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Vanilla Sky Movie Script

Writer(s) : Cameron Crowe

Genres : Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller

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                                VANILLA SKY




                                Written by

                               Cameron Crowe



                                                 Shooting Script

          

          ON BLACK
          We hear a whooshing sound, getting louder.

          A BLINK OF AN IMAGE
          New York City from a perspective of flight, not an
          airplane, a swooping diving shot. Back to black.

          A WOMAN'S VOICE
          Abre los ojos... open your eyes...
          open your eyes...

          INT. DAVID'S BEDROOM - EARLY MORNING

          DAVID AAMES, JR., 32, swings out of bed and sits on the
          corner of his mattress. it's a chilly New York City
          morning. Early sunlight glows around the corner's of his
          curtains.

          A WOMAN'S VOICE
          open your eyes...
          He reaches behind him to shut off a slim voice-activated
          clock-radio. He rises, a comforter draped around his
          shoulders, and heads to the bathroom.

          INT. DAVID'S BATHROOM - MORNING

          David regards himself in the mirror of a beautifully-tiled
          and well-appointed bathroom. in his thirties now, his
          looks have only deepened and improved. He brushes his
          teeth. He spots a gray hair, and holding tweezers, seizes
          and plucks it.

          INT. DAVID'S BEDROOM - MORNING

          David puts on a shirt. Checks his wallet for money. His
          bedroom is elegant and spare.

          INT. DAVID'S NEW YORK CITY APARTMENT - MORNING

          He slips down the stairs into the expansive living area of
          this deeply-textured apartment. A stunning, inherited book
          collection lines the walls.

          INT./EXT. NEW YORK CITY GARAGE BELOW APARTMENT/STREETS -


          MORNING
          David starts up his dark green sports car, and roars onto
          the New York City streets.

          

          

          

          

          2
          EXT. NEW YORK SIDE STREETS u- MORNING
          David travels the side-streets to work. He senses a
          growing weirdness. The streets are empty. He looks at. his
          watch. It's        8:12.  He continues anxiously. Runs a red
          light. Music rises.

          EXT. TIMES SQUARE -- MORNING

          The most recognized piece of real-estate in the world is
          silent. It is as if the world's biggest parade has just
          left, taking everybody with it. David pulls over
          haphazardly. He exits the car, leaving it in the middle of
          the street. He begins to walk, faster now, as music rises.
          All the electricity is on. There is absolutely nobody in
          sight. David begins to run, searching for humanity. The
          billboards - electronic and still - all sell easy solutions
          to his loneliness. He pulls up short., stopping and crying
          out in anguish. There is no one left in the world.

          A WOMAN'S VOICE
          Open your eyes... open your eyes,
          David...

          DISSOLVE TO:

          INT. BEDROOM - MORNING

          David hangs out of bed, his mouth in an open silent scream.
          Covers his face with both hands.

          A WOMAN'S VOICE
          . open your eyes...
          He reaches behind to shut off the same clock-radio, and its
          voice.  He makes a relieved agonized sound into the
          pillow. Gets up, sees a pizza box... a container of
          soup... a remote control on the floor. We hear an incisive
          voice with a comforting lilt - a man we'll meet later.

          A MAN'S VOICE
          Well, I suppose the empty street
          meant loneliness.

          DAVID'S VOICE
          You're a shrink. You've got to do
          better than that.

          A MAN'S VOICE
          I'm a doctor. Let's not
          stereotype each other. Not all
          rich kids are soul-less, and not
          all psychologists care about
          dreams. The question is how you

          

          

          

          

          3
          got here, and why you've been
          charged.

          DAVID'S VOICE
          What do you want to know? I was
          about to turn 33. I ran three
          magazines, and a world-wide
          publishing house. On most days I
          actually fooled myself into
          believing it would last forever.

          INT. BATHROOM - MORNING

          David checks himself in the mirror. Seizes and plucks that
          same gray hair.

          DAVID'S VOICE
          Isn't that what being young is
          about? Believing secretly that
          you would be the one person, in
          the history of man, who would live
          forever?

          INT. BEDROOM - MORNING

          David enters, reaching for his wallet, repeating the
          morning ritual. A figure stirs in the bed behind him. She
          leans upward, wearing David's college basketball tank for a
          pajama-top. She's warm and wicked, a mildly reformed party
          girl, the kind of girl first-novels are written about. She
          is JULIANNA GIANNI,25.

          JULIANNA
          Where you going so early?

          DAVID
          (slightly self-conscious)
          Hey, don't record any more
          messages on my alarm--clock, okay?

          JULIANNA
          Why not?

          DAVID
          I'll think we're married or
          something.

          JULIANNA
          Don't you ever say that word. Or
          I'll never come over here and
          bring you chicken soup and fuck
          your brains out again.

          

          

          

          

          4

          DAVID  (O.S.)
          (exiting, from other
          room)
          How's your cold?

          JULIANNA
          Still there. How's yours?

          DAVID  (U.S..)
          I guess you took my mind off it.
          She pulls a pink pill-box purse from the nightstand,
          withdraws a multi-colored phone.

          JULIANNA
          Reyna, it's Julianna. I missed my
          audition.
          (dramatic, like Bette Davis)
          I lost my head. Listen, I have to
          go.
          (whispers)
          I'm with David.

          INT. KITCHEN - MORNING

          David in his steel-and-linoleum bachelor kitchen. Julie
          swings into view. Her blouse is unbuttoned two buttons
          too many, down to mid-chest. She gives him a kiss on the
          cheek and lingers. David grabs a racquetball bag, talks to
          the next. room.

          DAVID
          Help yourself to whatever you
          want. Set the alarm, Maria will
          clean up. Lock up when you go.
          And... you are the greatest.

          JULIANNA
          Bye "honey!"

          DAVID
          Bye "honey!" I'll call you later.

          JULIANNA
          When? When?

          DAVID
          Soon!
          They have a comfortable, healthy, mutually satisfying,
          gloriously superficial relationship.

          

          

          

          

          5

          INT./EXT. NEW YORK CITY GARAGE/STREETS - DAY

          David is about to enter the green sports car, then thinks
          better of it. He fires up a knock-around beater car from
          his collection. He drives into the street which is,
          comfortingly, now full of people. We hear R.E.M.'s "All
          The Right Friends."

          EXT. NEW YORK SIDE-STREETS - DAY

          David drives the crowded streets.        It all seems more
          poignant today. Life is good again.

          EXT. BRIAN'S APARTMENT - DAY

          David pulls up to a lower-end apartment, checks his watch.
          Enter the hung-over BRIAN SHELBY,        30ish. In a world of
          acquaintances, Brian is a true friend.   He has all the
          qualities of Abe Lincoln and, much to his chagrin, the
          looks too. He hops in the car with racquetball bag.

          DAVID
          Did you reserve the court?

          BRIAN
          Easy. I can't handle heavy
          conversation at this ungodly hour.

          DAVID
          I'm sorry to do this early. I
          gotta be done by 10.
          Car phone rings. David checks Caller ID - it's his office.
          He clicks on.

          ASSISTANT VOICE   (RACHEL)
          You're not going to make the 8:45,
          are you?

          DAVID
          How did you find me?

          RACHEL'S VOICE
          David Aames, you have to check the
          colors of the letters for the new
          issue of Rise.

          DAVID
          What are the colors?

          RACHEL'S VOICE
          Yellow-and-red... or the
          traditional white.

          

          

          

          

          6

          DAVID
          Let, me think about it.

          RACHEL'S VOICE
          David, please. Don't be late for
          the ten o'clock with the board.

          DAVID
          Okay, but. don't tell anybody where
          I am I don't care if God calls.
          I'm very busy.

          BRIAN
          Can't you just get rid of that
          board?

          DAVID
          The Seven Dwarves? No.

          BRIAN
          Those people drive you nuts.

          DAVID
          And that was the desire of my
          father, who hired them.

          BRIAN
          (suspicious pause)
          You fucked Julie Gianni again,
          didn't you?
          David takes off driving.

          INT. ANOTHER STREET - DAY - DRIVING


          BRIAN
          I know someone was there when I
          called. You had that tone.
          (imitates nasal phone
          voice)
          Oh, no man, I've got a cold. I'm
          hanging in tonight.

          DAVID
          (shaky defense)
          I had a cold. I was alone.

          BRIAN
          Fine. You can do whatever you
          want with your life -

          DAVID
          Thanks.

          

          

          

          

          7

          BRIAN
          -- but one day you'll know what
          love truly is. It's the sour and
          the sweet. And I know sour which
          allows me to appreciate the sweet.

          DAVID
          Julie Gi.anni is a friend.
          Sometimes we sleep together.
          Brian howls in pain, like a hurt dog.

          DAVID
          What --

          BRIAN
          My dream girl... Julie Gianni...
          is your... fuck buddy.
          Brian emits another pained howl. David reaches over to
          change the music.

          DAVID
          What do you want to listen to?

          BRIAN
          Slow down, man.

          DAVID
          What have we got here - Barcelona,
          Looper... Radiohead?
          Brian freezes at what he sees.

          BRIAN
          Look out! Look out!
          David turns and sees he's hurtling into the back of a car
          stopped just in front of him. Clenching he hits the
          brakes, narrowly avoiding a high-speech collision. And
          then... to his right... another car comes hurtling toward
          him... and stops within an inch of deadly impact.           There
          is an awful moment, as the second car blares on the horn.
          Traffic continues, but the lingering feeling of dread and
          confusion is still in the air.

          BRIAN
          Fuck!

          DAVID
          (annoyed)
          We almost died.

          

          

          

          

          8

          BRIAN
          I know. My own death was right
          there in front of me, and you know
          what happened? Your life flashed
          before my eyes.

          DAVID
          How was it?

          BRIAN
          Almost worth dying for.
          Pedestrians continue walking around the honking tangled
          mass of the near-.accident.

          EXT. AAMES PUBLICATIONS - DAY

          David meets Peter Brown and RACHEL, his second assistant,
          at. the front of the well-appointed headquarters of Aames
          Publications. Aames hops out of car and heads into the
          building.

          INT. AAMES PUBLICATIONS - DAY

          David Aames Jr. turns down the corridor of Rise Magazine, a
          male youth-culture-style magazine. Rachel gives him daily
          tabloid reports, continues with the essentials.

          RACHEL
          The art department needs a
          decision on the colors. Yellow-
          and- red, or white? And the
          board is pissed you're late.

          DAVID
          You changed your hair.
          David taps on the window of the art department, in panic
          over several cover mock-ups. He gives a presidential
          thumbs-up, moves on. They look at each other, trying to
          decipher if the thumbs-up was a decision.

          ART EDITOR
          Did he mean the yellow-and-red or
          the white?
          David passes a holdover from the old days, older
          Receptionist       (BEATRICE) who speaks uncomfortably and
          gruffly into a headset. She gives David a knowing look -
          late again.

          RACHEL
          They're all waiting for you. And
          David - opinions are expected.

          

          

          

          

          9

          A MAN'S VOICE
          Do you dream about the Board,
          David? The Seven Dwarves, as you
          call them?
          David walks into the office. Framed original photos from
          album covers co-mingle with a splash of cultured art and
          books. Seven very-interested and very-alert looking Older
          Executives wait.

          DAVID (V.0.)
          Sneezy, Bashful, Sleepy, Happy,
          Doc, Dopey, and of course, Grumpy.

          GRUMPY
          (skeptical)
          How was Aspen?

          DAVID
          (playful, mock drama)
          Good. Now I want answers, and I
          want them now.
          (pause)
          How's it going?
          He gestures charmingly, easily, and bows with apology over
          his lateness. All are happy to see him. Sort of.

          DAVID'S VOICE
          They still look at me like I was
          still eleven years old.

          FLASHBACK
          David at          11, blithely skateboarding the hallways. He
          passes Beatrice, who turns to an editor.

          BEATRICE
          He's going to inherit everything.
          He gets it all.
          if

          INT. PRISON PSYCHIATRIC UNIT - NIGHT     (INTERROGATION # 1)

          The light from a small line of chicken-wired windows cuts
          through the blackness. In the shadows of this dank room,
          we hear his voice but we do not see him. It is the
          smaller, slightly muffled tone of David Aames. In the
          shadows, he wears a mask.

          MCCABE
          You're scared of your dreams,
          aren't you?

          

          

          

          

          10
          Portrait of CURTIS McCABE, 52.            Doctor of Psychiatry,
          prison division. He's far too wily to spend the currency
          of his brilliance just yet. It's too early in their
          relationship. He stands tall, leaning on a steel desk,
          polishing his glasses with end of his coat.

          DAVID
          It's a nightmare either way.

          MCCABE
          Is that how do you explain what's
          happened to you?

          DAVID
          What --

          MCCABE
          What happened to your face?

          DAVID
          I'm not talking to you anymore.

          MCCABE
          And you don't want to show me your
          face.

          DAVID
          No.

          MCCABE
          Do you know why you're here?

          DAVID
          (sarcastic)
          The conversation, the coffee --

          MCCABE
          David - the part where we parry
          and joust, and get to know each
          other bit-by-bit... we're going to
          have to skip it. You've been
          charged with murder. In four
          weeks, a judge will determine your
          fate based on what I write. You
          will talk to me --

          DAVID
          There is no murder! It didn't
          happen! I don't have to talk to
          anybody!
          A Contentious Prison Guard (AARON) swings his feet down and
          gets up from watching a 17-inch television on a stool. He
          exits into the bigger room to quiet down David Aames.

          

          

          

          

          11
          Slight push in to show the television show he is watching,
          and we see a snippet of "To Kill A Mockingbird."

          AARON
          You want me to help -

          DAVID
          Get the fuck away from me.

          AARON
          Take it easy, sunshine.

          DAVID
          Get the fuck away from me.

          AARON
          Take it easy, Face. Your whole
          story is full of holes!
          With great power, McCabe advances on the guard. His
          presence, when he turns on the switches, is considerable.

          MCCABE.
          Stop! Please leave. Right now.
          I'll take responsibility.

          AARON
          (whispering, exiting)
          I'm gonna get you, Daddy's boy
          little freak.

          DAVID
          My parents are dead, you fuck!

          MCCABE
          Enough!
          The Contentious Guard leaves.

          MCCABE
          Is it true?

          DAVID
          (sing-song)
          Good cop... bad cop.

          MCCABE
          That you're a Daddy's boy?

          DAVID
          (in darkness, by rote)
          Primer on David Aames, Senior. My
          father was not built for the 21st
          Century. He never ate at

          

          

          

          

          12
          McDonald's, not once, and never
          watched television. Yet his
          biggest magazine is still TV
          Digest. He and my mother threw
          the grandest parties of the
          literary world. He ballooned,
          jumped from planes, sought
          adventure... His autobiography is
          the manual for every cutthroat
          publisher in New York. It's
          called Defending the Kingdom.

          MCCABE
          I've read it. Page  127.           "David
          Junior was a delight as a child."
          Did I miss something here? Is
          that all he wrote about you?

          DAVID
          I don't think he ever got over the
          fact that I was terrified of
          heights. And when he and my
          mother were run over by a drunken
          teenager on New Year's Eve, ten
          years ago...
          David Aames moves closer to the light. We see a strange
          bland expression of his mask, at first other--worldly... and
          then more clearly.

          DAVID
          he left the keys to the
          Kingdom to me...    51% control,   49%
          going to a group of seven board
          members who all thought they were
          first in line.

          MCCABE
          And you believe the Board, the
          Seven Dwarves, put you here to
          take control of your company.

          DAVID
          What do you care?

          MCCABE
          We're just talking. And tonight's
          Wednesday night, and I go to Black
          Angus for dinner with my daughters
          on Wednesday nights, so I'll have
          to leave soon. You understand
          that our time is limited, don't
          you?

          

          

          

          

          13

          DAVID
          If I talk, you'll just think I'm
          crazy.
          McCabe gathers his things.

          MCCABE
          With all the respect I can offer a
          man wearing a latex mask and
          spouting conspiracy theories,
          David, trust me - you've crossed
          that bridge.

