What do I
           pay you for?

                          YOUNG MAN
           You don't pay me.

           11.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           Just get the phone!
          The Young Man answers the phone.

                          YOUNG MAN
           Post-Modern Review.

                          THIN MAN
           Sidney, if she doesn't apologise
           I'm quitting.

                          SIDNEY
           (to the Large Woman)
           George can't leave. You'll have
           to apologise.

                          LARGE WOMAN
           Why can't George leave?

                          SIDNEY
           He owns the fax machine.
          Sidney notices the Young Man is staring at him with a
          scared expression.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           What?

                          YOUNG MAN
           It's Sharps Magazine.
          Sidney stops smiling.

           YOUNG MAN (CONT'D)
           We're finished.

                          SIDNEY
           We're not finished.

                          YOUNG MAN
           They sue, we're finished.

                          SIDNEY
           Shut up. (To the others) Will you
           be quiet!
          They ignore him and continue bickering. Sidney picks up the
          phone.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Sidney Young.

           MAN (O.S.)
           (over phone, gravel

                          VOICED)
           This is Clayton Harding. I'm the
           editor of Sharps Magazine.
          Sidney is visibly thrown.

           12.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           Ah, Lord Vader.

                         

          19 INT. CLAYTON'S OFFICE - DAY 19

           SHOOTING FROM BEHIND Clayton Harding's swivel chair - all
           we can see is Clayton's grey hair, his custom-built desk
           and the enormous office in front of him. He is smoking. As
           he talks he rolls a BOOK OF MATCHES between his fingers.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           I saw you at my party, just
           before you ruined it with your
           little pig stunt.

           SIDNEY (O.S.)

                          (OVER PHONE)
           You liked that?

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Sure.
           On his desk we see a few copies the Post-Modern Review -
           glimpses of stars on the covers - Catherine Zeta-Jones,
           Orlando Bloom... Clayton's hand sifts one copy from the
           others and holds it up - the cover depicts CLAYTON HIMSELF -
           patrician handsome, stern, photo-shopped so that he appears
           to be NAKED. A headline reads "Clayton Harding - The
           Editor's New Clothes?
           Clayton's shoulder's heave with a snort of repressed
           laughter.

           CLAYTON HARDING (CONT'D)
           (examining the cover)
           I especially liked the part where
           Clint Eastwood beat the shit outa
           ya.

                         

          20 INT. MAGAZINE OFFICE - CONTINUOUS 20

           Sidney lights a cigarette, trying to seem casual.

                          SIDNEY
           We're not scared of you, Harding.
           You want to sue, go ahead and
           sue. It's like Jimmy Stewart
           said, (a poor Stewart
           impersonation:)"You sit up there
           and you spin your little webs and
           you think the whole world
           revolves around you and your
           money. Well, it doesn't, Mr...
           Mr...

           13.

                         

                         

                         

          21 INT. CLAYTON'S OFFICE - DAY 21

           Clayton is still flicking through the magazines.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Potter.

           SIDNEY (O.S.)

                          (OVER PHONE)
           "Mr. Potter..."You go ahead and
           sue if you want, but I warn you,
           if you strike me down, I shall
           become more powerful than you can
           possibly imagine.
           An ASSISTANT walks in. Clayton looks up.

                          ASSISTANT

                          (SOFTLY)
           Miss Taylor is here sir.
           Clayton nods and quickly throws the magazines into a BOTTOM
           DRAWER of the desk. Sidney is still talking over the phone,
           beginning to enjoy himself.

           SIDNEY (O.S.)
           Destroy me and a hundred more
           will spring up in my place - men
           who care nothing for success, men
           who cannot be bought, men whose
           only loyalty is to...

                          CLAYTON HARDING

                          (CALMLY)
           I want you to come and work for
           me at Sharps Magazine in New
           York.

                         

          22 INT. MAGAZINE OFFICE - DAY 22

           Sidney stares to where the Thin Man is trying to get out of
           the door with the Fax Machine, the Large Woman struggling
           with him. The two fall to the floor. The rest of the staff
           gather around them.

                          STAFF

                          (CHANTING)
           Fight, fight, fight...

                          SIDNEY

                          (INTO PHONE)
           Um...could you say that again
           please?
           We hear the sound of an aeroplane engine build as we...

                         

          23 AN AEROPLANE ROARS THROUGH THE BLUE SKY. 23

           14.

                         

                         

                         

          24 EXT. JFK AIRPORT - DAY 24

           Sidney emerges from the airport, wearing his crumpled brown
           suit, dragging his suitcase behind him. He stares around,
           excited to be here.

                         

          25 EXT. NEW YORK - HELL'S KITCHEN - EVENING 25

           Sidney drags his suitcase down the quiet street and stops
           outside an apartment block, checking the address.

                         

          26 INT. STAIRS - EVENING 26

           An elderly Polish lady - MRS KOWALSKI - is leading Sidney
           up the stairs of the building.

                          MRS KOWALSKI
           This magazine you are working
           for? It is good?

                          SIDNEY
           It's Sharps Magazine. You know
           Sharps? It's sort of society,
           fashion, crime, finance,
           Hollywood celebrities...

                          MRS KOWALSKI

                          (SCORNFUL)
           Hollywood. Sodom and Gomorrah.
           Now everybody is celebrity. You
           take out your breasts, you are
           celebrity.

                          SIDNEY
           (eyeing her chest

                          DOUBTFULLY)
           Well, I think it depends on the
           breasts but...

                          MRS KOWALSKI

                          (OBLIVIOUS)
           In Poland, someone was famous
           because they had done
           something...Marie Curie...Pope
           John Paul...

                          SIDNEY
           Yeah, they don't make
           entertainers like that any
           more...
           Mrs Kowalski cuffs the back of his head. Sidney is somewhat
           surprised by this familiarity, having only just met the
           lady. She opens an apartment door. 

           15.

                         

                         

                         

          26A INT. APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS 26A 

           Mrs Kowalski shows Sidney into the small and cheaply
           furnished apartment. Sidney's boxed possessions stand in a
           corner.

                          MRS KOWALSKI
           They brought your things
           yesterday.

                          SIDNEY

                          (LOOKING AROUND)
           Yup, this is good. This is...I
           can put my drum kit just over
           there and, uh...
           She stares at him.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           That's a...that's just a joke.
           They're just little...congas.

                          MRS KOWALSKI
           When do you start work?

                          SIDNEY
           Tomorrow morning.

                          MRS KOWALSKI
           Well, you need to be fresh, make
           a good impression.(Leaving) Go to
           bed.

                          SIDNEY
           Just what I'm going to do...

                         

          27 INT. BAR - EVENING 27

           A drunken Sidney dances frenetically on a small dance floor
           made of squares of flashing color, compensating with
           enthusiasm for what he lacks in coordination. The women on
           the floor shuffle further and further away from him.

                         

          28 EXT. STREET - EVENING 28

           Sidney walks down the street, staring bright eyed at the
           city around him, in love with New York. A SEXY WOMAN in a
           short dress passes him. Sidney ogles her as she walks into
           a BAR.

                         

          29 INT. BAR - EVENING 29

           Sidney finds the Sexy Woman sitting at the bar. There is an
           empty stool beside her. Sidney sidles into it.

           16.

                         

                         

                          SEXY WOMAN

                          (TO BARMAN)
           A Kona please.
          Sidney gestures to the Barman to make it two. He sits
          trying to think of something to say. The barman returns
          with their drinks.

                          SIDNEY
           (raising his glass)
           Hi, my name's Clark. Clark
           Baxter.
          The Woman looks at him without expression. Sidney sips his
          drink, grimaces.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)

                          (TO BARMAN)
           What the hell's that?

                          BARMAN
           That's a water sir.

                          SIDNEY
           Well that's...that's not right,
           is it? That's not...put a dash of
           beer in that.
          A young woman has been sitting on the other side of Sidney.
          This is ALISON OLSEN (20s) smart, attractive, dressed in an
          elegant but no-nonsense suit. She is writing in a NOTEBOOK.
          She looks up and notices Sidney.

                          ALISON
           I'm sorry, my boyfriend's sitting
           there.
          Sidney gets up and examines the stool.

                          SIDNEY
           Is he? He's fucking small isn't
           he?
          He smiles at the Sexy Woman, hoping to get a laugh. Alison
          examines Sidney coolly, points to the drink on the bar in
          front of Sidney.

                          ALISON
           That's his White Russian. He'll
           be here in a second.

                          SIDNEY

                          (TO BARMAN)
           Can you reserve these seats?

                          BARMAN
           Nope.
          Sidney sits down and turns back to the Sexy Woman.

           17.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           I'm a journalist. Work for a
           little periodical you might have
           heard of called Sharps Magazine?
          Sidney produces a card and waves it vaguely.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           I'm the Cultural Editor.
          Alison takes the card from his hand before he can put it
          away again.

                          ALISON
           (to Sexy Woman)
           This is a library card. (Reading
           it) From Glow-cester...

                          SIDNEY
           (snatching it back)
           That's...not that one...
           (Searching wallet) I've got it
           somewhere...I just...
          The Sexy Woman gets up and walks away. Sidney watches her
          go bitterly.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)

                          (TO ALISON)
           Happy now?

                          ALISON
           Just doing my bit for the gene
           pool.
          He produces the PHOTOGRAPH of him being held in a headlock
          by Clint Eastwood.

                          SIDNEY
           Who's that there with Clint
           Eastwood?

                          ALISON
           Morgan Freeman?

                          SIDNEY
           No, in the headlock.

                          ALISON
           You had this laminated?

                          SIDNEY
           Oh just give it...
          He snatches the photograph back, catching Alison's glass in
          the process. Her drink SPILLS over her notebook - soaking
          the page she has been writing.

                          ALISON
           Shit!

           18.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           It's okay. It's okay. I've got
           it.
          He tries to blot the page with a napkin, smearing the ink.

                          ALISON
           Just...just leave it!
          She examines the book, furious.

                          SIDNEY
           Sorry.
          He tries to think of something to say.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           It's pronounced Gloucester by the
           way.

                          ALISON

                          (ICY)
           Are you going to get off that
           seat?

                          SIDNEY
           No.

                          ALISON

                          (BEAT)
           Do you know the meaning of Karma?

                          SIDNEY
           The curry?

                          ALISON
           (inscribing a circle in

                          THE AIR )
           What goes around, comes around.
           The moment is approaching when
           you will pay the price for being
           an asshole. When my boyfriend
           gets here I'm going to put my
           pacifist leanings to one side and
           encourage him to take you outside
           and...
          Her cell-phone rings. She answers it.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)
           Hello? Hi, honey.(Beat) Oh.
           (Beat) no, no, it's...don't worry
           about it. I'll see you then.
          She hangs up, avoiding Sidney's gaze, embarrassed and
          annoyed.

                          SIDNEY
           Boyfriend not coming?

           19.

                         

                         
           She stares straight ahead, gathering her things.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)

                          (CONCILIATORY)
           Listen, I'm sorry. Do you
           think...?
           She turns to him.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Do you think I could have his
           drink?
           Alison gives him a cold smile, controlling her temper. She
           spots a heavily made-up WOMAN walking past.

                          ALISON
           Bobbie? 

                          WOMAN
           Hey!

                          ALISON
           You want a seat? I'm just
           leaving.

                          WOMAN
           Thanks.
           The Woman takes Alison's place at the bar.

                          SIDNEY
           (to the newcomer)
           Hello.
           He slides the PHOTOGRAPH over to her.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Guess who that is with Clint
           Eastwood.
           Alison gives a small smile and leaves.

                         

          30 INT. SIDNEY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 30

           Sidney and the Woman dance drunkenly around the room to the
           music blaring from Sidney's stereo. The track finishes and
           they stand gasping for breath.

                          WOMAN
           I'm gonna powder my nose. Why
           don't you put on something a
           little more romantic?
           She staggers off down the hall. Sidney, giddy with
           excitement, searches through some LPs and puts one on his
           old turntable. It's Ace of Spades by Motorhead. He staggers
           around, playing air-guitar for a moment.

           20.

                         
           The music is suddenly switched off. He turns to find Mrs
           Kowalski standing beside the record player, staring grimly
           at him.

                          SIDNEY
           Mrs Lebowski...

                          MRS KOWALSKI
           Kowalski. You know what time it
           is? The music blaring, your door
           open...

                          SIDNEY
           (trying to seem sober)
           Was it? Fuck. I mean, shit.
           Sorry. I just...met an old friend
           and brought them back...
           The Woman staggers back into the room, her back to us. She
           is NAKED. She is also surprisingly muscular.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           ...for a little...
           He notices the woman. His gaze drops to below the waist.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           ...penis.
           Mrs Kowalski turns and takes in the view. Nobody moves.

                         

          31 INT. BEDROOM - MORNING 31

           A hung-over Sidney wakes up in his bed, light streaming
           through the window.

                         

                         32 BATHROOM 32
           He examines his reflection, psyching himself up for his
           first day.

                          SIDNEY
           You can do this! You can do this!
           He hums the fanfare from the Rocky theme.

                         

                         33 LIVING ROOM 33
           Sidney walks into the room, still humming the theme tune,
           shadow boxing. He opens the blinds and turns to the couch.
           The "Woman" wakes up from where she has been sleeping on
           the couch and gazes blearily at Sidney.

                          SIDNEY
           Quick coffee Bob and then you've
           got to go.

           21.

                         

                         
           We hear the opening of Brian Ferry's version of The `In'
           Crowd as we...

                         

          34 EXT. TIMES SQUARE - MORNING 34

           As the song continues we see Sidney swagger down the busy
           sidewalk towards us. He is wearing sunglasses and a T-shirt
           emblazoned with a photograph of Keanu Reeves and the
           caption "Young, Dumb and Full of Cum."The T-shirt is riding
           up a little over his belly.

           SIDNEY (V.O.)
           This is my city.
           He stops at a gleaming chrome entrance and stares up at the
           Heywood Building towering above him.

                         

          35 INT. HEYWOOD BUILDING - ENTRANCE SECURITY - MORNING 35

           As the song continues Sidney, still swaggering, is escorted
           through the formidable looking security by a thin and chic
           ASSISTANT. The entrance hall arches above them, a vast and
           impressive cavern of chrome and glass.

           SIDNEY (V.O.)
           This is my building.

                         

          36 INT. LIFT - MOMENTS LATER 36

           Sidney leans nonchalantly against the wall of the lift
           examining the Chic Assistant and two stunningly beautiful
           MODELS who are in conversation. Sidney manages to catch the
           attention of one of the models and flashes what he believes
           is a rakish smile. In return he receives an icy glare.

           SIDNEY (V.O.)
           These are my models.

                         

          37 INT. SHARPS MAGAZINE - CORRIDOR - MOMENTS LATER 37

           The Chic Assistant leads Sidney down a curving, red
           carpeted corridor, past a chrome wall inscribed with the
           giant logo of the magazine. They reach a set of double
           doors which the Assistant opens for Sidney...

           SIDNEY (V.O.)
           And this...
           Sidney walks through into...

                         

          38 CLAYTON HARDING'S OFFICE 38
           Harding swings around in his chair to glare at us, a
           cigarette in his mouth.

           22.

                         

                         

           SIDNEY (V.O.)
           ...is my Boss.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           What the fuck are you wearing?
          The song grinds to an abrupt halt. Sidney loses a quantity
          of swagger. He examines his T-shirt.

                          SIDNEY
           You like it? I brought you one.
          He takes a T-shirt from his satchel and hands it to
          Harding.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Thanks.
          Casually he flings the shirt out of the open window behind
          him.

           CLAYTON HARDING (CONT'D)
           Next time you come here dressed
           like that, you follow the shirt.
           You understand?
          Sidney nods dumbly.

           CLAYTON HARDING (CONT'D)
           Sit down. How was the flight?

                          SIDNEY

                          (SITTING)
           Good. Thanks for the business
           class tickets, Clay.
          Harding regards him gravely.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           That was a mistake. And don't
           call me Clay.

                          SIDNEY
           Oh. Well, if it's any consolation
           I got downgraded anyway.

                          CLAYTON HARDING

                          (GRAVELY)
           That is some consolation.
          Sidney notices that the copy of The Post-Modern Review is
          on the desk - Clayton NAKED.

                          SIDNEY

                          (NERVOUSLY)
           Ha! That was just a little, uh...
           as it happens I'm a big fan of
           your earlier, funnier work. Snipe
           Magazine that was...that was
           really good.

           23.

                         

                         
          Harding stares at Sidney.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Yeah, you've...you've actually
           been a big influence on me and I
           really think together we can
           inject a bit of that Snipe spirit
           into this magazine. Now I've got
           a few ideas that I'd like to...

                          CLAYTON HARDING

                          (INTERRUPTING)
           You think you've arrived, doncha?
           Well I hate to break it to you,
           but you're only in the first
           room. It's not nothing, don't get
           me wrong, but there are plenty of
           people in this town who never
           made it past the first room.
           After a year or so, maybe longer,
           you'll discover a secret doorway
           at the back of the first room
           that leads to the second.
           Eventually, if you're lucky,
           you'll discover another doorway
           back of the second room that
           leads to the third.
          He gazes at Sidney through narrowed eyes.

