Fifteenth Reunion

A romantic comedy.

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Abstract

This screenplay examines changing gender relations in the weird world of modern dating. I appreciate intelligent comments from my readers. Quickie synopsis: “Notting Hill” meets “There’s Something About Mary”: a look at the dysfunctional topsy-turvy nature of romance in the twenty tens. It has mild sexual content and language issues — please no young readers.

FIFTEENTH REUNION
Memorial Bell Tower, Phillips Academy, Andover.

A screenplay
by Thomas Wright Sulcer
Copyright © 2009 Thomas Wright Sulcer

Note: Readers have permission to use this screenplay in not-for-profit ways such as reading for your own pleasure or amateur theater or film productions or small-scale high school or college productions in which there is no substantial money generated from ticket sales. Please remember that this screenplay property is for sale. So if a producer wants to use it to make into a movie or other commercial project, please contact me to buy it. It is copyrighted. — tom sulcer August 15, 2010.

Details: Approximate length = 109 pages. Running time: perhaps 1 hour 30 minutes. There is mild suggestive sexual content and language issues. Characters are fictional and represent different aspects of my own personality, and any perceived similarity to real people is coincidental and unintentional. For a non-fiction look at dating strategies, check out Dating and mating in the twenty tens. Note: I am working on two other screenplay projects (which aren’t ready yet; when finished I’ll post them here as knols.) Polar Planet (sexual science fiction) and Americaiad (themes = America + Aeneid + Spinoza).

INT. MOVING PASSENGER TRAIN – DAY

SAM GILL, early 30s wearing preppy clothes, sitting next to OLD WOMAN. Sam yawns, eyes close. He daydreams.

EXT. PREP SCHOOL CAMPUS – SAM’S DREAM – DAY

Classmates (early 30s) mingle at fifteenth reunion outdoor party. Sam walks up to classmate KARYN KILLANEY. She’s wearing a dress.
                            
                            SAM
               Great reunion weekend, huh?

                            KARYN
               Fun re-uuning with classmates.

                            SAM
               What’s new?

                            KARYN
               What’s new with you?

                            SAM
               I’m getting married. Come to our
               wedding?

                            KARYN
               No thanks.

                            SAM
               Maybe you’ll meet someone and fall
               in love? When you least expect it,
               love will be staring you in the
               face. You can’t be … usher or
               bridesmaid; how about bucket woman?
               Got an arm? (she nods) You’re hired.

                            KARYN
               From movie actress to bucket woman.
               Great. Who’s the bride to be?

                            SAM
               I’m not sure.

                            KARYN                                   2
               Sam did you propose yet?

                            SAM
               I’m working on it.

                            KARYN
               Why do you think she’ll say yes?

                            SAM
               Because my proposal will use
               brilliant movielike magic to make
               her fall in love with moi, dump her
               career and crank out a brood.

                            KARYN
               What’s wrong with ‘marry me’?

                            SAM
               Pedestrian.

                            KARYN
               When you propose, what will you say?

                            SAM
               Nothing. I will say: nothing.
               Remember Erica Jong wanted a
               zipless fuck? I want a wordless
               proposal. She gets it from my look.

                            KARYN
               Impossible — even in the movies.
               And how do you know you’re in love?
               What does being in love feel like?

                            SAM
               Like a summer breeze by a mountain
               lake.

                            KARYN
               When did you fall in love?

                            SAM
               Late last night at 3am.

                            KARYN
               Sure your future bride isn’t your
               hand? So what’s this bucket thing?
                            SAM                                     3
               The bucket? Flowers in a bundle
               hurled to single women who fight
               over it. Your job as bucket woman
               is to throw the bucket.

                            KARYN
               Bucket? You mean boo…

                            SAM
               Don’t get French on me!

                            KARYN
               …quet.

Sam and Karyn look in each others eyes. They kiss like in a movie.

INT. PASSENGER TRAIN (BACK TO REALITY) – DAY

Sam is kissing the old woman next to him. She pushes him off. Sam wakes. JACK SMITH walks up the train aisle and sees this encounter. Old woman takes her ticket stub and walks away.

                            SAM
               Oh, so sorry…

                            OLD WOMAN (V.O.)
               I’m recovering from surgery!

Jack sits next to Sam. The nearby seats are empty except a young woman reads a newspaper across the aisle.

                            JACK
               Is my friend Sam neglecting his
               morning masturbation ritual?

                            SAM
               Hello, Jack. Nina not coming?

                            JACK
               She’s driving later. She’s iffy
               about having kids.

                            SAM
               Remember what I told you. When you
               marry a woman, you must…

                            JACK                                    4
               …be prepared for any thing that
               might come out of any orifice. Or
               might not come out of any orifice.

                            SAM
               Make Nina Smith a tombstone. Judy
               Smith, unborn baby. Died from lack
               of fertilization.

                            JACK
               What happened to you? You quit your
               job, became a comic, pursue love?
               Love is what we tell women to get
               laid.

                            SAM
               Love is real.

                            JACK
               A trust fund is real.

                            SAM
               How’d you get married?

                            JACK
               Four phrases: I’m sorry. You’re
               right. I don’t know. I love you.
               That’s all you should ever say to a
               woman. To lie with a woman, lie to
               a woman.

                            SAM
               Call me “stand up guy”.

                            JACK
               You’re a sit-down gal. Who nicknamed
               you that?

                            SAM
               I did.

                            JACK
               You can’t nickname yourself, even if
               your name is Nick. Why choose that?

                            SAM
               To remind people I’m funny.
                            JACK                                    5
               You’re not funny. Rejoin our Old Boy
               network and we’ll make you a Fortune
               500 board member. Show up at a few
               meetings, sign some documents, rake
               in an easy hundred grand. If we can
               make George Bush president, we can
               make you some easy bucks.

                            SAM
               How’s the Old Boy Network?

                            JACK
               We finally had to let in a few token
               blacks, one Hispanic, one half-gay.
               Jews still think they’re in. And now
               women are banging at the doors. It’s
               fun excluding everybody.

                            SAM
               Should we admit Cynthia? She’s razor
               sharp, competitive.

                            JACK
               No way. It took years of subtle
               manipulation to get women to fall for
               the big lie that they had to have a
               career to be a real person. And women
               fell for it. The workforce doubles,
               economy booms, our stock portfolios
               go through the roof, and us good Old
               Boys keep the power.

Jack whispers softly but not that softly.

                            JACK (CONT’D)
               If it ever leaks out that womens’
               liberation was financed by the Old
               Boy network, we’re screwed.

                            SAM
               Women with careers makes it harder
               to have families, to find love.

                            JACK
               Are you becoming a romantic? Do
               trains have train-sick bags?

                            SAM                                     6
               Wasn’t the train a great way to
               relive old memories?

                            JACK
               My jet’s being overhauled. How’d
               you ever get a date with Cynthia?

                            SAM
               Creative begging. Is Cynthia
               coming? (Jack nods) I’m doomed.
               She’ll wreck my chances with Karyn.

                            JACK
               You pissed off Cynthia? (Sam nods)
               She holds a grudge forever. What
               was the joke about her?

                            SAM
               Her house has a two car grudge.

                            JACK
               Not funny. You have no chance with
               Karyn. She’s a knockout and you’re
               not even a knock.

                            SAM
               How can I have any chance with
               Karyn?

Train pulls into station. Sam & Jack exit. The woman opposite lowers her newspaper — she’s been listening all along.

EXT. PREP SCHOOL CAMPUS – SUNSET

Sam and Jack step off bus at college-like campus. Sam carries suitcase and guitar. Sam looks around at the old prep school.

INT. LARGE ROOM – PARTY – EVENING

Sam enters. Classmates and spouses (early 30s) mingle at a cocktail party. Light casual clothing. Karyn Killaney stands near door looking gorgeous in a blue suit.

                            KARYN
               Hello.
                            SAM                                     7
               Your name is…

                            KARYN
               (smiling) And you are?
 
                            SAM
               Sam Gill. You’re my favorite
               actress.

                            KARYN
               Actor, thanks.

                            SAM
               I love watching you on Asia
               Beach.

                            KARYN
               It’s cool playing Colleen.

                            SAM
               Ever ponder dumping your career to
               have a family?

                            KARYN
               Have you?

                            SAM
               No.

                            KARYN
               Why not?

                            SAM
               Men don’t bake bread, we make bread.

                            KARYN
               Could you learn how to bake bread?

                            SAM
               Women like the idea of a house
               husband but it’s impractical.

                            KARYN
               Why?

                            SAM                                     8
               CEOs get laid. Guys changing
               diapers don’t.

                            KARYN
               Do you change diapers now?

                            SAM
               No.

                            KARYN
               Do you get laid now?

                            SAM
               Not recently, no.

                            KARYN
               Change diapers and maybe you’ll
               get laid.

CYNTHIA enters dressed in power clothes, striking, almost handsome.

                            CYNTHIA
               Told Karyn you’re married?

                            SAM
               Nobody asked. Hello Cynthia.

                            CYNTHIA
               Where’s the wife or did she stand
               you up?

                            SAM
               She’s not coming.

                            CYNTHIA
               She stood you up. A perfect chance
               to fool around.

                            SAM
               I’m married and I don’t fool around.

                            CYNTHIA
               Oh? Show me her picture?

Sam pulls out a picture of his wife. Cynthia looks at it.

                            CYNTHIA (CONT’D)                        9
               She’s on TV every morning. How did
               you, New York’s most unremarkable
               market researcher, ever marry a TV
               anchorwoman?

Sam shrugs. Cynthia holds picture beside Sam.

                            CYNTHIA (CONT’D)
               Imagine this marrying this.

                            KARYN
               You married a career woman. Who
               wears the apron?

                            SAM
               What’s an apron?

                            KARYN
               No kids?

                            SAM
               No kids. No kidding.

                            CYNTHIA
               Jack says to call you “Stand-Up
               Guy”. How appropriate.

                            KARYN
               What’s up between you two?

                            CYNTHIA
               What isn’t up between us, Sam? His
               stand-up career wasn’t limited to
               comedy.

                            SAM
               Cynthia has a vendetta against me.

                            CYNTHIA
               Care to be specific, Sam?

                            SAM
               Is Karyn interested?

                            KARYN
               Karyn’s not interested.

                            SAM                                    10
               Forget the past?

                            CYNTHIA
               I can’t believe after all the phone
               calls, Valentine’s day card even to
               my mother, love songs you wrote on
               cassette, that you did what you did.

                            SAM
               I did the right thing.

                            CYNTHIA
               There should be auxiliary police to
               keep dating criminals like you out
               of our bedrooms.

                            SAM
               I broke no law.

                            CYNTHIA
               Your crime was worse.

                            SAM
               Like you’re totally innocent?

                            KARYN
               Okay, what are we talking about?

                            SAM
               Cynthia may say, Karyn, how I hired
               her and six months later she was
               promoted over me to division head.

                            CYNTHIA
               Sam may say, Karyn, how my promotion
               had nothing to do with his quitting
               because he didn’t want to report to
               a woman boss.

                            SAM
               That wasn’t why I quit.

                            CYNTHIA
               Then why?

                            SAM
               I wanted to be a stand-up comic.
                            CYNTHIA                                11
               That still doesn’t explain it.

                            SAM
               If I tell you privately, will you
               let bygones be gone-bys?

                            CYNTHIA
               Never.

                            SAM
               How can I redeem myself?

                            CYNTHIA
               Die?

                            SAM
               Deep down Cynthia is a sweetheart
               but it requires digging. She’s just
               hurt and emotional and a woman.

                            KARYN
               Women are emotional? Men drive us
               crazy!

                            SAM
               She can’t let one night in the past
               remain in her past. (to Cynthia:)
               Where’s Martha? You two are always
               inseparable.

                            CYNTHIA
               Martha is acting funny. New hair,
               new clothes.

                            SAM
               Biological clock?

                            KARYN
               Stop ragging on women.

MARTHA walks by. Her hair seems overdone, dress a bit loud, a touch of desperation in her voice.

                            MARTHA
               Where have all the cowboys gone?

                            SAM                                    12
               Chasing cows? You’re so picky
               you’d reject even a cowboy.

                            MARTHA
               Would I?

                            SAM
               You’ve rejected hundreds of men. Now
               you wonder where have the cowboys
               gone? Maybe they’re tired of being
               shown the door?

                            KARYN
               You’re bitter.

                            SAM
               I’m a veteran rejectee. Women have
               put me through a carwash with the
               windows down. I’ve been rejected
               because I wasn’t blonde, because I
               wore suede, wasn’t tall enough,
               didn’t know romantic poetry.

                            CYNTHIA
               Like you’re the victim.

                            SAM
               Dating is slow torture. It’s a job
               interview where every right answer
               is possibly death. It’s a romp in
               a minefield. If you survive the
               preliminaries, then you face the
               ultimate test in her bedroom – the
               sexual S-A-T. How can a guy like me
               bring any woman to the heights of
               clitoral spassitude?