          DAVID
          Fine. Enjoy your dinner.
          Somehow the lilt in McCabe's voice draws him closer.

          MCCABE
          There are five basic emotions in
          life. Tell me. what emotion
          gripped... him... before he
          entered that cell? Was it Guilt?
          Shadows. There is no answer, just a rustling and a growing
          sense of anticipation in the darkness.

          MCCABE
          Hate? Shame?
          Shadows. Still no answer.

          MCCABE
          Revenge...
          McCabe now shows the invisible skill with which he has
          brought his client to the precipice. And now, with one
          word, he invites David Aames to look over.

          MCCABE
          Love?
          In the darkness, a rustling and the slight turn of a head.

          MCCABE
          I'm completely on the wrong track,
          aren't I?

          INVISIBLE

          DISSOLVE TO:

          

          

          

          

          14

          INT. DAVID'S APARTMENT/BACK ROOM OFF KITCHEN - NIGHT

          From the darkened back room, David Aames appears with ice,
          and re-enters his party.

          DAVID
          Who needs ice?
          Aames moves swirls is more like it - through into his
          party, which is nicely underway. Upscale. Modern. Part
          literary crowd. Part fashion crowd.       He's great in a
          crowd. Surrounded by people, David Aames comes alive.

          DAVID MOVES THROUGH PARTY
          catching the attention of a model.        (LYNETTE)

          LYNETTE
          David! Happy Birthday.

          DAVID
          Jesus, you have the greatest taste
          in shoes I've ever seen. Bar
          none. Anywhere.
          A Woman Caterer in Whites    (EMMA) slips by with a knowing
          smile.

          EMMA THE CATERER
          The old place sure looks more
          crowded with people in it.

          DAVID
          Emma, do you know Lynette?

          EMMA THE CATERER
          No, but I shudder to think what. we
          might have in common.
          David notices that Brian Shelby has arrived with a guest, a
          Woman who struggles with a package and a very large coat.
          On first glance, she's just another girl. On second
          glance, she's a killer. He notes her oddly funny behavior.
          She removes the coat to reveal a very simple natural
          beauty. She is SOFIA SERRANO, a 27 year-old city girl with
          a barely containable life-force. Enter PETER BROWN,
          David's male assistant with surreptitious headset. He
          gestures to a stereo appliance set up in David's living
          room.

          PETER BROWN
          The Living Stereo system is online
          and looking great. it's an

          

          

          

          

          15
          amazing prototype. They'd love an
          article on it if you like it...
          David nods, still focused on Sofia. Suddenly, he finds he
          can't take his eyes off her.

          PETER BROWN
          and happy birthday, sir.

          ANGLE ON FRONT ENTRANCE
          as David arrives to greet Brian and his guest.

          BRIAN
          Hey man. Happy birthday and all
          the usual shit people say to each
          other. How you doing?

          DAVID
          Livin' the dream, baby. Livin'
          the dream.
          The two friends hug. David shares a quick glance with
          Brian's date, who still burdened with coat.

          BRIAN
          (to Sofia, as in 'meet the
          notorious...')
          Meet David Aames.

          DAVID
          (can't help but flirt)
          And to what do I owe this
          pleasure, the pleasure of --

          SOFIA
          (playful)
          -- the pleasure of Sofia. Serrano.

          BRIAN
          We met today at the library, if
          you can believe that --

          SOFIA
          I'm sorry about my coat. It's too
          big for your closet.

          BRIAN
          - we were both pretending to be
          intellectuals.

          DAVID
          No no, I think it's amazing. I
          love your coat.

          

          

          

          

          16

          SOFIA
          I overdressed. I mean I
          underdressed.

          BRIAN
          I'll just continue like you're
          both actually listening to me.

          SOFIA
          (to David)
          Do you have another room to put it
          in?

          BRIAN
          (invisible, re: their chemistry)
          I have ceased to exist.

          DAVID
          Well, Madison Square Garden is
          nearby, it might fit there.

          SOFIA
          (shoves David playfully,
          as in touche)
          Happy Birthday.
          Her upbeat physicality is intoxicating. Sofia hands David
          her present.

          BRIAN
          We picked it out together.
          Neither look at Brian. Brian takes a breath. He's been
          here before.

          DAVID
          Thank you.

          BRIAN
          We picked it out together. We...

          SOFIA
          Welcome.

          BRIAN
          Stop flirting and open it.

          DAVID
          Okay.

          BRIAN
          Let's get a drink.

          

          

          

          

          17

          SOFIA
          Okay.

          DAVID
          I'll leave this upstairs.
          David exits. They are left to consider his personal
          charisma.

          ANGLE ON A HOLOGRAPHIC DISPLAY CONNECTED TO STEREO
          An odd and disarmingly beautiful display of Coltrane
          performing "My Favorite Things" in David's living room.
          Sofia passes a hand through Coltrane's image, admires it.

          ON DAVID
          David is approached by THOMAS TIPP, a Brit, and an
          Associate board-member at Aames Publications. Tipp is ten
          years older than David, and he is the rarest of birds. A
          sentimental lawyer. And at the moment he's a bit drunk.

          DAVID
          Hey Tommy.
          David moves to address him so he can still track Sofia.

          TIPP
          Hey.  Listen to me. Don't blow
          me off. I'm all packed, I'm going
          back to London and I understand.
          You put me up for that other
          attorney's job, so you didn't have
          to fire me. A classy move, and
          your father would have done the
          same ---

          DAVID
          It's okay, Tommy --

          TIPP
          I became incompetent. Is there
          anything more unbecoming than an
          aging mascot? I cared about your
          father. I lived and breathed for
          him. But these guys, the board,
          they think you're stupid.  A
          corporate hazard, a rogue.
          But the word "stupid" is what David heard loudest of all.
          Nearby, we see a Woman Partner          (one of the Seven Dwarves)
          taking a quick look at David.

          

          

          

          

          18

          TIPP
          But they're going to find a way to
          get you out. They're lined up for
          your office -
          David scans the room. Beneath the good cheer, he sees the
          other layer. Lying. Disloyalty. All part of the
          institution he enjoys forgetting exists. Each word bashes
          his soul.

          TIPP
          -- your job. Your life. Your
          position. They are working day
          and night. to cheat you out of your
          51% vote. And they are going to
          sell this tradition, this
          tradition of words, so they can
          eat at a better cafeteria. And
          what they don't know is this -
          (gestures grandly to
          books that surround
          them)
          - people will read again.
          David's gaze falls upon Sofia, who is looking directly at
          him. And for one blinding moment, something passes between
          them. She looks away. He feels saved.

          DAVID
          (interrupting with
          finality)
          I got it.

          TIPP
          They even have a nickname for you
          behind your back.
          David smiles faintly. Understandingly.   Tipp kisses him
          on the cheek, boldly and drunkenly. He feels like a hero
          to himself.

          TIPP
          Citizen Dildo.
          David flinches, just a little.

          TIPP
          Now you've got great instincts.
          But I say this with complete love.
          Claim your life... Learn to be an
          Asshole... Don't be         -

          

          

          

          

          19

          DAVID
          (extracting himself)
          Two's enough -

          TIPP
          Don ' t be-
          (immediately)
          Okay. Forgive me. I still
          believe in this family. Even if
          it's only you.
          David continues tracking Sofia as he slips over to Peter
          Brown.

          DAVID
          Get Tipp out of here, drive him
          home, and in the morning tell him
          he's re-hired with a 50% raise.
          Set up a meeting with the other
          attorneys. I'm going to be in
          early tomorrow --
          (a look from Peter Brown)
          -- earlier than usual.

          INT. DAVID'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

          David enters, shuts the door and sets Sofia's present down.
          A party dress is on his bed.

          JULIANNA
          Hello handsome.
          He turns to see Julie Gianni in the bathroom doorway,
          wrapped in a comforter.

          JULIANNA
          I've come to wish you happy
          birthday.

          DAVID
          I didn't invite you, Julie.

          JULIANNA
          Yeah, that was a little weird -

          DAVID
          But that's how it works with
          parties. You have to be invited.

          JULIANNA
          I'm mad at you, you dick. We made
          love four times the other night.

          

          

          

          

          20

          DAVID
          Is that good?

          JULIANNA
          Two is good. Three is very good.
          But four -

          DAVID
          (fishing for a
          compliment)
          Four is pretty good?

          JULIANNA
          No, four is... four is... just
          hold me.

          DAVID
          Four is what?

          JULIANNA
          Hold me, and then I'll leave, and
          you can go talk to that cute
          brunette.

          DAVID
          Four is what?

          JULIANNA
          I don't want to meet your fancy
          friends. I knew 'em all back when
          I was fancy too.
          He holds her. They talk in between friendly kisses.

          DAVID
          Four is what?
          She pulls away, and talks plainly to him.

          JULIANNA
          She looks like a moth, David.

          DAVID
          A moth?

          JULIANNA
          Sometimes I worry about one of
          these clever girls in a big silly
          coat who'll play you in just the
          right way, and I'll lose my
          friend. And there'll be no more
          chicken soup parties for you and
          me.

          

          

          

          

          21
          She kisses him again. David very gently, and skillfully
          resists. She gets the message.

          JULIANNA
          When will you call me? And don't
          say soon. I hate it when you say
          "soon."

          INT. PARTY -- NIGHT

          Sofia eyes a framed smashed guitar handsomely mounted in a
          glass display case.

          SOFIA
          So this is what's become of rock
          and roll. A smashed guitar behind
          a glass case displayed on some
          rich guy's wall.

          DAVID
          It was a gift, actually.
          She turns and sees it's David, engaging smile in place.
          She jumps slightly.

          SOFIA
          (apologetic)
          I like it.
          She turns and walks away, David following close behind.

          DAVID
          Whoa, whoa, whoa.

          SOFIA
          - how did you get all this stuff,
          this apartment, this life -
          David is looking just over her shoulder. She turns to see
          an almost disturbingly large portrait of David Aames, Sr.
          She turns back.

          SOFIA
          I see.

          DAVID
          How about if you help me? Unless
          I'm horning in here.

          SOFIA
          You are, but the food's good.

          

          

          

          

          22

          DAVID
          (playful, like a spy)
          See, I've got a little problem.
          I've got a stalker.

          SOFIA
          It doesn't. sound life-threatening.
          Someone passes, bumping her slightly, into him.

          DAVID
          I need a cover. I need for you to
          pretend we're having a
          scintillating conversation. And
          you're wildly entertained. I know
          it's tough.

          SOFIA
          I'll improvise    -

          DAVID
          She's right across the room and
          she's burning a hole in my back
          right now, isn't she?

          SOFIA
          Red dress, strappy shoes?

          DAVID
          Yes_

          SOFIA
          (beat, jarred)
          -- wow, she's really staring at
          you.

          DAVID
          Shit.

          SOFIA
          And she seems to be growing...
          less happy.

          DAVID
          Hmm.

          SOFIA
          I think she's the saddest girl to
          ever hold a martini.
          Julie Gianni sits on the steps watching. The girl, and the
          dress, looked much happier in the bedroom. Julie rises and
          begins to move.

          

          

          

          

          23

          ON BRIAN
          Brian holds a drink, attempts to crash a conversation
          between two models. His debonair act is shaky.

          INT. APARTMENT STAIRCASE   -- NIGHT

          David and Sofia race up the stairs. Bad kids having fun.

          SOFIA
          You have another apartment?

          DAVID
          Sort of a day office. Come on -
          They arrive at the door to a smaller upstairs apartment.

          SOFIA
          I'm not going in there.

          DAVID
          Well I am. Goodnight.
          He enters and shuts the door. Frustrated, she stands for    a
          moment, listening to the music streaming from the
          downstairs apartment. We watch her private moment as she
          decides to leave him, turns, feels the emotional pull,
          dances back and knocks sharply three times.

          SOFIA
          I hear her coming.

          DAVID (0.5.)
          Really?

          SOFIA
          No.
          David pulls her inside. Shuts the door behind them.

          INT. PARTY - NIGHT

          Julianna and Brian, both looking for David, discover each
          other.

          INT. HOME APARTMENT/OFFICE - NIGHT

          Artwork on the walls. Sofia is drawn to a powerful
          Monet... and it is not a copy.

          DAVID
          We're safe.      And I've got nothing
          to drink...

          

          

          

          

          24

          SOFIA
          Who did these paintings?

          DAVID
          This is Joni Mitchell. This one
          is Monet. And this one is done by
          me.
          (as a tour guide)
          It is a snowboard.

          SOFIA
          Well, two of them are geniuses.
          (laughs)

          DAVID
          (off the Monet)
          It's the real thing. His
          paintbrush painted that vanilla
          sky. His canvas. It. was my
          mother's.

          INT. PARTY - NIGHT

          Julianna and Brian hold their private conversation by a
          piano. They are bonded, almost mesmerized by their mutual
          fascination for David.

          INT. DAVID'S OTHER APARTMENT -- NIGHT

          David and Sofia laugh.

          DAVID
          You know what I think? You're
          either a very good actress or you
          really do sort of like me.

          SOFIA
          I am an actress.

          DAVID
          There's probably not too much you
          aren't great at.

          SOFIA
          Are you about to compliment, my
          phone voice?

          DAVID
          It's pretty good, you know -

          SOFIA
          Oh, I'd only disappoint, you. See
          - I'm not. qualified. I can spell.

          

          

          

          

          25

          DAVID
          I'm surprised you're available.

          SOFIA
          I'm surprised you're surprised.

          DAVID
          I can't keep this banter going.

          SOFIA
          Me neither.
          Beat. They drop the act. A powerful, awkward moment... and
          the door opens.

          BRIAN
          I caught you.

          SOFIA
          Brian! Come in here!

          DAVID
          What's going on --

          BRIAN
          Your friends are fun and I'm
          drunk.

          DAVID
          (cheerful)
          Julie Gianni is stalking me.

          SOFIA
          She looked dangerous.

          BRIAN
          Nobody stalks me. So I drink.

          DAVID
          Well, we're out of drinks up here.

          BRIAN
          Here, finish my Jack and Coke.
          He messily tries to hand his drink to David, but spills it
          embarrassingly. All his cool is gone, and what's left are
          his friends covering for him, cleaning up.

          DAVID
          These stupid glasses        -

          BRIAN
          No, it's the stupid guy holding
          it.

          

          

          

          

          26

          SOFIA
          (embarrassed)
          Don't worry. I'll get. us all
          something. Jacks and Cokes?
          She exits, leaving the two friends.

          BRIAN
          I better hit it. I drank too much
          and I didn't fucking eat.

          DAVID
          Don't be stupid. The party's just
          starting.

          BRIAN
          (moving away)
          For you it is.

          DAVID
          You can't go. You're my guest of
          honor.

          BRIAN
          Fuck you, David. You're paying me
          to write my novel, so you own me.

          DAVID
          I don't own you. You're
          brilliant, you're good-looking,
          you're handsome.

          BRIAN
          But why'd you have to hit on
          Sofia?

          DAVID
          No one's hitting on Sofia.

          BRIAN
          Fine. Whatever you say.               I'm
          crazy, I'm blind.

          DAVID
          No, you're not blind. You're just
          drinking Jack Daniels. And when
          you drink Jack, you start. in with
          that Frank Sinatra, "She Shot. Me
          Down," gimme a cigarette, King of
          Sad thing...

          BRIAN
          That. I do. Gimme a cigarette.

          

          

          

          

          27

          DAVID
          I'll find one.

          BRIAN
          But wait. You're rich and women
          love you and I'm from Ohio and I'm
          drunk. Can I tell you the truth?

          DAVID
          Everyone does.

          BRIAN
          I dig her.        And I've never said
          this to you before, about any
          girl. But she could be... could
          be could be could be... the girl
          of my fuckin dreams.

          DAVID
          You're not from Ohio.

          BRIAN
          I know.

          BRIAN
          But if she fucks tip our friendship
          - she can go to hell. I won't
          allow it!         We are bros.

          DAVID
          I feel the same way.

          BRIAN
          (wishes he believed it)
          Sure you do.
          Brianprepares to leave, as Sofia returns with   drinks.

