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I Am Sam Movie Script

Writer(s) : Kristine Johnson, Jessie Nelson

Genres : Drama

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                                       "I AM SAM"

                                      Screenplay by

                                     Kristine Johnson

                                      Jessie Nelson

                                           2001

                                      SHOOTING DRAFT



            INT. STARBUCKS - 7:30 A.M.

            We're watching a pair of hands arrange white sugar packets,
            blue Equal packets, and pink Sweet and Low into small
            containers.  With precision and lightning speed, the mixed up
            colors and crumpled packets are transformed into neat little
            color-coded rows.  Wait, this container has three Equals and
            four Sweet 'n' lows.  The hand quickly plucks the mutant
            Sweet 'n' Low.  There.  Symmetry.

            We move up those hands and meet SAM DAWSON as he surveys his
            domain.  Something about him.  He's extremely compelling,
            uniquely handsome.  But it's more than that.  Those eyes,
            they sparkle with the wonder of a child.  Life's cynical edge
            has not etched it's path across this face.  They light on a
            COFFEE CUP held by one of the Regulars.

                                SAM
                      Double double decaf low-fat Cap.

                                BRUCE
                      You got it, buddy.

                                SAM
                      Good choice very good choice.

            Sam moves along, commenting to CUSTOMERS as he places Sweet
            'n Lows on tables, the self-appointed host of Starbucks.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Mocha rumba Frappuccino no whipped, half
                      low, half non.  Excellent choice.  Very
                      good choice.

            He stops in front of sale mugs and turns them so that the
            logos all face the same way.  His boss GEORGE approaches.

                                GEORGE
                      Sam, they called.  It's time for you to
                      go.

            Sam FREEZES, but doesn't turn around.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      Sam, did you hear me?

                                SAM
                      "It's time for you to go."

                                GEORGE
                      Yes.

                                SAM
                      It's time.

                                GEORGE
                      Good luck.

            Without another word, Sam walks straight out the door.

            EXT. LOS ANGELES STREET - DAY

            Sam, still in his white apron, walks down the busy street. 
            He has a fast, loping gait that doesn't slow or hesitate for
            anyone. A COUPLE argue on the sidewalk.  Sam WALKS RIGHT
            BETWEEN THEM.

                                SAM
                      It's time.  It's time.

            Sam keeps moving, he crosses the street without stopping. 
            Traffic SCREECHES to a HALT!  Cars HONK, a taxi driver YELLS.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      It's time, it's time for you to go.

            INT. HALLWAY - LATER

            Sam plows down the hall and comes to room 324.

                                SAM
                      Rebecca!

            Sam pushes the DOOR OPEN.  And we REALIZE we are entering: A
            HOSPITAL LABOR DELIVERY ROOM AT LA COUNTY HOSPITAL.

            REBECCA is in the middle of a major contraction.  Her face is
            the opposite of Sam's.  Hardened.  She lets out a scream that
            stops Sam dead in his tracks.  GERTIE, a no-nonsense Black
            Nurse, looks up from the monitor.

                                GERTIE
                      You the one responsible for this?

            Sam nods, taking Gertie quite literally.

                                SAM
                      I'm sorry.

                                GERTIE
                      Too late for sorries, daddy, get over
                      here and hold her hand.

            Sam reaches for Rebecca's hand.  She pulls it away.  ANOTHER
            CONTRACTION - Rebecca screams.  Sam SCREAMS.

                                NURSE
                      You got a live one, Gert.

            INT. LABOR ROOM - LATER

                                DR. JAMISON
                      Okay, this is it!

                                SAM
                          (spins in circles)
                      This is it!  This is it!

                                DR. JAMISON
                      And it's a girl...

            The BABY lets out her first cry.  Sam watches, awestruck. 
            Gertie wraps the baby in a blanket and holds her out to
            Rebecca.  Rebecca shakes her head - NOT NOW.  Gertie walks
            over to Sam.

                                GERTIE
                      There's someone who's been waitin' an
                      awful long time to see you, Sam.

            She places the BABY into SAM'S ARMS.  Suddenly Sam's whole
            body RELAXES and becomes very still.  He looks to Rebecca,
            but she has turned away.  He meets Gertie's eyes.  Then in
            quiet amazement:

                                SAM
                      This is it.

                                GERTIE
                      What's her name?

                                SAM
                          (looks at clock)
                      Let me see let me see let me see. 
                      12:17, March 2nd.  Lucy in the Sky with
                      Diamonds.  Recorded March 2nd.  1967. 
                      Lyrics by John Lennon, music by Paul
                      McCartney.  Lucy Diamond Dawson.

            We hear LIKE A LULLABY, "Picture yourself on a boat in a
            river with tangerine trees and marmalade skies..."

            EXT. HOSPITAL - NEXT MORNING

            Sam, holding the baby, and Becca, having just checked out,
            walk down the steps of the hospital holding their
            complimentary plastic baby bag.  Sam is nervous haling the
            precious cargo and Becca is agitated.  They see the bus
            pulling up and down the street and Sam moves quickly so they
            can hurry and catch it.  As he approaches the bus, he looks
            to Becca by his side, but she is not there.  He looks around
            and no sign of her. 
            Frantically turning in a full circle, he sees the fabric of
            her dress disappearing into the crowd down the street.  He
            screams.

                                SAM
                      Becca!  Becca!

            The more he screams the faster she moves away.  Till there's
            no trace of her.  Sam stands in the middle of the busy block
            holding Lucy to his chest, devastated.

            We hear, "Look for the girl with the clouds in her eyes, but
            she's gone."

                                                           SMASH CUT TO:

            INT. BUS - NIGHT

            Sam holds the now sleeping baby to his chest.  Next to him is
            the plastic bag from the hospital containing diapers, two
            cans of formula and a half empty bottle of milk.  Sam is
            surrounded by PASSENGERS, the eerie world of the underground
            at night.  Instinctively, Sam holds her even tighter, two
            against the world.

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - DAWN

            A marvel of organization.  A closet reveals clothes on
            hangers exactly equidistant from each other; precisely folded
            T-shirts, underwear and socks organized by color.  A
            carefully systemized record collection fills makeshift
            bookshelves.

            Beatles posters from every era decorate the walls.  Becca's
            things sit in one corner.  An island of chaos in an "Hold
            Everything" showroom.  The kitchen counter has been
            transformed into a changing table.  Bottles and pacifiers
            lined up next to a stack of cloth diapers.  Underneath, a
            clothes line of baby clothes.

            The sound of a CRYING BABY breaks the silence.  The camera
            follows and finds the CRADLE: a DRAWER tucked snugly into a
            blanket hanging like a hammock between two chairs.  An
            exhausted SAM POPS up from his bed, behind the hammock.  He
            swings the hammock, hoping against hope the baby will go back
            to sleep.

                                SAM
                      Didn't you just fall asleep, little
                      girl?
                          (Lucy cries harder)
                      Okay, if you say it's time to get up,
                      then it's time to get up, time to get
                      up.
                          (Sam sniffs the air)
                      Oh my, oh my, oh my.  Quite a bit of
                      business.

            He rushes over to the kitchen counter and unsnaps the baby's
            pajamas, revealing a cloth diaper held together with
            promotional buttons: one says "Hertz, #1 for Car Rentals",
            the other a picture of Magic Johnson and reads "Go, Lakers,
            Go!"  Sam undoes it.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.  Let me
                      see let me see let me see.

            Sam attempts to clean and diaper her.  He finally manages to
            pin the buttons so that it at least stays on.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      You look very beautiful this morning,
                      very beautiful.

            He holds her up, and the diaper falls down around her ankles.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            We pan across a row of diapers on a supermarket shelf:

            HUGGIES, PAMPERS, EXTRA ABSORBENT PAMPERS, LUVS...

            INT. WALMART - DAY

            Sam stares at the "Great Wall of Diapers", awed.  He reaches
            for the Pampers, balancing Lucy, then the Luvs, no, the
            Huggies.  Sam stops moving, Lucy starts CRYING, so he jogs in
            place.  Sam decides on one of each.  He heads to the FORMULA
            AISLE.  Gerber, Carnation, Carnation Iron Fortified.  He
            stops.  Lucy WAILS.  WE HEAR THE SONG "HELP, I NEED SOMEBODY"

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - 9 P.M.

            Sam paces, carrying Lucy who screams at the top of her lungs.

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - 11:25 P.M.

            Sam rocks the CRYING BABY in the hammock.  He's exhausted,
            but she's just getting started.  He puts another blanket on
            her.

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - 1:30 A.M.

            Peace.  A punch-drunk Sam lays the sleeping baby into the
            cradle as if she were a bomb that might detonate. 
            He tiptoes, his FIST raised victoriously - "YES!"  He doesn't
            get two steps before Lucy wakes screaming.  Defeated, he
            picks her up.  HELP.  The PHONE RINGS.  HE PRESSES speaker.

                                RASPY WOMAN (O.S.)
                      What the hell are you doing to that
                      baby?!

            He looks out his window and sees ANNIE CASSELL, his neighbor
            on the phone, watching him through her window.  She is a
            strange creature with very thick glasses.  We sense a
            uniquely profound intelligence behind all that armor.

                                SAM
                      Everything's so tiny, tiny.  Tiny. 
                      Everything.  Won't you please come over? 
                      Help.  I need somebody.  Won't you
                      please please help me.

                                ANNIE
                      You know I can't do that.  What does her
                      mother say?

                                SAM
                      Her mother?  Her mother said "This isn't
                      my life.  I'm outta here when she comes. 
                      It didn't mean anything, Sam.  It was
                      just one night.  The two of you.  That's
                      all I need..." Annie, what if she's
                      sick?

            EXT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

            ANNIE has her door open a crack.  Annie feels the baby's
            forehead.  Lucy stares up at her, quiet now, fascinated.

                                ANNIE
                      She's overheated and not eating enough. 
                      How often are you feeding her?

                                SAM
                      A lot, Gerber, Carnation, Gerber.

                                ANNIE
                      What's a lot?

                                SAM
                      Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Three
                      squares hot.

                                ANNIE
                      Babies need food every two hours, Sam.

                                SAM
                      Oh.  I'm sorry Lucy Diamond.
					  
                                ANNIE
                      What time does the little diamond wake
                      up?

                                SAM
                      She never really goes to sleep.

                                ANNIE
                      Okaaaay.  Well, let's assume she's up at
                      six.  Keep your TV on Nickelodeon.  I
                      want you to feed her first while
                      "Bewitched" is on.  Then again, when
                      "Hogan's Heroes" starts.  After that,
                      well until "Father Knows Best..."

                                                                    CUT:

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - EVENING

            We are watching "Hogan's Heroes".  We hear SHULTZ'S INFAMOUS
            RESPONSE: "I know nothing, absolutely nothing!"  Sam feeds a
            content Lucy.

                                                            DISSOLVE TO:

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - LATER

            "Father Knows Best" on TV.  Lucy blissfully falls asleep in
            Sam's arms.  Euphoric, he tiptoes to the cradle and places
            her ever so gently, when suddenly, the FRONT DOOR FLIES OPEN.

            Sam's BEST FRIENDS DESCEND inside: IFTY, a Pakistani
            gentlemen with a gentle face and a wide smile, carrying a
            large stuffed giraffe with a bow on it.  BRAD, who sees
            himself as a real ladies man, in tight jeans and a Farrah
            Fawcett T-shirt; and ROBERT, highly paranoid, thinks the
            world's out to get him.  Lucy WAILS.  Sam RUNS to the CRIB.

                                SAM
                      What are you doing here now?!  Her first
                      sound sleep, not a sound, not a sound.

                                BRAD
                      Eight years every Thursday Video Night
                      and you forgot?!

                                SAM
                      Oh my god, Video Night.  First Thursday
                      of the month.  Video night at Sam's
                      house.  I'm sorry, I forgot.

                                IFTY
                      Becca's gone.  "Gone with the Wind" is a
                      very sad movie.

                                ROBERT
                      Oh here we go...Everything changes now. 
                      Soon you'll forget about Wednesday night
                      Denny's and Friday night Karaoke.  And I
                      got hit by a car today.

                                SAM
                      You did?

                                ROBERT
                      It's probably that guy from the V.A.

                                BRAD
                      What guy?

                                ROBERT
                          (closing window)
                      I can't discuss it.  And now this.

            Ifty makes ORIGAMI BIRDS out of newspapers.  Lucy's rapt.

                                SAM
                      She looks smart, doesn't she?

                                IFTY
                      Of course, look.  She's already reading
                      the newspaper.  I have five smart
                      sisters in Pakistan.  I am only brother. 
                      "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" was a
                      wonderful movie I forgot to bring last
                      week for Video Night...

                                BRAD
                      Did you get "Blade Runner" for tonight?

                                ROBERT
                      Now it's all my fault?!

                                BRUCE
                      Don't tell me you forgot again.  I broke
                      a date with a daydream to come here.

            There's a knock at the door.  Ifty goes to get it.  Brad
            moans when he sees his 65 YEAR OLD MOTHER, ESTELLE, standing
            in the doorway.

                                BRAD
                      Mom!  I told you Video Night's over at
                      nine!  It's only six-thirty!

                                ESTELLE
                          (unaware of the baby)
                      Sorry.  I'll wait in the lobby.

            She exits.  Lucy begins to CRY.  Brad takes her - like a hot
            potato, Robert takes her - now Ifty runs around in circles.

                                IFTY
                      She needs motion.  My father drove my
                      sisters in his taxi to get them to go to
                      sleep.  Two-fifty surcharge on all
                      taxi's from the airport...

                                ROBERT
                      I got hit by a taxi on Tuesday.

            And it all starts again and we --

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. BUS - NIGHT

            An empty bus makes its way through the city at night.

            INT. BUS - NIGHT

                                BUS DRIVER
                      Main and Temple...again.  She out yet?

            The camera moves along and stops on the long seat at the
            back.  Sam lies with Lucy spooned into the crook of his arm,
            almost asleep.

                                SAM
                      Almost there, almost there.  One more
                      round and she'll be down for the night.

            We hear the song "Golden Slumbers".  In a SERIES OF
            DISSOLVES, we see Lucy and Sam in DIFFERENT SLEEPING
            POSITIONS on the bus seat.  Gradually, she GROWS in HIS
            PROTECTIVE EMBRACE --  

            ONE MONTH,  THEN TWO.  NOW FIVE.  She's BIG AND ROUND at SIX
            MONTHS.  And on and on into the night...

            INT. WALMART'S PHOTO BOOTH - DAY

            We see Sam and Lucy CRAMMED into the booth, wearing birthday
            hats, taking HER FIRST BIRTHDAY picture.  We see the PHOTO
            STRIP as it comes out of the slot.  Sam's shoulder with
            Lucy's ear - Lucy's nose with Sam's elbow, their faces never
            made it into the picture.

            INT. STARBUCKS - 8:30 A.M.

            The place is packed.  Sam moves from table to table,
            cleaning.

                                SAM
                      Double macciatto, low foam, low-fat. 
                      Good choice, very good choice.

            Sam turns and WE SEE LUCY attached to him in a handmade
            snugly, crocheted by Annie.  She faces outward, all hands,
            all 16 MONTHS of her; too big for the snugly.  She grabs a
            croissant from a customer.  George looks confused.  Then
            makes a SWIPE for a customer's coffee, knocking it to the
            ground.  It SPLATTERS all over an anorexic, on-her-fourth
            double-latte WOMAN in a designer exercise outfit.  She begins
            shrieking.  George looks at Sam, this can't go on.
			
            INT. APARTMENT HALLWAY - MORNING

            Sam, Lucy by his side, has his foot in Annie's door.

                                SAM
                      Please, Annie!  She's too big to take to
                      work.

                                ANNIE
                      I'm not a baby-sitter.  I'm too busy.

                                LUCY
                      Annie, Annie, Annie...

                                ANNIE
                          (suspicious)
                      Did you teach her that?

                                SAM
                      It was her first word.  Very first word.

            Annie opens the door, takes Lucy's hand, and pulls her in.

                                ANNIE
                      And people worry you're not smart.

            INT. ANNIE'S APARTMENT - ONE WEEK LATER

            The apartment looks like a fallout shelter.  The kitchen
            contains enough canned goods to last a year.  Brightly
            colored crocheted doilies - Annie's hobby - adorn every
            available surface.  The BRIGHTLY COLORED WEB of an
            AGORAPHOBE.

            Lucy sits in Annie's lap, getting her first piano lesson.  WE
            SEE LUCY'S TINY FINGERS on the keys.  In a SERIES OF
            DISSOLVES, it is joined by Annie's hand tapping out one note,
            now two notes, and as the weeks pass, a chord.  Until finally
            the notes merge to become the most unlikely duet of "Twinkle,
            Twinkle, Little Star".

                                ANNIE
                      This is Mozart.  He did twenty-two
                      variations of "Twinkle Twinkle Little
                      Star".  You smell good.  You can tell a
                      lot about a person by their smell.  If
                      they've got too much perfume on they're
                      covering something up.  You gotta watch
                      someone who smells like soap.  Gotta
                      wonder what their priorities are. 
                      Nervous people.  People who try too
                      hard.  They smell like fish.  But you. 
                      You smell like milk.  Milk and hope.

            Lucy leaves the piano and toddles over to Annie's loom and
            plays with a ball yarn.

                                VOICE (O.S.)
                      Groceries, Annie.

                                ANNIE
                      Thanks.

            Annie opens the door to pull in the groceries.  The ball of
            yarn ROLLS OUT the door and Lucy chases after it.  Annie,
            terrified, bellows:

                                ANNIE (CONT'D)
                      Lucy!  Come back here!  Come back!

            It becomes obvious Annie can't walk outside.  Trembling:

                                ANNIE (CONT'D)
                      "Lucy in the sky with diamonds..."

            Hearing the familiar tune, Lucy stops and toddles back. 
            Annie sweeps her up, relieved and we --

            INT. KARAOKE BAR - NIGHT

            Sam on stage, with Ifty and Brad as his back-up singers,
            continuing the song in the oddest, most heartfelt version to
            Lucy who sits on Robert's lap and in heaven.

            EXT. PARK - DAY

            A beautiful blue sky.  And "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
            continues as Lucy's THREE YEAR OLD laughing face SWINGS INTO
            FRAME on a swing then DISAPPEARS out THE OTHER END OF FRAME. 
            Now Lucy SWINGS BACK DOWN and out of the other end again...

            Sam's FACE, glowing with delight, APPEARS AGAINST THE SKY and
            then disappears.  Sam and Lucy are on swings surrounded by
            MOTHERS and KIDS at the park.

                                LUCY (V.O.)
                      Daddy, where does the sky end?

                                SAM (V.O.)
                      Let me see, let me see.  I've never been
                      there but they say it's somewhere near
                      China.

            EXT. PARK - ONE YEAR LATER

            Lucy FLIES INTO FRAME, now FOUR, sitting on Sam's lap,
            swinging.

                                LUCY (V.O.)
                      Are lady bugs only girls or are there
                      boys, too.  And if there are, what are
                      they called?

                                SAM (V.O.)
                      The Beatles.

            EXT. PARK - ONE YEAR LATER

            Then Lucy FLIES INTO FRAME, now FIVE, followed by Sam.

                                LUCY (V.O.)
                      Do I look more like you or Mommy?