           CLAYTON HARDING (CONT'D)
           There are seven rooms in all.
           You're in the first, I'm in the
           seventh, and doncha forget it
          Sidney has been listening with a frown of concentration.

                          SIDNEY

                          (BEAT)
           So...if I make it to the Seventh
           Room - will I become a true Jedi
           Knight?
          Harding exhales smoke and puts out his cigarette.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Which brings us to the subject of
           your sense of humour. I had a
           look through your "magazine"
           here.

                          SIDNEY
           What'd you think?
          Clayton swivels in his chair and stares thoughtfully out
          over the Manhattan skyline.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Oh, I thought it was...kinda
           snarky. And bitter. And...
           witless.

           24.

                         

                         
           Sidney digests this. Clayton seems lost in thought.
           Finally...

           CLAYTON HARDING (CONT'D)
           I'm going to try you out in the I
           Spy Section.

                         

          39 INT. CORRIDOR - DAY 39

           Sidney is hurrying to keep up with LAWRENCE MADDOX (40's)
           as he strides down the corridor. Lawrence is Canadian,
           handsome, one of the golden boys of the magazine and
           arrogant with it. Other EMPLOYEES pass them as they walk,
           heads down, expressions serious. The place is a model of
           quiet, professional industry.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           (glancing at Sidney's

                          CLOTHES)
           Well, Sidney. We've only just met
           but already I perceive I am in
           the presence of a rare comic
           sensibility.

                          SIDNEY
           Thanks.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           I know your Hi-jinx gave you a
           certain notoriety back in Olde
           England but things are going to
           be a bit different here. Harding
           wants me to be your Rabbi, show
           you the ropes. Are you aware of
           what we do at I Spy?

                          SIDNEY
           You photograph famous people when
           they're drunk?

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX

                          (IGNORING HIM)
           I Spy is the nation's window onto
           High Society. The Looky-Loos read
           us because...well, They Weren't
           There. The Glitterati read us
           because we tell them They Were
           There. For this system to work we
           have to know where There is.

                          SIDNEY
           So...when we go out to clubs and
           things...would that, would that
           be on expenses or...?

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           This isn't a vacation. It's a
           vocation.

           25.

                         

                         
          Maddox sweeps around the corner into an open-plan office
          area. Fact-checkers and Assistants buzz around.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)
           When we do go out you're going to
           have to wear something more
           suitable.

                          SIDNEY
           Okay. What do you mean by
           suitable?
          Maddox gestures at Sidney's body.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Something that covers all of this
           up.
          He starts to check messages on his desk. Sidney, trying to
          seem at ease, stares at a black and white PHOTOGRAPH on the
          wall.

                          SIDNEY
           Is that Mussolini?

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           (Beat.) )
           No, Sidney, that's Richard
           Heywood. The owner of this
           magazine.

                          SIDNEY
           Oh. Looks a little like,
           uh...(pointing to the child in
           the photograph, smiling) Who's
           this funny looking kid? Is that
           his son?
          Maddox stares at him.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX

                          (ICILY)
           That's his daughter, Elizabeth;
           now my wife.
          A SUBTITLE materializes like a halo around Maddox's head.
          It reads: Do Not Fuck with Me.

                          SIDNEY

                          (FLUSTERED)
           Really? Well, she's very...isn't
           she? Really, very...
          Someone walks up behind Sidney.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Miss Olsen here takes care of the
           gallery openings, book launches
           and other intellectual fare. Can
           you find our new rookie something
           to do?

           26.

                         

                         
           Sidney turns to find Alison behind him, eating an apple.
           She eyes him coldly.

                          ALISON
           I hear the Cultural Editor's job
           is up for grabs?

                         

                         40 LATER 40
           Alison sits working at her computer. Sidney appears and
           perches on the edge of her desk.

                          SIDNEY
           Listen, seeing as how I'm going
           to be sitting just over there,
           don't you think we should try and
           put last night behind us?

                          ALISON
           No. Get off my desk.

                          SIDNEY
           I'm not sure what I'm supposed to
           be doing. (Beat) Are you going to
           help me out?

                          ALISON
           Okay. Which way did you come in?
           Sidney stares at her. Alison takes some contact sheets from
           her desk and shoves them at him.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)
           Chris Blick exhibition opening.
           Caption it. Now get off my desk.
           One of the magazines gorgeous Fashionistas - INGRID - walks
           past.

                          INGRID

                          (TO ALISON)
           Hi!

                          ALISON
           Hi, Ingrid.
           Ingrid stares at Sidney's outfit, thrown.

                          SIDNEY
           (a wolfish smile)
           You going to introduce me?

                          ALISON
           This is Clark Baxter. (Noticing
           Ingrid's gaze) He's English.

                          INGRID
           (That explains it)
           Ohh...right.

           27.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           Actually it's Sidney. Sidney
           Young. Clark Baxter is my alias.

                          INGRID
           Why do you have an alias?

                          ALISON
           He uses it when he's trying to
           pick up transsexuals.

                          INGRID

                          (CREEPED OUT)
           Nice to meet you.
           She walks on.

                          SIDNEY

                          (TO ALISON)
           I take it you knew about Bob and
           didn't tell me?
           Alison inscribes a circle in the air with her finger
           without looking up.

                         

                         41 LATER 41
           Sidney is on the phone. He is staring at some contact
           sheets.

                          SIDNEY
           Hello, is that the Parsons
           Gallery?

           WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
           Yes, it is. This is Celia Parsons
           speaking.

                          SIDNEY
           This is Sidney Young from Sharps
           Magazine? We're running some
           photographs from your opening of
           the Chris Blick exhibition, and I
           just need to caption them. I was
           wondering if you could help me
           identify some of the people?

                          WOMAN'S VOICE

                          (OVER PHONE)
           All right.

                          SIDNEY
           Thanks. So...Chris Blick. Man or
           woman?

           WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
           What?

           28.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           Is Chris Blick a man or woman?

           WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)

                          (BEAT)
           Are you sure you're calling from
           Sharps magazine?

                          SIDNEY
           Yes, I am.

           WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)

                          (ICY)
           Tell me Stanley, why have they
           given you this assignment if you
           don't know who one of the most
           famous artists in America is?

                          SIDNEY
           I...I don't really know.

           WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)

                          (SNAPPING)
           He's a man.

                          SIDNEY
           Okay. Is he an old man?

           WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)

                          (BEAT)
           He's an older man, yes.

                          SIDNEY
           (staring at a

                          PHOTOGRAPH)
           Okay, I've got two old men here -
           so is he the fat one?

           WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)

                          (BEAT)
           You do realize that Clayton
           Harding is a personal friend of
           mine?

                          SIDNEY

                          (BEAT)
           What's that got to do with
           anything?

           WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
           Right.
          She hangs up. Beat. Sidney looks around, hoping no-one was
          listening. He re-dials.

           WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.) (CONT'D)
           Parsons gallery.

                          SIDNEY
           Is he the one with the wonky eye?

           29.

                         

                         
           She hangs up again.

                          CUT TO

                         

          42 INT. LOBBY - LIFT - DAY 42

           Sidney, coming back from lunch, gets into the lift eating a
           HAMBURGER. Another of the magazine's Fashionistas - ANNA -
           gets into the lift and tries to hold the door open for an
           approaching friend. The doors swish shut, Anna pulling her
           hand out of the way just in time. The lift rises.

                          SIDNEY
           It's fashion sensitive. If you're
           not wearing Prada it'll take your
           arm clean off.
           Anna stares at this strange man with the burger, baffled.

                          ANNA
           But I am wearing Prada.
           The lift stops and she gets out. Alison gets in, sees
           Sidney and winces. She takes out a book and pretends to
           read. The lift begins to rise again.
           Through it's glass doors we see the different floors
           passing, different publications - each a hive of sober,
           hard work. Sidney stares at them.

                          SIDNEY

                          (MOUTH FULL)
           This isn't what I expected.
           Alison recoils slightly.

                          ALISON
           What did you expect?

                          SIDNEY
           I don't know. The Algonquin
           circle. Dorothy Parker. Martinis.
           Quips. Look at them. Not one of
           them is drunk.

                          ALISON
           It's called being a professional.
           You should try it some time.

                          SIDNEY
           There's something you should
           understand. I'm not really one of
           you.

                          ALISON
           By "you" do you mean "human?"

           30.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           I mean the glossy posse. Bunch of
           Zombies, writing about "Pets of
           the Stars" but acting like
           they're working for the UN. I'm
           here to shake things up a bit.
           Where are you from?

                          ALISON
           Not that it's any of your
           business, but I'm from Port
           Huron, Michigan.

                          SIDNEY
           Right. Small town girl. (Hannibal
           Lector impersonation) I bet you
           could only dream of getting out.
           Getting anywhere - yes, Clarice?
           Getting all the way - to the
           N...Y...C. (Dropping the
           impersonation) Take my advice,
           don't go taking this celebrity
           fluff seriously.
           For a moment Alison is speechless with anger.

                          ALISON
           You...you...arrogant...
           The lift stops and a TALL WOMAN enters. She is expensively
           dressed, wears Chanel dark glasses, an expression of
           granite and an air of superhuman froideur.
           Alison exchanges the slightest of nods with her and stares
           tensely ahead. Only Sidney, busy chewing, is oblivious to
           the plunge in temperature.
           For a moment there is only the soft whir of the lift. Then
           Sidney begins to choke on some burger. He wheezes for a
           moment, gagging.
           The Woman stiffens slightly but shows no other sign of
           having noticed the revolting noises coming from behind her.
           Alison closes her eyes.
           Sidney gives a violent cough and a chunk of chewed burger
           and coleslaw flies out of his mouth and lands on the back
           of the oblivious Woman's Prada jacket.
           Sidney notices and raises a tentative hand to brush the
           offending item away.
           Before he can move Alison silently takes his wrist in a
           vice-like grip.

                         

          43 CORRIDOR - MOMENTS LATER 43
           Alison is haranguing Sidney.

           31.

                         

                         

                          ALISON

                          (HISSING)
           Are you insane? That was
           Lawrence's wife, Elizabeth! Her
           father owns Sharps!

                          SIDNEY
           That was her? The Mussolini baby?
          He stops.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           I could go back and tell her
           I'm...

                          ALISON
           No! Listen to me - you do NOT
           approach Elizabeth Maddox, you do
           NOT talk to her! Don't even
           make eye-contact with her? Do you
           understand?

                          SIDNEY
           Am I supposed to be afraid?

                          ALISON
           Yes.

                          SIDNEY
           I don't know the meaning of the
           word fear.

                          ALISON
           I'm sure there are many words you
           don't know the meaning of!
          She walks on, shaking her head in disbelief.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)
           When I think of all the people
           who would kill to be where you
           are. And you lumber in here,
           spitting food, haven't got the
           brains God gave a mollusc...why 
           did Clayton hire you?

                          SIDNEY

                          (FOLLOWING HER)
           Snipe Magazine.

                          ALISON
           What?

                          SIDNEY
           When Clayton left college he
           started this little magazine
           called Snipe. Fantastic. Took aim
           at every self-important celebrity
           in town. Completely fearless. It
           was like my magazine but twenty
           years earlier.

                          (MORE)

           32.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           That's why he's hired me. I am
           the young Clayton Harding. He
           looks at me and sees his glory
           days.

                          ALISON

                          (SARCASTIC)
           His glory days? Sharps has won
           fourteen National Magazine awards
           and increased its advertising
           pages by more than 60 percent
           since he took over. He's paid
           millions of dollars a year. He 
           lives in a Bank Street townhouse,
           and weekends in the Hamptons.
           Clayton Harding is one of the
           lynchpins of the media-industrial
           complex.
           Sidney stops to examine his reflection in a window.

                          SIDNEY
           Yeah, but don't worry. I think I
           might still be in time to save
           him.

                         

          44 INT. SIDNEY'S APARTMENT - EVENING 44

           The phone is ringing. Sidney walks in from the bedroom,
           changing into his old brown suit. The answer machine kicks
           in.

           SIDNEY (O.S.)
           (over answer machine)
           You've reached Sidney Young. I'm
           sorry but my answering machine is
           out of order, so the voice you
           are hearing is actually me.
           The machine BEEPS. Sidney smirks at his joke and is
           reaching for the phone when we hear the caller - an older
           man, an upper-class English accent.

           OLDER MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
           (over answer machine)
           Sidney? Are you there?
           Sidney stops in his tracks, something complicated and
           fearful crossing his face.

           OLDER MAN'S VOICE (O.S.) (CONT'D)
           Sidney? Are you there?
           Sidney tiptoes back out of the room.

           OLDER MAN'S VOICE (CONT'D)
           If you're there Sidney, answer
           the phone.
           We hear the opening of Fly Me To The Moon by Julie London

           33.

                         

                         

                         

          45 INT. TOWN CAR - EVENING 45

           Sidney sits in the car beside Alison and Maddox, staring
           out the window, entranced by the bright lights as they pass
           by...

                         

          46 EXT. HOTEL - FUND-RAISER PARTY - NIGHT 46

           The rooftop swimming pool of a hotel. Flowers everywhere,
           including in the pool. Guests mill around drinking. We find
           Sidney working his way through the throng to where Alison
           stands.

                          SIDNEY

                          (MOUTH FULL)
           There's a couple of hundred
           grands worth of food here and I
           swear I'm the only person eating
           it. You want some?
           Alison recoils. Sidney does a little nerdy dance to the
           music as he eats.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           This place is amazing. It's wall
           to wall totty.

                          ALISON
           Wall to wall what?

                          SIDNEY
           Totty. Babes. Sexually attractive
           women.

                          ALISON
           Do you mind?

                          SIDNEY
           What?
           Maddox joins them. A man passes, nods respectfully at
           Maddox.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Look at that. All night people
           have been treating us like we're
           royalty. In London, the
           journalist's motto is "Everybody
           hates us and we don't care."

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Well, now you're one of the High
           Priests of what's Hot and what's
           Not. So what were you two talking
           about?

           34.

                         

                         

                          ALISON
           Sidney was just marvelling at the
           abundance of "Totty" here.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX

                          (ENJOYING THIS)
           Uh-oh. I don't think Miss Olsen
           approves of you, Sidney.
          Sidney watches some beautiful women pass, dripping
          diamonds.

                          SIDNEY
           I shouldn't be here. I get thrown
           out of places like this.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           This? This is a McDonald's. I
           hate disease parties. (Off
           Sidney's puzzled look) Fund-
           raisers.
          Someone's CELL PHONE RINGS. All of the guests automatically
          check their cells.
          An OLDER ATTRACTIVE WOMAN walks over - she's a little
          drunk.

                          WOMAN
           Lawrence Maddox? Oh my
           goodness... Long time.
          Maddox examines her coolly.

                          WOMAN (CONT'D)
           Rachel!
          Lawrence barely bothers to conceal the fact he doesn't
          remember her.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Rachel. How are you?

                          RACHEL
           Well, I'm just wonderful.
           Wonderful. How are you?
          Lawrence smiles and looks around him without answering.
          Rachel tries again.

                          RACHEL (CONT'D)
           Funny I should run into you. I've
           just done this great little film
           called Five Boroughs and it's you
           know, low-budget, first-time
           director but very, uh, moving
           and... Hey, maybe you could do a
           little...?

           35.

                         

                         
           A handsome YOUNG MAN passes by. Maddox instantly turns away
           from Rachel.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX

                          (SMOOTHLY)
           Angelo, good to see you.
           Rachel hovers for a moment, embarrassed by her abrupt
           dismissal then slips away. Sidney watches her go, feeling
           for her.

                          SIDNEY

                          (TO MADDOX)
           You know that was Rachel Petkoff? 
           She's a fantastic actress. Hasn't
           done anything for years, but, in
           her day...

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX

                          (COOLLY)
           I'm sure.

                          SIDNEY
           Seriously, I've heard about that
           film. I think she's going to make
           a come back. We should get there
           first, do a profile or something
           before everyone else...
           Maddox isn't listening. Instead he greets a fat, angry-
           looking VERY YOUNG MAN. This is VINCENT LEPAK, wearing his
           customary SHADES.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX

                          (FAWNING)
           Vincent! Great to see you.
           Children, I'd like to introduce
           you to Vincent Lepak, enfant 
           terrible and in, my opinion, the 
           most exciting new director in 
           American cinema. 
           Vincent nods, frowning, looks around.

                          VINCENT
           I think this is the worst
           fundraiser I've been to in my
           whole life.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           It's a rat fuck, isn't it?
           Sidney walks away.

                         

          47 ANGLE ON RACHEL 47
           ...standing at the parapet, smoking, staring out over the
           city with red eyes. Sidney appears beside her.

           36.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           Excuse me? Aren't you Rachel 
           Petkoff? 
          Rachel turns to look at him.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           This is sort of embarrassing
           but...
          He holds out a napkin.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Could I have your autograph?
          Rachel, suspecting she is the target of ridicule, looks
          around to see if there's an audience.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           I'm a big fan.

                          RACHEL

                          (HARD)
           Is that so?

