The Anniversary Party Movie Script
FADE IN: TIGHT CLOSE - JOE THERRIAN - MORNING He's in his mid-thirties, his face relaxed in sleep, childlike. Nestled soundly a tangle in the arms of his wife. THE CAMERA STAYS CLOSE. SLIGHTLY BLURRED, SOFT, SLOWLY SWINGS ROUND TIGHT CLOSE - SALLY THERRIAN She's in her mid-thirties, with large deep eyes. She watches her husband unguarded in sleep. Her pretty face, alert, she's barely breathing. Traces the just visible lines around his eyes, and mouth. Brushes fingertips against his eyelashes. TIGHT CLOSE - SALLY'S HAND PULLS THE BEDROOM SHADE. It retracts with a loud WHACK, sun, sky, trees. STEVEN (O.S.) And breath...and chataronga... EXT. POOL AREA - DAY We're in the middle of a yoga lesson. Joe and Sally stand on their mats. Steven, their instructor, wanders around the couple issuing soft-spoken instructions. A large room with hard wood floors, dominated by a huge fireplace. The dining room on one side, living room on the other. Floor to ceiling windows overlook the back porch garden pool... The house is classic Neutra. All GLASS and SMOOTH LINES. The calm is broken by the telephone. Joe and Sally ignore it until the answering machine picks up. They break their yoga poses and listen. The CAMERA hovers over the answering machine. LUCY (O.S.) (over answering machine; sweet, British, slightly desperate) Joe, it's Lucy. Remember me? It's the black sheep here. Bah...not funny. Haven't heard from you, need you, call me. Love you madly. Hi, Sally. Joe, I'd love to talk to you before I go... JOE Go where? LUCY (O.S.) (over answering machine) It's a damn nuisance you aren't here, big brother. Sorry I drone on. I miss you. I lo-- The machine cuts her off. NEW ANGLE Joe and Sally have resumed their positions. This wasn't the call they were waiting for. WIDE SHOT AMERICA, forty-one, and ROSA, fifty, struggle up the steps of the back porch carrying grocery bags and packages, come through the sliding glass door... THE CAMERA FOLLOWS THEM Through the dining room and into the kitchen, watches the two unpack groceries, flowers, etc., and start to dress the dining room table. They speak quietly to each other in Spanish. JOE America, could you just... America closes the sliding doors between the kitchen and the dining room, giving the couple their privacy. JOE (CONT'D) (calls out) Thank you, America! STEVEN Okay, let's just take a deep breath, let your ribs expand and relax. And reach up and into downward dog. Otis, the Bisenji/Sheperd mix, sleeping on his leopard pillow, stirs, stretches and groans. JOE AND SALLY Good boy, Otis. The phone RINGS again. VOICE (O.S.) (over answering machine) Hello, I have Dr. Harmon calling for Sally Therrian. Sally jumps out of the down dog position and runs to the phone, all angles. SALLY Hello, hi, hi...and? Thank God. Sally stands with the phone to her ear, her back to Joe. EXT. POOL AREA - CONTINUOUS Joe watches her from his position, not concentrating on the teacher waiting a sign. Sally returns to the lesson. They do their handstands against the wall, on either side of the front door. SALLY No luck. JOE Oh, well, we'll just have to try again. Sound like a plan? Sally nods, she and Joe, at Steven's instructions, come out of their handstands and lie on the floor in a stretched relax, facing one another. SALLY Happy anniversary, baby. JOE Happy anniversary. They smile. STEVEN And change sides... America slides open the dining room doors. The dining table is covered with bundles of freshly cut flowers. Rosa is singing in Spanish. AMERICA (with the authority of long years of service) Mr. Joe, we have to have the house. If you please now... JOE It's yours. The CAMERA glances off photos of the couple: portraits and candids, their wedding day, with friends, on vacation, tumbling on the lawn, and the like. Some framed and hung, some taped to the fridge or simply leaning on a shelf. It's clear that at least a handful are by the same photographer, black and whites, grainy and beautiful. There are lots of photos of Joe and his sister Lucy, documenting their relationship from childhood. There's an ANNIE LEIBOWITZ photo-shoot of Sally carelessly displayed somewhere. INT. BEDROOM - LATER Joe stands behind Sally in front of the full length mirror, his arms around her, stroking her belly. JOE I love you. Most beautiful woman in the world. SALLY Hardly... JOE Accept a compliment. SALLY I think you're the most beautiful woman in the world. They move toward the bed. JOE What did you get me? SALLY In the morning, after everyone's gone and there's just us. She pushes him on the bed. JOE Kiss my eyes. She does. SALLY My wrists. He does. JOE Kiss the back of my knees. SALLY Through the sweats or not? JOE Not. She pulls down his sweats. She kisses the back of his knees. He turns, stares up at her. SALLY What? JOE You didn't kiss anyone else's knees, did you? Sally shakes her head. SALLY No. Did you? JOE (after a beat) No. I missed that. SALLY I missed all of you. We're okay, aren't we? JOE We're great. SALLY I mean, you're really back. JOE For good. They begin to make love...the phone RINGS. JOE (CONT'D) Don't get it. SALLY Well, it might be Clair. They're threatening not to come... JOE What? SALLY They can't find a sitter... (into the receiver) Hello? Excuse me? Yes, uh, hold on. (she looks at Joe) Just a moment. (puts the call on hold) It's Skye Davidson. She needs directions to the house. You invited Skye fucking Davidson to our anniversary party? JOE Okay. I'm sorry, look, I meant to tell you. It was the only chance I had to meet her. SALLY You invited her to our anniversary party? I didn't even invite my mother. JOE She goes on location tomorrow. Sally, I'm sorry. Look, I can't keep her on hold. SALLY (pissed) No, no of course not. It's Skye fucking Davidson, for fuck's sake. JOE (regards her) You want me to uninvite her? SALLY No, no of course not. How old is she? Twenty-fucking-two? She gets out of bed, starts into the bathroom. The CAMERA is with her. SALLY (CONT'D) (into the bathroom mirror) And she's a stinking fucking actress, for fuck's sake. JOE (into the receiver) Skye! (his face lights) I'm so glad you're able to make it...it's our sixth, actually. (flattered) You read the book again? Well, no, the ending to chapter six...it's just that it's not filmic. We tried it in an earlier draft, but, it just wasn't filmic... Well, sure, we can absolutely look at that again. If you're coming from Laurel, you want to take Sunset west, we're just past Will Rogers State Park. Three blocks west of that, you want to hang right. It's about three quarters of a mile up a big white thing on the left. Sally's started the bath, and is watching him from the doorway. He meets her eyes mid-sentence. JOE (CONT'D) Oh? I don't think tonight. I'm sure they're well behaved. All our friends have dogs, and they always want to bring them. We'd be outnumbered, you see? So we sort of put a ban on it. Sorry. He rolls his eyes. Sally walks back into the bathroom, she isn't buying it. JOE (O.S.) (CONT'D) I'm looking forward to meeting you, too. And Skye, I'm thrilled that you're willing to take this leap with me. Eternally grateful, really. SALLY (into the bathroom mirror) I'm going to throw up. JOE (O.S.) I can't imagine anyone else playing Genna. SALLY (sanguine) Really? INT. BEDROOM - LATER The doorbell rings. There are two closed doors on either side of the room. The bed shows no sign of consummated sex. Joe comes through the left hand door, nearly dressed. JOE Who the fuck can be here at this time? It's not even seven! Sally comes through the other door, one shoe off, one on. SALLY Oh Jesus, who else is always early for Christ's sake? NEW ANGLE Sally kisses his cheek on her way to the door. SALLY (CONT'D) Promise you'll be nice to the neighbors. JOE I'll say as little as possible. Sally exits the bedroom. HOLD ON JOE For a moment, then Sally re-enters, kisses him deeply. SALLY I love you. INT. FOYER - EARLY EVENING The house is filled with exquisite flower arrangements, candles everywhere. JERRY and JUDY ADAMS are on the porch, just beyond the glass of the front door. Their argument is inaudible. They're in their mid-thirties, conservatively dressed. She's stunning, genetically nervous. Jerry carries a briefcase. She's got the gift. Sally opens the door. Hugs and buses them, hello. JUDY I know we're early, we're so early. Sorry. JERRY You have to sign your taxes anyway. SALLY (a grin) Of course we do. (to Judy) We have to sign our taxes. JOE (kisses Judy; all charm) You can never be too early or too thin. JERRY Happy anniversary, buddy! Six months ago, who would have thunk it? Jerry hugs Joe. JOE (sotto) Well, not me, to be honest. JERRY (sotto) Don't fuck up again. It's got a ripple effect. Sally suffers, we all suffer. JUDY (offers) We have a gift? JOE Thanks, I'll take that. Champagne? JUDY Lovely. Joe moves toward the kitchen. JERRY (a moment, to Sally) We closed. SALLY Fantastic. (takes his hand) Out here. They step out onto the porch. Judy's left alone, unsure whether to follow or not. JUDY (finally, to no one, and to no response) The house looks beautiful, are those hydrangeas? She stands awkwardly in the middle of the foyer. EXT. PORCH - CONTINUOUS JERRY Joe officially owns No. 4, Cheyenne Walk, Chelsea, London, England. No small doing. SALLY I love you, you're a genius. Behind them, in the foyer, Judy wanders aimlessly. JERRY I suppose. Sally, that's quite a gift. I'm not sure it's in your best interest. SALLY I adore him. JERRY The realtor'll be here tomorrow in the morning. The house had to go on the market to insure the loan on the London flat. SALLY I know. I know that. Don't spoil it. JERRY What you earn has to double in order to cover expenses in London, it's an outrageously expensive city. SALLY We've only been over this how many times? JERRY You only made half your quote this year. SALLY Well, you're a tower of support. JERRY I worry because you don't. It's my job. I'm feeling guilty. I would've liked it if you waited until the two of you were on more solid ground. SALLY (direct, simple) We couldn't be on more solid ground. JERRY Whatever you say. Listen, I love you. Otis is barking. JOE (O.S.) Otis! No barking! SALLY (touched) And Joe's huge in Europe. He's like a rock star in London. His novels sell millions. JERRY Not millions. SALLY He's directing now. JERRY They're paying him scale. The CAMERA catches sight of Joe behind them. He moves through the foyer and into the living room with a tray of glasses and Judy in tow. SALLY He gets huge advances on his novels. He's going back to that. You know how he hates it here. JERRY There's still time to undo this. SALLY (kisses his cheek) We'll be fine. JERRY (re: barking dog) Did you invite them? SALLY The Roses? And of course they said yes. JERRY That was the plan. And you're thrilled to have them. SALLY Whatever you say. JERRY Did you tell Joe to behave? SALLY Yes. JERRY Did he promise? SALLY Scout's honor. JERRY Before I forget. (pulls a novel from his briefcase) Put it on the bookshelf. She flips the book -- on the back is a full page picture of RYAN ROSE. SALLY You're out of your mind. JERRY Just do what I say, alright? SALLY How much bowing and scraping do you want us to do? JERRY Beats a lawsuit. INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS Joe and Judy sit on opposite sides of the sofa -- slightly uncomfortable with each other. JOE (to fill the