            ON SAM'S FACE

            He knew this moment would come.

            INT. DENNY'S - THURSDAY NIGHT DINNER - EVENING

            Lucy and Sam are having a serious talk over breaded Sole.

                                LUCY
                      If you and Mommy liked each other enough
                      to have me, how come you're not together
                      anymore?

                                SAM
                      I think she fell out of love with me. 
                      Not you, never you.  Me, just me.

                                LUCY
                      When you fall out of love where do you
                      land?

                                SAM
                      Somewhere in Florida, I think.

                                LUCY
                      Do you think she'll ever come back?

                                SAM
                          (long pause)
                      Paul McCartney lost his mother when he
                      was fourteen.  John lost his mother
                      twice.  First when Julie gave John to
                      her sister Mimi to raise.  And then
                      again when Julia was hit by a car.  They
                      say God picks certain people, special
                      people.  That's what they say.

            Lucy takes this in.  Sam begins to shift his tomatoes just
            so... his potatoes just slightly to the left.  Lucy watches.

                                LUCY
                      Daddy, did God mean for you to be like
                      this or was it an accident?

                                SAM
                      Do you mean - what do you mean?

                                LUCY
                      I mean you're different.

                                SAM
                      What do you mean?  I mean, what do you
                      mean?

                                LUCY
                      You're not like the other daddies.

                                SAM
                      I'm not am I.  I'm sorry.

                                LUCY
                      Don't be sorry.  I'm lucky.  Nobody
                      else's daddy ever comes to the park.

            ON SAM'S FACE

            Filled with relief.  Bursting with love.

                                SAM
                      We are very lucky, aren't we?

            Grace approaches with two plates of pie, ice cream on the
            side.

                                GRACE
                      Ice cream on the side.

                                LUCY
                      Not on top.  Not on top.

                                SAM
                      Good choice.  Very good choice.

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - THURSDAY NIGHT VIDEO NIGHT

                                SAM
                      Brad, I know it was your turn.  I'm sure
                      of it.

                                BRAD
                      I swear to God it was Robert's turn.

                                ROBERT
                      Why is it always my fault?

                                IFTY
                      I keep track, last time, I say to
                      myself, I say, write it down... Bank of
                      America give away beautiful calendar,
                      every month a picture of wild animal,
                      look June, an Elk.  Elke Sommer...she
                      starred in the remake of "Prisoner of
                      Zenda"... Three stars Leonard Maltin
                      video movie guide.

            As they go on, Lucy matter-of-factly PULLS A VIDEO OUT OF HER
            BACKPACK, and puts it in the VCR.  She turns it on.  It's
            "Kramer vs. Kramer".  Everyone stops their arguing and stares
            at Lucy.

                                LUCY
                      Annie let me borrow it.

            INT. CHILDREN'S SHOE STORE - DAY

            A row of brand new children's shoes on display.  Lucy tries
            on dozens of school shoes, surrounded by Sam and her
            "Godfathers": Ifty, Brad and Robert.

                                SAM
                      You need a good sturdy school shoe. 
                      Arches are very important.

                                IFTY
                      Sturdy is boring.  Red shoes bring good
                      luck.

                                BRAD
                      But red doesn't got with green.

                                IFTY
                      Except on Christmas.

                                BRAD
                      No brown clodhoppers.  Everyone will
                      make fun of her.

                                SAM
                      NO ONE will make fun of Lucy.

                                ROBERT
                      She might be stupid.

                                IFTY
                      No she's not --

                                ROBERT
                      Did they test her?

                                BRAD
                      You don't know for sure.

                                SAM
                      Yes I do.

                                BRUCE
                      But if she is, don't make her go to
                      school.

                                ROBERT
                      Don't let her in the lunch room.  Johnny
                      Marzettie's there.

                                BRAD
                      And gym.  Get her a pass.  The rules for
                      volleyball are so hard to remember. 
                      "Rotate Rackman Rotate."

                                IFTY
                      Throw the ball at his forehead and the
                      water on his brain will come out his
                      nose.

            Meanwhile, Lucy has been trying on a simple brown shoe.

                                LUCY
                      I like these.

                                SAM
                      She know what she likes.  She likes
                      these.  How much are they?

                                SALESMAN
                      Forty-nine ninety-nine.

                                SAM
                      One penny less than fifty.  These shoes
                      are one penny less than fifty?

                                LUCY
                      It's okay, Dad.  I don't really like
                      them.

                                SAM
                      No, no no no no.

                                IFTY
                      We'll all give ten dollars.

                                BRAD
                      I've only got three plus five.  But I
                      need one for stamps.

                                ROBERT
                      Don't pull your wad out in front of
                      people.

            They all dig in their pockets and begin counting very slowly.

                                SAM
                      Thank you, thank you.  We are rich in
                      friends.  That's what our fortune cookie
                      said.  1, 2, 3, 4, quarters that makes
                      one.

                                SALESMAN
                      I'll count it.

                                SAM
                      Is it enough?

                                SALESMAN
                          (exasperated)
                      If there's a God.

                                BRAD
                      Do we get a balloon with these?

                                SALESMAN
                      Yes.

                                ROBERT
                      All of us, or just her?

                                                           SMASH CUT TO:
            EXT. STREET NEAR SHOE STORE - DAY

            Those new little brown shoes walking in between four pairs of
            man's shoes.  We move up from those shoes to see FIVE PAIR OF
            HANDS tightly clasping their balloons as they march
            victoriously down the street.  We MOVE IN on Lucy's little
            brown shoes skipping with joy and --

                                                            DISSOLVE TO:

            EXT. SCHOOL FIELD - DAY

            Those same little shoes in the midst of a mass of black
            soccer cleats.  We move up and see Lucy in the middle of a
            fierce kids soccer game.

            Score's tied.  The ball comes to Lucy.  She kicks and misses. 
            From the sidelines we hear:

                                SAM
                      Beautiful kick!  Very close!

            Lucy looks up at her dad proudly.  The ball comes again. 
            Nobody could miss this one.  But Lucy does.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Thatta girl!  Thatta girl!  They're
                      getting scared now!

            The game continues.  The GOALIE'S FATHER, DUNCAN RHODES,
            handsome, commanding and dressed in a suit, calls to his son:

                                MR. RHODES
                      C'mon, Conner!  On your toes!  They're
                      all counting on you!

            Conner tenses up, alert under the pressure.  Meanwhile, down
            at the other end, the ball heads toward Lucy.  She kicks it! 
            Hard.  Right into her team's own goal.  The crowd GROANS.

                                SAM
                      Hurray, Lucy!  You're getting the hang
                      of it now!  You've got them scared now!

            Lucy's bursting with confidence, plows toward the ball and
            NAILS IT!  The ball goes flying.  The parents in the stand
            are completely baffled!  Sam is completely ecstatic!

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      L-u-c-y!  That's our battlecry!

            The ball heads into the goal, just passing the goalie,
            Conner.  Sam runs to embrace Lucy when he hears Duncan
            reaming his son --

                                MR. RHODES
                      The whole game was right in front of
                      your nose!  I leave work early to watch
                      you blow the whole game!?

            Conner slouches against the fence as his father walks away. 
            Seeing this, Sam whispers to Lucy.

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - AFTERNOON

            A child's hand double jumps across a checker board.

                                CONNER (O.S.)
                      Ha!

            Lucy and Conner are playing checkers while Sam cooks dinner. 
            Two carrots cut into ten pieces. Bow Tie Pasta - 35 pieces
            each.

                                CONNER (CONT'D)
                      What's wrong with your father?  Why's he
                      acting like a retard?

                                LUCY
                      He is.

            Their hands graze against each other on the check board - he
            pulls his hand away.

                                CONNER
                      Are you?

                                LUCY
                      No.

                                CONNER
                      Are you sure?

                                LUCY
                      Yeah.

                                CONNER
                      How do you know?

                                LUCY
                      He told me.

                                CONNER
                      But he's a retard.

                                LUCY
                      Yeah well it takes one to know one!

            He crowns her - her eyes shift to Sam in the kitchen, for the
            first time a bit uneasily.

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

            Sam's reading Lucy her homework book.

                                SAM
                      "They perched in sisisi..."

                                LUCY
                      "Silence."

                                SAM
                      "...silence for a long time."  Boy. 
                      Your teacher chose a hard book this
                      time.  "How can we be so difdifdif..."

                                LUCY
                      "Different."

            Sam glances up at Lucy self-consciously.  Lucy grabs the book
            from Sam, tosses it on the pile and picks up another.

                                LUCY (CONT'D)
                      I don't like that book - let's read
                      "Green Eggs and Ham".

            Relieved, Sam plunges into the book, which is more memorized
            than read.

                                SAM
                      "I am Sam, Sam I am.  Do you like green
                      eggs and ham?  I do not like them, Sam I
                      am!"

            They both laugh, delighted.  Lucy looks sleepy.

                                                         MATCH DISSOLVE:

            Lucy is getting drowsy.  Sam is just getting started.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      "And I will eat them here and there. 
                      Say I will eat them ANYWHERE.  I do so
                      like green eggs and ham, thank you thank
                      you, Sam I am!"  One more time!
					  
                                LUCY
                      Daddy, I have school tomorrow...I don't
                      wanna be too sleepy.

                                SAM
                      Just the part about the boat and the
                      goat in the rain in the train?

                                LUCY
                      Daddy, Hamburger Hamlet has twelve
                      different kinds of hamburgers.  Can we
                      go there Wednesday instead of Denny's?

                                SAM
                      But Wednesday night's Denny's,
                      Thursday's Video Night, Friday Night
                      Karaoke.

            Lucy nods, a little deflated.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      How about one more time, just the
                      beginning?  "I am Sam, Sam I am..."

            Lucy sighs and closes her eyes against her father's chest.

            INT. CLASSROOM - DAY

            Lucy draws a picture while everyone reads aloud from
            "STELLALUNA".

                                MISS WRIGHT
                      Lucy, your turn.  Start where Sara left
                      off...Lucy?

                                LUCY
                      I can't.

                                MISS WRIGHT
                      Sure you can.

                                LUCY
                      "They perched in sisisisi..."

                                MISS WRIGHT
                      Silence.

                                LUCY
                          (throws down book)
                      There.  I told you.  It's too hard.

                                MISS WRIGHT
                      Lucy!  I know you can read this!

                                LUCY
                      No, I can't!  And you can't make me!

            Lucy runs out of the class.

            EXT. BUS STOP - DUSK

            Sam, in sunglasses, waits for the BUS.  A YOUNG WOMAN, LILY,
            sits down next to him.  The WIND CATCHES her floral dress
            that's just left of innocent; just right of alluring.  She
            reads a TABLOID.

                                LILY
                      Look here.  "Premature baby claims he's
                      cupid - has the arrow to prove it."  Do
                      you believe that?

                                SAM
                      Well, if he has the arrow.

                                LILY
                      Yeah.  You got a good point.

            She crosses her legs.  A tuft of pink dress falls on Sam's
            knee.

                                SAM
                      You're a good reader.

                                LILY
                      Yeah, I've always been smart.

                                SAM
                      You're lucky.  I'm looking for a smart,
                      good mother.

                                LILY
                      I can be a mother.  A real good mother.

                                SAM
                      Oh, good.  Good.

                                LILY
                      I could even spank you.

                                SAM
                      Oh no no no.  I don't believe in that.

                                LILY
                      Okay okay.  I can be very gentle.

                                SAM
                      Gentle.  Gentle.  Yes.  Do you tell
                      stories?

                                LILY
                      I got stories up the wazoo.  Why don't
                      you come with me.  I'll tell you a nice
                      story.

                                SAM
                      I have to pick up Lucy at Annie's first.

                                LILY
                      A menage a toi?

                                SAM
                      French, French the language of France. 
                      You could teach my daughter, Lucy.

                                LILY
                      Your daughter?!  Can't you pick her up
                      after?!

                                SAM
                      After?!  No no, Lucy comes too.

                                LILY
                      Whatever.

            She takes Sam's hand, they move to get on the bus JUST AS
            ANOTHER HAND brusquely lands on theirs.

                                COP
                      Not so fast.  You're under arrest. 
                      Solicitation.

                                LILY
                      He wanted to bring his kid, I said no.

            A lightbulb flashes and we --
			
                                                           SMASH CUT TO:

            INT. POLICE HEADQUARTERS - THAT NIGHT

            Sam blinks as his MUGSHOT is being taken.  Now the profile. 
            He turns so they can get the back of his head.  Now the
            FINGERPRINT.

            Now Sam, in the corner of the room, on the phone making
            thumbprints on the wall.  While the COP discusses his case
            with a social worker, MARGARET BROWN.  Over the years she's
            seen it all, and to get through it has had to pretend it's
            just a job.

                                COP
                      It's the first time in nineteen years I
                      actually believe the guy when he says he
                      didn't know she was a hooker --

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      You say that like it's a good thing.

                                SAM
                      ...Your teeth don't sound like they were
                      brushed.  Do it with me now.

                                COP
                      Let him go.  He says he's never spent a
                      night away from his kid... Come with me -
                      I got a guy who beat the shit out of his
                      two year old.  Again.

            Her cell phone beeps.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      Yes.  I am seeing you tomorrow, Mr.
                      Rabins.  She's still screaming?  No,
                      McDonald's won't help...she's four
                      months old.

                                SAM
                      Thirteen up...not on the gum line not on
                      the gum line, 1, 2, 3.

            Margaret watches Sam as he talks to Lucy on the phone.

            INT. PRINCIPALS OFFICE - DAY

            The WALLS are lined with CHILDREN'S ART.  Various
            interpretations of the family.  We stop at one of a very
            small man and a very big little girl with her arm around him.

                                MISS WRIGHT
                      It gives us a great deal of insight into
                      what she must be feeling.  And in the
                      classroom, it's becoming clear she's
                      holding herself back.  It's as if she's
                      literally afraid to learn.

            We PULL BACK and see Sam staring at the picture.  Mrs. Wright
            and the principal watch him.

                                MISS WRIGHT (CONT'D)
                      No one doubts that you love your
                      daughter, Mr. Dawson.  But the
                      Department of Social Services contacted
                      us.  They shared with us that your
                      records show that your intellectual
                      capacity is around that of a seven year
                      old.  Our concern is what happens when
                      Lucy turns eight?

                                PRINCIPAL
                      Mr. Dawson, do you understand what Miss
                      Wright is trying to tell you about Lucy?

                                SAM
                      No one wanted The Beatles to break up. 
                      But you can hear it on the White Album. 
                      They were going in different directions.

            INT. LUCY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

            It's bedtime.  Sam and Lucy are reading from "STELLALUNA".

                                LUCY
                      How can we be so dif..dif...I don't know
                      that word.

                                SAM
                      Yes you do.  It starts with a "d" --

                                LUCY
                      I'm tired.

                                SAM
                      I don't believe you.

                                LUCY
                      Are you calling me a liar?

                                SAM
                      Yes.  Now read the word.

                                LUCY
                          (crying)
                      No...I'm stupid.

                                SAM
                      No you're not.

                                LUCY
                      I don't want to read it if you can't.

                                SAM
                      It makes me happy.  I'm happy hearing
                      you read it.

            He holds the book open for Lucy.  Now Lucy, pushing through a
            mountain of resistance, reads.  And reads beautifully.

                                LUCY
                      "Why are we different and so much
                      alike?"

            INT. SCHOOL HALLOWEEN PARADE - AUDITORIUM - DAY

            Two children, dressed as Batman, march followed by
            CINDERELLA.  We see Lucy dressed in NEWSPAPER - an ORIGAMI
            BIRD.  And behind her, marching more proudly than any child,
            is Sam, dressed as PAUL McCARTNEY, in the black suit era -
            with Beatle boots and guitar strapped to his chest.  Sam is
            the only adult participating in the parade.

            Music BLASTS over the loudspeaker.  Sam begins to dance with
            joyous abandon.  Lucy joins him.  They dance together
            happily.

            Suddenly Lucy becomes aware that her classmates are beginning
            to laugh.  She slows and watches through their eyes Sam pony
            around the room.  Conner pulls up his pants high on his waist
            and begins to imitate Sam.  Another kid joins him.

                                KID
                      I'm a Super Freak!

                                CONNER
                      And I thought my dad was a dork.

            Lucy's face hardens for the first time.  In a corrupt world
            the pure can only stay pure for so long.

            INT. HAMBURGER HAMLET - EVENING

            Sam and Lucy sit in a booth.  Lucy's ecstatic.  Sam's trying.

                                LUCY
                      They have eleven different kinds of
                      hamburgers.  This is so great.

                                SAM
                      A new place.  Your choice.  I said we'd
                      go to a new place.  And here we are.

            Sam anxiously rearranges the condiments on the table.  Lucy
            tries to fold a napkin into an Origami bird.

                                LUCY
                      You know what else I want for my
                      birthday, Daddy?  I want a hundred
                      birds.

                                SAM
                      The napkins are much stiffer at Denny's. 
                      They make better birds.  There's not so
                      much stuff on the tables there either. 
                      Why do they have two kinds of mustard on
                      every table?

                                WAITRESS
                      Coffee?

                                SAM
                      No, no coffee.  Sam's system can't
                      handle coffee.

                                WAITRESS
                      Okaaay!  What can I get you folks?

                                LUCY
                      I'd like the Benito Bandito burger and a
                      chocolate chip milkshake, please.

                                SAM
                      I'll have the fish special, side of
                      potatoes, salad with Thousand Island
                      Dressing, cherry pie, and...

                                WAITRESS
                      I'm sorry, sir.  We don't have a fish
                      special.  There's fish and chips.  It
                      comes with a dinner salad.

                                SAM
                      Chips, chips?  You mean potato chips?  I
                      don't want potato chips.  I want a side
                      of potatoes.

                                WAITRESS
                      You want french fries?

                                SAM
                      No, a side of potatoes, like at Denny's. 
                      A side of potatoes.

                                LUCY
                      They're little red potatoes.

                                WAITRESS
                      We don't have new potatoes...

                                SAM
                      Denny's has new potatoes.  Six new
                      potatoes parsley garnish parsley
                      garnish...

            ON LUCY

            Her smile fades.
			
                                                           SMASH CUT TO:

            INT. DENNY'S - HALF-HOUR LATER

            Sam happily eats his fish special with six new potatoes. 
            Lucy's untouched dinner sits in the middle of the table.  She
            doodles on the placement - drawing a man sitting with a pile
            of new potatoes in front of him; larger than he is.

                                SAM
                      Fish and chips fish and chips.  I will
                      not eat fish and chips.

                                LUCY
                          (exploding)
                      I will not eat them here or there!  I
                      will not eat them anywhere!  I will not
                      eat green eggs and ham!  I will not eat
                      them, Sam I am!

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - DAY

            Balloons and a banner reading "Happy Birthday, Lucy!"  For
            Lucy's birthday, Sam has rented a moon bounce - which sits in
            the center of the apartment and filling the entire place -
            leaving no room for the few kids and their parents.  Brad
            stands too close to a young attractive mother.  Robert shakes
            all the presents suspiciously.

                                SAM
                      Now when they come through the door,
                      everybody yell "Surprise!"  Do you want
                      to rehearse again?

                                CONNER
                      No.  I bet she already knows.