                            CYNTHIA
               Rant, rant, rant…

                            SAM
               Every sports club should have a
               thrust-a-thon. Climb in and pump
               your pelvic muscles. Check your
               thrusts per minute. (moans like a
               routine orgasm) Ah! Wipe up for
               next guy.
                            MARTHA                                 13
                       (distracted)
               Orgasms are like epileptic fits.

                            CYNTHIA
               Don’t get sidetracked. Sam was
               saying how he was naked in a bedroom
               and trying to…

                            SAM
               Trying to ring her bell. She’s
               tired from work, we’re both nervous
               because it’s our first time. Lots of
               obstacles to achieving female…

                            MARTHA
               … muscular contractions, spasms,
               shaking, release. An orgasm is like
               an epileptic seizure.

                            SAM
               Daydream interruptus. Suppose I’m
               trying to bring Martha to the planet
               orgasm, it’s our first moment of
               nakedness and then Martha’s theory
               about epilepsy and orgasms emerges
               surprise like a Lochness monster…

                            MARTHA
               We’re about to screw? Did I miss
               something? A Lochness monster?

                            CYNTHIA
               Pay attention, Martha, you’re only
               screwing Sam in the example.

                            MARTHA
               I’d never do him.

                            SAM
               Exactly. She doesn’t respect me. Why
               should she? I’m today’s man, mister
               nice guy, boring and worthless
               except perhaps for a second income.
               Who needs men today? We’re jokes.
               We’re human vibrators.

Sam puts hands to sides, jumps up and down.
                            SAM (CONT’D)                           14
               Look familiar?

                            KARYN
               Not all men are jokes.

Sam stops jumping.

                            SAM
               A few superstuds seduce and run and
               ruin sex for us dreary nice-guy
               types. How can I compete with Boy
               Toys, surfer rock-star tattooed
               motorcycle-riding hunks?

                            KARYN
               It’s not that bad.

                            SAM
               Oh? Who here respects me? Not
               Martha. Do you respect me Cynthia?

                            CYNTHIA
               A little bit.

                            SAM
               Because I’m married, or because of
               what happened? But before that, did
               you respect me? (she shakes head)

                            KARYN
               I respect you, Sam.

                            SAM
               Why?

                            KARYN
               You tell the truth.

                            SAM
               You respect my brain but not my
               body.

                            KARYN
               You presume to know me but you
               don’t.

                            SAM                                    15
               Look at yourselves — three
               beautiful women talking to a
               married man. Why? Married men are
               safer. One woman thinks I’m
               marriageable so you’ll defer to her
               judgment rather than yours.

                            KARYN
               That’s not fair.

                            SAM
               Flirting with a married man is risk
               free. If he flirts back, great, if
               he doesn’t, he’s rattled. You risk a
               nasty glare from the wife. What fun.
               And married men get laid regularly
               so they’re not wound up and weird
               like single guys.

                            KARYN
               Married men have a ‘Seal of Approval’
               kissed on their cheeks.

                            CYNTHIA
               So how can we single girls get
               married? Advise us. Maybe you could
               give me a reading?

                            SAM
                       (nervous)
               That’s private.

                            CYNTHIA
               Newspaper ads are private?

                            KARYN
               A reading?

                            SAM
               You’re married to your careers.
               Karyn to the film industry, Cynthia
               to her firm, Martha to her wealth.
               (Martha looks down) These husbands
               give you money but there’s no sex,
               no mess, no snoring, no diapers.

                            KARYN                                  16
               And your wife Sam?

                            CYNTHIA
               Her firm screws her during the day,
               Sam tries to screw her at night.

                            SAM
               I wrote a song about a couple too
               tired for sex called “too pooped to
               screw”.

                            KARYN
               Like to hear it when you’re not too
               pooped to play. I thought you wanted
               to pursue stand-up comedy?

                            CYNTHIA
               Limited to the bedroom.

                            SAM
               Cynthia can insult me because she
               doesn’t need me. Women don’t need
               men any more to be the breadwinner,
               handyman, protector. Women have it
               all — money, status, careers.

                            CYNTHIA
               Sounds like a male chauvinist.

                            MARTHA
               Must we give up freedom to appeal
               to men?

                            SAM
               I don’t know.

                            MARTHA
               My dog had epileptic fits, circling
               three times, yelping, peeing. Like
               an orgasm…

                            SAM
               There is romantic technology.

                            KARYN
               Which is?

                            SAM                                    17
               I’ll tell you when Cynthia calls
               off her vendetta.

                            KARYN
               What kind of readings does Sam do?

                            CYNTHIA
               Should I tell her, Sam?

                            SAM
               Must you belittle me at every turn?
               You enjoy stomping on my…

                            CYNTHIA
               Were you going to call it a dick?
               You have a penis Sam. Real men have
               dicks. Palm readers read palms. Sam
               reads – womens’ breasts.

Women burst out laughing.

                            KARYN
               Did he ever read yours, Cynthia?

                            SAM
               I read breasts, not rocks.

Cynthia outstretches her hands as if holding imaginary breasts.

                            CYNTHIA
               I sense you are – lactating.

                            MARTHA
                       (to Cynthia)
               I need to talk…

                            CYNTHIA
                       (to Martha)
               Later?

                            SAM
               Reminds me of a song: Your ankles
               are sweet. Your elbows are neat.
               (moves hands like turning knobs)
               But your knees are talkin to me.
               Your knees are talkin to me.

                            KARYN                                  18
               How can you read breasts if male
               chauvinism lurks within your own
               breasts?

                            SAM
               If I’m a closet male chauvinist,
               will you out me?

                            KARYN
               Isn’t life better with real women,
               not potted plants?

                            SAM
               Yes but life was simpler when each
               sex had its own turf — men at work,
               women at home. Now everything’s a
               genderless jumble.

                            CYNTHIA
               Sam prefers the easy life. Sam and
               Jack have this running joke how the
               Old Boy Network controls America to
               benefit select white males, and they
               try to lure unsuspecting women into
               overhearing them plot mischief.

                            SAM
               The Old Boy Network exists.

                            CYNTHIA
               Not.

                            SAM
               Got me into prep school.

                            MARTHA
               How?

                            SAM
               A day before school started, my dad
               phoned the admissions director and
               said Bob, old boy, got any empty
               spots? Of course a poor bright
               scholarship boy from Malaysia
               wasn’t coming…

                            CYNTHIA                                19
               The kind of classmate we should have
               had — a man not this wimp…

                            SAM
               The director didn’t want to call
               twenty wait-list kids. I had good
               grades but I wasn’t as smart as the
               Indonesian kid.

                            CYNTHIA.
               Like duh.

                            KARYN
               Malaysian kid.

                            CYNTHIA
               Sam might say Malaysia, Indonesia,
               same difference.

                            SAM
               Different names for the same
               country.

                            CYNTHIA
               What counts today is talent. Got
               any Sam?

                            SAM
               The network exists but it’s not
               what you think.

                           CYNTHIA
               A privileged club for fat cigar
               smoking white guys who pump up
               weak egos by excluding others?

                            SAM
               Exactly. (pause) You don’t
               understand it.

                            KARYN
               Sam if you changed your worldview,
               maybe you’d be more successful?

                            SAM
               Perhaps.

                            CYNTHIA                                20
               Oh, bullshit. Sam is an insult to
               women everywhere because he wants
               to drag us back to caveman times. I
               won’t beat clothes against river
               rocks. I won’t let womens’ lib
               slide backwards into chauvinist goo.

                            SAM
               Am I that horrible?

                            CYNTHIA
               I know how you might redeem
               yourself, Sam.

                            SAM
               How?

                            CYNTHIA
               You’ll see. Come, girls, we’ll
               raise you later, Sam.

Karyn, Cynthia and Martha walk away, leaving Sam alone.

EXT. PREP SCHOOL CAMPUS – DAY

Jack and NINA, a svelte Nubian-American beauty, stare at each other.

                            JACK
               When?

                            NINA
               I don’t know.

Sam watches about ten women classmates including Cynthia, Karyn & Martha, encircle a male classmate on the lawn.

                            CYNTHIA
               Raise the barn!

                            KARYN
               Raise it!

                            MARTHA
               Raise the barn! Raise the barn!

The women shout and clap as apparently the barn is raised.
                            MARTHA                                 21
               Who’s next?

                            CYNTHIA
               Sam!

Women encircle Sam.

                            SAM
What are you up to?

                            CYNTHIA
               Redemption. Prove you’re a real
               stand up guy. Whip it out. When it
               points north, you’re redeemed.

                            SAM
               No way.

                            MARTHA
               Everybody’s doing it.

                            CYNTHIA
               It’s a rage. Show you’re not
               sexually repressed.

                            SAM
               Find a single guy who wants to
               prove himself.

                            MARTHA
               If we can spell Mother Phillips
               with our naked bodies on a hillside
               senior year, we can raise your barn.

Women keep chanting to raise the barn.

                            CYNTHIA
                       (whispers
                       to Sam)
               Give Karyn a look. (Sam shakes head
               no). Afraid you won’t measure up?
               (Sam shakes head). We’ll give $100
               per inch to the reunion fund.

                            MARTHA
               Be a man, Sam.

                            CYNTHIA                                22
               Can you beat William’s three minute
               record? I swear I’ll end my
               vendetta.

Cynthia’s fingers are crossed behind her back.

                            SAM
               Promise? (Cynthia nods) For our
               class.

Sam whips out his penis, Cynthia snaps a picture and women burst out laughing. Money changes hands.

                            SAM
               You swore Cynthia.

                            CYNTHIA
               Crossed my fingers. You fell for it.

                            SAM
               Give me the picture.

Sam struggles for the picture but Cynthia switches it for a blank. Real picture hustled into Martha’s purse. They crowd around fake picture. Sam looks at blank picture.

                            SAM
               It’s not coming out.

                            MARTHA
               It’s taking a long time to develop.

                            CYNTHIA
               Try rubbing.

                            MARTHA
               How can something that puny ever go
               schwiiing?

                            CYNTHIA
               Already schwuung. A half incher. A
               stand-down guy.

                            MARTHA
               Sam your penis is — nothing.

                            CYNTHIA                                23
               An accurate likeness.

                            SAM
               Is everybody happy? Do single women
               on the verge of middle age have
               nothing better to do than peek at a
               penis? Are you afraid of losing your
               power of raising them?

                            CYNTHIA
               How can we raise what we can’t find?

                            SAM
               Did you come here for this?

                            CYNTHIA
               The Malaysian guy wouldn’t have
               been so stupid.

                            CYNTHIA
                       (like a TV
                       reporter:)
               Scientists are asking why do some
               men have such incredibly small
               penises? We’re here at a stately
               prep school to resolve this pointed
               question. (to Sam) Consider a
               penile implant? Women augment their
               boobs. Why won’t men augment their
               wieners?

                            SAM
               Will you ever forget the past and
               get on with your life? You got your
               vengeance. Let it rest.

                            CYNTHIA
               Perhaps. (sees Jack) Little late for
               rescue by the Old Boy cavalry.

                            SAM
               Are you on a one-woman crusade to
               wreck my life?

Cynthia walks away with Martha. Sam sits on the grass, shaking his head. Jack sits beside him and gives him a look like a father to a son who has just totaled the family car.
                            JACK                                   24
               I warned you about her.

                            SAM
               Can I resign from the Class of 74?

                            JACK
               Talk with her. She’ll come around.

                            SAM
               Nina coming around? (Jack shakes
               head) Buy her vanilla and chocolate
               swirl ice cream cone. Let it melt
               in front of her. Women.

                            JACK
               Women.

INT. PHOTO SHOP – DAY

                            CYNTHIA
               Three hundred copies? Can you
               enlarge everything but it?

                            MARTHA
               Check.

                            CYNTHIA
               Board working?

                            MARTHA
               Check. Can we talk?

                            CYNTHIA
               Later. Old Boy network, prepare to
               meet the New Girl network.

EXT. ARBORETUM – INFORMAL PARTY – DAY

Cynthia wanders near Sam. She makes idle conversation. She carries a few pages of text. Sam approaches her.

                            SAM
               Let go of the past.

                            CYNTHIA                                25
               But have you changed? Let go of your
               frat-boy male chauvinist mindset,
               you Stand-up Guy.

                            SAM
               I won’t stand up women. I promise.
               (noticing) What’s that?

                            CYNTHIA
               Fund-raising speech. But I need a
               speaker. How about you? (Sam looks
               it over) Your redemption. And don’t
               stand up the audience halfway
               through.

                            SAM
               What’s the catch?

                            CYNTHIA
               No catch.

                            SAM
               You’re on.

Cynthia and Sam walk towards Field House.

INT. GYMNASIUM – DAY

Empty seats fill up as classmates sit. Behind the podium on a wall is an unlit letterboard. Cynthia walks to the microphone.

                            CYNTHIA
               Please be seated. (people sit)
               Welcome classmates. Afterwards
               there will be dancing in the
               (checks notes) Drama Lab. Our
               speaker is Sam Gill.

Sam walks to the podium. Cynthia sits, plugs in her laptop. Sam reads text.

                            SAM
               We are the first co-educational
               graduating class. It behooves us to
               consider how profound this change
               has been.
Cynthia types. Letterboard behind Sam reads “Sam is a dweeb”. Sam is surprised by laughter.