                          SIDNEY
           Absolutely. I must have seen
           everything you've been in. Those
           episodes of The Love Boat and the
           Bionic Woman? The Song Birds, In
           The Night...I've even seen your
           first ever TV appearance. The
           Twilight Zone - House of Mirrors.
           Right?

                          RACHEL

                          (THROWN)
           Right...

                          SIDNEY
           My all time favorite? A Day Too
           Long. (He means it) You were
           really great in that.
          Rachel stares at him. She hides her emotion with a bright
          smile.

                          RACHEL

                          (LAUGHING)
           What's your name, honey?

                          SIDNEY
           Sidney Young.
          She takes the napkin and pen, her face glowing.

                          RACHEL

                          (WRITING)
           Sidney Young. I'll remember that.

           37.

                         

                         

                         

          48 ANGLE ON VINCENT 48
           ...holding court to Maddox, Alison and some of the
           Glitterati. Sidney joins them, eating more food.

                          VINCENT
           You look around and it's all
           shit. No-one is making movies
           that are fucking worthwhile.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           I'd have to disagree with you,
           Vincent.
           Vincent looks at him, displeased.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)
           You're making movies that are
           worthwhile.
           Vincent accepts this with a curt nod.

                          VINCENT
           This is what I'm saying. You have
           to inspire yourself. I am my role-
           model. I want to be me...
           He stares angrily around, handing his empty glass to his
           waiting assistant who immediately replaces it with a full
           one from a passing tray. Sidney watches him with dislike.

                          SIDNEY

                          (SUDDENLY)
           Greatest film ever made?

                          VINCENT
           Excuse me?

                          SIDNEY
           What's the greatest film ever
           made? (To Alison) Go on. Have a
           guess.

                          ALISON

                          (IRRITATED)
           Well, that's...I don't think
           there is one single film that...

                          SIDNEY
           Have a guess.

                          VINCENT

                          (SNEERING)
           Yeah, have a guess - what is the
           greatest film ever made?

           38.

                         

                         

                          ALISON

                          (EMBARRASSED)
           I don't, uh...well personally I
           love La Dolce Vita but...

                          SIDNEY
           Incorrect. Con Air.

                          ALISON

                          (BEAT)
           I beg your pardon?

                          SIDNEY
           Uhuh, Con Air. It's got
           everything. Malkovich for your
           acting chops, Nicky Cage for
           action, Buscemi for comedy, John
           Cusack for the Gays. It's a
           smorgasbord.
          The group study him, trying to work out if this is irony or
          idiocy. Maddox is staring daggers at him. An extremely
          thin, fashionably dressed woman smiles at Sidney.

                          WOMAN
           I don't think we've been
           introduced?

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Mister Young, this is Eleanor
           Johnson, Queen of New York.
           Eleanor this is Sidney Young.
           He's from England and he's our
           very own Idiot Savant. Without
           the Savant.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON
           Well, it's always nice to have
           fresh blood at these things. (To
           Maddox) Which reminds me, I'm
           here with Sophie Maes, I want you
           to meet her. New film, The
           Suffragette coming out, the buzz
           is A-mazing. The release is tied
           in with the roll-out of the
           Reebok campaign, and now Louis
           Vuitton's on the line. This train
           is leaving the station Lawrence.

                          SIDNEY

                          (TO ELEANOR)
           So, you're a publicist?

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON
           I don't really like that word,
           Sidney.

                          SIDNEY
           What should I call you?

           39.

                         

                         

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON
           You can call me Eleanor.
           She stares past him, across the pool.

           ELEANOR JOHNSON (CONT'D)
           There she is.
           They turn to see a young woman standing across the pool
           from them. This is SOPHIE MAES - a natural beauty,
           statuesque, no make-up, hair simply pulled back.
           Sophie tries to walk around the pool to join them but finds
           she can't work her way through the crowd. She turns to her
           right but finds her way similarly blocked.
           She hesitates for a moment and then with a shrug climbs
           down into the pool, the water up to her chest, and begins
           to walk through the floating flowers towards them.
           Sidney stares at her, TRANSFIXED. Alison notices this with
           some contempt.
           Gradually everyone notices Sophie and stops to look.
           Having reached the other side, Sophie ascends the pool
           steps, laughing, her dress clinging to her: Venus rising
           from the waves. The Photographers appear, snapping merrily
           away.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX

                          (MURMURING)
           Oh, this one will go far.

                         

          49 INT. HOTEL - LATER 49

           Sophie, still in her wet dress, Eleanor and Sophie's
           ENTOURAGE are striding through the hotel's corridors, on
           their way out. Maddox, Sidney and Alison are with them.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON
           (on cell phone)
           Where's the car? What's it doing
           at the back? Forget what I said.
           I want the car at the front. Now.
           Sidney finds himself walking alongside Sophie and Maddox,
           trying not to stare at Sophie's breasts.

                          SOPHIE MAES
           ...I just think it's terrible the
           way we're still exploiting
           animals. That's why, you know,
           I won't wear fur or leather, I
           won't wear make-up, I'm
           vegetarian.

                          SIDNEY
           I'm with you...

           40.

                         

                         
          Sophie turns to him with a vague smile.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           I won't eat anything with, you
           know, eyebrows.
          He snickers nervously.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Or if it can chuckle. I won't eat
           animals that can chuckle.

                          SOPHIE
           I'm sorry, I can't understand
           your accent?

                          SIDNEY

                          (EMBARRASSED)
           Nothing, just, uh...So you're an
           actress? Have I seen you in
           anything?

                          SOPHIE MAES
           I don't know. Have you?

                          SIDNEY

                          (BEAT)
           No. (Trying again) So you haven't
           won any Oscars yet?

                          SOPHIE MAES
           No.

                          SIDNEY
           Because I would certainly vote
           for you for best supporting
           dress! Huh, huh, huh....

                          SOPHIE MAES

                          (STRUGGLING TO

                          UNDERSTAND HIM)
           I haven't been nominated for
           anything.

                          SIDNEY
           No, I'm just...I'm saying you
           look...
          They have reached the front entrance of the hotel. Eleanor
          steps between them.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON

                          (TO SOPHIE)
           Are you ready dear?
          The front doors glide open to reveal a LEGION OF PAPARAZZI
          waiting outside. As Sophie steps outside there is a sudden
          roar of photographers shouting and the night sky blazes
          white as HUNDREDS OF CAMERAS FLASH SIMULTANEOUSLY.

           41.

                         

                         
           REVERSE - the group framed in the entrance-way - blinded
           by the glare, squinting. Only Sophie has her eyes open,
           smiling, looking like a star.

                         

          50 EXT. OUTSIDE HOTEL - MOMENTS LATER 50

           The Paparazzi are still crowding around the group as they
           make their way to the waiting car.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX

                          (TO ALISON)
           We're going on to the Circle
           Club. I'll see you tomorrow.

                          ALISON

                          (TIGHT)
           Okay. Good night.
           Maddox slips his jacket around Sophie's shoulders.

                          SOPHIE
           Aren't you cold?

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           I'm from Canada, land of ice and
           snow.
           They get into the car. Sidney tries to follow them.

                          SIDNEY
           Budge up.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Where are you going?

                          SIDNEY
           I'm coming to the club.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Sorry, you're not on the list.
           A small CHIHUAHUA - CUBA - on Sophie's lap snarls at
           Sidney.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)
           See? Even Cuba says so.
           Maddox closes the door and the car glides away, Sophie
           kissing the dog on the nose. The Paparazzi hurry back to
           the entrance as another celebrity emerges, leaving Alison
           and Sidney staring after the car.

                          SIDNEY

                          (FUMING)
           That's... that turns my stomach.
           Pawing her like that. He's old
           enough to be her father.

           42.

                         

                         

                          ALISON

                          (IRRITATED)
           No he isn't.

                          SIDNEY
           Yes he is. I started producing
           sperm when I was thirteen, so you
           know, technically...

                          ALISON
           For your information he wasn't
           pawing her! He was just doing his
           job! In case you haven't noticed
           Sharps has to have a star on the
           cover every month. And most of
           those stars are clients of
           Eleanor's. So do not piss her
           off.

                          SIDNEY
           She's a flak. Hacks don't take
           orders from flaks. And I don't
           think you can call that "doing
           his job." The man had no blood
           left in his upper body...

                          ALISON

                          (SNAPPING)
           Will you...? Oh, and next time
           you want to do the hilariously
           ironic I love Con Air skit would
           you mind...?

                          SIDNEY
           I wasn't being ironic...

                          ALISON
           ...would you mind not involving
           me, especially in the presence of
           Vincent Lepak who happens to be
           very important.

                          SIDNEY
           Yeah, I could tell by the way he
           was allowed to stay up past his
           bed time.
          The car disappears into the distance. They watch it go.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Do you think she'd go out with
           me?

                          ALISON
           Who?

                          SIDNEY
           Sophie Maes. You think she'll go
           out with me?

           43.

                         

                         

                          ALISON
           No. Girls like Sophie don't date
           journalists. As far as she's
           concerned, you're the help.

                          SIDNEY
           What do you know? A lot of these
           starlets are lonely. They spend
           their time looking for a man.
           Alison starts to walk away.

                          ALISON
           This is New York, Sidney. Women
           only date men who are
           successful...

                          SIDNEY
           I'm going to be successful.

                          ALISON
           (as she goes)
           ...and tall.

                         

          51 INT. SHARPS MAGAZINE - I SPY AREA - MORNING 51

           Sidney sits in front of his computer reading the on-line
           New York Post Page Six. A story on the previous night is
           accompanied by a large picture of Sophie in her clinging
           dress. Above the picture is the title Venus Envy. Sidney
           stares at the picture, entranced.
           Alison sits at her desk, watching him with contempt. Maddox
           appears beside them.

                          SIDNEY
           Have you seen this? She's
           everywhere.
           An ASSISTANT walks over with a MUFFIN BASKET for Maddox.

                          ASSISTANT
           From Sophie Maes.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           (reading the card)
           "Thanks for a great night." What
           a sweet kid. Oh, Sidney, about
           last night - word of advice.
           Don't talk to the celebrities,
           okay? Sophie said you made her
           feel uncomfortable.
           He walks off with a slight smirk. Sidney glowers after him.

           44.

                         

                         

                         

          52 INT. SHARPS MAGAZINE - CORRIDOR - MORNING 52

           Sidney walks down the corridor. He slows, his expression
           changing suddenly.
           SIDNEY'S P.O.V - Elizabeth Maddox is walking down the
           corridor towards us, face set.
           Sidney keeps on walking, staring to one side of Elizabeth.
           As they draw level, the heel of one of Elizabeth's shoes
           snaps off and she lurches sideways, colliding with the wall
           before sprawling onto the floor in front of Sidney.
           Sidney hesitates. He notices Alison watching with baited
           breath from the other end of the corridor. For a moment
           nobody moves then Sidney steps over Elizabeth's prone form
           without a word and keeps on walking.
           Alison gives a sigh of relief, nods in approval and walks
           on.

                         

          53 INT. MEETING ROOM - DAY 53

           Clayton heads a monthly staff meeting. A rather smug Maddox
           is just finishing a pitch.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           ...so Brad's people finally got
           back to me and they've agreed.
           We've got the whole afternoon,
           before the shoot.
           People clap. Harding nods approvingly.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Good work Lawrence. Okay, well,
           if that's it for...
           He starts to get up.

                          SIDNEY
           So, I was thinking, Clay...
           Clayton, pauses, frowning. Sidney turns to the room,
           cocksure.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Paris Hilton. I do a profile on
           her as if she's this complete
           recluse, this hermit...(laughing)
           I try and track her down and, you
           know, "Who is the elusive Paris
           Hilton and why is she so
           publicity shy?"
           He laughs for a moment. No one joins in.

           45.

                         

                         

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           That's first room stuff, Sidney.
           And call me Clay one more time
           and see what happens.
           Harding stalks out of the room. Blushing, Sidney stares
           after him, nodding vaguely. As he gathers his notebook he
           becomes aware of the smirks on the faces of Maddox and the
           others as they leave.

                         

          54 INT. BREAK AREA - AFTERNOON 54

           Alison sits with her notebook and pen. Behind her some of
           the magazine's glamorous Fashionistas - VICKY, INGRID and
           ANNA - are examining some clothes.

                          VICKY
           No, I'd love these but I'm so fat
           I couldn't...

                          INGRID
           Get out of here!

                          ANNA
           You look totally rexy.

                          INGRID

                          (TO ALISON)
           Alice?
           Alison hides her irritation with a smile.

                          ALISON
           Alison.

                          INGRID
           Tell Vicky she looks rexy.

                          ALISON
           Rexy?

                          INGRID
           Anorexic.

                          ALISON

                          (TO VICKY)
           Well...you do look like you could
           do with a few more pounds.

                          VICKY
           Oh god, that's so sweet.

                          INGRID

                          (TO ALISON)
           By the way, post-shoot clear out.
           Got some Gucci pants here that
           are way too big for us. You wanna
           try?

           46.

                         

                         

                          ALISON
           (another tight smile)
           No, thanks.
          She looks up as Sidney sits heavily beside her, stares at
          her with puppy-dog eyes. Alison tries to ignore him for a
          moment.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)
           I don't mean to be rude Sidney
           but...what the fuck do you want?

                          SIDNEY
           Listen, you know how things work
           around here. How am I going to
           get something in the magazine?
          Alison stares at him.

                          ALISON
           I thought all this "fluff" was
           beneath you?

                          SIDNEY
           It is but...things have changed.

                          ALISON
           What's changed?

                          SIDNEY
           Look, I know people think I'm a
           bit of an idiot and maybe I
           haven't started off too well
           here, but I want...I want...
          He seems so awkward that Alison begins to soften a little.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           ...I want to have sex with Sophie
           Maes. (Beat) Before Maddox does.
          Alison's expression turns to disgust.

                          ALISON
           You're loathsome, you know that?

                          SIDNEY

                          (OBLIVIOUS)
           I know he's got a head start on
           me but I'm going to win her back.
           Once I get my hooks into a girl,
           they never get free.

                          ALISON
           Like ring-worm.
          She gets up and stalks out. Sidney glances through the
          glass partition and sees MADDOX walking past.

           47.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY

                          (TO HIMSELF)
           The gloves are coming off.
           We hear the opening of Brigitte Bardot's Moi Je Joue as
           we...

                         

          55 INT. ELEVATOR - DAY 55

           Sidney is pitching to Clayton in the elevator.

                          SIDNEY
           Okay. Celebrity Trash Cans. The
           contents of celebrity trash cans
           are revealed and readers have
           gotta guess who the trash belongs
           to... Five bottles of Jack
           Daniels, a court order, and a
           copy of Mein Kampf? Mel Gibson!

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           (getting out the lift)
           First Room, Sidney. First room.

                         

          56 EXT. OUTSIDE CIRCLE CLUB - EVENING 56

           A small group of GLITTERATI pass the immense line of
           hopefuls waiting outside the club and are ushered inside by
           the DOORMAN at the entrance. Sidney walks confidently up,
           pretending to talk into his cell. The Doorman stands in his
           way, impassive. Still talking Sidney turns and walks away
           as if nothing has happened.

                         

          57 INT. ELEVATOR - DAY 57

           Sidney standing with a MODEL-TYPE in the elevator. He takes
           a LAMINATED PHOTOGRAPH from his wallet and shows it to her.

                          SIDNEY
           (pointing at the snap)
           Guess who that is with Clint
           Eastwood?

                          MODEL
           Morgan Freeman?

                          SIDNEY
           No, not...why's everyone say...?
           There! In the head-lock!

                         

          58 INT. CLAYTON'S OFFICE - DAY 58

           Sidney pitches to a closed door in the office. He is
           holding a LARGE PIECE OF CARD on which is drawn a TREE
           decorated with the heads of various CELEBRITIES.

           48.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           It's a Shag Tree. It illustrates
           all of the sexual pairings of
           Hollywood's top stars and how
           they interconnect...
           From under the door slides a piece of paper on which is
           written First Room. We hear a TOILET FLUSH.

                         

          59 EXT. OUTSIDE CIRCLE CLUB - EVENING 59

           Sidney approaches the Doorman , takes a ten dollar bill
           from his pocket and hands it to the Doorman. The Doorman
           crumples the bill up and throws it away. Without a word
           Sidney begins to walk away. He comes back and picks up the
           crumpled note and then heads off again.

                         

          60 INT. CLAYTON'S OFFICE - DAY 60

           Harding is eating lunch at his desk. He looks up and finds
           Sidney staring down at him with puppy-dog eyes. Beat.
           Harding sighs.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           If I give you an interview will
           ya leave me the fuck alone?
           Sidney smiles. The song ends.

                         

          61 INT. STUDIO - DAY 61

           Nathan Lane shakes hands with Sidney as he sits down.

                          NATHAN LANE
           Nathan Lane. Nice to meet you.

                          SIDNEY
           Great to meet you Nathan. I'm a
           big fan. I love that rat thing
           you played in The Lion King.

                          NATHAN LANE

                          (PLEASANTLY)
           Actually he's a meer cat.