                                ROBERT
                      I didn't tell her.  Did Brad say I did?

            There's a KNOCK at the door.

                                SAM
                      Is that Lucy?  Annie's supposed to call
                      and warn us.  Shhhh, everyone.

            Brad hits the lights.  Sam OPENS THE DOOR and everyone yells
            "SURPRISE!"  But instead of Lucy, it's the Social Worker.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      I don't know if you remember me.  I'm
                      Margaret Brown from Children's Social
                      Services.  We met at the police station.

                                SAM
                      Put your present over there - Hurry up! 
                      Lucy might be on her way.
                          (the phone rings)
                      Hello?  Annie says she's coming up the
                      stairs.  Everyone be quiet.  Assume
                      surprise positions!
                          (Conner keeps talking)
                      Be quiet!  Assume surprise positions!

                                CONNER
                      Oh brother!

                                SAM
                      Why are you such a party pooper?! 
                      Assume surprise positions!

                                CONNER
                      Make me!

            Sam puts a hand over Conner's mouth; Conner struggles against
            him.

                                MR. RHODES
                      Hey!

                                SAM
                      He's gonna ruin the surprise!  He's
                      gonna ruin the surprise!

                                CONNER
                      He touched me!  I've got cooties!  I've
                      got cooties!

                                MR. RHODES
                      Get your hands off my boy!

            Conner's father hurls Sam across the room - Sam gets tangled
            in the MOON BOUNCE!  To get attention, Conner bursts into
            tears.  We hear FOOTSTEPS outside the door - Brad hits the
            lights.  We hear a CRASH!  And in the light, the DOOR SHEDS
            as it opens, Lucy and Ifty see - that MOONBOUNCE, swaying. 
            Then from within the Moonbounce:

                                SAM
                      Surprise!  Happy Birthday!

            Lucy stands frozen, holding a red balloon.

                                LUCY
                      Daddy?!

                                CONNER
                      You don't have to call him "Daddy".
                          (in Sam's face)
                      She says you're not her real father,
                      anyway.  She's adopted!

            Humiliated, Lucy RUNS AWAY!  The Social Worker watches,
            profoundly concerned, and reaches for her cellular phone.

            EXT. WALMART - DAY

            A police car pulls into the parking lot.  Sam and Margaret in
            the back.  Sam and Margaret see Lucy's little feet dangling
            from beneath the curtain of the photo booth.

                                SAM
                      I'll go get her.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      It would be better if you stay here. 
                      I'm sorry to say this, Mr. Dawson, it's
                      clear how much you love your daughter,
                      but we're going to have to remove Lucy
                      from your home.

            Sam's baffled.  One cop places his hand on Sam's shoulder,
            restraining him.  The OTHER heads toward the photo booth.

                                SAM
                      No, no no no.  It's her birthday!  It's
                      her birthday!

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      I know how hard this must be...
                          (cell phone rings)
                      ...Hello, Betsy.  I'm scheduled to come
                      to your apartment at four.  No, not five
                      every two hours.  It's two every five
                      hours.  She only weighs thirty pounds
                      for chrissakes...
                          (back to Sam)
                      The city has given me the difficult task
                      of deciding when to intervene on behalf
                      of the child.  Unfortunately, I've
                      learned the hard way that it's better
                      too soon than too late.  For now the
                      court will decide what's in Lucy's best
                      interest.

            Sam watches the cop's legs meet Lucy's under the curtain. 
            Suddenly, Sam screams from the deepest core of his being.

                                SAM
                      Run, Lucy, run!

            We see LUCY'S FEET KICK the COP'S LEGS and wrestle out of his
            grasp.  She flies out the booth, holding that balloon.  She
            runs down the street, the balloon soaring into the sky - a
            cop follows.  Sam struggles.

            ON SAM

            Reeling, devastated, we HEAR A JUDGE speaking:

                                JUDGE (O.S.)
                      Given the fact that the father was
                      arrested for solicitation, did not
                      cooperate with the police...

            INT. COURTROOM - DAY

            Sam sits ALONE.  At another table, Margaret Brown and a
            lawyer, along with several people from the CPS.

                                JUDGE
                      ...could not control his emotions,
                      endangering other children.  Miss Brown
                      also cites Mr. Dawson's mental
                      deficiencies which raise serious
                      questions about his ability to properly
                      parent.  I agree to grant petition. 
                      The child shall be removed from the home
                      until a forma jurisdictional hearing. 
                      Mr. Dawson, is there anything you'd like
                      to add?

                                SAM
                      Yes.  I just wanted it to be a nice
                      surprise party.  I had gotten the plates
                      at Pic-N-Save.  Pink and yellow, pink
                      and yellow.  Like a princess.  And the
                      balloons at --

                                JUDGE
                          (gently)
                      Mr. Dawson, it sounds like a lovely
                      party, but right now I want to talk to
                      you about your legal rights.  I would
                      strongly suggest you get yourself legal
                      counsel and allow your attorney to
                      present your case at the jurisdictional
                      hearing on February 13th.  Counsel, are
                      you available?

                                COUNSEL
                      Ted, I have a trial that day.

                                JUDGE
                      February 20th.  8:00 a.m.
					  
                                SAM
                          (panicking)
                      Twenty-two days?  Lucy will come home
                      and you want me to bring Lucy back in
                      twenty-two days?

                                JUDGE
                      No, Mr. Dawson.  You'll have supervised
                      visits twice a week for two hours.  Now
                      I'm sorry, we have thirty more cases to
                      see today.  Next!  Hopkins vs. Clifford.

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - DAY

            Sam's on the phone, a teddy bear in his hand.  Robert, Ifty,
            and Brad all sit with Yellow Pages open in front of them.

                                SAM
                      Thursday?  Today is Monday, Mrs.  Brown. 
                      That's three days away.  That's too
                      long.  She can't sleep without Mr.
                      Jeeters.  Well if you're not available
                      until Thursday, maybe I could see her
                      without you there...
                      maybe the Judge made a mistake - maybe
                      he doesn't know that for seven years I
                      played with her without you there...No
                      Mrs. Brown, I'm not trying to violate
                      the court...
                          (the other line hangs up)
                      Mrs. Brown?

                                ROBERT
                      I bet they were recording the whole
                      conversation.  Check your phone.  You
                      can't make a move.  You need a lawyer.

                                BRAD
                      Call Jerry Spence.  He has his own show. 
                      He must know what he's doing.

                                ROBERT
                      No.  Johnny Cochran.  He has his own
                      show, too.

                                BRAD
                      Yeah!  He can even get a guilty person
                      off.

                                SAM
                      So you think I'm guilty?

                                IFTY
                      No.  You didn't kill anybody.

                                SAM
                      But she said I'm not her father.  

                                IFTY
                      She didn't say that.  That runty kid
                      with the blue shirt and the mean father
                      whose voice sounds like the man on the
                      Channel Four News who has a toupee. 
                      Toupees are expensive.

                                SAM
                      But Ifty.  She said it.

                                IFTY
                      But she didn't mean it.  I said I hated
                      my mother once.  "Once upon a time..."
                      is how stories begin.

                                ROBERT
                      You should get a personal injury lawyer. 
                      You've been personally injured.

                                BRAD
                      Here - look at this - "Sebastion
                      Gibson."  He can do anything. 
                      Pedestrians.  Back and neck.  Uninsured
                      Motorist.  Dog attacks.

                                SAM
                      The Social Worker said it's a custody
                      case.

                                ROBERT
                      Then get a divorce lawyer.

                                IFTY
                      When Dustin Hoffman was trying to keep
                      Billy from going back to Meryl Streep,
                      his lawyer said it was going to cost him
                      fifteen thousand dollars - and that's if
                      we win!

                                SAM
                      Fifteen thousand dollars!

                                BRAD
                      Don't worry about money now.  Get the
                      best.  Century City - Here: "Rubel Bly
                      Harrison and Williams".
					  
            INT. RITA HARRISON'S CENTURY CITY OFFICE - DAY

            A Century City lawyer spins in front of our eyes.  It's SAM'S
            POV as he sits in a chair that spins - in the center of RITA
            HARRISON'S lavish, penthouse office.  Now we see the
            panoramic of Los Angeles.  Now the dots in the Lichtenstein
            on the wall WHIRL PAST US.  Now the DOOR SWINGS OPEN AND --

            RITA HARRISON and her assistant burst in.  Rita moves in
            opposite circles around the room.  Looking for something.  In
            fact, as we watch Rita, we realize that she never stops
            moving.  Period.  Ten steps ahead of anyone, too much energy,
            too much caffeine, not enough food.  If she slowed down a
            beat she might get vulnerable.  Can't have that.  Can't be
            wrong.  Can't really look you in the eye.  Can't help it if
            she's smarter than anyone else in the room.  Any room.  Any
            time.

                                RITA
                      Did Fred Kimble call?  I'm already
                      twenty minutes late.

                                PATRICIA
                      He --

                                RITA
                      What'd Michelle Kresge say?

                                PATRICIA
                      She --

                                RITA
                      She wasn't defensive, was she?

                                PATRICIA
                      Well --

                                RITA
                      That's ridiculous.  What happened with
                      my car?

                                PATRICIA
                      They --

                                RITA
                      Because it wasn't my fault.

                                PATRICIA
                      I --

                                RITA
                      Thank you, Patricia.

                                PATRICIA
                      This is Mr. Dawson.  There was some
                      confusion with the temp last week and --

                                RITA
                      Mr. Dawson, it's a pleasure.  Since
                      somebody made a mistake, unfortunately
                      we only have a little time.  Hold all my
                      calls unless it's my kid - I'll have a
                      double cap.

                                SAM
                      Good choice, very good choice.

                                RITA
                      Can we get you anything to drink?

                                SAM
                      Is it free?

            ON RITA

            Hmmmm?

            TEN MINUTES LATER --

            Sam is in the middle of the beginning of his story.  Rita on
            her second cappuccino, eyes her computer screen for calls.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      ...Lucy had an ice-cream cake with pink
                      flowers - pink, not white not
                      white...Lucy's favorite is cherry
                      vanilla which is pink, too.  Cherries
                      and vanilla.

                                RITA
                      Uh huh uh huh -- uh huh uh
                          (into Amtel)
                      If that's Jake Hiller, put him through.
                          (picking up phone)
                      Jake.  No no no no no no.

                                PATRICIA
                          (from speaker)
                      Your son's on line two.

                                RITA
                      Jake, did you get that?!  
                          (to Patricia)
                      Tell him to hold for just one second. 
                      Jake I have to go...he what?

                                PATRICIA
                          (through speaker)
                      Deborah Chapman on line three --

                                RITA
                      Hold on Jake.
                          (she punches another line)
                      No no no no no no no.  Have a nice
                      weekend.
                          (punches another button)
                      Jake?!

            We HEAR MUSIC coming from the other end of the phone --

                                SAM
                      Burt Bacharach shared billing with The
                      Beatles and Jose Jiminez on the Ed
                      Sullivan Show June 5th, 1968.

                                RITA
                      Really?
                          (then)
                      Jake, what'd you say you tell him yes I
                      am.
                          (yelling; re: coffee)
                      This tastes like low, are you sure it's
                      non?  Okay okay okay.  I think there's
                      been a little mistake here --

                                SAM
                      Yes.  A little one.  Your son's on line
                      two.

                                RITA
                      Oh my God.
                          (pushes another line)
                      Danny?
                          (Danny's hung up)
                      Patricia?  Get Danny back.  Well keep
                      trying.

            She unconsciously digs through the bowl of jelly beans on her
            desk sorting out all the yellow ones.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      Mr. Dawson, what I'm trying to say is
                      I'm a divorce lawyer and as much as I'd
                      like to, I don't handle cases like yours
                      --

                                SAM
                      Since you would like to, why don't you
                      talk to your boss.  Maybe he would let
                      you.

            She pours the bowl of jelly beans onto her desk, now
            frantically sorting through them.

                                RITA
                          (into phone)
                      Then keep dialing --
                          (to Sam)
                      What I mean is that at this point in my
                      career, I can't afford to.

                                SAM
                      I earn eight dollars an hour at
                      Starbucks.  I can pay your hourly rate,
                      rate by the hour, hourly --

            Rita stands up, ushering him to the door.

                                RITA
                      Mr. Dawson, I'm sorry, I have to be in
                      court in eight minutes with the Kresges. 
                      You understand, good luck to you and
                      don't give up.

            She turns, ahhhh!  He's gone!  She begins searching the room.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      Patricia?!  Where are my keys?  Where
                      the hell are my keys?!  Alright alright.
                          (replaying)
                      I walked into the room - I went over
                      here - I looked at my desk - I put my
                      coat down - Patricia?!  Where's my coat?

                                SAM (O.S.)
                      Is there a child involved in Mr.
                      Kresges' case?

            Stunned, Rita looks up and sees Sam holding up a strip of
            photos taken at the birthday booth.

                                RITA
                      No.

                                SAM
                      This is Lucy.  One year old.  First
                      word, "apple".  December third.  3:16
                      p.m.  December third.

            Out of his pocket he pulls another photo strip.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Here's Lucy two years old.  First merry
                      go-round ride.  June 6th.  4:13 p.m. 
                      June 6th.  Here's Lucy.  Seven years
                      old.  The day the police took her away.

            Rita looks at the photo strip of Lucy's birthday.  In the
            first three we see Lucy's sad face.  The fourth has a cop's
            face smashed into the frame with her.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Thank you for telling me not to give up. 
                      I won't give up.

                                PATRICIA
                          (through the phone)
                      Danny on Line 2.

            Rita LUNGES FOR THE PHONE.

                                RITA
                      Danny?  Hi.  Could we possibly talk
                      about this when I get home.  Danny? 
                      Danny?  C'mon.  You're not gonna talk to
                      me?  I bought you a bag of your favorite
                      lemonade jelly beans.  Danny?
                          (Rita starts singing)
                      "One little bird in one little tree,
                      we're all alone and we don't want to
                      be... So they flew far away over the
                      trees..." I said "Over the sea..." I
                      know the words, I said "Over the sea..."
                      Since when don't you like that song? 
                      Danny?

            She checks her watch, puts him on the SPEAKER PHONE, and
            frantically searches the room for her keys.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      Danny?

            Silence.  We hear SIX LOUD THUDS - the sound of a basketball
            bouncing against the floor.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      Danny?

            CLICK!  The LINE GOES DEAD.  Rita trips over the coffee
            table, completely losing it.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      I hate this stupid coffee table - how
                      many times have I asked you to get rid
                      of this crappy coffee table?

            She kicks it, sending the lemonade jelly beans FLYING.  Then,
            after a beat.

                                SAM
                          (from the doorway)
                      You did say "over the trees" instead of
                      "over the sea."  It's hard to remember
                      all the words to all the songs.  There's
                      so many.
                          (Rita almost stops)
                      you have a child Rita rubel Bly Harrison
                      Williams.  If they took him away
                      wouldn't you hire the fastest talking
                      four-named lawyer you could?

                                RITA
                      Yes, I would.  I went to college with a
                      friend who does these kinds of cases. 
                      Leave your number.  I'll see if she can
                      help you.

                                PATRICIA
                          (through your phone)
                      Your therapist on Line 1.

                                RITA
                      Tell him you can't find me.

            INT. STARBUCKS - DAY

            Sam is face to face with George.

                                SAM
                      I'm ready.

                                GEORGE
                      Let's not add more stress to your life.

                                SAM
                      I'm ready.  I'm ready to make coffee. 
                      Lo-fat decaf latte.  Coffee up to here. 
                      Add steamed milk up to here.  No foam,
                      no foam.  Cinnamon or chocolate
                      sprinkles.

                                GEORGE
                      That's pretty good Sam.  I'll think
                      about it.

                                SAM
                      I know what that means.  I stock shelves
                      at Lucky Supermarkets.  I want to bag
                      groceries, Miss Losey says "I'll think
                      about it."  Randy Brenner gets the job. 
                      I was the janitor at the La Reina
                      Theater, I wanted to take tickets.  Mr.
                      Jenkins said he'd think about it.  Larry
                      Peters gets the job.  Lets his friends
                      in for free...

                                GEORGE
                      I promise you, Sam.  I'll honestly think
                      about it.  You have my word.

                                SAM
                      Words, words, words.  I need more than
                      that.  I need to pay my lawyer.  I need
                      to make coffee.

            INT. RUBEL BLY HARRISON AND WILLIAMS - 8:15 P.M.

            A group of Rita's colleagues are celebrating a big win.  Rita
            is backing out of the room with her glass of champagne.

                                RITA
                      I am celebrating congratulations to us
                      these are the moments good night.

            She stops, stunned, as she sees Sam, sitting in the lobby
            holding out a Starbucks Cappuccino.

                                SAM
                      Non-fat vente cap.  I'm sorry to bother
                      you, but did you call your friend?
                          (Rita's confused)
                      Your friend from college, your friend
                      who does this kind of work?

                                RITA
                          (there never was a friend)
                      I don't have her number anymore, Sam. 
                      We lost touch.

                                SAM
                          (devastated)
                      Oh, that happens.  That happens.  People
                      lose touch.  Will you call me if you
                      find it?  If you get back in touch?

                                RITA
                      Yes, I'm just in the middle..it's a
                      special..I'll call you.

            To avoid any further interaction, she heads back to the
            employee party she previously escaped from.  Sam walks down
            the hall.

                                COLLEAGUE
                      Is that the new janitor?

                                RITA
                      No, it's a case.  Sort of a pro-bono
                      thing.

            Her assistant Patricia clears her throat.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      What's that supposed to mean?

                                PATRICIA
                      Nothing.  A cracker went down the wrong
                      pipe.

            Muffled laughter from her colleagues.

                                RITA
                      You think I don't pro-bono?..I can do
                      pro-bono.. I can do Goddamn pro-bono..
                      where the hell are my keys..hold the
                      door!

            Rita runs to the open elevator and comes face to face with
            Sam who's been holding the door open for her.

            INT. ELEVATOR - CONTINUOUS

            The door closes.  Rita is trapped with Sam.  She stares
            forward trying to will him not there.  Rita gulps her
            champagne.

                                SAM
                      32nd floor.  32 floors more.  31st
                      floor.  31 floors more...

            And on and on and on.  Rita is about to spontaneously
            combust.  Finally, "G" - Rita bolts out the elevator doors,
            then just as suddenly turns around.

                                RITA
                      Alright, alright I'll take you. 
                      Alright, Goddammitt, I'll take you.

                                SAM
                      Oh my God oh my God!  Rubel Bly Harrison
                      and Williams!

            Sam, shaking with relief, pulls out his wallet just as the
            elevator door starts closing.

                                RITA
                      No, no  no.  Pro-bono.  Alright?  Pro
                      bono.

            The doors close.  We hear from within, as Sam goes up again:

                                SAM (O.S.)
                      Yes!  Alright!  I liked Sonny Bono too!

            INT. BUS - MORNING

            Sam stares out the window at an unfamiliar neighborhood.  On
            his lap, the pink box, now ripped, allowing us to see Lucy's
            birthday cake.  It's lopsided from having been thawed and
            refrozen.

            EXT. BUS STOP - NOON

            Sam waits for his transfer.  He sets the cake down on the
            bench and takes out a piece of paper with directions written
            on it.  The number 43 bus pull sup and Sam consults his paper
            once more before jumping on, forgetting the cake.