          SOFIA
          Where you going?

          BRIAN
          I am Frank. And Frank must go.

          SOFIA
          Huh?

          BRIAN
          I good you bid evening.
          Sofialooks at her watch, and the situation.

          SOFIA
          Hang on, I'll go with you.

          

          

          

          

          28

          BRIAN
          Stay, baby.

          DAVID
          I'll give you a lift home later.

          SOFIA
          No, I have to work tomorrow.

          BRIAN
          You're in great. hands.
          (beat, realizing it's
          over)
          I'm just humoring myself that my
          opinion matters.
          Brian looks at the two of them. Life is telling him, and
          he knows it's time to go. Portrait of a man who will not
          get what. he wants. David notes the poetry in his friend.

          BRIAN
          (leans in close to David)
          You will never know the exquisite
          pain of the guy who goes home
          alone. Because without. the
          bitter, baby, the sweet ain't as
          sweet. Have a good time.
          He exits like a champ, a glorious sad-sack, with a hand
          flourish.

          DAVID
          The Sweet and Sour speech again.

          INT. PARTY

          Julie Gianni dances, her eyes closed, her hand around a
          strange man's neck.

          EXT. SOFIA'S APARTMENT __ NIGHT

          They stand nervously out in front of her apartment. In the
          distance, rain.

          DAVID
          A lot of people are scared of
          heights. It's not the heights
          that bother me, it's the impact
          that terrifies me.
          (off her look)
          I won't stay long.
          She laughs. It was never his decision to make.

          

          

          

          

          29

          INT. APARTMENT - NIGHT

          She switches the light on in an artfully messy city girl
          apartment. A life is lived here, a bed on the back-room
          floor, a bag of trash on the counter, lamp is askew. She
          makes no attempt to clean it up. He soaks in the details,
          including some miniature dolls that occupy her kitchen and
          shelves.

          SOFIA
          Hey Paulo!
          A large goofy dog comes running at her, and then proceeds
          to slather David with love too.

          DAVID
          I'm glad he protects you. This is
          a lethal canine.

          SOFIA
          (from other room)
          I love living here. And I refuse
          to clean up!

          DAVID
          No problem.

          SOFIA
          I've got to work around the clock
          to keep this place.
          David eases the dog away as he examines the oddly exquisite
          dolls. He grabs a look at her in the other room. A bit of
          leg between boot and skirt.  As he admires the dolls:

          DAVID
          So you're really a dancer, huh?

          SOFIA
          For     14     years.   But I don't dance
          like you dance.
          She laughs to herself, steals a look at him. Turns away.

          INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT


          SOFIA
          Do you want something to drink?

          DAVID
          Sure.
          David looks at her refrigerator. A note reads: Call Dad!
          An odd epiphany occurs as he sees the collage of photos

          

          

          

          

          30
          that represent a hard-working, hard-earned, committed and
          passionate life.
          Shot moves across the photos. A young girl living a young
          girl's hard-working and happy life. Group photos of co-
          workers. A few from a vacation. A whole new cast of
          characters, all committed, and they all look inviting to
          him. And one gloriously random photo of her in Cabo San
          Lucas, raising a toast with friends.

          DAVID
          I like your life.

          SOFIA
          Well, it's mine and you can't have
          it.
          David examines a humorously embarrassing vacation photo of
          a sloshed Sofia, a guy's arm reaching for her breast.
          Dedication reads: To Sergio! Marry me!

          DAVID
          I do not want to know the story
          behind this photo. Who's Sergio?

          SOFIA
          It's a nickname.

          DAVID
          Your nickname is Sergio?

          SOFIA
          It's a long story, and we don't
          know each other.

          DAVID
          So many secrets.

          SOFIA
          That's because I'm really an arms
          dealer.

          DAVID
          I've never known an arms dealer.

          SOFIA
          You do now. What about you?
          What's your nickname?
          David freezes. And then decides what the hell - to tell
          the truth.

          DAVID
          Citizen Dildo.

          

          

          

          

          31

          SOFIA
          You're not staying over.

          DAVID
          (still stung over
          nickname)
          Never run a company. Stay an
          artist. Stay an arms dealer.

          SOFIA
          Oh please. Somehow, I can't play
          the violin for you.
          (beat)
          Although. It must be hard
          controlling all those people's
          lives. Everyone at that party is
          connected to you for survival in
          some way, it seems.
          David looks at her, mentally assessing her level of guile.

          SOFIA
          Ever been married?

          DAVID
          No. Ever accept any of your
          12,000 proposals?

          SOFIA
          (playful, self-
          deprecating)
          12,008.No.

          DAVID
          And you moved to New York. To
          dance and paint and act and deal
          arms.

          SOFIA
          Right.
          (going through CDs)
          Do you want to hear Jeff
          Buckley... or Vikki Carr?

          DAVID
          Jeff Buckley... or Vikki Carr?
          Both - simultaneously.
          He continues looking. Flashes of the photos on her
          refrigerator.

          SOFIA
          Everyone said "don't go to New
          York." But I just think good

          

          

          

          

          32
          things will happen if you're a
          good person with a good attitude.
          Doncha think?
          He regards her.  He's a little restless, and a lot
          enchanted. Is she for real?

          SOFIA
          You think I'm naive.
          He decides she's for real. He turns back to the photos on
          her fridge.

          DAVID
          No. I really don't.

          DAVID (V.0.)
          I dug her completely. Somehow, I
          had found the last semi-guileless
          girl in New York City.

          SOFIA
          I have to get to sleep.
          Truthfully -- I'm also working
          mornings as a dental assistant.

          DAVID
          (to himself)
          Boy, am I going to the wrong
          dentist.

          MCCABE(V.0.)
          And you didn't immediately want to
          sleep with her?

          DAVID (V.0.)
          Well you know - I'm a pleasure
          delayer.

          MCCABE (V.O.)
          (interested in his
          romantic style)
          How does that work?

          DAVID (V.0.)
          (toying with the shrink)
          Pleasure delaying... you don't
          know? You keep the relationship
          casual until the absolute breaking
          point.And then, one night, or
          afternoon, or morning... it could
          be months from now... oh, you know
          how it works -

          

          

          

          

          33
          His vision moves across the bright blue sky of one of
          Sofia's photos. A single crimson cloud.

          INT. PSYCHIATRIC UNIT CELL -, DAY         -- THE NEXT


          WEEK/INTERROGATION # 2
          David sits with the mask, facing McCabe. McCabe is hanging
          on every word.

          MCCABE
          - actually no I don't. I've been
          married for twenty-two years.

          DAVID
          Ah, you've got dinner with your
          daughters.

          MCCABE
          That's right. I do.

          DAVID
          Back then I had intricate systems
          with women you wouldn't believe.

          MCCABE
          Like... what...

          DAVID
          Hey Doc. Don't get all melancholy
          over the thirty seconds you were
          single a long time ago.

          MCCABE
          That's what you think I'm doing?

          DAVID
          Yes.

          MCCABE
          Well, you may have a point.
          Let's continue. Time is not our
          friend.

          INT. AARON'S CUBLICLE/PSYCHIATRIC UNIT - DAY

          Aaron watches David, a 17-inch television on a stool to his
          right. Again, strangely, it is "To Kill A Mockingbird"
          that he's watching. We hear audio from the movie through
          the glass.

          INT. LIVING ROOM NIGHT

          David with artist's notebook in hand. Across the table,
          Sofia holds the other notebook.

          

          

          

          

          34

          DAVID
          Just our shortcomings. That's all
          we're allowed to draw.

          SOFIA
          (confidently)
          I've never drawn such a true
          likeness before.

          DAVID
          Mine's finished.

          SOFIA
          Already? Hang on. Okay - done.
          Sofia offers her drawing. It's a caricature of a good-
          looking guy surrounded by money, cars and very thin girls.
          He snatches it, studies it, and what he sees hurts him in
          surprising ways.

          DAVID
          (embarrassed laugh)
          Jesus. That's how you see me?

          SOFIA
          Maybe I didn't add enough money --

          DAVID
          No. It's wonderful. It's
          something you'd see on the wall of
          a steak-house in hell, but it's
          wonderful. Sign it.
          Sofia's face falls a bit. She sees she's hurt him. She
          takes the drawing and signs it, a little guilty.

          SOFIA
          Let's see yours.

          DAVID
          No.
          She grabs it. Its a rich portrait, filled with detail,
          humor and style. She is rocked by its elegance.

          SOFIA
          Wow. I feel bad.
          (regarding it carefully)
          You said to draw a caricature.

          DAVID
          I know. I couldn't. I saw you
          like that.

          

          

          

          

          35

          SOFIA
          Well, it's very good.

          DAVID
          I'll sell it to you.

          SOFIA
          You monster. How much for?

          DAVID
          One kiss.
          She smiles. Something is developing between them.

          DAVID
          That smile is gonna be the end of
          me.

          SOFIA
          (serious)
          And what happens when your friend
          calls you tomorrow?

          DAVID
          He only met you a few hours before
          me. He would do the same.

          SOFIA
          I see that friendship is important
          to you.

          DAVID
          It is. But as his best friend, I
          also know that he's trying to
          finish a novel about inadequacy
          and rejection. So the longer I
          stay, the better it is for his
          career.
          Sofia smiles, shakes her head. And yawns.

          SOFIA
          Your career is one I'd worry
          about.
          David looks down. She's hit a nerve.

          SOFIA
          I'm sorry -

          DAVID
          No, no. You're more right then
          you even know. I used to be one
          of those guys who was just

          

          

          

          

          36
          snowboarding through his life,
          with no focus whatsoever.

          SOFIA
          When did you change?

          DAVID
          (pause, confesses)
          About five minutes ago.

          SOFIA
          (direct, slightly
          whimsical)
          Every passing minute is another
          chance to turn it all around.
          David shakes his head a little. Her words strike right to
          the heart of him.

          DISSOLVE TO:

          INT. SOFIA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT - LATER

          Sofia is asleep on the sofa. Clothes still on.               David
          gently strokes her hair.    Television in b.g. It's one of
          those late-night infomercials, and it's ridiculously
          compelling. The perfect thing to bond over on a great,
          lingering date.

          INTERVIEWER ON T.V.
          And to those who think that you're
          a charlatan?

          OLDER MAN ON T.V.
          I understand. The perception of a
          head frozen somewhere waiting for
          reanimation - it sounds like
          science fiction.

          SOFIA
          What are you watching?

          DAVID
          It's the greatest show... it's
          called "Sofia."
          Sofia looks at him and smiles. They look back to the
          television.

          ON TV INFOMERCIAL
          A charming looking older-man discusses eternal life with a
          television interviewer.

          

          

          

          

          37

          SOFIA
          (off t.v.)
          I've seen this thirty times.

          DAVID
          We did a story on this guy. He
          owns half of Arizona.

          SOFIA
          Is he a fraud?

          DAVID
          How would you ever know?

          SOFIA
          Good point.

          INTERVIEWER ON T.V.
          Can you unfreeze a human life?

          OLDER MAN ON T.V.
          Take the case of Benny the dog.
          Benny is a dog who was frozen for
          three months, and thawed out to
          live a normal life.

          SOFIA
          Oh, well that's comforting. It's
          safe for Benny. I'm in!
          David moves closer to her.

          SOFIA
          We better watch out.
          They regard each other, and David gets up off the sofa.
          It's true. The promise is too great to not savor it, and
          walk away for now. Thrill remains in the air.

          SOFIA
          Where are you going?

          DAVID
          I left my number on your fridge.
          He makes a courtly bow and turns. She feels the loss of
          his company.

          SOFIA
          Come here, I want to tell you a
          secret.
          He pauses a moment, and turns. In this instant, a fleeting
          instant, it's the oddest thing. He can see their entire

          

          

          

          

          38
          life together. He returns to her. Tentatively, she grabs
          a quick sweet kiss on his mouth. He stays for an extra
          moment, kissing just her upper lip, leaving no doubt as to
          the potential of their future. And then... very close she
          says:

          SOFIA
          I meant that to be your forehead.
          David stands. He looks around the small apartment.

          DAVID
          Thank you for the inspiration. I
          will now attempt to run my
          company, showing compassion for
          the seething throng of my partners
          who root quietly for me to fail.
          She looks at him, quite aware of his personal and business
          crossroads. Silently, she roots for him like crazy.

          DAVID
          For things you don't even know -
          thank you. I'm going to go to
          work. I have a company to run.

          SOFIA
          Pleasure delayer.
          He is still somewhat stunned by the evening, and the girl.
          He actually wants to run his company.

          EXT. SOFIA'S APARTMENT - DAY

          David slips out onto the street. It's shabbier than the
          alluring night-time version. He'd never notice, or care...
          because David is a man with a brand new buzz.                The city is
          his. Everything good and great suddenly feels inevitable.
          Life feels like a great pop song. Behind him, a car with
          its lights still on starts and advances alongside.           Behind
          the wheel is Julianna Gianni.

          JULIANNA
          David Aames.
          David leans on his car, turns and shakes his head.

          DAVID
          Julie Gianni.     You're following
          me.

          JULIANNA
          only a little.    I wanted to
          finish what we were talking about.

          

          

          

          

          39

          DAVID
          And _-

          JUL IANNA
          How'd it work out with our Moth
          Girl? Did she turn into a
          butterfly for you?

          DAVID
          Yes she did.

          JULIANNA
          But I can see from your walk that
          you didn't sleep with her.
          David turns.

          JULIANNA
          Let me see if I can guess. You
          haven't slept with her because...
          it's more fun when you can draw it
          out. Sex just isn't as good if
          the woman hasn't told all her
          friends she'd never sleep with
          you.

          DAVID
          You're right on the money, Julie.

          JULIANNA
          She must be exhausted from trying
          to be witty for you all night
          long.

          DAVID
          Hey, Julie.

          JUL IANNA
          Sorry. You're just never there
          for your friends until they've
          already given up on you.

          DAVID
          I'm not blowing you off! I just
          want to be alone for a little bit.
          Trust me - I have a lot of things
          I gotta take care of. If we're
          friends, which we are, you'll
          understand.

          JULIANNA
          (simple, honest)
          I'm sorry I got weird. I missed
          an audition and I just felt bad

          

          

          

          

          40
          you didn't invite me to your
          party.
          It zings him. David turns, considers her.

          JULIANNA
          Do you want to make it up to me?
          I won't tell a soul.
          Slowly, he is drawn to her. His old self rallies one last
          time. He gets in the car.

          INT. JULIANNA'S CAR -- EARLY MORNING

          The streets are empty. She plays a CD of a romantic sweet
          pop track with a feeble vocal.

          JULIANNA
          Would you do a story about me if I
          made a CD?

          DAVID
          Sure I would -

          JULIANNA
          Do you like my music?

          DAVID
          (winning, truthful)
          It's vivid.

          JULIANNA
          If I weren't me, I would buy a CD
          by me.

          DAVID
          Well, you know, if you can reach
          one person.
          Julianna is a little hurt, hides it well.

          JULIANNA
          What is happiness to you, David?

          DAVID
          (considering)
          what is happiness?

          JULIANNA
          For me, this is happiness. Being
          with you.
          David doesn't look at her. She speeds up, slowly.

          

          

          

          

          41

          JU.LIANNA
          One thing bothers me. Why did you
          tell Brian I was your fuck-buddy?

          DAVID
          I didn't tell him that. I didn't
          say that.

          JULIANNA
          When did you stop caring?

          DAVID
          (watching the road)
          About what --

          JULIANNA
          About the consequences of the
          promises you made.

          DAVID
          Promises         - I thought we had an
          understanding.

          JULIANNA
          Do you know how hard it is to
          pretend to be your "buddy?" I
          love you, David. You fucked me
          four times in one night. You have
          been inside me and I have
          swallowed your come. That means
          something.

          DAVID
          Julie...

          JULIANNA
          Four times, David! That means
          something. Four times.
          He grabs at the wheel. She won't let go, and speeds up.

          DAVID
          stop the car!
          She picks at things on the dashboard, as she talks with a
          manic energy.