                          SIDNEY
           (absently, checking his

                          NOTES)
           Uhuh... Now, I've been doing some
           research and I think you're
           probably quite a private man. Am
           I right?

                          NATHAN LANE
           Well...

           49.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           Which is fine, but today, I think
           it would be great to get behind
           the mask.

                          NATHAN LANE

                          (BEAT)
           Uh, I don't think there really is
           a mask as such, and I don't wanna
           be a pain, but what I really
           wanna talk about is the new play,
           keep it about the work, you know?
           Is that okay?

                          SIDNEY
           Absolutely. Of course. So, first
           question - are you Jewish?
           Nathan stares at Sidney.

                          NATHAN LANE
           I don't see what the relevance of
           that is.

                          SIDNEY
           Okay. Next question. The rat
           thing - that's gotta be Disney's
           first gay animal, right? So, I
           was wondering - are you a
           homosexual?
           Beat. Nathan looks like he might hit Sidney.

                         

          62 INT. CLAYTON'S OFFICE - DAY 62

           Clayton glares at Sidney from behind his desk.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           What did I say to you?

                          SIDNEY
           What...?

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           What did I say to you?

                          SIDNEY
           I just...

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           What did I say to you?

                          SIDNEY
           Don't upset anyone.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Don't upset anyone.

           50.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           I was just trying to...probe.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           You wanna probe become a
           proctologist, okay? You can't ask
           musical comedy stars whether
           they're Jewish or gay. From now
           on just assume they're all Jewish
           and all gay, okay?

                         

          63 INT. I SPY AREA - DAY 63

           Sidney is on the phone. He has been idly applying magic
           tape to his face, contorting it into a grotesque grimace.
           The headline of a magazine open in front of him reads:
           "Everyone Loves A Lord: Why British Titles Drive New York
           Women Crazy."

                          SIDNEY
           I'd like to apply for an American
           Express card please? (Beat) Hon.
           Sidney Young. (Beat) As in
           Honourable. H-O-N. (Beat)It's a
           British title.
           Across the desk Alison watches him with contempt.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           The Queen? Yeah, I know the
           Queen. Just fill in the form will
           you?
           Sidney suddenly notices Sophie Maes and Eleanor Johnson
           walking towards them. Sophie looks more STYLED than before.
           She is holding her Chihuahua, Cuba, which is dressed in a
           tiny coat. Sidney DISAPPEARS UNDER THE DESK. We hear a RIP
           as he yanks the tape off his face.

           SIDNEY (O.S.)(CONT'D)
           (in pain, under desk)
           Oh, fuck...!

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX

                          (WALKING OVER)
           Hey! Cuba!
           He pets the dog, who greets him enthusiastically.

                          SOPHIE MAES

                          (TO LAWRENCE)
           He likes you.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX

                          (SMILING SMOOTHLY)
           Well, I'm one of the Friends Of
           Cuba.

           51.

                         

                         
           He laughs, Sophie smiles, not getting it. Alison seems
           immersed in some paper-work.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)
           So how's it feel to be a star?

                          SOPHIE
           No, don't! It's so embarrassing!
           That picture's everywhere now.
           And I had no idea the dress was
           so see-through! And people are
           talking like it was some kind of
           stunt.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON

                          (SMOOTHLY)
           Such a cynical age. Hello
           Sidney.
           Embarrassed, Sidney gets up from under his desk.

                          SIDNEY
           Hello! Didn't, didn't know you
           were coming in...?

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON
           Lawrence is taking us to lunch at
           Cipriani.

                          SIDNEY

                          (JEALOUS)
           Oh great. That's great.

                          SOPHIE MAES
           Lawrence? Could I leave Cuba
           here? He doesn't like Italian
           food.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Of course you can. He can stay in
           my office. Sidney? Fetch Cuba a
           bowl of water, will you?
           Sidney stares at him.

                          SIDNEY
           (forcing a smile)
           Of course.

                         

                         64 WATER-COOLER 64
           Eleanor is getting a cup of water from the cooler. Sidney
           joins her, waiting to fill the dog's bowl.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON
           That is a lovely ring. Where is
           that from?

           52.

                         

                         
          Sidney looks at the wedding ring he wears on his little
          finger.

                          SIDNEY

                          (EMBARRASSED)
           It was my mother's. She gave it
           to me.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON

                          (SMILING)
           Oh, you Sweetie. That is very,
           very...(dismissing the topic) So,
           listen...You've met Vincent
           Lepak haven't you, Sidney?

                          SIDNEY
           Uhuh.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON
           He has a new movie coming out
           soon and Lawrence is over-
           stretched as it is. How would you
           like to write a story on him?
          Alison, at the photocopier nearby, listens.
          Sidney smiles, filled with hope.

                          SIDNEY
           A story? Absolutely. That
           would...I'd love to...

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON

                          (SOFTLY)
           Well, great. Maybe we could get
           together and discuss the angle?

                          SIDNEY
           Okay. (Beat) What do you mean?

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON
           Well, I'd need to know how we're
           going to present Vincent, check
           the story, so on.

                          SIDNEY

                          (BEAT)
           You want copy approval?

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON

                          (SMILING)
           Any stories written about my
           clients need to be in their best
           interest, that's all. If things
           work out with Vincent we could
           maybe talk about a follow up
           story on Sophie? What do you
           think?
          Alison listens, her face registering her distaste.

           53.

                         

                         
           Sidney looks over at Sophie, struggling with himself.
           Finally...

                          SIDNEY

                          (RELUCTANTLY)
           I'm sorry, Eleanor, I don't...I
           don't work that way.
           Alison stares with surprise at Sidney. He just went up in
           her estimation.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON

                          (AMUSED)
           Sidney dear, think of it like
           this: you write about one of my
           clients, you are borrowing some
           of their "star-light" to help
           sell your magazine. All I'm
           saying is quid pro quo.
           Sidney is unable to hold back a snicker.

                          SIDNEY
           Their star-light?
           Eleanor's face hardens.

                         

                         65 MOMENTS LATER 65
           Sidney watches Sophie, Maddox and Eleanor as they walk
           towards reception.

                         

          66 INT. MADDOX'S OFFICE - LATER 66

           Sidney cracks open the door and peers inside. Cuba sits in
           the middle of the floor, staring at him. He emits a low
           growl.
           Sidney slides into the room.

                          SIDNEY
           Hello Cuba. I'm Uncle Sidney,
           come to see how you are. You
           wanna play? You wanna little
           play?
           He takes a RUBBER BALL out of his pocket and holds it up
           for the dog to see.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Fetch!
           He tosses the ball in the air. Cuba runs after it and
           trots back, stumpy tail wagging, the ball in its teeth.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           That's it! That's it!

           54.

                         

                         
           He strokes the dog.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           We're gonna be best pals aren't
           we? You're going to like me more
           than that prick Maddox, aren't
           you? Fetch!
           He tosses the ball again which promptly bounces off the
           wall straight out of the half open window.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           No!
           Cuba is already running towards the window...
           Sidney's yell slows and distorts as we move to SLOW

           MOTION...
           Sidney springs forward, leaping onto the desk and then in
           one bound onto a FILING CABINET by the window, sending it
           rocking slightly forward.
           Cuba, bounding forward, jumps into the air...
           Sidney just manages to slam the window SHUT as...

           BACK IN NORMAL TIME...
           Cuba bounces off the glass with a yelp and drops to the
           floor.
           Sidney heaves a sigh of relief.
           Then a METAL SCULPTURE on the tilted filing cabinet slides
           forward and drops with a TERMINAL THUD ON THE DOG BELOW.
           Silence.
           Sidney stares down to the floor.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)

                          (SOFTLY)
           Cuba?

                         

          67 INT. CORRIDOR - LATER 67

           Sidney stands at the lift holding a bulging bag.

                          SIDNEY
           (waiting for the lift)
           C'mon...C'mon...
           Alison walks past, sees him and does a double-take.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           (seeing her coming)
           Shit, shit, shit...

           55.

                         

                         

                          ALISON
           That's my bag.

                          SIDNEY
           I'm just...just borrowing it.
           I'll bring it straight back.

                          ALEX
           What are you talking about? Give
           it back.
           She reaches out to take the bag. Sidney holds on
           desperately.

                          ALISON
           Stop it! Give me the...
           She tugs violently, pulling the bag open. A small PAW lolls
           out. Alison freezes staring at it. Silence.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)

                          (SOFTLY)
           Oh my God.

                          SIDNEY

                          (WHISPERING)
           It was an accident.

                          ALISON
           Oh my God.

                          SIDNEY
           I was just trying to make
           friends. Please don't tell her.
           Please don't tell her.

           SOPHIE MAES (O.S.)

                          (CALLING)
           Cuba? Cuba?
           Startled, Sidney darts into Maddox's office. 

                         

          67A INT. MADDOX'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS 67A 

           As footsteps and voices approach Sidney tugs wildly at 
           Maddox's window, trying to open it. Alison follows him in. 

                          ALISON 
           What are you doing? You can't...! 
           He jerks the window open and empties Cuba out of it, 
           slamming it shut just as Sophie, Eleanor and Lawrence walk 
           in. 

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Alison, have you seen Cuba?

           56.

                         

                         

                          ALISON

                          (BEWILDERED)
           W-What?
           She darts a glance over to where Sidney stands with his
           back to the window, gazing at her pleadingly. From behind
           him comes a faint creaking sound.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON

                          (SNAPPING)
           Sophie's dog! Have you seen him?
           Sidney hangs his head, awaiting the coup de grace.

                          ALISON
           Uh...no. No idea.
           Sidney stares at her in amazement.
           Behind him Cuba's body appears at the window, rising into
           view on a WINDOW WASHING PLATFORM. A Window Washer, stands
           at the other end of the cradle, bobbing his head to the
           music in his headphones.
           Alison stares at the dog in horror while the others talk,
           oblivious.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Don't worry, he couldn't have got 
           very far. 

                          SOPHIE MAES

                          (WAILING)
           Cuba? Cuba!
           Cuba trundles on up to the sky.

                         

          68 INT. CLAYTON HARDING'S OFFICE - DAY 68

           Clayton stands at the window. He is DRUNK. There is a knock
           at the door and Sidney walks in.

                          SIDNEY

                          (NERVOUSLY)
           Clayton? Have you got a minute?
           Clayton lights a cigarette, stares out of the window.
           Sidney comes in.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Did they find that rat yet?

                          SIDNEY
           No...Not yet. I think maybe he
           got out the building?
           Sidney hovers.

           57.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Congratulations on the Man of the
           Year thing. How was the lunch?

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           I don't know. Thousand dollars a
           plate, all I could taste was ass.
           I'm kissing their ass, they're
           kissing my ass. (Beat) I get this
           dream sometimes. Someone's set
           fire to the building - Heywoods -
           Sharps magazine - the whole
           thing, it's going up in flames.
           My analyst thinks it's an anxiety
           dream. I never tell him how happy
           I am watching the fucker burn.
          Sidney isn't sure what to say. Finally...

           CLAYTON HARDING (CONT'D)
           What do you want?
          Sidney takes a deep breath.

                          SIDNEY
           I want to do a story on Vincent
           Lepak. Not a puff-piece.
           Something funny, but with teeth.
           The kind of thing Snipe would
           have done. Everyone's treating
           him like he's a genius and he's
           an idiot.
          Clayton notices the CLOSET-DOOR beside him and opens it. He
          stares at the rows of blue shirts hanging in there. He
          takes an armful out and examines them.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Look at these things. How'd I get
           a closet full of blue fucking
           shirts?

                          SIDNEY
           Um...I don't know.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           I don't know either. This is an
           office for Christ's sake! Why've
           I even got a fucking closet?
          He drops the shirts.

           CLAYTON HARDING (CONT'D)
           Do it.

                          SIDNEY
           (he can't believe it)
           Do it?

           58.

                         

                         

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Fuck it. Yeah. Do it. He's an
           annoying little prick. Go take
           him down. This is your shot.

                          SIDNEY
           Thanks Clayton!

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           You're my little Hit Man.

                          SIDNEY

                          (BEAMING)
           I'm your little Hit Man!

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Go do it!

                          SIDNEY

                          (HAPPILY)
           Okay!
           He scuttles out. He ducks back around the door.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           You could call me The Jackal!

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Out.

                          SIDNEY

                          (HAPPILY)
           Okay!
           He ducks back out again.

                         

          69 INT. TRIBECA GRAND HOTEL - NIGHT 69

           Sidney is waiting in the lobby. A slightly spaced YOUNG
           WOMAN approaches him.

                          ASSISTANT
           Mister Young?

                          SIDNEY
           Yes?

                          ASSISTANT
           I'm Sophie Maes' assistant. I'm
           afraid Sophie isn't here right
           now.

                          SIDNEY
           (looking past her)
           Look I know she's in. I'm not a
           stalker. I just know she's upset
           about losing her dog and...

           59.

                         

                         

                          ASSISTANT

                          (FIRMLY)
           She isn't here.

                          SIDNEY

                          (SIGHING)
           Well, can I at least check that
           she got my present?

                          ASSISTANT
           Okay. Did you send the flowers?

                          SIDNEY

                          (SNORTING DERISIVELY)
           Flowers? Yeah,'cos she doesn't
           get enough flowers, does she? No,
           I sent her the fish.
           The Young Woman looks suddenly nervous.

                          ASSISTANT
           Oh.

                          SIDNEY
           Gold-fish. In a bowl. Did she get
           them?

                          ASSISTANT
           Yes, but...they were dead.

                          SIDNEY

                          (BEAT)
           All of them?

                          ASSISTANT
           Yeah. It was kinda shocking. Were
           they dead when you sent them?
           Sidney stares at her.

                          SIDNEY
           What? No, they were... Who sends
           people dead fish?

                          ASSISTANT

                          (BEAT)
           The Mafia?

                         

          70 INT. BAR - EVENING 70

           Alison sits at the bar, staring at her notebook, a pen held
           in her hand. A WHITE RUSSIAN sits on the bar beside her.
           Sidney slides onto the stool beside her. She looks up and
           sees he is holding a glass bowl of water with three dead
           fish in it.

           60.

                         

                         

                          ALISON
           My God, you're like a serial
           killer.

                          SIDNEY
           This wasn't me. (Beat) I...I laid
           him to rest. Cuba I mean. I took
           him over to...

                          ALISON

                          (QUICKLY)
           I don't want to know.
          Alison checks the door, looking for someone, a little
          uncomfortable.

                          SIDNEY
           Okay. (Beat) Well, I just...I
           just wanted to say...about not
           telling them...I really
           appreciated it. It was good of
           you and, and...you know...not
           many people would, uh...
          He stops, tongue-tied. Alison takes pity on him.

                          ALISON
           It's okay.

                          SIDNEY

                          (BEAT)
           Why didn't you?
          Alison sighs.

                          ALISON
           You don't need my help to screw
           up here, Sidney. I mean, the only
           things you make are mistakes and
           stains.
          The BARMAN arrives, stares at the bowl of fish
          disapprovingly.

                          BARMAN
           Can I help you?

                          SIDNEY
           (following his gaze)
           Just a couple of straws please.
          Stony-faced, the Barman walks off. Despite herself, Alison
          smiles. Sidney smiles back. He notices Alison's NOTEBOOK on
          the bar.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Can I ask you something? How come
           you've always got the notebook?
           Is it a diary or something? Am I
           in it?

           61.

                         

                         

                          ALISON
           It's...it's a novel I'm working
           on, alright?

                          SIDNEY
           Wow.

                          ALISON
           Go ahead. I know. I'm a walking
           clich�.

                          SIDNEY
           No - a novel, that's...that's
           pretty impressive. You're writing
           it by hand?

                          ALISON
           Yeah, it...I don't know. It keeps
           it separate from the magazine
           work. Makes it seem special.
          He stares at her.

                          SIDNEY
           You're full of surprises, Sister.
          Suddenly he notices the White Russian beside them.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           So...you waiting for your
           boyfriend?

                          ALISON

                          (UNCOMFORTABLE)
           Uh, yeah, so...

                          SIDNEY
           What's he do, the mystery guy? Is
           he a hack too?

                          ALISON

                          (BEAT)
           Actually he's a poet.

                          SIDNEY
           Really? What's he look like?

                          ALISON

                          (LAUGHING)
           What?

                          SIDNEY
           Just most poets you see aren't
           really good-looking, are they?
           Spend their time stuck in a room,
           end up looking like Golem. Is
           he...?

                          ALISON
           He's very handsome, thank you.

           62.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY

                          (GLOOMILY)
           Right.

                          ALISON
           You know what I don't understand?
           You're desperate to get a story
           in the magazine - so why wouldn't
           you play ball with Eleanor, write
           the puff-piece?

                          SIDNEY
           I resent being bribed to gush
           sycophantically about a star,
           okay? I choose to gush
           sycophantically.
           Alison stares at Sidney trying to figure him out.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           It's okay anyway. Clayton's given
           me a story. I'm on my way.