            The bus goes half a block before it SCREECHES to a halt.  Sam
            jumps off and runs back for the cake, but the bus continues
            on its way.  Moments later, the NUMBER 34 bus pulls up. 
            Flustered and worried about being late, Sam jumps on.  He
            feels something cold on his hand, looks down, the box is
            starting to leak ice cream.

            INT. SOCIAL WORKERS OFFICE - DAY

            Lucy, Margaret, a therapist and a child psychologist wait for
            Sam.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      Lucy, I'm sorry.  But it doesn't look
                      like he's going to make it.

                                LUCY
                          (staring forward)
                      He'll be here.  You smell like soap.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      Lucy, he's an hour and 45 minutes late. 
                      You'll only have a few minutes left.

            Suddenly through the door comes Sam CARRYING THE MELTED,
            DRIPPING birthday cake.  Lucy runs to him.

                                LUCY
                      Daddy!  I told you I told you!

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. THE SOCIAL WORKER'S SMALL GREY OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER

            Margaret, the therapist (Ms. Geller), and the Child
            Pscyhologist all write voraciously into note pads as they
            observe Sam and Lucy who sit in the center of the room,
            nervous under their scrutiny.

                                SAM
                      ...and she's a Century City lawyer - a
                      very famous lawyer.  Guess what her name
                      is?  Rita Harrison.

                                LUCY
                          (jaw drops)
                      Lovely Rita Meter Maid.

                                SAM
                      Harrison.  Just like George.

            They move to hug each other.  EVERYONE REACHES for their
            pens.  Sam pulls back self-consciously.  Everyone writes even
            harder.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      You've grown.

                                LUCY
                      Have I?

                                SAM
                      Your ears are larger.  And your eyes are
                      older.

            He's right.  Her eyes are older.  He hugs her - ALL THE PENS
            GO UP.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      I'm gonna get a phone machine.  Next
                      paycheck.  If I'm not home, you can
                      leave a message.  "Hi, This is Lucy."

                                LUCY
                      You can't afford a phone machine.

            The writing starts again.

                                SAM
                      Yes we can.  I'm in line for a
                      promotion.  Big promotion.  A promotion
                      that's big.

                                LUCY
                      They're gonna let you make coffee?!

                                SAM
                      Set your dreams high, Lucy.
					  
            Lucy looks at her father lovingly.

                                LUCY
                      I'm sorry, Daddy.  It was all my fault.

                                SAM
                      No, Lucy.  Don't say that.

                                LUCY
                      I wouldn't want any Daddy but you.

            She looks around to see if anybody's writing.  NOBODY IS. 
            She suddenly screams at them:

                                LUCY (CONT'D)
                      I said I was sorry!  I said I didn't
                      want any Daddy but him!  Why don't you
                      write that down?!

            INT. RITA'S OFFICE - DAY

            We hear sobbing and see Rita sitting across from a very rich,
            very angry COUPLE.  Rita's foot is twitching furiously.

                                RITA
                      ...are you telling me that neither of
                      you want custody of your child?

                                WOMAN
                      He's created a monster.  He's exactly
                      like him.  He...he...

            The woman is distracted by a loud thumping on Rita's glass
            wall - it's SAM.  Holding an envelope.  Very distressed, as
            the Secretary attempts to corral him back into the lobby.

                                RITA
                      I am right here with you, excuse me.
                          (she unlocks door)
                      Sam?  Didn't I tell you that you have to
                      call?

                                SAM
                      I -

                                RITA
                      You know how to make an appointment.

                                SAM
                      It's -

                                RITA
                      That's ridiculous you can always get
                      Patricia.

                                SAM
                      They -

                                RITA
                      Good.  I'll see you next week.

                                SAM
                      But it's an emergency - lots of three
                      syllable words urgent open at once.

            He hands the letter to Rita.  Rita looks through the glass
            wall at her clients who are getting impatient.

                                RITA
                      They want to have you and Lucy evaluated
                      by a shrink.  The appointment is today
                      at three.  Today.  Now.  Today!

                                SAM
                      I know and I want you to object.

                                RITA
                      Sam I can't object.  It's court ordered.

            Sam notices that the woman in Rita's office is crying.  He
            walks in and hands her a handkerchief from his pocket.

                                SAM
                      Here.  Don't be sad.

            She looks at him as if he's from Mars.  Rita, now outside her
            office, watches Sam now inside the office.

                                RITA
                      Patricia, I'm in the middle - get him
                      out of there -

            She quickly gets up but Rita's too impatient and pushes past
            her into the office.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      Sam.  Sam come with me.
                          (to the Couple)
                      We're gonna get through this excuse
                      us...
                          (to Sam)
                      Sam this is their turn now.  Not yours. 
                      Theirs.  If you leave now you'll never
                      make it and you have to make it.

                                SAM
                      Okay okay I know I take the #34 bus and
                      transfer to the #13...than the Downtown
                      Express to Wilshire then -

            Rita looks at the Couple leaving her office.

            INT. RITA'S PORSCHE - DAY

            Redefining road rage, Rita's slamming the horn.  Sam next to
            her.

                                RITA
                      Go! Go! GO! for chrissakes!  Green means
                      GO!

                                SAM
                      Red means stop yellow in the middle
                      means no no no...I don't like shrinks. 
                      I've seen too many shrinks.

                                RITA
                      Yeah.  You and me both.  Right or left
                      which will it be you IDIOT!?

                                SAM
                      Your mother sent you to shrinks, too?

                                RITA
                      No.  Well, sort of.  I talk about her
                      the whole time I'm there.

                                SAM
                      That's nice.  Did you notice that
                      everyone else is driving slower.  I
                      noticed that did you?

                                RITA
                          (on the horn)
                      Go for Chrissakes!  How about your
                      mother?  Maybe she can help you -

                                SAM
                      She's gone.  She's at the Park Lane
                      Mortuary.  Two from the left.  Under the
                      big tree.

                                RITA
                      Oh.  I'm sorry.  The light is green! 
                      WOULD YOU MOVE MOVE MOVE!?

            She cuts around the car in front of her; flips him off, and
            in a split second that her head is turned, almost SMASHES
            into the car in front of her!  She slams on the brakes.

                                SAM
                      Too many shrinks...I'm sorry Mrs.
                      Dawson, if I were you I wouldn't waste
                      any more time.  I'm sorry Mrs. Dawson it
                      must be a tremendous disappointment. 
                      I'm sorry Mrs. Dawson I think you'd both
                      be happier if Sam was in a home.

            Rita looks over at Sam, forced to stop.

            INT. PSYCHOLOGIST OFFICE - DAY

            Sam sits across from a shrink, MS. GELLER, nervously
            straightening her desk.

                                PSYCHOLOGIST
                      Mr. Dawson, you do understand, that
                      since I am a court appointed
                      psychologist, the traditional client
                      therapist confidentiality will be
                      waived.
                          (Sam looks confused)
                      Mr. Dawson, do you understand that the
                      confidentiality will be waived?

            Sam nods nervously and waves.  With that she begins.

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

            Sam, Ifty, Brad and Robert hover over a used answering
            machine.  Ifty pours over the instructions.

                                IFTY
                      Before you read your message press the
                      red button for record, when you finish,
                      press the yellow button.  If you press
                      the green button, it will play it back
                      you.  Let's start with the "ogm".

                                SAM
                      Okay, okay.  I'm ready.  Hello, I am
                      Sam.

                                IFTY
                      No, no.  I didn't press the red button.

                                SAM
                      Oh, yes.  False start, false start.

                                IFTY
                      It's not working.  That's what you get
                      for buying a used machine.  Used means
                      broken.  You're asking for other
                      people's problems, you have enough of
                      your own, not that everyone doesn't have
                      problems.

                                BRAD
                      It's not used.  It's pre-owned.  Guy
                      bought it for his auto shop and then he
                      got a secretary.

                                IFTY
                      Testing, one two three.

                                SAM
                      That's a good code.  I'll remember that. 
                      One, two, three.

                                IFTY
                          (pressing button)
                      Quick, you're recording.

                                SAM
                      I'm hi.  I am Sam.  I'm not home.

                                ROBERT
                      No, you don't want to say that.  you
                      don't want them to know you're not home.

                                SAM
                      But then I'm lying.

                                ROBERT
                      Everybody's lying.

                                SAM
                      I'm not a liar.  It will send a mixed
                      message to Lucy.

                                IFTY
                          (pressing the button)
                      You're on the air!

                                SAM
                      Let me see, let me see, let me see.  Hi,
                      how are you?

            BEEP! the tape runs out.

                                IFTY
                      That was pretty good.  That was natural.

                                SAM
                      Did I sound like a good father?

                                IFTY
                      It's the outgoing message.  You need to
                      sound more outgoing.  Let's start again.
					  
            INT. GROUP HOME - NIGHT

            Mrs. Kerry unlocks the phone and dials.  She hands the phone
            to Lucy who waits eagerly in her pj's.  Sam's answering
            machine clicks on; as if on slow speed.

                                ANSWERING MACHINE
                      Hi, it's Len's Auto Body Shop.  We'd
                      love to show you our body work, but it's
                      invisible.  Leave it at the beep.

                                LUCY
                      Try again.  You must have dialed the
                      wrong number.

            INT. RITA'S OFFICE - DAY

            Rita and Sam walk through the lobby at Rita's Olympic pace. 
            She passes the elevator and heads for the stairs.

                                RITA
                      Look, we've got a lot to go over and
                      I've got five minutes.

                                SAM
                          (pointing to elevator)
                      Rubel Bly Harrison and Williams thirty
                      second floor, thirty-two floors up.

            Rita heads up the stairs.  We hear a BEEP.  Then another. 
            Rita checks her heart rate watch.  Starts walking up the
            stairs.

                                RITA
                      One-twenty.  Gotta get to one-twenty
                      five to make it count.  Okay okay okay. 
                      I'm gonna need that list of people who
                      can testify that you're a good father
                      despite your handicap.  I didn't mean
                      your handicap I meant your disability -
                      I mean the fact that you're retarded. 
                      That's not the right word.  I mean...
                      What do I call you?

                                SAM
                      Sam.  I am Sam.

            Rita looks at Sam as she bounds up the fourth floor.

                                RITA
                      Yes you are.
                          (he hands her a list - her CELL
                           PHONE RINGS)
                      Hello Ted how you doing/  Whattaya mean
                      what's that supposed to mean? 
                          (her heart beep rate goes up)
                      Put Danny on... You're supposed to be
                      taking him to karate.  No it is not my
                      day it's your day.  I took your day last
                      Wednesday - are you eating no I will not
                      hold.  Go pick him up!  What?  I can't
                      hear you I'm in the car - they put you
                      through to me here...I'm losing you --
                          (clicks off phone)
                      I get paid for this memory - I know I
                      took him last.

            A look of horror falls across her face.  She does a 180 and
            starts RUNNING down the stairs reading the list.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      We're making progress.  Three character
                      witnesses.  That's a good start.  What
                      does Ifty Bhutto do?

                                SAM
                      He works in a bank.

                                RITA
                          (tripping down the stairs)
                      Excellent.

            INT. RITA'S OFFICE - THE VERY NEXT DAY

            Ifty sits across from Rita who attempts to take notes.

                                IFTY
                      Sam is a very concerned father.  He
                      always saves his money at Bank of
                      America.  Last year there was a lion on
                      the calendar.  This year a gazelle.  The
                      gazelle is national bird of Tunisia.  We
                      have clients, not customers.  At Bank of
                      America.  Bank on us.

            He looks up at her, lost.  So is she.

                                IFTY (CONT'D)
                      What was the question again, please?

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. RITA'S OFFICE - DAY

            ON BRAD

            Who sits across from Rita.  She tape records him.

                                BRAD
                      He always made a point of feeding her
                      breakfast when "Bewitched" was on and
                      lunch when "Jeopardy" was on so she'd be
                      smart.  Is that Wonderbra you're
                      wearing?  Because you look wonderful.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. RITA'S OFFICE - DAY

            Robert sits across from Rita, who records him.

                                RITA
                      How long have you and Sam - 

                                ROBERT
                      Why are you recording this?  Who's
                      listening?

                                RITA
                      It's often necessary -

                                ROBERT
                      Who are you really?

                                RITA
                      I'm -

                                ROBERT
                      What's that supposed to mean?

                                RITA
                      Let's -

                                ROBERT
                      I need to talk to my lawyer.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. RITA'S OFFICE - LATER

            Rita maniacally picks the frosting off a donut.

                                RITA
                      Patricia, get Mr. Dawson on the line.

            Over her INTERCOM, we hear SAM'S ANSWERING MACHINE.

                                ANSWERING MACHINE (O.S.)
                      Hi, it's Len's Auto Body Shop -

                                RITA
                      I need this like a - call him at
                      Starbucks - no I don't know which
                      Starbucks.  There's forty two between
                      here and the end of the block.

            EXT. STREETS - DAY

            Rita stands next to her Porsche.  There are Starbucks in
            every direction she looks.

            INT. STARBUCKS - DAY

            Sam is straightening Sweet and Lows.  Rita barrels in.

                                RITA
                      Look I don't think you understand what
                      you're up against we have to be in court
                      in three days and we don't have a decent
                      witness.  Now you've gotta know someone
                      who can testify who's been to college -
                      or has a degree of some kind - or some
                      sort of way of expressing themselves
                      that's gonna make the court believe that
                      you deserve to get your daughter back I
                      need a coffee.  Big.  Tall.

                                SAM
                      Tall's the smallest.

                                RITA
                      Of course.  Of course, whatever.  Okay
                      okay okay.  Damn!  I forgot to call back
                      no I did and once you think of this
                      person and there has to be one person -
                      I want you to call me at work - because
                      I'm going back there now to my seven
                      other cases --
                          (her cellphone RINGS)
                      What?  Mrs. Robeck?  I'm on my way, the
                      traffic's horrible on the 405.  Dorothy,
                      we put in five months lets not let a
                      three car pile up..I know it's been
                      enormously stressful.. Your Esczema? 
                      Oh, honey, nobody notices..AH!  They
                      opened a lane!

                                SAM
                          (too loudly)
                      Do you want it here or to go?

                                RITA
                          (dial tone)
                      Dorothy?  Dorothy?  No no no I didn't
                      stare at the eczema for five months for -

            She takes out her car beeper, clicks it towards the window
            and realizes that they're towing her car!

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      Sonuvabitch!
					  
            INT. ANNIE'S APARTMENT - EVENING

            Annie is at the piano, lost in a Beethoven concerto.

                                SAM
                      Annie, it's one day.  One hour.  Maybe
                      only 53 minutes.  Lucy needs you.
                          (Annie keeps playing)
                      You went to college.  You can give the
                      right answers.

            Annie plays even harder.  Frustrated, he POUNDS the piano.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      We can't lose her.

                                ANNIE
                      I can't.  I'd make it worse for you.  I
                      can't do it.  Don't you think I would if
                      I could?

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. COURTROOM - DAY

            We HEAR A VOICE:

                                VOICE (O.S.)
                      All rise for the Honorable Judge Phillip
                      McNeily.

            Sam stands along with others in the courtroom.  The Judge
            enters and sits.  Everyone else sits now, too.  Except Sam. 
            Who continues to stand until Rita pulls him down.  Now we
            see:

            Ifty, Robert, Brad - and Brad's MOTHER, who sits several
            seats behind Brad knitting.  Robert holds up a handmade sign
            from the back of the courtroom "Free Lucy Dawson".

            INT. COURTROOM - ONE HOUR LATER

            Turner, the prosecuting attorney, examines his first witness. 
            He's disheveled, but don't let the rumpled suit fool you. 
            This man is razor-sharp.  The THERAPIST who evaluated Sam is
            on the stand.  Sam anxiously rearranges all the pens on the
            desk he sits at with Rita.  Projected on a SCREEN is a SLIDE
            of the drawing Lucy made in school.

                                THERAPIST
                      ...there is an unhealthy reversal of
                      roles here. 
                      As you can see from her drawings, she
                      has an exaggerated sense of
                      responsibility.  Lucy feels she has to
                      take care of her father.  Although at
                      her birthday party her true feelings
                      about her father were revealed.

                                RITA
                      Objection.  "True feelings revealed"?!

                                TURNER
                      The state is paying Miss Geller for her
                      opinions -

                                RITA
                      Then every child who rages because they
                      didn't get to stay up for that extra
                      hour of TV -

                                TURNER
                      Objection your honor -

            Sam TUGS at Rita's sleeve.  She ignores it.

                                RITA
                      ...in fact any child who said they hated
                      their parents because they didn't want
                      to take a bath would be a prime
                      candidate for Foster Care.

                                TURNER
                      Objection.

                                SAM
                      I think they want you to stop.

                                RITA
                      Really?!  Thank you, Sam.

                                JUDGE MCNEILY
                      We all appreciate your assistance Mr.
                      Dawson - continue with your witness, Mr.
                      Turner.

                                TURNER
                      Now Ms. Geller, I assume in your therapy
                      session, Mr. Dawson extolled his
                      parenting abilities.

                                THERAPIST
                      On the contrary, Mr. Dawson admitted he
                      felt profoundly inadequate - that he was
                      terrified he'd made and would continue
                      to make - and I quote: "Huge mistakes,
                      huge mistakes, mistakes that are huge."

                                TURNER
                      No further questions.

            Rita starts to scribble notes furiously.  So does Sam. 
            Turner smugly sits down.  Rita confidently strides toward the
            witness.

                                RITA
                      You're a mother, aren't you Ms. Geller?

                                THERAPIST
                      Yes.

                                RITA
                      Would it be fair to say that as a
                      parent, you've felt confused from time
                      to time, possibly overwhelmed on
                      occasion, even though you're a wonderful
                      mother?

                                TURNER
                      Objection.  It's Mr. Dawson's parenting. 
                      Not Ms. Geller's that's at question
                      here.

                                RITA
                      But if Ms. Geller has never had a moment
                      where she felt confused as a mother it
                      would bias her opinion.  And it is her
                      expert opinion we're all after, isn't
                      it, Mr. Turner?

                                JUDGE MCNEILY
                      Overruled.  I'll allow it.

                                RITA
                      Thank you, your Honor.  Ms. Geller, I
                      know there have been many moments as a
                      parent where I've felt I've made huge
                      mistakes - mistakes that are huge.  And
                      I've had to admit them to myself.  My
                      husband.  But most importantly, to my
                      therapist.  Which is the guise Mr.
                      Dawson thought he was seeing you under,
                      isn't that right, Ms. Geller?

                                TURNER
                      Objection.

                                JUDGE MCNEILY
                      Get to the point, Ms. Harrison.

                                RITA
                      The point is you've never had those
                      moments, have you Ms. Geller?  Moments
                      that every parent I've ever spoken to
                      has - moments when you've felt the task
                      is so unbelievably challenging that you
                      feel retarded, disabled in some way. 
                      Moments when you feel everyone has the
                      key but you.  But you've never had those
                      moments, have you Ms. Geller?

                                THERAPIST
                      I -

                                RITA
                      Yes or no?

                                THERAPIST
                      I - 

                                RITA
                      Let me rephrase the question.  When your
                      son od'ed -

                                TURNER
                      Objection!

                                RITA
                      But if Ms. Geller didn't feel she had
                      made mistakes - mistakes that were huge
                      it might bias her opinion toward Mr.
                      Dawson.

                                JUDGE MCNEILY
                      I will -

                                RITA
                      Thank you.  So Ms. Geller - yes or no -
                      when your son od'ed, did you feel you
                      might have made mistakes, mistakes that
                      were huge?

                                THERAPIST
                          (tearfully)
                      Yes.

            INT. COURTROOM CAFETERIA - DAY

            Sam and Rita go down the cafeteria line.

                                SAM
                      You made her cry.

                                RITA
                      You got lucky.

                                SAM
                      That's not nice.  Not very nice.

                                RITA
                      Only in there.

                                SAM
                      Your secretary too.  Yellow and green in
                      one bowl.
                          (Sam stares at a bowl of Lima
                           beans and corn)
                      You separate the Lima beans from the
                      corn please?

            The CAFETERIA WORKER stares at him.  Yeah.  Sure he will.

                                RITA
                      Sam, don't be impossible.
                          (then to Worker)
                      Can I have the spinach omelet - only egg
                      whites no fat no oil no butter and extra
                      mushrooms.

                                CAFETERIA WORKER
                      Absolutely.

            Sam is anxiously separating his Lima beans and corn into
            separate piles.  They arrive at the cashier.  Rita pulls out
            her billfold.  Sam reaches for his wallet.

                                SAM
                      My treat.  My treat.

                                RITA
                      Don't be ridiculous.  I'll get it.

                                SAM
                      I said it's my treat.  That means I'll
                      get it.

                                RITA
                      Sam, do you really want to get it or are
                      you just trying to --

                                SAM
                      Trying to what?

                                RITA
                      You know, trying to act like a -

                                SAM
                      Like a what?

                                RITA
                      Like a...a...

                                SAM
                      A real man?

                                RITA
                      I didn't say that.

                                SAM
                      You're my lawyer and you think what they
                      think.  I don't have a chance.  No
                      chance at all.  Even with an expert
                      witness.

            Rita looks at him.  He's right.  She chooses her words
            carefully.

                                RITA
                      I think...you deserve...a fair trial.

                                SAM
                      Answer the question.

                                RITA
                      Okay okay okay.  What was the question
                      again?

                                SAM
                      Do you think what they think?  Sam can't
                      order food.  Sam can't pay a check.  Sam
                      can't take care of Lucy?

                                RITA
                      It doesn't matter what I think - it
                      matters that we win.

                                SAM
                      You're my lawyer it matters what you
                      think.

                                RITA
                      Hey, it doesn't matter to them what I
                      think.

                                SAM
                      Me.  It matters to me.

            He reaches for the receipt, and faces the CASHIER defiantly.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Fourteen thirty three.  That's 5 ones, 2
                      quarters and 16 cents less than twenty.

            He slowly counts his money, takes his tray and walks away. 
            Rita watches him, with a trace of remorse and a hint of
            admiration.

            INT. COURTROOM - DAY

            DR. DONOVAN, an attractive soft-spoken woman is on the stand. 
            Rita is working the room.  Sam, having a hard time
            concentrating, is following a crack up the wall and onto the
            ceiling.

                                RITA
                      Dr. Donovan, the American Medical
                      Journal named you one of the country's
                      leading oncologists.  Isn't that
                      correct?

                                DR. DONOVAN
                      Yes.

                                RITA
                      What kept you going the twelve years you
                      were in medical school?

                                DR. DONOVAN
                      Caffeine.  Sugar.  And my mother's
                      confidence in me.

                                RITA
                      I wish I had a mother like that.  She
                      must have been smart.

                                DR. DONOVAN
                      She had great instincts.

                                RITA
                      Do you have any idea what her IQ was?

                                DR. DONOVAN
                      In the lower ranges.  About eighty.

                                RITA
                      So your mother, this woman with the IQ
                      of a nine-year old had the wisdom to
                      recognize that you would be a great
                      doctor.  I guess her disability didn't
                      seem to hold you back in life.

                                DR. DONOVAN
                      No.  My mother's condition taught me
                      what they can't teach you; compassion
                      and patience.

                                RITA
                      Traits most doctors have in spades. 
                      Thank you, no further questions.

            Sam runs to hug Dr. Donovan, bumping into Rita who sits him
            down.

                                TURNER
                      How'd you get through medical school? 
                      Where'd you live?

                                DR. DONOVAN
                      We lived with my mother's parents.

                                TURNER
                      Oh, Grandma and Grandpa.  Would it be
                      fair to say your grandparents were of
                      normal intelligence?

                                DR. DONOVAN
                      Yes.

                                TURNER
                      And didn't these people - your
                      grandparents - with normal intelligence -
                      have the real responsibilities?

                                RITA
                          (relishing this)
                      Objection!  I hear Mr. Turner's mother
                      in-law lives with him!  She must help
                      out.  Does that mean he doesn't have the
                      real -

                                TURNER
                      Motion to strike that from the record. 
                      Irrelevant, immaterial and immature -

                                RITA
                      Irrelevant?!  Any parent has a right to
                      a support system.

                                TURNER
                      I'm not talking about the rights of the
                      parent, I'm talking about the rights of
                      a child.
                          (the gavel bangs)
                      I'm talking about entrusting an eight
                      year old's welfare in the hands of
                      someone whose records show he was
                      diagnosed with infantile autism, mental
                      retardation...

                                RITA
                      Objection!  Motion to strike that from
                      the record.  It's clear that one's
                      intellectual capacity has no bearing on
                      their ability to love.  You Honor, would
                      you please instruct council to proceed
                      with a modicum of sensitivity?

                                TURNER
                      Oh, I'm sensitive.  I'm real sensitive
                      when I see people like you --
                          (the gavel BANGS!)
                      come here and try to give meaning to
                      your life by screwing up somebody
                      else's!
					  
                                JUDGE MCNEILY
                      That's enough.  Both lawyers approach
                      the bench!

                                RITA
                          (both approach)
                      And I suppose tearing apart a family is
                      truly noble work, Mr. Turner.

                                JUDGE MCNEILY
                      That's it.  I fine you both for
                      contempt.  Two-hundred fifty dollars.

                                TURNER
                      What's that to her?  She gets that for
                      picking up the phone.

                                RITA
                      Oh, that's what this is about.

                                TURNER
                      I'll tell you what this is about.  See
                      this is an award for you at some
                      luncheon.  But I'm here everyday.
                          (gavel POUNDS AGAIN)
                      You win, you're out the door. 
                      But guess who I see come back?  The kid. 
                      Most of the time, in less than a year. 
                      Only now it's too late.  So you're
                      right.  I'm real sensitive.  You can't
                      even touch that area.

            ON SAM

            Devastated.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. INSTITUTIONAL GRAY SOCIAL WORKERS OFFICE - DAY

            Margaret Brown observes Sam and Lucy.

                                LUCY
                      But how did he prove it?

                                SAM
                      Columbus had to sail around the world to
                      prove it was round.

                                LUCY
                      You're so smart, Daddy.

            Sam shoots a look at Margaret.  He hasn't heard anything nice
            about himself in so long.  Lucy looks into her father's eyes.

                                LUCY (CONT'D)
                      Are we winning, Daddy?

            Sam shoots ANOTHER look.  He doesn't want to lie.  Lucy
            catches the look between Sam and Margaret.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      Excuse me, time's up.

                                LUCY
                      Please.  Just a little more.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      I have another client at two-thirty. 
                      You need to put your shoes on and get
                      ready to go.

                                LUCY
                      Oh no!  There's a knot.  A really big
                      knot.

            Sam attempts to undo it.  Lucy and he work very slowly,
            cherishing each moment together.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      I'll help you.

            She undoes it quickly.  Hands it back.

                                LUCY
                      I need to go to the bathroom.

            INT. BATHROOM - MOMENTS LATER

            Lucy's feet dangle from under the stall.  Margaret's sturdy
            shoes from under another.  Suddenly, Lucy's head pops out and
            now she quietly wriggles out from under the stall, tip toes
            across the room and out the door.  Locking it with a key.

            INT. SOCIAL WORKERS ROOM - CONTINUOUS

            Lucy runs up to her father.

                                LUCY
                      Daddy, she said we could go to the park.

                                SAM
                      What's going on?  What made her change
                      her mind?

                                LUCY
                      I started crying in the bathroom.  She
                      thought we needed more time.

                                SAM
                      That was so nice of her.  Very nice.

            INT. BUS - DAY

            Sam and Lucy hold hands and look out the window.  Sam sees
            Echo Park approaching and gets up.  Lucy pulls him back to
            the seat.  She looks Daddy in the eye and in a furtive
            whisper:

                                LUCY
                      Let's not get off.  Let's keep going.

                                SAM
                      No, Lucy.

                                LUCY
                      Please.

                                SAM
                      That would be wrong.

                                LUCY
                      Tamara's Mommy lost her case and Tamara
                      hasn't seen her in six years.  She's had
                      five different mommies and one of them
                      hit her.

                                SAM
                      I won't let that happen.

                                LUCY
                      That's what her real mommy said.  And
                      now they won't even let her talk to her.

            Sam reels with confusion.  Lucy buries herself in his chest.

                                LUCY (CONT'D)
                      Daddy, it's the only way to be together. 
                      We'll start a new life, get new names. 
                      We'll live in a new apartment.  They'll
                      never find us.

            The bus has stopped.  Passengers for the park have exited. 
            Sam doesn't move.  As the BUSDRIVER closes the door and heads
            on, he holds Lucy protectively to his chest.

                                SAM
                      I love you Lucy.  I love you.

                                LUCY
                      My name isn't Lucy anymore, it's
                      Michelle.
					  
            INT. BUS - NIGHT

            Lucy sleeps cuddled close to Sam, who is wide awake, as he
            gazes out at the passing highway, far from home.  We hear the
            song "Michelle".

            EXT. PARK - 4 A.M.

            Sam, totally disoriented, walks in circles around the plastic
            tunnels and jungle gym.  A flashlight shines in Sam's face.

                                COP
                      Hey, buddy.  No loitering.  Move it.

                                SAM
                      Not yet not yet not yet.

                                COP
                      You want me to get a black and white
                      down here?

            He moves toward Sam.  SUDDENLY THE SPRINKLER SYSTEM goes on. 
            The cop backs off, but Sam doesn't move, standing in the
            middle of the park and getting totally wet.

                                SAM
                      Not yet not yet not yet.

            He shines the flashlight in Sam's face and we see INSIDE THE
            PLASTIC TUNNEL where LUCY SLEEPS PEACEFULLY on a bed of
            coats, holding a discarded stuffed animal.

                                COP
                      Jesus Christ.

                                SAM
                      She hasn't been sleeping well.  She
                      needs a good night's rest.  Let her
                      sleep, let her sleep.
                          (the cop moves toward Sam)
                      NO!

                                COP
                      What are you, crazy?

            All the cop sees is a lunatic walking in protective circles
            in the downpour of the sprinklers with a kid in a plastic
            tunnel.

                                                           SMASH CUT TO:

            INT. POLICE STATION - DAWN

            Police doors swing open as Rita, coat over pj's, a sleepy
            DANNY by her side, storm inside.  Lucy lies on a bench with
            her head in Sam's lap.

                                RITA
                      What were you thinking what were you
                      possibly thinking?!

                                SAM
                      I -

                                RITA
                      That's ridiculous!  Danny stay with me -
                          (he moves away)
                      What could you possibly gain by
                      kidnapping your kid in the middle of a
                      custody hearing?!

                                SAM
                      She -

                                RITA
                      I don't wanna hear it!  Can you possibly
                      explain this to me?!

                                SAM
                      But Lucy said -

                                RITA
                      Who's the parent here?  Who's the
                      goddamned parent here?  Danny!  Stay in
                      the hallway -

            Danny turns the corner just as Margaret Brown rushes in. 
            Rita turns to her - her expression changes on a dime.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      Miss Brown, I can imagine what you're
                      thinking.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      I'm -

                                RITA
                      But I ask you what parent in their right
                      mind seeing their child in pain --

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      I have seen -

                                RITA
                      Their yearning for contact - wouldn't
                      take them in an attempt to comfort them? 
                      Where the hell is Danny?

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      You - 

                                RITA
                      He - 

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      There's - 

                                RITA
                      Oh yes there is!  And if I were you I'd
                      look at my conscience you do have one
                      don't you long and hard before I tried
                      to use this in court.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      Is that a threat?

                                RITA
                      No.  It's a plea.  Give'm a break. 
                      Give'm one goddman break.
					  
            Margaret's cell phone RINGS.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      What?!  No, Mrs. Sloan.  His temperature
                      couldn't be 117, no not even 107.  Okay,
                      okay, I'll come...Come on Lucy, I'll
                      take you back.

                                RITA
                      C'mon, Danny.  We're going home. 
                      Danny!?  Danny!?!?

            The FIRE ALARM GOES OFF and --

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      Goddamn it, Danny!

            Rita avoids Margaret's look.  Margaret's cell phone goes off
            again.  She doesn't answer.  Now Rita looks at Margaret, but
            this time Margaret avoids looking at her.  Lucy runs to Rita
            and throws her arms around her waist.

                                LUCY
                      Please don't fire us.  It was all my
                      idea.  Please don't.  Please.  Please.

            Rita is disarmed.  She's moved and not used to being moved.

            INT. COURTROOM - DAY

                                BAILIFF
                      ...the whole truth, and nothing but the
                      truth, so help you God?

            Lucy's in her best dress, being sworn in.  One hand in the
            air.

                                LUCY
                      So help me God...

            And now CAMERA MOVES AROUND HER AND WE SEE THAT SHE'S HIDING
            HER OTHER HAND BEHIND HER BACK - FINGERS CROSSED.

            INT. COURTROOM - LATER

            Lucy is on the stand, Turner is cross-examining her.

                                TURNER
                      I heard you turned seven this year. 
                      That's pretty exciting.

                                LUCY
                      Everybody gets older.  It's not that big
                      a deal.

                                TURNER
                      What'd you get for your birthday?

                                LUCY
                      I haven't opened my presents yet.

                                TURNER
                      Really?  That's odd.  Why not?

            Lucy looks to her father and Rita.

                                LUCY
                      I opened my presents.  I got the HELP
                      album - limited edition.

            ON RITA AND SAM

            What is she doing?

                                TURNER
                      Oh, I'm sorry.  I was confused.  I
                      thought you didn't open your birthday
                      presents because you ran away from your
                      own party when your best friend told
                      everyone that you were adopted.

                                LUCY
                      I never said that; why would I say that?

                                TURNER
                      Why would your friends say it if you
                      hadn't said it?

                                LUCY
                      Kids lie all the time.

            Next to her skirt, we see her fingers are crossed so hard
            they're practically turning purple.

                                TURNER
                      May I remind you Lucy that you're under
                      oath?

                                LUCY
                      You may.

                                TURNER
                      And do you know that means if you lie
                      you could be in serious trouble?

                                LUCY
                      I do.

                                TURNER
                      So now that you and I have agreed to
                      tell the truth, where did you sleep last
                      night?

            Rita glares at Margaret.  Thanks a lot.

                                LUCY
                      In my bed at the Foster home.

                                TURNER
                      All right, Lucy.  If you're not going to
                      tell the truth, I am.  Your dad
                      kidnapped you last night and the police
                      found you sleeping in a seedy park a
                      hundred miles from here.  You're lying
                      right now because you're afraid.  Afraid
                      that everyone will see how scared and
                      frustrated you really are.  You're
                      afraid of hurting him, but now we need
                      to tell the truth.  The truth is deep
                      inside you know you're not getting what
                      you need from your father.  Isn't that
                      right, Lucy?

            A LONG SILENCE.  She stares at Turner defiantly.

                                LUCY
                      "All you need is love."

            INT. COURTROOM CORRIDOR - DAY

            WE HEAR THAT SONG as Sam and Rita walk out of the courtroom. 
            Rita is breaking pieces off a candy bar she has stuffed in
            her purse.  They see Lucy running down the corridor toward
            Sam, Margaret Brown behind her.

                                LUCY
                      Daddy!  I did great, didn't I?

                                SAM
                      No, Lucy, you lied.

                                LUCY
                      Shhh!  Don't tell anyone.

            Rita watches Sam.  Moved by his concern as a parent.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      Lucy, Mrs. Kerry's here to take you
                      back.

                                LUCY
                      I thought you'd be proud of me.  Jo Jo's
                      mom told him to lie on the stand and say
                      he never saw a needle in the house; and
                      he did, and now they're back together.

                                SAM
                      Jo Jo isn't us.  The truth, the truth,
                      when the judge hears the truth, he'll
                      know, he'll know we should be together.

                                LUCY
                          (bursting)
                      Nobody's interested in the truth, Daddy. 
                      Nobody cares!

            They lead her down the hallway toward Mrs. Kerry - Sam's
            voice gets louder and louder - determined to make her hear.

                                SAM
                      I CARE!  DO YOU HEAR ME?  THE TRUTH. 
                      THE WHOLE TRUTH!  SO HELP ME GOD!!
					  
            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

            The darkness of Sam's apartment.  We see him on his knees. 
            Saying his prayers by his bedside.

                                SAM
                      Help me, God.  Help me, God.  Help me,
                      God...

            We see ANNIE'S SILHOUETTE from the window of her apartment as
            it moves across the frame.

            INT. COURTROOM - DAY

            Turner cross examines George, the manager of Starbucks.

                                GEORGE
                      Sam's my most reliable employee.  He's
                      never missed a day of work in eight
                      years.  Always warm, always friendly.

                                TURNER
                      Admirable qualities for a single father. 
                      Mr. Walker, in these eight years, have
                      Mr. Dawson's responsibilities,
                      which...let me see...would include
                      bussing tables, replenishing Sweet 'n
                      Lows, and sweeping up the place...
                      increased?

                                GEORGE
                      No.  Not really.

                                TURNER
                      And isn't that because he's mentally
                      incapable of learning management skills
                      or working the cash register or even
                      making a cup of coffee?

                                RITA
                      Objection.  Leading the witness.

                                JUDGE MCNEILY
                      You may answer the question.

            George searches for a way to tell the truth.

                                GEORGE
                      Well as a matter of fact, Sam and I have
                      been discussing a promotion that I was
                      planning on putting into effect at the
                      end of the week.

            Sam leaps to his feet.

                                SAM
                      Oh boy!  Thank you, George!

            Rita pulls him down.  Turner seizes the moment.

                                TURNER
                      Yes.  Thank you, George.  Now, after
                      eight years, Sam can finally measure out
                      a teaspoon of coffee and cup of water. 
                      Now, he must certainly be able to help
                      Lucy with her geometry.

                                RITA
                      Objection -

                                TURNER
                      No further questions.

            INT. COURTROOM CORRIDOR - LATER

            Rita prepares Ifty.

                                RITA
                      ...and when I ask another question?

                                IFTY
                      I answer in one sentence.

                                RITA
                      Yes.  Short and sweet.

                                IFTY
                      Yes.  One sentence.  Short and sweet. 
                      My aunt was short and sweet.  But her
                      cooking was too spicy she...