silence, conspiratorial grin) I love gifts. What did you guys get us? JUDY (chokes on the champagne) Nothing that can't be exchanged. JOE Oh. Well. Good. JUDY Congratulations on the deal. How exciting. Is Sally doing Sally? I mean it's Sally. The character that's based on Sally. The character that's based on Sally in the book. JOE The novel. No, Skye Davidson is playing the lead. JUDY Oh my God, I'm a huge Skye Davidson fan. She's very beautiful. JOE Yes, she is. JUDY (trying harder) But I am right, yes? She's based on Sally. JOE It's a novel. JUDY Still. Well. Let's drop it. JOE Yes. JUDY I'm not much of a reader, but I do love autobiographies, even biographies sometimes. Mostly non-fiction. Did you read the new Styron? JOE No. JUDY It's very good. (a moment) I understand you won the Booker Prize. JOE Yes I did. JUDY (another moment) Is your script much like the novel? Jerry says it's very good. But you know, you read the novel, and then you see the movie - and most of the time you say, "what's this?" You know? I sometimes think we're better off not reading the novel at all. Because, we come with expectations... and of course, we know where we're going. Don't you find? JOE Don't I find what? JUDY I don't know why Joe, we've known each other how long... JOE Not long. JUDY (benign) Don't be silly. JOE Joking. JUDY Yes I know. I started to say... I started to say Joe that -- JOE Do I put you off? JUDY You manage to throw me off balance. I adore you. JOE And I you. JUDY But I'm always afraid I'll say something stupid. JOE Ah. JUDY And so I always manage to, do you see? Like the book/script thing, do you see? JOE Mmm hmmm. INT. FOYER CAL and SOPHIA GOLD are there with their children - JACK and EVIE - eight and six respectively. Carrying gifts and totes with toys and changes. Jerry and Sally have gathered them up and ushered them in. SALLY You know Jerry. CAL Yes, of course. SOPHIA I'm the wife. We've met. JERRY (hugs her) You, I know. SALLY (to Evie) Hey, beautiful girl. She picks up the four-year-old, swings her around. Jack hides behind his father's legs. SOPHIA (a grin) Jack? Jack, you promised. The little boy comes out from behind his father's legs, covers his eyes with his hands. JACK (sings) Happy anniversary to you. We're glad Joe came home. Don't split up again. Cause we like the food. Much laughter and clapping. JOE (in the archway) Jack. Did you compose that yourself? CAL Absolutely. JOE Had a little help? CAL Absolutely not. JOE It has your ring. CAL I'm not that good. JERRY Cal, my wife Judy. JUDY Nice to meet you. CAL I think we've met, actually. No? At another one of these things? JUDY No, I don't think so. JERRY (to Cal) Congratulations on the Academy Award. Great performance. Really warranted. SOPHIA He thought so. JERRY Sally always manages to get robbed. SALLY (a mortified grin) Enough about me. SOPHIA Evie has a little something for you. Evie shakes her head. SOPHIA (CONT'D) You do. EVIE (even) I don't think so. SALLY Since when are you so shy? EVIE (her mother's daughter) Never. SOPHIA (bright smile) Honey, we have gifts for you and all sorts of surprises. Where is America? I know she's here somewhere. Joe reaches for the gifts. JOE I'll take them. SOPHIA No, I have a little talking to do with America. Privately. I'll find her. SALLY (to Sophia) In the kitchen. JOE Who'd like to go and find Otis? EVIE Me! JACK I guess. JUDY The infamous dog? JOE He's the best dog in the world. (to Judy) They're both coming tonight. Not my idea. JUDY Ours. JOE It's Jerry's worst idea. CAL What's that? JOE The neighbors from hell. The kind that lay in wait. I'd rather move actually. Wouldn't I? (to Sally) Wouldn't I? SALLY (small smile) Yes. JOE (to the kids) Okay. Last one to find Otis is a smelly old bum. Joe goes off with the children to find Otis. Cal sits at the piano, plays. INT. FOYER - FRONT DOOR - CONTINUOUS Joe holds Evie in one arm. Jack stands beside him, holds his hand. MONICA and RYAN ROSE face him across the threshold -- the NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS. She's in her late twenties - and beautiful, eyes everywhere - star struck and house struck. Ryan is somewhat older, a little awkward in company, swallowing resentment and a little self righteous. JOE Well, hello you two. (putting Evie down; to Jack) These are the people who live next door. Say hello. Jack does. JOE (CONT'D) And close the door, Jack. Because if we leave it open, Otis will run out and you know what will happen then? JACK Uh, uh. JOE He'll run next door into their backyard and he'll bark and bark and bark and eat their pitbull for his dinner. Is it a pitbull? RYAN (not amused) No, actually. JOE (to Jack) Oh whatever. We don't want that to happen, do we? JACK No? RYAN It's a rottweiler, actually. (to Jack) I don't think our rottweiler is in any danger, Jack. JOE Well, Jack and I are very relieved. RYAN I thought this was a party. Are we going to talk about the dog thing? MONICA Please, Ryan. JOE (kisses her cheek and shakes his hand) No, he's absolutely right. You're absolutely right, Ryan. Dog talk must be banned. Canine conversations are completely discouraged... it's really good of you to join us. Can I get you a drink? RYAN Not for me, thanks. An awkward moment. MONICA (checks with Ryan) Something soft. JOE Right away. Are you sure you wouldn't like something soft, Ryan? RYAN I'm sure, yes. Sally has watched some of this from the archway, joins them super-friendly. SALLY Hi. Monica and Ryan? MONICA Sally? SALLY Yes. And you've met Joe. RYAN Yes. SALLY (a deep breath) Well, so glad you decided to come. MONICA We could hardly say no. SALLY Oh? Joe slips the coke into Monica's hand. SALLY (CONT'D) (takes the gift) Thank you. This was so unnecessary. I hope you've noticed that Otis isn't barking as much. We keep him in at night. RYAN At 4:30 today he barked for a solid fifteen minutes. I have it on tape. SALLY You're keeping a record, are you? RYAN It's just very distracting when you're trying to work. MONICA Ryan. RYAN (to Joe) I'm sure you understand. SALLY Well the neighborhood is full of dogs, and it's not always Otis. RYAN Well today it was Otis. And you should keep him away from our yard. Because Sheila will defend herself. MONICA Ryan! SALLY (cuts off response from Joe; to Ryan) Are you working on a new book? RYAN (caught short; flattered) Well, yes, actually. MONICA He always has two or three going... SALLY Really? Joe can't manage more than one at a time. With huge gaps in between. NEW ANGLE MAC and CLAIR FORSYTHE wave from the door. Clair's arms are full of presents. Mac carries three video cameras under his arm. He's got Otis by the collar. MAC You lose this? JOE (re: Otis) Ah there's our snookums now. RYAN Yes, well, but I haven't won a Booker either. Or the Whitebread. MAC The gate was open. SALLY Well, not yet. (she reacts to Mac) The gate was open? JOE It's taken care of. MONICA I think Ryan needs a new publisher. I think he's outgrown him. They're just not doing their job. A silence. Awkward smiles go all around. SALLY Hors d'oeuvres or something? MONICA Yes, great! It's a beautiful house. SALLY Thank you. I understand you're an interior decorator. MONICA Yes. SALLY I so wish I'd known. MONICA Well, whoever did this is amazing. SALLY I did it. JOE (comes on them with the Forsythes in tow) She rarely cops to it. (kisses Sally's cheek) Otis is home. CLAIR (re: the gifts) Where can I put these? Sally takes the gifts from her. CLAIR (CONT'D) What a fucking day! We only just got a sitter. I don't know her from fucking Adam. She could be a serial killer. I'm going to have to call every ten minutes. You have to let me give out the number. SALLY Of course. MAC She already has. CLAIR It's alright, isn't it? SALLY Of course it's alright. MAC Clair is a hovering mother. CLAIR I'm not. SALLY This is Monica and Ryan. Mac and Clair. Clair takes a glass of champagne off the tray as they make their way down the hall. CLAIR (a wide professionally ingratiating smile) So nice... MONICA And for us... Truly. CLAIR Well... MONICA You will never know. CLAIR (pleased) Oh. (to Sally) I have a four-thirty call. AM. So we may have to leave early. SALLY Why didn't you bring him? CLAIR What? SALLY Why didn't you bring him? CLAIR (searches) He's allergic. SALLY Oh. CLAIR To dander. Otis. SALLY Oh. CLAIR Didn't I say? SALLY Well, probably. CLAIR They can tell from the eyelashes, you know? He's got eyelashes yay long. They must be a foot long. The older you are when you have a baby, the more likely this stuff is to crop up. SALLY (muted) Oh. The Roses are happy to stand there on the fringe. Next to someone they've only seen on screen and magazine covers. Clair's not in the least put off by them. She manages to smile at them inclusively from time to time. CLAIR So they tell me. Not soon enough, of course. (kisses her cheek) How are you, Sal? You look fantastic. It changes your life, you know. A baby. It puts everything in perspective, doesn't it. Doesn't it, Mac? You can't be the center of your own world, anymore. MAC (as grounded as Clair isn't) It's an object lesson in grace. (on seeing Cal Gold on the back porch) Wow! Look who's here before me! My leading man is on time for once. CAL (at the piano) Those who can't direct. MAC Fuck you. EXT. POOL AREA Mac and Cal sit on the porch sharing a joint. Cal is maybe the only living complete works of Shakespeare and pulls out his most arcane quotes on occasion. CAL Are those our dailies? You're totally outrageous. It's their anniversary. Is nothing sacred! Well...so...how am I? MAC (laughing) Oh man, you are so fucking funny in the kitchen scene. CAL I liked the third take, the accidental disaster with the silverware. MAC Nothing you do is accidental... MEDIUM FULL SHOT The CAMERA spots GINA TAYLOR through moving bodies. Tall, beautiful, centered grace. She's got a Leica around her neck... drops her two large camera bags on the floor. Several of the other guests greet her, Mac among them. TIGHT CLOSE Joe sweeps her up to his arms. It's an intimate, appreciative embrace. Theirs was a mid-30s relationship, certainly pre-Sally. Maybe his first important love. GINA (re: the cameras) I'm the hired help. JOE (affectionate) Fuck you. GINA I never put myself in harm's way. JOE Anymore. GINA No, not anymore. Happy anniversary, scout. NEW ANGLE Sophia bursts from the kitchen. SOPHIA Oh my God! America told me your neighbors are coming? SALLY And here they are! SOPHIA And she was saying how happy you were to finally have them over. Because you're both, so, what - introspective? And you should have done it ages ago. I'm Sophia Gold. (rescuing Sally) Come meet my husband, Cal. MONICA Cal Gold? SOPHIA The very one. And you are... SALLY Monica and Ryan. RYAN Rose. SOPHIA Sorry? RYAN Ryan Rose. SOPHIA Yes. She shakes his hand. He's amazed at the solid grip. SALLY He's a novelist. SOPHIA Ah. SALLY Like Joe. SOPHIA Hmm. (to Sally) Where are my kids? SALLY In the guest room. I've laid out a paint table for them. SOPHIA I hope they're watercolors! SALLY Nevermind. SOPHIA (to Monica) Would you like to meet my husband? It's all Monica can do to keep from putting her hand to her chest. MONICA I'd be thrilled. SOPHIA Then he'll be thrilled. She ushers them toward the living room. JOE (re: Sophia, appreciative) She's such pure evil. Sally approaches, gives Gina a warm kiss on the chest. SALLY Thanks for coming. GINA Happy anniversary. You're a good match, you two. (to Joe) Can you help me with this stuff? JOE (re: one of her bags) That for us? GINA What a nose. You missed your calling. JOE Can I open it? GINA (defers) Sally? JOE Please? SALLY He's impossible. Go on then. Joe rips open the gift. It's a framed black and white of Joe, Sally and Otis lying on the couch. It's clear which photos in the house are Gina's. It's a breathtaking print, an amazing caught moment. All light and shadow. A touching study. SALLY (CONT'D) (respectful of the talent) It's beautiful, thank you so much. Joe, moved somehow, hugs Gina to him. Kisses her. JOE I love you, Gina Taylor. Sally's uncomfortable, a little jealous... feels intrusive. Aware that Gina got there first. Knew him when. And always captures something naked and vulnerable in his face. CUT TO: INT. GUEST ROOM - CONTINUOUS In the center of the room a low table with paints and crayons and glue and baubles. Two child size chairs either side. Empty, the table hasn't been touched. Evie stands against the far wall. She wears a helmet and is surrounded by toy suction arrows. The arrows make a perfect outline of her head and body. Jack stands three feet away, bow in hand -- the archer prepares his next shot. INT. LIVING ROOM Cal is at the piano, charming the neighbors. Judy chats with Mac. Jerry is on his cellphone, holding his Palm Pilot, his hand pressed against his ear to block out the chatter. Sally joins Cal on the piano stool. Sophia moves to Clair on the couch, kisses her cheek. SOPHIA You look so well, Clair. A wraith. CLAIR (pleased) You think so!? I've been working out a lot since the baby. And I've been working. And that takes it's toll, you know. SOPHIA I'm glad that's all over for me. CLAIR Don't you miss it? SOPHIA Never. CLAIR Really. SOPHIA Not for a second. Cal can have all that. CLAIR Really? SOPHIA So where is young Jonah? CLAIR With a sitter. We have a sensational sitter. Jonah's really comfortable with her. You know, a second mom sort of. Like part of the family. Amazing with kids. She inadvertently touches the beeper on her belt, and it beeps. She jumps. SOPHIA What is that thing? CLAIR So this sitter can always reach me. I'm still not used to leaving him. SOPHIA You should have brought him. CLAIR (shrugs) Dander. He's allergic. Otis. SOPHIA Oh. Do you have any pictures? CLAIR Pictures. They're always in my tote. I left my tote in the damn trailer. But! He's Mac all over again. Imagine Mac shrunk to two-and-a-half feet. The fact is they probably didn't even need me for this birth. SOPHIA Are you the funniest person I know, or what? CLAIR I can't think how you gave it all up, Soph. Sophia sends her a soft, content smile. Otis comes over and nuzzles Clair's knee. CLAIR (CONT'D) (freeks) Oh my God, the dog! INT. KITCHEN/HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS Clair leads Sally towards the bedroom. CLAIR It sounds hysterical, but Otis just rubbed up against me and I'd kind of like to change into something of yours. You know it could be disaster. He's so allergic. It's terrifying. SALLY Borrow whatever you like. CLAIR I'll change back before we leave. SALLY (pointed) Whatever you like. I'm afraid it'll all be too big for you. (a moment) Are you alright, Clair? CLAIR I'm fine. I'm fine. Well, I'm a little stressed. And I've been taking pills to get my weight down since the baby. SALLY I'd say it was down. CLAIR And the doctor said they might make me a little jumpy. I've got a ghastly headache, actually. SALLY You want a Tylenol, or something? CLAIR I'd love a Xanex. (a moment) Sally, please don't tell Sophia that I'm not breast feeding. SALLY Why would she care? CLAIR You know Sophia. She's so damned judgemental. And she's so damned... perfect. And so fucking... serene. Just fucking don't tell her. Because you know Mac thinks she's God. And I can feel him comparing. SALLY You need to knock off the pills, Clair. CLAIR Just don't fucking tell her. SALLY It's not going to come up. INT. FOYER - LEVI PANES THROUGH THE GLASS DOOR - DAY A Peter Sellers look-a-like holding a violin case. JOE (opens the door) Panes! How are you? PANES Oh, you know, I am. JOE Has she called? PANES She'll never call again. She called last week to tell me she'll never call again. Where's Sally? SALLY (O.S.) Here I am. Panes, my love! Sally starts down the hallway. SALLY (CONT'D) (for Panes; a long supportive hug; a kiss) Good, you brought your violin. I want you to play. PANES It's a machine gun. I thought I'd kill myself. SALLY Are you lovesick? PANES Suicidal. It's much less codependent. SALLY Will champagne help? PANES Not enough. Sally takes Panes into the living room where everyone chats, drinks, smokes. They all like each other out of habit, if nothing else. Ryan and Monica are on the fringe, stand at the edges of conversation. There's always someone at the piano, and they can all pretty much play. SALLY Panes is here! PANES (gives everyone a shy, pained little wave) Oh great. Everyone stops, turns, toasts. EVERYONE Panes! MONICA/RYAN (a little late; into silence) Panes. Panes gives them another little wave. Doorbell rings. TIGHT CLOSE - SKYE DAVIDSON SKYE Hi. She's the young, beautiful actress who'll play the lead in Joe's film. JOE (his face lights up) Skye! She's in jeans, but somehow looks dressed to the 9s. SKYE You're Joe, aren't you? (nods knowingly) I recognized you from the book jacket. Joe grins from ear to ear. Uncharacteristically star struck in front of this beauty. JOE How do you do, Skye? SKYE Oh, I love that. (throws arms around him) I'm just great. I'm so happy to be here. And I apologize for invading you. And I'm so happy you asked me to. I'm so touched. I know how private you and Sally are. JOE (uncomfortable) Yeah, well, it's just us and a few hundred of our closest friends. SKYE (genuine) When I read your work I felt that you knew me. Women must tell you that. And this one in particular speaks to me, do you know? I am Genna. How many women must tell you that. And the script is wonderful. Wonderful and lean and visual... JOE I'm so happy you like it. I'm so relieved you said yes, and I'm really, um, what, thrilled, yes actually, to finally meet you. SKYE You're going to be a remarkable director, a brilliant director. There's a long moment. JOE (finally) I think you're my first Goddess. Sally and Panes have been watching from the living room. PANES She's even better looking in the flesh. SALLY Really? I need a drink. Come hide with me. INT. KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER America and Rosa are working at the counter, Panes and Sally come through. SALLY Oh, Jesus, Panes. I can't, I can't believe that bitch is in my house. PANES You don't know she's a bitch. SALLY She's all over him, are you blind? PANES It could be worse. SALLY How? PANES She could be playing the role in Joe's movie that should be yours. SALLY Fuck you, Panes. PANES You see, that's worse. SALLY I just wanted tonight to be with the people we love. PANES Like your business managers? SALLY They're not just our business managers, Panes. PANES Oh, okay, forgive me. Your neighbors are here, for fuck's sake. SALLY Exactly what I mean. It's all ruined. PANES It's not ruined, for fuck's sake. It's one of your parties. SALLY I don't want it to be just one of our parties. PANES "How are you really doing, Panes?" "Lousy, thank you, I'm falling apart." SALLY Like the last time. PANES No. No, not like the last time. She was the rest of my life. SALLY Like the last time. PANES I wasn't finished. SALLY Okay. PANES "We can't stand seeing you like this, Panes. I hate you being alone. Why don't you stay with us for a while?" "I'd love to, thanks." SALLY It's our anniversary, Panes. PANES I didn't hear me say tonight. SALLY We're just feeling our way back. PANES "Otherwise, we'd insist on your being here." SALLY You know it's true. Skye bursts into the kitchen, Sally and Panes freeze. SKYE (stuck) Oh my God, sorry. I'm interrupting. SALLY I'll be right out. PANES (over Sally) Come on in. SKYE I'm in the same room with Sally Nash. Oh my God. You're my icon. I've been watching your films since I was a little girl. Like, four years ago I followed you all around the Beverly Center - at least half a day, working up the courage to introduce myself. Joe enters the kitchen, watches. SALLY I don't think I ever spent half a day in the Beverly Center. SKYE Whatever, do you remember? I've seen all your movies. When I was in rehab, the second time, they wouldn't even let us see your drug addict movie. They said you were too real. I worship you. And I couldn't be more flattered, because I know the part I'm playing in Joe's movie is based on you as a young woman. Joe winces, uncomfortable, picks up the bottle of wine and leaves. SKYE (CONT'D) And I'm overwhelmed. And I want to do it justice. And I hope we can spend time together. And I'm gushing. It's my worst quality. PANES Not at all. SKYE Oh my god. I've been so rude. I'm Skye Davidson. Has anyone ever told you, you look like Peter Sellers? PANES No, never. SALLY (overlapping Panes) Everyday. PANES I'm Levi Panes. Will you excuse us, Skye? It's time for Sally's meds. Panes steers Sally out of the kitchen. SALLY It's nice to meet you... again. They go. Skye is left in the kitchen alone. SKYE (to America) Oh my God, she remembers me! INT. FOYER - MEDIUM CLOSE Sally and Panes start down the hall in search of privacy. SALLY (under her breath) Thank you, thank you, thank you. CLAIR (on the way down; a dream in white) My God, your wardrobe is incredible. It took me forever to decide. Oh, and I found Dr. X, thank you. You saved my life. She moves past them. SALLY (a moment; sotto) Shit! PANES (re: the dress) I'd cut off her red wine if I were you. SALLY Shit. It's my Galiano. PANES What does that mean? SALLY About five thousand dollars. With my discount. The CAMERA follows them into the bedroom. They flop down onto the bed and into FRAME. INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS More guests have arrived. Sophia and her children play with Otis. America and Rosa pass round hot hors d'oeuvres. Joe places Gina's photo on the mantelpiece. GINA (regards him) Directing suits you. JOE I'm not so sure. Look again in three months. GINA It must be nice having so many strangers kiss your ass all of a sudden. JOE Ow! Gina, you obviously need to get fucked. GINA Just did. Jealous? JOE When does he graduate high school? GINA (laughing) Oh, very jealous. Joe laughs. GINA (CONT'D) I saw Lucy when I was in London, she seems okay. It's hard to tell with her. JOE Shit, I forgot to call her back. She's off on a trip somewhere. Oh God, my grandad's flat in London's been sold. GINA In Cheyene Walk? Lucy's going to have a meltdown. Oh, I'm so sorry. JOE I should have damn well bought it. Well, we can't afford it. The movie's going to eat up a year of my life and I'm getting paid next to nothing. Do you know how much Skye Davidson's getting? Four million. GINA Yeah, but I hear she gives a mean blow job. JOE You really need to be fucked. INT. BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS SALLY So how are you really doing, Panes? PANES Why don't you go fuck yourself? SALLY (laughs) No. Really. For real. Really. PANES I'm worried about your Galiano. SALLY (slaps him) You're a shit. PANES No, really, five thousand with your discount. He rolls out from under her swat, she misses him. PANES (CONT'D) You hurt, you know. You're stronger than you think. They lie prone across the bed, about a foot apart. Contemplating the floor. PANES (CONT'D) (finally) How's the movie going? Your movie. You are making a movie, aren't you? SALLY Yes. Fine. PANES That's it? Yes. Fine? SALLY I don't want to talk about it. PANES Why not? SALLY I never like to talk about my work. PANES Alright. Well, that's something new. SALLY No. Not something new. PANES Well, something's wrong. SALLY Nothing's wrong. It's great, okay? Having the time of my life. Mac's a fantastic director. And what can anyone say about Cal that hasn't been said. And it's great working with friends, blah blah blah. PANES (a moment; little smile) Um. Happy for you. SALLY Thanks. PANES So tell me, how's it going? SALLY Oh you know. No doubts. No second thoughts. Am I a monster? PANES You're my best friend. SALLY That's not an answer, is it? PANES Yes, you're a monster. She takes his hand. Sounds of the party come from below. SALLY (a moment) Thank you, Panes. PANES You don't need to thank me. SALLY (another moment) We're going to have to go back out there. PANES I guess. But neither of them moves. INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS SANFORD JEWISON is at the piano playing his own stuff, oblivious to the din. The CAMERA gets a glimpse of Ryan through the French doors at the pool, alone, a glass of Perrier in his hand. MEDIUM CLOSE Monica alone, uneasy, starts to pour herself a glass of champagne. Jeffrey gets to the bottle first. JEFFREY Let me. (pours for her) I'm Jeffrey. MONICA Monica. JEFFREY And you know our friends, how? MONICA We live next door. JEFFREY Oh. You're them. MONICA Excuse me? JEFFREY We've heard lots about you. MONICA (lost) You have? EXT. POOL - CONTINUOUS Judy Adams lost herself a little, steps outside, sits alone... JUDY (smiles over at Ryan) Hi. RYAN Hi. A little close in there. JUDY Yup. INT. MUSIC LIBRARY - CONTINUOUS A small, narrow room. Not much more than an alcove. With space for a desk, stereo equipment, and shelves packed with CDs. The topmost shelf is a line of record albums. Joe's picking through the CDs. Monica wanders in from the living room, toting a glass of champagne... watches him for a moment. MONICA Your Eames table is incredible. And the B&B. I just put that in a client's home, actually, but in red. JOE You're an interior decorator, right? MONICA (nods) Sally did all this herself? JOE In fits and starts -- and then, later, of course, she had to accommodate me. So things shifted a little bit then, became more eclectic. And it keeps changing. MONICA (somehow at a loss) Mmm. It says something about the two of you maybe. JOE Yeah, we're in a constant state of flux. (re: champagne) I see you've moved up from the soft stuff. MONICA Oh, yes. You know Ryan's been sober eight years. And it's difficult if I... you know. It's better if I don't. JOE Uh-huh. MONICA I'm a little nervous, so... JOE Oh. MONICA A little out of my element. JOE No you're not. MONICA Well, yes. Yes, in fact. A little on the outside, yes. And there's been all this friction. JOE Hm. MONICA I don't know why, but these misunderstandings have a way of escalating. JOE Very well put. MONICA I think a lot of this could have been avoided if Sally made more of an effort. JOE What? MONICA But you're very private people. You know, there's a kind of elitism... JOE (pissed) Elitism? MONICA The wrong word, maybe. Delete that. And, you know, the dog barks incessantly. JOE And you know, he really does not. MONICA And Ryan works at home. JOE And your phone calls are nasty and abusive. And I've come this close to suing you for harassment. And you're only here because we're supposed to be sucking up to you. Her eyes well with tears. JOE (CONT'D) Oh shit. I'm sorry. MONICA Well, that's what Ryan thought. I was more generous, actually. JOE Oh shit. I'm sorry. I'm a total fucking maniac. Delete all that, okay? I spoke for myself, this needn't rub off on my wife. Oh shit. I get pissy sometimes. Much worse than Otis. Otis doesn't bite. It's just, I really love my dog and he doesn't really bark a lot. We live in a canyon. We hear dogs barking at night, too. And it's not Otis. Monica starts to laugh. MONICA Alright. It appears she's consumed more than one glass of champagne. JOE Easy tiger. MONICA Alright. Please don't tell Ryan I'm drinking. JOE Scout's honor. MONICA (grins) I'll be your best friend. She feels they've bonded. She pulls a well-thumbed copy of Joe's novel from her purse. MONICA (CONT'D) Would you sign it for me. (digs for a pen) I'm sure this is inappropriate. JOE We're way past inappropriate. Monica giggles, presses back the bubble rising in her chest and moving toward her throat. Manages not to burp. MONICA (as he signs it) I'll treasure this. He moves towards the doorway, Monica at his heals. JOE I need to leave you now. MONICA I will treasure this. JOE (shouting down the hall) Sally!!!! INT. DAILIES ROOM - LATER - DAY Sally's team prepares clues for charades. Sally writes them down, throws them in a bowler hat. Her teammates are Panes, Sophia, Mac, Ryan, Sanford and Jeffrey. SALLY Panes? PANES From Jewish Folk Poetry, a song cycle... MAC What? SALLY Trust him. PANES It's Shostakovich. Ryan spots his book on the shelf and pulls it out, delighted. SALLY Sandy... SANFORD The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. SALLY (turns to him) Ryan? RYAN (pleased) I didn't know you had this. SALLY Oh. Well, yes. It's extraordinary. You think you could sign it for us? RYAN Absolutely. You always wonder where your books end up. Why don't we use it? JUDY Good idea. RYAN There's not a chance in hell anyone will get it... MAC Down by Law. SOPHIA Who's not going to get that in fifteen seconds. INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS Joe's team works on it's clues. Teammates: Gina, Cal, Clair, Skye, Monica, Jerry and Mary-Lynn. Everyone is talking over each other and fighting for attention. There are a lot of strong personalities here. JOE Can we... one at a time? Hold it down, and one at a time. You're last, Cal. CAL Why last? MONICA The Katzenjammer Kids. There's a hush. MONICA (CONT'D) You know. It's the Funnies. The Katzenjammer Kids. It's my mother's favorite charade's clue. No one ever gets it. Pause. JOE Alright. Good. Fine, I vote for that. He writes it down. MONICA With a "Z." K. A. T. Z. GINA When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King What He Knows... People hoot, throw their cocktail napkins. GINA (CONT'D) What? SKYE Utopia Parkway... They all start talking on top of each other again. INT. LIVING ROOM - LATER The teams have come together. JOE Who's keeping time? Mac raises his hand on Sally's side, Jerry on Joe's. JOE (CONT'D) Two minutes. SALLY (deferring first turn to Joe) It's alright. Be our guests. She offers the hat. JOE (offers the hat) You darling. Panes reaches into the hat. PANES (reads clue; to Joe) What is it? Joe whispers to him. PANES (CONT'D) What's a sign for that? JOE Come on, Panes... JERRY Go! Panes mimes a belly laugh. JEFFREY What the hell is that? SALLY What is it Panes? Panes sighs. SOPHIA Two words. He belly laughs. JUDY Funny. A finger to his nose - elongate the word. SANFORD Funnies? Panes does an "ON THE NOSE." Gets on all fours. Licks his paws. RYAN The Katzenjammer Kids. The team applauds delight. Panes preens. Joe's team looks over at Monica. JERRY (already pissed) It's only just started. Great. The husband's on the other fucking team. Jerry reaches into the hat. Looks at the clue. MAC Go. JERRY Hey! Would you? MAC It was fifteen seconds. JERRY I don't think so. MAC Are you always this much fun? SALLY (a grin) Take your time, Jer. JERRY I'm ready. He gives the clue "a song." CAL Song. He gives "cycle." GINA Cycle. CAL Two words. Second word. Jerry goes to work on "sounds like" for the word Jewish. Strokes beard, thinks, tries "sounds like" again. TEAM Think. Pain. CAL (among others) Ponder. JERRY Come on, folks. CAL First word. Jerry does the sign for the "short word." TEAM To, the, but, or... Jerry shakes his head. Goes to the third word. TEAM (CONT'D) Third word. One syllable. Jerry pulls his ear, "sounds like". Slides his finger through the O created by his thumb and forefinger. TEAM (CONT'D) Fuck...sounds like... Fork. Flock... he does the finger sign again. TEAM (CONT'D) Fuck. Folk. Jerry gives them "on the nose." TEAM (CONT'D) Second word. MAC Thirty seconds. Jerry turns, gives them a dirty look. JOE Jer. Over here. Over here. TEAM Second word. He strokes his beard again. SKYE (blurts out) From Jewish Folk Poetry. Jerry looks at her, amazed. She stands, throws hands up in triumph, does a little victory circle. The CAMERA CUTS through the rest of the game, aggressive, competitive, verging on hostile. Sally is often aching from laughter, tears streaming down her face. JERRY Time. Hey! Time. Judy! Time you guys. Hey!! JUDY (she's up; turns to him, zeig heil's him) Ya Vhol. What are you, a fucking Nazi? JERRY Well it's fucking time. TIME CUT TO: CLOSE SHOT JERRY (CONT'D) (shouting guesses) Walk. Cripple. Limp. Ankle. Second syllable. Second syllable. Move on to the fucking second syllable. Gina giving clues starts to laugh. JERRY (CONT'D) (sings out) The clock is ticking! Gina loses it, cracks up. MAC Time. TIME CUT TO: Jeffrey's on his feet, giving the clue. SALLY'S TEAM (unison) Quote. Play. SOPHIA Oh shit. It's one of Cal's. Obscure Shakespeare, folks. Cal gives her a little wave from the other side. SOPHIA (CONT'D) (calls over to him) Maybe something original for a change. Cal blows her a kiss. SALLY'S TEAM (in unison) Ten...twenty...thirty...seven, eight. Thirty-eighth word...thirty-seventh word. Gina's been taking shots through the course of the game, and the FRAME will freeze black and white on one of another delicious moment. There's a spectacular shot of Sally, unaware, laughing, sad soft eyes on Joe. MEDIUM CLOSE - AMERICA She watches the game from the archway, waits for a break. Sky's up. Joe's team yells frantic guesses. Jerry's suicidal. Sally's team watches, self-satisfied, throw barbed asides. SALLY (to Joe's look; innocence) I didn't say a word. MAC Time! JERRY What was it? What the fuck was it? SALLY (small grin) Ryan's novel. JERRY Ryan's novel? JUDY Ryan's novel, Jerry. AMERICA (sings out) Dinner! SALLY Still champions. JOE Panes is not on your team anymore. PANES What did I do? SALLY Panes is not on my team anymore. I'll have Panes if I like. AMERICA Dinner. SALLY Dinner. JOE It's an unfair advantage. SALLY You've got Cal. You've got Gina. You've got Skye? We're the leftovers. JOE Okay, knock it off. SALLY Truce? JOE Truce. SALLY Dinner. (on the move) Don't be angry. JOE (pissed) I'm not fucking angry, for God's sake. EXT. POOL AREA - MAGIC HOUR Evie and Jake run along the side of the house. Behind the glass walls the CAMERA catches adults moving through the living room and into the dining room. INT. DINING ROOM - MAGIC HOUR Most everyone's moved through to the dining room. The table is filled with platters of beautifully prepared food. Candles, flowers. ASTRID, newly arrived, carrying a miniature furball, of questionable breed, is first in line and halfway around the table. She feeds "Anouk" bits from the table enroute. ASTRID (barely looks up as Sally comes into the room) So who won? SALLY (raises her hand) A triumph. When did you get here? ASTRID Ten, fifteen minutes ago. SALLY Why didn't you come in? ASTRID I hate the sight of blood. You guys don't take prisoners. SKYE (charmed by the bundle in Astrid's arm) Oh how sweet. The furball bares teeth and growls. ASTRID She's insanely jealous. INT. LIVING ROOM - MEDIUM CLOSE ASTRID - NIGHT She slips another morsel into Anouk's mouth, murmurs baby talk, allows the dog to take a bit of chicken from between her teeth. CLAIR That's revolting, Astrid. People sit in small groups, eating dinner, catching up. Latecomers, bunch around Joe. Sam Feckman, an actor also in Mac's film, holds forth. Panes finds room next to Skye. PANES Is there space here? SKYE Yes. PANES Do you need anything else? SKYE No, no thanks. He sits on the floor along side her. They eat in silence for a moment. PANES (finally) I was impressed. SKYE Oh? PANES The charades. SKYE Thank you. PANES That was my clue. SKYE Oh? PANES The Shostakovich. SKYE Really?? PANES (does Seller's Indian) Oh yes, indeed. That was my clue, you see. Skye giggles appreciative response. PANES (CONT'D) (still Indian) So you are well acquainted with this Shostackovich, as am I. Other arrivals pick their way through bodies and plates. Walk over to Sally and kiss her cheek. Joe and Gina and Jeffrey sit off to the side. JOE I hate the idea of some one else living in it. Joe pulls Sally to him and wraps his arms around her. JOE (CONT'D) Sally's never even seen it. I thought we'd raise our kids there. Sally held in Joe's arms, smiles. The cat who ate the canary. JOE (CONT'D) Have I ever told you how Lucy and I nearly squashed each other getting into the dumb waiter. GINA/JEFFREY/SALLY Yes./Often./I stopped counting. JOE The dumb waiter was our... GINA Escape hatch. JOE (eyes her) Escape hatch. And Dad was having a go about the garden. Something was misplanted... SALLY Not properly watered. JOE Whatever! (to Gina) You know how he gets. Well, he went absolutely bonkers. Lucy and I were frantically trying to scramble into the dumb waiter and I didn't fit any more. It was almost fatal. And that, my dear friends, is the day... SALLY/JEFFREY I realized I had become a man. Ta da! GINA You're not a man, Joe. You're a boy. JOE (childishly) So? GINA (laughs) I love you, Joe Therrian. SALLY (at a loss, small) Me too. Sophia watches from across the living room. NEW ANGLE INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Astrid squeezes in next to Sally, on her second portion of everything. She allows Anouk to nibble from her plate. ASTRID You're not upset that I brought the dog? SALLY Would it make a difference? ASTRID Anouk isn't like a dog, really. More like a small person. So is there anyone here for me? No one looks new. (fixes on Ryan) Who's that? SALLY You don't want that. It's married and it's the neighbor. ASTRID Oh I think he's cute. How's the marriage part working out? SALLY You're fucking desperate. ASTRID Like you didn't know. (re: Skye) Who invited the bimbo? SALLY One guess. INT. LIVING ROOM The CAMERA stays close on the cake as America wheels the cart into the living room. The top of it sports Sally and Joe's faces on either side of Otis, a detailed edible photograph. There are three sixes across the top. There's a freed up pathway. Cal taps the side of his champagne glass with a fork. SOPHIA (re: the cake as it comes in) Part of our gift. Honey!! CAL (clinks his glass) Here, here. Clair picks up discarded dinner plates. Otis takes care of those behind couches, under tables. The gifts are stacked high, near the fireplace. Sally is on the floor, nestled between Joe's knees, leaning back against him. His arms are wrapped around her, face pressed against hers. There's a SERIES OF CUTS through speeches, gifts, entertainment. Sophia and Cal do a well rehearsed, very funny, impromptu something with their kids. Panes and Mac do an interpretive dance symbolizing the marriage. Cal and Sophia carry sleeping children down the hall. There are speeches about Sally and Joe, outrageously dirty, funny, sometimes touching - that cover their recent separation, the custody of Otis, their trying to have a baby... Panes plays a piece on the violin. Someone else sings. And finally... MEDIUM CLOSE - SKYE She looks out at the guests... NEW ANGLE They look back at her. SKYE I wasn't prepared to say anything. I'm honored to be a part of tonight. To be in the same room, with my favorite living actress... The CAMERA barely catches the grimace on Mac's face; Clair elbows him. SAM (sings out) Still living. SKYE And my favorite novelist. And all their amazing -- SAM (sings out) And talented. SKYE Friends. And talented friends. This room is so filled with love.. ASTRID (sings out) And the winner is... PANES Let the woman speak. SKYE And I brought a gift of love. A gift that is love. She pulls an envelope from behind her back, which she's decorated in flower-child fashion; it harkens back to the sixties, puts it into Sally's hand, kisses her cheek. SKYE (CONT'D) (tears up) Happy anniversary. Thank you for making me a part of it. SALLY (pours the pills into her hand) What are they? JOE (pleased, surprised) Dolphins. Great. SALLY It's ecstasy, Sal. SKYE I think there are sixteen there. JOE (kisses Skye) This is an amazing present. What a sweetheart you are. Skye's pleased she's made him happy. SALLY (regards Joe; to Skye) What a sweetheart you are. A pall descends on the party. There's a FULL SHOT of the group. Nobody quite knows what to do. There's torn wrapping paper all over the room. ASTRID (Anouk still in her lap) It's late. (kisses Anouk) You sleepy baby? There are awkward excuses. Some of the guests leave. INT. LIVING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER The core group remains. JOE I think we should all take it tonight. Everyone's staying, stays. No driving. That's the rule. I love you Sally-Mae. You're going to have a fabulous time. SALLY I'm worried about my spine. I'm very worried about my brain and my spine. SOPHIA (laughs) Oh honey, you're gonna love it. JOE (to her Look) Sophia's going to do it, Panes is going to do it, trust me. INT. KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS Cal carries the envelope into the room. CAL (on seeing America, bursts into) America, America God shed his light on me. He dances her around the kitchen, he picks up the sterling dish, arranges the pills, carries them back to the living room. INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS Ecstasy is passed from guest to guest. Ryan expects Monica to abstain. MONICA (his glare; simply) I want to try it, Ryan. EXT. POOL - LATER The drug has begun to take effect. The party is now in full swing. Music is playing, and Sophia and Clair are dancing. People are swimming, some naked, some in swimsuits. Judy floats around the pool on an inflatable dog. Sally and Skye cuddle together on one of the benches round the pool, chatting; a friendly, feely touchy conversation. Joe passes around bottles of water and chewing gum to everyone, emceeing the event. Everyone is relaxed and open, except Ryan, who sits beside Monica at the edge of the garden, separated from the others. MONICA I love it here. Don't you love it here, Ryan? I love it here. And I love tonight. And I love these people. And this feels utterly fantastic, Ryan. (touches her own cheek, ever so lightly; shivers against the sensation) Utterly fantastic. RYAN You know what Sally Therrian was saying about your spine and your brain? She didn't pull that out of thin air. It causes brain damage. You'd better drink a lot of water. MONICA Do you want to go home, Ryan? RYAN Yes. MONICA I think you should then. You should look in on Sheila. RYAN I'm not going to leave you alone. MONICA They're really nice people, Ryan. They're like us... RYAN They're nothing like us. MONICA I think you need to speak for yourself, Ryan. But I think you're really nice people... She puts arms around him, kisses his cheek. He stiffens. RYAN Are you making an ass of yourself? MONICA There's only you, Ryan. You know what, Ryan? You're beautiful. I love you so much... You need... RYAN I don't need a drug. MONICA You need a good review and you'll be fine. The whole color of the world will change, mark my words. She gets up. RYAN Ready to go? MONICA I'm going to go get my swimsuit. I do know, Ryan, this is non addictive so you mustn't worry. (turns back) Ryan, you're a great man. The CAMERA follows Monica along the side of the pool. She passes Sophia and a very exuberant Clair. The CAMERA stays at the pool. Clair tears off Sally's Galiano, flings it to the ground and dives topless into the pool. CLAIR This water is great! JERRY (swimming past her) Wanna dive for a baton? MEDIUM CLOSE UP - JUDY She stands at the side of the pool. JUDY Okay, I'm about to throw five colored batons in the water. Then I'm going to count to three, and then you may start diving. I'm playing too. The red one is ten extra points. Ready? (she throws batons in) One, two, three, go!! There is a melee of diving and screaming. CUT TO: EXT. BACKYARD LANDING It's at the end of a bridge, overlooking the pool. Voices drift up from below. Mac and Joe walk in circles pacing around one another. MAC You got your DP? JOE What? Oh yeah, the camera man? They gave me a list. MAC And you got Skye Davidson. Pretty big leagues for a first timer. Do you even like movies? JOE Not particularly. Weird, isn't it? God I'm rally up. Do you feel anything yet, Mac? MAC Kind of. Hey, look - John Seale, Oliver Stapelton, Darius Khonji - they're friends. And great DP's I could give them a call for you. JOE Thanks, Mac. (regards him) And thanks for being so supportive about all this. (throws arm around him, hugs him close) I really love you, you know. MAC Hey, I'm happy for you, buddy. Anything I can do. JOE (lets go of Mac) God, I really need to jump about a bit. (begins jumping) How's your film going? CAL It's going. It's going. JOE And how's the diva doing? MAC Well, you know...good days, bad days. JOE I meant Sally. MAC I meant Sally. JOE (stops jumping, studies him) Oh. You're serious. MAC (throws and arm around him) No. No. (a beat) Let me tell you something. Directing's the best preparation possible for fatherhood. The sleep depravation alone. JOE Oh don't. Everyone says that. INT. MUSIC LIBRARY Sally's taken Gina's photograph of them from the mantelpiece in the living room, and looks for a spot for it on the CD shelves. Sophia is studying the CDs very intently. They are both bopping to the music. SALLY (re: the photograph) Isn't this a fabulous picture? SOPHIA Yes. SALLY She's such a great photographer. SOPHIA Hm. SALLY So where should I put it? SOPHIA I thought it was okay where it was. SALLY It's much more personal in here. SOPHIA A notch above the storage room. SALLY We're always in here. (regards the photo) She really gets him, doesn't she? SOPHIA The both of you. SALLY But she really gets to the heart of Joe, doesn't she? She's a genius. SOPHIA So how much do you hate her? SALLY Big time. They both laugh, then... SOPHIA Well, I don't trust her. I never have. SALLY She took our wedding photos, for chrissakes. You don't trust anyone. SOPHIA (a moment simply) I trust you. SALLY Oh Soph... SOPHIA You'll hate it in London. It's wet and miserable. A medical hellhole Sally. It's socialized. Beds in the corridors. Terrible plumbing. SALLY And the food sucks, I know. SOPHIA You are not having your baby in London. You're going to have your baby at Cedars in Beverly Hills, America, delivered by Dr. Milton Cohen. Period. And you're getting that epidural right away, don't let anyone talk you into any of that Lamase bullshit. There's no excuse for pain like that. SALLY Sophia! I'm not even pregnant! SOPHIA Well good. Thank God. SALLY Let's go in the kitchen and spy on everyone. SOPHIA Oh honey, let's. They've started to walk through the house. SALLY (stops short; turns to her) What do you mean, thank God? SOPHIA Well, are you sure about this baby thing? It's not the ticking clock shit, is it? SALLY No, no, not at all... I mean I've still got plenty of time. Don't I? I mean I still have a good six years, whatever. We could have three kids yet, if we wanted. And I know I've always said I never wanted kids, and I didn't... but this year, I really, truly, feel ready... SOPHIA Honey, I'm not worried about you. You are going to be a fantastic mom. Not an issue. I pressed you, remember? Joe, on the other hand, is a different story. SALLY (laughs) Oh Soph, Joe loves kids. Joe wants kids. Joe thinks he needs kids. SOPHIA He wants playmates. Oh he's a sweetheart, Sal, you know I love him. But he's not going to be a good father. He's just not parenting material. SALLY Hey, let's sit down. I bet the rug feels really nice against your skin. Sally drops out of frame. SOPHIA Don't try and change the subject. (sitting, joining Sally) Oh God, it feels great! He's just a little narcissistic, irresponsible and unreliable. SALLY And Cal's this massive adult? SOPHIA Cal knows who he is. Did you notice how happy Joe was when the drugs came out tonight? SALLY You weren't exactly horrified. SOPHIA (laughing) I don't have a drug problem. SALLY Neither does Joe. SOPHIA His sister does. Big time. And the New York Times says addiction is genetic -- I'll e-mail you the article. Sally stares at her friend suddenly mute, eyes wide. SOPHIA (CONT'D) You don't have kids to keep a marriage together, Sally. It's only five months since Joe came back. SALLY (getting up) We're fine. We're great. We're having a baby and we're moving to London. SOPHIA (following her) Well, you weren't fine last summer when you went Sylvia Plath on me in Connecticut. SALLY Not nice. Not kind. SOPHIA Ha! Not half so not kind as your husband was in his portrayal of you in his novel. SALLY Why are you doing this? SOPHIA His image of you is a possessive, fragile neurotic. SALLY (tearing up) But I am a possessive, fragile neurotic. SOPHIA (also tearing up) No you are not. You're Sally Nash. Listen to me, you're Sally Nash. You're my best friend and I love you more than anyone, and you're not going to move to London to have the offspring of a sexually ambivalent man-child. "Oh now I'm a novelist, oh now I'm a director..." English prick bastard Joe Therrian who's probably going to leave you for Skye Davidson anyway. They hug a bit weepy. SOPHIA (CONT'D) He's always one step removed, always looking over his shoulder always looking for something else, something more intoxicating, and I don't mean drugs. I love him, Sal, but he's a child. He's not ready. (a choked sob, tears well and fall) Oh God, you're so lucky you don't have kids. You can't stick your head in the oven. You can't take a handful of Percoden if you want to, or slit your wrists. You can't do yourself in. Kids rob you of that option. Trust me. (a beat) Oh my God, this ecstacy must be really good. EXT. POOL SIDE - CONTINUOUS Joe and Cal sit by the edge of the pool watching Skye dance by herself at the far end. Joe has his hand on Cal's chest. Cal is stroking Joe's hair. JOE Isn't Skye amazing? CAL She's got great tits. JOE She's a constant surprise. CAL And you've only just met. JOE Yeah, I know... But she's only twenty seven and... (taps his head) The wisdom. She's an old soul. She knew that Shostakovich thing. Did you notice? CAL Absolutely. And she's got great tits. JOE Yeah, God she really does have great tits, great tits. i can't wait to work with her. CAL The camera loves her. A great actress. JOE With great tits. I'm going to ask her if I can touch them. He gets up to go towards Skye, is stopped by... EXT. MEDIUM SHOT - CLAIR Clair is climbing up the pool steps. CLAIR Has anyone seen Mac? JOE (pointing further up the property) I saw him wandering over there, I think. How're you feeling, Clair? CLAIR I'm so good. She kisses Joe and Cal, and goes off to find her husband. CAL Poor Mac. It's been a bit of a struggle. I'm sure Sally's told you. JOE No, what? CAL The movie. JOE Oh, she's really enjoying it. I think. Is Mac okay? CAL I don't know what's going on. I don't care to guess. Mac's really unhappy. She isn't there, that's all. She's no idea what she's playing, not a clue. JOE Who, Sally? CAL And, you know it isn't rocket science, this script. She can barely get the lines out. There was a scene last week - she sobbed, through every take. I know crying's easy for her but it's a fucking comedy, Joe. Something's gone. You know, that thing that was Sally - that always surprised you. It's gone. I think she's scared. And that's death. JOE I still think she sails above the rest. I mean not like her early films. But those were all such great directors. CAL Mac's a pretty great director, Joe. He's a woman's director. And nothing's happening. Course he won't fire her, because of the friendship... But it was discussed. He had to battle his studio to get her in the first place. JOE What? CAL Hey, listen, I love her. She's Sophia's best friend. (to Joe's stare) I never said any of this, alright. I'll deny it on the stand... (into the silence) You guys are gonna have kids. That is so great. Maybe that's what this is all about. Maybe she doesn't want to do this anymore. You know adults don't do this for a living. You guys are gonna have your kids, you'll be directing -- one asshole in the family is enough. Sophia knew that intuitively. Look at Clair. Clair's a mess. (throws an arm around him) Make sure she gets the epidural. Forget that natural childbirth shit. Everything's going to be what it's supposed to be. "Life is but a walking shadow. A poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more..." And speaking of me, the role of Leo in your film? JOE (stares at him) Leo? CAL Any thoughts on casting yet? JOE (regards him) Leo? It was out to Jude Law. Jude passed. CAL Well, I can't make any promises, and of course I haven't read the script but I loved the novel...when are you shooting? JOE October-ish. CAL I have a small window of time. JOE Leo. Leo's twenty-eight, Cal. CAL Scratch the two, write in a four. JOE Scratch the two, write in a four. CAL You've got a lot of fucking gall. Thirty nine. JOE Five years ago, I was at the party, remember? Joe looks up and sees Sally standing in the sun room. He blows her a kiss. She kisses her finger tips and puts her hand flat against the window pane. INT. BEDROOM CLOSET - TIGHT CLOSE - SALLY She's in her wardrobe pacing back and forth a bit frantic. Trying on clothing, tossing garments to the ground. The floor is a heap of discarded ideas. She pulls on jeans and a t-shirt. Very similar to what Skye is wearing. She sits a moment on the floor. The sounds of the party below are muted. SALLY (O.S.) Oh Warren, that was awful, I can't sing. The CAMERA stays with Sally as she gets to her feet, walks along the corridor, toward the sound of her voice. INT. DAILIES ROOM - NIGHT Mac is on the edge of the couch, elbows on knees, staring at the television screen - watching his dailies. At some point he drops his head. Stops watching... INT. MOVIE SET CAL'S VOICE FROM THE T.V. (O.S.) You sing like a bird. SALLY'S VOICE FROM THE T.V. (O.S.) A bird with dropsy. A caged bird. That hasn't long to live. CAL'S VOICE FROM THE T.V. (O.S) You seem so alive up there. Sally stands at the open door. Stunned. Watches Mac watch her. Watches herself, with a professional, acute eye. More critical than Mac's could ever be. SALLY (ON TV) I was faking it. I've been feeling caged for sometime. Funny, huh? MAC (moans) No, it's not... Fuck fuck fuck fuck. INT. CORRIDOR - CLOSE SHOT - SALLY She backs up into the corridor mortified. Leans against the wall. CAL'S VOICE FROM THE T.V. (O.S.) It's preposterous. You're free to do whatever you like. SALLY'S VOICE FROM THE T.V. Yes, well, we'll see won't we? MAC (O.S.) Jesus Christ. SALLY (a deep breath) Well...wow... INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS Clair's started down the hallway, reaches the landing. Sally rushes into the guest bedroom to avoid her. Clair, just missing Sally, wanders into the dailies room. INT. DAILIES ROOM - CONTINUOUS CLAIR Mac? Oh there you are. What are you doing, honey? No more work. Don't you feel breezy. MAC I'm in mourning. CLAIR You can cut around it, whatever it is. You always do. MAC Not this time. CLAIR It's always not this time. If you can do it around me, you can do it around anyone. She walks in front of the television set, blocks it with her body, switches it off. MAC (an observation) You don't have any clothes on. CLAIR How nice for everybody. Come swimming. The water's glorious. (re: the film) You'll fix it. You'll come up with one of your brilliant ideas. MAC Or I won't. I can't help her. I'm out of my depth. CLAIR Things always look much worse in the morning. MAC I don't know how to make her funny. CLAIR You're coming swimming in the pool, and in a few minutes you won't even remember what it's about. You won't care who's in your damn movie. MAC (really stoned) What what's about? CLAIR I...wait, what are you talking about? INT. GUEST ROOM MEDIUM CLOSE Jack and Evie are asleep across the bed. NEW ANGLE Sally sits at the edge of the bed, regards the sleeping children. Reaches over and smoothens the tangled, tousled hair. Studies their faces. EXT. POOLSIDE - JOE'S POV Monica sits on the steps of the pool. She looks frightened, uncomfortable. JOE Are you okay? MONICA I don't think so. I feel. I feel a bit funny. JOE Let's go for a walk. He puts his arm around her and leads her away from the pool. EXT. BACKYARD LANDING - NIGHT MONICA I've never done this before. JOE Oh? It's easy. You just put one foot in front of the other... That's a good girl. MONICA I'm a little in the puke zone. JOE (giving her some water) Here, drink this. Drink lots of water. (puts the bottle in her hand) Hold on to this. Take deep breaths. Nice and slow. (sits her down; produces a lollipop) Would you like a lolly? MONICA What am I, five? JOE You're never too old for a lolly. I'm having one. MONICA (a grin) Okay. He pulls out another one. JOE Lemon or raspberry? MONICA Lemon. JOE Lemon it is. The two suck on their lollipops for a moment. MONICA (finally) Ryan's really angry with me. JOE I think he's really angry with me too. MONICA (laughs) It's really not the same thing. (a moment) He was really nicer when he drank. JOE I'm sorry. MONICA Eight years, though. That's quite an accomplishment. JOE That's a lot of those. MONICA Medallions. JOE A lot of cakes. MONICA Yes. JOE And he doesn't smoke? MONICA He has to find non-smoker's meetings that used to be almost impossible, you know? It's gotten much better. JOE How long have you been married? MONICA Nine...nine, yes? Nine years, just about. JOE You must have been a baby. MONICA Oh yes. Nineteen...just. (a moment) I'm cold. JOE Come here. Joe holds Monica. MONICA (a moment) That's very nice. JOE I like you. MONICA I'm so glad. You know, I recognize that passage in your book. The bit about us running into each other in the movie theatre. JOE Sorry? MONICA I know you changed it to a bookstore. And the color of my hair. But the moment was exactly the same. The same, you know, dynamic. And almost verbatim, wasn't it? JOE (humors her) Yeah, it was. For a writer nothing's sacred. (thinks a moment) No, nothing at all. MONICA I think it's great that I made an impression at all, you know. Joe regards the open trusting face, is touched by it. Leans in, kisses her lips very lightly... and again. Her arms can't make up her mind, whether to come up around him or not. Finally do. SALLY (O.S.) Otis!! Otis, come! Oh fuck! She appears beside them. SALLY (CONT'D) Someone left the goddamn gate open. Otis got out. Skye and I, well the... I came out of the house and the fucking gate was wide open. JOE Oh for fuck's sake. Nobody uses that gate. MONICA (horrified) I'm sorry. SALLY (raging) There's a goddamn sign on the gate. MONICA I'm so sorry. SALLY You fucking cow, can't you read?! MONICA (at a loss) I... SALLY How long ago was it? JOE Stop being such a bitch, Sal. MONICA I'm so sorry. JOE It was a mistake. This isn't a plot to do in Otis. SALLY Don't be so sure. JOE Listen to yourself... (to Monica) Don't worry, it's alright. We'll find him. (to Sally) What's wrong with you? SALLY (re: Monica) She left the fucking gate open. JOE Well he can't have gone far. SALLY Can't have gone far? He's like a greyhound. He could be miles away. JOE He'll find his way back. SALLY There are fucking coyotes out there. JOE (calming) Sally, calm down. We're not going to find him any quicker by you being hysterical. Monica retreats, backs off a step or two. SALLY Fuck you. JOE Or shitty!! Otis!! CUT TO: INT. KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS America and Rosa are cleaning up. Ryan hangs around chatting. RYAN How long have you worked for the Therrians? AMERICA (shrugs, polite but annoyed) A long time. RYAN So you were here when they were doing the work on the boundary fence? AMERICA Oh yes. RYAN Did you know the contractor? AMERICA Very well. RYAN Was it a contractor? AMERICA It's the way they do things. RYAN To code? Her back is to him. She exchanges a glance with Rosa, and the Spanish equivalent of "who is this wanker?" RYAN (CONT'D) Did you see permits? Did he have a license? AMERICA You should talk to Mr. Joe. Monica bursts into the room. MONICA Ryan, you've got to come! You've got to help me find the dog! I let their dog out. We need to find the dog. RYAN You're not serious. MONICA I left the gate open and Otis got out! He could get hit by a car! RYAN God willing. MONICA We have to find the dog, Ryan. RYAN Why? MONICA (regards him) Because we're nice people, and because what goes around comes around. (desperate) Because, God help you if something happens to that dog? RYAN Excuse me? MONICA All the ugly phone calls? We're not the only people with a tape recorder, Ryan. (a beat) They've gone to the canyon, we should go towards the PCH. EXT. CANYON - MOMENTS LATER Panes and Skye search the canyon for Otis. They both carry lanterns. PANES Otis!! Shostakovich identified with the Jew. He felt persecuted, hunted, crushed under the thumb of Stalinist imperialism. SKYE Not to mention Andrew Zhdanov... Otis, come!! PANES Andre Zhdanov? How the hell do you know about Andre Zhdanov? SKYE Who doesn't know about the infamous composer's conference of 1948 where Zhdanov persecuted the leaders of Soviet Music - Shostakovich, Prokofieve, and Myaskovsky. PANES I'll tell you who doesn't know, cute girls don't know. SKYE Do Peter Sellers again. PANES (a la Sellers) Otis you crazy dog! Otis are you in this God forsaken Canyon? My people are very hungry. SKYE I just did a movie about Bob Yar, I played Gittle, the Jewish milkmaid who gets shot in the head, and they used Shostakovich's 13th Symphony. PANES Set to the poem of Yetveshenko! SKYE Exactly! So I dug it, and I did a lot of research. PANES Do you really, you really, like Shostakovich? SKYE Yeah. PANES Would you, like, marry him? SKYE If he were still alive, maybe. PANES How about someone who really really liked Shostakovich? SKYE (smiling) Are you asking me to marry you? PANES No, I'm just testing to see how deeply perverted and impulsive you are. SKYE (laughing) Very. PANES Oh good, I'm worse... Are you really twenty-two? SKYE Who told you that? No. I'm twenty... (lops off two years) Five. EXT. CANYON - CONTINUOUS Sally and Joe have lanterns. Panes and Skye are up ahead. We hear them calling for Otis. SALLY Otis!!!! JOE (on her heels) Otis!!!! SALLY Otis, good boy, come here. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. JOE This is a nightmare. We should have kept him upstairs. SALLY It was done. When Sophia put the kids to bed, America brought Otis in the room and closed the door. It was done. JOE Well someone clearly let him out before Monica opened the gate. SALLY Oh fuck you, and fuck Monica while you're at it. But I guess that's what I interrupted. JOE Jesus, Sally. You are a medical miracle. The only person who's ever taken ecstacy and become angrier. SALLY Yeah, let's talk about that. You seem to be rather an expert. I don't remember in the last five months of counselling your ever mentioning ecstacy or going to rage parties. JOE Rave parties?! That's so typical - you would think it was called rage. Perfect! SALLY What else don't I know about, Joe? Let's get really clear here. JOE Sally, so I took a few pills. I went out dancing. I tried to forget how upset I was about splitting up with you. I haven't lied to you. I told you about the people I've slept with. I just didn't mention the few occasions I took drugs because you're so fucking judgmental I knew I'd never hear the end of it, and you have so little faith and so little trust in me. Sally, we're back, I love you. Trust that. Please let's not do this. SALLY Otis! Come! Good boy! Come! JOE Otis! SALLY I'm not sure we understand that word in the same way. JOE Love? SALLY You walked out on a five year marriage. JOE That hasn't the first fucking thing to do with love. It's whether we can live together... like this! All the time. SALLY It's not like this all the time. JOE DO I want anyone else? No. Do I want to be with you for the rest of my natural life? I'm trying. SALLY And how hard it hit? JOE Just stop right there, Sally. We've been through this. SALLY You've been through it. That's how you love people. When it's easy for you, when it's convenient for you. JOE Sally, first of all, you're talking bullshit. And second... SALLY You want to talk about bullshit? Lucy called you three times this week. She's a fucking mess, Joe. Your sister is a fucking mess. She needs you. I talk to her more than you do. JOE That is not true. SALLY It is true. You know how you love, Joe? You dedicate a book to someone. JOE Every novel I've had published in every language I've dedicated to Lucy. SALLY Right. And when was the last time you spoke to her? Joe is silent. SALLY (CONT'D) And how fucking dare you cast Skye Davidson in that part? Have you any idea how humiliating that is for me? I'm an actress! It's about our marriage for fuck's sake. Everybody knows that... JOE It's a novel. SALLY About me! JOE Who the fuck do you think you are? The part of Genna is not just about you. It's about every woman I've ever loved in my entire life. Including my mother. The character is also clearly in her early twenties, Sally. SALLY What are you saying? JOE Hello? Last birthday was? SALLY I don't look my age, Joe. JOE Sally, I have never considered you for this part because you are too old to play it. And you are out of touch with reality if you think differently. SALLY It's a shit novel anyway. JOE Well there you go. I let you off the hook. You're one goddamn lucky actress. SALLY Not really. I mean your books have always been pop, but this is the shallowest of the bunch. That's what all our friends think, anyway. JOE Okay. If we could've, by some miracle, stripped ten years off your face, still couldn't have got the thing made. Because I don't mean anything as a director, and your name doesn't mean fuck all anymore. And the people that can hire you are afraid to, because they think you're phoning it in. That you don't have... Oh Christ, Sally. SALLY Who? Who? Who thinks that? JOE Your director and your co-star of your current movie. Don't dish if you can't take it, Sally. SALLY Mac? Mac says it? Cal? Joe doesn't respond. SALLY (CONT'D) Cal, too? JOE Sally, for Christ's sake. SALLY Anyone else? JOE This is insanity. (moves toward her) Sally... SALLY Don't. JOE Don't push me away. SALLY I had an abortion two weeks ago. JOE Don't do this. SALLY I found out I was pregnant and it scared the shit out of me. JOE (threatens) Don't do this! SALLY I told you when we met I never wanted children. I don't want kids in my life. We talked about it. You weren't listening. JOE You changed your mind. SALLY I wanted you back. Joe slaps her hard across the face. SALLY (CONT'D) You think this was to hurt you?! My God, Joe. It isn't about you. JOE What?! You aborted our child?! SALLY I'm a monster. Exactly. JOE You're not ready. SALLY Don't make allowances. I'll never be ready. Some people just shouldn't have children. I'd be a terrible fucking mother, Joe. I did want it for us. But I couldn't do it. I don't really think I can do it. JOE I wasn't part of that picture at all, was I? I wasn't part of that decision. Did I occur to you at all? It's a fucking farce. It's a fucking farce. How long did you think you could keep it going. You're amazing. Do you have any idea what you've done to us? SALLY Yes. JOE I'll never forgive you. SALLY I know. JOE I have no idea who you are. They stand their in silence. Joe is devastated. We hear Skye and Panes up ahead calling for Otis. INT. POOL - CONTINUOUS SILENT UNDERWATER SHOTS Of Mac, Judy and Clair. Mac directs an underwater ballet, a la Esther Williams. There's a sequence of TIGHT OVERLAPPING SHOTS of Mac, smiling, swimming underwater. His image of himself... SLO-MO compounded by water-weight. The drug has clearly taken effect. Mac opens his mouth to direct his actors, forgets where he is, begins to choke, and cough, is clearly in trouble. Oblivious, Judy and Clair turn somersaults. Mac begins to panic. He is drowning. He begins to sink. Panic gives way to acceptance. Jerry's body flies past FRAME, splashes hard into the pool. The LENS is water-splattered. MEDIUM-CLOSE SHOT UNDERWATER Jerry's body sweeps past the lens, smooth and sleek as a Dolphin. He grabs Mac... EXT. POOL - CONTINUOUS Jerry pulls Mac to the surface. Clair and Judy are out of the pool. Jerry drags the limp body from the pool, pumps Mac's chest - it's clear he knows what he's doing. Mac coughs up a load of water. CLAIR Oh my God. Honey??? There's a moment. Mac begins to sob. JERRY He's okay, Clair. You wanna give him a little room? MAC (his face against concrete) Man, I must really be stoned. (wipes tears from his face with his hand) Thanks, buddy. CLAIR Honey? Mac raises his hand, arrests her from coming nearer. MAC I'm fine, babe. JERRY Give him a minute, Clair. MAC (humiliated) Hey. (looks over at Jerry) Thanks, buddy. JERRY Anytime, sport. MAC (wants to say "don't call me sport") Yeah, thanks pal. CLAIR (helpless) Honey? They all stand around watching him. Mac gets up. MAC I'm fine, babe. I'm gonna take a little walk. I need a minute. Let's forget it. My life didn't pass in front of my eyes. So, it probably wasn't that close. JERRY Probably not. MAC (to Jerry) So, you've got lifeguard papers, or what? JUDY There's a test, you know. JERRY (embarrassed) Forget it, Judy. CLAIR (still scared) Honey? MAC I'll be fine. Really babe. Give me a minute. The CAMERA stays on Mac as he walks around the side of the house, down the steps through the basement. INT. BASEMENT - MEDIUM FULL SHOT Mac begins to tremble, sob convulsively. He bites down on his lip, clinches his first, tries to pull himself together. MAC (paces; at himself) You're okay. Buck up. Come on, be a man. It could happen to anybody. (tears start again) If you don't stop, I'm going to punch your face in. (another moment) He pulls a towel off a stack and they all fall on the floor. MAC (CONT'D) Oh shit. I can't fucking do anything right. Come on, come on. Oh thank you God for giving me this chance. Thank you for having Jerry here to save me. I promise I will never cheat on my wife again. I will never take drugs again, and I will be a great fucking husband and a loving father. I am a great father! I have terrific friends. I am a brilliant director. Well-respected. I won a Golden Globe, how 'bout that? Yeah, man, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright. And God, I will be humble. INT. MUSIC LIBRARY - MEDIUM FULL SHOT Gina regards the photographs she brought for Joe and Sally. She lifts it from the shelf, the phone rings, the machine picks up. MAN'S VOICE Joe, Joe! It's your Dad! Pick up, Joe... Gina sets the photo on the desk, leans it up against the wall. Joe and Sally's faces stare out of it. GINA (picks up receiver) Harry, hi, it's Gina! Gina. Is everything alright? (a deep intake of breath) Oh my God. When? He's not here. They're out looking for Otis. The dog, Harry. (tears start down her face) I love you so much. Lucy's a fighter, she'll make it. Whether she wants to or not. Harry. I'm so sorry. I will. (writes down the number) Yes I will. Take care, Harry. Bye. She puts down the phone. Stares into Joe's face, looks up at a photo on the wall that she took of Joe and Lucy. EXT. BACKYARD LANDING Jerry and Judy are making out. JUDY Are you my big brave boy? Are you my brave hero? JERRY You're crazy baby. I love you. JUDY Are you my big hard hero? JERRY Do you want me to save you? Do you want me to save you? JUDY Oh yeah... JERRY Oh yeah... I'm gonna save you. JUDY Oh yeah? JERRY Let me heal you, baby. JUDY (mantra) Oh Jesus oh Jesus oh Jesus. Grunts, groans, a scream, a peel of giggles. JERRY Oh yeah. INT. MASTER BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS Gina pulls Joe's clothes out of the closet, out of the drawers. There's an overnight bag on the bed. EXT. POOL AREA Cal and Sophia lie cuddled on a lounge chair, blissed out, counting the windows of the house. SOPHIA ...no, no, start again. CAL AND SOPHIA One, two, three, four... Clair wanders up. She's changed into her own clothes. CLAIR I've lost my husband and my beeper. Have either of you seen either of them? INT. LIVING ROOM - LATER Clair, Mac, Sophia, Cal and Gina are waiting. The overnight bag rests near the coffee table. No one speaks. There are sounds of the search party approaching. NEW ANGLE Panes, Skye, Sally and Joe come into the room dogless. JOE What is it? GINA Let's go upstairs, okay? Joe looks from Gina to the others. GINA (CONT'D) Let's go upstairs. They move out of the room. SALLY (on the way upstairs) Is it Otis? Skye and Panes look at the other guests. SKYE What happened? INT. MASTER BEDROOM Gina closes the door. JOE The suspense is killing me. GINA Harry called. JOE (growing dread) And? GINA (there's now way to say it) Lucy overdosed. JOE (a long moment) But she's alright. GINA She's in ICU. Joe's legs give way. He sort of sits on the floor. JOE (laughs; shakes his head) Stupid tart. GINA She left a note. JOE (realizes the import; to Gina) Fuck you. Tears start down Sally's face. GINA You need to call your dad. JOE Leave us alone right now. GINA I've booked you a flight and packed you a bag. You just need to get into a car and go. SALLY Would you leave us alone right now? GINA I love her too, Joe. JOE Alright, good. Thanks for your trouble. So will you leave Sally and me alone right now? SALLY (a shrug; simply) Everybody hates the messenger. Gina exits. SALLY (CONT'D) (to Joe) I'm coming with you. Joe starts to cry. Sally holds him, kisses him, strokes him, rocks him. JOE (inconsolable) I don't want you to go. He wipes tears away that start afresh; his nose is running, he wipes that too. JOE (CONT'D) I can't got tonight. I don't want to be on a plane on my own tonight. SALLY I'll be with you. JOE I don't want to go tonight. SALLY You don't have to. They sit on the floor. Sally soothing, rocking Joe like a baby. JOE (bereft) Stupid tart. INT. KITCHEN - LATER Gina's put up some coffee. Sophia, Cal, Mac and Clair stand around awkwardly. Sally comes into the room. MAC How's he doing? SALLY Not good. GINA He's gonna miss his flight. SALLY Yeah. Al the guests are a little stunned. GINA Is he not going? I booked a flight. SALLY He's not going tonight. GINA I told his father he'd be on that flight. SALLY Well you could tell him otherwise. It was good of you to be all this help. But he doesn't want to go tonight. GINA Jesus, Sally. I'm not the enemy. SALLY And you're not the wife. GINA It's not a contest. SALLY Damn straight. CAL Should I go up? SALLY I don't think so. CAL You want us to stay? SALLY Maybe not. MAC So much for ecstacy, right? They all laugh a little. SOPHIA Let's get the kids. CLAIR Oh my God, the sitter. SALLY (laughs) Oh Clair, you're so... You know. You just put things in perspective. INT. MUSIC LIBRARY - CONTINUOUS Joe listens to the answering machine message Lucy left that morning. He plays it again and again. HE fast forwards to his father's voice. Presses the STOP button. Sits there, stunned. JOE (dials phone, a moment) Hey, Dad... INT. GUEST BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS Cal and Sophia bundle up their sleeping kids. The CAMERA follows them to the landing as they head downstairs, pass Sally who is coming up. SOPHIA I'm going to be home all weekend, call if you need anything. Sally kisses Cal's cheek. CAL Hang in. INT. MASTER BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS Panes and Skye are fucking on Joe and Sally's bed. Sally walks in on them searching for Panes' ear, her best buddy. SALLY (resigned) Oh perfect! EXT. BACKYARD LANDING - MEDIUM FULL SHOT Jerry and Judy lie alongside each other, hands propping heads. They aren't privy to anything that's happened. JERRY I call that a perfect day. JUDY A perfect night. JERRY Damn near. (long moment) And a damn near perfect drug. JUDY Hm. We should do it again. JERRY Just every once in a blue moon, you know. JUDY Hm. (a long moment) You think we should ask them for their landscaper? JERRY Hm. Do you like fucking out of doors? JUDY Not as a rule. JERRY (a long moment) They didn't sign their goddamn tax returns! EXT. HOUSE - CONTINUOUS Sally stands at the threshold, watches Cal and Sophia load their kids into the car. INT. FOYER - CONTINUOUS Clair and Mac and Gina hug and say their goodbyes to Sally. GINA (kisses Sally; whispers) Take good care of it. SALLY Count on it. EXT. HOUSE - CONTINUOUS Monica and Ryan return from their unsuccessful search. They come through the gate with it's sight: KEEP GATE CLOSED. Monica and Ryan start for the kitchen entrance. INT. KITCHEN - FROM MONICA AND RYAN'S POV Sally and Joe are alone in the room. They hold each other, weep... RYAN (appalled) Jesus Christ, it's a fucking dog! MONICA (regards them) Don't go in, Ryan. RYAN What? MONICA Let's just go home, okay? INT. KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS A much embarrassed Panes and Skye enter. PANES Coffee? JOE Sure. PANES I'll do it. Panes starts to make some; Skye starts to clean up glasses and ashtrays. SALLY You don't need to do that. SKYE I don't mind... SALLY Relax. You've done enough. EXT. KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS We see Judy and Jerry bounding around the side of the house. Jerry has his briefcase in his hand. They are laughing. They enter the kitchen. The camera stays outside. We see them brought up short by the gloom, but hear nothing. INT. KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS Sally and Joe are at the table, signing their tax returns. Jerry supervising. All is quiet. Judy's sunk into a chair. INT. FOYER - CONTINUOUS Morning's finally come. Light fills the room, empty except for party debris. INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS It's empty but for glasses, wrapping paper, abandoned dishes of leftover cake. INT. EMPTY KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS INT. GUEST BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS The bed is rumpled and indented from the sleeping children. Their drawings and paints strewn all over the floor...and Walls. INT. EMPTY DEN - CONTINUOUS INT. MASTER BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS The bed still shows the remains of Panes and Skye's love making. The CAMERA moves through the suite into the bathroom. Sally's in the tub. Joe comes into the room in the buff. JOE Can I come in? Sally looks up at the nakedness. SALLY Sure. HE slips into the tub with her. They lie there facing each other. OE My plane leaves in a few hours. SALLY Okay. Do you want me to come with you? JOE (simply) No. SALLY Okay. JOE (a moment) Pretty much a disaster, tonight, wasn't it? SALLY I guess. JOE Life gets messy. Ugly messy. But I don't understand you. And I don't think I ever understood Lucy. I don't understand throwing it away. How do you throw all that away? Any of it. I want it all. You guys want guarantees? I want the possibilities. And all kinds of crap comes with that. A lot of bad shit. And I think that's okay with me because, because of the rest of the stuff. All the good shit. All the surprises. It's a fucking miracle when you come down to it. (a moment) We'd have had amazing children, you and me. We'd have had a ride. You'd have surprised yourself. (regards her) I'll never love anybody else, you know. SALLY (a little choked laugh) Me too. JOE That's under lock and key. SALLY Me too. Joe reaches out of the tub for gift-wrapped box. He hands it to sally. It's their ritual gift-giving site. Sally opens the gift. Takes out a Calder mobile. JOE Happy anniversary. SALLY It's a Calder. JOE I know. SALLY He's my favorite. JOE I know. It's for the baby's crib. SALLY Ah... She hands him a small wooden box. He opens it, takes out a set of keys. SALLY (CONT'D) They're the keys to your grandad's flat. Happy anniversary, baby. JOE Oh, Sally Mae... He can't say anymore. SALLY I know. JOE Will you make love with me? SALLY Sure. She reaches out with both arms. INT. BATHROOM - TIGHT CLOSE Joe and Sally tenderly make love. It's the dissolution of their marriage. INT. FOYER - NINE A.M. America and Rosa begins to clean up the debris from the party. EXT. HOUSE - CONTINUOUS A taxi pulls up. Joe gets in with his bags. The cab backs out... INT. MASTER BEDROOM - MEDIUM CLOSE The two wedding rings rest on the nightstand, hers nestled in his. Sally's hand opens the drawer, sweeps the rings into it. EXT. HOUSE - LATE MORNING The "FOR SALE" sign is hammered into the ground. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. HIGH SHOT - CONTINUOUS Otis wanders along the street, up the driveway and disappears through the flap in the kitchen door. FADE OUT.