          JULIANNA
          Twenty-four hours a day I live
          with the aching possibility that
          you might call me to do something.

          

          

          

          

          42

          DAVID
          (caring, almost. pleading)
          Take me to your house. We'll talk
          this out. I want to see where you
          live. I want you to stop the car,
          Julie. I want you to stop the
          car!

          JULIANNA
          Don't you know, David? Every time
          you sleep with someone... your
          body makes a promise whether you
          do or not?

          PROFILE OF DAVID AAMES JR.
          who turns slowly to face her. All he sees are haunted
          blue eyes. He knows at the very least, there will be a
          crash. She guns the accelerator.         He is paralyzed, unable
          to alter his fate.

          JULIANNA
          Tell me something, David. Do you
          believe in God?
          Sweet pop music swells. She bursts the barrier of the
          winding road, and the car sails into an embankment of a
          road below. All sound disappears, as we hear a new kind of
          music. Ethereal, almost wondrous. This music continues.

          TO BLACK

          EXT. CENTRAL PARK - HALL OF TREES - DAY - DREAM

          David walks the hall of trees. It's the gentle seductive
          whoosh of a new day, the way the world sounds when you're
          in love. Vibrant. Alive. Ironically rich in the beauty
          we all take for granted when we're not in love. He looks
          impossibly drawn forward to Sofia, who stands waiting to
          meet him.

          SOFIA
          Hello.
          He steals a kiss. They both feel like they're getting away
          with something.

          DAVID
          You're amazing. Hello.

          SOFIA
          Did you get to work alright?

          

          

          

          

          43

          DAVID
          Yeah, well, actually... I had a
          horrible dream.

          SOFIA
          You dreamed you'd never see me
          again.

          DAVID
          I left your house. I went to the
          car, and my friend the stalker had
          been following me.

          SOFIA
          Julie.

          DAVID
          Yes. She followed me down the
          street. She wanted to talk, and I
          had that buzz... from you and me,
          and I think my mind was on that
          terrible drawing of me... and, you
          know, I got inside. And she drove
          me off a bridge and committed
          suicide with me in the car.

          SOFIA
          I thought you were going straight
          to work.

          DAVID
          But I survive! I survive with my
          arm and my face reconstructed.
          And what's worse I couldn't wake
          up.

          SOFIA
          (shushing)
          How was your house after the
          party?

          DAVID
          What party? A party?

          SOFIA
          The PARTY. Remember? Red
          dress... strappy shoes... I
          spilled something on your SHIRT...
          sweet and sour... and the saddest
          girl to ever hold a martini.
          He looks at her, completely lost and spacy.

          

          

          

          

          44

          DAVID  (V.0.)
          My dreams are a cruel joke. They
          taunt me. Even in my dreams, I'm
          an idiot who knows he's about to
          wake up to reality. If I could
          only avoid sleep, but I can't.

          INT. DAVID'S APARTMENT - DAY

          The alarm clock goes off.   A hand shuts it off. He looks
          at a model plane by the side of the bed.

          DAVID  (V.0.)
          I try to tell myself what to
          dream. I try to dream that I'm
          flying, something freeing. It
          never works.
          Viewed in shadow, he rises out of bed.

          MCCABE (V.0.)
          Is that the only thing that you
          dream?

          JARRING FLASHES/RACING THOUGHTS - DREAM SEQUENCE
          Walking down a hallway, a pretty woman with red hair
          beckons. On a motel floor, David writhes in pain.

          INT. PRISON PSYCHIATRIC UNIT - NIGHT -   (INTERROGATION # 2)


          DAVID
          I don't... I don't remember.

          MCCABE
          Do you dream about the car
          accident?

          INT. BEDROOM/BATHROOM - MORNING

          Feet. into slippers. He shuffles down the hall. David in
          the dark bathroom. He pauses, and reaches slowly for the
          light. As in every previous occasion, he has been revealed
          in the mirror. But today, viewed over his shoulder, we see
          that the mirror is now a wooden cabinet.

          DAVID  (V.0.)
          Here's what you remember from a
          coma. Nothing.

          

          

          

          

          45

          INT. HALLWAY TO KITCHEN -- DAY

          He shuffles down the hallway, seen from behind, a little
          heavier, a wool cap on. There are no shiny surfaces around
          the house. Music continues.

          MCCABE (V.0.)
          What happened next?

          DAVID  (V.0.)
          What really happened? What,
          didn't you read the file? I was
          out for three-and--a-half weeks.
          My face and arm were shattered.
          My jaw was broken in four places.
          No surgery could be performed
          because of the coma. You can't
          feel the darkness, or the
          numbness, you can't even feel.

          BACK TO UNIT

          DAVID
          And then... I came back to life.
          Just like that dog, Benny. Benny
          The Dog.

          MCCABE
          (nods, knowing)
          Benny. Benny The Dog.

          DAVID
          Except my life was no longer
          normal. There were blinding
          migranes now...

          INT. PRISON PSYCHIATRIC UNIT - NIGHT -   (INTERROGATION # 2)

          McCabe continues with David.

          DAVID
          . nerve damage. Why?        This is
          how big business operates. A
          random accident. A "lifestyle
          mishap?" They are not
          coincidences. How do you think
          air-tight contracts are broken?
          These are power upheavals.

          MCCABE
          I'm from Ohio - we don't have
          power upheavals.

          

          

          

          

          46

          DAVID
          And they're in the news every day,
          right. between the lines. Someone
          did this to me. My father wrote
          this in his book, you know.
          Chapter One, Page One, Paragraph
          One. What is the answer to 99           out
          of a hundred questions? Money.

          INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

          David from behind, on the phone. He strains to be casual.
          His head hurts.

          INTERCUT

          INT. OFFICE      _. DAY

          Thomas Tipp, the drunk truth-telling employee, is on the
          phone. David's empty office in b.g.

          TIPP
          David David David. I don't want
          to worry you, I'm holding them
          off. But we've got a situation
          here. The by-laws of the Board
          protect your 51% vote only if
          you're mentally acute. Now I'm
          sorry that poor girl died, but
          you've given the Board a real gift
          with your mishap. They'd like to
          declare you "incapacitated." But
          you are back, and you sound good
          to me -• so let's fight the
          fuckers._. and have a full
          recovery. And maybe you should
          let people see you. I mean, the
          last time we were together you
          were in a coma and you were very
          fucking rude to me. You didn't
          say a word.
          Camera reveals the extent of David's facial damage.

          DAVID
          Yes, well, the rumors of my death
          have been mildly exaggerated.

          DAVID (V.0.)
          Who could I trust? The ants were
          taking over the ant-hill. Who
          could I trust?

          

          

          

          

          47

          EXT. NEW YORK STREET - DAY

          Sofia Serrano walks down a New York street in sensible
          shoes. Just another part of the working force.               To our
          unseen follower, she is most beautiful when unaware she's
          being watched. Shot continues parallel to her. She stops,
          sees someone she knows. A truck with several panes of
          glass passes by and stops in traffic. Her image blurs
          behind the glass, but visible to us in the window is David
          Acmes. His healing face is dotted with stubble. He wears
          a wool hat. He looks noble, an assembled victim, a modern
          miracle. He looks like many things. But he no longer
          looks like David Aames. The truck moves through frame.

          INT. HOSPITAL CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

          A dashing-looking surgeon dripping with confidence, DR.
          POMERANZ, talks with David.

          DR. POMERANZ
          The cranial structure was based on
          thirty pins fastened by small
          panels and bits of bone from the
          mandible... and it seems the
          cartilage grafts have maintained
          your cheek structure.
          Unfortunately, because you were in
          a coma, immediate plastic surgery
          was impossible.

          DAVID  (V.0.)
          Doctors. Their power is in
          jargon. So you study up...

          DAVID
          Is that the procedure for all
          Bilateral Periorbital Hematomas in
          a LeFort III fracture of a
          comatose patient?

          DR. POMERANZ
          (pleasantly surprised)
          In a LeFort III   - absolutely. The
          potential for sub-cranial brain
          damage was too great.

          DAVID  (V.0.)
          . you do your best.
          David consults a list he's made.

          DAVID
          And beyond the cheek grafts, Dr.
          Pomeranz is, are the pins fastened

          

          

          

          

          48
          with any kind of aluminum which
          could ionize and cause that
          pressure in my head? Because I'm
          ready for another operation.

          ANGLE SHIFTS TO REVEAL
          three other doctors in the room listening.

          DR. POMERANZ
          Yes, we are working on processes.
          But it... you're specifically not
          at the stage where we can
          experiment --

          DAVID
          Experiment. Use me.

          DR. POMERANZ
          The headaches will go away -

          DAVID
          These are more than headaches.
          This is like a steel plate slicing
          through my every thought.

          DR. POMERANZ
          We're not cowboys. We can't, just
          wing it.

          DAVID
          Because I can't think straight
          most of the time.

          DR. POMERANZ
          We can increase your medication.

          DAVID
          Yes. Medication.

          DR. POMERANZ
          And there are things we'll
          continue to investigate. But
          there are so many others who've
          not been able to benefit
          aesthetically from plastic surgery
          as you have --

          DAVID
          This isn't about vanity, Dr.
          Pomeranz!
          (keeping rage bottled)
          This isn't about vanity. This is
          about functioning in the world.

          

          

          

          

          49
          It is my job to be out there
          functioning. I've got the money,
          and I'll pay any amount. Invent
          something. Play jazz. You say
          you're the best face man in New
          York City. Fucking prove it.

          OTHER DOCTOR
          We could do something about your
          arm --

          DAVID
          Fuck my arm!
          Dr. Pomeranz looks over to a young assistant.

          DR. POMERANZ
          Nobody here takes your feelings
          for granted. We did prepare
          something for you, based on the
          preliminary examination.

          DAVID
          Tell me. Bring it on.

          DR. POMERANZ
          It's sometimes useful in the early
          stages of rejection. It's a
          facial prosthetic. It was two
          weeks in the making.
          The assistant opens a black-leather bound box. In it is
          the mask - molded from David's own face, locked into a
          pleasant, bland expression.

          DAVID
          A facial prosthetic.

          DR. POMERANZ
          The aesthetic replacement does
          work. Emotionally, and actually.

          OTHER DOCTOR
          (helpfully)
          And the plastic in the aesthetic
          shield also filters out abusive
          rays, and assists in the
          regeneration of cells.

          DAVID
          So it's an aesthetic regenerative
          shield.

          

          

          

          

          50

          DR. POMERANZ
          That's correct. Exactly.

          THIRD DOCTOR
          And the ergonomics of the plate-
          barrier allows it to reflexively
          interact with the movements of
          your own face.

          DAVID
          I see --

          DR. POMERANZ
          It's a helpful unit.

          DAVID
          Good. Because for a minute there
          I thought we were talking about a
          fucking mask!

          DR. POMERANZ
          (beat)
          It's only a mask if you treat it
          that way.

          DAVID
          No it's great. This completely
          takes care of Halloween. But what
          about the other 364         days of the
          year?

          DISSOLVE TO

          EXT. MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY BUILDING - NIGHT

          Families lined up watching the ritual blowing up of the
          balloons the night before Thanksgiving. Parents hug
          children, detailing the magical events of an autumn night.
          Sagging balloons come to life-

          DAVID  (V.0.)
          A new form of me began to take
          shape.

          INT. DAVID'S APARTMENT LIVING ROOM -- DAY

          David by the window of his darkened apartment. The Macy's
          Thanksgiving Day Parade passes just outside his window.
          The top of Homer Simpson's head floats by. We are a world
          away from the lively apartment that once hosted his
          swinging birthday party.

          

          

          

          

          51

          DAVID   (V.0.)
          I planned my re-emergence like the
          Normandy Invasion.
          Take-out boxes, catalog orders with new clothes, comic
          books and magazines with ripped-out pages fill the living
          room.

          INT. DAVID'S APARTMENT LIVING ROOM - DAY

          A memo is placed on the floor of David's living room. Shot
          pulls back to see he has covered the entire floor of his
          living room with memos and paperwork from Aames Publishing.
          He stands regarding all of this information, stooped and
          wearing his bathrobe.

          INTERCUT

          INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

          David stands in front of the bathroom mirror, practicing
          aloud.

          DAVID
          Sofia. Sofia. Sofia. Sofia.
          Sofia. Sofia.

          INT. DAVID'S APARTMENT LIVING ROOM -- DAY


          DAVID POV (V.0.)
          I'll just say it   - I did my
          homework. I read every memo.
          Thomas Tipp was right. People
          will read again.

          INT. APARTMENT - DAY

          David stares at his screen. Disheveled, in underwear, he
          eats red--vine licorice and M&Ms.

          DAVID (V.0.)
          I attended the monthly board
          meeting of the Seven Dwarves by
          video hook-up. Oh, baby. This
          was war.
          On screen before him, all seven, and Thomas Tipp too. Shot
          moves in on screen. We can feel the cool tension of their
          imminent takeover. David twitches, feels it physically.

          DAVID
          because nobody's buying books
          let's invest... my father was
          an adventurer.

          

          

          

          

          52
          David sits in the middle of his office. Push in on the
          white tape that covers the camera on the top of the
          monitors.

          INTERCUT

          INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

          David continues practicing aloud.

          DAVID
          Sofiaaaaaaaaaaa. Serrano.

          DAVID   (V.0.)
          I grew stronger in ways I had
          never known before. And on
          December 5th... my planes filled
          the sky... the return of David
          Aames, Jr. Citizen Dildo.

          INT. DANCE STUDIO - DAY

          Sofia dances at the end of a long day. A few others leave
          for the day, trying not to stare at David. Sofia is there
          alone. For a moment, we share her solitude. She practices
          ballet, twisting and turning and landing in frame, looking
          just past camera. She freezes. She catches sight of
          David, undisguised. And she begins dancing again. Harder.
          Does she even recognize him? He moves closer, attempting
          an easy-going persona. We hear nothing but the sound of
          his heart pounding, in odd counter-rhythm to her dancing.
          Finally she stops.

          DAVID
          You won't believe this... but this
          is me smiling.
          She laughs a little at his strange new humor, keeps a brave
          front.

          SOFIA
          It's been a long time. I tried to
          see you but your people wouldn't
          let me.

          DAVID
          I didn't want to see me, okay.
          But then I woke up today and
          finally, a good hair day.
          David fights anxiety, smoothes his coat.

          

          

          

          

          53

          DAVID
          You want to go out, you want to do
          something?

          SOFIA
          (convincing herself)
          Sure.

          DAVID
          What?

          SOFIA
          Let's go out and do something.

          DAVID
          This weekend. I'll cancel an
          operation or two. We'll have fun.
          Because I am all about fun.
          She kisses his cheek, pulls back quickly, and as she
          exits... he sees her fighting tears.

          INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT

          David's mirror is restored. He studies himself. Raises
          his arm higher than he has been able to. In the next room
          we hear Conan O'Brien welcoming:

          CONAN (O.S.)
          . please welcome, Benny the Dog.

          INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

          David watches Conan. The Owner of Benny sits with Benny
          himself. He wears a t-shirt reading: L.E. Benny is not
          the most excitable dog in town. In fact, he seems rather
          spacey.

          CONAN (O.S.)
          I have so many questions. To
          start off, tell us all just what
          has happened to Benny. What's
          Benny been through?

          OLDER MAN/OWNER
          Benny fell into the water near our
          home, and was frozen in the
          Skykomish River. And I went
          fishing, thinking he'd gone three
          months earlier', and there he was
          in a block of ice, and...
          David grabs the phone, and dials a number.

          

          

          

          

          54

          CONAN
          (off the dog's
          complacency)
          He is thawed out, right?
          Laughter on the t.v. Riding the buzz of what he's
          watching, David dials.

          DAVID
          Hey listen, it's David. I'm back
          in your life. I saw you earlier
          tonight. I was just watching our
          old friend Benny the Dog on... on
          Conan... and I thought of you.
          (laughs)
          Whatever. I loved seeing you
          today. So I'll see you soon.
          You're a great dancer!
          He hangs up and feels instantly mortified. He looks at the
          phone in his hand.