                          ALISON

                          (SMILING)
           Well, that's good.
           Sidney smiles back at her. They look at each other...it's
           almost the start of a MOMENT...
           Then suddenly on the TV above the bar, a MOVIE TRAILER
           begins. Distracted Sidney turns to watch - it's Sophie
           Maes' new film - The Suffragette - Sophie, a glamorous
           Emily Pankhurst...
           Sidney looks back to Alison but she has turned away,
           suddenly awkward.

                          SIDNEY

                          (EMBARRASSED)
           Okay, well...better get
           going.(Leaving) You take my
           advice, you'll get yourself a
           boyfriend who's going to show up
           once in a while.
           He leaves. Beat. Alison stares at the empty stool beside
           her.

                         

          71 INT. MEETING ROOM - MORNING 71

           Clayton is rounding up another staff meeting. Sidney sits
           trying to contain his excitement.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Which makes it...a half page
           left. Lawrence? Any ideas?

           63.

                         

                         

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Yeah. Rachel Petkoff, fabulous 
           sixties actress, one of my all
           time favourites. Just made a
           wonderful movie called Five
           Boroughs. I think she's poised
           for a come-back and I think we
           should get there first, do a
           profile.
           Sidney stares at him in disbelief. He looks over to Alison
           who avoids his gaze.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Sounds good. Let's do it. Okay
           that's it people.

                          SIDNEY
           Uh...Clayton?

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           What?

                          SIDNEY
           Did you read my story on Vincent
           Lepak?
           Clayton frowns down at some papers, feigning distraction.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           What? Oh, yeah. That's...that's
           not going to work.
           Sidney can't believe it. Clayton gets up to leave.

           CLAYTON HARDING (CONT'D)
           Oh, and for those who haven't
           heard, Alison is going to be
           running the I Spy section from
           now on as Lawrence here has just
           gone up in the world. He is
           replacing Greg Roberts as Deputy
           Editor.
           Lawrence smiles modestly as the room applauds. Sidney looks
           like he is going to implode.

                         

          72 INT. CORRIDOR - LATER 72

           Maddox passes Sidney in the corridor. Sidney glares after
           him. Suddenly...

                          SIDNEY
           Rachel Petkoff? One of your 
           favourite actresses? You'd
           never fucking heard of her! That
           was my idea!
           Lawrence stops and turns back.

           64.

                         

                         

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           So it was. You have any more good
           ideas don't forget to bring them
           to my new office.
           He is about to walk on but remembers something.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)
           By the way, there've been
           complaints about you skulking
           around the water-cooler, trying
           to talk to women. It's
           inappropriate behaviour.

                          SIDNEY

                          (LIVID)
           What? You spend half your life
           chatting up the staff!

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           When I do it it's called
           flirting. When you do it it's
           called sexual harassment.
           Consider this an official
           warning. I won't tolerate sexist
           behaviour.
           He walks off. Sidney glowers after him.

                         

          73 INT. LAWRENCE MADDOX'S OFFICE - DAY 73

           Lawrence is holding a meeting in his new office - half a
           dozen heads of departments sit around drinking coffee.
           Lawrence sits behind his desk, enjoying his new authority.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           I know that wasn't Greg's way of 
           working but Greg isn't deputy 
           editor any more. I am, and I'm
           making changes.
           There is a knock at the door and Sidney walks in with an
           attractive BLONDE WOMAN in a long coat and dark glasses.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)
           What?

                          SIDNEY
           Uh, Lawrence? This lady's been
           looking for you?

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           (to the woman)
           Can I help you?

                          WOMAN
           Are you Lawrence Maddox? The new
           deputy editor?

           65.

                         

                         

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Yes?

                          WOMAN
           Well, I've just come to say
           congratulations on your
           promotion.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX

                          (MYSTIFIED)
           Thank you. I'm sorry, you are...?

                          WOMAN
           I'm your present.
           The Woman produces a Beat-Box from behind her back and
           switches it on. She drops her coat to reveal underwear and
           stockings underneath.
           Maddox stares in frozen horror as the STRIPPER dances over
           to him, removing her bra.

                         

          74 INT - INGRID'S OFFICE - DAY 74
           A Very Well-Dressed Middle-Aged Woman knocks on the door
           and enters.

                          INGRID
           Hey Mrs Harding.
           Two Impeccably-Dressed Little Girls follow Mrs Harding into
           the room.

                          INGRID (CONT'D)
           Oh my God! So adorable!

                          MRS HARDING
           (to the Little Girls)
           And this is the Fashion
           Department. [To Ingrid] Where's
           Mr Maddox now?

                          INGRID
           Oh he's down the hall. Room 217.

                         

          75 INT. MADDOX'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS 75

           The staff are staring transfixed as the stripper gyrates
           her breasts, whirling NIPPLE TASSELS.

                          SIDNEY
           (with mock horror)
           Uh, Lawrence? This is...this is
           sort of inappropriate isn't it?

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX

                          (HORRIFIED)
           Will you please...

           66.

                         

                         
           His words are muffled by the bra the stripper drapes over
           his face. Gleefully, Sidney dances in the background. He
           produces a camera and starts to snap away.

                          SIDNEY
           Oh God, this is...this is
           awful...

                         

                         

                         76 OMITTED 76 

                         

          77 INT. MADDOX'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS 77

           The Stripper, who we suddenly realise is BOB THE TRANSEXUAL
           in a blonde wig, whips off his/her panties. There is a
           collective gasp from the room. Sidney can't stop laughing.
           Suddenly he notices everyone in the room is now staring at
           the door. He turns to see Mrs Harding and her girls
           standing, shell-shocked, in the doorway. Alarmed, Sidney
           side-steps in towards Bob.

           REVERSE - GIRLS' P.O.V
           Bob, impressive breasts bared, stands staring back at us.
           Sidney, in the absence of anything else to shield him with,
           is HOLDING BOB'S PENIS.
           The rest of the staff stare at us, rabbits caught in
           headlights. After a beat Lawrence peers around Sidney, a
           rictus smile on his face.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Hello, Mrs Harding. Girls...

                         

          78 INT. OUTSIDE CLAYTON'S OFFICE - LATER 78

           Sidney sits waiting, obsessively cleaning his hand with a
           wet-wipe. Through the glass partition we can see Clayton
           and Eleanor Johnson in the office. They are apparently
           discussing a mock-up of a new cover for Sharps. After a
           moment Eleanor comes out of the office and sweeps past
           Sidney without a glance. Clayton appears in the doorway.

                          CLAYTON HARDING

                          (TO SIDNEY)
           Get in.

                         

          79 INT. CLAYTON HARDING'S OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER 79

           Sidney sits in front of Clayton.

                          SIDNEY
           I didn't know it was Take Our
           Daughters To Work Day. I didn't
           even know there was a Take Our
           daughters To Work Day.

           67.

                         

                         

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Shut up. (Beat) You know, when I
           told my wife I'd hired another
           Brit, she was excited. She still
           thinks you're all like something
           from Pride and Prejudice. But you
           Sidney ...you're like a British
           person born in New Jersey.
           (Shaking his head) Why did I hire
           you?
          Sidney stares at his feet. Suddenly...

                          SIDNEY
           I don't know - why did you hire
           me?

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           I had an attack of nostalgia.
           It's passed. Like gas.

                          SIDNEY
           What was wrong with my story?

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           What?

                          SIDNEY
           Why did you kill my Vincent Lepak
           story?

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           It wasn't good enough. Plain and
           simple.

                          SIDNEY
           It wasn't good enough?

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           We don't do hatchet jobs here.

                          SIDNEY
           It isn't a hatchet job!

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           This opening quotation - "It's
           only too easy to catch people's
           attention by doing something
           worse than anyone else has dared
           do it before..." Who are you
           thinking of here? Vincent or
           yourself?

                          SIDNEY
           He's a talentless, pretentious
           little twat who thinks cinema
           began with Tarantino and someone
           needs to say it. And you told me
           to do something with teeth! You
           said...

           68.

                         

                         

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           I'm trying to run a fucking
           magazine here!
           Sidney stares at him, angry and disappointed.

                          SIDNEY
           "A free press is the last defence
           against the Tyranny of
           Stupidity."

                          CLAYTON HARDING

                          (IRRITATED)
           Save me your tin-pot philosophy,
           okay?

                          SIDNEY
           It isn't mine. It's yours. First
           issue of Snipe.

                          CLAYTON HARDING

                          (FURIOUS)
           Oh, grow the fuck up, will ya!
           You're not Robin Hood and you
           never were. You bitch about
           famous people for the same reason
           I bitched about them. Because
           they got invited to the Party and
           you didn't. Well you're at the
           Party now so quit bitching and do
           your job! You're on your last
           life here, you understand? One
           more fuck up like today and
           you're gone.

                          SIDNEY
           Won't you have to run a decision
           like that past Eleanor first?
           For a second Clayton looks like he might throw his ashtray
           at Sidney. Then he controls himself.

                          CLAYTON HARDING

                          (SITTING DOWN)
           Get out.
           Sidney crosses to the door.

                          SIDNEY
           (he can't help himself)
           Looks like I was too late to save
           you after all.
           He walks out.

                         

          80 INT. OPEN-PLAN OFFICE - DAY 80

           Sidney walks back through the magazine's open plan area. CO-
           WORKERS stop whatever they're doing and watch him pass in
           silence. Then, slowly, one of them begins to CLAP.

           69.

                         
           Someone else joins in. Then someone else. Soon they're all
           clapping. Someone gets up on their desk, then another...
           Sidney smiles faintly then...
           BLINKS out of HIS DAY-DREAM.
           Everyone around him is working as always, paying him no
           attention.

                         

          81 EXT. CLAYTON HARDING'S HOUSE - THE HAMPTONS - DAY 81

           We are TRACKING through Magazine Staff, celebrities,
           politicians and children as they mill about the lawns of
           the sprawling mansion, enjoying the Fourth Of July
           celebrations which are in progress. Clayton greets guests -
           the perfect host.
           We find Sidney, wearing unfashionable shorts, socks and
           shoes. He is talking to Alison.

                          ALISON
           You hired a stripper?

                          SIDNEY
           I didn't "hire" him. Bob did it
           for a favour.

                          ALISON
           I thought you wanted to be a
           success here?

                          SIDNEY
           I do! It's just...(ruefully) It
           wasn't me. It was Clark.
           Alison laughs.

                          ALISON
           The famous alter-ego? How long's
           he been hanging around?

                          SIDNEY
           Since I was a kid. Anytime
           something got broken, or the
           bathroom got accidentally set on
           fire - it wasn't me. It was
           Clark. (Beat.) The weird thing
           is, he kind of took over.

                          ALISON
           How old were you?

                          SIDNEY
           I don't know, twenty, twenty
           one...
           Alison laughs.

           70.

                         

                         

                          ALISON'D)
           Well, let me tell you, if only
           you could get rid of that Clark,
           you could be a real winner.

                          SIDNEY

                          (DEPRESSED)
           Clayton's not going to print
           anything I write. I've been on
           salary for six-months and I've
           written precisely one hundred and
           seventy five words. On a dollar-
           per-word basis, I'm the highest
           paid writer in the history of
           this magazine.(Beat) He's not
           going to renew my contract.

                          ALISON

                          (SIGHS)
           What did you expect, Sidney?
           Vincent's one of Eleanor's
           clients. I told you. They're
           Untouchables.

                          SIDNEY
           I thought Clayton was different.
           I really did. (Beat) The only
           thing I'm good at is pissing
           people off, and he won't let me
           do it. (Beat) "My glory walks
           hand in hand with my doom." (Off
           her look) Troy

                          ALISON
           Troy who?

                          SIDNEY
           Troy, the movie.
          He stares around him at the other guests.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Everybody hates me here. You're
           the only one who'll talk to me.

                          ALISON
           You cornered me.

                          SIDNEY
           (a little embarrassed)
           No, I mean it. You're the person
           who's been most, you know...
           uh...abusive to me.
          Alison laughs again. They smile at each other.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           You want another drink?

           71.

                         

                         

                          ALISON
           (beat, smiling)
           Alright. I'll have a beer.
           Sidney walks off.

                         

          82 EXT. BAR - DAY 82

           Sidney is getting a drink at the bar that has been set up
           in the grounds. Suddenly he stiffens, watching as Sophie
           Maes, looking spectacular, walks over to where Maddox and
           his circle are talking nearby.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Sophie, my darling. Looking
           ravishing as always.
           Whilst the two are engaged in kissing cheeks, Sidney takes
           a credit card from his wallet and drops it surreptitiously
           by Sophie's feet.

                          JOURNALIST

                          (TO MADDOX)
           You know what I read the other
           day? Your collection of poems -
           The Hollow Heart? Man, they're
           great.
           Sidney reacts to this, feeling troubled for some reason.

                          SOPHIE MAES
           You write poems?

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           In another life.
           The BARMAN is handing out drinks.

                          BARMAN
           And a White Russian?

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Right here.
           Sidney stares at the drink, feeling like he's just been
           punched in the stomach. Maddox notices him.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)
           Well, well, if it isn't Sidalee.
           Maddox notices the card at Sophie's feet.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)
           (picking it up)
           What's this? "Hon Young".

                          SIDNEY
           That's...that's mine.

           72.

                         

                         

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           But your name's not "Hon".

                          SIDNEY
           (reaching for it)
           It's short for "Honourable".

                          LAWRENCE
           (whisking it away)
           As in, "the Honourable Sidney
           Young"?

                          SIDNEY
           Can I please...?

                          LAWRENCE
           (holding it out of

                          SIDNEY'S REACH)
           So how come it says "Hon Young"?
           They made you sound like some
           Korean medical student.
          The people gathered around laugh.

                          SIDNEY
           They screwed it up. Please.

                          LAWRENCE
           Sidney baby, you don't wanna go
           faking a British title to impress
           Sophie. It's the Fourth of July.
           (Handing back the card): We're
           celebrating the fact that we
           threw a bunch of British
           aristocrats out.
          Sidney smiles tightly. Suddenly...

                          SIDNEY
           Why don't you shut up, Maddox?
          Beat. The others look to Maddox to see how he will react.
          Maddox smiles dangerously.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Careful Sidney. Remember - if it
           wasn't for us you'd all be
           speaking German.

                          SIDNEY
           You're Canadian. If it wasn't for
           us you'd be speaking French.
          Sophie giggles. Maddox doesn't like this but before he can
          answer Sidney walks off.

           73.

                         

                         

                         

          83 INT. HOUSE - BATHROOM - DAY 83

           Alison is about to walk into the bathroom when she hears
           the sound of muffled sobbing and stops. She peers through
           the slightly open door.
           HER P.O.V - Elizabeth Maddox stands at the mirror, staring
           at her reflection. For once she is not wearing her dark
           glasses and we can see her eyes are red raw from crying.

                         

          84 A LITTLE LATER 84
           Elizabeth walks out of the bathroom, dark glasses back in
           place, her face a mask once more. She walks off.
           Alison slips out from a nearby room and watches her go,
           miserable with guilt.

                         

          85 EXT. HOUSE - LATER 85

           Sidney is staring over to where Alison and Maddox are
           standing by some trees, deep in conversation. Maddox is
           tossing nuts into the air and catching them in his mouth.

                          SIDNEY
           (muttering to himself)
           Choke. Choke.
           He puts his fingers to his temples as if to channel
           telekinetic powers.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Choke...choke...
           Sidney realizes Harding's wife is passing with her two
           daughters.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Hello, Mrs Harding. Lovely party.
           With a look of alarm she shepherds the girls away. A tall
           older man dressed in white with a long white beard appears
           next to Sidney.

                          OLDER MAN
           How are you?
           Sidney nods gloomily.

           OLDER MAN (CONT'D)
           Has anyone ever told you before
           that you have an unusually dark
           aura?

                          SIDNEY
           Yup.

           74.

                         

                         

                          OLDER MAN
           You should walk with bare feet as
           much as possible, ground all that 
           negative energy.
           Sidney examines him.

                          SIDNEY
           So...you're a wizard or...?

                          OLDER MAN
           I'm a spiritual healer.

                          SIDNEY
           You can make a living doing that?

                          OLDER MAN
           Oh God no. I'm a dentist. 
           They stare at the party for a moment.

           OLDER MAN (CONT'D)
           You want to do some coke?

                          SIDNEY
           Um...no, thanks.

                         

                         86 LATER 86
           Rachel Petkoff stands talking to some other guests. Sidney 
           notices her and walks over.

                          SIDNEY
           Hey! Hello again?
           Rachel smiles at him distantly, clearly not remembering
           him.

                          RACHEL
           Hello. (Turning back to the
           others) No, Lawrence is a
           wonderful writer. I really felt
           like he got to the heart of me.
           Sidney snorts. Rachel turns back to him, faintly irritated.

                          RACHEL (CONT'D)
           I'm sorry, have we...?

                          SIDNEY
           Sidney. Sidney Young. We met
           at...
           Another GUEST walks past Sidney and kisses Rachel.

                          GUEST
           I saw Five Boroughs the other day
           and wept!

           75.

                         

                         
           Sidney hovers for a moment, ignored, and then walks away.

                         

                         87 LATER 87
           Dusk. The guests have gathered on the lawns to watch the
           fireworks. There are oohs and aahs as the rockets light up
           the sky. Suddenly...

