pandemo (pandemo) wrote,
pandemo
pandemo

Act. 1, Scene V - My Car, PatM (WC: 2458 ) F


INT. JEREMIAH'S HOLLYWOOD MANSION - EARLY EVENING

Jeremiah ropes Obie into attending a party with him up in the hills following their Live on Larry King appearance.


Obie, who neither drinks nor smokes, abhors recreational drugs and their users, and knows only Jeremiah, is reluctant to go.



        JEREMIAH
    If you’re worried about my comportment,
    I won’t take anything. I promise.

Obie has not considered that he might have substance abuse problems. Web images of him in formal evening dress with droopy eyes flit through her brain.

(montage?)

Obie examines Jeremiah's face carefully as she composes her speech.

        OBIE
      (slowly and deliberately)
    You are a social creature. It will be
    a social setting. You may not be able
    to control the situation. When we en-
    ter, you give me the car keys. If
    you’re still running unimpaired when we
    leave, I’ll gladly return them.

        JEREMIAH
    This is really an ultimatum? And if I
    don’t, you won’t go? That’s blackmail!

        OBIE
    Nope. That’s called being sensible.
    That’s called protection. That’s
    called making contingency plans to
    cover likely case scenarios. I’m sorry
    you find it offensive, but it is non-
    negotiable.
    I know I’ll only be drinking ice water.
    If the situation gets dicey, I can
    leave. If you aren’t ready to go, with
    the keys, I can still leave. If you
    need a ride later, you can pick up the
    phone and call. I’m a light sleeper,
    and I won’t be impaired. You’ll be as
    assured as you can be in this life of
    getting home safely.
    I’ve been my friends’ designated driver
    for more years than that label has been
    in use, since before you were born, I'm
    sure. I’m comfortable in that role,
    and don’t have to stretch to play that
    part.

    Truth to tell, old people need their sleep.

EXT. HOLLYWOOD MANSION – PARKING LOT – EVENING

Obie and Jeremiah sit in his red Jag in a parking lot full of exotic vehicles. Many have chauffeurs.

INT. JEREMIAH’S CAR

        OBIE
    So this is a showplace. I’d be lying
    if I tried to claim I wasn’t impressed.
    There must be a poor country’s yearly
    annual income sitting in this parking
    lot alone.

        JEREMIAH
    And the gowns will knock your eyes out.

        OBIE
    Not mine. I’m straight. I’m perfectly
    happy in my down home style flowered
    blouse and jumper. Consider it a re-
    verse fashion statement - my polite
    declaration that I find them to be
    overdressed, overly smug pompous asses.

Jeremiah cringes.

        JEREMIAH
    Your popularity should know no bounds!

EXT. HOLLYWOOD MANSION – PARKING LOT

Jeremiah opens his car door.

        JEREMIAH
    Everyone’s bound to end up talking
    about us, if they aren’t already.

INT. JEREMIAH’S CAR

Jeremiah removes his legs, turning back to talk to Obie.

        JEREMIAH
    To an actor, no publicity is considered
    to be bad publicity. If people are
    talking about it, that’s a plus. Keep
    your eye out for a potential Despina.

Obie takes out a notebook and writes in it.

        JEREMIAH
    What’s the notebook for?

        OBIE
    Notes. I misremember names. Since I
    need to in this situation, I plan to
    cheat.

Jeremiah responds to the rush of tenderness he feels by leaning over and kissing the top of Obie’s head before exiting the car.

EXT. HOLLYWOOD MANSION – PARKING LOT

Jeremiah opens the car door on Obie’s side.

        JEREMIAH
    Spoken like a true Iowa schoolmarm.

Jeremiah reaches for Obie’s arm. Obie easily accepts his help, in contrast to her former prickly behavior that is her first response to chivalry.

        OBIE
    Onward into battle.

        JEREMIAH
    Don’t be such a pessimist. You might
    accidentally enjoy yourself.

        OBIE
    That’s just facing reality.

        JEREMIAH
      (exasperated)
    I know. You’ve been going to parties
    and not enjoying yourself since before
    I was born.

INT. HOLLYWOOD MANSION

Jeremiah greets person after person with warm hugs and kisses. To Obie’s eyes, a goodly proportion of them are intimidatingly beautiful women.