                            SAM
               For an all-male prep school to go
               from 0 to 56% women in fifteen
               years is outstanding.

Letterboard says “Sam’s penis is 56% smaller than normal”. It blanks as Sam turns around. Sam continues.

                            SAM
               Three courses in womens’ studies
               are offered plus five scholarships.

Letterboard says “Sam is a male chauvinist”. Karyn sees Cynthia typing.

                            SAM
               Today the headmaster is a woman.

Letterboard says “Look under your chairs”. People bend to find photocopies of the picture taken earlier of Sam’s penis. Reactions vary; some amused, offended. Letterboard blank again.

                            SAM
               And, I, what is the joke?

Letterboard says “Whip it out Stand-up guy”. Sam looks at Cynthia who mouthes “don’t give up”. Karyn unplugs Cynthia’s laptop and the letterboard turns off. Cynthia flails at her keyboard. Sam spots a photocopy.

                            SAM
               I see… I am the joke… To be a
               man today is to be a joke. What am
               I good for? Breadwinner? Protector?
               Head of the family? Who needs men
               any more? It’s been difficult for
               men. While women have won power,
               freedom, careers, men have been
               side-lined. Don’t let my earlier
               display dishonor our class. Senior
               year I opposed co-education. I was
               wrong. The women of 1974 have done
               brilliantly. I am honored to be
               your classmate.

INT. DRAMA LAB – NIGHT                                             27

A dance in a small nightclub-sized space for student productions. Rock band ready to play. Some men exchange knowing glances indicating something’s up. Jack next to Nina who speaks into microphone.

                            NINA
               Single folks should be dancing!

Jack takes microphone.

                           JACK
               Married folks too.

Jack and Nina exchange a glance. Music begins. Many dance. Several men exchange a signal. Lights go out. Darkness and silence for fifteen seconds. Lights back on reveal all men have exited. Karyn and Martha approach Cynthia.

                            KARYN
               Great!

                            MARTHA
               Look what you’ve done.

                            CYNTHIA
               What’d I do?

                            MARTHA
               You screwed everything up.

                            CYNTHIA
               It’s not my fault.

                            KARYN
               Your petty quarrel with Sam has
               gone too far. It better stop now or
               you’ll have a real quarrel with me.

                            CYNTHIA
               You don’t know what he did.

                            KARYN
               By making Sam into a joke, all men
               are angry at all of us.

                            MARTHA
               Forget Sam.
                            CYNTHIA                                28
               Karyn has a thing for Sam, but why
               do you care?

                            MARTHA
               Things have changed.

                            CYNTHIA
               Sam is just one guy.

                            KARYN
               With many single friends who are
               boycotting us. You’re wrecking my
               weekend. Apologize to Sam.

                            CYNTHIA
               Men like that must be put in their
               place.

                            KARYN
               You got stood up right before sex.

                            CYNTHIA
               He told you? (Karyn shakes head) I
               finally agree to date him. I’m naked
               and it’s pointing at me. And he
               walks out! No sex, no explanation,
               no nothing. It was humiliating.

                            KARYN
               Why?

                            MARTHA
               He couldn’t handle a woman boss.

                            KARYN
               Did he say that?

                            CYNTHIA
               No, but it’s obvious. Women can’t
               let guys get away with bad behavior.
               You’re blinded by his lame speech.

                            KARYN
               I’ll talk to Sam.

Karyn exits. Some women leave.

                            CYNTHIA                                29
               Karyn doesn’t understand gender war.
               She wants a ring.

                            MARTHA
               I want a ring.

                            CYNTHIA
               Are you crazy? And give up your
               life? You want a clump in your
               living room muttering “honey make
               me a sandwich”?

                            MARTHA
               My money’s gone.

                            CYNTHIA
               Your stepmom remarried?

                            MARTHA
               I’ll settle for any guy with a job.

                            CYNTHIA
               Few left.

                            MARTHA
               None dancing with us, thanks to
               you. Are you hot for Sam?

                            CYNTHIA
               Of course not!

                            MARTHA
               Sam’s available.

                            CYNTHIA
               He isn’t married?

                            MARTHA
               Separated two years. Almost
               divorced.

                            CYNTHIA
               How’d you hear?

                            MARTHA
               Old Girl Network.

                            CYNTHIA                                30
               How long have you known?

                            MARTHA
               Several weeks.

                            CYNTHIA
               Why didn’t you tell me?

                            MARTHA
               I didn’t want you pursuing him.

                            CYNTHIA
               Told anybody else? (Martha shakes
               head) So why hasn’t he told anybody
               he’s divorcing?

EXT. MAIN QUADRANGLE – NIGHT

Karyn walks around campus, listening, looking, pauses near the math building, hears soft guitar music. Doors are locked but she climbs in an open window.

INT. MATH BUILDING – NIGHT

Sam plays guitar. Karyn knocks. Sam looks up.

                            KARYN
               Having a good reunion? (both laugh)

                            SAM
               You came to cheer me up? (she nods)
               You’re sweet. How’d you know it was
               me?

                            KARYN
               I listened under your window senior
               year.

                            SAM
               Draper Hall? (she nods) How was my
               guitar playing?

                            KARYN
               Horrible. Play something.

Sam plays a guitar song.                                           31

                            SAM
               Is she still after me? (Karyn nods)
               Such is life.

                            KARYN
               What about your reputation?

                            SAM
               It’s improving.

                            KARYN
               You’re not humiliated?

                            SAM
               No. I’m my own man. It’s my opinion
               of me that counts. And I love myself.
               What’s it like being a celebrity?

                            KARYN
               Lonely.

                            SAM
               Dating should be a breeze.

                            KARYN
               It’s worse.

                            SAM
               Why?

                            KARYN
               Men fall in love with my TV image.
               They love Colleen, not Karyn. She’s
               their fantasy; I’m reality. Colleen
               is perfectly scripted; I’m cue-card
               -less. Look in my eyes — do you
               see Colleen or Karyn?

                            SAM
               Both.

                            KARYN
               I kissed one guy and he heard heli-
               copters. (makes chopper sounds)
               “Incoming” like from Asia Beach?
               What are you thinking?
                            SAM                                    32
               I see myself as a young man walking
               around campus. I want to advise the
               eighteen year old me.

                            KARYN
               What were you like?

                            SAM
               Serious, smug, opinionated, male
               chauvinist. What about you?

                            KARYN
               Curious, scared, wanting attention.
               I never thought I’d be on TV. Are
               you different now?

                            SAM
               I still put people in boxes and I
               relate to the box they’re in.

                            KARYN
               What box am I in?

                            SAM
               The beautiful but desperate for
               marriage box.

                            KARYN
               Marriage someday, perhaps. But I’m
               not desperate.

                            SAM
               You’re floundering. It’ll happen.

                            KARYN
               I can hop from box to box. I was in
               a TV box but now I’ve hopped out.
               It’s freedom.

                            SAM
               What box am I in?

                            KARYN
               The marriage box.

                            SAM
               A prison for two?
                            KARYN                                  33
               Can partners hop together?

                            SAM
               Perhaps.

Karyn mimes climbing over a pretend wall.

                            KARYN
               How do I climb out of this box?

She climbs out. Sam mimes escaping from a box.

                            SAM
               Me, too. There. Come with me.

EXT. TOP OF BELL TOWER – NIGHT

Sam and Karyn look at the lights of school and town from their four story perch.

                            KARYN
               I’m not going to ask how you got us
               inside this giant phallic building.

                            SAM
                       (pointing)
               There’s where we were.

                            KARYN
               We’re free of boxes.

They enjoy the view. Sam notices a street in the distance.

                            SAM
               There’s another place to show you.
               What happened during my speech?

Sam and Karyn walk downstairs.

EXT. SIDEWALK – NIGHT

Sam and Karyn stop on a sidewalk halfway between the old womens’ and mens’ campuses. Sam points down.

                            KARYN                                  34
               Well?

                            SAM
               Know what this is?

                            KARYN
               A sidewalk?

                            SAM
               Where we first met. Remember? An
               April morning. We were eighteen.
               You were walking up the hill, and
               I overtook you.

                            KARYN
               Then what happened?

                            SAM
               You said “hi”.

                            KARYN
               And?

                            SAM
               I said “hi” back.

                            KARYN
               Then?

                            SAM
               Nothing. I kept walking up the hill
               faster than you.

                            KARYN
               That was it?

                            SAM
               That was it!

                            KARYN
               You brought me here to remember
               that? (Sam nods) What an encounter.
               I said hi. You said hi. The stuff
               of a great romance.

                            SAM
               There’s more.
                            KARYN                                  35
               We both said “bye” too? This is too
               intense for words.

                            SAM
               We didn’t say anything, but that’s
               the point.

                            KARYN
               What’s the point?

                            SAM
               Because I was an idiot, that’s why!
               You’re one of the prettiest girls,
               I mean women, in our class, and you
               baffled me.

                            KARYN
               By saying hi. (Sam nods) I think I
               remember now.

                            SAM
               Really?

                            KARYN
               You had a sweet smile. Why did you
               keep walking?

                            SAM
               If I had spoken, the image of prep
               school man as super-competent
               administrators of the Universe
               would have crashed with a thunk.

                            KARYN
               It crashed anyway. We could have
               shared our collective cluelessness.

                            SAM
               I wish we could re-do our talk. We
               could have been friends. Equals?

                            KARYN
               Do you have women friends?

                            SAM                                    36
               My wife was, is my friend. With
               other women, however, sexual
               tension prevents friendship.

                            KARYN
               There’s no sexual tension between
               you and your wife?

                            SAM
               Did I say that? That’s not what I
               meant.

                            KARYN
               Is there sexual tension between us?

                            SAM
               You generated some by asking that.

Sam and Karyn walk around campus towards Rabbit Pond.

EXT. PREP SCHOOL CAMPUS – RABBIT POND – NIGHT

                            KARYN
               How do you react when a woman comes
               on to you?

                            SAM
               I’m anxious.

                            KARYN
               Why? If I make the first move, I’m
               a tramp. It’s not fair. Why do men
               get to make the first move?

                            SAM
               Good question.

                            KARYN
               Suppose you weren’t married and I
               made a move on you, would you clam
               up?

                            SAM
               If I didn’t know you and you said,
               let’s screw, I’d be flattered but
               scared.
                            KARYN                                  37
               Men are repressed sexually,
               especially you.

                            SAM
               Am not.

                            KARYN
               Bigtime! Bogie wasn’t repressed. He
               hurled the headmaster into this pond.

                            SAM
               It was a grounds-keeper.

                            KARYN
               Prove you’re not repressed. Kiss me.
               I’m not asking you to screw.

                            SAM
               I’m married and I don’t fool around.

                            KARYN
               We’re not breaking any vows. A
               sociological experiment. Kiss me as
               a friend. You were baffled then,
               you’re baffled now. No change!

                            SAM
               Am not. Baffled.

                            KARYN
               I know…

Karyn opens purse and removes a half-filled cup with plastic wrap over the top held by a rubber band. She removes the plastic wrap and sets the cup down.

                            SAM
               Apple juice in your purse?

                            KARYN
               A fine beverage. Kiss me through
               plastic wrap. Our lips won’t touch.
               You’ll remain faithful to your wife.
               Bend me over like the World War II
               soldier kissing his sweetheart.

Karyn gestures with plastic. Sam hesitates.
                            KARYN (CONT’D)                         38
               You’re scared! You wimped out.
               You’re repressed. (lawyerlike) I
               rest my case…

Sam bends Karyn over and kisses her through plastic. Long kiss. They stand up again.

                            KARYN (CONT’D)
               Wasn’t so bad, was it?

Sam stands there.

                            KARYN (CONT’D)
               Okay?

Sam says nothing.

                            KARYN (CONT’D)
                       (mission con-
                       trol voice:)
               Houston calling Sam. Return to
               earth, Sam. Fire main rockets.

Karyn rewraps cup and returns it to purse.

                            SAM
               Do you have men friends?

                            KARYN
               Don’t change the subject. We kissed.
               Deal with it. And don’t blame me
               when you shake your wazoo later
               tonight with such wanton abandon and
               set off car alarms across campus.

Karyn walks like in an earthquake, makes car alarm sound.

                            KARYN (CONT’D)
               I wouldn’t want you to be mentally
               unfaithful to your wife.

                            SAM
               You are a horrible tease.

                            KARYN
               Not! I crusade for women making the
               first move!
                            SAM                                    39
               I made the first move!

                            KARYN
               Not!

Sam and Karyn walk to a nature preserve called the Arboretum.

EXT. ARBORETUM – NIGHT

                            SAM
               Who are you?

                            KARYN
               I’m jumping from box to box and
               you’re not sure which box I’m in.
               Lighten up. Have fun.

                            SAM
               What is your marriage strategy?

                            KARYN
               If the right man happens by,
               great, else I’ll wait. No rush.

                            SAM
               Don’t rely on luck.

                            KARYN
               Then?

                            SAM
               Form a battle plan.

                            KARYN
               You make it sound like war.

                            SAM
               You must conquer someone’s heart.

                            KARYN
               You’re weird.

                            SAM
               I’m married. You’re not married but
               smart, open, talented, beautiful.

                            KARYN                                  40
               Not sexy?

                            SAM
               Perhaps. Dr. Ruth is sexy (Dr.
               Ruth’s voice:) “When zee mon gets
               zee e-wreck-SHOON…”

Karyn and Sam walk by tennis courts.

EXT. TENNIS COURTS – NIGHT

                            KARYN
               Why can’t men ask for directions?

                            SAM
               We’re not lost when we drive.

                            KARYN
               You’re lost but won’t admit it.

                            SAM
               We’re quarreling and we’re not even
               in a car!

                            KARYN
               And you’re lost.

                            SAM
               I’m not lost. Where are we?

They keep walking. Karyn opens door of a classroom building. They walk inside.

INT. CLASSROOM – NIGHT

                            KARYN
               A woman can’t withhold sex to
               secure a marriage commitment. Too
               many other women give it away for
               free. Sex is a marketing give-away.
               Men avoid paying full retail price.

                            SAM
               It’s tough being a woman today.

                            KARYN                                  41
               Bingo.

                            SAM
               Teachers didn’t teach dating.

                            KARYN
               They didn’t know either. What was
               dating like when you were single?

                            SAM
               A war zone. I was twenty-five pounds
               overweight. Women treated me like I
               didn’t exist. I went years without
               sex.

                            KARYN
               How did you cope?

                            SAM
               I got a break. I met a divorcee in
               her fifties who broke me in. In a
               cafe she had me kissing chicken
               thighs while playing footsie.

                            KARYN
               How old were you then?

                            SAM
               Twenty-six? I became a player. I
               dated women. Sometimes resentment
               would pop out.

                            KARYN
               Like a boner.

                            SAM
               Boner used to mean mistake.

                            KARYN
               Still does. Gay used to mean happy.

                            SAM
               Still does.

Sam and Karyn exit the building.

EXT. WATER FOUNTAIN – NIGHT                                        42

Sam and Karyn sit around a quiet water fountain.

                            KARYN
               When you stood up Cynthia, there was
               hostility. (Sam nods) How can any
               guy do that?

                            SAM
               It happened to you?

                            KARYN
               Yes! You!

Karyn begins hitting Sam playfully.

                            SAM
               I didn’t stand you up.

                            KARYN
               It could have been you.

                            SAM
               Like all men are alike? I would
               never stand you up like that.

                            KARYN
               You better not. So what happened?

                            SAM
               It was late October. Cynthia was
               naked in candlelight and watched me
               undress. In her eyes there was pity.
               Look pitying. (Karyn does). That’s
               it! Like a spoiled kid at Christmas
               thinking ‘is that it’? If I stuck
               around, maybe I’d get a pity fuck.
               If we had made love, or made sex
               rather, one more woman would know.

                            KARYN
               What?

                            SAM                                    43
               My boner was pointing at an
               unimpressed woman. And I had a
               sudden urge to skedaddle. Me leave
               her? I wanted to make her think. I
               rose above the low level of ‘men
               hungry for sex’. I became a judge in
               a beauty pageant and she scored
               runner up to a door. Only by exiting
               could I regain respect. She fumed
               while I dressed.

                            KARYN
               The trigger was – disrespect?

                            SAM
               Lack of basic spect. Here’s a secret
               about men. Women think men have
               fragile egos. But her respecting me
               helps me bring her to orgasm. She’s
               hiked halfway up Pleasure Mountain.
               No spect is climbing a mountain of
               mud. She’s a broken pinball machine.
               I can flip my flipper all night long
               but her scoreboard ain’t lighting up.

Fountain erupts with water.

                            SAM
               This fountain respects me.

                            KARYN
               You sensed disrespect before sex.

                            SAM
               Hey you’re good at looking pitiful.

                            KARYN
               Thanks.

                            SAM
               So I left. Why risk the humiliation
               of failing her sexual S-A-T? Maybe
               she’ll show the next guy some spect.

                            KARYN
               I was stood up right before sex and
               I felt humiliated and angry.
                            SAM                                    44
               Another guy did it too?

                            KARYN
               It’s demeaning to women.

                            SAM
               Is it really that bad?

                            KARYN
               Horrible!

                            SAM
               Great!

                            KARYN
               What? (she glares)

                            SAM
               I’m kidding!

                            KARYN
               It pollutes dating, floats around
               like sludge, makes swimming unsafe.
               Who knows where it will wash up?

Sam and Karyn walk.

EXT. STEPS OF ADMINISTRATION BUILDING – NIGHT

                            SAM
               Isn’t dating already polluted?

                            KARYN
               Yes but why pollute more?

                            SAM
               Women have too much power in the
               bedroom. What’s wrong with trying
               to reclaim some?

                            KARYN
               Bedrooms and sex should not be
               about power.

                            SAM                                    45
               Many women wield sex like power.
               They control the spigot.

                            KARYN
               Well that’s not right either.

                            SAM
               I’m sorry it happened to you.

                            KARYN
               Are you? (she studies his eyes)

                            SAM
               Yes. What happened?

                            KARYN
               I asked him what time it was.

                            SAM
               Meaning, hurry up so I can watch TV?

                            KARYN
               There was a great documentary on.

                            SAM
               You got to watch your documentary.

                            KARYN
               No, I missed it crying.

                            SAM
               It made you cry?

                            KARYN
               Yes.

                            SAM
               Oh. He shouldn’t have made you cry.
               What a jerk! (she glares) I’m sorry.

                            KARYN
               Standing up women is — hostile.

                            SAM
               My therapist thinks…

                            KARYN                                  46
               You have a therapist?

                            SAM
               I can’t afford a real one so I
               visit an imaginary one in my head
               but the asshole still charges me
               two hundred hundred bucks an hour.

                            KARYN
               Has he helped?

                            SAM
               She.

                            KARYN
               How many women have you stood up?

Sam counts to himself using his fingers.

                            SAM
               Counting the twins? Seven. I’m
               joking. Only once.

                            KARYN
               Women don’t wield much power.

                            SAM
               More than you think.

                            KARYN
               Men don’t respect women much.

                            SAM
               Because they sleep around?

                            KARYN
               We feel forced to.

                            SAM
               And women don’t respect men much.

                            KARYN
               Because we work the same jobs. The
               aura of the man being the fearless
               provider is gone.

                            SAM                                    47
               Women are sluts.

                            KARYN
               Men are wimpy co-competitors.

                            SAM
               Hi, I’m a wimpy co-competitor and
               you are?

                            KARYN
               Miss Slut.

They shake hands and laugh.

                            KARYN
               We’ve become similar. What’s a man?
               What’s a woman? Who’s who?

                            SAM
               We cheat on our future spouses
               before we marry them.

                            KARYN
               We pick our future spouses from a
               pool of fellow sluts. Do you respect
               me?

                            SAM
               Tons. You’re amazing.

                            KARYN
               As a competitor. (Sam nods) But do
               you respect me as a possible wife?

                            SAM
               For a typical man?

                            KARYN
               For you. If you were single, am I
               wife material?

                            SAM
               I can’t picture you with an apron
               as a homemaker. You’d want that
               life? (Karyn shakes head) You’re a
               wonderful human being.

                            KARYN                                  48
               How come you’re married and the
               wonderful human being isn’t? Help
               me connect with a man.

                            SAM
               Romance is a whisper, a knowing
               look, a private joke, a secret
               society of two hearts against the
               world, a conspiracy.

                            KARYN
               An Old Boy Network?

                            SAM
               Closer. Hold up four fingers.

Sam holds up four fingers, Karyn does likewise, they touch fingers.

                            SAM (CONT’D)
               Repeat after moi. May the Fours Be
               With You. (together:) May the Fours
               Be With You! (only Sam) Romantic?

                            KARYN
               Stupid.

                            SAM
               Stupid is good! Share a stupid joke
               with someone you love. Look in his
               eyes and play tag with his soul.
               Switch places. Ever wonder what
               it’s like to be a guy?

                            KARYN
               Sometimes.

Sam holds Karyn’s index finger.

                            SAM
               This is your penis. Close your
               eyes. You see a beautiful woman.
               What happens. (She points up)
               Stand-up guy! Remove her dress.

                            KARYN
               Sam…

                            SAM                                    49
               It’ll be over in two minutes. Enjoy
               her wonderful curves, the fleshy
               fullness of her thighs, touch her
               milky soft breasts.

                            KARYN
               I feel like a lesbian.

                            SAM
               You’re a heterosexual man. Stay in
               character. Touch her toes. (she does)
               Touch that soft spot behind her
               knees. (Sam moans) Touch her inner
               thigh. Inch northwards, northwards.

Sam puts his lips around Karyn’s finger.

                            KARYN
               Oh!

Karyn laughs, withdraws finger.

                            SAM
               Why’d you pull away?

                            KARYN
               Sam!

                            SAM
               You stood me up!

                            KARYN
               That’s romance?

                            SAM
               Wasn’t it?

                            KARYN
               It was fun.

                            SAM
               Romantic technology.

                            KARYN
               This got you married?

Sam and Karyn walk. They open the door to the chapel and enter.
INT. CHAPEL – NIGHT                                                50

                            SAM
               I bought a dress.

                            KARYN
               You’re getting weirder.

                            SAM
               One date wiggled away saying she
               didn’t have clothes for the morning.
               So I bought a dress. Spent serious
               money. Hangs in my closet. On dates
               I’d mention it casually. They’d get
               curious. Who owned it? Who left it
               behind? Maybe they’d get jealous or
               worry I was a cross-dresser. Great!
               This added mystery. At the right
               time I’d whip out my secret: my
               dress is yours to wear if you spend
               the night. It’s never been worn. A
               virgin dress! And wow you’d look
               great in it!

                            KARYN
               You combined sex and shopping. (he
               nods) You never wore it.

                            SAM
               I’ll never wear a dress. I’m a guy.
               You’d look great in it.

                            KARYN
               You’re flirting.

                            SAM
               Practicing.

                            KARYN
               Your wife wore it?

                            SAM
               Didn’t fit.

                            KARYN
               So what got you married?

                            SAM                                    51
               How I got married, by Sam. I was
               driving on west fifty-seventh and
               saw a TV anchorwoman goddess trying
               to hail a cab. But there were no
               cabs since it was raining. I pulled
               a U-eee, creeped my car behind her
               very slowly, and gave her a slight
               bump on the rump.

                            KARYN
               You hit her with your car!

                            SAM
               Half a mile an hour. A touch of
               rust got on her raincoat.

                            KARYN
               More hostility to women?

                            SAM
               My battle plan was to piss her off,
               convert her anger into love. I read
               it in a book.

                            KARYN
               You literally hit on her.

                            SAM
               She was furious and almost called a
               cop. I had fun pretending to be
               ashamed. She let me drive her to
               compensate. I confessed my deed.
               She loved it. She was on the
               rebound from a wild romance and
               said yes when I proposed that night.

                            KARYN
               You proposed that night!

                            SAM
               During sex.

                            KARYN
               You were desperate.

                            SAM                                    52
               I avoided the dating slash job
               interview. Never ever let someone
               interview you on a date. It’s death
               on wheels. The next day we married
               at City Hall.

                            KARYN
               What if you married the wrong
               woman? Wasn’t that reckless?

                            SAM
               Reck-full. Moi married an
               anchorwoman which seemed too good to
               be true. Your turn to embarrass
               yourself.

                            KARYN
               I hospitalized a guy.

                            SAM
               How?

                            KARYN
               In college I dated this guy. Before
               he visited my dorm, according to the
               police report, he masturbated
               because he quote wanted to be in
               control unquote. But I didn’t know.

                            SAM
               A discharged pistol.

                            KARYN
               Right. In my room, he wants to talk.
               I plop the book “Everything you
               always wanted to know about sex” in
               his lap. We begin screwing. Ten
               minutes goes by, twenty, twenty-five
               and will my Energizer Bunny ever
               finish? Sweat is everywhere. He
               starts shaking. I almost couldn’t
               push him off me. He collapses.

                            SAM
               Cool!

                            KARYN                                  53
               Paramedics rush him to the hospital,
               tubes are attached, ventilator.
               Extreme exhaustion. They inject
               drugs into his penis to relax it.

                            SAM
               Ouch!

                            KARYN
               Just kidding. Turns out he’s fifteen,
               underage, a virgin. Lawyers become
               involved. I sign papers. His mom
               gives me a nasty glare. It wasn’t my
               fault!

                            SAM
               You’re dangerous.

                            KARYN
               Let me show you my favorite spot.

                            SAM
               The stage at GW? (she nods)

They exit the church.

INT. STAGE AT GEORGE WASHINGTON HALL – NIGHT

                            SAM
               I saw South Pacific twice.

                            KARYN
               How was I?

                            SAM
               So-so. Everybody was surprised when
               you made it big on TV.

                            KARYN
               Am I a good actor now?

                            SAM                                    54
               On your TV show ‘Asia Beach’, when
               other actors spoke, you listened.
               What they said mattered. Other
               actors didn’t listen. So my eyes
               riveted to you. You’re the next
               Hepburn.

                            KARYN
               Hayworth. If I was so so-so in South
               Pacific, why’d you see it twice?

                            SAM
               To study your legs. It’s great
               seeing a beautiful woman wooed badly.

                            KARYN
               He did a good job.

                            SAM
               Acting? Yes. Singing? Yes. Wooing?
               No. Did you know your French planter
               was gay? Here’s what he should have
               said. (French accent:) Oh, Nellie,
               fohr-ghet the trah-jhe-dee of wore
               and jump on de pee-niss ov moi.

                            KARYN
               You love the word “moi”.

                            SAM
               Sounds like a kiss.

                            KARYN
               Nellie Forbush found love but I
               didn’t. I love this stage. I love
               attention. Bringing people to life.
               It’s a rush of pure exhiliration. I
               become alive.

                            SAM
               How did you get good?

                            KARYN
               When you want something badly
               enough, it comes easily.

                            SAM                                    55
               Men too.

                            KARYN
               Not my fifteen year old virgin!

                            SAM
               He didn’t want you badly enough?

They walk outside.

EXT. CAMPUS PATHWAY – NIGHT

                            KARYN
               My father died.

                            SAM
               He’s right here. (older voice)
               Karyn, are you unhappy?

                            KARYN
               What are you doing?

                            SAM
               Jumping into your father’s box. Tell
               me about him.

                            KARYN
               When I was eight, he woke me in the
               middle of a warm summer night and
               we drove to a lake. We swam in our
               pajamas. Him and me and the moon. My
               feet mushy with pond mud. Sometimes
               we’d visit his huge warehouse.

                            SAM
               What was in it?

                            KARYN
               Boxes and boxes of urinals.

                            SAM
               I’ve peed in urinals with your last
               name on it.

                            KARYN
               We’re honored.
                            SAM                                    56
               Is your father living in your genes?
               Someday you’ll see in the eyes of
               your newborn, your father’s eyes
               smiling back?

                            KARYN
               Where are we? I’m lost.

                            SAM
               My dorm.

                            KARYN
               I have no idea where my dorm is.
               May I crash in your room tonight?

                            SAM
               If you won’t pull a boner, I won’t
               be gay. No hanky panky.

EXT. MAIN QUADRANGLE – NIGHT

HEADMASTER DANA JONES talks with Cynthia.

                            DANA
               Men boycotting women? Alumni
               fifteen years out acting like
               fifteen year olds?

                            CYNTHIA
               Don’t worry Headmaster. This won’t
               get any ink in the alumni magazine.

                            DANA
               Men seem to be disappearing.

                            CYNTHIA
               But we’re on top.

                            DANA
               On top of what? I’m worried about
               current students. Is there too much
               competition? Should we teach manners
               or civility or dating skills? We
               don’t want them marrying screens.

                            CYNTHIA                                57
               Dating courses water down a college
               transcript. Yale wants As in math
               not ethics.

                            DANA
               Perhaps you’re right. I feel sorry
               for your generation. Nobody’s
               marrying. Love is doomed. Do you
               have anybody, Cynthia? (she shakes
               her head) Gotta fix dinner for my
               husband.

                            CYNTHIA
               You’re not his servant.

                            DANA
               No I’m not. But I love him.
                   
              
INT. SAM’S DORM ROOM – NIGHT

Sam’s dress hangs in the closet. Karyn holds a guitar and gives it to Sam.

                            KARYN
               Play something.

Sam plays guitar.

                            SAM
               Ever looked in someone’s eyes and
               feel you’ve known them all your
               life?

Karyn & Sam share a look.

                            KARYN
               Hey, I want a reading.

                            SAM
               Cynthia controls my life.

                            KARYN
               Why’d you do readings?

                            SAM                                    58
               To study women. A woman read my
               palms. She had jiggly breasts. I
               wanted to hold them. Why not read
               breasts? My newspaper ad said
               ‘Breast readings by Monsieur Sam’.

                            KARYN
               What did you charge?

                            SAM
               $10 per breast, $17 per pair.

                            KARYN
               Did you ever do any readees?

                            SAM
               I have professional standards. Us
               breast readers have an ethics board.
               Some women have really lumpy breasts.

                            KARYN
               Read mine.

                            SAM
               I gave it up.

                            KARYN
               Don’t stand me up.

                            SAM
               I became a mini-expert on boob jobs.
               Once I felt a lump and it was
               (noticing) What are you doing?

Karyn removes her blouse and bra.

                            KARYN
               Preparing for my reading. Tell me
               (French accent) Monsieur Sam
               (normal) will I be married?

                            SAM
               All right. Deep breath. (she does)

Sam speaks with French accent.

                            SAM (CONT’D)                           59
               Re-lakks yhor bod-heee. Ghood. Now
               I vant yhor taughts, hun-ghair,
               veelings and emPOOLsess to travVELL
               do yhor breasts. Let duh veelings
               swirrl eh-roundt lak breastmeelk.

                            KARYN
               That was your spiel!

                            SAM
               Own-lee weeth zee dummb wonz. Re-
               lakks. Close yhor eyes. (She does)
               Pickchore yhor i-dee-uhl uz-bund.
               (Karyn opens eyes) Cloze pleeze.
               Pickchore heem eenzide yhor
               breasts. Rhed-dee?

                            KARYN
               Oui Monsieur Sam.

Sam places his hands gently on Karyn’s breasts.

                            SAM
               (normal) You have nice breasts.

                            KARYN
               Get on with it.

                            SAM
               I veel a loneliness so vast it
               spans eeh-tairn-ee-tay. I veel a let
               tear ov dee alfa-bhet. The let-tear
               tee. Ear doo zee let-tear tee. Ear
               aussi. Tee. Tee. Tee hair. Tee hair
               too. (aha) I vheel a mhen you weeel
               loff doo deaze an a mhen who wheel
               loff doo deaze you. I vheel you are
               clo-sair to love than you tink.
               Purr-heps you weel be en-ghazhed
               doo-mar-row? I reed no mhorr.

Sam removes hands and reverts to normal voice.

                            KARYN
               Lots of the letter T means I love
               to tease and be teased. Corny. I’ll
               be engaged tomorrow? No way.
                            SAM                                    60
               Who knows? By the way, no lumps.
               Borrow a pair of jammies?

                            KARYN
               I sleep naked. Only stuck-up types
               wear jammies.

Karyn disrobes completely, lies down in bed. Sam looks away.

                            KARYN (CONT’D)
               Cuddle me?

                            SAM
               Karyn…

                            KARYN
               Are you my friend?

                            SAM
               Yes, but…

                            KARYN
               Which side do you want?

                            SAM
               No sex.

                            KARYN
               As we agreed. I’m tired anyway.

Sam disrobes, puts a towel around his midsection, climbs into bed, faces away from Karyn.

                            KARYN
               It’s not cuddling if you don’t hold
               me.

                            SAM
               Karyn…

                            KARYN
               Face me.

Sam turns to face Karyn, and she faces him.

                            SAM
               Hello. (he’s nervous)
                            KARYN                                  61
               Hello.

A towel separates them. Sam talks like Benjamin from “The Graduate”.

                            SAM
               Mrs. Robinson, I really think you
               are trying to seduce me.

                            KARYN
               Benjamin, how could you say that.
               Afraid?

Karyn examines the ring on Sam’s hand. It looks like a woman’s ring.

                            KARYN (CONT’D)
               Looks like a woman’s ring.

                            SAM
               Do you like it?

                            KARYN
               Not on you.

                            SAM
               Are we friends? (she nods)

                            KARYN
               Gotta check you out. (Karyn lifts
               towel, gasps) Where did it go?

                            SAM
               Squeezed safely between my legs so
               you can’t peek.

                            KARYN
               Our entire class has had a glimpse.

                            SAM
               We were going to cuddle?

                            KARYN
               Spider!

Sam lifts his leg allowing Karyn to see his penis.

                            SAM
               Where?
                            KARYN                                  62
               Oh nothing.

                            SAM
               My penis is nothing?

                            KARYN
               Sam…

                            SAM
               Cuddle?

They cuddle.

                            KARYN
               I feel a bulge.

                            SAM
               Might be my wallet.

                            KARYN
               A growing wallet? A part of you
               loves me.

                            SAM
               All of me loves you but as a friend.

                            KARYN
               Part of you loves me more.

                            SAM
               It’s beyond my control.

                            KARYN
               You have two minds. One uptown. One
               midtown.

                            SAM
               And the uptown mind is the boss.

                            KARYN
               I like being close to you.

                            SAM
               This is as close as it will get.

                            KARYN                                  63
               How can we be close when something
               has come between us?

                            SAM
               It better not come between us.

                            KARYN
               You have that much control?

                            SAM
               I hope so.

                            KARYN
               Your uprightness separates us
               physically. I feel a draft.

                            SAM
               It’s your fault.

                            KARYN
               My fault? It’s your body.

                            SAM
               You chose to crash here.

                            KARYN
               And you chose to let me in.

                            SAM
               You remind me of my wife.

                            KARYN
               Not! What’s your name for him?

                            SAM
               Henry.

                            KARYN
               Hello Henry. A Stand-up Guy.

                            SAM
               Henry say thank you to the naked
               lady.

                            KARYN
               Her name’s Jane Mansfield
               Meriwether Sheboygan.
                            SAM                                    64
               Thank you Jane Mansfield Meriwether
               whatever.

                            KARYN
               Henry needs a raincoat.

                            SAM
               It’s raining?

Karyn whips out a rubber.

                            KARYN
               Henry, wear this. (she puts it on)

                            SAM
               You’re prepared.

                            KARYN
               Henry must wait inside Jane.

                            SAM
               Karyn…

                            KARYN
               Get closer.

                            SAM
               We had an agreement.

                            KARYN
               Come inside the garage.

                            SAM
               He’s admiring your structure.

                            KARYN
               What if it rains?

                            SAM
               He’s wearing his raincoat.

                            KARYN
               What if it hails? Lightnings?

                            SAM
               Your garage will look beautiful in
               the flashes of light.
                            KARYN                                  65
               If you can kiss me through plastic,
               you can make love to me through
               rubber. We won’t really touch. We’ll
               be chaperoned by latex. You’ll still
               be faithful to your wife. Trust me.
               There. We fit. You okay?

                            SAM
               Yes.

                            KARYN
               Sam?

                            SAM
               Karyn?

                            KARYN
               Henry’s just waiting in the garage?

                            SAM
               That’s where you wanted him.

                            KARYN
               Vehicles are expected to vehiculate.

                            SAM
               What?

                            KARYN
               Forward and backward. Transmission
               problems?

                            SAM
               Henry and Jane are on a playdate.

                            KARYN
               Is Henry really happy? Henry,
               imagine a giant oil rig in the
               Oklahoma sunset starting to pump.

                            SAM
               We fit like puzzle pieces.

                            KARYN
               A puzzle from a snapshot. I prefer
               moving pictures.

                            SAM                                    66
               It’s beautiful.

                            KARYN
               Yes.

                            SAM
               The woman wants sex and the man
               wants cuddling. It’s reversed.

                            KARYN
               Your idea of what women want is
               narrow.

                            SAM
               Really?

                            KARYN
               I’m not a stereotype. I’m not a
               box. Don’t type-cast me.

                            SAM
               You’re happy and I’m not breaking
               any vows.

                            KARYN
               I’m bending them.

                            SAM
               Don’t break my vow off!

                            KARYN
               It’s like the first time we met. I
               said “hi”, you said “hi”, that was
               it. You’re repeating your mistake.
               Think progress. Get ambitious.

                            SAM
               I’m happy as we are.

                            KARYN
               Remember “The Little Engine That
               Could”?

                            SAM
               A little engine? Have some respect.

                            KARYN                                  67
               Performing like one! Say I think I
               can, I think I can… Whooo, whooo!
               (Karyn kisses Sam) Add more coal.

                            SAM
               Karyn…

                            KARYN
               I’m waiting…

                            SAM
               Enjoy this moment.

                            KARYN
               Don’t go Buddhist on me!

                            SAM
               Do you enjoy being with me?

                            KARYN
               In the dictionary, is “frustration”
               spelled S-A-M?

                            SAM
               Answer my question.

                            KARYN
               I could enjoy it more.

                            SAM
               Breathe in, breathe out.

                            KARYN
               This isn’t yoga class! Your fingers
               are better than your finger. (aha)
               You’re standing me up!

                            SAM
               I’m not standing you up!

                            KARYN
               You are standing me up, right here
               and now!

                            SAM
               I am not leaving so I am not
               standing you up!
                            KARYN                                  68
               But you are standing me up!

                            SAM
               Au contraire, mademoiselle. You are
               standing me up!

                            KARYN
               I don’t believe this.

                            SAM
               If we proceed, you won’t respect me.

                            KARYN
               I’m not sure I respect you much now.

                            SAM
               And you won’t respect me tomorrow!

                            KARYN
               Forget tomorrow. Think now.

                            SAM
               Don’t go existentialist on me!

                            KARYN
               Come on.

                            SAM
               I don’t want you thinking of me as
               a married man who cheats. My
               reputation is important.

                            KARYN
               I’m trying to restore your
               reputation as a Stand-Up guy.

                            SAM
               As a faithful spouse?

                            KARYN
               Nobody will know.

                            SAM
               You’ll know.

                            KARYN
               Your wife will never know.
                            SAM                                    69
               You’ll know.

                            KARYN
               But I’m not important.

                            SAM
               You are important.

                            KARYN
               I won’t tell anybody.

                            SAM
               But you’ll know.

                            KARYN
               I’ll forgive you.

                            SAM
               But will you respect me?

                            KARYN
               I’ll respect your ability to bring
               me pleasure.

                            SAM
               There’s something you don’t know.

                            KARYN
               What?

                            SAM
               Please don’t ask.

                            KARYN
               I am confused. What is your problem?
               I’m beautiful but not sexy enough?

                            SAM
               You’re both.

                            KARYN
               You have a weak heart? (Sam shakes
               head) You just learned after thirty
               three years that you’re gay? (Sam
               shakes head) You don’t love me.
               (Sam shakes head) You do love me!

                            SAM                                    70
               I love you as a friend.

                            KARYN
               You only have sex when you’re in
               love-love.

                            SAM
               Isn’t sex better when you’re in
               love-love?

                            KARYN
               We get to love-love by enjoying
               sex-love.

                            SAM
               Trust me, we’re doing the right
               thing. Why rush sex?

                            KARYN
               I like sex.

                            SAM
               Me too but …

Karyn begins crying.

                            SAM (CONT’D)
               Oh, no, don’t cry. (aha) Hey, you
               are an actor. You can cry on cue.
               Are you acting? Are these real
               tears? (picks up a tear) Tear, are
               you real?

Karyn chuckles, stops crying.

                            KARYN
               Shucks it was worth a try.

                            SAM
               You’re dangerous. You had me for a
               second. How’d you do that?

                            KARYN
               I’m a professional.

                            SAM
               What were you thinking?
                            KARYN                                  71
               My father’s funeral.

                            SAM
               Your father was important to you.

                            KARYN
               This could end our friendship.

                            SAM
               I would feel sad if it ended.

                            KARYN
               I don’t know what to feel.

                            SAM
               Respect me for more than sex?

                            KARYN
               I want to respect you for sex. It’s
               worse because you haven’t left! If
               you left, I could cry alone and
               hide my embarrassment.

                            SAM
               Don’t feel embarrassed.

                            KARYN
               I hate all those women who rejected
               you and fed this simmering
               resentment within you. (to
               imaginary women) You shallow picky
               women, you, you’ve wrecked this
               man’s heart! (to Sam) Let me undo
               their damage. Make love to me now.

                            SAM
               I’m rid of the resentment.

                            KARYN
               You’re the worst stander-upper in
               stander-upper history. You
               pioneered the ultimate stand-up
               tactic — standing up and not
               leaving! I must sleep.

Lovers unplug; Karyn rolls over, growls.

                            SAM                                    72
               Please don’t be mad? Please?

                            KARYN
               When will I learn what I don’t know?

                            SAM
               Sunday.

                            KARYN
               It’s past midnight so it’s Sunday.

                            SAM
               Sunday day.

                            KARYN
               Sure isn’t Fun-Day.

Karyn growls again. Sleeps. Sam remains awake, motionless, thinking.

INT. SAM’S DORM ROOM – MORNING

Sunshine streaks in. Sam wakes. Karyn’s gone. Sam finds note from Karyn which says: “Sam, I’m catching an early flight for my next film. Nice meeting you. Seek professional help? — Karyn”. Sam thinks. In the closet Sam’s dress is missing but Sam doesn’t notice.

INT. LOUNGE – NOON

Classmates have Sunday brunch, men and women mingle in small groups, talking. Some leave. Sam walks in looking sleepy and unkempt, takes a  2-liter bottle of diet soda and cup, sits in lounge chair by himself, pours drink. Four women talk. JENNIFER JOHNSON wears dark glasses, long dress, makeup, walks over to Sam. The jug is half empty already.

                            JENNIFER
               Excuse me, seen Bill Johnson? (Sam
               shakes head) My husband is … May
               I join you? (Sam nods) I’m Jennifer
               Johnson.

                            SAM
               Hello Jennifer Johnson.

                            JENNIFER
               Your penis looks like a mole.
                            SAM                                    73
               I suppose you’re a biologist.

                            JENNIFER
               These reunions can work you over!
               You look lousy. It’s all Bill talks
               about. Class of 74 this. Class of 74
               that. Bill’s penis isn’t so rumply.

                            SAM
               We’ve all been worried about Bill’s
               penis.

                            JENNIFER
               He alternates tucking it in. Mondays
               to the right, Tuesdays to the left.
               Keeps it from looking rumply. You
               should try it.

                            SAM
               Did Cynthia send you to embarrass
               me?

                            JENNIFER
               Who’s Cynthia? What’s bothering you?
 
                            SAM
               I’m almost divorced.

                            JENNIFER
               You’re divorcing this Cynthia?

                            SAM
               No, I’m divorcing my wife, but this
               Cynthia is a monkey wrench on
               skates, but then there’s … her.

                            JENNIFER
               Bothered not by Cynthia, not by
               your wife. You’re bothered by a
               third woman. (he nods)

                            SAM
               I’m — I’m — I’m in love.

                            JENNIFER
               What does it feel like?

                            SAM                                    74
               It feels like being run over by a
               freight train, again and again, but
               I like it. It’s like being in heaven
               but trashing the place. Love is…

                            JENNIFER
               Turning you into a crappy poet. (He
               nods) Have you told this Cynthia …

                            SAM
               No, not her, the helicopter woman.

                            JENNIFER
               She flies?

                            SAM
               She hops from box to box.

                            JENNIFER
               She’s an acrobat?

                            SAM
               What’s love for you?

                            JENNIFER
               A mortgage payment made, a bandaged
               cut, TV dinners by candlelight,
               waiting for kids to sleep so we can
               screw. By the way, my six year old
               asked what happens when men show
               their penises in public?

                            SAM
               He’ll meet weird women like you.

                            JENNIFER
               Had enough diet soda?

Sam looks at the empty two liter jug of soda.

                            SAM
               I’ve been trying to get drunk on
               diet soda!

                            JENNIFER
               You should be sloshed.

                            SAM                                    75
               I feel wired. Where’s the bathroom?

                            JENNIFER
               None in this building.

                            SAM
               How did your husband propose?

                            JENNIFER
               Bent down on one knee.

                            SAM
               What did he say?

Jennifer bends on one knee.

                            JENNIFER
               ‘Woman it’s soul-joining time.’ I
               couldn’t breathe.

Sam sits there with tears welling in his eyes.

                            JENNIFER (CONT’D)
               What’s with you?

                            SAM
               Caffeine. Soul-joining? How stupid.

                            JENNIFER
               Emotional meltdown.

                            SAM
               Women can wash away emotion like
               shampoo but the guy computer lacks
               the necessary circuitry.

                            JENNIFER
               You’re a basket case.

                            SAM
               If I stand up, I’ll explode.

                            JENNIFER
               Don’t stand up.

                            SAM
               I’m going to pee right here.
Jennifer quickly fetches another large soda jug and an empty cup.  76 She overpours the beverage until it spills in Sam’s lap.

                            JENNIFER
               Let it out.

Jack walks in and sees Sam & Jennifer. Jack approaches.

                            JACK
               Quick question Sam.

                            SAM
               Hi Jack. What can I do?

                            JACK
               (to Jennifer:) Excuse me you’re
               spilling.

Jennifer keeps pouring and spilling and looking at Jack.

                            JENNIFER
               Hi you are…?

                            JACK
               You’re spilling!

                            JENNIFER
               Nice to meet you Mr. Spilling. I’m
               Jennifer Johnson. I’d shake your
               hand but I have to pour…

                            JACK
               Sam, help me with the Class Notes?

                            SAM
               Whatever you need.

Jennifer notices spill for the first time.

                            JENNIFER
               Ooops, oh, I’m so sorry, sorry.

                            SAM
               Accidents happen.

Jennifer stops pouring. Sam looks relieved.

                            JACK                                   77
               Sam Old Boy now that you’ve
               demonstrated the fine art of peeing
               in a lounge chair, feel free to
               blow your nose in the curtains.

                            SAM
               I’m having a tough weekend.

                            JACK
               This will boost readership of the
               Class Notes. Sam used a lounge
               chair as a toilet. Sam, consider
               repeating preschool? We have a
               certain image to uphold?

Jack walks away shaking his head.

                            SAM
               Thanks for trying to rescue me.

Cynthia walks by wearing sunglasses, pauses, walks outside.

                            JENNIFER
               Let’s do this again sometime?

Jennifer walks away.

INT. ROOM – DAY

Nina and Jack are talking. Other classmates talk in small groups.

                            NINA
               You could do your whole column
               about Sam.

                            JACK
               Cynthia’s got him peeing in lounge
               chairs! What’s next?

                            NINA
               Remember Scattz?

                            JACK
               The former black panther?

                            NINA                                   78
               His wife had twins.

                            JACK
               Really?

                            NINA
               So I was thinking…

                            JACK
               Will motherhood be your new hood?

                            NINA
               You ready white boy?

                            JACK
               What changed your mind?

                            NINA
               Sam.

                            JACK
               Why? You spoke with him?

                            NINA
               Look at Sam. Kissing strange women
               in trains. Showing his penis in
               public. Peeing in lounge chairs. If
               he reproduces, baby Sams may
               overrun the planet. We must create
               baby Jacks to save humanity.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE LOUNGE – DAY

Sam walks over to Cynthia who notices his wet pants.

                            SAM
               Soda disaster.

                            CYNTHIA
               Nice speech. Like Mark Antony at
               Caesar’s funeral, you turned the
               crowd against me.

                            SAM
               I don’t want you to end like
               Cassius. Who is Jennifer Johnson?
                            CYNTHIA                                79
               Bored spouse hitting on you? When
               does your divorce come through?

                            SAM
               How’d you find out?

                            CYNTHIA
               Old Girl Network.

                            SAM
               Is your vendetta over?

                            CYNTHIA
               Not until I know why you stood me
               up.

                            SAM
               I never knew you were taping us
               that night.

                            CYNTHIA
               I was going to replay it for you.

                            SAM
               How did copies of the tape circulate
               around your office a month later?

                            CYNTHIA
               Three lawyers couldn’t find out.

                            SAM
               So sorry. We were in like, not love.

                            CYNTHIA
               Since when is love important to a
               man? Men are supposed to want sex.
               Love is womens’ territory.

                            SAM
               Welcome to a new world. You want a
               family someday? (she nods) Form a
               family with your best friend Martha.
               Two close friends raising a family.
               Have sex with men when you want.
               But you’d have a partner you can
               count on to help with kids.

                            CYNTHIA                                80
               Like two single moms sharing a
               house? That isn’t such a crazy
               suggestion. How can you be so civil
               after what I’ve done?

                            SAM
               Friends again?

Sam and Cynthia shake hands.

                            SAM (CONT’D)
               I need your help.

                            CYNTHIA
               Asking for a woman’s help? Welcome
               to a new world.

                            SAM
               What makes Karyn tick?

Cynthia thinks a moment.

                            CYNTHIA
               What makes a person want to pretend
               to be somebody else?

                            SAM
               Thanks.

                            CYNTHIA
               You hid your divorce to win Karyn?

                            SAM
               My plan backfired. She left.

                            CYNTHIA
               Listen. Be at the Bell Tower at six.
               Change your clothes and no
               slouching, Old Girl.

Cynthia walks away.

EXT. BELOW BELL TOWER – LATE AFTERNOON

Karyn waits alone. She’s wearing Sam’s dress. GIRL and BOY (about 8 years old) approach carrying a gift. Girl hands it to Karyn.
                            GIRL                                   81
               This is for you.

                            BOY
               It’s a present.

                            KARYN
               Thank you.

                            GIRL
               Open it.

Karyn sees a framed picture of a family with Sam as father, Karyn as mother, with two (different) children.

                            BOY
               So long.

                            GIRL
               So long.

                            KARYN
               So long.

Sam emerges from behind the Bell Tower dressed in bridal gown with flowers in hand, veil in front of face. He looks into her eyes and drops to one knee.

                            SAM
               Will you marry me Karyn?

                            KARYN
               When you shopped for wedding
               clothes, did you walk in the wrong
               store?

                            SAM
               Marry me?

                            KARYN
               You look pretty good in white.

                            SAM
               Marry me?

                            KARYN
               You’re not serious. (Sam nods he’s
               serious) You’re serious.
                            SAM                                    82
               Marry me?

                            KARYN
               I don’t believe this.

                            SAM
               Believe it. Marry me?

                            KARYN
               Nice gown! Where’d you get it?

                            SAM
               You’re being proposed to. Deal with
               it. (she laughs; he stares)
               Remember about showing spect? I
               have a dental appointment somewhere
               on the planet. See you in five
               years.

Sam turns and walks away.

                            KARYN
               I know a real shrink in Malibu.

He turns and walks back.

                            SAM
               I don’t want a real shrink in
               Malibu. I want you. Marry me?

                            KARYN
               Not in that dress.

Sam removes wedding dress. He’s wearing a business suit underneath.

                            KARYN
               Things are going too fast.

                            SAM
               (snailpace:) M-a-r-r-y  m-e?

                            KARYN
               Do you love me? (Sam nods) How can
               you love me after a few days?

                            SAM
               (shrugs) Do you love me?
                            KARYN  (CONT’D)                        83
               Who are you? You’re frustrating.
               And aren’t you married?

                            SAM
               Technically, yes.

                            KARYN
               (Ricky Ricardo voice:) Roo-see, I
               thin you have some splaining to do.

                            SAM
               Married, separated two years,
               divorcing. I’ll be legally single
               in September when we can marry.

                            KARYN
               In September we can marry.

                            SAM
               I love how you said that.

                            KARYN
               What happened to your marriage?

                            SAM
               Must you know? (she nods) Please
               don’t turn this into a job
               interview? (she shrugs) My wife
               asked was it ‘do-able’ for her to
               get pregnant by a male model, not
               by me. ‘The kids will have great
               genes’ she said. Haven’t seen her
               since.

                            KARYN
               You pretended you weren’t available.

                            SAM
               You’re drawn to married men. They’re
               safe. Why not use that?

                            KARYN
               You were single. You deceived me.

                            SAM
               All is fair in love and war.

                            KARYN                                  84
               Why didn’t you tell me?

                            SAM
               Hey it worked. You’re here. If you
               knew I was single, you’d have been
               on guard.

                            KARYN
               Last night, why didn’t you finish
               what you started?

                            SAM
               You started it.

                            KARYN
               So I started it. But why didn’t you
               finish it?

                            SAM
               So you’ll respect your future
               husband. You’re not marrying an
               erection.

                            KARYN
               You withheld sex to secure a
               marriage commitment?

                            SAM
               Partly, yes. Is this bad? Women have
               been doing this for centuries.

                            KARYN
               You were teasing me.

                            SAM
               Teasing you into marriage?

                            KARYN
               Bull! You were insecure about
               performing in bed! You were
               nervous Henry couldn’t satisfy Jane.

                            SAM
               It was late.

                            KARYN
               Are you insecure sexually?
                            SAM                                    85
               Generally no, but with you, a
               little bit. (she glares) A lot bit.

                            KARYN
               Don’t be. You’ve got the right
               equipment.

                            SAM
               It’s not a tractor!

                            KARYN
               Why didn’t you propose last night?

                            SAM
               Wrong place, wrong time. Marry me
               in September? Keep your career.
               I’ll raise the kids, change diapers.
               You be the boss.

                            KARYN
               You’d be a mister mom? Butler? You
               forgot chauffeur.

                            SAM
               I’ll be your wife. I’d be Donna
               Reed with a penis.

                            KARYN
               Not a fetching image.

                            SAM
               You’d be my husband. I’ll change my
               last name to yours.

                            KARYN
               Mr. Sam Killaney.

                            SAM
               Women do it. Why can’t I? And I’m
               done with “Gill”. Sounds aquatic.
               Killaney is melodious. (different
               voices:) “Paging Mr. Sam Killaney”.
               “Accepting the Oscar for Karyn
               Killaney, Mr. Sam Killaney”.

                            KARYN
               Why can’t we be equal partners?
                            SAM                                    86
               We were equals last night and
               nothing happened.

                            KARYN
               Maybe I’d like you to decide some
               things.

                            SAM
               OK, should we marry? I decide yes.

Sam gestures ‘M’ ‘M’ with fingers. He plays charades: three words. First word? Points to his eye. Second? Thumps heart. Third? Points to Karyn. She watches, sighs.

                            KARYN
               Can we decide in a month?

                            SAM
               No.

                            KARYN
               What’s the rush?

                            SAM
               You’ll squander time. My offer is
               now. Take it or leave it.

                            KARYN
               Suppose I can’t say yes today.

                            SAM
               We’re not eighteen anymore. The sun
               is setting on our reproductive lives.

Karyn looks up at the rectangular Bell Tower.

                            KARYN
               The significance of the Bell Tower.
               It’s so you. Standing up and not
               going away.

                            SAM
               Still, it’s a sign.

                            KARYN
               Not. The Empire State with a heart
               was a “sign”.
                            SAM                                    87
               The word significance is a sign.
               Sign-if-icance. Marry moi.

                            KARYN
               Well?

                            SAM
               You’ve seen ads ‘like quiet walks in
               the sunset’. Well, for your infor-
               mation men don’t like quiet walks in
               the sunset. They only say they do to
               get laid. But I’d really love quiet
               walks in the sunset with you. Here’s
               the sunset. Here’s me. Here’s you.
               Let’s walk in it.

                            KARYN
               You’re a TV commercial for marriage.

                            SAM
               (announcer voice:) Act now and you
               get a superb finely crafted husband
               for only $19.95! From Ronko!
               Shipping and handling are extra.

                            KARYN
               Your shipping and handling charges?

                            SAM
               Handling is anytime. Shipping? I
               travel light; a guitar, a computer.

                            KARYN
               A dress. Two dresses.

                            SAM
               Which will be yours.

Karyn examines the bridal gown.

                            KARYN
               I hate bridal gowns. So flowery.

                            SAM                                    88
               I’ll love you when you’re beautiful.
               I’ll love you when your beauty
               fades. I’ll love you when you’re
               young. I’ll love you when you’re
               gray.

                            KARYN
               Fades doesn’t rhyme with gray.

                            SAM
               Suppose you become ill. Can you
               trust a boy toy to look after you
               when you’re helpless in a hospital?
               I’m educated, caring, a sharp guy
               to get you the best doctors and
               guard you from hospital rapists.

                            KARYN
               How romantic. I’m being courted by
               an HMO. I could marry a doctor.

                            SAM
               Bad hours.

                            KARYN
               Or, somebody else, anybody else.

                            SAM
               Would they be as dedicated as me?
               Will a billionaire entrepreneur
               care for you or for stock options?
               Eighteen years from now, you’ll
               attend your son’s graduation. In
               his eyes you’ll see your father’s
               eyes shining back.

                            KARYN
               Please don’t talk about my father.

                            SAM
               I’m the best for you.

                            KARYN
               Are you?

                            SAM
               Describe your ideal husband.
                            KARYN                                  89
               Business executive, senator, actor,
               not a guy wearing a bridal gown,
               somebody taller, a director.

                            SAM
               Business tycoons want trophy wives,
               shutup and smile during dinners.
               Actors? He’s in Vienna. You’re in
               Uruguay. You have phone sex often.
               Directors? You’re competing with
               young heartthrobs who will do
               anything for his part. Senator?
               Watch those interns. Tall men?
               During sex you’ll kiss his
               bellybutton. You don’t want a mouth
               full of lint. You and me – we fit.
               (stands close) We can kiss and screw
               at the same time. Big shots lack the
               balls to wear a bridal dress for you.

                            KARYN
               What can you offer me?

                            SAM
               Love, companionship, family, sex,
               laughter. No searching in October
               for a New Year’s Eve date. No more
               awkward Thanksgiving dinners.

                            KARYN
               I need to know more about you.

                            SAM
               Great I’m in a dating interview. I
               own a research business in New York.

                            KARYN
               How many employees?

                            SAM
               One. Me.

                            KARYN
               You didn’t say “moi”. (he shrugs)
               How much do you make?

                            SAM                                    90
               Fifty grand. I’m a thousandaire.

                            KARYN
               Do you love it?

                            SAM
               It pays the bills.

                            KARYN
               Why did you quit stand-up comedy?

                            SAM
               I wasn’t funny enough? You’ll find
               faults but are they relevant? Focus
               on my heart not my resume.

                            KARYN
               Hmmm.

                            SAM
               You’re trying to squeeze me into the
               box of loser unqualified for Karyn’s
               heart. I’m more than a stupid box.

                            KARYN
               If you want to squeeze into my box,
               buckaroo, you must hop some hurdles.

                            SAM
               I’m a happy hurdler.

                            KARYN
               You want me to marry a butler? A
               servant? A chauffeur? A soccer mom?
               I want a soulmate to share my life
               who earns more than fifty grand.

                            SAM
               Why is money important? Don’t you
               have enough?

                            KARYN                                  91
               Let’s cut to the chase. You tried
               stand-up comedy, gave up, failure
               number one. You run a business out
               of your apartment. Failure two.
               Your first marriage? Failure three.
               Isn’t that your word – failure?

                            SAM
               Is everything a contest?

                            KARYN
               Isn’t everything a contest?

                            SAM
               My business succeeds because it
               pays the bills. My marriage
               failing? I’m partly to blame.
               Stand-up comedy is a tough game.
               Don’t I get points for trying?

                            KARYN
               You’re a failure.

                            SAM
               I may have fallen short sometimes
               but I won’t be a failure for you.

                            KARYN
               You’re a failure.

                            SAM
               Suppose I’m a failure. You’re a
               success. We’re opposites.
               We attract.

Karyn shakes her head like he’s going in the wrong direction.

                            KARYN
               If your first marriage failed, why
               will your second one succeed?

                            SAM
               My failures made me hungry for
               success with you. I may not be a
               world-class comic but I can make
               you laugh.

                            KARYN                                  92
               Oh really? Make me laugh.

                            SAM
               (pause) You’re professional. You
               can force yourself not to laugh.

                            KARYN
               Yup. A chance to prove yourself.

                            SAM
               You’ll watch me flounder like a –
               flounder. Not fair.

                            KARYN
               All is fair in love and war.

                           SAM
               If you laugh, you’re marrying me?

                            KARYN
               Maybe, maybe not.

                            SAM
               In a dream I was doing stand-up
               comedy but the crowd started
               chanting in unison ‘Make me laugh’
               ‘Make me laugh’ and every face was
               like yours but mysteriously
               Lithuanian with arms crossed and
               legs crossed. I shouted to my penis
               ‘beam me up Scotty’ but he said
               ‘Ain’t got the power captain’ and I
               was stuck in low orbit while
               hundreds of Karyns sat extra-
               ordinarily unamused, fiddling with
               their collective doily.

Sam climbs on a bench and poses.

                           SAM (CONT’D)

               So I stood on the poop deck eating
               my pupu platter and declared ‘I am
               the god of the winds’. (Sam farts)

                           KARYN
               Wasn’t that in a movie?
                            SAM                                    93
               I’m embarrassing myself for you.

                            KARYN
               You want to be a father by becoming
               a farter. (both laugh)

                            SAM
               You laughed! You’re marrying me.

                            KARYN
               Doesn’t count. I made myself laugh,
               moi, not vous.

                            SAM
               Father, farter, that’s not funny.

                            KARYN
               You laughed. Marry yourself.

                            SAM
               I sense a ripple in your abdomen.

                            KARYN
               No ripple.

                            SAM
               No ripple near the nipple? (to her
               chest:) Hello, laugh stuck inside
               Karyn. If you ain’t coming out, my
               penis ain’t coming in, Karyn won’t
               be coming either. (optimistic) I
               sense movement. (like megaphone)
               Laugh exit this lady’s bosom. Join
               us outside or poor Karyn will sit
               through every stupid joke I’ve ever
               heard. (Karyn smiles) You’re
               smiling! Counts.

                            KARYN
               Smiling doesn’t count.

                            SAM
               Does too.

                            KARYN
               Does not.

                            SAM                                    94
               But that’s a part of stand-up
               comedy I don’t like.

                            KARYN
               Making people laugh?

                            SAM
               The manipulation. Who goes to comedy
               clubs? Angry people. Every joke has
               a butt. I say goodbye to rage. I
               want love in my heart.

                            KARYN
               Manipulation isn’t always bad. Like
               your finger acrobatics. Is making
               someone laugh bad?

                            SAM
               I want to love you and you to love
               me. I don’t want to manipulate you
               into laughing or loving. We’ll laugh
               scrambling through life but not in
               a contest.

                            KARYN
               Are you wimping out? A droopy comic.
               Stander-upper of women. You’re
               confused. A guy is supposed to do
               anything to get laid, not to get
               married. Your beats are off. And
               your routine sucks.

                            SAM
               Great, a comedy lesson during a
               marriage proposal. How to build up
               a guy’s ego, by Karyn Killaney.

                            KARYN
               You need rhythm whether it’s comedy
               or lovemaking.

                            SAM
               That still bothers you.

                            KARYN
               Failure four. Sexual failure in bed.

                            SAM                                    95
               This is my worst date ever. You’re
               tallying my failures! Plus last
               night wasn’t a failure so we’re
               back to three failures.

                            KARYN
               Why?

                            SAM
               Well, because, because it’s still
               going on, that’s why!

                            KARYN
               What?

                            SAM
               We’re still making love, right now,
               continuing from last night but
               verbally.

                            KARYN
               Be real.

                            SAM
               Every ‘marry me’ is a spoken pelvic
               thrust. We’re having verbalcourse!
               Since it’s still happening, I
               haven’t failed at it.

                            KARYN
               Oh bananas!

                            SAM
               It will be failure four if you don’t
               marry me.

                            KARYN
               Will marrying you be failure five?

                            SAM
               You mean four?

                            KARYN
               Four.

                            SAM                                    96
               Success number one. If you have a
               magic touch, you’ll make it work.

                            KARYN
               I’m successful because I avoid
               failures.

                            SAM
               I won’t fail you. What bothers you?

                            KARYN
               Sometimes you sound like my father.

                            SAM
                       (fatherly)
               I care for you, dumpling.

                            KARYN
               I loved my father.

                            SAM
                       (dramatic)
               And you wanted your mother to die
               bloody so you’d have Daddy all to
               yourself! You became an actress to
               marry Daddy while you dumped your
               mother dead down a laundry chute!

                            KARYN
               What?

                            SAM
               My two hundred dollar per hour
               shrink wonders if you had a crush
               on your father.

                            KARYN
               Of course not!

                            SAM
               Some actors morph into secure
               people to hide their insecurity.

                            KARYN
               I’m not insecure.

                            SAM                                    97
               And a guy falling in love with an
               insecure woman must appear stupid.
               (she shakes her head) I love you
               therefore I must appear stupid?

                            KARYN
               You’re naturally stupid.

                            SAM
               You don’t pursue married men because
               they remind you of Daddy.

                            KARYN
               Your shrink is naturally stupid too.

                            SAM
               You have no problems! It’s not your
               fault you’re 34 and unmarried.
               Blame womens’ liberation. Blame
               men. Blame boxes. Blame me. Blame
               the failure who’s fallen in love
               with a not-insecure actress with no
               Electra complex.

                            KARYN
               Actor. What are you saying?

                            SAM
               I love you and I love your problems.

                            KARYN
               You’re crazy.

                            SAM
               Problems are a playground where we
               can have fun!

                            KARYN
               You had a thing for your mother?

Sam nods and smiles.

                            SAM
               Creative people have weird thoughts.
               Enjoy the weirdness.

                            KARYN                                  98
               Are you sure about us? (Sam nods)
               You’re persistent.

                            SAM
               You’re picky.

                            KARYN
               What day is it?

                            SAM
               Sunday. The sun is a star. You’re a
               star. Don’t be distant and cold. Be
               my sun. Warm me. Give me your light.
               Marry me? (Karyn sighs) Don’t
               abandon your crusade against sexual
               repression.

Sam spells “M” “M” with fingers; Karyn sighs.

                            SAM (CONT’D)
               Oh. Why are men nervous when women
               make the first move? We’re worried
               about female infidelity because
               babies might not be ours. To answer
               your question from yesterday. Just
               thought of it. Oh, and one other
               thing: marry me?

                            KARYN
               You never give up.

                            SAM
               Making progress?

                            KARYN
               A little.

                            SAM
               Better than nothing. You’re not
               saying yes and you’re not saying
               no, which means you’re in the land
               of uncertainty. (Sam thinks) Or,
               you’re… (Karyn smiles) standing
               me up by standing me up and not
               leaving. Your revenge for last
               night! You!

                            KARYN                                  99
               (mimics Sam from earlier:) I want
               you to respect me as a woman.

                            SAM
               You horror!

                            KARYN
               Respect is more important than
               marriage.

Both laugh.

                            SAM
               Ever had finger sex?

                            KARYN
               What’s with you and fingers?

                            SAM
               You’re a finger virgin?

                            KARYN
               My ring finger can get testy.

                            SAM
               Make the letter O.

She makes an “O” with her thumb and index; Sam inserts his finger and moves it back and forth.

                            KARYN
               A rhythm I missed last night.

                            SAM
               Isn’t this great?

                            KARYN
               Same intensity as I said “hi”, you
               said “hi”.

Sam moans.

                            SAM
               Oh, Karyn’s hand, oh, oh, oh, oh!

Sam withdraws. Karyn pulls back and looks at her hand, surprised, laughs.
                            KARYN                                 100
               Oh! What’s this? How’d you do that?

                            SAM
               I’m a man.

                            KARYN
               Your finger squirts? Yuk.

                            SAM
               Hey! You laughed!

                            KARYN
               Maybe now but not when it counted.

                            SAM
               You didn’t end your “make me laugh”
               test. You laughed! You’re marrying
               me!

                            KARYN
               Petroleum jelly?

                            SAM
               Marry me and I’ll tell you. In nine
               months your hand will give birth to
               a baby hand.

                            KARYN
               At least you finished what you
               started.

                            SAM
               Was it as good for your hand as it
               was for my finger?

                            KARYN
               You can’t last any longer?

                            SAM
               Does your hand respect my finger?

                            KARYN
               Yes.

                            SAM
               You said yes.

                            KARYN                                 101
               Not to your original question.

                            SAM
               I love watching your lips make that
               wonderful monosyllabic sound. The
               opposite of no is? Tick, tock, tick
               tock. Three letter word, beginning
               with “Y” which can make Karyn happy?
               (Karyn sighs) Admit you’re crazy
               about me. When I’m near, your
               ovaries squirm with joy. Say you
               love me. I quintuple dare you.

                            KARYN
               I’m fond of you.

                            SAM
               Fond?! What the hell is fond? Fond
               is what a grandmother feels for her
               grandchild.

                            KARYN
               I’m very fond of you.

Sam looks at Karyn’s chest.

                            SAM
               You’re having a nipple erection!

                            KARYN
               I am not.

                            SAM
               Your right nipple. My right, your
               left. Perky as a potato. You’re
               practically poking a hole in your
               dress! (into pretend phone) Hello,
               fabric police? Possible frontal
               nipple break-out in progress. A
               double weave. Super stretch. Yep
               she’s braless. Karyn Killaney.
               Actor not actress.

                            KARYN
               Enough.

                            SAM                                   102
               Your left nipple. You’re a democrat?
               You’re more than fond.

                            KARYN
               Potatoes are not perky.

                            SAM
               Yours are. Is. Your left potato is
               so perky it’s pokey. Shhh!

                            KARYN
               Now what…

                            SAM
               I heard something. It sounded like
               — bowling? No, softer.

                            KARYN
               I didn’t hear anything.

                            SAM
               Barely audible. From inside you.
               Like a ping.

                            KARYN
               What?

                            SAM
               You ovulated!

Karyn laughs.

                            SAM (CONT’D)
               Laugh counts! I have two laugh
               credits! You’re marrying me twice!
               Once in Toronto. Once in Malibu.
               You public ovulator you. There must
               be a law. Left nipple. You voted
               for Dukakis?

                            KARYN
               Did not!

                            SAM
               If you marry me, I’ll vote for
               Dukakis too! Don’t be embarrassed.

                            KARYN                                 103
               I don’t believe this.

                            SAM
               Karyn Junior is in your tube. Will
               you bring her to life or flush her
               to oblivion? (like an egg) Mommy,
               get me fertilized! Life sucks with
               only twenty-three chromosomes.
               Mommy, please!

Karyn shakes her head.

                            SAM (CONT’D)
               You’re more than fond.

                            KARYN
               I like you a little bit.

                            SAM
               A lot bit! Your love is overflowing
               the banks of your … love river.

                            KARYN
               Love river? What a lame metaphor.
               I’m telling a teacher you must
               repeat basic English.

                            SAM
               Your river is gushing and wild and
               gurgly and – wet. So there.

                            KARYN
               The love river.

                            SAM
               Marry me, your wetness? (Karyn
               sighs) Right action. Right time.
               Right place. Right man. Right,
               right, right, right, right.

Long sigh.

                            KARYN
               Oh all right.

                            SAM
               Is that a yes?
Karyn smiles.                                                     104

                            KARYN
               I suppose so.

Sam is initially overjoyed, then nervous.

                            SAM
               I suppose so? Are we a little wobbly?
               I want a real heartfelt and emphatic
               yes. I want a Stand-Up Yes! Will you
               marry me?

                            KARYN
               I said yes.

                            SAM
               You can fake a tear but don’t fake
               a yes. I want your pinball machine
               lit with electric love.

Karyn appears slightly exasperated.

                            KARYN
               Yes. Does that count?

Sam is thinking.

                            SAM
               Technically, but love-ically? (he
               shakes head) Lacks oomph. Take four
               hundred and two. I want you so
               overjoyed you could wet your pants.

                            KARYN
               Like you did earlier.

Sam looks surprised, worried.

                            SAM
               How’d you know about that?

                            KARYN
               (Jennifer’s voice:) These reunions
               can work you over. (normal) Sound
               familiar?

                            SAM                                   105
               That was you?!!!

                            KARYN
               I am an actor. (Sam’s stunned) I’ll
               take your silence for applause.

                            SAM
               You were checking me out? Soul
               joining time.

                            KATHY
               Adult diapers exist but you still
               need to learn to change them.

                            SAM
               Your yes won’t cut it, Karyn,
               Jennifer, Whatev-ifer you are-ifer.

                            KARYN
               Yes!

                            SAM
               Lacks passion. Do you truly want to
               marry me? I want real commitment.

                            KARYN
               Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! If you keep
               asking, I’ll rip you apart with my
               bare hands.

Lovers kiss.

                            SAM
               You’re such a pushover.

                            KARYN
               I reeled you in like a fish. Save
               the dress for when our son proposes.

                            SAM
               There’s something I should tell you.

                            KARYN
               You’re a Buddhist monk, sworn to
               celibacy, who likes to play
               practical jokes on single women.

                            SAM                                   106
               I’m fifteen grand in debt.

                            KARYN
               What’d you buy?

                            SAM
               Coupla actor kids, suit, wedding
               dress, rings.

                            KARYN
               (Ricky Ricardo’s voice:) Now, roo
               see, what did I terr you about
               a-spenning too much money?

Sam looks at Karyn’s dress.

                            SAM
               You’re wearing my dress!

                            KARYN
               Finally you notice.

Sam removes the ring from his left hand. Karyn looks at it.

                            SAM
               Your ring. Bought it five days ago.

                            KARYN
               You knew back then?

Sam nods. Karyn reads inscription inside ring.

                            KARYN
               “To Karyn, Love Sam, May the fours
               be with you.” Where’s yours?

                            SAM
               Your purse.

                            KARYN
               You slipped it in last night?

Karyn fishes Sam’s ring out. Lovers clink rings.

                            SAM
               Are you ready for this?

                            KARYN                                 107
               Are you?

                            SAM
               I’ll love you forever.

                            KARYN
               Ditto.

Sam gives her a questioning look.

                            KARYN (CONT’D)
               Is something wrong? You okay?

                            SAM
               I’ve never felt this way ever.

                            KARYN
               What is it?

                            SAM
               I pressured you into saying yes.

                            KARYN
               Like a bulldozer.

                            SAM
               Do you want this? (she nods) Be
               certain. You can be happy single or
               with another. Do you really want me?

                            KARYN
               What’s going on?

                            SAM
               Is everything fully baked?

                            KARYN
               Isn’t it?

                            SAM
               I feel happy yet I feel — scared.

                            KARYN
               Scared of commitment?

                            SAM                                   108
               This is my life. It’s important. Am
               I important to you? (she nods) Now,
               maybe, but two years from now, Tom
               Selleck proposes. Will you dump me?

                            KARYN
               Never.

                            SAM
               Suppose it’s three days before our
               wedding and you learn I like to eat,
               say, shark cartilage.

                            KARYN
               You like shark cartilage?

                            SAM
               No I don’t like shark cartilage! But
               if this upsets you, would you call
               off our wedding for a stupid reason?

                            KARYN
               You didn’t see the movie ‘Ghost’.

                            SAM
               No I didn’t. How’d you know that?

                            KARYN
               Needs more baking, huh?

Karyn thinks, looks at the leafy campus, stands up.

                            KARYN (CONT’D)
               Sit down, Stand-up Guy, and close
               your eyes. No peeking.

Sam sits down and closes his eyes. Long pause.

                            KARYN (CONT’D) (V.O.)
               Look at me.

Sam sees Karyn wearing the wedding dress.

                            KARYN (CONT’D)                        109
               Sam Gill I love you now and I will
               love you forever. I love your sense
               of humor and your zany theories and
               your general goofiness. I want to
               spend the rest of my life with you,
               the whole you, and nothing but the
               you. (on one knee) Will you marry
               me, Sam Gill, and make me the
               happiest girl in the world?

Sam nods, unable to speak.

                            KARYN (CONT’D)
               And will you, Sam Gill, love me
               forever, for richer, for poorer, in
               sickness and in health, till death
               do us part?

Sam nods.

                            KARYN (CONT’D)
               I want to hear yes with oomph.

Sam nods.

                            KARYN (CONT’D)
               Baked enough for you?

Sam nods.

                            KARYN (CONT’D)
               Stand up, Stand-up guy.

Sam obeys his master. Karyn & Sam look at each other.

                            KARYN (CONT’D)
               You know we’re both crazy.

Sam nods.

                            KARYN (CONT’D)
               We have unfinished business, Old
               Boy.

Karyn and Sam walk hand in hand into the sunset.

– end —

I write about many things. If interested, here are essays readable now:

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