           SIDNEY (O.S.)
           In-ger-lernd!
           Puzzled the guests turn to where a drunk Sidney is standing
           on the balustrade of the porch of the house.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           In-ger-lernd! In-ger-lerrrrrrnd!
           He spots HUGH GRANT amongst the crowd, watching him,
           puzzled.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           You! Grant! Come on! In-ger-
           lerrrr...
           With that he slips from the balustrade and crashes into the
           shrubbery below.

                         

                         88 LATER 88
           Sidney limps through the trees, dabbing at a scratch on his
           face. He passes Alison who is sitting on a tree-swing, lost
           in thought, swigging absently from a bottle of wine.

                          ALISON
           You okay?

                          SIDNEY
           What?

                          ALISON
           I said are you okay?

                          SIDNEY
           I'm fine. Yup. Fine. (Beat) You?

                          ALISON
           Yup. (Beat) No, actually. I hate
           my life so, you know, I'm gonna
           get drunk.
           Sidney nods, vaguely. They stand in awkward silence for a
           moment. Then...

                          SIDNEY
           Right...See you...
           He walks off. Beat. He walks back into frame suddenly.

           76.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)

                          (FURIOUS)

           HOW COULD YOU?

                          ALISON

                          (STARTLED)
           What?

                          SIDNEY
           How the...You...having an affair
           with Maddox! I mean...Maddox for
           Christ's sake! The Man With
           Hidden Shallows! Jesus! I mean, I
           used to think you were...I was
           starting to...I mean, at first I
           thought you were a pain but then
           I started to think...but I
           mean...Maddox? How can you live
           with yourself?
           Alison stares at him, pale, blinking back tears.

                          ALISON

                          (QUIETLY)
           I couldn't. That's why I've
           broken up with him.

                          SIDNEY
           Well, that's no...that's, you
           know...(Beat) You broke up with
           him?
           Alison walks off. Beat. She walks back.

                          ALISON
           Which leg did you hurt?

                          SIDNEY

                          (POINTING)
           This one.
           Alison kicks the leg.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)

           OW!
           She walks off again.

                         

          89 EXT. POOL - EVENING 89

           Sidney lies beside the pool staring darkly into the water
           and nursing the beginnings of a hangover. We hear faint
           music and laughter from where the party continues in the
           house behind.
           He notices the reflection of the starry sky in the water
           and reaching out gloomily to hold one of the stars. The
           reflection dissolves into ripples. When the water settles
           Sophie Maes reflection stares back at him.

           77.

                         
          She's drunk and a good deal of the movie star mystique
          seems to have evaporated.

                          SOPHIE MAES
           You know what? There's something
           very damaged about you.
          Sidney stares at her, not sure what to say.

                          SIDNEY
           Huh...
          Sophie lies down beside the pool, plays with a strand of
          her hair.

                          SOPHIE MAES
           Like an animal that's been hit by
           a car or something. Like a deer
           or...like a pig maybe? When they
           walk funny and the other animals
           keep away from them. Little limpy
           pig. I'm drawn to sick animals.
           That's why I picked Cuba -
           because he had like psychological
           problems? (Her eyes well with
           tears) Poor little Cuba. Where is
           he now?

                          SIDNEY

                          (BEAT)
           Huh...
          She wipes her eyes, rolls onto her back.

                          SOPHIE MAES
           Jesus, I'm wasted. Are you
           wasted? I'm wasted.
          Sidney watches her.

                          SIDNEY
           Congratulations on becoming
           incredibly famous by the way.

                          SOPHIE MAES
           Thanks.

                          SIDNEY

                          (BEAT)
           What's it like?

                          SOPHIE MAES
           What's what like?

                          SIDNEY
           Everything.
          She rolls her head to look at him solemnly.

           78.

                         

                         

                          SOPHIE MAES
           Weird. It's happening so fast
           and...it's like it's got nothing
           to do with me. It's like I'm not
           even really here.
           She laughs softly.

           SOPHIE MAES (CONT'D)
           Am I here?

                          SIDNEY
           You're here.
           She turns back to look at the stars.

                          SOPHIE MAES
           I'm so hungry.

                          SIDNEY
           Would you...would you like me to
           get you some food?

                          SOPHIE MAES
           Are you crazy? There might still
           be a photographer around.
           They lie in silence for a moment.

           SOPHIE MAES (CONT'D)

                          (DREAMILY)
           You know what would be nice
           though? Some coke.
           She rubs her face, close to falling asleep.

           SOPHIE MAES (CONT'D)
           Probably just as well I haven't
           got any. Coke always makes me so
           horny.
           Sidney opens his mouth but cannot speak.

                         

          90 SIDNEY RUNNING DESPERATELY... 90
           ...through the groups of people chatting outside the house.

                          SIDNEY
           (out of breath)
           Wizard! Wizard Dentist Man! Need
           Wizard Dentist Man!

                         

                         91 DRIVE 91
           Sidney has virtually dragged the Dentist out of his car. He
           is handing Sidney a wrap.

           79.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           I will never, never, never forget
           this. Thank you!
           He starts to hurry away.

                         

                         92 OUTSIDE HOUSE 92
           Alison is weaving unsteadily towards the driveway.
           Sidney hurries past then slows and stops, staring back at
           her.

                         

                         93 ALISON'S CAR 93
           Alison stands rooting in her purse for a tip to give the
           VALET MAN who is holding open the door of her car for her,
           the engine running.

                          SIDNEY
           What are you doing?

                          ALISON
           None of your business...

                          SIDNEY
           You can't drive. You need to go
           and sleep this off somewhere.

                          ALISON
           Firstly, you are a stupid asshole
           and I hate you and Secondly...
           Secondly...
           She muses on what she was going to say next. Sidney looks
           over his shoulder, imagining Sophie waiting for him.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)
           Secondly...

                          SIDNEY
           Yeah, okay. Listen, you try
           driving in this state you're
           gonna kill yourself.

                          ALISON
           Who'd care if I did?
           Beat. Suddenly she bursts into tears. Surprised, Sidney
           stands, uncertain what to do.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)

                          (SWAYING FORWARD)
           I've got to go. Got to go.
           Sidney holds her to stop her falling. He stares back at the
           pool and then down at Alison.

           80.

                         

                         

                         

          94 INT. ALISON'S CAR - DRIVING - NIGHT 94

           Sidney is driving. Alison is still drunk.

                          ALISON

                          (SLURRING)
           I thought I had it all figured
           out. A - get the hell out of Port
           Huron, come to New York. B - do
           the serious journalism thing to
           pay the bills while I, you know,
           write the novel. C- Win a
           Pulitzer. E...

                          SIDNEY

           D.

                          ALISON
           D - I don't know what D was. Then
           I took the internship at Sharps
           and I met Maddox and he was...he
           was so...and before I know it I'm
           writing, you know, Ten Tips for
           the fucking Metrosexual and
           pretending this is what I wanted
           but this ISN'T what I wanted! And
           that's...that's why I hated
           you...

                          SIDNEY
           I didn't know you hated me.

                          ALISON

                          (OBLIVIOUS)
           ...because you were right about
           me. I'm a ghoul, writing fluff!

                          SIDNEY
           You're not a Ghoul. You're a
           Zombie.
           Alison leans her head against the window.

                          ALISON
           But he isn't the person you think
           he is, okay? Maddox. That's just
           a front. He thinks he's let
           himself down by giving up the
           poetry and he's unhappy. And the
           marriage is a sham, I mean... I
           just...I couldn't end it. I just
           couldn't and...

                          SIDNEY
           (can't take anymore)
           Look, I don't need to hear this.

                          ALISON

                          (STUNG)
           Fine.

           81.

                         

                         
          She begins to root through her bag.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)
           Need a cigarette. Where are my
           fucking cigarettes?

                          SIDNEY
           You don't smoke.

                          ALISON
           Oh yeah.
          She looks at her reflection in the window.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)
           Do you think I have low self-
           esteem? Am I afraid of a real
           relationship? Do I think an
           affair is all I deserve? I mean,
           okay, he's handsome and
           successful and he's great in
           bed...

                          SIDNEY

                          (IRRITATED)
           Could you just be quiet?
          He realises she has started to cry.

                          ALISON
           When I told him I couldn't see
           him any more...I don't know if he
           cared. I love him and, and I
           don't know if he cares!
          Sidney watches, moved.

                          SIDNEY

                          (RELUCTANTLY)
           Well, I'm...I'm sure he does.
           He's probably just not very good
           at expressing his emotions.

                          ALISON

                          (SOBBING)
           I'm so fucking sophisticated! I
           mean there's not even a little
           bit of Port Huron left, right?
           I've got the haircut and the job
           and I've got the parties and I've
           even, I've even got the affair
           because that's what sophisticated
           fucking people do!

                          SIDNEY
           Alright. Alright. Don't, you
           know, get snot everywhere...

                          ALISON
           Oh G-God...

           82.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           What?
           Alison lurches down out of sight and is sick on Sidney's
           shorts.

                         

          95 INT. CAR - LATER 95

           Sidney is driving through Manhattan, the windows down.
           Alison is asleep.

                          SIDNEY
           Alison? What's your address?
           (Beat. Shaking her) Alison?
           Alison snores loudly. Sidney sighs.

                         

          96 INT. SIDNEY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 96

           Sidney staggers up the stairs carrying Alison over his
           shoulder. Alison is moaning.

                          SIDNEY

                          (HISSING)
           Shut up will you? You'll wake the
           old witch up.
           He stops suddenly and turns.
           Mrs Kowalski glowers at him from the doorway. Sidney
           freezes - a sickly smile on his face.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Did...Did we wake you?

                          ALISON

                          (SUDDENLY WAILING

                          DRUNKENLY)

           OH GOD! I'M A WHORE! I'M A WHORE!
           An ELDERLY MAN appears behind Mrs Kowalski staring at
           Sidney. Long Beat.

                          SIDNEY

                          (NUMBLY)
           Hello Dad.

                         

          97 INT. SIDNEY'S APARTMENT - KITCHEN - NIGHT 97

           Sidney, Mrs Kowalski and Sidney's father - RICHARD YOUNG -
           sit drinking coffee. Richard has an absent-minded air,
           wears a somewhat shabby jacket. Sidney seems to have almost
           physically shrunk in the presence of his father.
           Some music is playing in the next room. Alison dances
           drunkenly past the doorway, wearing Sidney's jacket.

           83.

                         

                         

                          ALISON
           (as she goes by)
           Love this song...
          The three stare after her. Sidney coughs.

                          SIDNEY
           She, uh, she isn't actually a
           prostitute.

                          RICHARD YOUNG

                          (MILDLY)
           Oh good.
          Alison dances back into the room.

                          ALISON
           Sooo, Sidney's dad. Good to meet
           you. I'm Alison. I'm from Port
           Huron. (To Mrs Kowalski) And you
           must be Sidney's mom?

                          MRS KOWALSKI

                          (SHOCKED)
           No I am not!

                          ALISON
           Oh, okay. My dad married again
           too, so that's cool. (To Richard)
           You wanna dance?

                          RICHARD YOUNG

                          (KINDLY)
           No thank you.

                          ALISON
           Okay. Where are my cigarettes?
           (feeling in the pocket of the
           jacket) What is that?
          She produces the wrap of coke that the elderly man had
          given Sidney.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)
           Oh, hey, is that....?
          She stops herself. Everyone stares at the wrap.

                          RICHARD YOUNG
           I think it is probably cocaine.
          Sidney closes his eyes.

                          SIDNEY
           It wasn't actually for me. I was
           going to give it to this young
           actress...
          He realises this isn't helping and trails off.

           84.

                         

                         

                          ALISON

                          (OBLIVIOUS)
           So, hey, visiting your boy.
           That's nice. You must be pretty
           proud of him, huh?

                          SIDNEY

                          (DYING)
           I think you should lie down
           Alison.

                          ALISON
           He's doing just great at the
           magazine.
          Alison ruffles Sidney's hair clumsily.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)
           First we all thought he was kinda
           creepy because he was always
           hanging around the water-cooler,
           hitting on women...

                          SIDNEY
           Really Alison, I think...

                          ALISON
           But I think that was pretty much
           an act. So, Mister Sidney,
           whatcha doing here?

                          RICHARD YOUNG

                          (SMILING)
           Please, call me Richard. I've
           written a little book so I'm
           doing a few talks.

                          ALISON
           A book! Hey - I'm writing a book.
           What's yours about? Don't tell me
           - it's a thriller, right?

                          RICHARD YOUNG

                          (LAUGHING)
           No, nothing so interesting I'm
           afraid. I'm a philosopher.

                          ALISON

                          (SURPRISED)
           Philosophy? Really? Have you
           written any...
          Alison stops dancing, stares at him, something occurring to
          her.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)
           Oh my God...Richard? R.C. Young?
           You're R.C Young? (To Sidney)
           You...you didn't say...
          Sidney avoids her eye.

           85.

                         

                         

                          RICHARD YOUNG

                          (TO SIDNEY)
           I'd love to hear what you think
           of the book if you have time to
           read it.
           Alison snorts with laughter.

                          ALISON
           What would Sidney know about
           philosophy?

                          RICHARD YOUNG
           Well, he does have a Masters in
           the subject.
           Alison stares at Sidney. She breaks into a snorting laugh
           again.

                          ALISON
           You're shitting me! Sidney?
           He...he likes Con Air!
           She stops laughing, hit by a sudden wave of nausea.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)
           I...I don't feel very well.
           Mrs Kowalski stands up.

                          MRS KOWALSKI
           Come on. It is time you went to
           bed. (To Sidney) You can sleep on
           the couch.

                          ALISON
           Okay. Better go before I find out
           something else I don't know about
           Sidney.
           Mrs Kowalski turns to Richard.

                          MRS KOWALSKI
           It was a pleasure to meet you
           Lord Young.
           Alison stares at Sidney who smiles weakly.

                         

                         98 LATER 98
           Richard and Sidney sit alone.

                          SIDNEY
           You should have said you were
           coming.

           86.

                         

                         

                          RICHARD YOUNG

                          (WRYLY)
           That would have required you
           answering one of my calls.

                          SIDNEY
           I've been pretty busy.

                          RICHARD YOUNG
           Which reminds me, I was talking
           to a publisher friend of mine the
           other day. He mentioned that they
           were planning a series of
           introductory texts on
           philosophers. I wondered if you
           would be interested?

                          SIDNEY

                          (ANNOYED)
           I have a job, dad.

                          RICHARD YOUNG
           Of course, of course. I picked up
           a copy of your magazine at the
           airport.
          Sidney stiffens a little.

           RICHARD YOUNG (CONT'D)
           Most enjoyable. (Beat) I 
           particularly liked the young 
           Hollywood actress who said she'd 
           like to start her theatre career 
           "somewhere small, like London or 
           England." 

                          SIDNEY

                          (IRRITATED)
           Why've you always got to do this?
           It's...it's...

                          RICHARD YOUNG
           It was just a joke Sidney...

                          SIDNEY
           Actually it's not. Because you're
           saying that what I do for a
           living is worthless and...

                          RICHARD YOUNG
           I don't think it's worthless. I
           just think, in your heart, you
           know you could do more with your
           life than...

                          SIDNEY

                          (ANGRY)
           More? Sharps is one of the most
           respected magazines in the world.
           There's a million hacks who would
           kill to be where I am now.

                          (MORE)

           87.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           You know who I interviewed
           recently? Nathan Lane.

                          RICHARD YOUNG
           I don't know who...

                          SIDNEY
           I KNOW you don't know who that
           is! You don't know who anyone is!
           You thought Brad Pitt was a cave
           in Yorkshire! But most people do
           know who they are, okay? And most
           people wouldn't think that a
           journalist who gets to mix with
           stars like that was a, a
           disappointment!

                          RICHARD YOUNG

                          (PAINED)
           I don't think you're a
           disappointment Sidney. I've never
           thought that.
          Silence. Richard stands and picks up his coat.

           RICHARD YOUNG (CONT'D)

                          (SADLY)
           I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset
           you.
          Sidney watches his father, struggling with himself.

                          SIDNEY

                          (QUIETLY)
           Things haven't really been that
           great. I don't know what it is.
           (Beat) I'm not... getting ahead.
          Richard stops, turns back to his son. Beat.

                          RICHARD YOUNG

                          (GENTLY)
           If you're not happy...

                          SIDNEY
           No. I'm fine. I know I can make
           it.

                          RICHARD YOUNG
           Einstein said "Try not to become
           a man of success but rather to
           become a man of value."
          Sidney doesn't answer.

           RICHARD YOUNG (CONT'D)
           The young lady next door...
           Alison? She wouldn't have
           anything to do with your desire
           to stay would she?

           88.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           What? No. We're just friends.

                          RICHARD YOUNG

                          (SMILING)
           I saw the way you looked at her.
           Sidney considers this, knowing it's true.

                          SIDNEY
           She doesn't feel that way about
           me. New York women don't date
           losers.

                          RICHARD YOUNG

                          (SMILING)
           I suppose not. But Alison is from
           Port Huron, isn't she?
           Sidney stares at him.