            Rita's twitching foot knocks over her purse.  Out spill
            several Snickers Bars with the chocolate picked off them. 
            Embarrassed, she kneels to pick them up when she and Sam see
            something that stops them both, awestruck.  In the corner of
            the corridor, huddled on a bench in dark sunglasses, sits
            ANNIE IN A PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS SUIT.  Sam runs to her.

                                SAM
                      Annie!  I can't believe it!

                                ANNIE
                          (visibly trembling)
                      Tell them to take me quickly.

                                RITA
                      Give me one minute with the judge.

            INT. COURTROOM - FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER

            Annie, wearing her dark glasses, is being questioned by Rita.

                                RITA
                      Besides being Lucy's godmother, aren't
                      you also Lucy's piano teacher?

                                ANNIE
                      Yes.

                                RITA
                      Lucy's very lucky.  Didn't you graduate
                      Magna Cum Laud from the Julliard School
                      of Music?

                                ANNIE
                      Summa Cum Laud.

                                RITA
                          (delighted)
                      Excuse me.  Now Ms. Cassell, in all the
                      time you've known them, have you ever
                      questioned Sam's ability as a father?

                                ANNIE
                      Never.

                                RITA
                      Never?

                                ANNIE
                      Never.  Look at Lucy.  She's strong,
                      she's able to display true empathy for
                      people, all kinds of people.  I know you
                      all think she's as bright as she is
                      despite him.  But it's because of him.

                                                            DISSOLVE TO:

            INT. COURTROOM - LATER

            Turner stands where Rita did.

                                TURNER
                      Can Sam add?

                                ANNIE
                      Yes.

                                TURNER
                      How about multiplication?

                                ANNIE
                      He's learning.

                                TURNER
                      So what you're saying is that Sam can
                      not even multiply two times two?  

                                ANNIE
                      I don't know about you, Mr. Turner, but
                      my fondest memories of my parents have
                      nothing to do with times tables or state
                      capitals.

                                TURNER
                      I bet he's knocking on your door all the
                      time with questions.

                                ANNIE
                      Yes.  All the time.  The last question
                      was whether to use Biz or Clorox to get
                      the grass stains out of Lucy's soccer
                      uniform.

            ON RITA AND SAM

            This is too good to be true.

                                TURNER
                      So let's see..he doesn't know math...he
                      can't even wash her clothes.  How about
                      puberty?  I can only imagine how much
                      insight he'll bring to approaching the
                      sensitive issues of a young girl's
                      development.

                                ANNIE
                      Mr. Turner, show me a father, any
                      father, who knows how to do that and
                      I'll give them the Parent of the Year
                      award.

                                TURNER
                      And you've had plenty of opportunity to
                      observe fathers, haven't you?

                                RITA
                      Objection!

                                TURNER
                      But the fact that Ms. Cassell hasn't
                      come out of her room in years might have
                      some effect on her perception.

                                JUDGE MCNEILY
                      I'll allow it.

                                ANNIE
                      I had twenty eight years in the world to
                      observe all kinds of fathers.

                                TURNER
                      What about your father, Ms. Cassell? 
                      Since you appear to be an expert on
                      father-daughter relationships.

            A long pause.  Sam watches as Annie visibly tightens.

                                TURNER (CONT'D)
                      Excuse me, Ms. Cassell, I didn't hear
                      your response.  What about your father?

            Annie reaches for her water glass.  We see her hand SHAKE. 
            It knocks over the glass, shattering it on the floor.

                                SAM
                      Objection!  No further questions!

                                TURNER
                      Excuse me, Mr. Dawson?

                                SAM
                      I said that's enough!  I will not allow
                      it!  Overruled!  Overruled!!

            Rita doesn't stop him.  The Judge hesitates, incredulous,
            then pounds the gavel as the courtroom erupts.
			
            EXT. SAM'S APARTMENT - DUSK

            Rita sits in her Porsche with Annie and Sam.  Annie is curled
            into a tight ball in the passenger seat.  Sam is tucked into
            the shelf in the back.  His legs kick Rita in the face with
            every gear shift.

                                RITA
                      Thank you again, Annie.  You were truly
                      extraordinary.

                                SAM
                      Extraordinary.  Truly extraordinary.

            Annie doesn't move.

                                RITA
                      Okay okay okay okay.  Well, Sam has his
                      big day on the stand tomorrow and we
                      need to work a little bit so that he's
                      as effective as you were.

                                SAM
                      Effective.  Very effective.

                                RITA
                      On a Porsche, the, uh, the door handle
                      is a little hidden by that thingamajig,
                      so if you're having a hard time finding
                      it I'll just --

            Rita reaches across to open Annie's door when she SCREAMS!

                                ANNIE
                      Noooooooo!

                                SAM
                      Annie's not quite ready to go outside
                      yet.

                                RITA
                      Okay, we'll just take our time.

            INT. PORSCHE - TWO HOURS LATER

            It's dark now.  Annie is still catatonic.  Rita's on the car
            phone, the kind that voice activates and she's yelling.

                                RITA
                      Home!  Home!  HOME GODDAMNIT!  Juanita,
                      help Danny with his English assignment. 
                      Ayude Danny un story...story...STORIO!

                                ANNIE
                          (rising from the dead)
                      I'm ready now.

                                RITA
                          (gently)
                      Good, fine, Sam?  Annie's ready.

            Sam's fallen asleep.

            EXT. RITA'S LAVISH BEL AIR HOME - NIGHT

            Rita and Sam enter.

            INT. RITA'S BEL AIR HOME - NIGHT

            Sam is awestruck at the magnificent home.

                                RITA
                      Okay okay okay okay.  We'll work in the
                      library.  It's down the hall and to the
                      left.

            They pass another room and see Danny zoned out in front of
            the wide-screen TV watching MUTANT NINJA TURTLES.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      Hey, Danny.  
                          (no answer)
                      Where's your father?

                                DANNY
                          (staring at TV)
                      Guess.

                                RITA
                      I don't want to guess.  Where is he?
                          (Sam watches Rita)
                      I told you I don't want to guess.

                                DANNY
                      Well where was he last night?

                                RITA
                      Working late.

                                DANNY
                      There you guessed it.

                                RITA
                      He said he was working late?

                                DANNY
                      That's what he said.

                                RITA
                      Well who did he say was taking care of
                      you?

                                DANNY
                      You.  But you said you were working
                      late.

                                RITA
                      I am working late.

                                DANNY
                      Then go work.

                                RITA
                      How was your day?

                                DANNY
                      You have to work.  Go work.

                                RITA
                      No.  How was your -

            Her CELL PHONE goes off.  Rita moves into the hallway to
            answer her phone.  Sam moves into the den, sits on the couch,
            the sound of Rita arguing with her husband drifts into the
            room.  Sam looks sideways at Danny who remains stonefaced.

                                SAM
                      This is my favorite part.  Hey Dommy,
                      this one looks like he's suffering from
                      shell shock.

                                DANNY
                      Boy I guess we can shell it out... It
                      was a shell of a good hit.

            Rita stands in the doorway watching Sam have a longer
            conversation with her son than she's had in months.  She
            retreats.

            INT. RITA'S DEN - LATER

            Danny and Sam eat popcorn watching the movie.

                                SAM
                          (bellowing)
                      "Turtles in the half-shell, turtle
                      power!"  Rita!  Come this is the best
                      part.

            He heads towards Rita.

            INT. PANTRY - CONTINUOUS

            In the half-light Sam catches a glimpse of Rita standing in
            the pantry unconsciously stuffing marshmallows into her
            mouth.  Their eyes lock for a moment.

                                SAM
                      You eat too fast.  Come watch the movie.

                                RITA
                      It's getting late.  We have to get to
                      work.
                          (handing him a suit)
                      This is my husband's.  He won't notice. 
                      He's got ten more just like it.  Try it
                      on.

            INT. RITA'S LIBRARY - MOMENTS LATER

            Sam comes out of the bathroom in the new suit.  Rita stares
            at him astonished.  He looks incredibly handsome.  Rita,
            attempting to stifle her reaction, turns away from Sam.

                                SAM
                      Bad?

                                RITA
                      No.  Very, very good.  But your tie's
                      crooked.

            Rita stands behind Sam with her around him showing him how to
            do his tie properly.  Their images are reflected in the
            mirror.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      Cross over once.  Loop it around on the
                      inside of your neck.
                          (her hand grazes his neck)
                      Slide the other side through the loop,
                      then tighten.

            Rita comes around to the front and straightens and tightens
            the tie.  They are both nervous.  The room is charged.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      Okay okay okay okay.  Our strategy is
                      that we're aggressively pursuing a
                      support system.  I'm going to ask you h
                      ow are you prepared to help Lucy in
                      school?

                                SAM
                      Let me see let me see let me see.

                                RITA
                      Sam!  I told you you have to stop that! 
                      It makes you look stupid!  Okay okay
                      okay.  Try again.
                          (endless pause)
                      You say you will find her a tutor.  Then
                      I say, "How will you pay for it?"

                                SAM
                      Could you slow down?  Why do you eat so
                      fast?

                                RITA
                          (ignoring him)
                      We've gone over this a million times. 
                      You've found a free tutoring service for
                      her at the YMCA.

                                SAM
                      But I didn't.  You did.

                                RITA
                      Can't you grasp the concept of
                      manipulating the truth?  Not lying. 
                      Just a little tweak here and there.

                                SAM
                      No...You're so lucky.  You get to play
                      with Danny all the time.

                                RITA
                      He doesn't want to play with me.

                                SAM
                      Yes he does.  He does he does.  He
                      thinks you don't want to.

                                RITA
                      Oh that's ridiculous of course I want
                      to.

                                SAM
                      Tweak, tweak.

                                RITA
                          (exploding)
                      I drove around after work yesterday 'til
                      9:30 looking for a goddman razor
                      scooter!

                                SAM
                          (in his own world)
                      Tweak, squeak, peek peek...

            Rita shifts uneasily, embarrassed by her overreaction.
			
            INT. RITA'S LIBRARY - LATER

                                RITA
                      Okay, why did you harass that young boy
                      at your home?

                                SAM
                      You know I didn't harass him, Rita.  You
                      know that, you know that!

                                RITA
                      Sam, I'm pretending to be Mr. Turner,
                      remember?  Okay?

                                SAM
                      Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah.  I didn't harass
                      him, Mr. Turner.  Mr. Turner -
                          (Sam can't keep a straight
                           face)
                      You don't look like him.

                                RITA
                      That's a blessing.

                                SAM
                      You're so much prettier.

                                RITA
                          (suddenly shy)
                      Thank you.  Now. 
                      What makes you think you can take care
                      of a woman - I mean a young child - when
                      you have a hard time taking care of
                      yourself?

            INT. RITA'S LIBRARY - TWO HOURS LATER

            Rita is relentless.  Sam is exhausted but determined.

                                RITA
                      But who are you kidding?  Isn't Lucy
                      already smarter than you?

                                SAM
                      In some ways.  But in other ways, she's
                      not, I think.

                                RITA
                      You think?

                                SAM
                      I think.

                                RITA
                      Sam.  You've got to be firm on this.

                                SAM
                      I think in other ways I'm smarter than
                      her.  Smarter than you are, Mr. Turner. 
                      In fact, in some ways I'm smarter than
                      you, Judge McNeilly.

                                RITA
                      Whoa!  Bring it down.

                                SAM
                      What parent doesn't want more for their
                      child?  To be more than the sum of the
                      parts of the whole of them.

                                RITA
                      Yeah yeah yeah, but it's one thing for a
                      little girl to love her daddy when she's
                      a baby, but once she loses respect for
                      you, what will you do?

                                SAM
                          (fierce)
                      I won't let that happen.  I won't.

                                RITA
                      How can you say that?

                                SAM
                      Respect is not just about how smart
                      someone is.  Smart is not just about how
                      smart someone is.

                                RITA
                      But what about Lucy?  Aren't you being
                      selfish?  Doesn't she deserve a better
                      life?  Don't you think she's just
                      pretending she's happy to not hurt your
                      feelings?  

            Sam jumps up from the table, trembling with anger.

                                SAM
                      Lucy is happy!  We have fun!  We go to
                      Denny's, we go to video night.  I know
                      how to love her.  I know I'm not going
                      to able to go to law school and learn
                      how to be a mean person, but I know how
                      to love.  I know how to be her father,
                      Mr. Turner!

            By this time he is face to face with Rita, breathing hard,
            overcome with emotion.  Rita is unexpectedly near tears. 
            Suddenly before she knows it, she is HOLDING SAM.  The room
            charged.  She speaks tenderly, moved by this awkward boy/man.

                                RITA
                      I know you do, Sam.  I know you do.
					  
            INT. STARBUCKS - MORNING

            Sam rushes into the coffee shop in his new suit.

                                GEORGE
                      You look great, Sam.  What time do you
                      have to be in court?

                                SAM
                      Half day, half day.  I take the stand at
                      two.

            George leads him behind the counter.  THE STAFF BEAMS. 
            Euphorically, Sam approaches the huge espresso machines.

                                GEORGE
                      Okay, we need two grande cappucinos, non
                      fat.

                                SAM
                      Sprinkles or Cinnamon?

            INT. STARBUCKS - 11:00 A.M.

            Sam is doing great.  He's humming as he prepares a triple
            latte with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker.

            INT. STARBUCKS - 12:00 P.M.

            The place is packed, including a GROUP OF JAPANESE TOURISTS. 
            Sam zips around, trying to juggle between the blender, the
            espresso machine, steamed milk, icemaker, all the while
            glancing up at the clock.  Sam hands three cups to customers,
            the foam overflowing, coffee spilling out.

            A CUSTOMER takes a sip and SPITS IT OUT.

                                GUY
                      What is this?  I ordered an Americano,
                      not a latte.

                                SAM
                      Americano, Americano, not a latte.

            Working as fast as he can but still NOT FAST ENOUGH, Sam
            unconsciously drinks the latte.

            INT. STARBUCKS - 12:45 P.M.

            Hyped on coffee, Sam is zooming around and he's a mess. 
            Shirt hangs out, coffee stains on it, his hair wild. 
            Frazzled, he forgets to put the lid on the blender and turns
            it ON.  A mint mocha frappuccino SPLATTERS HIM in the face. 
            At that moment, George comes out of his office.

                                SAM
                      I'm going to be late!  I'm going to be
                      late!

                                GEORGE
                      I'll call a taxi.

                                SAM
                      No, no, I can't wait.  I can't wait. 
                      I've got to go right now.

            Sam heads out, the coffee drink still dripping from his face.

            EXT. STREET - DAY

            Walking a hundred miles an hour, Sam barrels down the street
            out of his mind.  Cars are jammed up.  He walks over them, a
            man possessed.

            INT. COURTROOM - DAY

            Everyone is in their places, waiting.

                                TURNER
                      Your Honor, if the defendant doesn't
                      have enough interest in his daughter to
                      even show up -

                                RITA
                      Your Honor, I'm sure he'll be here any
                      moment.  This is an extremely important
                      day to Mr. Dawson.

            At THAT MOMENT, Sam bursts through the doors.  Suit stained,
            hair sticky with frappuccino.  Rita's jaw drops.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      Your Honor, may I have a moment with my
                      client?

                                JUDGE MCNEILY
                      Make it brief, Ms. Harrison.

            Rita heads towards Sam.  Up close, he looks even worse.  

                                RITA
                      What the hell happened?
                          (sniffing the air)
                      What is that smell?  Mint?

            Sam, determined, heads for the stand.  Rita grabs Sam's
            shoulders and tries to focus him.  Looks deep into his eyes.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      Sam, look at me.  Look at me! 
                          (he does)
                      I will guide you like last night.
                          (Sam hugs her)
                      Not that part of last night, the other
                      part.  Now you can do it.  I know you
                      can.  Lucy needs you.

                                SAM
                          (a mile a minute)
                      Lucy needs me.

                                RITA
                      Yes, slow down because Lucy needs you.

                                SAM
                      Lucy needs you.

                                JUDGE MCNEILY
                      Ms. Harrison.  We need you!

            INT. COURTROOM - LATER

            Sam, on the stand, talks a mile a minute from the coffee.

                                RITA
                      How will you be able to pay for private
                      tutoring?

                                SAM
                      There's a free program at the YMCA. 
                      Lucy can go there.

                                RITA
                      But don't you ever think it would be
                      better for Lucy if she lived with a
                      permanent foster family and you could
                      visit whenever you wanted?

                                SAM
                      The Fosters don't know her.  Why can't
                      she live with me and they can come visit
                      if they want to.  I'm firm on this.  And
                      I'm getting firmer.  Lucy belongs with
                      me.

                                RITA
                      Why?

            Sam puts his finger to his chin and starts his "Let me
            see..." Rita gives him a look; he lowers his finger and
            starts talking very fast from the coffee.  The STENOGRAPHER
            desperately tries to keep pace.

                                SAM
                      Paul wrote the first part of the song
                      "Michelle".  He said to John, "Where do
                      I go from here?"  John had been
                      listening to Nina Simone.  There was a
                      line in it that went something like, "I
                      love you, I love you, I love you..."
                      They put that into the song.  It
                      wouldn't be the same song without that. 
                      It made the song complete.  That's why
                      the whole world cried when they broke up
                      on April 10, 1970.

            ON RITA

            Well, he has some kind of point. 

            MARY, the Stenographer, is still typing.

                                JUDGE MCNEILY
                      Did you get that, Mary?

            INT. COURTROOM - LATER

            Turner fires questions at Sam - a mile a minute.

                                TURNER
                      When you were Lucy's age, were you
                      living at home?

                                SAM
                      No.

                                TURNER
                      Were you living with your mother and
                      father?

                                SAM
                      No.

                                TURNER
                      Well then where were you living?

                                SAM
                          (very quietly)
                      In an institution.

                                TURNER
                      So your parents put you in an
                      institution?

                                SAM
                      Only after my mom got sick.

                                TURNER
                      What about your father?  Where was he?

                                SAM
                      Gone with the wind when Sam was born.

                                TURNER
                      So, you weren't raised by your mother?

                                SAM
                      I saw her I saw her.

                                TURNER
                      When?

                                SAM
                      Christmas, Easter and my birthday.

                                TURNER
                      Oh, once a year on your birthday.  So in
                      a way, the people at the institution
                      were your parents.  Were they nice to
                      you?

                                SAM
                      Some yes.  Some on.  Some yes.

                                TURNER
                      Did they hit you?

                                SAM
                      Sometimes.  Sometimes they did
                      sometimes.

                                TURNER
                      Like when you hit Lucy's friend at her
                      birthday party?

                                RITA
                      Objection!  Nobody hit anybody!

                                TURNER
                      Let me rephrase that, strong-armed.  So
                      what role model do you call upon as a
                      father when you're parenting Lucy?  The
                      head of the institution?  The Principal 
                      the warden?

                                SAM
                      No.  Not Mr. Whitehead.  Not him.

                                TURNER
                      Then who?

                                SAM
                      Myself.

                                TURNER
                      you have the mental capacity of a seven
                      year old.  So you ask yourself, a seven
                      year old -

                                SAM
                      I am not a seven-year old.

                                TURNER
                      How to parent a fellow seven-year old?

                                SAM
                      Yes.  No.  What was the question?

                                TURNER
                      The question is: what makes you think
                      you can be a parent?  Your background? 
                      Your IQ?  Your friends who can't even
                      testify for you?

                                RITA
                      Objection -

                                SAM
                      My friends -

                                RITA
                      Objection -

                                SAM
                      My friends love Lucy even if Rita
                      thought they weren't smart enough to
                      testify.  Even if she said you'd wipe
                      the floor with them.

            ON RITA

            Trying to telepathically reach Sam.

                                TURNER
                      Excuse me, Mr. Dawson, your lawyer just
                      objected; that means you didn't have to
                      answer the question.  You can't even
                      follow the simple rules you've watched
                      here day after day.  You really think
                      you can raise a seven-year old?  A ten
                      year old?  A thirteen-year old?
                          (in his face)
                      That means she'll be six years more
                      advanced than you.

            Sweat pours down Sam's coffee stained collar.  He searches
            for words.  Then from the clearest place inside himself:

                                SAM
                      I've had a lot of time to think about
                      whatever it is that makes somebody a
                      good parent.  It has to do with
                      constancy.  It has to do with patience. 
                      It has to do with listening.  To
                      pretending to listen when you can't even
                      listen anymore.

            The court is riveted by Sam's eloquence.  Rita's amazed.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      It has to do with love, like she says...

            Rita's antenna goes up: who's "she?"

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      And I don't know where it's written that
                      a woman has a corner on that market,
                      that a man has any less of those
                      emotions than a woman.  Billy has a home
                      with me!  It's not perfect!  I'm not a
                      perfect parent!  Sometimes I forget he's
                      just a little kid...
                          (whispers from the courtroom)
                      We built a life together and we love
                      each other and if you destroy that, it
                      may be irrep, irrep, irrep...

                                IFTY
                      Irreparable.

            All eyes TURN to the back of the room.  Ifty is there trying
            with all his might to help his friend.

                                IFTY (CONT'D)
                      Joanne, don't do that, please.  Don't do
                      it twice, not to him.  Then Meryl Streep
                      can't even look at Dustin Hoffman after
                      that.

                                TURNER
                      Right, "Kramer vs. Kramer."  Thank you
                      for the commentary, Mr. Bhutto.  It's
                      hard to find words isn't it, Mr. Dawson. 
                      It's confusing.  It's confusing to know
                      what to say to Lucy half the time, isn't
                      it?

            Mortified, so uncomfortable in this strange world, so at a
            loss how to swim through it, beginning to believe everything
            Turner's saying, Sam looks out at the faces in the courtroom. 
            Rita, stunned and incredulous; Turner and his associate
            smirking at him; Ifty, shaking his head; Robert, his face in
            his hands; Miss Wright, Margaret Brown, the State's Expert,
            almost willing him to fail.  Are they right?  Are they?

                                SAM
                      No, yes, no.

                                TURNER
                      No what?

                                SAM
                      Let me see let me see let me see.

                                TURNER
                      You don't know what?

                                SAM
                      Yes.

                                TURNER
                      Yes.  You're right, you don't know.  You
                      don't know enough to really raise your
                      daughter?

                                RITA
                      Objection.  These aren't questions,
                      these are attacks.

                                SAM
                          (frantic)
                      I am Lucy's father.

                                TURNER
                      Are you?  Are you really?  I'm not
                      talking about the fact that you got some
                      homeless woman pregnant.

                                RITA
                      Objection your Honor.  I motion a
                      recess.

                                JUDGE MCNEILY
                      Denied.  Get to the question, Mr.
                      Turner.

                                TURNER
                      The question is if you love your
                      daughter as much as they say you do
                      don't you think she deserves more?! 
                      Don't you?  In your heart of hearts,
                      secretly question yourself every day? 
                      Don't you?!

                                SAM
                      Yes.

                                TURNER
                      Was that a "yes?"

                                RITA
                      Objection.

                                SAM
                      Yes.  She does.  She deserves
                      everything.  In my heart of hearts.

                                TURNER
                      Yes she does.  And you agree with
                      everyone, you can't give her that?

                                SAM
                          (in unbearable pain)
                      Maybe.  Maybe everybody's right.

            ON TURNER

            There.  He got it.  

            ON RITA

            Anguished.  Watching Sam unravel as he stands up and starts
            walking around in a circle in the witness box.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      No more no more!  Let it stop!  No more! 
                      No more!  No more!

            The Judge watches Sam, sad and stunned.  The verdict is
            obvious.  Sam has passed judgement on himself.

            EXT. CHILD AND FAMILY PROTECTIVE SERVICES - HALLWAY

            Sam, broken, walks down the long hallway with Rita toward
            Margaret Brown's office.  Suddenly, Rita stops as she and Sam
            both see -

            LUCY

            Sitting, hopeful on the bench.  She searches Sam's face for
            the verdict.  The minute she sees sorrow in his eyes, she
            knows.  She runs to him, gluing herself to his chest.

                                LUCY
                      No Daddy!  No Daddy!  No Daddy!

            In a SERIES OF WORDLESS DISSOLVES, they hold each other in
            the hallway through the entire forty five minute visit.  The
            only thing moving is the hands of a large wall clock in the
            background.  Pained, Margaret reaches for Lucy.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      C'mon, Lucy.  It's time to say goodbye.

                                LUCY
                      NOOOO!  Don't let go don't let go don't
                      let go -

            Sam's tears mix with Lucy's as they sob, clinging to each
            other.  With such fierce love; a parent and a child.

                                LUCY (CONT'D)
                      Don't let them Daddy don't let them! 
                      Don't ever let me go!

            He can't let her go.  That he can't do.  Margaret, steel
            herself, turns to Rita, no matter how many times she's done
            this.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      Please help me.

            Rita, aching from a place she thought she buried long ago,
            shakes her head, NO.  Now, Margaret literally has to wrench
            Lucy away from her father's arms.  Lucy bellowing as she
            pulls her down the hallway.  Sam is frozen in incalculable
            pain.

            EXT. SAM'S APARTMENT HALLWAY - NIGHT

            We hear "Fool on the Hill".  We follow a trail of PINK LIQUID
            melting down the hall and come to Annie's door where a pile
            of grocery bags and newspapers sit in a PUDDLE OF STRAWBERRY
            ICE CREAM.  Suddenly, the needle SCRAPES LOUDLY across the
            record, followed by a mysterious POUNDING against the wall.

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

            The CAMERA MOVES to the WINDOW.  Inside, the lights are dim. 
            Lucy's HAMMOCK SWINGS EMPTY, ghostlike.  Sam, curled into a
            ball in Lucy's bare corner, bangs his head over and over
            again against the wall, overcome with grief.

            INT. DANNY'S ROOM - RITA'S HOUSE - NIGHT

            The POUNDING CONTINUES as we see Rita standing in the
            doorway, watching her sleeping child.  This stranger that
            she's raised.  She moves to cover him, this tough little boy,
            when she sees POOH BEAR tucked under his arm.  She tucks them
            both in, tenderly.

            EXT. CARPENTER HOUSE - DAY

            Saturday in idyllic suburbia.  Sam, directions and a map in
            his hands, tentatively rounds the corner.  A small bouquet of
            flowers in his hands when he stops - STARING AHEAD AT --

            REVERSE ANGLE

            Lucy looking absolutely radiant in a new spring dress.  She
            stands on the front porch with RANDY, who wears a red smock
            and is setting up TWO EASELS AND PAINTS.  There's a tiny
            chair for Lucy and a tiny chair for her.

            CLOSE ON LUCY AND RANDY

            The tension in Lucy's face, Randy straining to connect with
            her.

                                RANDY
                      Your teacher told me you were an artist.

                                LUCY
                      You wear too much perfume.  You're
                      trying too hard.

                                RANDY
                      I am, aren't I.  Maybe you could teach
                      me how to paint.

                                LUCY
                      My daddy's coming today.  We're going to
                      open my birthday presents.  Why don't
                      you just go do something.

            BACK TO SAM

            From where he stands, all he sees is Lucy getting everything
            she deserves.  He looks down at the tiny bouquet in his hand -
            feeling profoundly inadequate, he reaches for some flowers
            from a garden he's passing.  Puts them in his bouquet.  Then
            stops.  Feels guilty.  Tries to put the flowers BACK.  He
            stares up at Lucy on the porch a few houses away.

            Lucy sits on the steps.  Randy sits right next to her.

            BACK ON SAM

            Where he WAS standing, but is now GONE.  The flowers lay in
            the dirt.  From the porch, Lucy looks out and waits.  And
            waits.  And waits.

            INT. STARBUCKS - DAY

            It's Saturday.  The place is buzzing.  Sam listlessly cleans
            the tables, without the usual energy and verve.  A TODDLER
            marches around a table, playing under the adoring gaze of his
            parents.

                                MAN
                      Excuse me, my kid knocked over a coffee,
                      could you clean this up?

            Sam sees a FAMILY at a table covered with spilled coffee.

                                MAN (CONT'D)
                      I said I need a refill and a towel over
                      here.

                                SAM
                          (snapping)
                      You need a towel?  A refill?  A glass of
                      water?  You need more than you already
                      have?  You have everything -
                          (all his fury and frustration)
                      Everything.  But it's not enough.  Take
                      my daughter, too!

            Sam's out of control, the whole shop stares at him as he
            backs into a shelf of MUGS he so carefully arranged.  They
            CRASH onto the floor.

                                                           SMASH CUT TO:

            EXT. CARPENTER PORCH - DAY

            Paints and brushes go FLYING across the porch as Lucy KNOCKS
            THEM OVER.  Totally out of control.

                                LUCY
                      You gave him the wrong address!  You're
                      hiding me from him!

            As Randy reaches for her, Lucy pours black paint on her.

            EXT. CARPENTER HOUSE - DUSK

            Lucy sits in a ball on the corner of the porch.  Her eyes
            swollen from crying.  Finally, she gets up and moves to the
            tiny chair that Randy put out for her.  Straightens the easel
            and begins to paint.

            The front door opens and Randy comes out having washed her
            face and hair.  Without speaking, Randy straightens her easel
            and sits down next to Lucy and begins to paint.  Randy and
            Lucy paint in silence for a long time.  Then -

                                LUCY
                      You're going to send me away now, aren't
                      you?

                                RANDY
                          (tenderly)
                      No.

            We hear what sounds like a child's hand playing the song
            "Here, There and Everywhere..."

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - EVENING

            We see SAM sitting at Lucy's miniature toy piano as he plays
            with one finger.  IN A SERIES OF DISSOLVES, as DAYS and WEEKS
            PASS, we see SAM'S HANDS at the PIANO -
			
                                                               INTERCUT:

            EXT. CARPENTER HOUSE - DAY

            With Lucy and Randy's hands as they PAINT side by side to
            Sam's sad melody.  Lucy's pictures start ANGRY, angular with
            blacks and blues, then GRADUALLY soften and the dark figures
            recede.  By the END, there is a BRUSHSTROKE of the red of
            Randy's smock peeking into the corner of Lucy's picture.

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - DAY

            We come back to Sam, having withdrawn completely into himself
            serenading no one.

            INT. LUCY'S BEDROOM - DAY

            We see Lucy and Randy sitting on her bed unwrapping the
            birthday presents.  TIME HAS PASSED.  They look close, almost
            like a mother and daughter.  Lucy finishes unwrapping Sam's
            present and we see a stack of ONE HUNDRED DENNY'S NAPKINS.

                                RANDY
                      Oh, he must've forgotten to put the gift
                      in.

            Randy picks up one of Lucy's pictures and moves to the wall.

                                RANDY (CONT'D)
                      You know, this wall really needs
                      something special on it.

            Lucy half-smiles and unconsciously begins to fold one of the
            Denny's napkins into an origami bird.  Then crushes it.  Then
            cautiously:

                                LUCY
                      What's the longest any one of those kids
                      stayed with you?

                                RANDY
                      Megan stayed a little over a year.

                                LUCY
                          (averting her eyes)
                      Did you ever want any of them to stay
                      longer?

            ON RANDY

            Moved herself.  Understanding how huge a question this is
            coming from this bruised little heart.
			
            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - WEEKS LATER - DAY

            Sam sits in a dark corner; maniacally folding newspaper into
            an odd origami pattern.  There's a knock at the door - Sam
            doesn't move, he just continues folding his paper.

                                RITA (O.S.)
                      Sam it's me!  Open up!

            He doesn't answer it, just methodically folds.

            EXT. SAM'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS

            Rita stands there impatiently.

                                RITA
                      I don't have time for this!  You were
                      supposed to show up for your first
                      evaluation.  And I leave work early to
                      get there and where the hell are you?! 
                      Open the door!  Sam!  Open the goddamn
                      door!
                          (nothing)
                      Alright.  If you don't care enough to
                      open the goddamn door I'm outta here! 
                      I've ruined my practice, I've alienated
                      my colleagues - I sent my kid off on a
                      fishing trip with his father so I could
                      work with you and you won't open your
                      goddman door for me?!  Fine!  THAT'S IT! 
                      I've had enough!

            She starts down the hall when suddenly she turns and - with
            the mastery of a karate black belt - RUNS AND KICKS the door
            down.

            INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS

            Rita bursts through the door and then stops.  Sam has created
            an origami wall of newspapers, intricately woven together. 
            A fortress against the world.  He keeps folding - doesn't
            even look at Rita.  He's more far gone than she could
            imagine, she walks gingerly to the wall and knocks gently on
            it.

                                RITA
                      Sam, it's Rita.  Can I come in?

                                SAM
                      No room.  No room.

                                RITA
                      Hey.  I lived in the East Village.  I
                      don't need a lot of room.

                                SAM
                      Sam makes life too hard.  Sam makes life
                      too hard on everyone.

                                RITA
                      Sam, I can go at least nine more rounds. 
                      But you gotta let me in.  Please Sam. 
                      Please.

            He pulls out one small brick of origami, opening a window.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      Thank you.  Now I can see your kind
                      eyes...George told me you needed a break
                      from work.

                                SAM
                      I don't want to work there anymore.  Too
                      many people.

                                RITA
                      Maybe we could find you a quieter job. 
                      Because remember one of the judges
                      conditions is you have to earn more
                      money; you've got to keep earning more
                      money for when we get you Lucy back.

                                SAM
                      Lucy doesn't need me anymore.  She has a
                      new family.  She doesn't need me
                      anymore.

                                RITA
                      Is that what she said?

                                SAM
                      She didn't have to say it.  I may be
                      stupid, but I know.  I know.

                                RITA
                      Well that's the first stupid thing I've
                      ever heard you say.

            Sam looks at her through the window.  A CHINK in the wall.

                                RITA (CONT'D)
                      Sam, Sam you can get her back.  The
                      court favors reunification.  The only
                      thing that can block you is if the
                      foster family petitions to adopt.  And
                      from what I've heard, Lucy's making
                      their life miserable - that's our girl. 
                      Sam, fight for her.

                                SAM
                      I tried.  I tried.

                                RITA
                      Try harder.

                                SAM
                      You don't know.  You don't know.

                                RITA
                      I don't know?

                                SAM
                      You don't know what it is to try and try
                      and never get there.  You were born
                      perfect, perfect.

                                RITA
                      Is that right?  Everyone else is perfect
                      but only Sam feels loss and pain?

                                SAM
                      That's right.  People like you don't
                      know.

                                RITA
                      People like me?

                                SAM
                      People like you don't know, don't know
                      what hurt feels like, people like you
                      don't feel, don't feel anything.

            She slaps him.  STUNNED, he slaps her back.  STUNNED, she
            slaps him again.  HE SLAPS HER.  She rips the newspaper wall
            down.

                                RITA
                      You think you got the market cornered on
                      human suffering?  Well let me tell you
                      something about "People like me." 
                      People like me feel little and lost and
                      ugly and dispensable.  People like me
                      have perfect husbands screwing someone
                      far more perfect than me and my son, my
                      son hates me, I try too hard and I push
                      and he knows it and I talk in that
                      voice, that voice I promised I'd never
                      use, and I've screamed, I've screamed
                      horrible things to him, a five year-old
                      because he doesn't want to get in the
                      car at the end of a day and he stares at
                      me with such anger and I hate him then. 
                      I know I'm failing you, I know I'm
                      disappointing you, I know you deserve
                      better but get in the fucking car!  It's
                      like every morning I wake up and fail,
                      and I look around and anybody, anybody
                      can pull it off, but somehow I can't. 
                      And I know, I know I have everything,
                      and I'm still miserable and it's
                      pathetic.  I know it's pathetic.  No
                      matter how hard I try, something about
                      me will never be enough.

            She's crying too hard to continue.  He pulls her to him. 
            Before she realizes what's happening, she's holding him
            tightly.  He whispers in her ear.

                                SAM
                      You're enough.  You're so much more than
                      enough.

            He looks her straight in the eye - she's undone by the
            intimacy of the moment, by the strength of his purity.  And
            staring into his eyes, she begins to sob, walls crumbling. 
            He kisses her elbow, her shoulder, her forehead, her eyes,
            her tears.  And something ignites between them - something
            confused and scary and deep and filled with a passionate
            ache.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Lovely Rita...

            On a bed of newspaper that was once a wall they come
            together, whole again.

            EXT. RANDY'S NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY

            Sam rounds the corner walking - or rather being walked by SIX
            DOGS, all shapes, all sizes.  He heads up the walkway to
            Randy's house.  She comes out of the house and shuts the door
            behind her, stopping him.

                                RANDY
                      You're early.

                                SAM
                      All the lights were green.

                                RANDY
                      There's a reason for the court schedule. 
                      You stopped showing up.  Lucy has had to
                      rebuild her life.

                                SAM
                      I want her back.  I can do it.  I know I
                      can.

                                RANDY
                      That's not up to me, but I'm telling
                      you, I will do everything in my power to
                      prevent Lucy from getting hurt again.

            Sam hangs his head.  A dog barks at Randy.

                                RANDY (CONT'D)
                      Whose dogs are these?

                                SAM
                      Supplemental income supplemental income -
                      bathe, walk and feed.  Sam Dawson meets
                      your canine needs.
                          (to dogs)
                      Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit!
					  
            All the dogs sit but a BIG BLACK LAB.  Randy heads into the
            house.  The front door opens and Lucy comes out.  She runs
            down the stares to Sam.  Thrilled, Sam opens his arms to her. 
            She leaps into them and begins slugging his chest with pent
            up fury.

                                LUCY
                      You never came!  You never even called! 
                      You forgot about me!  How could you
                      forget me!

                                SAM
                      I never forgot you.  I forgot me.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      I hate you I hate you I hate you!

            Lucy pulls away.  A long charged silence.  Lucy refusing to
            even look at her father.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Lucy, I tried to write you a letter last
                      night...

            A BASSET HOUND SNEEZES.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Gesundheit, Buster.  Buster has a cold. 
                      But the letter had too many big words. 
                      Pokey, sit.

            The black lab has begun eating Randy's flowers.  Lucy stares
            forward.  Sam speaks tentatively, carefully:

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Dear Lucy.  Pokey sit.  Dear Lucy, I'm
                      sorry that I hurt you.  Every moment of
                      the day I thought about you.  Lucy in
                      the hammock, Lucy at school.  Lucy in
                      the sky...XXOO.  Daddy.  P.S. I love
                      you, recorded September 11th, the day
                      you took your first step.

            Lucy raises her head and looks at Sam for the first time.

            INT. DENNY'S - DAY

            ON SALAD BAR

            Rows of carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and - uh-oh, a tomato's
            in the peas.  A hand comes into frame and carefully places
            the tomato just so, in the tomato bin.  Now it moves to the
            olives.  Shouldn't all the pimentos be facing up?

            PULL BACK

            To reveal Sam, in white apron and hat, deftly filling the
            containers of the elaborate salad bar as people fill their
            plates.

                                SAM
                      Napa cabbage, excellent choice.  Purple
                      and green, purple and green.  Very rich
                      in Vitamin C.  Good choice. Very good
                      choice.

            INT. COURTHOUSE - HALLWAY - DAY

            Sam walks toward the courtroom when we see Rita approaching
            from the other end of the hall.  They both slow down when
            they see each other.  Rita unconsciously fixes her hair.  Sam
            adjusts his tie.

                                RITA
                      Hello, Sam.  Mr. Dawson.  Sam.  Dawson.

                                SAM
                      Hello, lawyer.

            They almost shake hands - realize that means touching each
            other and don't.  Rita motions toward the door.

                                RITA
                      Shall we?

                                SAM
                      No.  We already did.  Don't tell
                      anybody.

            They nervously walk through the door, bumping into each
            other.

            INT. SMALL COURT ROOM - LATER

            She's very aware of Sam.  He looks away, over compensating
            obviously.  Throughout the scene, Rita's hair falls in her
            eyes.  She attempts to put it in place.

                                RITA
                      Furthermore, my client has found a new
                      job, and is making every effort to find
                      a bigger apartment so that -

            Rita's hair falls in her eyes again.  Sam stands up, pulls
            HER BARRETTE from his pocket, the one she left at his house.

                                SAM
                      Here.

            Rita stares at the barrette as if it were the murder weapon.

                                RITA
                      Oh, thank you.  What a...a lovely
                      barrette, Mr. Dawson.  It will look
                      great on Lucy.  Who I'm sure you bought
                      it for.  Furthermore, so that...there
                      will be more room for Lucy as she grows
                      up.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      All of that is well and good but the
                      fact that Mr. Dawson quite his job,
                      missed his hearing, and did not even
                      show up for his visits with his
                      daughter...

                                RITA
                      The fact that my client went through
                      profound depression is the most natural
                      reaction any parent could have.

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      But once again he had no idea how his
                      behavior during that depression impacted
                      on his daughter.

                                RITA
                      In these next months, Mr. Dawson will be
                      expanding his support system to include
                      Social Service programs, tutors --

                                MARGARET BROWN
                      It's too late!  The foster family is
                      petitioning the court for sole custody
                      of Lucy and I fully support their
                      request.

            Sam turns to Rita.  This can't be happening.

            INT. DENNY'S - NIGHT

            Sam, Rita, Ifty, Robert and Brad sit in a booth.  With one
            extra person, it's a little tight.  Rita picks at her
            Salisbury Steak special, trying to deal with the business at
            hand.

                                IFTY
                      Isn't it illegal?  It's illegal to go
                      through stop signs.  It's illegal to
                      cross on the red.

                                RITA
                      It's not illegal.  It's very
                      complicated.  When a strong foster
                      parent lobbies for a child it changes
                      the equation.

                                ROBERT
                      They're reaching right through Sam as if
                      he doesn't exist.  As if he's a ghost.

                                RITA
                      There's one option we've never talked
                      about, Sam. 
                          (very carefully)
                      I know what you went through the last
                      time you took the stand.  We could
                      settle out of court, ask for the most
                      incredible visitation rights - it would
                      almost seem like joint custody.

                                SAM
                      You're saying I don't have a chance. 
                      That's what you're saying.

                                RITA
                      I'm not saying you don't have a chance.

                                ROBERT
                      That's what you said last time and look
                      where he is now.

                                SAM
                      Stop.  Rita's not saying I don't have a
                      chance.  Are you?  Tell me I have a
                      chance.

            Too long a pause.  Ifty looks at the clock.

                                IFTY
                      Oh my God!  6:35 is Video Night at my
                      house and I'm not even there!

                                ROBERT
                      If we get there before you do we'll wait
                      for you - check!

                                BRAD
                      Sam get your dessert to go.

                                SAM
                      This is very hard to say.  I'm having my
                      dessert here.  With Rita.  I'm not
                      coming to video night.

            Devastated, Ifty, Robert and Brad solemnly gather their
            things.

                                RITA
                      Sam - if you want to go...

                                SAM
                      I said no, Rita.

                                RITA
                      I know, but if you -

                                SAM
                      What?  Do you want me to go?

                                RITA
                      I didn't say that.  But do you want to
                      go?

                                SAM
                      Where?

                                RITA
                      Nevermind.

                                SAM
                      Fine.

                                RITA
                      Fine.

                                IFTY, ROBERT & BRAD
                      Fine.

            They leave in a huff.  The WAITRESS delivers the check with
            dessert and coffee.

                                RITA
                      I've got it.

                                SAM
                      I've got it.

            Long pause.  Rita slowly eats her pie.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      It's good to chew.  You're eating more
                      slowly.

            Rita laughs and nods.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Coconut Rhubarb.  Sidebar, we need to
                      talk.  Sidebar.

                                RITA
                          (carefully)
                      Yes we do.

                                SAM
                      I need to get Lucy back.  We need, we
                      need - to be professional.

                                RITA
                      Do you know what that means?

                                SAM
                      When dealing with Starbucks' customers,
                      be friendly but not familiar.  I can be
                      your friend.

                                RITA
                          (oddly touched)
                      Thank you, Sam.

                                SAM
                      You need to leave your husband.

                                RITA
                          (her armor up again)
                      Oh, my marriage isn't so bad.

                                SAM
                      'Life is very short and there's no time
                      for fussing and fighting, my friend.'

                                RITA
                          (undone)
                      It's just...it's just that...I've never
                      lost anything.

            EXT. SCHOOL - DAY

            Randy kisses Lucy goodbye as she heads toward school.  We
            follow Lucy - suddenly a BIRD SAILS THROUGH THE SKY and LANDS
            IN FRONT OF LUCY.  It's an ORIGAMI BIRD.  She looks around -
            but doesn't see Sam anywhere.  But she feels him.  She walks
            toward school, clutching the bird, past a tree and we move up
            that tree and see Sam nestled in the branches.  There.  They
            made contact.

            EXT. RANDY'S NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY

            It's later that week.  Lucy walks proudly down the street in
            a GIRL SCOUT UNIFORM, selling cookies.  Randy is by her side,
            beaming.

                                LUCY
                      We've made $22.36.  That's seven
                      dollars, 64 cents less than thirty.

                                RANDY
                      Well that's one way of looking at it.

            EXT. RANDY'S NEIGHBORHOOD - LATER

            DISSOLVE as they move through the neighborhood.  Finally we
            see her bound up the steps to an apartment building.  She
            knocks on the door.  It opens - and Lucy and Randy's JAW
            DROPS. 

            REVERSE ANGLE

            Sam stands there.  Holding three kittens.  WE see various
            dogs in arm chairs, the couch...

                                LUCY
                      Daddy?!

                                RANDY
                      What are you doing here?

                                SAM
                      I live here.  This is where I live.

                                LUCY
                      This is where you live?  So close to me?

                                SAM
                      I wanted to be close to you.  I wanted
                      to be closer.  Look at my apartment
                      number.
                          (it's number 9)
                      John was born on October 9th.  His son
                      was born on October 9th.

                                LUCY
                      John met Yoko on November 9th.

                                SAM
                      His mother lived at 9 Newcastle,
                      Liverpool.

                                LUCY
                      Newcastle.  9 letters.  Liverpool - 9
                      letters...

                                RANDY
                      Lucy, give me one minute with your
                      father.  Sam, I consider myself an
                      understanding person but I don't
                      understand this.  You can't close the
                      distance between you and Lucy with a new
                      address.  We go to court in a week -

                                SAM
                      I don't want to spend half my visit with
                      Lucy on the bus getting to Lucy.  I
                      don't want to waste one more minute.

            Buster sneezes.

                                LUCY
                          (from the doorway)
                      Does Buster still have his cold?

                                SAM
                      He's better, much better.  Now I'll have
                      one box of mint chocolate cookies.

                                LUCY
                      That'll be three-eighty six.

                                LUCY & SAM
                          (in unison)
                      Let me see let me see let me see...
                      That's one dollar and 14 cents less than
                      five.

            Randy watches with a mixture of jealousy and fear as Lucy
            effortlessly enters her and Sam's universe.
			
            EXT. CARPENTER HOUSE - DAY

            From the window, Randy watches as Sam hands Lucy four leashes
            and the two of them get pulled down the street by the dogs.

            INT. LUCY'S BEDROOM - 2 A.M.

            Lucy lies in her hammock, unable to sleep.  Staring at the
            little origami bird on her window sill.  She moves it, opens
            the window wide, quickly takes Mr. Jeeters - and within a
            moment she's out the window and onto the limb of the tree.

            EXT. MAIN THOROUGHFARE - NIGHT

            "The night grows teeth..." stray dogs fight over garbage - a
            wino talks to himself and in the midst of it all walks Lucy
            in her pj's.  Mr. Jeeters tucked under her arm.  Lucy crosses
            the street.  HONK!  the screeching of tires...

            EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - MOMENTS LATER

            We're looking at an old fashioned fire escape when suddenly
            we make out a figure climbing higher and higher.  It's Lucy. 
            We catch glimpses of her and then lose her as the neon sign
            across the street blinks on and off.

            INT. SAM'S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

            Sam's asleep.  Suddenly his eyes open wide.  And like an
            animal sensing danger, he gets up.  We HEAR THE SOUND of
            something THUMPING AGAINST RUNG AFTER RUNG OF THE FIRE
            ESCAPE.  He rushes to his window and looks to see --

            EXT. SAM'S APARTMENT

            Lucy climbing the fire escape!  Sam opens the window and
            reaches for her.

                                SAM
                      Lucy Lucy.  What are you doing?!  You
                      could have really hurt yourself.  What
                      are you doing?

                                LUCY
                      I couldn't sleep.  Daddy, did you know
                      that Warren G. Harding was the twenty
                      ninth President of the United States?

                                SAM
                      No.

                                LUCY
                      Remember - the twenty-ninth President. 
                      In case the Judge asks.

            EXT. RANDY'S STREET - NIGHT

            Sam, in his pajamas, holds a sleeping Lucy in his arms.  He
            turns a corner and heads up the walkway to Randy's house.  He
            knocks on the door.  Finally the door opens and we see Randy
            and Bill in their pajamas SHOCKED at seeing Sam and Lucy.

                                SAM
                      She couldn't sleep.

                                RANDY
                      Give me my daugh -
                          (she stops herself)
                      Give me - I'll take Lucy.

                                SAM
                      Maybe if you rub her tummy twenty-three
                      times, tell her two stories and give her
                      half a Denny's blueberry muffin and a
                      third of a glass of milk she'll sleep. 
                      Good night.

            Randy and BILL, her husband, watch as Sam turns and walks
            purposely down the walkway - his houseslippers scuffling on
            the quiet street.

            SERIES OF SHOTS AT 3:00 A.M. --

            EXT. STREET - NIGHT

            Lucy in her pj's walks down the middle of the street.

            EXT. SAM'S WINDOW - NIGHT

            Lucy knocks on Sam's window.

            EXT. STREET - NIGHT

            Lucy and Sam walk back down the street to Randy's house.

            EXT. SAM'S WINDOW - NIGHT

            Lucy lugs encyclopedias to Sam's windowsill.

            EXT. STREET - NIGHT

            Lucy in a blanket being carried by Sam toward Randy's house.

            INT. LUCY'S ROOM - NIGHT

            Until FINALLY, we see Lucy in her hammock at Randy's house
            looking out the windows, which have now been completely
            covered with BARS.  Her room is filled with origami birds
            from the 100 Denny's napkins, her birthday gift.  Lucy gets
            out of her hammock and tiptoes across her room - quietly
            opening the door.

            INT. CARPENTER HOUSE - STAIRS TO LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

            We follow her through the dark house as she creeps down the
            stairs.  She gets to the front door.  It's been DEAD BOLTED
            where she cannot reach it.  From the darkness we hear --

                                RANDY
                          (tenderly)
                      Lucy.  Come here.

            Randy sits in the darkness, next to a THIRD OF A GLASS OF
            MILK and a HALF A DENNY'S BLUEBERRY MUFFIN.

                                RANDY (CONT'D)
                      I made us a midnight snack.

            Lucy stares at the muffin and milk.  Torn.

                                RANDY (CONT'D)
                      I understand that you want to see your
                      daddy.  And I don't want to keep you
                      from him.  I honestly don't.  So you
                      tell me when you want to see him.  You
                      can see him anytime you want.  But we
                      have to arrange it first.  Do you
                      understand?
                          (Lucy nods)
                      Now would you like a snack?

            Lucy nods.  Elated, Randy makes room for her on the couch. 
            But Lucy just reaches for the milk and muffin and heads up
            the stairs then turns back and speaks gently to Randy.

                                LUCY
                      Thank you.  Goodnight.

                                RANDY
                          (words caught in her throat)
                      Goodnight, Lucy.

            INT. SAM'S BEDROOM - DAY

            We PAN ACROSS THE ROOM and see Sam's shoes, his tie, and a
            YELLOW PAD WITH ALL THE PRESIDENTS LISTED IN ORDER.  A KNOCK
            at the door - Sam opens it to see Rita standing there,
            looking intensely vulnerable, holding her husband's suit.

                                RITA
                      My husband left this when he moved out.

                                SAM
                      Oh, lovely Rita, meter maid.

                                RITA
                          (entering)
                      Nice place.  I worry.  I worry
                      sometimes...

                                SAM
                      You worry you did the wrong thing?

                                RITA
                      I worry that I've gotten more out of
                      this relationship than you.

                                SAM
                      No no no.  I'm the lucky one.  I have
                      the lawyer that never loses.

                                RITA
                          (covering)
                      That's me...okay, let me see, let me
                      see, let me see.
                          (pulls out notes)
                      They're going to put Bill and Randy on
                      the stand first and then you.

                                SAM
                      Them first, then me.  They're a nice
                      couple.  They have a nice house.  She's
                      pretty.  She's smart, too.  I can tell. 
                      The manager of the salad bar is gonna
                      testify, isn't he?  That will help us.

            For a moment, Rita's mask drops and her fear for Sam
            overwhelms her.

                                RITA
                      Absolutely.

                                SAM
                      Nobody believed that George Harrison
                      could really be a song writer.  But he
                      wrote "Here Comes the Sun".  John and
                      Paul said it was one of the best songs
                      on ABBEY ROAD.

                                RITA
                          (tenderly)
                      George was always my favorite Beatle.

                                SAM
                      Lucy's was Paul.
					  
            INT. RANDY AND BILL'S BEDROOM - 2 A.M.

            Randy and Bill are asleep when Randy senses something.  She
            opens her eyes and sees Lucy staring at her.

                                LUCY
                      Now.

                                RANDY
                      What honey?

                                LUCY
                      Now.  I want to see him now.

            INT. SAM'S BEDROOM - 3:30 A.M.

            We see Sam sleeping in bed.  There's a KNOCK at the door. 
            Sam wakes with a start, throws down the covers. 
            We see that he's wearing the Armani suit.  Sam opens the door
            to see Randy standing there, holding a sleeping Lucy in her
            arms.

                                RANDY
                      She fell asleep on the car ride over.  I
                      was gonna turn back and tuck her in to
                      her bed...with the pink canopy...and the
                      quilt I made...But I was afraid she'd
                      wake up at our house...
                          (fighting the ache in her soul)
                      ...and want to come home.

            Sam looks at Randy with profound compassion.

                                RANDY (CONT'D)
                      I was gonna tell the judge that I could
                      give Lucy the kind of love she never
                      had.  But I would be lying.

                                SAM
                      I hope I hope I hope that you're saying
                      what I think you're saying even though
                      you're not saying it.

            Randy nods and hands the sleeping Lucy into Sam's strong
            arms.  For a moment they BOTH HOLD LUCY between them in the
            most unique embrace.  Randy finally lets go and struggles to
            say goodbye.

                                RANDY
                      Goodnight.  I'll see you in court.  Save
                      me a seat...on your side.

            Randy walks away.  Stunned, Sam watches her, holding Lucy in
            his arms.  Then, from a very brave place:

                                SAM
                      Randy!  If I tell you I can't do it
                      alone, will you tell the judge?

                                RANDY
                          (turns gently)
                      No.

                                SAM
                      Promise?

                                RANDY
                      Promise...

                                SAM
                      I've looked and looked for a mother for
                      Lucy. 
                      Help, I need someone, help, not just
                      anyone.  You're the red in Lucy's
                      painting.

            ON RANDY

            So unexpectedly bonded to them both.
			
            EXT. SOCCER FIELD - DAY

            A glorious sunny day.  Lucy and her team are in the middle of
            a fierce game.  A foul is called when we hear -

                                SAM
                      Penalty!  Rules broken.  Penalty,
                      please!

            Sam, wearing a UNIFORM and whistle around his neck, walking
            his inimitable walk, races up the field, COACHING THE TEAM.

            Ifty, Robert and Brad sit in the bleachers.  Robert, in
            sunglasses, paranoid, looking behind him.  Brad follows
            around an attractive YOUNG WOMAN as close as he can get to
            her.  Sam runs by the water stand, manned by Randy and Bill.  

            They share a look - a moment of intense parental pride.  Lucy
            and a kid named PHILLIP go after the ball.

                                OBNOXIOUS MOM
                      Get her!  Phillip, you get her!

                                ROBERT
                      I saw that!  You gave him a secret
                      signal!  Didn't you?

                                IFTY
                      Keep both eyes on the ball, Lucy - balls
                      are round - on sale at Kmart.  The earth
                      is a ball, too...

            Phillip steps in front of Lucy and shoves her as hard as he
            can.  Sam blows his whistle repeatedly and races over.

                                SAM
                      Penalty!  Repeat!  Rules broken! 
                      Penalty!

                                RITA (O.S.)
                      Penalty?!  Sue him!  Kick his ass outta
                      the game!

            It's RITA!  With Danny - hollering from the stands.

            ON LUCY

            Looks over at her father.  Sam does every coaching gesture,
            and referee hand signal from every sport known to man.  It
            looks like a bizarre TWYLA THARP DANCE.

            ON LUCY

            She does it right back at him.  Their secret code.  The code
            that will bind them for the rest of their lives.

            ON THE CROWD AND PLAYERS

            All watching.  What the hell was that?  Sam blows his
            whistle.

                                SAM
                      Play ball!  Play ball!

            The game heats up.  Lucy's team gets the ball and is headed
            toward the goal.  Sam is running right alongside them, so
            excited, until he can't hold himself back anymore and
            intercepts the ball!  Sam runs valiantly down the field with
            it!  We hear "Here Comes the Sun"...

            Little darlin', it's been a long, cold lonely winter.  Little
            darlin', it feels like years since you've been here.  Here
            comes the Sun...Here comes the sun...And I say, "It's
            alright..."

            And the CREDITS ROLL.

                                                          FADE TO BLACK.