          TO BLACK

          INT. CLUB - NIGHT

          David moves into the thick of a high-energy neighborhood
          dance club. He wears a facial prosthetic. In the
          darkness, he doesn't stick out, not much. He spots Sofia
          and Brian, chatting, waiting for him. The sight of the two
          together recalls happier times. Sofia is dressed down.
          Brian, on the other hand, has never looked better. His
          clothes are nicer. He wears them with confidence. David
          has practiced an opening joke, clapping his hands together.
          He will be trying too hard, all night long.
          They regard him in the mask.

          SOFIA
          (a little too big)
          Hi!

          BRIAN
          (equally big)
          Hey.

          DAVID
          What are you drinking?

          SOFIA
          Nothing.

          

          

          

          

          55

          BRIAN
          I am in the mood for cheap sugary
          overpriced rum-and-cokes. You
          want one?

          DAVID
          (spreads arms)
          Is there any other kind?

          BRIAN
          I'll go get us some         -

          SOFIA
          Where's the bathroom?

          BRIAN
          Behind... over by the place next
          to the door by the chick... I
          mean, girl who looks like Bjork.
          She leaves. David turns to Brian immediately.

          DAVID
          You look good, man. How's your
          book?

          BRIAN
          Take it off.

          DAVID
          I can't. It's a facial shield.
          It's an antiseptic prosthesis to
          stop infections. These fucking
          doctors.

          BRIAN
          (with all love)
          Take off the mask! It's freaking
          me out.

          DAVID
          I can't. It's my face. This is
          my face.

          BRIAN
          Oh no. Trust me. It's a little
          different.

          DAVID
          Hey, if you're embarrassed, just
          go. Nobody asked you to chaperone

          

          

          

          

          56

          BRIAN
          Sofia asked me.

          DAVID
          She didn't want to be alone with
          me?
          (Brian regrets his words)
          That's bullshit. Because I think
          I'm being pretty fucking cool
          about the whole thing.

          BRIAN
          Talk to a shrink!        Or you can
          call me sometime, instead of
          hiding in your apartment. Don't
          take it out on a girl you only met
          once.

          DAVID
          (stung)
          Did she say that? I met her
          "once?" Did she say I met her
          "once?"
          Brian looks away. He's said too much.

          BRIAN
          Cut it out. I miss the old you.
          We all miss the old you. Because
          the new guy is shit.
          David turns away. The perfectly wrong thing to say.

          BRIAN
          Oh. Man. Wait. That came out
          wrong. I love you - period.
          How's your arm, man?
          David shakes his head, moves toward the bar.

          DAVID
          Fuck you, Brian. How about no
          more sympathy? How about if
          that's the deal we make with each
          other? Okay?
          David shakes him off, goes to the bar, and rips off his
          mask. His head thuds from a migraine.

          DAVID
          Gimme a Budweiser and a shot of
          tequila.

          

          

          

          

          57

          BARMAN
          (avoiding eye contact)
          What kind of tequila?

          DAVID
          What did you say to me?

          BARMAN
          (leans closer, still
          looking down)
          I said - What. Kind. Of.
          Tequila.

          DAVID
          Why don't you ask me to my face,
          bitch?
          The barman looks up, expressionless.

          DAVID
          Patron. If you have it.

          ON DAVID - LATER
          watching Sofia and Brian from a distance, talking as
          friends.

          DAVID
          Another shot, another Bud.
          He throws bills on the bar.

          BARMAN
          No. This is on the house.

          DAVID
          Why -

          BARMAN
          (odd compassion)
          It just is. Bitch.
          David looks across the club to see Sofia. A Clubgoer Guy
          whispers something in her ear. She shakes it off. He
          pounds down another shot at the bar, this time with the
          Barman.

          DAVID
          Patron!
          David regards a video monitor behind the bar. Someone's
          camera is fixed on Sofia dancing with Brian, and another
          good-looking Young Man. She playfully shoves the good-
          looking Young Man away, not unlike the move that won David

          

          

          

          

          58
          over lo those many nights ago at her apartment. He pounds
          back another drink.

          INT. CLUB BATHROOM - NIGHT

          Weaving at the urinal, David pees. Squeezes his temples to
          ward off a headache.

          CLUBGOER # 1
          Dude, fix your face!!
          The Clubgoers laugh. David laughs too. Suddenly, he feels
          better.

          INT. CLUB         - NIGHT

          David moves through the crowd, powered by a new sense of
          belonging. The music swirls, and takes him along with it.
          He dances wildly. In the strobing darkness, he is
          anonymous, moving with the group, lost as one. David takes
          the mask and pulls it over his head, backwards. In
          profile, his two faces stare in opposite directions. David
          sees his moment. Sofia is alone near the corner of the
          club. He approaches her.

          DAVID
          Hello again.

          SOFIA
          Hello again.

          DAVID
          Idea. Let's start all over.
          He regards her for a moment, sees her apprehension and
          discomfort.

          DAVID
          How about if you help me? Unless
          I'm horning in here -
          (beat, does her)
          You are. But the food is good.
          He continues, taking a step.

          DAVID
          See, I've got a little problem.
          I've got a stalker.
          (does her)
          It doesn't sound life-threatening.
          (does himself, self-
          deprecating)
          I need a cover. I need for you to
          pretend we're having a

          

          

          

          

          59
          scintillating conversation and
          you're wildly entertained. I know
          it's tough.
          (does her, with head nod)
          I'll improvise.

          SOFIA
          (a touch playful)
          I don't talk like that.

          DAVID
          She's right across the room and
          she's burning a hole in my back
          right now, isn't she?

          SOFIA
          Red dress, strappy shoes?

          DAVID
          That's right!
          Their heads are close together, looking off into the club.
          David doesn't notice that Sofia is having a hard time
          playing along with this game. She is overwhelmed, holding
          it in. David continues.

          DAVID
          I think she' s the saddest girl to
          ever hold a martini.

          SOFIA
          (about to burst)
          David --

          DAVID
          Are you okay?

          SOFIA
          No.

          DAVID
          What's wrong? Is it me?

          SOFIA
          I'll tell you later.

          DAVID
          Come on. Tell me now.
          Something's wrong. Tell me
          everything. Let's talk about it
          right now.

          

          

          

          

          60

          SOFIA
          I'll tell you in another life...
          when we are both cats.
          David looks at her. His eyes flash at her choice of words.
          Perhaps there is hope. Sofia stares at. him, worried about
          his sanity as he goes overboard with his praise of her turn
          of a phrase. Push into close-ups as they struggle to deal
          with the discomfort of this moment.

          DAVID
          I don't believe you just said
          that. That. is the best thing I've
          ever heard. That is hilarious.
          God, that just killed me. The way
          you said that. See - that's what
          I love about you. "I'll tell you
          in another life when we are both
          cats."

          EXT. CLUB STREET - NIGHT

          David, Brian and Sofia walk swiftly down the street in
          silence. David weaves. They are anxious to pretend it was
          a wonderful evening.

          SOFIA
          Well, this is where I leave you.

          BRIAN
          Wait. I'll walk you to your door.

          SOFIA
          No, I live just around the corner.

          BRIAN
          I've got my bike here.

          SOFIA
          I'd rather walk.

          DAVID
          Don't be a drag. Can't you see
          she wants to go on her own?

          BRIAN
          Shut up, you're drunk.

          DAVID
          I may be an idiot, but I'm not
          drunk.

          BRIAN

          

          

          

          

          61

          SOFIA
          Seriously, I don't need you to
          walk me home. Thank you.

          BRIAN
          Okay then. So. We'll call you.

          SOFIA
          (unconvincing)
          Great. We'll go catch a movie or
          something.

          SOFIA
          So. We'll meet up soon.
          The word sounds a lot like goodbye and they both know it.

          DAVID
          We'll meet up soon.
          Sofia turns and runs away.

          DAVID
          (lacking all pride)
          We'll call you again to go out
          with me!

          BRIAN
          We'll call you.
          David and Brian walk on. Brian turns back to see Sofia
          running to the corner.

          BRIAN
          Well, it's been a real blast,
          David. I bid you good evening.

          DAVID
          Where you going?

          BRIAN
          My bike. It's back over there.
          We'll hang soon. Bring your mask
          if you want. I'm getting used to
          it.

          DAVID
          Wait a minute.

          BRIAN
          (stops)
          What?

          

          

          

          

          62

          DAVID
          (shrugs)
          I don't know.

          BRIAN
          You drank a little too much. Call
          me tomorrow if you want.

          DAVID
          Tomorrow I'll wish I was dead.

          BRIAN
          (starts in Sofia's
          direction)
          No you won't. You just need to
          sleep.

          DAVID
          Hey!

          BRIAN
          (Brian's itching to go)
          What!

          DAVID
          What did you say to Julie Gianni
          the night of the accident?

          BRIAN
          What?

          DAVID
          You told her she was a "fuck
          buddy."

          BRIAN
          Never.

          DAVID
          And she was a little more than
          pissed about it.

          BRIAN
          (a little guilty)
          Have you been harboring this shit
          all along? I never talked to her.

          DAVID
          Whatever. I mean - who am I, if I
          can't. be the one who tells you
          you're not ugly? Aw, give me a
          courtesy laugh. Come on!
          Brian shakes his head, starts running.

          

          

          

          

          63

          DAVID
          Brian!! I'm so fucked up. I'm
          just so fucked up!
          Brian stops one last time, irritated, at the far end of the
          street.

          DAVID
          We're best friends! We're bros!
          Brian needs to rid himself of David. He turns and runs in
          the direction of Sofia.
          David feels the deep pangs of rejection. Breathing hard.
          His head hurts. His body hurts.

          DAVID
          Come on, man, we're bros.
          Beat. He sprints down the middle of the street after
          Brian.

          EXT. CLUB STREET/SOFIA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

          David runs frantically, heartbroken and sobbing.

          HIS MIND
          Brian catches up to Sofia. She turns, relieved. They kiss
          messily, hungrily. Her shoes arch to reach his height.
          David runs the streets, nearing her home. The images are
          tearing his mind apart. He stops and leans against a car,
          unsteady and nauseous. Holding his head in pain, he
          manages to run further.
          David stops on the street outside her apartment. His sobs
          overwhelm him. He drops to the pavement. He passes out,
          mouth agape. The empty street visible in the b.g., his
          hand loosens its grip on the mask.

          FADE TO BLACK

          WOMAN'S VOICE
          Open your eyes... open your
          eyes...

          EXT. SOFIA'S APARTMENT -- EARLY MORNING

          David is passed out, the mask is still clutched in his
          hand. A Butterfly crosses frame. A hand enters, resting
          on his shoulder.

          

          

          

          

          64

          WOMAN'S VOICE
          This is a cheap ploy for sympathy.
          David wakes up and looks into the kind face of Julie
          Gianni.

          JULIANNA
          Boo!
          He recoils. His vision sharpens. In the morning shadows,
          with increasing focus, we see that it is actually Sofia.

          DAVID
          No, I'm okay -

          DAVID POV
          Sofia examines him with a look of concern and
          understanding. Everything takes on a clear and sharp
          focus. Behind her is a beautiful vanilla sky.

          SOFIA
          And it worked. Get up.

          DAVID
          Ugh -

          SOFIA
          (helping him up)
          That's right. I agree. Ugh.

          DAVID
          This is a joke.

          SOFIA
          (touches his cheek)
          David. I'm not going to lie to
          you. I liked the way you looked.
          But if you don't pull it together,
          I'll forget the other guy. You
          know that. other guy - YOU?

          DAVID
          (groggy)
          I'm still that guy. I'm still
          that guy.
          Sofia speaks with rapid-fire conviction, as if she might
          change her mind if she thought about it too much.

          SOFIA
          I don't. have a mother-savior bone
          in my body. It's not about that.
          You're coming inside. But if this

          

          

          

          

          65
          turns out to be a big mistake, I
          do have the ability to fall out of
          love with you -
          (snaps fingers)
          - like that.
          She helps him up.

          DAVID
          I am still that guy.

          SOFIA
          Shut up.

          DAVID   (V.0.)
          We created our own world together.
          Us vs. Them -

          DAVID
          Where's Brian?

          SOFIA
          He went with you, didn't he?

          DAVID
          (shaking head at his own
          paranoia)
          I thought you guys hooked up.
          She stops in profile with him. She's astonished at his
          jealousy. Then:

          SOFIA
          (raw truth)
          I wish you hadn't gotten in the
          car with that girl.

          DAVID
          (a long apology is
          coming)
          Sofia... I'm...
          She covers his mouth, nose and face. Only his eyes remain.

          SOFIA
          Your eyes apologized better. Come
          on.
          Portrait of the two, her leading him to the door, the crisp
          glycerine morning overhead.

          

          

          

          

          66

          SOFIA
          Holy God, this is going to change
          my life in a zillion different
          ways... I must be nuts.

          DAVID   (V.0.)
          - and we were quite a pair.   Her
          believing in me. Me believing
          that I deserved it.
          We hear the sound of voices, human voices howling like
          dogs.

          EXT. PRISON - NIGHT

          Prison. Human voices, howling like dogs.

          INT. PRISON HALLWAY -- NIGHT

          David is led down the hallway to his appointment, past many
          door's with thick windows and howling prisoners. Aaron
          pulls him along. They arrive at the Psychiatric Unit..
          McCabe is visible, standing, deep in thought through the
          door.

          INT. PRISON PSYCHIATRIC UNIT - DAY -      (INTERROGATION # 3)

          McCabe holds his drawings, standing. David is seated.

          MCCABE
          I see you haven't been wasting
          your time. Do you ever draw
          anything else?
          All the drawings are of Sofia, drawn in a similar fashion.
          David is a little jumpy, a little amped.
          He moves to the window. The yard is filled with prisoners.

          DAVID
          No.

          MCCABE
          Did you sleep last night.?

          DAVID
          No. I did not sleep.

          MCCABE
          I've got to leave early today, so
          you'll have to be brief. Now.
          What can you tell me about the
          name "Ellie?"

          

          

          

          

          DAVID
          Ellie?

          MCCABE
          Is that a girl you knew? A girl
          you were in love with?

          DAVID
          I've only been in love once.

          MCCABE
          Apparently, you kept repeating it
          last night. You did sleep, David,
          and your advisor said you cried
          out, you had a nightmare.

          DAVID
          Everything is a nightmare --

          MCCABE
          You cried out for "Ellie," David.
          Do you remember what happened?

          DAVID
          No... no...

          MCCABE
          Dig deep, David. Dig deep. You
          cried out for Ellie. What do you
          remember about Ellie? Show me
          your face, David. Help me. Open
          the door.
          David rises and goes to the prison window.
          ANGLE ON McCABE
          In powerful framing, lower shot capturing him powerfully.

          MCCABE
          (digging deeper', aching
          to help)
          It's true you had an accident.
          It's true you were disfigured, but
          not anymore. Do you remember?!
          (with certainty)
          They did fix your face. Take off
          that mask, David. You'll see your
          face is perfect under there.

          DAVID
          I never trusted the Doctors. What
          happened next was surreal. That
          same arrogant bastard, Dr.

          

          

          

          

          68
          Pomeranz, called me and suddenly
          he was my new best friend.

          SHOT OF DR. POMERANZ
          friendly with outstretched hand, standing in front of x-
          rays

          DR. POMERANZ
          (warmly)
          David! Hey, my brother. I felt.
          really bad about our last
          conversation.

          CLOSE ON DAVID

          DAVID
          He'd discovered a new form of
          reconstructive surgery, with the
          help of a doctor from Berlin.

          ON DOCTOR FROM BERLIN
          who bows to camera.

          DOCTOR FROM BERLIN
          Hello.

          CLOSE ON DAVID - CONTINUED

          DAVID
          The next thing I knew they shot me
          full of drugs I'd never heard of
          and away we went.

          INT. SURGICAL THEATRE -• DAY

          David is wheeled down the hallway on a stretcher. He is
          high on tranquilizers, singing "One of Us." The doctors
          are all smiles.

          DAVID(SINGING)
          what if Gawd was one of
          ussssss... "

          DAVID(V.0.)
          The odds, they said, were one in
          three that the headaches could be
          reduced by 50% and facial tissue
          could be regenerated.

          

          

          

          

          69

          INT. SURGICAL THEATRE - DAY

          David is strapped onto a plank headed for a metallic
          capsule. We hear odd noises and see high--tech details of
          the operation. Laser beams criss-cross his face. Shot
          moves to the video playback of the operation with this
          legend beneath: Capture. An assistant doctor captures
          Polaroid frames.

          DAVID   (V.0.)
          I couldn't tell you what they did.
          It seemed like science fiction to
          me.

          DOCTOR (V.0.)
          He's going to be one good-looking
          guy when I'm done.
          A Polaroid still of David in mid-operation rolls out of the
          print-machine.

          DAVID   (V.0.)
          Obviously, I was suspicious.
          Wouldn't you be?

          INT. PRISON PSYCHIATRIC UNIT - NIGHT -    (INTERROGATION # 3)

          David and McCabe both sit against the wall. McCabe listens
          intently.

          MCCABE
          Suspicious of whom? Of what?

          DAVID
          Once you've been driven off a
          bridge at 80 miles an hour,
          somehow you don't invite happiness
          in without a full body search.

          MCCABE
          Well, at the risk of boring you, I
          can present the alternate
          argument. I once knew a guy who
          was a real loner. And one day he
          woke up at 40, with two daughters
          who lit his life up with purpose.
          Suddenly he goes to endless school
          plays, he gets home at       9:20                  for
          the evening discussion, and he has
          the time of his life. His
          favorite Beatle was once John, and
          now it's Paul.

          

          

          

          

          70

          DAVID
          I always liked... George.

          MCCABE
          It all depends on the individual,
          doesn't it? Tell me. What's
          happiness for you?

          INT. JULIANNA GIANNI'S CAR - DAWN - FLASHBACK


          JULIANNA
          What's happiness to you, David?

          INT. PRISON PSYCHIATRIC UNIT - NIGHT - BACK TO PRESENT


          DAVID
          How about another question -

          MCCABE
          Well, you won't show me your face.
          So back to the time-line. Hurry.
          Let's move through this.

          INT. DAVID'S APARTMENT - DUSK

          There is tension in the air. David's face is covered in
          high-tech facial plates. He sits at a table near the
          window. Sofia stands.

          SOFIA
          You've got to take the plates off,
          David.

          DAVID
          I don't want to know what's under
          here.

          SOFIA
          It's going to be fine, you'll see.

          DAVID
          I already called Pomeranz and
          switched it to Wednesday.

          SOFIA
          I hope that shrew at the front
          desk gave you shit about it.

          DAVID
          I'll go in the morning. The
          car'll be fixed.
          She advances, takes his face in her hands. She tugs at the
          corner of one of the plates.

          

          

          

          

          71

          SOFIA
          Good, because I know that the
          problem wouldn't be you delaying
          something you were dreading.

          DAVID
          Couldn't be that.

          SOFIA
          Nooooo, it couldn't be that.
          She pulls off one of the plates.

          SOFIA
          I mean, I agree, it's very
          important to have...
          She pulls off another one of the plates. She grows a bit
          emotional.

          SOFIA
          . the right car...
          She pulls off another one of the plates. Tearing slightly.

          SOFIA
          . to take you where you want to
          go...  24   hours a day...
          Quadrant by quadrant, his face is restored to a pale-
          skinned and tender... perfection.

          DAVID
          How bad is it?

          SOFIA
          Well, your ears are in the right
          place. And the rest of it is...
          not too bad at all.
          Tenderly she kisses, and hugs him.

          INT. DAVID'S APARTMENT -- DUSK

          Sofia and David make love, looking into each other's eyes.

          SOFIA
          Do you love me? I mean, really
          love me... because if you don't,
          I'll just... have to kill you.

          DAVID
          In my next life I want to come
          back as this mole -

          

          

          

          

          72
          (points out mole between
          her breasts)
          - seriously, this mole. I mean,
          you'll have to wear bikini tops to
          work, or loose-fitting shirts so I
          can breathe, but -

          SOFIA
          I love you. I love you. I love
          you.

          DAVID
          - I could live right there.

          SOFIA
          Is this a dream?

          DAVID
          Oh absolutely.
          She grabs his face, kisses him... a powerful moment, like
          few others in this life.

          EXT. VILLAGE STREET - DAY

          Portrait of the couple together, moving down the middle of
          the street on fresh snow.

          DAVID  (V.0.)
          We talked about the big things,
          the little things, and the big
          things. But in truth, with Sofia,
          it was the in-between times.

          INT. FLORENTINE'S BAR AND GRILL - DAY

          Sofia laughs. A perfect laugh. David admires her, sits
          next to her, holding her hand. Theirs is the unmistakable
          closeness of a couple in the first real throes of a sexual
          relationship. They share a giddy open secret. Across the
          table, we reveal Brian. He's got a tiny high-tech camera.
          Sofia speaks sweetly and passionately to David in Spanish.
          David replies knowingly - "si"           - every few words. It's a
          deep communication. She exits.

          BRIAN
          What, did she say?

          DAVID
          (in love)
          I have no idea.
          Brian shakes his head.

          

          

          

          

          73

          DAVID
          How's things, Brian?

          BRIAN
          Fine.
          David's face is huge in the Brian's viewfinder.

          DAVID
          How's things, Brian?

          BRIAN
          Don't flatter yourself. I'm fine.
          Besides - Sofia is great, but by
          no means one-of--a-kind. She was a
          proximity infatuation.
          Brian, naturally suspicious and somewhat jealous,             spots  a
          writer at a nearby table making notes.

          BRIAN
          (to writer)
          And don't use that, it's mine.
          The writer looks busted.

          DAVID
          Where'd you get the camera?

          BRIAN
          I'm into things... you have no
          idea.

          DAVID
          Well, as long as you're okay.

          BRIAN
          And anyway, we're friends, aren't
          we?

          DAVID
          Always.
          David offers his hand. They shake.

          DAVID'S POV
          David's gaze moves to a 40 year-old man staring at him with
          a bemused smile. A plate of food sits in front of him.
          His eyes suggest a piercing intellect, he looks at David
          with deep familiarity. David can't quite place the face.

          

          

          

          

          74

          BRIAN
          Hey what's up with your face?
          Fuck, there's a seam opening or
          something!

          DAVID
          (mounting horror)
          What - what are you talking about?
          Brian laughs. The spell is broken. Friends again.

          DAVID
          You asshole!

          INT. DAVID'S BATHROOM - NIGHT

          David sleeps next to Sofia. He sits up, takes a glass of
          water from the night-stand, admires his girlfriend and
          moves to the bathroom.

          INT. BEDROOM/BATHROOM - NIGHT

          He turns on the light, fills the glass with water. Looks
          up into the restored mirror. His face is disfigured. He
          recoils in terror, knocking against a towel rack, sinking
          to the floor and grabbing a look at a shiny surface on the
          lower cabinet.
          Sofia bolts upright. She sees him on the floor across the
          room, sees his face and backs up in the bed, leaning on her
          arm, screaming.

          INT. DAVID'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

          He awakens suddenly. Sofia is next to him, smiling.

          SOFIA
          Was I snoring?

          DAVID
          (still breathing heavily)
          No, I think it was me. Thirsty,
          that's all.
          She kisses his hand reassuringly.

          SOFIA
          I'm dreaming about you. Mmmmmmm.
          He gets up and goes to the bathroom.

          

          

          

          

          75

          INT. BATHROOM

          Tentatively, he flips the light on. A very relieved David
          regards his restored face. He shuts off the light quickly,
          and fills the glass of water. Splashes some water on his
          face.

          INT. BEDROOM

          David climbs back into bed.

          SOFIA

          DAVID
          (small laugh)
          I could listen to you say "mmmmm"
          for the rest of my life.

          SOFIA
          They kiss. The kiss expands, as he moves to the back of
          her neck. He caresses her body. She kisses his
          fingertips. Her back to him. Tangled in sheets, they ease
          into lovemaking with the perfect fit of two bodies meant
          for each other. He gently grabs a handful of her hair.
          His hand stops.   It's not Sofia's hair. He slowly turns
          her face to his, and we glimpse David over the shoulder of
          the woman who is not Sofia. He leaps out of bed, falling
          to the floor, the sheet tangled around him. He turns on
          the light.
          Julie Gianni hides her face from the light, like a night
          animal caught in the intrusive glare of day.
          When she speaks, it is with Sofia's cadence and accent.

          JULIANNA
          (scared, uncomprehending)
          Baby, what's wrong?
          He gasps for breath, backing away. Totally terrified.
          Paralyzed. In a low voice:

          DAVID
          Where. Is. She.

          JULIANNA
          Who?
          His instinct is to protect his lifeline Sofia - and he
          pounces on her with a manic will to survive.

          

          

          

          

          76
          Julie Gianni looks a little loopy, almost stoned.
          Taunting.

          JULIANNA
          (taunting, sweet)
          I'm Sofia.

          INT. BEDROOM -- NIGHT - MINUTES LATER

          David dismantles the phone, takes the cord. He ties her
          willing hands to the posts of the bed. She protests oddly,
          like an actress playing a part.

          DAVID
          Now I'm going to make sure that I
          tie this four times. Do you know
          why, Julie? Because four times
          really means something.
          David pulls his pants on, frantically opens the wardrobe
          closet. No Sofia. Goes to the kitchen. No Sofia. Julie
          sobs quietly, sweetly, tied to the bed. She behaves and
          acts like Sofia.

          JULIANNA
          David, don't hurt me.
          David returns and sits across from her on the bed,
          terrified and barely hanging on.

          DAVID
          Okay, I'm freaked out. It worked.
          So just tell me right now - where
          is Sofia?

          JULIANNA
          I am Sofia.

          DAVID
          In one minute I'm going to call
          the police --

          JULIANNA
          (heart breaking)
          Don't do it, honey.

          DAVID
          I knew you'd survived the
          accident.
          She looks at him with tearful eyes.

          JULIANNA
          What. accident?

          

          

          

          

          77

          DAVID
          Whose body was it? Who's the one
          who hired you? The Seven Dwarves?

          JULIANNA
          I haven't had any accident!

          DAVID
          No, of course not. It wasn't an
          accident at all. It was attempted
          murder!

          JULIANNA
          Honey, please.
          He picks up the phone. Dials 911.

          DAVID
          Police Department? I've captured
          an intruder who's entered my home.
          He turns to her. Her eyes are yearning.

          INT. POLICE STATION/INTERROGATION ROOM - NIGHT

          The flash of mug shots. We see David sitting, sweating,
          agitated waiting in a Police station holding room.
          Suddenly, the door opens and Thomas Tipp enters, flanked by
          other Detectives.

          TIPP
          Guys, can you give us a minute
          here? Detective Larson...
          Detective Andrews... thank you.
          The room empties, and Tipp approaches David.

          DAVID
          They think that I had something to
          so with this.

          TIPP
          I'm going to handle this exactly
          the way your father would have
          handled this. I've got it solved.

          DAVID
          You've got it solved? Where is
          she?

          TIPP
          She's going to be fine.
          David hugs Tipp.

          

          

          

          

          78

          DAVID
          Thank God you're here, man. I
          love her.

          TIPP
          Yeah... Now, I want you to look
          at these photos and then I'm going
          to destroy them. Sofia's
          testimony is also in here. It
          won't exist. She's not going to
          press charges.

          DAVID
          Press charges against. me?

          TIPP
          David, wake up. As your friend, I
          think you should see what you did
          to Sofia. The press won't get
          hold of this if you get. away
          quickly.
          David leans back in his seat. It's all of them - everybody
          - against him. Tipp opens a file thick with paperwork, two
          computer discs and photos. He displays a photo to David,
          moving it into the light so he sees it clearly.              Julie
          Gianni, battered.

          DAVID
          This is Julie Gianni. That's not
          Sofia. This is Julie Gianni. I
          didn't do that do that to her.
          (beginning to shut down)
          Tommy, someone's setting me up.

          TIPP
          David, the Board and I have taken
          care of everything. They've been
          really great, actually. All of
          this is going to disappear. We're
          all behind you... even the Board.
          David looks at Tipp. It's very clear now. He's one of
          them. David attempts calm.

          TIPP
          (quiet, helpful)
          Get out of here.
          A migraine is thundering in David's head. His world is
          spinning backwards.

          

          

          

          

          79

          INT. POLICE STATION -• NIGHT

          David strides down the hallway. A Man in a crystal blue
          sport coat stands, waiting. As David passes, the Man
          confides a single line - as if smuggling out a valuable
          secret. Voices from other rooms, including a small child
          saying: "Mommy, mommy."

          MAN IN BLUE COAT
          This is a revolution of the mind.

          INT./EXT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT

          Exiting, David is intercepted by a furious Brian.

          BRIAN
          You're in fucking sad shape, man.
          Don't fucking ever hit a girl,
          man. Hit me, but don't fucking
          EVER hit a girl.
          David looks up -- sees a small security camera trained on
          them - pulls Brian out of the station.

          DAVID
          It wasn't Sofia. It was Julie.

          BRIAN
          Oh... it was Julie Gianni. So,
          Sofia was abducted by Julie, and
          now Julie is posing as Sofia.

          DAVID
          Yes.

          BRIAN
          You're in O.J. land, man. Julie
          Gianni is fucking dead!

          DAVID
          I don't know what the cops have
          told you, but let me assure you -
          Julie Gianni is alive alive ALIVE.

          BRIAN
          I didn't talk to the cops. I
          talked to Sofia!

          DAVID
          Where is she?

          BRIAN
          I just dropped Sofia off. And I
          saw everything you did to her.

          

          

          

          

          80

          DAVID
          Let me tell you something - I did
          not do that to her. Look me in
          the eye and tell me that it was
          the same girl you brought to the
          party. Tell me it was your dream
          girl, your "proximity
          infatuation."

          BRIAN
          (raw, finally)
          Yes! And you stole her from me!
          David backs away, as Brian responds bitterly, from his
          heart.

          BRIAN
          The one girl I really wanted, and
          you took her from me. You're
          insane. You're losing it, man.
          David nods powerfully. He now understands. Brian is one
          of them too.

          DAVID
          You have revealed yourself.

          BRIAN
          Oh yeah, I'm with them.

          DAVID
          Where'd you get the coat, Brian?
          Where'd you get the camera? How
          much did they pay you?

          BRIAN
          Listen to me, 'cause it's the last
          time we're ever gonna speak. I
          was your only friend.

          DAVID
          You have revealed yourself to me.

          INT. FLORENTINE'S - NIGHT

          David nurses a drink, still breathing heavily. He's been
          crying. His head aches with this thought - maybe I am
          insane. A man in a classy suit walks towards him, inviting
          himself to sit at the table. His bedside manner is
          impeccable. His smile offers infinite compassion. He was
          the man staring at. him in this same restaurant. He is

          EDMUND VENTURA.

          

          

          

          

          81

          VENTURA
          Problems?

          DAVID
          (takes a sip)
          I'm in no mood to be fucked with.
          So do yourself a favor and le -

          VENTURA
          There's an explanation for all
          this, David.

          DAVID
          Who the fuck are you?

          VENTURA
          You and I know each other. You
          found me on the Internet.
          Silence. David stares at the man.

          DAVID
          What do you want? Why are you
          following me?

          VENTURA
          I'm here to help you. And first
          of all, it's very important that
          you calm down.

          DAVID
          Calm down?

          VENTURA
          You must overcome your fears and
          regain control. Take hold of your
          life again. It's as easy as
          holding that glass. What if I
          told you that you can take control
          of all of this... everything...
          even me...
          David turns to him.

          DAVID
          Look. I'm straight, okay?

          VENTURA
          David, look at these people. It
          seems as though they're chatting
          away, doesn't it? Nothing to do
          with you -

          

          

          

          

          82
          David listens, as he looks at the spirited Saturday night
          crowd, lost in their revelry.

          VENTURA
          -- and yet, they might only be here
          because you wanted them to be.
          You are their God. And not only
          that, you could make them obey
          you... or even destroy you.
          David shakes his head, exhausted and in no mood. He shuts
          his eyes, fights off a headache.

          DAVID
          (cutting him off)
          What I'd like them to do is shut
          up! Especially you!
          Silence. David opens his eyes. They're all staring at
          him. Casually waiting for orders.

          VENTURA
          You see?
          David looks at him with horror, backing away. Receding in
          his vision:

          VENTURA
          You and I signed a contract,
          David.

          INT. PRISON PSYCHIATRIC UNIT - DAY -    (INTERROGATION # 4)

          McCabe is taut, following the thread. His voice calming.

          MCCABE
          Who is the man in the restaurant?
          Who is it?

          DAVID
          I can' t.        --

          MCCABE
          Can you tell the difference
          between dreams and reality?

          DAVID
          Of course. Can you?

          MCCABE
          Think about it. Think with your
          head. You signed a contract, did
          you not.?

          

          

          

          

          83

          RACING THOUGHTS
          A woman walks down the hallway, looking back. Flash   of
          papers signed.

          DAVID
          I signed something.

          MCCABE
          Was the man at the restaurant
          there?
          McCabe's voice becomes infinitely calm and helpful.

          DAVID
          Fuck!

          MCCABE
          Accept your body's resistance.
          Let your head answer.

          DAVID
          Yes.

          MCCABE
          That's right. Who is Ellie?

          DAVID
          I... I don't know what's real.

          MCCABE
          What happened that night, David?
          Somebody died.

          DAVID
          I don't want to remember.

          MCCABE
          Do you understand that you hold
          the keys to this prison?

          DAVID
          It wasn't Sofia.

          MCCABE
          Who was it?

          DAVID
          No.

          MCCABE
          Who was it?

          

          

          

          

          84

          DAVID
          No!

          MCCABE
          You want to let it out, don't you
          David? You're about to tell me.
          Tell me what your heart and soul
          will not allow you to forget.
          David shudders. It's coming.

          MCCABE
          Did you kill Sofia?
          McCabe stands tall, stunned and curious, still pressing to
          pull the nightmare out of him.

          INT. SOFIA'S APARTMENT - DAY - FLASHBACK

          The clown figurine on her stove-top falls over as we hear
          the front door kicked in. David enters, slamming the door
          behind him. He looks around what was once the site of such
          happiness. The same details he'd glimpsed long ago are now
          horrifying to him. He looks at a photo on the
          refrigerator. The same note: Call Dad! The exact
          expression, exact photograph he'd seen on his earlier
          visit. Now it is Julie who is in her place.
          He opens her drawer. Just some papers. And then... the
          drawing he'd once done of her. Now featuring Julie. He
          rips up the drawing, and proceeds to destroy the apartment
          until he stops, collecting himself. Takes a breath and...
          Smash. A lamp is broken over his head. Julie Gianni bends
          down to help him. A shard of the lamp-base is still in her
          hand. Julie's whole demeanor is that of a different girl.
          Even her voice is softer, almost exactly the knock-around
          sweetness of Sofia.

          JULIANNA
          I thought you were a vandal.

          DAVID
          (with difficulty)
          Who... are... you?

          JULIANNA
          I'm Sofia.

          DAVID
          You are not Sofia... you're not
          Sofia...

          

          

          

          

          85

          JULIANNA
          I'm Sofia.

          DAVID
          Whatever.
          Julie starts to cry. Battling tears, she offers her heart
          and soul.

          JULIANNA
          David, honey. This will all be
          over soon. We'll be together
          again. You'll forget Julianna and
          I won't be afraid of you. Let me
          get you a cold towel.
          She exits. He struggles to rise. His head is a swirling
          mess. And then:

          ON KITCHEN DOORWAY
          Sofia slowly returns with towel. Her image still blurry.
          David advances, and faints into her arms.

          DAVID
          Sofia?

          SOFIA
          (whispers)
          Yes, David, I'm Sofia. I'm Sofia.
          He accepts it, all of it, whatever it is, just to hold her.
          They kiss, gently, then more powerfully.

          INT. SOFIA'S BEDROOM - DAY

          They make love, emotionally and deeply. Two bodies
          yearning to possess the other. Camera moves across their
          bodies, as David wipes frame to black, as the move
          continues onto her back.

          DAVID
          Where were you...
          Sofia doesn't answer, doesn't want to lose the moment.

          DAVID
          I don't want to know.
          (thrusting)
          Just tell me you love me.
          David keeps his face buried in her shoulder'. He doesn't
          want to look. The passion gives way to a mounting dread,
          as he hears a voice almost like Sofia's.

          

          

          

          

          86

          JULIANNA (O.S.)
          I love you. I'm afraid of how
          powerful this is.
          He continues moving passionately, harder now. Julie
          responds to the overwhelming surge within David. She gives
          over to the waves of dark pleasure, riding him like a
          rocket. from hell. Harder now. Grabbing her hands and
          pulling them high above her head, clamping down with his
          own.
          Julie Gianni cries a deep, guttural sound of passion.
          This is what someone sounds like when they're not faking
          it. And then... slam... a pillow comes down over her face.

          DAVID
          What the fuck is happening?
          Julie begins to react to what is clearly no longer an
          advanced lovemaking session.

          DAVID
          I want to see your face!
          She grabs at the pillow.

          DAVID
          I want to see your face!
          David reaches orgasm, sobbing, recklessly out of control.
          Julie's body stops kicking and settles into silence. He
          loosens the pillow, and is rewarded with one last violent
          attempt at life. Her hand smacks his neck. He's so taut
          it bounces off. She grabs at his face one last time, her
          hand is left with enough power only to caress his face.
          She goes limp. Silence. David's crying turns to a
          whimper. He looks at the pillow over Julie's head. He's
          confused, a puddle of jagged adrenaline. He doesn't want
          to remove the pillow for fear of who could be underneath.
          He rises up, his elbow across her lifeless chest. With
          true horror, he knows he has to move his hand, but his hand
          will reveal who he's just killed.

          ON HER TORSO
          as his arm moves inexorably away from her chest. Quarter-
          inch by quarter-inch he inches it downward, across the top
          of her breasts... dreading the inevitable, not seeing it,
          and then... there it is. The mole between her breasts.

          INT. HALLWAY STAIRS - DAY

          David exits hurriedly, past some tenants, down the stairs.
          He looks up at his own reflection in the hallway mirror.

          

          

          

          

          87
          He looks horribly disfigured. We hear the sound of
          breathing, encased in a mask.

          INT. PRISON PSYCHIATRIC UNIT - NIGHT -  (INTERROGATION # 4)

          McCabe sits across from David. McCabe looks away, haunted
          by the admission of guilt.

          DAVID
          I did it, didn't I? I don't...
          feel... like I killed someone. I
          feel like...

          MCCABE
          David, who...

          DAVID
          I'm in a dream...

          MCCABE
          . was the man at the restaurant?
          David shakes his head.

          MCCABE
          (pained)
          Sometimes the mind behaves as if
          it were in a dream. Faces change,
          people become other people. The
          subconscious is a powerful thing.
          You treated Julie carelessly,
          didn't you, David? Your feeling
          of responsibility or guilt over
          Julie might have easily turned
          Sofia into Julie.
          (pause)
          Do you know what derangement is?

          DAVID
          I need your help.

          MCCABE
          All I know is, you killed your
          girlfriend and I don't know what's
          in your mind.

          DAVID
          I need your help.

          MCCABE
          I'd work on this case forever if I
          could, but we've run out of time.

          

          

          

          

          88

          DAVID
          What will you plead?

          MCCABE
          Temporary derangement. It's your
          best chance. They won't believe
          me.

          DAVID
          What do you believe?

          MCCABE
          Believe it or not, I care about
          you. You've become like family to
          me. I don't want to give up on
          you.
          David looks at, him oddly. Suddenly, the archetype seems
          very familiar. McCabe continues with the noble concern of
          a towering father figure.

          MCCABE
          (continued)
          But I needed more. I needed an
          answer. I... I even thought there
          was more than a good chance
          someone was playing tricks on you.
          Maybe it was the board. But I
          can't exceed my duties here. I'm
          just a psychologist, and I have to
          leave you.

          DAVID
          Will I see you at the trial?

          MCCABE
          No. I'm just the opening act.
          He exits. David sits at. the table as McCabe and Aaron
          exit. He hears Aaron's television; it's the Life Extension
          Infomercial.

          INT. AARON'S CUBICLE - NIGHT

          Through the glass of the psychiatric unit, we see McCabe
          and Aaron exit. Only Aaron's television, sitting on a
          stool, remains. Push in on the television, which is
          playing the L.E. Infomercial.
          Push in on the reverse. It's David at the window as he
          realizes the true meaning of "Ellie" -- L.E. He bangs on
          the glass, at first slow, then faster, yelling for McCabe.
          The L.E. Infomercial and Benny the Dog are reflected on the
          window.

          

          

          

          

          89

          DAVID
          McCABE!!! McCABE!!! COME BACK!!!

          COME BACK!!!

          INT. PRISON CORRIDOR - DAY

          McCabe hustles down the hallway with David. McCabe stands
          tall, moving forward, like Atticus Finch with Tom Robinson.

          INT. CAR

          McCabe watches David closely. Aaron the Guard turns to
          look at David behind the glass partition that separates
          them. David looks out the window at the world he's missed.

          EXT. PLAZA - DAY

          The police vehicle pulls up in front of a crowded business
          plaza. McCabe exits with David. Always watching his every
          move, his every revelation. David looks upward at the
          towering skyscraper in the center of the plaza, rising high
          into the sky.

          INT. SKYSCRAPER - DAY

          A Building Guard guides them through the lobby. McCabe
          trained on David. A look between the two. A Building
          Guard intercepts them.

          MCCABE
          (to Building Guard)
          Life Extension Corporation,
          please.

          GUARD
          What -

          MCCABE
          (a look to David)
          L.E. We hold a court order.

          DAVID
          I think I've been here before -
          McCabe strides purposefully past the Building Guard. Aaron
          shows the pass, and hustles to keep up.

          INT. SKYSCRAPER-63RD FLOOR/L.E. OUTER OFFICE AND HALLWAY-


          DAY
          The elevator door opens to reveal a very pleasant and
          peaceful environment. Comfortable lounging chairs. On the
          reception station is written - L.E. and underneath it the
          words: Life Extension Corporation. Two more Guards meet

          

          

          

          

          90
          them. McCabe watches David, as Aaron releases him from the
          handcuffs. The group moves together. Senses are
          overwhelming David, as they approach the reception station.

          DAVID
          Her name is Libby.
          A stunning young woman rises and moves to greet them.

          LIBBY
          Good morning. I'm Libby. I'm
          here to assist you.
          Libby stares at David's masked face. It's slightly
          unsettling to her.

          MCCABE
          He's my son. He's very shy.

          LIBBY
          (smiling professionally)
          You're not. with the media or part.
          of any legal consortium, correct?

          MCCABE
          No.

          LIBBY
          Welcome to Life Extension. Have a
          look at our proposal. Please
          follow me.
          She-offers them two bound folders featuring the logo - L.E.
          - and guides them down the hallway, looking back with great
          style, beckoning, just as in David's dream recollections.

          MCCABE
          (to Aaron)
          You can wait out here.

          LIBBY
          You'll be meeting Rebecca
          Dearborn.
          (aside)
          My personal role model.

          ON HALLWAY WALLS
          Containing monitors with video-taped "tour guides."
          Talking heads expressing the convictions of Life Extension.
          Compassionate, expressive people. The bits of their
          testimonials echo phrases from David's own life.

          

          

          

          

          91

          PATIENT #1
          .and I'm not a "true believer"
          by nature. But the older you get,
          the more you see the flow of the
          future, and I made a choice...

          PATIENT #2
          .why not embrace the future? I
          Believe the research - the future
          is in the union of the
          spiritual... and the scientific...
          Annoyed at everything around him, McCabe pulls David
          onward.

          INT. LIFE EXTENSION OFFICE  - DAY

          Aames and McCabe sit and wait in a warm wood-paneled
          office, proposals in hand. A glimpse shows words like Re-
          Evolve and Re-Experience, peppered with colorful photos of
          simple, life-affirming portraits of everyday life. It's
          well-appointed and well-marketed organization.
          McCabe regards David as the victim of a lunatic's scam.
          Injustice fuels McCabe.

          MCCABE
          (continuing, scoffing)
          "Cryonization - a journey of re-
          awakening after the preservation
          of the human body at extremely low
          temperatures."

          DAVID
          They laughed at Jules Verne too.

          MCCABE
          (a little sadly)
          David, you're not-
          Account Liaison REBECCA DEARBORN enters with paperwork.
          She is an electric presence. Efficient, caring and oddly
          compassionate.

          DEARBORN
          Mr. McCabe, how are you? I'm
          Rebecca Dearborn.
          (quick notice of mask)
          Life Extension, or L.E. as we like
          to refer to it, is a glimpse of
          the future... a ticket... not in
          the juvenile sense, but in the
          deeply meaningful sense that can
          only be borne in the human heart.

          

          

          

          

          92
          The DNA codes of the human body
          have been broken. Soon, heart
          ailments, cancer and so much more,
          will be a thing of the past. Very
          simply, your anguish... your
          discontent... even your death is
          no longer necessary in a
          traditional sense. Whatever
          malady that hides behind that
          mask... is temporary.
          She looks directly at David, and it stirs him. McCabe
          studies her, and the operation. He thirsts for clues.
          David flips through the folder - toward the back, a panel
          of photos of storage tanks. Lavishly and warmly
          photographed, just like next year's cars in a magazine.

          DEARBORN
          Within an hour of your passing,
          L.E. will transfer your body to a
          vessel where you will be sealed
          and frozen at     196                   degrees below
          zero. Power outages, earthquakes,
          nothing will effect your
          suspension-hibernation.

          MCCABE
          Did you sign this contract, David?
          David looks down at pamphlet, looks up.

          DAVID
          What's the "Lucid Dream" option?

          DEARBORN
          Good choice. The Lucid Dream is
          Life Extension's newest option.
          For a little extra, we offer the
          cryonic union of science and
          entertainment.

          MCCABE
          (rueful, skeptical)
          "Cryo-tainment. "
          Dearborn spreads apart the paperwork on her desk to reveal
          a thin Video Monitor built into the glass table-top. Aames
          and McCabe peer into the table--top as Dearborn presses
          play.

          DEARBORN
          Some find this presentation
          helpful.

          

          

          

          

          93

          INTERCUT

          ON MONITOR - THE PRESENTATION
          An appealing presentation begins         -- Man's Life. A generic
          happy-looking Man with graphics floating out of his mouth:
          Re-Emerge ...     . Re-Store                 .Re--Invent...a voice takes over for
          Dearborn. A wonderfully comforting tone is present in the
          narration. Like that of a parent.

          NARRATION
          Portrait of a modern human life.
          American, male.
          (highlighting stage)
          Birth.
          (highlighting another
          stage)
          and Death. Imagine that you
          are suffering from a terminal
          illness. You'd like to be
          cryonized, but you'd rather be
          resurrected to continue your own
          life, as you know it now. L.E.
          offers you the answer. Upon
          resurrection you will continue in
          an ageless state - preserved - but
          living in the "present" with a
          future of your choosing.

          VIDEO MONITOR -- THE PRESENTATION
          Push in on a door that opens to a panel of steel
          compartments. Music and atmosphere are seductive and
          compelling.

          NARRATION (CONT ' D )
          Your death will be wiped from your
          memory. Your life will continue
          as a realistic work of art,
          painted by you, minute-to-minute.
          And you'll live it with the
          romantic abandon of a summer
          day... with the feeling of a great
          movie, or a pop song you always
          loved. With no memory of how it
          all occurred, save for the
          knowledge that everything
          simply... improved. And in any
          instance of discontent, you'll be
          visited by Technical Support.

          

          

          

          

          94

          VIDEO MONITOR - THE PRESENTATION
          Shot of Edmund Ventura holding a Life Extension folder in
          his arms. Graphic reads: Tech Support.

          NARRATION (CONT'D)
          It is all just around the corner,
          the day after tomorrow.

          MONITOR - THE PRESENTATION
          The words: LIFE, PART TWO drift onto the screen, obscuring
          the phase marked: Death.

          NARRATION
          Another chapter begins seamlessly,
          a living dream. Life Extension's
          promise to you. Life -- Part Two.

          DEARBORN
          A living dream.

          MCCABE
          Your death will be wiped from your
          memory. I guess I missed that one
          in USA Today.
          David sits, reeling from the revelation he may be living a
          Lucid Dream.

          DAVID
          . a dream... What if there was a
          mistake? What if the dream became
          a nightmare?

          DEARBORN
          Of course, your subconscious can
          always play tricks on you. The
          subconscious is a very powerful
          thing -

          SIDE-ANGLE CU MCCABE
          Sits forward. He turns to David with great strength,
          worried for him.

          MCCABE
          Did you sign a contract with these
          people, David?

          DEARBORN
          (continuing)
          -but this is a serious business.
          The Lucid Dream is worth the risk.

          

          

          

          

          95
          And what is any life, if not the
          pursuit of a dream? The dream of
          peace. The dream of achievement.
          The dream of hearing someone
          saying these words, when they
          truly mean them.
          David is deeply moved as he listens. Somewhere, music
          begins to play. It is The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations."

          DEARBORN
          I love you, David. Te Quiero.
          Roam free, David. Most of us live
          our whole lives with no real
          adventure to call our own. It's
          hard to comprehend-but they
          laughed at Jules Verne too.

          DAVID   DEARBORN
          This is a revolution of the  This is a revolution of
          the mind.          mind.

          CLOSE FRONTAL SHOT OF DAVID AAMES
          David pulls off his mask. He runs out.

          INT. LIFE EXTENSION CORRIDOR - DAY

          David storms around the corner from Dearborn's office,
          yelling, raving.

          DAVID
          I want to wake up! I want to wake
          up!
          Aaron grabs for him. David wrenches free.

          DAVID

          TECH SUPPORT!
          David runs down the corridor and into the elevator, Aaron
          chasing after him.

          DAVID
          It's a nightmare!
          The doors shut. Music rising.

          INT. EMPTY LOBBY - DAY

          David runs out of the elevator, into the empty lobby. Shot
          cranes up to reveal he is utterly alone, reminiscent of the
          much-earlier Times Square shot.

          

          

          

          

          96

          DAVID
          Tech Support!!
          Music stops. We hear the ding of the elevator.

          CLOSE ON DAVID
          Who turns and approaches the elevator, exiting frame.

          INT. ELEVATOR - DAY

          David enters the elevator to see Edmund Ventura, calmly
          waiting.

          VENTURA
          David Aames. I think it's time we
          had a proper re-introduction. I'm
          Edmund Ventura from the oasis
          Project, formerly Life Extension --•

          L.E.

          DAVID
          Tech support.

          VENTURA
          Yes, I'm your Tech Support. We
          first met      150   years ago.

          DAVID
          Oh shit. You sold me the Lucid
          Dream.
          Ventura smiles.

          DAVID
          Well, what the hell happened?

          VENTURA
          I tried to warn you in the bar. I
          told you to exercise control, that
          it all depended on your mind. All
          of this, everything is your
          creation. And we're now heading
          toward your true moment, of choice.

          DAVID
          "True moment of choice?"

          VENTURA
          Yes.

          DAVID
          When did the Lucid Dream begin?

          

          

          

          

          97

          VENTURA
          Remember the day of the nightclub?

          DAVID
          (trying to remember)
          Yes.

          EXT. SOFIA'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT - FLASHBACK

          David is collapsed on the ground. His mask clutched in his
          hand, passed out. Rhythmic score.

          VENTURA
          (with importance)
          That night, when Sofia left you
          and you fell asleep on the
          pavement, that was the moment you
          chose for the splice...

          DAVID
          (remembers the word)
          The splice?

          FADE OUT ON MASK
          The mask has tumbled out of his hand.

          VENTURA
          Splice. The end of your "real"
          life and the beginning of L.E.'s
          Lucid Dream. A splice of many
          years which passed while you were
          frozen and dreaming.

          FADE UP ON MASK
          A moody day dawns. David's mask is just outside the reach
          of his outstretched hand.

          ON DAVID PASSED OUT ON STREET
          Sofia's hand reaches in, and awakens him. Everything is
          suddenly a little more vivid, a little more super-real.

          SOFIA
          Open your eyes.
          They walk away, down the street, into a beautiful Vanilla
          Sky. Sofia slips her arm around his shoulder, as we've
          seen earlier.

          VENTURA
          From the moment you woke up on
          that street, nothing was "real" in

          

          

          

          

          98
          a traditional sense. Your Lucid
          Dream is monitored by Life
          Extension, and a panel of experts
          who follow your every thought.
          Even at this moment.

          INT. ELEVATOR - DAY

          The scene continues as David Aames rides the elevator. The
          compartment now rises above the first seven floors to
          reveal they are traveling upwards in an exterior elevator.
          Other skyscrapers pass by outside the window.

          VENTURA
          Forgive me. I'm blowing your
          mind.
          David looks down with dread.

          DAVID
          I'm not a big fan of heights.

          VENTURA
          I know.
          (continuing)
          We erased what really happened
          from your memory.

          DAVID
          (reaching to understand)
          ..erased?

          VENTURA
          Replaced by a better life under
          these beautiful Monet-like skies.

          DAVID
          (recognizing pieces)
          My mother's favorite.

          VENTURA
          That's right.. A better life
          because you had Sofia.

          ON SOFIA AND DAVID - FLASHBACK
          walking down the center of the Village Street.

          VENTURA
          And you sculpted your Lucid Dream
          out of the iconography of your
          youth.

          

          

          

          

          99

          A FLASH OF FAMILIAR IMAGES
          from the life and psyche of his youth. Mirrored in David's
          life in moments we've already seen.

          VENTURA
          An album cover that once moved
          you...

          DAVID
          An album cover?

          ON BOB DYLAN AND SUZE ROTOLO
          The cover of "Freewheelin' Bob Dylan." Same pose. Same
          street.

          VENTURA
          a movie you once saw late at
          night that showed you what a
          father could be like...

          ON TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - MOVIE CLIP
          Atticus Finch sits at the breakfast table with his kids.

          ON CURTIS MCCABE AND DAVID AAMES IN UNIT - FLASHBACK
          The exact pose as McCabe and David talk in one of their
          prison conversations.

          VENTURA
          or what love could be like...

          ON SOFIA LAUGHING AT TABLE OF FLORENTINE'S - FLASHBACK
          Her head held high, laughing.

          ON JEANNE MOREAU - MOVIE CLIP
          laughing in the same way, a moment from "Jules et Jim."

          INT. ELEVATOR - DAY

          The compartment hurtles upwards, rising higher than the
          surrounding buildings.

          VENTURA
          This was a kind woman, an
          individual, more than your equal.
          Ventura nods wistfully. He fell in love with her a little,
          too.

          

          

          

          

          100

          VENTURA
          You barely knew her in real life,
          but. in your Lucid Dream, she was
          your savior.

          ON DAVID - SLIGHT PUSH
          trying to remember, feeling the flashes of truth in brief
          moments. And then a bracing, challenging realization that
          something went wrong.

          DAVID
          What happened in my real life?
          Something happened. What did you
          erase?

          VENTURA
          Do you really want to know?

          HIGH ANGLE SHOT OF DAVID
          almost nauseous

          DAVID
          Tell me everything.

          EXT. NIGHTCLUB STREET - DAY

          Match push in on David rising to his feet. His disfigured
          face thunders with a massive migraine. The exact. shot we
          once saw as David and Sofia walked away together. This
          time, David is alone.

          VENTURA
          The morning after the nightclub,
          you woke up on that street, hung-
          over and along. You got up and
          walked away. You never saw Sofia
          again.

          DAVID
          I didn't kill Sofia.

          VENTURA
          No.

          ON DAVID - IN ELEVATOR
          He can't remember any of this. And then...

          VENTURA
          You battled your board, the Seven
          Dwarves, for control. In the end
          it was Thomas Tipp, your father's

          

          

          

          

          101
          friend, the one whose job you
          saved, who wrenched the company
          back in your control.

          INT. RISE PUBLICATIONS - DAY - FLASHBACK

          David exits the company elevator and returns to Aames
          Publications. Tipp is out in front of the employees and
          staffers who welcome him back.

          DAVID
          (warmly)
          Tommy.
          (vague memories)
          But then... somebody died.

          INT. DAVID'S APARTMENT      - NIGHT

          David sits in front of the computer in bad physical shape.

          VENTURA
          You longed for Sofia. You shut
          yourself away for months. You
          were alone. You couldn't take the
          pain anymore. Headaches... you
          could barely function.

          DAVID
          I found you on the Internet. I
          signed the contract with you. And
          then...

          INT. MOTEL --- NIGHT -- FLASHBACK

          Aames takes pills, collapses. Music plays.

          PUSH INTO CLOSE UP ON DAVID IN ELEVATOR

          DAVID
          I remember...
          It comes back to him, powerfully.

          DAVID
          Somebody died. It was me.

          ON DAVID IN BODY BAG -- FLASHBACK
          It's zipped up.

          

          

          

          

          102

          ON CRYONIC TANK -- FLASHBACK
          The plastic-wrapped body of David Aames is slipped into a
          tube, which is clamped shut. A Christmas tree in the
          background, as music continues.

          VENTURA
          And on a day in late December, you
          gave yourself to us. You're now
          in a suspended state.

          INT. DAVID'S APARTMENT •-- MEMORIAL - DAY

          Friends and family clog the old apartment. Shelby looks
          out into the hallway and sees an old acquaintance.

          VENTURA
          Your friend Brian Shelby threw a
          three-day memorial in your old
          home. He was a true friend.

          INT. DAVID'S APARTMENT - DAY

          Sofia ventures into David's apartment alone, taking in the
          environment and remembering the best moments of her brief
          encounter with David.

          VENTURA
          You were missed, David.
          She moves into close-up, and we see the wonder and the joy
          of a perfect love, nearly attained. She soaks in the
          beautiful, painful mystery of life.

          VENTURA
          It was Sofia who never fully
          recovered. It was she who somehow
          knew you best. And like you, she
          never forgot that one night where
          real, true love seemed possible.

          FLASHBACK - DAY
          David contemplates getting into the car with Julianna. He
          makes the choice that. will change this, and his next life.

          VENTURA
          Consequences, David. It's the
          little things.

          INT. DAVID'S APARTMENT -- DAY

          Sofia exits the shot and we're left with an empty frame.

          

          

          

          

          103

          ON DAVID -- IN ELEVATOR
          David turns from looking out the window of the elevator.

          DAVID
          (tears in eyes)
          The little things. There's
          nothing bigger, is there?

          EXT. ROOFTOP - DAY

          David and Ventura exit the elevator onto the rooftop.

          VENTURA
          Your subconscious did create
          problems. Your dream turned into
          a nightmare. The glitch has been
          corrected.

          DAVID
          So all I have to do is imagine
          something? If I wanted McCabe to
          come back, right now -
          McCabe comes flying out of the door.

          MCCABE
          David. Listen to me. These
          people are dangerous. We're in
          trouble. We need to get off this
          roof now.

          MCC DAVID
          Who turns from McCabe to Ventura.
          Ventura leads David away.

          VENTURA
          We're now on "pause". And you're
          about to return to your Lucid
          Dream...

          MCCABE
          "Pause"?

          VENTURA
          (continuing)
          .. with all of the upgrades. You
          won't remember any of this, nor be
          charged for the technical support.
          it is now your moment of choice.
          You can return to your Lucid
          Dream, and live a beautiful life

          

          

          

          

          104
          with Sofia, or whomever you
          wish... or you can choose the
          world out there.
          Ventura gestures to the city beyond, as they come to a
          halt.

          CLOSE ON DAVID

          DAVID
          The world out. there. And you can
          bring me back, just. like Benny the
          Dog.

          CLOSE ON VENTURA
          The client is starting to understand.

          VENTURA
          Yes. Just like Benny the Dog.
          Your face and body can now be
          fixed, of course. But it's very
          different out there now. Your
          finances won't last long. Your
          panel of observers are waiting for
          you to choose.
          Ventura gestures into the camera. He begins walking
          backwards to the roof's ledge.

          VENTURA
          There are no guarantees. But
          remember, even in the future, the
          sweet is never as sweet without
          the sour.
          David sees that Brian Shelby has now joined McCabe on the
          roof. He nods to Brian, who nods back.

          DAVID
          How do I wake up?

          VENTURA
          The decision is yours.
          Ventura glances over the edge.

          DAVID
          And I chose this scenario, didn't

          I?

          

          

          

          

          105

          VENTURA
          (enjoying that he
          understands)
          Yes, to face your last remaining
          fear of heights.

          MCCABE
          David, don't listen to him. You
          were right. This is the Seven
          Dwarves. It's a set up! You
          can't trust him.
          David looks at McCabe with compassion.

          VENTURA
          Don't feel bad, David. This
          winning man is your creation.
          It's in his nature to fight for
          his existence. But he's not real.

          CLOSE ON DAVID
          who looks on with compassion.
          McCabe fights for himself.

          MCCABE
          I'm real. I have two daughters.
          You know that.

          VENTURA
          What are their names?

          MCCABE

          I    - I --

          CLOSE ON DAVID
          who feels for McCabe as the apparition crumbles.

          MCCABE
          Mortality as home entertainment.
          This cannot be the future. Can
          it?
          David regards McCabe. Once dynamic, McCabe now seems
          unsure of his own existence. Slowly, always looking at
          David, he settles into the truth of his very being. With
          great nobility, McCabe shoves his hands into his pockets
          and faces his own destiny... or lack thereof.

          MCCABE
          (quietly)
          Goodbye.

          

          

          

          

          106

          VENTURA
          It's been a brilliant journey of
          self-awakening, and you've simply
          got to ask yourself -- what is
          happiness to you?

          CLOSE PUSH IN ON DAVID AAMES
          His moment of realization.

          DAVID
          I want to live a real life. I
          don't want to dream any longer.

          VENTURA
          Any last wishes?

          DAVID
          Let them out there read my mind.

          VENTURA
          I wish you well, David.
          Music rises as he turns to see Sofia. He moves to her.
          She touches his cheek. His face is restored. They
          embrace.

          DAVID
          Look at us. I'm frozen, and
          you're dead. And I love you.

          SOFIA
          It's a problem.

          DAVID
          I lost you when I got in that car.
          I'm sorry.
          She looks at him, beguiling and understanding.

          DAVID
          But remember what you told me
          once? Every passing minute is
          another chance to turn it all
          around.
          She kisses him.

          SOFIA
          I'll find you again.
          She regards her lost love, taking him in. David treasures
          his last moments with her.
          

          107
          David takes a breath and begins backing to the ledge.

          DAVID
          I'll see you in another life when
          we are both cats.
          David backs up and begins to run. He arrives at the edge,
          looking down at the distance to the ground, stopping
          himself at the precipice.
          He looks back to Sofia one last time, and then leaps out
          into the celestial future. For a fraction of a moment, he
          is suspended in mid-air. And he hurtles to the ground.
          And the ground hurtles to meet him.

          SERIES OF IMAGES
          It is the little things, the random poetic instances of
          David Aames' life that come back to him. Music rises as he
          realizes, finally, his own true poetry and humanity. The
          images topple onto each other with the rhythm of his
          heartbeat. Father. Mother. A casual glance of a
          stranger. All combine to give his life meaning. And then,
          finally, we see the face of the one person who gave him
          purpose in this life... and the next. Sofia.

          TO WHITE:
          The sound of a breath. A gulp of life. Someone's heart is
          beating.

          A WOMAN'S VOICE
          Relax... relax, David... open your
          eyes...
          An eye opens and the pupil darts to the right and left.
          Life again.

          A WOMAN'S VOICE
          open your eyes.

          THE END