                         

          99 BEDROOM - LATER 99
           Sidney peers into the room to check Alison is okay. She
           lies asleep on the bed, moonlight bathing her face. She
           looks beautiful.
           Sidney stands staring at her for a moment and then tip-toes
           back out of the room.

                         

          100 KITCHEN - LATER 100
           Sidney is cooking, humming, happy that Alison is here.
           Alison walks in, feeling dreadful.

                          ALISON
           I don't remember very much but
           I'm so, so sorry. I'll get myself
           together and get going...

                          SIDNEY
           Why? No, you're all right.
           It's...it's nice to have the
           company.

                          ALISON

                          (REMEMBERING)
           Oh God...your father. And that
           woman.

                          SIDNEY
           Mrs Kowalski? Don't worry about
           it. The last woman she caught me
           with had a penis, so you
           know...you're a big step up.

                          ALISON
           Thanks.

           89.

                         

                         
          She notices a black and white photograph of a glamorous
          WOMAN on the shelf. We recognise her as the woman on the TV
          at the beginning of the film.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)
           Who's that?

                          SIDNEY

                          (BEAT)
           That's my mother.

                          ALISON
           No way!

                          SIDNEY
           Yeah, I don't take after her...

                          ALISON
           Was she a model?

                          SIDNEY
           Actress.

                          ALISON
           Wow. Movies?

                          SIDNEY
           Some. British, small parts...

                          ALISON
           Is she...

                          SIDNEY
           No, she died when I was young.
          Without thinking he fiddles with the ring on his finger.

                          ALISON
           Must have been pretty cool having
           your mom in the movies.

                          SIDNEY
           Yeah, I suppose. I used to see
           her on the TV every now and then
           when I was growing up. Sort of
           weird.
          He carries the plates over to her.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Here we go! English fry-up.
           Perfect hangover cure.
          Sidney puts a plate of bacon, eggs and sausages in front of
          her. Alison stares at it, going green. Suddenly she darts
          from the room.

           90.

                         

                         

                         

          101 LIVING ROOM - LATER 101
           Sidney is tidying. He upsets Alison's bag from the couch
           and its contents spill onto the floor - the NOTEBOOK is
           amongst them.
           Sidney stares at it, hesitates and then, unable to resist,
           opens it up and starts to read. Alison walks into the room.
           Sidney looks up guiltily.

                          SIDNEY
           Sorry, I was just...uh...(He
           can't think of an excuse)
           ...rooting through your private
           possessions...
           Alison sits on the couch, feeling too ill to be annoyed.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           I like the opening.

                          ALISON
           You do?

                          SIDNEY
           I do. Can I read the rest of it?
           Believe it or not, I'm a pretty
           good editor.

                          ALISON
           I don't know. I don't even know
           if I'm going to bother finishing
           it.

                          SIDNEY
           "Keep true to the dreams of thy
           youth."
           Alison examines him through narrowed eyes.

                          ALISON
           Is that from Troy again?

                          SIDNEY
           Schiller.
           She puts her things back in her bag.

                          ALISON
           I'll jump in the shower and then
           I really will get out of your
           hair.
           Sidney watches, not wanting her to go.

                          SIDNEY
           Oh, I forgot...I got you a
           present.

           91.

                         

                         
           He hands her a bag. Surprised she opens it and takes out a
           RECORD. It's the Nino Rota sound-track to La Dolce Vita.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           I was just walking past this
           music shop on the corner and I
           saw it. I thought it might cheer
           you up.
           Alison is deeply touched.

                          ALISON
           That's...I don't know what to
           say. (Beat) I haven't got a
           turntable.

                          SIDNEY
           Oh. (Beat) Well, you can always
           come here to listen to it.
           Sidney takes the record and puts it on the turntable in the
           corner of the room. He selects the finale music - it's
           funny and sad, glamorous and romantic... They listen to it
           for a moment. Sidney starts to dance a little. He cha-cha's
           over to her and holds out his hand.

                          ALISON
           Are you kidding? I could throw up
           on you again.

                          SIDNEY
           C'mon...
           Alison reluctantly gets up. They dance ironically. Alison
           laughs a little.
           Gradually they get more into it, enjoying the music - a man
           in shorts and a woman in pyjamas, cha-cha-chaing, a summer
           breeze wafting in the through the open windows behind
           him...

                          DISSOLVE TO:

                         

          102 INT. I SPY AREA - DAY 102

           Some weeks later. Alison sits at her desk, trying to work.
           She looks up and catches Maddox watching her with soulful
           eyes from across the room.
           She looks quickly away, unsettled.
           Sidney sits at his desk surreptitiously watching her,

           SMITTEN.

           92.

                         

                         

                         

          103 INT. BREAK ROOM - DAY 103

           Autumn. Rain lashes against the window. Alison drinks
           coffee. Ingrid and Anna are examining a rack of clothes
           behind her.
           Ingrid is holding up a dress.

                          INGRID
           Hey, Alice? Versace. You like?

                          ALISON
           I'm good, thanks.

                          INGRID
           Honey, everyone needs to change
           their look every now and then.
           Especially if they have a new man
           in their life.

                          ALISON

                          (EMBARRASSED)
           What are you talking about?

                         

          104 CORRIDOR OUTSIDE ROOM 104
           Sidney is just about to enter the room.

           INGRID (O.S.)
           Well, that English guy is always
           hanging around you these days,
           right?
           Sidney freezes, listening.

                         

                         105 BREAK ROOM 105
           Alison blushes fiercely.

                          ANNA

                          (LAUGHING)
           Tell me it isn't so.

                          ALISON

                          (ANNOYED)
           Of course not.

                          ANNA
           Thank God. Can you imagine? He's
           such a creep.

                         

          106 CORRIDOR OUTSIDE ROOM 106
           Sidney listens sadly to the women laughing inside.

           93.

                         

                         

                         

                         107 BREAK ROOM 107
           Alison stares at the Fashionistas, annoyed by this.
           Oblivious, Anna holds up some trousers against herself.

                          ANNA
           These are gorgeous, but I'm just
           too fat.

                          INGRID
           Oh don't be crazy! Alice? Is Anna
           fat?

                          ALISON

                          (BRIGHT)
           Not at all. Why, she's so thin I
           could just take her little
           spindly body and snap it over my
           knee like a dry fucking twig.

                          ANNA

                          (AUTOMATICALLY)
           Thanks.

                          ALISON
           Oh, and for your information
           Sidney Young has got more going
           for him than most of the men in
           this town.
           She gets up to leave, the others gawping after her.

                         

          108 CORRIDOR OUTSIDE ROOM 108
           Sidney gives a slow smile of wonder - she likes him!
           Suddenly he realises Alison is about to walk out the door
           and catch him listening. Panicking he opens the nearest
           door and runs in, falling straight down a short flight of
           stairs and out of sight. Alison walks out of the room and
           away, oblivious.

                         

          109 INT. SIDNEY'S FLAT - EVENING 109

           E.C.U - On Sidney, staring at us.

                          SIDNEY
           Hey Alison, I was wondering if
           you wanted to...(Beat. Starting
           again) Hello there. Listen I was
           wondering if you wanted to see a
           movie or...a meal...or...(Beat,
           starting again.) Alison. You
           wanna go on a date?
           We see he is staring at his reflection in a mirror. He
           slips in a pair of PLASTIC FANGS and smiles toothily.

           94.

                         

                         

                         

          110 CLUB - MOMENTS LATER 110
           The SHARPS HALLOWEEN BALL is in full swing - guests dancing
           in fancy dress. Sidney, dressed as Dracula, threads through
           the crowd. He spots Alison on the other side of the room,
           dressed as CAT WOMAN. He starts to make his way towards
           her, a little nervous.
           He passes ELEANOR JOHNSON and VINCENT LEPAK. Vincent wears
           all black and his shades.

                          SIDNEY
           I like your costume Vincent.

                          VINCENT
           I'm not wearing a costume.

                          SIDNEY
           Oh.
           They walk on.

                          VINCENT

                          (MUTTERING)
           Idiot.

                          SIDNEY

                          (MUTTERING)
           Wanker.
           Sidney continues through the crowd to Alison. He puts his
           Dracula TEETH in.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           Haven't we met somewhere before?

                          ALISON
           That's why I don't go there any
           more.
           They smile, but Alison seems a little nervous.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)
           I've been looking for you
           actually. There's, uh, there's
           something I need to...

                          SIDNEY
           (Mumbling through his

                          TEETH)
           Me first. Listen I was wondering
           if you want to go to the movies
           or maybe for a, uh....

                          ALISON

                          (INTERRUPTING)
           What? I can't understand what
           you're saying.

           95.

                         

                         
           Sidney pulls the plastic fangs out.

                          SIDNEY
           Sorry. I was just saying...
           Maddox appears and gives Alison a glass of champagne. He
           kisses her.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Back in a minute.
           He walks off again. Sidney stares dumbly after him.

                          ALISON

                          (EMBARRASSED)
           I wanted to tell you. Lawrence
           has left his wife. We're going to
           be together. Officially.
           She watches for Sidney's reaction.

                          SIDNEY

                          (DYING)
           Well...that's...that's brilliant.

                          ALISON
           Yeah, so...maybe he does care
           after all, right?

                          SIDNEY
           Yup.
           They stand in an awkward silence, watching the party.

                         

          111 INT. WASHROOMS - LATER 111

           A dejected Sidney stands washing his hands. Maddox walks in
           behind him.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Hello Sidney. Someone said you'd
           come as a Count but I thought I'd
           misheard.
           Sidney doesn't answer, turns to leave.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)
           So Alison told you we were
           getting together right?

                          SIDNEY

                          (TIGHT)
           Yeah.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Yeah. Should have done it long
           ago but, you know me - just not
           very good at expressing my
           emotions. Right?

           96.

                         

                         
           He watches Sidney's reaction, smirking.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)
           You must be happy for her, what
           with you being friends...
           Sidney blushes.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)

                          (LAUGHING)
           Oh Sidalee...I thought as much.
           Did you really think you and
           Alison...? Things really haven't
           worked out too well for you here,
           have they? Ah, well. You gave it
           your best shot.
           He walks out. Sidney stares after him, burning.

                         

          112 EXT. OUTSIDE CLUB - NIGHT 112

           Rain pours down. Eleanor and Vincent climb into a limousine
           and close the door. Sidney runs up.

                          SIDNEY
           Wait! Eleanor wait!
           The window glides down.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON
           Yes?

                          SIDNEY
           Let me do the profile on Vincent.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON

                          (AMUSED)
           I don't think so.
           The window begins to slide up. Sidney hangs onto it.

                          SIDNEY
           You get full copy approval. It'll
           be like you've written it!
           The window stops. Eleanor stares at him, considering.
           Sidney looks past her to Vincent.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)

                          (DETERMINED)
           Vincent - think about it, think
           how humiliating it will be for
           me. I'm begging you.
           Vincent leans over, stares over his shades at Sidney.

           97.

                         

                         

                          VINCENT
           (Beat, enjoying this)
           You don't look like you're
           begging.
           Beat. Sidney kneels down on the side-walk beside the
           limousine. The rain pours down on him. The limousine drives
           away. Sidney stares dumbly up at something across the
           street.

                          REVERSE
           On the building across the street is an ENORMOUS ANIMATED
           BILLBOARD L'OREAL ADVERTISEMENT - SOPHIE MAES, in a gold
           ball-gown and make-up, hair coiffured in classic forties
           Hollywood style. As we watch she BLOWS US A KISS.
           Underneath is the slogan - I'm Here...

                         

          113 INT. CLAYTON HARDING'S OFFICE - DAY 113

           Sidney sits in front of Clayton.

                          CLAYTON HARDING
           Lawrence Maddox is no longer
           working for Sharps. Seems
           Elizabeth got sick of him
           screwing around and kicked him
           out.

                          SIDNEY
           She kicked him out?

                          CLAYTON HARDING

                          (IGNORING THIS)
           Richard Heywood doesn't seem to
           like the idea of employing an ex-
           son-in-law. So he's gone. So's
           Alison Olsen.
           Sidney stares at him.

           CLAYTON HARDING (CONT'D)
           Don't worry about Maddox. He's
           already lined up something with
           Gotham Magazine. I'm gonna need
           someone to hold the fort at I
           Spy. Strictly on a temporary
           basis, you understand? One more
           thing. Eleanor Johnson rang this
           morning, wondering if you'd like
           to write a profile on Vincent
           Lepak.
           Sidney stares at him.

           CLAYTON HARDING (CONT'D)
           I don't know how you did it but
           somehow you've made it into the
           next room.

           98.

                         

                         
           We hear the opening of Pretty Vacant by the Sex Pistols as
           we...

                         

                         114 MONTAGE 114

                         

          115 INT. RESTAURANT - DAY 115

           As the song continues we see Sidney interviewing Vincent,
           complete with shades.

                         

          116 INT. STUDIO - DAY 116

           Vincent is wearing a crown, being photographed on a throne.
           Sidney and Eleanor are watching.

                         

          117 INT. ELEANOR'S OFFICE - DAY 117

           Eleanor is going through Sidney's copy, crossing lines out
           with a red pen. Sidney watches.

                         

          118 INT. SHARPS MAGAZINE - OFFICE - DAY 118

           Sidney, Eleanor and a Photo-Editor are looking at the
           photos from the shoot. Eleanor is pointing out a blemish on
           Vincent's face.

                         

          119 COMPUTER SCREEN - VINCENT'S FACE IN CLOSE UP 119
           ...as we watch the blemish disappears.

                         

          120 EXT. NEWS STAND - DAY 120

           Sidney buys a copy of Sharps and flicks through it until he
           finds what he's looking for - a four page feature entitled
           Vincent Lepak - Long Live The King.
           He stares at his byline at the top of the feature.

                         

          120A EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY 120A 

           An elegant apartment building. 

                         

          120B INT. APARTMENT - DAY 120B 

           Sidney is being shown around a chic apartment by a Realtor. 

           99.

                         

                         

                         

          121 INT. MEETING ROOM - DAY 121

           Sidney is amongst the room full of writers and editors,
           pitching to Clayton who nods approval and passes on to the
           next item.

                         

          122 INT. CLUB - EVENING 122

           Sidney and Eleanor are talking with an ACTOR. Sidney is
           wearing a smart suit, fawning in a suitably restrained
           manner.

                         

          123 INT. PENTHOUSE APARTMENT - DAY 123

           Sidney is interviewing the Actor, laughing sycophantically
           at something he has just said.

                         

          124 INT. OFFICE - DAY 124

           Sidney sits at his desk, looking very much the part now in
           another expensive suit, talking on the phone. His desk is
           crowded with MUFFIN BASKETS. A COURIER is handing over a
           GIFT-WRAPPED BOX to him. Sidney opens the box to reveal a
           ROLEX SEA-DWELLER 4000 WATCH. Sidney stares at the watch.

                         

          125 INT. MOVIE PREMIERE - EVENING 125

           Sidney is drinking champagne amongst the Glitterati,
           talking to a Producer. Simon Cowell walks past and high-
           fives him. Sidney throws back his head, laughing at
           something the Producer said.

                         

          126 INT. SAUNA - DAY 126 

           Sidney sits in the steam room, wrapped in a towel,
           sweating. Slowly the steam envelops him until he has
           disappeared.

           END OF MONTAGE

                         

          127 INT. RESTAURANT - EVENING 127

           CLOSE ON SIDNEY'S PHOTOGRAPH - looking as cool as he can.
           Alison sits alone reading Sharps, staring at Sidney's photo
           in the "Notes on Contributors" page. She smiles, then
           glances up, her smile fading. Maddox is walking towards
           her, drunk and sour faced.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           (noticing the magazine)
           Well, well...little Sidalee. I
           feel like a proud Papa.

                          (MORE)

           100.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)
           Listen, I can't stay. Anderson
           wants me to go to some
           photographers exhibition. Hot new
           talent blah, blah...

                          ALISON
           Right. (Beat) How hot is she?

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Who?

                          ALISON
           The new talent?

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Do you think you could drop the
           little wife routine? It's kind of
           in bad taste.
           Alison stares at him sadly

                          ALISON
           I guess you're right.(Quietly)
           What goes around comes around.
           Maddox is about to say something but changes his mind.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           I'll see you back home.
           He is about to leave when he notices Alison's notebook on
           the table.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)

                          (IRRITATED)
           And will you stop carrying that
           thing around with you? It's kind
           of embarrassing.
           He walks off.

                         

          128 INT. BAR - EVENING 128

           Sidney is with Eleanor and Sophie, who now looks every inch
           the movie star.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON
           Sophie's going to get a Golden
           Globe nomination for best
           actress.

                          SIDNEY
           Wow. That's fantastic.(Beat)
           But...the nominations haven't
           been announced yet?

           101.

                         

                         

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON
           That is correct so we have
           absolutely no way of knowing
           whether or not she will be
           nominated. (Beat) So, if she is
           nominated we want Sharps to do a
           feature. Someone to cover the
           whole lead up, unrestricted
           access, the trajectory, the
           building of this unique brand.