They Stole My Car plays in the background throughout the ground floor, under the hubbub of conversation.

OBIE pauses, surveys the guests packed wall to wall, all apparently with Champaign glasses in their hands.

Liveried servants pass canapés and trays of drinks through the guests. Seating is nearly nonexistent. Knots of conversation constantly swirl together and break apart.

        OBIE
    Can I leave now? This is seriously not
    my scene.

Jeremiah reaches into his pocket and hands over his keys.

        JEREMIAH (CONTINUOUS)
    Buck up. You’re with me. Smile as if
    you’re enjoying it. I have an image to
    protect here. Believe that everyone
    saw Larry King Live and now know we are
    engaged.

Obie, so un-Hollywood, is the object of much curiosity.

Jeremiah collects Obie in one long arm and tucks her securely against his side.

        OBIE
    I warned you – I’m no actress.

        JEREMIAH
    Oh, Mr. Biggler!
      (to Obie)
    He’s the current head of Paramount Stu-
    dios.
      (to Mr. Biggler)
    This is scriptwriter O. B. Horsefeath-
    ers. She’s got the property I’m so in-
    trigued with that I’m planning on it
    being my next role.

Mr. BIGGLER eyes Obie’s apparel pensively.

        MR. BIGGLER
    Leaving our employ, are you? I see
    your companion is all dolled up for the
    occasion.

        OBIE
    I refuse to play that game. I am com-
    fortably attired. I work at home.
    Alone. My words speak for me. I have
    no pretensions of finding my face on
    the silver screen. The only reason I’m
    in a dress at all is out of respect for
    Jeremiah.

        JEREMIAH
    The audience didn’t seem put off by her
    attire on Larry King today. She went
    bilingual and got laughs in both lan-
    guages. She even befriended Pam, who
    was predisposed to hate her guts.

    Larry quickly backed off from her, too.
    He’d throw out a conversation stopper,
    and she’d run with it, handing him back
    a proposal he didn’t dare refuse. She
    grabbed over thirty minutes of air time
    instead of the five we were slated for.
    She hijacked his audience. She’s amaz-
    ing.

        MR. BIGGLER
    So I heard.

Obie touches his arm coquettishly.

        OBIE
    If you keep up that type of flattery,
    I’ll…

Mr. Biggler meets Jeremiah’s eyes.

        MR. BIGGLER
    I heard you didn’t do too badly in the
    comic genre yourself. Pam said you
    even had a Zale’s ring for her in your
    pocket.

        JEREMIAH
    Engagements seem to call for one.

Mr. Biggler is not pleased, but Jeremiah dares him to deny his choice of brides.

        JEREMIAH
    She’ll be in to pitch four ideas
    Wednesday morning.

        OBIE
    Four in Saga; you forgot the fifth,
    Propinquity and the Mesmerizer. As I
    wrote that one, I was constantly visu-
    alizing Jeremiah as the leading man.

Jeremiah shrugs disarmingly.

        JEREMIAH
    And Phyllis Diller as his love inter-
    est, and darned if she doesn’t make it
    play interestingly.

Jeremiah directs a chagrin grin at himself, lifting his hands in embarrassment.

        JEREMIAH
    She’s a hard lady to say no to, espe-
    cially while she’s waving dynamite ma-
    terial under your nose.

Mr. Biggler looks pointedly at Obie’s outfit again.

        MR. BIGGLER
    If she sticks to that style, she’s sure
    to create some buzz.

Jeremiah is distracted by some new arrivals, Robert Redford (ROBBIE) and Harrison Ford (HARRY).

        HARRY
    Jeremiah, over here. I want you to
    meet someone.

        JEREMIAH
    Please excuse us, Mr. Biggler. There’s
    Robbie and Harry. We’ve got to speak
    to them. I promised to produce Obie,
    here, and introduce her.

        MR. BIGGLER
    I’d love to be a mouse in the corner
    during that event!

Jeremiah and Obie brush brusquely past people to Harrison and Robbie’s location.

        OBIE
    This is seriously a poor idea. That
    man is a bigot

Jeremiah reaches over to caution Obie.

        OBIE (SIMULTANEOUS)
    with delusions of grandeur.

        JEREMIAH (SIMULTANEOUS)
    Shush. Not here, not now. Smile. He
    doesn’t have delusions of power and
    riches. He is powerful and rich. He’s
    my boss, well, for one more movie, any-
    way.

When a waiter with a tray of glasses pauses in front of them, Jeremiah snags two, offering one to Obie.

        OBIE
    Okay, I get it. We’re remaining unim-
    paired, but not being obnoxious about
    it. Where’s the rest room? We can dump
    that stuff and substitute water with
    none being the wiser.

        JEREMIAH
    The color will be all wrong. Just hold
    it and fake sip.

        OBIE
    Right.

Obie opens her notebook awkwardly and makes a note, spilling some of the liquid in the process. Harry quickly relieves her of the glass, sipping it down a bit for her.

        JEREMIAH
    That wasn’t a name. What’d you write?

        OBIE
    “Bring yellow food coloring to future
    parties.”

Harry, Robbie, and Jeremiah give spontaneous barks of laughter, drawing many interested eyes.

Another partygoer catches Robbie by the arm, drawing him a few feet away and engaging him in an earnest conversation.

Jeremiah leans over and kisses the hair on the top of Obie’s head.

        JEREMIAH
    I’m glad you’re here!

        HARRY
      (to Jeremiah)
    I see you dressed her carefully for
    this appearance.
      (to Obie)
    I’m Harrison Ford.

Harrison holds out his hand to shake. Obie quickly stuffs her notebook away, and shakes awkwardly, pen still in hand.

        OBIE
    O. B. Horsefeathers. Obie to my
    friends.

        HARRY
    What does the O. B. stand for?

        OBIE
    Old Bat, generally. Sometimes Old
    Biddy.

Gentle laughter comes from the two gentlemen surrounding Obie.

        HARRY
    Not Olivia Beatrice?

        OBIE
    Nor Octavia Beulah, nor Oliveoil Brun-
    hilda… Many thanks are due to my mom
    for not choosing those for me.

        JEREMIAH
    Mr. Biggler probably is of the opinion
    it stands for Old Bit…

Obie rudely cuts him off before he can complete his word.

        OBIE
    Now, be nice. You wouldn’t let me
    slander him earlier. Or is it liable
    when you speak it? I suppose if I stay
    out here a week or so, I’ll become in-
    timately acquainted with the differ-
    ence.

        HARRY
    Delightful. You’re quite right, Jere-
    miah.

Robert Redford finishes his conversation and turns toward Obie, Jeremiah and Harrison.

        HARRY
    Here’s Robbie. Robbie, meet O. B. Horse-
    feathers.

        ROBBIE
    You’ve got to be kidding, right?

Robbie guides her hand to his mouth and kisses it gallantly, a twinkle of amusement in his eyes.

        ROBBIE
    You don’t look at all Native American.

        OBIE
    Nobody’s mother could be that intentionally
    cruel. That’s my nom de plume.

When dead silence meets that sally, Obie recovers quickly.

        OBIE
    Pen name, for the college dropout set.

INT. HOLLYWOOD MANSION – DINING ROOM

Robert Redford, Harrison Ford, Josh Hartnett, Jeremiah and Obie are clustered around one table. The detritus of the meal has been pushed off to one side. Obie has pitched The Saga of Travels Far Woman’s four book series. The men are critiquing her performance.

        ROBBIE
    Time yourself. No more than five minutes per
    book, three is better. If you haven’t grabbed
    them by then, you won’t make it.

Obie opens her ever-present notebook and adds notes.

        OBIE
    Thanks for the advice.

Robbie gives her a wink.

        ROBBIE
    What I read on line last night sold me.

        OBIE
    In other words, master pitching overnight, or
    lose my big chance?

The friends laugh together.

        JEREMIAH
    Did you spot a potential Despina?


        OBIE
    No. Must be the clothing. I can’t imagine any
    of these prima donnas willingly wading
    through road apples, much less being able to
    handle a horse at liberty, in rough mountain
    terrain, and over fences bareback.

Robbie stands up, walks past Jeremiah, and hands Obie a card.

        ROBBIE
    If Mr. Biggler turns you down, give me a call.
    Personally, I think this project has INDIE writ-
    ten all over it.

Robbie places a hand on Jeremiah’s shoulder.

        ROBBIE
    Good instincts, Jeremiah. Keep in touch, es-
    pecially once you’re a free agent.

Robbie leaves, stopped by someone at another table.
Jeremiah grins blissfully. He comes down slowly as he watches Josh court Obie.

        JEREMIAH (V.O.)
    He wants my part. Ha! She won’t let him be
    CU, either. His ancestry is the same as mine.
    But, he could be the sheriff…

Jeremiah frowns. Obie instantly looks his way, then puts her hand casually on Josh’s arm, which stops him mid sentence. Josh turns toward Jeremiah, too.

        OBIE
      (to Jeremiah)
    What’d he say that upset you so much? I
    thought he liked you.

        JEREMIAH
    He does, as far as I know. Just a ghost from
    the past playing through…

        JOSH
    I owe you both an apology. I thought that be-
    ing engaged was just a stunt. I didn’t realize
    that you two really related to each other.

        OBIE
      (jokingly)
    Not as related as Jeremiah would like. Holly-
    wood does lots of May-December type par-
    ings, generally with the sexes reversed, but
    this one would be more like January-
    December. It’s definitely outré.

Dinner over, the guests return to the crowded conditions of earlier, and Obie quickly tires out.

        OBIE
    Jeremiah, have I put in enough time to make
    an escape without causing any harm? I’m
    proud of the way you’ve kept clean all night.

Jeremiah nods sadly. She leans up and pecks him on the cheek in a wifely manner as she digs his car keys out of her clutch.

All eyes track her to the front doors. Jeremiah watches with a plastic smile and gives a jaunty wave as she exits.

        OBIE
      (mouths words to Jere-
      miah)
    Call when you’re done.

Obie leaves.


Jeremiah aimlessly wanders through the partygoers, talking listlessly. Harrison steps to his side.

        HARRY
    If you’re that lovesick, go after her. Who
    cares what people think?

Jeremiah turns and sprints toward the door.

EXT. HOLLYWOOD MANSION – PARKING LOT

Jeremiah runs flat out toward his jag as it sits waiting to turn out onto the highway. He opens the door, leaning in.

        JEREMIAH
    If you’re into kissing, I’m definitely done here
    for the night.

Jeremiah holds out his hand and Obie promptly deposits the keys in it. They smile at each other.

INT. JEREMIAH’S CAR

        JEREMIAH
    The dissection will now begin. Gotta love gos-
    sips.

After turning on the reading light for the passenger side, Obie opens her notebook.

        OBIE
    Jeremiah, I’ll never master all this! I have
    seven pages of names, all of whom will feel
    hurt when I don’t show a speck of recognition
    the next time I see them! And if they’re
    dressed differently, or have changed their
    hair, style or color, I won’t stand a prayer!

        JEREMIAH
    Give the list to my secretary in the
    morning and ask her to attach photos to
    hem.

Obie gives an undignified snort.

        OBIE
    You’re serious, aren’t you? And a list
    of their top films, too, I suppose?

        JEREMIAH
    Until you find your Despina, that might be the
    best course of action.

        OBIE
    What do you think of casting somebody’s
    stunt double? They’d be more likely to have
    the skill set we need…

        JEREMIAH
    And how long do you think it will take them to
    learn to talk?

        OBIE
    Good point.

Obie’s shoulders slump.

        JEREMIAH
    Talk to Harry. He raises horses and may know
    some actresses who can ride.

Last updated 11/27/09 Added , abhors recreational drugs and their users,; 11/25/09 (mouths words to Jeremiah); Changed I owe you two an apology. to both; 9/19/09 Rearranged Jeremiah greets person after person with warm hugs and kisses. In Obie’s eyes, a goodly proportion of them are intimidatingly beautiful women.; Changed "I can't remember names." to misremember; I owe you two an apology. to both; 8/23/09 Removed more interjections, following Truth to tell, dropped rest of sentence, moved it to replace Besides, in new paragraph. 6/20/08. Dropped interjections. (Too cheery. Go to incident where cops are there to raid? He imbibes after Mr. Biggler threatens him? She dumps stuff – off duty cop watches her get water from restroom and dump dope J. has been given?)

Word Count: 2471
Reading Level: 5.1
Tags: patm
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