                          SOPHIE MAES
           I'm going to have a logo.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON
           Here's the deal. Sophie wants you
           to do it.
           Sidney stares at her and then at Sophie, stunned.

                          SOPHIE MAES

                          (PLEASANTLY)
           You can be my bitch.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON
           Merry Christmas, Sidney. This is
           a cover story. I think a little
           celebration is in order.

                         

          129 EXT. OUTSIDE CIRCLE CLUB - NIGHT 129

           Snow falls. Sidney climbs out of a limousine with Eleanor
           and Sophie.
           The women breeze past the Doorman and into the club. Sidney
           hesitates on the thresh-hold, staring up at the sign above
           him as if it's a magic portal.
           Sidney walks in.

                         

          130 INT. CIRCLE CLUB - LATER 130

           A surprisingly small, ultra A-list club, chic and ironic
           Christmas decorations.
           Sidney walks past celebrities and beautiful people. He's
           arrived.

                         

          131 INT. CIRCLE CLUB - NIGHT 131

           Sidney stands with Kevin Bacon playing Six Degrees of Kevin
           Bacon. People stand around watching.

                          KEVIN BACON
           Okay, uh...Clark Gable. Go!

           102.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           Clark Gable to Vivien Leigh (Gone
           With The Wind), Vivien Leigh to
           Marlon Brando (Street Car Named
           Desire), Marlon Brando to Robert
           DeNiro (The Score) Robert De Niro
           to Kevin Bacon (Sleepers)!
           The crowd cheers.

                         

          131A INT. CIRCLE CLUB - POWDER ROOM 131A 

           A very drunk Sidney stands in a toilet cubicle with a YOUNG
           ACTRESS doing coke.

                          ACTRESS
           Sexiest philosopher?

                          SIDNEY
           Uh, tricky, but I'm gonna say
           Nietzsche. Huge moustache. The
           Tom Selleck of Nihilism.

                          ACTRESS
           Um...most evil philosopher.

                          SIDNEY
           Okay. Good. Evil genius
           philosopher...Hobbes, proto-Nazi,
           Heidegger - actual Nazi, Hegel -
           twat. Basically your H's...

                          ACTRESS
           Most Hollywood philosopher?

                          SIDNEY
           Uh...Bishop Berkely.

                          ACTRESS
           What'd he say?

                          SIDNEY
           Esse est percipi.

                          FIRST ACTRESS
           What does that mean?

                          SIDNEY
           If they `aint looking at you, you
           don't really exist.

                          ACTRESS

                          (WEARILY)
           Oh honey, tell me something I
           don't know...
           Sidney stoops and snorts a line of coke.

           103.

                         

                         

                         

          132 CIRCLE BAR - NIGHT 132
           Sidney, giddy on champagne, coke and success is dancing
           with Sophie. He's at the centre of the world.

                         

          133 INT. SIDNEY'S APARTMENT - MORNING 133

           The doorbell rings. Sidney wearing a silk dressing gown
           wanders through the room from the bedroom and opens the
           door.
           Alison stands outside, smiling at him.

                          ALISON
           Hey.

                          SIDNEY

                          (THROWN)
           Hey.

                          ALISON
           Nice robe.

                          SIDNEY
           Thanks. It was a gift. Ralph
           Lauren.

                          ALISON
           Who from?

                          SIDNEY
           Ralph Lauren. I did a piece.
           Beat. He still hasn't invited her in.

                          ALISON
           I just wanted to say I heard
           about you getting the promotion.
           Congratulations. I'm happy for
           you.

                          SIDNEY
           Thanks. How's things with you
           and...

                          ALISON

                          (QUICKLY)
           Good. Fine. Everything's
           ...uh...I'm working for this
           little literary magazine. It's
           not the New Yorker but...
           (awkward) So, I've left you a
           bunch of messages...

                          SIDNEY
           Yeah. I've been pretty busy.

           104.

                         

                         

                          ALISON
           I thought so.
          Alison stands awkwardly for a moment, smiling, then turns
          to go.

                          ALISON (CONT'D)
           Okay, well...

                          SIDNEY

                          (QUICKLY)
           How's the novel coming along?

                          ALISON

                          (LAUGHING)
           Oh, well...still working on it.

                          SIDNEY
           Well...keep at it. I believe in
           you.
          Alison smiles, touched.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           I never gave you these.
          He takes some papers from a shelf and hands them to her.
          Alison looks at them - the are titled "Notes On Alison's
          Novel." There's a LOT OF THEM. She laughs.

                          ALISON
           You know...

                          WOMAN'S VOICE
           Sidney?
          Alison looks past Sidney to the bedroom door where INGRID
          the Fashionista stands in her underwear.

                          INGRID
           (a little wave)
           Hey, Alice.
          Sidney looks at her and back at Alison. He gives a little
          laugh.

                          SIDNEY
           (half joking, half

                          MEANING IT)
           How did it all go so wrong?
          Alison smiles, gives a little wave and walks away - before
          he can see how upset she is.

           FADE OUT.

                          FADE IN:

           105.

                         

                         

                         

          134 EXT. LA - BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL - DAY 134

           Sophie and her entourage, including Sidney and Eleanor,
           climb out of a line of limousines and walk into the Hotel.
           Sidney stands for a moment, looking around him. Hollywood.
           He's finally here.
           We hear the opening of Virgina Plain by Roxy Music.

                         

          135 EXT. BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL - NIGHT 135

           We are swooping in towards the hotel and an enormous
           BILLBOARD ADVERTISEMENT for Sophie's new film - in pre-
           production. It's a re-make of Singing In The Rain - with
           Russel Crowe.
           We BOOM down from Sophie's fifteen foot laughing face to
           find Sidney standing on a slim ledge outside his hotel
           window. He is drunk and wearing only his underwear. He is
           also yelling with fear.
           The window behind him is crowded with people shrieking with
           laughter.
           Gingerly he edges back to the window and climbs back
           into...

                         

                         136 HOTEL SUITE 136
           It's a wild party. Music is blaring, people are dancing,
           drinking, laughing.

                          SOPHIE MAES
           You didn't do it!

                          SIDNEY
           High.

                          SOPHIE MAES
           You let me down!

                          SIDNEY
           Too high! You couldn't do it. Too
           high.
           Sophie calmly unzips her dress and steps out of it,
           standing in her underwear. There is applause from the on-
           lookers. Calmly she steps out of the window onto the ledge
           and disappears from sight.
           The on-lookers crane out of the window, yelling
           encouragement.
           After a moment Sophie appears at another window further
           along the wall and climbs back into the room to ecstatic
           applause. She stares imperiously at Sidney.

           106.

                         

                         

                          SOPHIE MAES
           What are you?

                          SIDNEY
           Your limpy pig.

                          SOPHIE MAES
           What?

                          SIDNEY
           I'm your limpy pig!

                          SOPHIE MAES
           That's right! Okay, limpy pig.
           You need to pay a forfeit.
           Whatcha got?

                          SIDNEY
           I've got my little limpy dance.
           Sidney dances a little, jiggling up and down.

                          SOPHIE MAES

                          (SUDDENLY)
           Give me your ring.
           Sidney stops dancing, his smile fading a little.

                          SIDNEY
           I...I can't...

                          SOPHIE MAES
           Give me the ring. I want it.

                          SIDNEY
           I can't.
           Sophie stares at him through narrowed eyes.

                          SOPHIE MAES
           Okay, give me the ring and if I
           win tomorrow, I'll let you have
           sex with me.
           The on-lookers shriek with delight.
           Sidney stares at her. He looks past her to his reflection
           in the window - a drunk man in his underwear, swaying from
           side to side...

                         

          137 INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT 137

           Sidney is back in his own room, alone, a mess. He sits on
           the floor chopping lines of coke on the coffee table. He
           stares groggily at the space on his finger where his ring
           used to be.

           107.

                         

                         

                          SIDNEY
           (muttering to himself)
           You're a star. You're a big,
           bright shining star...
           He snorts a line and, leaning back, flicks blankly through
           TV channels - a sports programme, a news station, a sit-com
           re-run...
           He snorts another line, flicks stations - more sports, a
           music video, a black and white movie...
           Sidney stops, staring at the screen...
           TV SCREEN - we're watching the fifties British movie we saw
           at the beginning of the film. Sidney's MOTHER is typing at
           the desk in the background. She gets up from the desk and
           walks into another office.
           Sidney stares, frozen.
           Sidney's mother passes the LEAD ACTRESS who is staring out
           of the window, smoking. She stares at her sympathetically.

                          SIDNEY'S MOTHER
           (Celia Johnson accent)
           Don't worry Mary...you'll meet
           him one day.

                          LEAD ACTRESS

                          (SMILING SADLY)
           How will I know when I do?

                          SIDNEY'S MOTHER
           Oh, when you meet the One, you'll
           know...
           She walks on.
           Sidney stares at the screen.

                         

          138 EXT. BEVERLY HILTON - EVENING 138

           A conveyor belt of limousines arriving outside the Hilton.
           Rain falls. Celebrities wave to the watching crowds as they
           make their way up the red carpet, cameras flash...
           Sophie emerges from a limo, looking amazing. SHE IS WEARING
           A FUR WRAP. She makes her way up the carpet, Sidney walks
           behind, smiling vaguely...

                         

          139 INT. BEVERLY HILTON - EVENING 139

           Various celebrities are being interviewed. Sidney stands a
           little apart, lost in thought.

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Well, well... Look at you...

           108.

                         

                         
           Lawrence Maddox stands beside him, something nervous in his
           manner now, the old confidence gone. He has been drinking.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)
           Made it all the way to the
           Seventh Room.
           He holds out his hand.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)
           Congratulations. The wheel of
           fortune right? You go up, I go
           down. You're here with Sophie?
           How about doing your old Rabbi a
           favour and putting in a good word
           for me? Maybe a little interview?
           Sidney absent-mindedly takes his hand, looking past him.

                          SIDNEY
           Is Alison here?

                          LAWRENCE MADDOX
           Alison? No, we went our separate
           ways. Actually she left me. Tells
           me she's in love with someone
           else.
           Sidney stares at him.

           LAWRENCE MADDOX (CONT'D)
           Nope, not you I'm afraid Sidalee.
           She threw us both over. Some guy
           named Clark. I mean...Clark. Can
           you believe it? But these are the
           sacrifices we make, right? I
           don't need to tell you. It's not
           a vacation. It's a vocation. So
           listen, about Sophie...
           But Sidney is no longer listening.

                         

          140 INT. GOLDEN GLOBES AWARDS - EVENING 140

           SLOW MOTION - we move in on Sidney, sitting at the table,
           listening to the Best Actress award. This is where we first
           met him.

           SIDNEY (V.O.)
           This is me at the Golden Globes.
           That's my Armani tuxedo. That's a
           Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 watch I'm
           wearing. I'm inside. I'm at the
           centre of everything. I'm right
           where I wanted to be.
           Beside him Sophie covers her face with her hands and starts
           to stand, having just won Best Actress.

           109.

                         

                         
           Sidney stares at her hands - she is wearing his gold ring.
           We move back into real time, sound swells up, thunderous
           applause. Sidney claps along with the others.
           Then he stands up and goes after Sophie.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           (taking her arm)
           I need my ring back.
           Sophie turns back to him, her smile fixed.

                          SIDNEY (CONT'D)
           I need my ring back.
           As if puzzled by her inability to make it to the stage,
           Sophie, still smiling, tries to pull her arm free. Eleanor
           is instantly beside them, trying to disengage Sidney's
           hand.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON
           (smiling, hissing)
           What are you doing? Let her go!

                          SIDNEY
           She isn't the One. My mother gave
           me that ring and told me I had to
           give it to the One. She isn't the
           One.
           The applause is still going strong. TV Cameras move in on
           Sophie as she starts to struggle, her smile slipping.
           Sidney tries to pull the ring free from her finger.
           Officials move in.

                          ELEANOR JOHNSON
           What the fuck are you doing?

                          SIDNEY

                          (YANKING)
           Just...Will you...I don't want to
           be on the inside. I don't want to
           be at the Party. I don't want to
           have have sex with you. (Beat) I

           KILLED CUBA!
           Sophie stares at him for a moment then with a shriek
           launches herself at him. They tumble backwards.
           The Officials rush upon them. There are gasps from the
           other tables, people standing up to see what's going on.

                         

          141 INT. MRS KOWALSKI'S FLAT - CONTINUOUS 141

           Mrs Kowalski sits watching the pandemonium on TV.

           110.

                         

                         

           SOPHIE MAES (O.S.)
           (on the TV)
           You fucking mother-fucking
           fucker!

                          MRS KOWLASKI

                          (GRIMLY)
           Soddom and Gomarrah.

                         

          142 INT. APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS 142

           The Sharps Fashionistas are gathered watching the awards on
           TV in silent horror.

                          ON TV
           Sophie kicks out at Sidney, ripping her dress in the
           process.

                          INGRID
           Oh God no...not the Versace...
           Security pile on Sidney...

                         

          143 INT. AIRPORT LOUNGE - CONTINUOUS 143

           Richard Young sits watching the awards on TV. He gives a
           small smile.

                         

          144 INT. BAR - CONTINUOUS 144

           Alison sits watching on a TV in the corner of the bar.

           ELEANOR JOHNSON (O.S.)
           (On TV - losing it)
           You're finished! You're finished!
           Alison begins to smile.

                         

          145 INT. GOLDEN GLOBES AWARDS - CONTINUOUS 145

           Sidney bursts free from the scrum of Security and begins to
           run across the room, overturning a table in the process,
           Officials racing after him.
           Sidney sprints for the doors. He notices Vincent Lepak's
           startled face as he passes it. He stops, ducks back and
           slaps the back of Vincent's head, knocking the SHADES onto
           the floor. Sidney stamps on them and runs on. Vincent gapes
           after him.

           111.

                         

                         

                         

          146 ANGLE ON CLAYTON HARDING 146
           ...watching from his table as the people around him stand
           up to see the chase. He shakes his head in horror and then
           tries, and fails, to restrain a sudden bark of laughter...

                         

          147 EXT. BEVERLY HILTON - NIGHT 147 

           Sidney bursts out of the hotel onto the red carpet and is 
           momentarily stopped by the sight of the massed PAPARAZZI 
           ahead, behind the red rope. The Paparazzi stare back at 
           Sidney - his face bruised, shirt collar ripped - equally 
           nonplussed. There is a frozen moment then Sidney plunges 
           forward, ducking under the red rope, back amongst his own 
           kind, pushing through them until he disappears amongst the 
           crowd. 

                         

          148 INT. LA AIRPORT - TICKET DESK - NIGHT 148

           Sidney stands at the desk.

                          TICKET CLERK
           The next available flight is ten
           am sir. Gets you into New York
           six thirty PM.
           Sidney sighs.

                         

          149 INT. LA AIRPORT - NIGHT 149

           Sidney sits in the almost deserted terminal waiting for the
           flight back to New York. He is still wearing his
           dishevelled tux. He looks down at his tightly clenched hand
           and slowly opens his fingers to reveal his RING.

                         

          150 EXT. NEW YORK - NIGHT 150

           Sidney is in a cab, still wearing his tux, his travel bag
           slung over shoulder. He stares out as the cab passes the
           entrance to a PARK. A sign advertises an outdoor screening
           of La Dolce Vita.

                          SIDNEY
           Stop the car!

                         

          151 EXT. NEW YORK PARK - EVENING 151

           An outdoor CINEMA has been set up. LA DOLCE VITA is playing
           on a large screen. A crowd sits around the park, watching
           the movie.
           Sidney stands scanning the crowd. He locates Alison sitting
           near the back.

           112.

                         

                         
          She is holding her notebook, watching the movie. Beside her
          is the remains of a picnic, with lit candles.
          Sidney smiles and starts towards her, then stops. She is
          sitting next to a MAN. As Sidney watches she rests her head
          on his shoulder.
          Sidney watches, numb, then turns to walk away...
          BOB stands in front of him in full drag, waving
          frantically. He starts to run towards Sidney, who sighs and
          closes his eyes - as if things weren't bad enough.
          Then Bob runs straight past him. Sidney turns to see the
          Man next to Alison standing up to embrace Bob. The two
          kiss.

          ON THE GRASS
          Alison watches Bob and her friend embrace with a touch of
          sadness. Suddenly she realises someone is standing beside
          her. She looks up and sees Sidney.
          She stares at him. Long Beat.
          Sidney holds out his hand.
          Alison hesitates and then takes his hand and stands up.

                          SIDNEY
           How's the novel?

                          ALISON
           Finished.
          Sidney smiles. He takes the notebook from her and tosses it
          back onto the picnic blanket. Then he kisses her. As he
          does so he takes the RING and slips it into Alison's coat
          pocket.
          Then they begin to dance, cha-cha-chaaing happily at the
          back of the park, as the music swells, lit by the
          flickering light from the screen.
          Suddenly Sidney freezes, staring over Alison's shoulder to
          where we can see he has accidentally thrown her NOTEBOOK
          onto a lit candle.
          It is now ON FIRE.
          Sidney shoves Alison aside and dives for the book...

           CUT TO BLACK: