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FADE INThe New York City skyline_ view from the ... - Trigger Street

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					FADE IN:

The New York City skyline, view from the helix entering the
Lincoln tunnel. The city is beginning to come alive with
glistening lights that are slowly overpowering the setting
sun in the background.

EXT. HOSPITAL – DUSK

The view of the effigy in front of us dominates the screen.
NOAH BARNES speaks, partly as if to himself, and the other
part to an audience.

                         NOAH (VO)
               There are two times in my life that
               I’ve been in the hospital. The
               second, which comes into play as the
               story unfolds, was when I was shot.
               The first, obviously, everyone’s
               first, was when I was born.

EXT./INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – NIGHT

The central image in view is a newborn baby (CU), fresh from
the womb. A joyful father, JOHN BARNES, is seen in the
background as the camera moves back, caressing the face of
his understandably exhausted wife, FREIDA BARNES, who
receives the crying infant. Her parents, SCHLOMO & LEAH
GRUENSCHPLATT come over to congratulate her.

                         NOAH (VO)
               Alright, I didn’t know where to
               start. So here I am world, look at
               me. All 7 lbs., 11 oz., covered in
               blood and white stuff, screaming and
               held upside down for my parents to
               see. A baby, a new life. It’s
               miraculous.
                    (sarcastically)
               All this and my grandfather used to
               convince me that I was hatched from
               an egg. There he is, Poppy Schlomo.
               Ah, that’s where I’ll begin the
               story…
INT. ELLIS ISLAND – DAYBREAK – 1947

SUPER: “Ellis Island – 1947”

A YOUNG SCHLOMO GRUENSCHPLATT eagerly walks up to the
counter, where TELLER greets him.

                         YOUNG SCHLOMO
                    (stammering, broken English)
               Hu hu hu… Hullo. My name is Schlomo. I
               come to Ameriga to fint vork. I am
               skilled in…

                          TELLER
               Alright, hold it buddy, another one fresh
               off the boat with a bad case of the
               babbles. Easy, fella. Now,
                     (slow and deliberate)
               what is your name, and where are you
               from?

                         YOUNG SCHLOMO
               I am Schlomo Gruenschplatt, from
               Vierchomla, Poland.

                         TELLER
               Good, now we’re getting somewhere.

INT. HOUSE IN THE BRONX – DAY – 1958

SUPER: “The Bronx – 1958”

Schlomo is busy cutting up a large brisket while Leah works
over the stove. Four daughters, arranged by height, sit at
the kitchen table eating soup.

                         NOAH (VO)
               My grandfather came to this country after
               the war to seek something new, something
               fresh, something he could relate to. He
               found my mother. In classic 50’s style,
               they fell in love in old New York, got
               married, and had a mess of little girls.
               From oldest to youngest, there was Freida
               (my mother),
                         (More)
                          NOAH (VO) (cont.)
                Gretel, Rivka, and Lucille, named after
                Lucille Ball. My aunt Lucy never forgave
                them for this. Plus, my
                grandmother was the heiress to the
                famed Schmaltz’s Beef Products, so money
                was never a huge issue.

INT. CONVERTIBLE CAR – NIGHT – 1972

SUPER: “1972”

Freida, dressed up in full hippie attire, sloppily kisses
John Barnes, whose outfit is preppy and collegiate.

                          NOAH (VO)
                My grandfather was notorious for being
                strict and never “sparing the rod,” so
                naturally my mother grew up rebellious,
                and after a string of Jewish boys…

MONTAGE – FREIDA’S BOYFRIENDS (All facial CLOSE-UPS)

--A rotund, curly haired boy with freckles and a Jewish
yarmulke.

                          NOAH (VO)
                There was, Marty Friedlander…

--A skinny, glaring boy with overwhelming acne.

                          NOAH (VO)
                Seamus Silverberg…

--Slightly chubby boy with braces making kissing motions with
his mouth.

                          NOAH (VO)
                The notorious “Ready Eddie” Eisenschtein.

--Small sickly boy takes a puff of an inhaler and slyly
winks.

                          NOAH (VO)
                And who can forget little Lenny
               Heishmanfloch.

--Clean cut, preppy boy with drawing smile. It is John
Barnes.

                         NOAH (VO)
               So she finally, like many rebellious
               Jewish girls, fell madly in love with
               John Barnes, an “outsider,” as my
               grandfather calls them, who, having
               nearly died for his religious identity in
               the Holocaust, did not approve.

END MONTAGE

INT. SAME CAR – NIGHT

As the rain beats down on the nylon roof of the car, Freida
gives John a last kiss before leaving. They are both soaking
wet and obviously distraught by some situation.

                         FREIDA
                    (kissing him)
               I promise. It will all work out. It’s
               like the Beatles say, “All you need is
               love.”

                          JOHN
                    (unsure)
               I hope so.

Freida exits the car, and runs into the house from the rain.
John flips on the radio after nervously fumbling with the
dial. He sighs loudly, and just as he does, the door flies
open, and into the car comes a crazed Schlomo, wearing an all
black suit with matching hat, with a devilish look in his
eye.

                         SCHLOMO
               Listen to me, right now. You may be in
               love with my daughter, but this means
               nothing. My people did not die by the
               millions to be overcome by those who did
               not come to our aid until it was too
               late. Now, I know people. And you better
               stop seeing my daughter, think
                         (More)

                         SCHLOMO (cont.)
               about your religion, or something
               terrible will happen to you. Do you hear
               me?

                         JOHN
                    (obviously frightened)
               Mr. Gruenheimer…

                         SCHLOMO
               GRUENSCHPLATT!!!

                         JOHN
               Gruenschplatt, Gruenschplatt! Umm… I’m in
               love with your daughter, and I was, umm,
               I mean she, uh… we… I decided to convert
               to Judaism. I’m not religious anyhow as
               it is.

                         SCHLOMO
                    (relaxed)
               Good! I’ve already signed you up for
               classes with Rabbi Birnbaum. Oh, and
               while we’re on it, there’s no better time
               than now…
                    (pulls out large scalpel)
               …to be circumcised, eh? Come on!

John pulls back in terror and screams. Schlomo breaks
out laughing, puts the knife away, and John relaxes,
cracking a nervous half-smile.

                         SCHLOMO
               Oh boy, you goyim can’t take a joke. Such
               a scheister I am, and you better get used
               to it. See you in shul!

Schlomo exits the car. John sits paralyzed with fear; it is
evident that he has urinated himself.

                         NOAH (VO)
               From that moment on, my father figured
               that there was something different about
               my grandfather, something dangerous and
               concealed, yet he was jolly as ever
               otherwise.

EXT. JEWISH WEDDING IN CEREMONIAL GARDEN – DAY

SUPER: “June, 1973”

It is a perfect summer day as John and Freida Barnes are
being married under the traditional Jewish “hupa.” The rabbi
is reading the vows.

                         NOAH (VO)
               After the notorious “bris” or “ceremonial
               circumcision” of my father, as it came to
               be known, my parents were wed. It seemed
               that true love came easier in the days of
               free love. But easily found love clearly
               can’t be an inherited trait in my case.
               That, or it skips a generation.

EXT./INT. THE BARNES’ APARTMENT – DAY

The outside of the building is nice, yet we can tell by
viewing it that the inhabitants aren’t rich, but middle class
New Yorkers. As we move into the apartment, we see a
determined young boy (about 7 years old), DANIEL BARNES,
dressed in a doctor’s outfit, complete with stethoscope and
big circular mirror on a headband. Freida comes in to check
up on her son.

                         DANIEL
                    (excitedly)
               Look mommy! Look! I successfully
               transplanted the heart of a Raggedy Ann
               doll to a Cabbage Patch kid!

                         FREIDA
               That’s wonderful honey!

Freida beams proudly.

                         NOAH (VO)
               A few years after getting married, my
               brother, Daniel, was born. That’s him,
               the future MD. I, on the other hand was
               always interested in another aspect of
                human nature.

YOUNG NOAH comes into view, takes the two dolls and sets them
up in such a way that they appear to be having sex.

                          FREIDA
                NOAH! What did mommy tell you about that!
                I explained to you, people have sex, not
                dolls. Now give them back to your brother
                and let him sew up Raggedy Ann. That’s my
                little surgeon!

                           NOAH (VO)
                Mom always loved that my brother was
                intent on being a doctor from birth.
                She always said that as soon as he opened
                up his own practice, the first thing he
                would do was give my mom and three aunts
                nose jobs.

INSERT – THE MANY ALBUMS OF DANIEL

We see a stack of picture albums taller than little Daniel
himself chock full of birth memorabilia with hand embroidery
of Daniel’s name on the front.

                          NOAH (VO)
                     (somewhat bitterly)
                When my mother had Daniel, parties were
                thrown, pictures were taken, albums were made.

BACK TO SCENE

INSERT – NOAH’S ALBUM

A thin baby book with a solitary picture on the front and
Noah’s name written with permanent black ink.

                          NOAH (VO)
                With the second child, I guess, it’s
                good, but not as exciting.


BACK TO SCENE
INT. SCHOOL CLASSROOM – DAY

The entire fourth grade class at this Jewish day school
stands in prayer. The boys wear traditional clothes (i.e. –
button-down shirts and khaki pants), plus yarmulkes and
tzitzis. The girls are wearing nice skirts and looking around
flirtingly at the boys. We see YOUNG NOAH joking with the boy
next to him and planning something.

                         NOAH (VO)
               So as most kids do, I began to grow up,
               and along with this growing up came
               hormones and bad choices. That’s me -
               about to engage in an unholy act during
               prayer time at my Jewish day school.

The prayer concludes and everyone begins to sit down. At that
moment, Noah’s grin becomes wider as the realization of his
plan sets in. As the boy in front of him starts to sit, Noah
pulls the chair out from under him. The boy falls back and
his feet go into the air. The class erupts in laughter.

INT. PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE – DAY

Young Noah sits, sunken into the oversized leather chair
opposite the PRINCIPAL’s desk. The principal, a large,
blandly-dressed bearded man, towers over the cowering Noah.
They sit silently for a moment, until the principal, red in
the face, erupts.

                         PRINCIPAL
               During prayer! Pull his chair out? How
               could you? This is a time when you’re
               praising G-d and standing to let him
               know! He’s everywhere you know! He knows
               what you did!

Young Noah bursts out into tears and begins apologizing
profusely.

                         PRINCIPAL
                    (calming down)
               Now, now. I got carried away.
                         NOAH (VO)
               I don’t know if it was the G-d thing or
               if I was genuinely sorry, but something
               flipped the switch and on came the
               waterworks. After that, I found out
               crying could be cathartic when emotions
               ran high. Take my Bar Mitzvah, for
               example.

INT. LARGE BALLROOM – NIGHT

The massive room is impeccably decorated for Young Noah’s Bar
Mitzvah. Since the party has not started yet, the only people
in the room are Young Noah and his family (cousins, aunts,
uncles, etc.). A balding, ugly looking PHOTOGRAPHER holds
massive amounts of equipment and is trying to group everyone
together for a photo. We see a few EXTREME CLOSE UPS of his
face to exaggerate his ugliness.

                         PHOTOGRAPHER
               OK, everybody! Big group picture! Hey
               come on Noah…
                    (as if talking to a baby)
               Turn that frown upside down! Alright,
               now, ready… One, two…

Noah once again breaks out in tears; Freida comes to console
him.

                         NOAH (VO)
               Again, I don’t know whether it was the
               annoyingness of the photographer or just
               that I don’t like too much attention, but
               there I go again.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY – DAY – 6 YEARS AGO

Noah walks nervously down the hallway with an armful of books
so high, he can’t see over them. He stumbles into a garbage
can and drops the books everywhere. POPULAR GIRL stops to
help. She’s a stunning sight: blond hair, blue eyes, great
figure. Noah stares for a second, then averts his eyes to
assess the damage of the situation.
                         POPULAR GIRL
               You really ought to watch where you’re
               going. Man, all these books. Plato,
               Aristotle, Dess-car-tees, Nee-et-zu-sss
               -- hmm, that’s a hard one.

                         NOAH
               Um – Nietzche, I think.
                    (interrupting, perking up)
               So you wanna go out sometime?

                         POPULAR GIRL
               Are you serious? No!
                    (to herself)
               The one time I stop to help someone, he
               tries to ask me out.
                    (walking away)
               I mean, I asked, “What would Jesus do?”
               and I figured he would help. Geez…

Noah begins to pick up his things.

                         NOAH (VO)
               After private Jewish school, I attended
               high school where I excelled in many
               things, namely overachieving. I didn’t
               really play many sports, but rather spent
               my time writing campaign speeches for
               some office that I was running for or
               philosophizing the nature of man and the
               universe. Thus, like many other non-
               athlete philosophers, I attended New York
               University, where I later stayed on as a
               teaching fellow for an Ancient Philosophy
               class.


EXT./INT. NEW YORK UNIVERSITY LECTURE HALL – DAY

Noah sits at a desk in the front of the lecture hall grading
papers while the students in the class are busily working out
a midterm. The class is silent, save for the loud TICKING of
the clock. Noah periodically glances up to make sure
everything’s alright. After a few moments, he looks at his
watch and looks up.


                         NOAH
               Time’s up! Hand in those midterms… Plato,
               Aristotle… it’s all Greek to me!

The students hand in their papers, exchanging odd looks with
Noah, and file out of the class. Noah stands alone staring at
the barren lecture hall.

                         NOAH
               Shit!
                    (mocking himself)
               “It’s all Greek to me.” What is that?

                         NOAH (VO)
               And on that note, let’s begin.

EXT./INT. NOAH’S APARTMENT – DAY

Noah’s apartment is a nice, collegiate looking place with the
minimalist’s décor. A few art prints by Monet, Van Gogh, and
other well known artists hang on the wall, and a small
leather sofa sits directly across from a makeshift home
entertainment system. The only notable part of the room is
the library, which covers an entire wall, with volumes of
books completely filling it. Noah stares straight into the
camera, talking to TALIA.

                         NOAH
                    (shocked)
               You’re breaking up with me?

                         TALIA (OS)
               Don’t act so surprised, you saw it
               coming.

Talia comes into view.

                         NOAH
               I just can’t believe it, we were getting
               along so well.

                         TALIA
     (packing her things)
No, Noah, you were getting along so well…
the whole relationship was one sided.

          NOAH
But, Talia, we’re in love. Coming
together like Cleopatra and Mark Antony,
in passionate unity. I need you.

          TALIA
You don’t need me, you need general love
and support. And don’t give me that
poetic crap. Wait… it’s funny that you
bring up a relationship that was doomed
to fail from the start. You’re so ruled
by your subconscious and you don’t even
know it.

          NOAH
Good, I see your one semester of graduate
work in psychology has turned you into
little Freud.

          TALIA
This is what I’m talking about. These
little quips… then you try to make up for
it by being affectionate. I, on the other
hand, am an independent woman… I don’t
need some leech to cling on me.

          NOAH
Umm… so you’ve dated me for 2 years
because?

          TALIA
Because I was naïve… you know your antics
are just a defense mechanism where you
superego futilely attempts to mask the
childlike nature of your id, whereby you
project your insecurities and they
manifest into jokes against me. Ha… and
then when I get mad, you regress like a
baby.

          NOAH
Geez, excuse me doctor… should I be
               paying for these therapy sessions?



                         TALIA
               Exactly what I’m talking about. You will
               never change, and one day, you just may
               find a girl that can put up with all your
               philosophical bullshit. And you two may
               “complete each other,” and all that…
               that’s fine. I’ll pray for her.

                         NOAH
                    (angrily)
               Oh, and how about you? Miss Vanity…
               excuse me… find a different thing wrong
               with your body every week and change it…
               And who got the bill?

                         TALIA
               You know what? You’re nothing like the
               Noah I started dating… Remember, dreams
               of working on Wall Street?

                         NOAH
               Ah, money hungry, materialistic Noah. I
               don’t miss him.

                          TALIA
               Now look at you, struggling to get a book
               published.

Talia puts on her coat and crosses to the door. She opens it,
steps out, reconsiders, walks back in, and speaks in a
demeaning fashion.

                         TALIA
               And the sex was not cosmic.
                    (exits)

                         NOAH
               Now was that necessary?
                    (speaks to camera)
               Just sometimes I wish life had rewind and
               pause buttons. Like this.
Noah takes out a remote control and hits rewind.

In front of him, Talia goes through her motions backward,
until she is again standing in front of the door.

He quickly hits pause and she’s frozen. Noah hits another
button, and her outfit becomes domestic, with an apron on, a
saucepan in one hand, and a wooden spoon in the other. He un-
pauses the scene.

                         TALIA
               -- futilely attempts to mask the
               childlike nature of -- what the hell am I
               doing?

                          NOAH
                     (reading a magazine)
               Oh, you were just talking about how you
               were going to make dinner before you
               left.
                          TALIA
               Um… alright.

She walks off into the kitchen.

                         NOAH
                    (looking into the camera)
               I wish it was that easy. You know, Talia
               wasn’t the first one who left me so
               abruptly, and she surely wasn’t the last.

INT. NYU LECTURE HALL – DUSK

Noah again sits in the room alone grading papers. As he goes
through them, he mumbles something again about a bad joke he
made.

The door opens, and in walks CHRIS, Noah’s best friend. Chris
is a photographer for a major New York City newspaper. His
dress is always casual, with preppy undertones. At first
glance, one might be inclined to think him full of himself,
but he’s just a confident, nice guy.

                         CHRIS
               What’s up, bookworm?
                         NOAH
               Oh nothing, just grading papers,
               contemplating man’s existence, hoping
               Talia is out somewhere getting hit by a
               bus.

                         CHRIS
               No -- she didn’t?

                         NOAH
               Oh, she did.

                         CHRIS
               That bitch! Oh -- that explains it.

                         NOAH
               Explains what?

                         CHRIS
               Why she was just walking down 81st
               holding Nassater’s hand.

                         NOAH
               Jim Nassater? Dr. Jim? The plastic
               surgeon?

                         CHRIS
                    (sitting down next to Noah)
               One in the same. Man, she didn’t lose any
               time. Hey, let’s go out, I’ll buy you a
               beer… drink it off.

                         NOAH
               Nassater?! No thanks, I think I’ll just
               go shove a letter opener in my eye.

                         CHRIS
               Suit yourself, but it’ll be pretty hard
               to chug like that. Come on…

EXT./INT. BAR & POOL HALL – NIGHT
Noah and Chris are playing pool against each other in the
crowded, underground bar. Most people in the bar are wearing
suits or business attire, though it looks like a lower-class
joint. Cigar smoke fills the room and some men have formed a
line by a small door in the back. Between sips of beer and
shooting pool, Noah and Chris are talking.

                         CHRIS
               Geez, and then she fed you that
               psychology crap? Low, man. Really low.

                         NOAH
               And then she insulted the sex.

                         CHRIS
               Whoa, whoa, whoa… Insulting the sex,
               that’s a cheap shot. Low blow. She might
               as well have taken a chunk out of your
               ear.

                          NOAH
               Tell me about it. I mean, who needs women
               after all?

                         CHRIS
               Yeah. Screw ‘em. They just cause us
               trouble.
                    (raises his glass)
               A toast, to no more women.

                         NOAH
               Here, here!
                    (right before drinking)
               We are so kidding ourselves.

                         CHRIS
                    (under his breath)
               Tell me about it.

At that moment, a large, suited man with big-framed glasses,
a limp, and a suitcase strolls in. As he crosses to the back,
he pushes the line at the door away, and walks in.

On the way, he knocks into Noah, messing up his shot. Noah
protests, the man turns around and reveals a large gun in his
pants. Noah withdraws and the man continues, until he reaches
the back room.



BACK ROOM AT THE BAR

The man enters the room, where it becomes evident that much
illegal gambling is taking place on one side of the room, and
some other suited, gangster-like men are talking business on
the other side.

Among them is the famed boss of the NYC Jewish organized
crime gang known as the Yarmulke Yids, YOSEF WEISS, and his
two henchmen, MOISHE and CARL. Moishe is short with a squared
off figure, while Carl is red-faced and rotund. The man,
DONNIE SOEBLE, sits down at the table with them.

                         DONNIE
               Here it is. Two-hundred and fifty “k.”
               Cash.

Yosef accepts the suitcase, opens it, and smiles.

                         YOSEF
               Good work. Excellent. You always come
               through.

                         DONNIE
                    (nervously)
               Now can I get my cut?

                            YOSEF
               Of course.

Yosef takes out a large wad of hundred-dollar bills and hands
them to DONNIE, whose hand is shaking.

                         YOSEF
               What’s the matter?

                         DONNIE
               Uh… too much coffee, that’s all. Ok,
               that’s 10%, good. I guess I’ll be going.

                            YOSEF
               Don’t you want to stay for a nosh?

                         DONNIE
               Nah, I ate earlier. Gotta go…
                    (he exits quickly)

Yosef stares at his two henchmen and then speaks.

                         YOSEF
               Oh, yes. I’m sure it’s him. He’s talking
               to the feds. Looks like someone’s gonna
               take a little ‘shloofie’ with the gefilte
               fish, hm? Moishe, Carl -- you take care
               of him.

                         CARL
               Sleep with the gefilte fish! You’re great
               boss.

                         MOISHE
               Shutup Carl, consider it done, boss.

Carl and Moishe walk out, and the scene is back in the
bar, where Noah and Chris, a bit tipsy, are laughing.

MAIN BAR

                         NOAH
               I know… Now that girl before Talia and I
               were complete opposites. I guess I just
               like to dabble sometimes with different
               women. Like tasting ice cream.

                         CHRIS
               Come on, it’s not the same. Wait, so tell
               it again.

                         NOAH
               Ok, so I go to this Hispanic girl I’m
               dating’s house to meet her parents…

EXT./INT. SPANISH STYLE HOUSE IN SUBURBS – FLASHBACK

The outside of this nice house is white with red clay
roofing. We see Noah and MEX. GIRLFRIEND walk into the house.
Noah is shocked and taken back by the overpowering relics in
the house, such as a huge crucifix, candles, etc. They sit
for dinner at a long table with ornate decorations. CLASSICAL
GUITAR MUSIC plays softly.


                         NOAH (VO)
               So then were eating dinner, and her
               mother made all of these tortillas and
               salsas and this and that… all chock full
               of jalapenos and spices. So later during
               dinner…

Noah begins to turn pale and break out in a sweat.

                         MEX. GIRLFRIEND
               Are you alright?

                         NOAH
               Fine, just need some air. Ethnic
               Europeans and Mexican spices don’t mix.

Noah starts to get up, but falls over in the process.

                         MEX. GIRLFRIEND
               Ay, Dios mio!
                    (putting her hand on his forehead)
               Mama, call an ambulance! It’s ok, my
               little Hebrew man.

INT. BARNES’ APARTMENT – FLASHBACK (cont.)

Noah wakes up later in his parent’s house, stares up to
find FREIDA and JOHN standing over him as he lays on
their couch.

                         NOAH
                    (eyes opening slowly)
               What happened?

                         FREIDA
               Shh… it’s ok, bubbie. Don’t talk, you’re
               schvitzing –- Ach! all perspired. You had
               a bad reaction to the spices in the food;
               Maria called, so we picked you up. Your
               father gets the same thing.
                         JOHN
               I can’t even touch that stuff. Feeling
               better?


                         NOAH (VO)
               And the worst part was, she never called
               again.

BACK TO PRESENT DAY

INT. MAIN BAR - NIGHT

                         CHRIS
               She never called?

                         NOAH
               No, apparently not being able to handle
               the food was a sign of weakness to her
               and an insult to her parents.

                          CHRIS
               Shit, man -- when are you gonna find the
               right one?

                         NOAH
               I don’t know, Chris. I just don’t know.

INT. NOAH’S APARTMENT – DAY

Noah is woken up after being passed out on the couch by the
phone ringing. It is his brother, DANIEL, at his office, a
nicely decorated, modern-looking corner office at Mt. Sinai
hospital.

INTERCUT – NOAH’S APARTMENT/DANIEL’S OFFICE

                         NOAH
               Hello?

                         DANIEL
               Noah! It’s me, Daniel. What were you
               doing, sleeping?

                         NOAH
               No, just resting with my eyes closed and
               snoring.

                         DANIEL
               Good one, you jokester. I would have
               called earlier, but I had so many
                         (More)
                         DANIEL (cont.)
               patients to deal with. You know how
               pompous and bureaucratic this profession
               can get.

                         NOAH
               Actually, no. But it’s ok.

                         DANIEL
               Ah, no rest for the schooled surgeon. So
               I heard you and Talia broke up?

                         NOAH
               Man, news travels fast.

                         DANIEL
               Yeah, I saw Chris at the gym – he said
               it’s been rough on you. How’re you
               holding up?

                         NOAH
               Pretty terrible.

                         DANIEL
               It’ll get better buddy. Listen, I’ve got
               some more patients to deal with and the
               other line is ringing, I think it’s Mom.
               I’ll give you a ring later. Take it easy.

                          NOAH
               I will.

END INTERCUT

Noah hangs up the phone, grabs a   blanket, and curls back up
on the couch to go to sleep. Not   even 30 seconds later, the
phone rings again. It is Freida,   and she’s calling from her
and John’s apartment. She is the   quintessential worrying
Jewish mother.
INTERCUT – NOAH’S APARTMENT/BARNES’ APARTMENT

                            NOAH
               Ug… hello?


                          FREIDA
               Noah, baby? It’s mommyla. What happened?
               I called as soon as I heard. Ach, I’m all
               worked up.

                         NOAH
               Nothing Mom, it’s ok. Talia and I just
               didn’t see things the same way.

                         FREIDA
               I’m sorry it didn’t work out, baby.
               You’re too good for her. Plus, she’s too
               skinny. You know, I didn’t like her
               anyway.

                         NOAH
               Mom, you used to say how you loved her.
               You said,
                    (falsetto)
               “She’s just right for my baby.”

                         FREIDA
               Well, not anymore after she hurt my sweet
               boy. Call Poppy, he’s worried sick about
               you. Daniel told him all about it.

                         NOAH
               Daniel? Wow, that was quick. Ok, I’ll
               call. Talk to you later, Mom.

                         FREIDA
               Bye, bye honey… make yourself some
               chicken soup, you’ll feel better.

                         NOAH
               That’s for if you’re sick.

                         FREIDA
               So, nu? You wouldn’t benefit from a
               little nutrition? Come on, I left some in
               your freezer. Call Poppy, he’s worried
               sick!

                         NOAH
               I know, I know… love you.

                         FREIDA
               Love you too.

END INTERCUT

Noah hangs up again, grabs the blanket again, and goes to lay
down. The phone rings, Noah grumbles as he picks it up. It’s
SCHLOMO, calling from his house in the Bronx.

INTERCUT – NOAH’S APARTMENT/SCHLOMO’S HOUSE

                         NOAH
                    (sarcastically)
               Bell telephone, how may I help you?

                          SCHLOMO
               Noah! It’s Poppy… I’ve been worried sick
               about you!

                            NOAH
               So I hear.

                         SCHLOMO
               What happened with this girl?

                         NOAH
               Eh, it wasn’t meant to be. She said
               something about cheap Jews, I think.

                         SCHLOMO
                    (outraged)
               What!? The nerve of that girl. Probably
               she’s anti-semitic!

                         NOAH
               I’m joking. We just didn’t connect.

                         SCHLOMO
               Oh -- ha ha. You know, you’re a scheister
               like your grandfather.
                    (getting to business)
               Listen, I got this friend, Donnie Soeble,
               and he’s got this daughter, Samantha. And
               I was wondering, she’s going to be in
               synagogue this Saturday and she’d love to
               meet you. I want you to come.

                         NOAH
               You know, Poppy, it’s too early. Maybe
               sometime later on.

                         SCHLOMO
               I insist. Plus,
                    (provocatively)
               she’s Jewish.

                         NOAH
               How many times do I have to tell you,
               religion is unimportant to me -- But if
               you want me to go, I’ll go.

                         SCHLOMO
               Good, it’s settled. Oh, and you’ll be
               reading from the Torah, too.

                         NOAH
               But I haven’t done that since my Bar
               Mitzvah!

                         SCHLOMO
                    (quickly)
               It’s fine, I talked to the Rabbi already.
               Call him for the material. Talk to you
               later!

                         NOAH
               Ok, fine. Bye.

END INTERCUT

Noah stands by the phone for a second, makes sure it won’t
ring, then goes to lie down again. The instant he does, it
rings again. He picks it up.

                         NOAH
               What?
                         SCHLOMO (VO)
               It’s me again. Your grandmother is
               dropping off some chicken soup in a
               little while. I want you should eat it.
                         (More)

                         SCHLOMO (VO) (cont.)
               It’s good for you. And don’t worry,
               everything will work out. It always does.

                         NOAH
               Ok thanks… see you Saturday. Bye.

Noah finally hangs up the phone for the last time, takes the
cord, unplugs it from the wall, lies down, puts a pillow over
his head, and sighs.

EXT./INT. SYNAGOGUE – DAY

As the prayers wind down, Noah and Schlomo are sitting
together, and Schlomo is pointing SAMANTHA SOEBLE out. They
speak in a whisper, for prayer is not yet over.

                         NOAH
               Which one is she?

                         SCHLOMO
               Over there, in the pants-suit outfit.

                         NOAH
               Poppy, this is synagogue, every woman
               wears pants-suit outfits. Oh, the blue? I
               see.

                         SCHLOMO
               That’s the one.

Prayers conclude and everyone files into a small side room
for a post-service luncheon. Here, Schlomo introduces the
two. Samantha, or SAMMY, as she likes to be called, is very
cute. Though she’s no supermodel, she’s quite far above par
by many standards, with a smile to match.

                         NOAH
               Hi. Wow, Samantha, it’s great to finally
               meet you.

                         SAMMY
               Likewise. Oh, call me Sammy. I’ve heard
               so much about you… didn’t you write that
               book, “Gay Socrates”?

                         NOAH
               Yeah, I did, as a matter of fact. I’m
               surprise you’ve heard of it. I’m still
               looking for one of the big publishing
               companies to take it on.

                         SAMMY
               Quite controversial. I like how you talk
               about how many of his theories were based
               on the idea that most men should have a
               younger, male lover.
               Blatant homosexuality in ancient Greek
               society seemed to run rampant.

                         NOAH
                    (astounded)
               You read it too?

                         SAMMY
               Oh, cover to cover. I’m so into ancient
               philosophy.

                         NOAH
               Me too! Hey, I hate to be so forward, and
               the last time I asked a girl out this
               quick was in high school, but would you
               like to go out for dinner sometime?

                         SAMMY
               Sure. What do you say about Carmine’s on
               Broadway? Pick my up Friday at eight.

                         NOAH
               Wow. Ok -- be there or be square!

Sammy walks away smiling. Schlomo comes over.

                         NOAH
               Shit! “Be there or be square?” What the
               hell was I thinking?

                         SCHLOMO
               You weren’t. That’s why you said it.
               Isn’t she something?

                          NOAH
                    (gazing outward)
               Oh, she is something. That special
               something.

                         SCHLOMO
               You see? Do I know how to pick ‘em? I
               like women like that. Forward –-
               independent –- you know when I met your
               grandmother, we were at this party. The
               first thing that attracted me was this
                    (motioning with his hands)
               big show of cleavage; you know, when the
               dress is open…?

                         NOAH
                    (stopping him)
               Whoa, whoa!

They both stare at each other for a moment.

EXT./INT. FEDERAL BUILDING/FBI OFFICES – NIGHT

In this dismal, blandly decorated office, we see two FBI
AGENTS, AGENT ONE and AGENT TWO, who both look slightly
overweight, middle age, and balding. Though they have no
relation, one might mistake them for twins due to the
similarity of their looks and dress. They are monotonous and
serious. Across the table is Donnie Soeble, who hands over a
small tape recording device.

                         DONNIE
               There it is. It’s all you need for the
               indictments.

                            AGENT ONE
               Excellent.

                         AGENT TWO
               You’ve done good work, and you’ll be
               rewarded justly. The community we’re
               relocating you to is in Texas, but it’s
               Jewish.

                         DONNIE
               Jews in Texas? I never heard of such a
               thing.

                         AGENT TWO
               Oh, there are Jews in Texas. Plenty.
               They’re just a little
                    (making quotation fingers)
               “different” from Jews here. But no doubt
               you’ll find all that you need.

                         DONNIE
               And my daughter?

                         AGENT ONE
               She’s going with you. It’s the safest
               way.

                         DONNIE
               Alright, but I don’t know how I’m gonna
               break it to her.

EXT. CARMINE’S BISTRO, NYC – NIGHT

Noah and Sammy are sitting at an outside table right on the
street. They are dining by candlelight and enjoying the
fresh, fall NYC air. They gaze longingly at each other and
laugh uncomfortably every now and then. Their dinner is
served, and Noah finally musters up the courage to speak.

                         NOAH
               I’m so glad that this is working out.

                         SAMMY
               I know, me too. I have trouble with
               relationships sometimes.

                         NOAH
               I’m totally the same way. It’s like I
               expect on the first date for there to be
               some kind of spiritual and emotional…
                         SAMMY
                    (finishing his sentence)
               …fulfillment. I’m the same way.

                         NOAH
               Wow… you’re amazing.

                         SAMMY
               Ditto.

                         NOAH
                    (pauses, then lowers his eyes)
               This is going so much better than the
               last time my grandfather set me up.

                         SAMMY
               Why what happened?

                         NOAH
               It was horrible…

INT. DIVE BAR – NIGHT – FLASHBACK

Noah sits uncomfortably across the table from Chris, who has
also brought a date. Noah’s date is the reason he’s so
nervous: she’s a three-hundred pound muscular RUSSIAN WOMAN
with a heavy accent and a thin female mustache. Not only is
she towering over Noah, but she’s drinking him under the
table, too.

                         NOAH (VO)
               My grandfather described her as strong-
               willed, he should have said physically
               dominating. To make it worse, she orders
               practically everything on the menu, and
               then reveals the surprise of the date.

                         RUSSIAN WOMAN
               Your grandfather has pulled some strings
               and got us tickets to the wrestling show
               tonight. We go, da?

She puts her arm around him and pounds down a few vodka shots
in a row, while Noah stares timidly at this sight.

INT. WRESTLING ARENA – NIGHT – FLASHBACK (cont.)
The main event comes on stage, and the crowd erupts. The
Russian woman puts her huge arm around Noah again and offers
him some of the beer in her other hand. He declines. The
wrestling match begins, but halfway through, the wrestlers
stop, and UGLY WRESTLER speaks.

                         UGLY WRESTLER
               I understand that in the audience tonight
               we have a special couple who are young
               and so much in love. And thanks to this
               young man’s kind grandfather donating a
               hefty wad of cash to yours truly, I’m
               gonna let these two wrestlin’ freaks duke
               it out! What do ya say?

The audience cheers approvingly. Two security guards come,
escorting the Russian woman and a shocked Noah to the stage,
where the Russian woman picks him up and begins spinning him
as the crowd goes wild.

                         RUSSIAN WOMAN
               I was heavyweight champion in Stalingrad!

                         NOAH (VO)
               So I’m on top of this woman’s shoulders
               scared for my life, and she throws me.

BACK TO PRESENT DAY

EXT. CARMINE’S - NIGHT

                         SAMMY
                    (genuinely interested)
               She threw you?

                         NOAH
               Straight out of the ring. I was pretty
               badly bruised but…
                    (puffs up his muscles, jokingly)
               I refused to go to the hospital.

                         SAMMY
                    (laughs)
               Oh, Noah Barnes… You are something else.
                         NOAH
               Wait a second, you know what I just
               noticed. You and me, Barnes and Soeble…


                         SAMMY
                    (chuckles again)
               A perfect match!

They stare in each other’s eyes for a few more moments.

EXT. AROUND NYC – NIGHT – CONTINUOUS ACTION

Following the date, Noah and Sammy leisurely stroll about the
city hand in hand, passing such places as Tavern on the Green
in Central Park and Rockefeller Center.

EXT. OUTSIDE SAMMY’S APARTMENT BUILDING - NIGHT

They end up back at Samantha’s place, where they stop for a
second outside.

                         SAMMY
               Would you like to come up?

                         NOAH
               I’m not really sure, this seems all too
               perfect to ruin. It’s like building a
               sandcastle. You worked so hard to make
               it, but at the same time you know the
               most fun part comes when you get to knock
               it down.

                         SAMMY
               I understand. Maybe next time.

Sammy moves to enter the building, but Noah grabs her
arm.

                         NOAH
               Wait.
                    (looks her in the eye)
               I always ended up knocking them down
               anyway.

He pulls her close and they embrace passionately. She then
leads him into the building and they close the door.

INT. NYU LECTURE HALL – DAY

SUPER: “A few days later…”

The students are once again filing out of the classroom, and
Chris enters as they leave. He crosses the room and puts his
arm on Noah’s shoulder.

                         CHRIS
               Still no call?

                         NOAH
               I don’t know what happened. Things seemed
               to be going so perfectly.

                         CHRIS
               Hey, man. I know what you mean.

                         NOAH
               I don’t think you do. Finally, I find a
               nice girl, who happens to be Jewish to
               appease my nagging family, and she
               doesn’t call back. Then today, I got a
               message that her phone was disconnected.
               I mean, is it weird for me to be
               concerned? Am I just neurotic?

                         CHRIS
               No and yes. Maybe she just lost your
               number, forgot to pay her phone bill, and
               her phone got disconnected.

                         NOAH
               Right. You know what? I know what I have
               to do. I have to get off my ass and go
               there. That’s right, I’ll go.

He stands up and starts out of the room.

                         CHRIS
               Alright, buddy. Go to it.
                    (under his breath)
               ‘Cause this is killin’ me too.
INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE OF SAMMY’S APARTMENT – DAY

Noah quickly walks down the long hallway of this neat and
clean apartment building until he reaches Sammy’s door. He is
amazed by what he sees. Hanging on the door is a “For Rent”
sign. NEIGHBOR WOMAN walks out of the apartment across the
hall.

                          NOAH
                What is this? For rent? Excuse me, ma’am.
                What happened to the woman who lived
                here?

                          NEIGHBOR WOMAN
                Oh, Samantha? she moved away. Just the
                other day. I’m sorry, are you Noah?

                             NOAH
                Yeah, why?

                          NEIGHBOR WOMAN
                She said to give you this.

She hands Noah a LETTER FROM SAMMY, and walks away. He stands
dumbfounded in the hallway as he mouths the words of the
neatly handwritten letter and almost reads it aloud.

INSERT – LETTER FROM SAMMY

The letter is partly crumpled around the edges and reads:

                “Dear Noah,

                I’m sorry that I couldn’t deliver this in
                person, but I had to leave so suddenly
                that I didn’t know what to do. Please
                forgive me. It’s not you or me, it’s
                something else so don’t feel guilty.
                Thank you for taking me out, I had a
                wonderful time, but we just can’t see
                each other anymore. I feel horrible, but
                I know you’ll move on.

                                    Love always, Sammy”

BACK TO SCENE
Noah grabs his chest in heartache and leans back against her
door. A second later, he lifts his head up, and runs down the
hallway.

INT. BACK ROOM AT BAR – DAY

Yosef, Carl, and Moishe sit at the same round table, with
gambling once again going on in the background. Yosef is so
angry that steam is practically coming from his ears, Carl is
sunken into his chair, and Moishe gives the occasional glare
to Carl.

                         YOSEF
               How could this happen? For twenty-seven
               years, I’ve ran with the Yarmulke Yids
               and never once did I see one indictment.
               We were always hidden behind the
               Italians.
                    (an epiphany)
               And I wondered why Donnie wouldn’t say
               “hi” to me in shul.

                         MOISHE
               I’m sorry, boss, but if somebody hadn’t
               overslept ‘cause he was up all night
               watching an “I Love Lucy” marathon, the
               hit would have gone down Saturday
               morning.

                         CARL
               Hey, I wasn’t the one dragged to the
               Short Hills mall Saturday afternoon to go
               shopping for outfits.

                          MOISHE
               Shutup! It’s my nephew’s bris for
               chrissake.

                         CARL
               And don’t knock Lucy -- the woman’s a
               television pioneer…

                         YOSEF
               The both of youse shut it! Now, what I
               want done, and I mean done, is for you to
keep your ears open for anyone of the
Soeble’s friends who might know of our
little buddy’s whereabouts. You think you
can handle that?

             MOISHE
Sure boss.

          CARL
Actually, Sammy had a boyfriend. This kid
who read the Torah, Noah Barnes.

          MOISHE
Oh, yeah. Gruenschplatt’s grandkid.

          YOSEF
You see? Now you’re putting all that
waste matter in your head to use.

          CARL
Yeah, I heard down the Yenta Grapevine
that they were getting pretty close.

          YOSEF
Really? Well, if this girl means anything
to him, he’ll probably go looking for
her. You keep your eye on him, and if he
happens to lead you to Soeble, finish the
job, huh?

          MOISHE
Definitely. Consider it done.

          YOSEF
And keep your mitts off this Barnes kid.
His grandfather did a lot of work for us
back in the day. Practically ran the
Bronx and half of the lower east side
through his meat business.

          CARL
     (dignified)
We’re on the case.

          YOSEF
Good… and boys? No bad reports, huh?
                         MOISHE
               You got it.

Moishe and Carl exit. The camera follows them as they leave
the bar.

OUTSIDE THE BAR – CONTINUOS ACTION

Moishe and Carl walk towards the parking area, each with a
newfound spring in their step.

                         MOISHE
               “We’re on the case?” What in the name of
               Moses is that?

                         CARL
               Saw it on some cop show. Sounds good, no?

                         MOISHE
               If you’re a complete idiot. Now, you
               screwed us the first time, let’s keep it
               clean this time?

                         CARL
               Fine, fine.
                    (under his breath)
               Dumkopf.

                         MOISHE
               What was that?

                          CARL
               Nothing.

INT. TRACY’S APARTMENT BUILDING – DAY

Noah, panting and sweating, runs down a different hallway
than before, only to reach a door that is locked. He knocks
feverishly, and TRACY opens the door.

She’s is a slightly overweight girl of about 30 who is quite
frightened by Noah’s knocking. She has no makeup on, her hair
is tied up in a bun, and she has haphazardly thrown on a pink
bathrobe. The bright light of the hallway is not at all
flattering on her ensemble.
                         TRACY
               What, what? Christ! I thought it was the
               police. Oh, Noah, what’s wrong?

                         NOAH
               Tracy, we’ve known each other since we
               were kids, right?

                         TRACY
               Ach, kindela! So young we were…

                         NOAH
               And I just came here to tell you that
               there has been no time in my life that I
               needed you more.

                         TRACY
               I never thought you would ask.

She pulls Noah’s head in for a kiss, and plants one on him.

Shocked, Noah pulls back.

                         NOAH
               Whoa. Hang on. Not like that.

                         TRACY
               Oh my G-d! I’m so embarrassed!

                         NOAH
               No it’s ok -- I’m flattered. Really –
               yeah. It’s just that you were pretty
               close with Sammy Soeble, right?

                         TRACY
               Sammy? Sure. She rushed me to the
               hospital that one time I came down with a
               bad case of Goldman-Sachs.

                         NOAH
               Epstein-Barr?

                         TRACY
               Right, whatever. Point is that I was
               sick. What about her?
          NOAH
Well, would you believe I’m madly in love
with her and I need to know what happened
to her right now?

          TRACY
This is awkward. Um -- actually, I’m not
supposed to say anything.

          NOAH
Come on! It’s me. Tracy I know you’re the
queen of the gossip grapevine and it’s
hard enough to keep your mouth closed
anyway.

          TRACY
Ok, insult me. Fine. See how far you get
without me.

          NOAH
Tracy. I’m sorry, that was wrong. Now,
     (on his knees and hugging her)
please can you tell me?

           TRACY
Get up, ok? You’re getting me all excited
like that.
      (seriously, sotto voice)
Well, ok… But this is strictly
confidential, mister. If this should get
out, there’s no telling what kind of
trouble could happen. Word is that Sammy
and her father had to be relocated and
are being kept under wraps for the time
being while her father waits to testify
in some trial. You know he was in some
kind of trouble with the Jewish mafia,
don’t you? So, they were moved to a small
suburb in Texas called Pippick. It’s a
nice, Jewish community with hundred-
degree weather and less humidity than
Boca.

          NOAH
Jews in Texas?
                         TRACY
               Oh sure, there are Jews. Just a little
                    (quotation fingers)
               “different,” that’s all. I mean have you
               ever heard a New York Jew say “Shalom,
               y’all”?

                          NOAH
               Actually no. But thanks for the info.
               Gotta run!

He kisses her on the cheek, turns quickly, and begins to run
out of the building.

                         TRACY
               Don’t tell anybody about the kiss!

                          NOAH
               I won’t.

Tracy fixes her robe, adjusts her breasts, touches her face
with both hands, looks both ways in the hallway to make sure
nobody saw, and goes back inside.

INT. FACILITY OF MAJOR NEW YORK NEWSPAPER – DAY

Noah runs into the bustling newspaper environment, where
phones are ringing, people are running all over, and cubicles
abound. He finally reaches Chris’ work area, which is covered
with black and white photos, some in view are of naked women
coworkers.

Chris is asleep in his chair. Noah shakes him to wake him up.

                         NOAH
                    (in a female voice)
               Chris! Wake up it’s your mother!

                         CHRIS
                    (startled)
               Ah! What mom? Oh, it’s you -- what are
               you so uppity for? She still didn’t call,
               did she?

                          NOAH
                    (can’t talk fast enough)
               No, better. I know where she is. She went
               to Pippick, Texas -- It’s a small Jewish
               suburb.

                         CHRIS
               Jews in Texas?

                         NOAH
               Yeah, you know…
                         (More)
                         NOAH (cont.)
                    (quotation fingers)
               “different” Jews. Anyway, she needed to
               be relocated by the FBI or something
               because her father is in the Jewish
               mafia.

                         CHRIS
               Come on, that’s an old joke. The only
               Jewish mafia you know of is the cast of
               Seinfeld.

                         NOAH
               No, really it’s not. Look it up on your
               database.

                         CHRIS
               Ok, but I won’t find anything. What would
               they put hits on guys and guilt them to
               death?

                         NOAH
               Not funny. Look! I’m telling you…

Chris boots up his computer and begins his search for related
articles to the Jewish mafia. Something comes up and,
surprised, he begins reading it.

                         CHRIS
               Hmm… the “Yarmulke Yids,” wow. Says they
               controlled New York City’s Manischevitz
               kosher wine supply during prohibition. I
               thought this stuff was only the premise
               for bad Jewish jokes.
                          NOAH
                See, I told you it’s real. Now search for
                “Soeble.”

He does, and up pops an article from that day’s paper.

INSERT – DONNIE SOEBLE’S ARTICLE

We see on the computer screen the article from the paper with
the headline, “Mob man sings, indictments to come.” It has a
large picture of Donnie Soeble on the front, dressed well in
a pinstriped suit, and surrounded by reporters.

BACK TO SCENE

                          NOAH
                Holy shit! That’s the guy who bumped me
                at the bar. That’s Samantha’s father?!
                Talk about weird.

                          CHRIS
                Says here that he just gave incriminating
                testimony to bring down Yid boss Yosef
                Weiss and others. “He is under federal
                watch for the next few months awaiting
                Weiss’ trial.” The one nice girl you find
                and she turns out to be connected to
                this.

                          NOAH
                Tell me about it.

                          CHRIS
                     (reading on further)
                “… Weiss received the reins after the
                retirement of the famed Schlomo ‘Shotgun’
                Gruenschplatt.” That’s your grandfather!

                          NOAH
                Come on, you hadn’t figured out by now
                that my grandfather had ties in crime?

                          CHRIS
                I guess I just realized it now. I always
                wondered why his chopped meat sometimes
                tasted funny.
                           NOAH
                 Come on… back to business. Now I’ve
                 decided that instead of moping around
                 like usual after I break up with a girl,
                 we have to go find her. This one is just
                 too good to lose.

                           CHRIS
                 She really must be. I’ve never seen you
                 like this. You’re like Pacino from the
                 Godfather. So determined.

                           NOAH
                 Alright, enough with the mob cracks. So
                 are you with me?

                           CHRIS
                 I dunno. I got some stories to cover.

                           NOAH
                 Screw ‘em. This is love we’re talking
                 about.

                           CHRIS
                 Ok, as long as you tell me who had Sonny
                 Corleone killed.

                           NOAH
                 Enough with the mob cracks, let’s go, we
                 haven’t much time. Oh, and it was
                 Salazzo, alright?

                           CHRIS
                 This new Noah, I like.

Noah runs out.

Chris grabs some last minute things and heads out after Noah,
calling for him to wait up.

INT. HENCHMEN CAR OUTSIDE OF NEWSPAPER BUILDING – DAY

Moishe and Carl sit in their Lincoln Towncar waiting for Noah
to come back out of the building. Carl is staring through a
huge pair of binoculars while Moishe reads the paper with the
headline about Yosef Weiss.

                         MOISHE
               Unbelievable.
                    (to Carl)
               Would you put those things away? How
               conspicuous do you want to look?

                         CARL
               Sorry, but I can see some guy on a third
               floor bathroom three blocks away flexing
               into a mirror. Ooh –- nice pecs! Come on.
               It’s like a stakeout.

                         MOISHE
               Wonderful. Wait a second, here’s our man.

Noah comes running out of the building, followed closely
behind by Chris, whose large bag of photography stuff is
practically flying everywhere. They jump into Noah’s car, an
old Volvo and drive off.

                         CARL
               There he goes. And who was that other
               guy?

                           MOISHE
               I don’t   know, but I think they know
               they’re   being followed. Must be a fed.
               Dammit.   Looks like we got our work cut
               out for   us.

They drive off in pursuit of Noah, unknowingly beginning what
will prove to be a multi-day excursion.

INT. NOAH’S CAR – DAY

Noah and Chris quickly put on their seatbelts. Noah fumbles
excitedly to insert the key and starts the car.

                         NOAH
               This is it. I’m so pumped!

EXT./INT. NOAH’S CAR – NIGHT

SUPER: “Some hours later…”
Far outside of NYC, Noah and Chris have been driving for a
few hours, still being trailed by the Yid henchmen. Noah’s
excitement has begun to quell as his eyes are slowly opening
and closing.

Chris has been lulled off to sleep by the sounds of the open
road.

Noah’s cell rings, bringing him back to full consciousness.

INTERCUT – NOAH’S CAR/FREIDA’S HOUSE

Noah comes to with a start, as he answers the phone. Freida
is on the other line, nervously pacing around her kitchen.

                         NOAH
               Hello?

                         FREIDA
               Noah, honey. It’s mommy. Where are you?

                         NOAH
               Oh, actually –-
                    (laughing nervously)
               -- it’s a funny thing, really. Turns out
               Sammy went to Texas, and Chris –- well
               Chris and I are going to find her.

                         FREIDA
               What?! Oh my G-d, I think I’m having a
               coronary. Talk to your father.

Freida paces again some more after handing the phone to John,
gets a cold pack, and lays down on the couch.

                         FREIDA
               You talk to that crazy son of yours.
               Texas? What’s so good about Texas?

                         JOHN
               Calm down, Freid.
                    (to Noah)
               What’s going on, buddy? Mom says you’re
               going to Texas?
                         NOAH
               Yeah, long story. I’ve gotta find Sammy.
               She really means a lot to me, Dad.

                         JOHN
               This new girlfriend? I hope so. You
               really like her, Noah?

                         NOAH
               Of course. She could be the one.



                          JOHN
               Well, if you’re sure, then I recommend
               you do everything in your power to get
               her back, regardless of how bad your
               mother’s heart palpitates. Don’t let her
               get away, and don’t let anyone tell you
               different.

                         FREIDA
                    (b.g.)
               Sure! Tell the boy to pisch his life away
               for a lousy girl.

                         JOHN
               Ok, sweetie. Let the Midol kick in first.
                    (back to Noah)
               You hear me? Go get her.

                         NOAH
               Alright, thanks Dad. Love you so much.

                         JOHN
               Love you too. Keep us posted.

                         NOAH
               I will. Bye.

They both hang up the phone. Noah continues driving, and John
sits down at his kitchen table, with a nostalgic look of past
love on his face.

                         FREIDA
               John! Is he alive?
                         JOHN
               He’s fine. Just a little quest. He’ll be
               alright.

END INTERCUT

Noah looks down at the dashboard.

                         NOAH
               Man, almost on empty. Here we are.

Noah pulls the car into a rest stop to refuel, as Chris
continues to sleep.

EXT. GAS STATION – NIGHT

This dimly lit gas station appears at first sight to be
deserted, but upon a closer inspection we find an older,
gray-haired man asleep behind the register with his feet up.

Since it’s self-serve, Noah begins to refuel.

Just as he does, another car pulls to the other side of the
tanks. It is Moishe and Carl, still trailing Noah, and trying
to act inconspicuous. Moishe gets out and begins to refuel
as well. He then walks over to Noah to speak with him.

Noah appears to be in some sort of trance or dream state with
his eyes looking upward and not paying attention to how the
progress of his refuel is going.

                         MOISHE
               Excuse me? Do you know which highway
               leads to Nashville?
                    (after no reply)
               Excuse me? Buddy? Hey, you’re leaking gas
               all over.

Noah is unaware that he’s been holding down the gas the whole
time and it has begun to leak. He quickly pulls it out, but
in doing so, shoots some mistakenly onto the leather shoes of
Moishe.

                         NOAH
               Oh my G-d! I’m so sorry. I was spaced out
               a little.

                         MOISHE
               No kidding you little jerk! These shoes
               were four-hundred dollars at Bally’s.
                    (regaining composure)
               Look. Sorry. I didn’t mean that, it’s
               just that I’ve been driving all day, and
               I’d like to know which highway connects
               to Nashville. You from around here?

                         NOAH
               Oh no. You said Bally’s, right? I’m from
               the city too. But sorry, Nashville –- hmm
               -- no, I don’t know.

                         MOISHE
               Oh, alright. Where you from in the city?

                         NOAH
               I live on 55th; I work at NYU.

                         MOISHE
               Ah, no shit? My cousin went there. Good
               school. Hey, well maybe I’ll see ya on
               the road.

                         NOAH
               Yeah, maybe.

Moishe finishes refueling and gets back in the car. He starts
to drive off.

Noah screws on the gas cap, and gives some money to the man
working there. Though he’s asleep, Noah puts it on the table.

                         NOAH
                    (to himself)
               That guy didn’t even pay. And where have
               I seen him?

Noah gets back in the car and drives off.

INT. HENCHMEN’S CAR – NIGHT
Moishe, miffed, smacks Carl to wake him up, as they continue
to drive.

                         CARL
               What? What’d you hit me for? Did you find
               anything out?

                         MOISHE
               This kid’s a shit. A nothing. He’s got no
               connection to anything.

                         CARL
               What about the other guy?

                         MOISHE
               I couldn’t find out about him, he was
               asleep. Man, but he’s gotta be some kind
               of top fed to be leading the kid so far
               out. Maybe they’re going to see the girl.

                          CARL
               Maybe.

INT. NOAH’S CAR – NIGHT

Noah drives with a contemplative look on his face. He taps
Chris to wake him up.

                         CHRIS
               What’s up? We there yet?

                         NOAH
               No, just wanted to tell you something.

                         CHRIS
               What’s that?

                         NOAH
               I love this girl, Chris. I really do.
               This is it, what I’ve been looking for.

                         CHRIS
               I know, man. She seems great.

                         NOAH
               Oh, she is. You’ll see.
                         CHRIS
               I bet. Just let me know when you get too
               tired to drive, alright?

                         NOAH
               Sure. Thanks.

                            CHRIS
               Anytime.

Chris goes back to sleep.

Noah continues to stare forward with contemplative look, and
even begins to crack a smile.

INT. HENCHMEN’S CAR – DAY

SUPER – “The next day…”

Moishe continues to drive, though he’s weary eyed.

Carl is still sleeping. Moishe hits him again.

                         MOISHE
               Wake up you jerk, I’ve been driving all
               night.

                         CARL
               Alright, I’m up. I’m up. What’s going on?

                         MOISHE
               Here’s the plan, you waste of space: as
               soon as they stop to eat tonight, we go
               in after them. I say, “Hey, I recognize
               you from the gas station,” and we buy
               them some drinks. In the process, I slip
               both of ‘em a mickey a piece. When they
               hit the wall, we take them out back and
               find out who his friend is. Got it?

                         CARL
                    (groggy)
               Yeah, I got it. I slip you the mickey
               and…
                         MOISHE
               No, you idiot. I slip them the mickeys.
               Get it right.

                         CARL
               Right, right.
                    (waking up)
               Whoo! Slippin’ mickeys! Like the good old
               days. Oh boy, Moishe.

                         MOISHE
               Contain your excitement. This is
               business. Remember, the boss said no
               roughing this kid up. He’s
               Gruenschplatt’s grandkid.

                          CARL
               Right.
                    (under his breath)
               I’ll rough you up.

                         MOISHE
               What was that?

                          CARL
               Nothing.

INT. NOAH’S CAR – DUSK

Chris now drives as Noah is curled up on the seat next to
him.

                         CHRIS
               Hey, Noah. Wake up.

                          NOAH
               Hmm?

                         CHRIS
               I’m getting kinda hungry. I saw a sign
               for a roadside bar and grill type place
               in a few miles. You game?

                         NOAH
               Definitely. Let’s go.
EXT. BOB’S SOUTHERN BAR & GRILL – NIGHT

Noah’s car pulls up to this side-of-the-highway joint. Many
of the vehicles in the parking lot are trucks, save for
Noah’s car and a few beat up hatch-backs. Neon beer signs
illuminate the windows of the rectangular box eatery, while
thick black smoke bellows from the kitchen’s chimneys. A
large sign on the outer wall reads “Real down home cooking in
this hut / Eat it up, let it go to yer gut.”

Noah and Chris exit the car and begin to walk toward the
entrance.

                         NOAH
               Mmm mmm! Gotta love the smell of deep
               fried everything when you’re hungry.

                          CHRIS
               Got that right. Classy, charming, with a
               hint of sophistication. Ooh, and they’re
               poets too.
                    (points out the sign)
               Hey, wait… I got one. Instead of saying
               “fuhgetaboutit” like the Italians, the
               Jewish crime gangs say “Vatareyasayin?”
               Huh? Get it?

                         NOAH
                    (cracking a half smile)
               Cute. Really.

                         CHRIS
               Oh, come on. That was genius.

                         NOAH
               Sure, almost as good as the one about the
               Mazol Tov Murderer.

They enter the eatery.

Seconds later, the henchmen pull up in their car, obviously
having followed Noah. They both get out.

                         CARL
               Well you didn’t have to hit me.
                         MOISHE
               Yes I did. You don’t think, Carl, you
               just don’t think.

                         CARL
               You asked me for the Advil from the
               glove, I gave you what was in the bottle.


                         MOISHE
               I said the real Advil bottle, not the one
               I use for mickeys. You’re lucky I spit it
               out.

                          CARL
               Oh geez.

                          MOISHE
               What?

                         CARL
               I just took one.

                         MOISHE
                    (motioning to strangle him)
               You idiot! Come on, let’s get this thing
               going before they kick in. It should take
               two for a guy your size anyway.

                         CARL
               I sure hope so.

Moishe enters the bar.

Carl stumbles in a bit. It’s clear the pills have begun to
take effect.

INT. BOB’S SOUTHERN BAR & GRILL - NIGHT

The bar atmosphere is packed to the brim with truckers
bellying up for massive size portions of food. Noah and Chris
sit across from each other in one dark booth, while the
henchmen are seated behind, listening intently.
Noah and Chris are talking when a sixty-something, trashy
looking WAITRESS with a southern drawl comes to take their
order.
          NOAH
I’m telling you… there was this cosmic
connection. I know it sounds cheesy.

          CHRIS
No, not at all, I believe it.


          WAITRESS
     (interrupting)
Would you two Casanovas like to order or
what, ‘cause I sure ain’t getting’ any
younger.

          CHRIS
Well I guess not. Do you have anything on
the lighter side, like a chicken Caesar
salad?

          WAITRESS
Salad? Our burgers come with lettuce.

          CHRIS
Hmm. Yeah. How ‘bout like a salad for
dinner?

          WAITRESS
Come to think of it, I ain’t never had
anyone ask for that. I could just take
the lettuce off some burgers.

          CHRIS
No that’s alright. I’ll just have a big
plate of charred cattle flesh and fried
swine strips.

          WAITRESS
Alright, one steak an’ bacon, smartass.
And for you, sugar?

          NOAH
Just give me some chicken wings and a
huge pitcher of whatever you’ve got on
tap.
                         WAITRESS
               Sure thing.

Behind them, Moishe and Carl are plotting.

                         MOISHE
               Remember to distract them while I put the
               mickeys in their drinks. Carl? You
               listening to me?

Carl is dozing off, but is kicked under the table by Moishe.

                         CARL
               Damn it. I’m tired.

                         MOISHE
               You can sleep in the car. We have to eat,
               look at me. I’m skin and bones.

                         CARL
               You just sounded like your mother.

                         MOISHE
               I’m not going to tell you again Carl,
               shut it.

Some time passes, and Noah and Chris are served. They proceed
to begin eating but are interrupted by Moishe and Carl, who
sit down next to them.

                         MOISHE
               Hey! I knew it was you. Gas station kid?
               What do you say I buy you guys a round; I
               feel bad for yelling.

                         NOAH
               Sure, just get a refill on our pitcher.

                         MOISHE
                    (motioning)
               Waitress! Another round for these
               esteemed gentlemen!

                         WAITRESS
                    (grumbling)
               Alright… another batch of funny guys.
                         MOISHE
               Thank you ma’am.

Moishe refills both Chris and Noah’s beers.

Carl begins to talk, but his head is bobbing and his speech
is slurred.


                         CARL
               You guys wanna hear a… a… a… a joke? Two
               priests, a rabbi, and Florence
               Nightingale are eating at Carnegie Deli –
               then -- Wait, I forgot.

                         NOAH
               Something wrong with your friend here?

                         MOISHE
               No, he’s just had one too many.
                    (kicks Carl)

                         CARL
                    (comically exaggerating)
               Yeeee-owtch!

                         MOISHE
                    (talking through his teeth)
               Shutup you idiot.
                    (back to Noah)
               Sorry about that. He just can’t hold his
               liquor.

Carl’s head crashes to the table. Noah and Chris jump up.

                         CHRIS
               Maybe we should help him?

                         MOISHE
               Yes, maybe.

Noah and Chris help Carl who has now fell sideways out of his
seat. They help him to sit up with his arms on the table and
his head down.
All the while, Moishe cleverly slips the pills into their
drinks.

                         MOISHE
               Why, thank you boys. Now drink up, your
               beer’s going flat.

INT. SAME BAR – NIGHT

SUPER: “One hour later…”

Noah and Chris are acting sloppy drunk. They are both
laughing like crazy as they spill their guts to Moishe.

Moishe sits listening, surprised at what he’s hearing, but
maintaining a slight smirk.

                         CHRIS
               -- So then this girl just up and leaves
               him, with this “Dear John” type note,
               saying how she can never see him again.

                         MOISHE
               She left so suddenly?

                         NOAH
               Just like that. Poof. She’s gone.

                         MOISHE
               She didn’t say where she’s going?

                         CHRIS
               Oh, wait. It gets even better. So we find
               out her father’s in some Jewish organized
               crime thing, Kosher Killers or something.
               And she left because her father was a
               snitch. You believe that?

                         MOISHE
                    (feigning)
               No? She left? Where did she go?

                         CHRIS
               So I got all this info because I’m an
               experienced photographer for a New York
               Daily, right?
                         MOISHE
                    (angry)
               Where did she go?

                         NOAH
               Geez. My friend was just about to get to
               it.

                         CHRIS
               Pippick, Texas. With her father. Some
               Jewish community.

                         MOISHE
               Jews in Texas?

                         CHRIS
               Oh yeah, you know… they’re
                    (quotation fingers)
               “different” and all.

                         MOISE
               Wow, so you guys are just two New York
               City schmucks who are looking for this
               girl? Either of you work for the
               government?

                         NOAH
               No.

                         CHRIS
               Why? I’ve been told I look like an FBI
               Agent.

                         MOISHE
               Oh boy, you guys are too much.
                    (under his breath)
               What a waste of two mickeys.

                         NOAH
               What was that?

                         MOISHE
               Nothing. Finish your drinks.

They both do, and as soon as they’re done, both heads hit the
table as they pass out.

                         MOISHE
               Check please.

INT. BATHROOM AT BAR – NIGHT

A single person bathroom with one toilet, one banged up sink,
and a cracked mirror. Moishe drags the two into the filthy
bathroom and starts to search them.

As he does, he pulls off any wallets, necklaces, rings, or
any type of valuable he finds. In fact, the only things he
leaves on them are their shoes, undershirts, and pants. He
lays them on top of each other, washes his hands, and goes to
leave.

                         MOISHE
               Waste of my friggen time.

INT. HENCHMEN’S CAR – NIGHT

Moishe is already on the highway driving away when Carl comes
to.

                         CARL
               I don’t want any kreplach. Huh? Where am
               I?

                         MOISHE
               You’re in the car, dummy. We just left
               the bar.

                         CARL
               Oh, what’d we find out?

                         MOISHE
               You found out nothing because you’re
               useless. I, on the other hand, discovered
               that neither of them are feds. Just a
               bunch of idiots.

                         CARL
               And where are they going?

                          MOISHE
               Pippick, Texas. That’s where Soeble is.
               Jews in Texas.
                    (mockingly)
               “Different.”

                         CARL
               Well, they are. Have you ever met a Jew
               who wore Cowboy boots and hat, a belt
               buckle, chaps, and chewed straw? I
               certainly haven’t.

                         MOISHE
               That’s no matter. All that matters is
                         (More)
                         MOISHE (cont.)
               we’re gonna get there before them and
               take care of this little Soeble problem.

                         CARL
               Whatever you say.

He goes back to sleep.

Moishe grits his teeth and a crazed look appears on his face.

INT. BATHROOM AT BAR – DAY

SUPER: “Morning…”

Noah and Chris lay motionless on the floor of the dirty
bathroom. They appear to be covered in soot.

Noah, who’s on top, comes to.

                         NOAH
               Uuuuungh. What the?
                    (realizes he’s on top of Chris)
               Holy shit. Chris. Wake up.

He taps Chris nervously. Chris opens his eyes.

                         CHRIS
               Huh? Noah? Why are you on top of me?

                         NOAH
               I think we were drugged.
                         CHRIS
               We didn’t do anything, did we?

                         NOAH
               No, I don’t think so.

                         CHRIS
               Good. Then get off of me.

Noah gets off of him. They both stand up and begin to
come to the realization of what happened.

                         NOAH
               Oh my G-d. My wallet! My watch! All of
               it. Gone.

                         CHRIS
               Fuck! Me too. Bastards! Who did it?

                          NOAH
               I don’t know. I don’t remember much of
               last night.
                     (getting dizzy)
               Whoa.

                         CHRIS
               I’m -- I’m -- Fuck!

Chris pushes Noah aside and walks out of the bathroom,
slamming the door behind.

Noah stares into the broken mirror.

                         NOAH
               My first experience in the South and I
               lose all my valuables, end up passed out
               on top of my best friend, and wake up the
               next morning in a dirty, grease joint
               bathroom. Typical.

Noah wets his hands and rubs his face to wake himself up. He
then leaves the dregs of the bathroom, also slamming the door
behind.
EXT. BOB’S SOUTHERN BAR & GRILL – DAY

Noah walks out the front door of the bar with a medium size
bag in his hands. He turns back for a second.

                         NOAH
                    (to someone inside)
               Thanks a million.

He begins walking over to Chris.

Chris stands arms open in disbelief in the parking spot that
their car used to be in.

                         NOAH
               Hey, they figured we were passed out from
               drinking too much last night, so they
               gave us breakfast on the house. I don’t
               know what it is, but it’s deep fried in
               lard and oil. Mmm… bacon fat.

Chris gives long, upset look at Noah. In fact, he begins
glaring at him.

                         NOAH
               What? What’s the matter?

                         CHRIS
               What’s the matter? Are you blind or were
               you born yesterday in that germ-laden
               bathroom?

                         NOAH
               What? Seriously.

                         CHRIS
               Seriously? I’m standing where our car
               once was, seriously. I’m missing my
               wallet and all my jewelry, seriously. We
               are standing somewhere, miles away from
               intelligent life, with no way to get
               anywhere, seriously!

                           NOAH
               Good G-d.
          CHRIS
Oh, He must not be for this to happen.

          NOAH
What are we going to do?

          CHRIS
That’s what I’ve been asking myself for
the past ten minutes while you’ve been
jerking off and eating soul food in
there.

          NOAH
What can we do?

          CHRIS
What can you do, you should ask. What I’m
doing is going home. I don’t know how you
got me into this shit, but it’s ending
right here.

          NOAH
What are you talking about?

          CHRIS
I’m talking about going back to the city,
about getting the heck out of this
godforsaken part of the nation. Do you
want to be in any state that still flies
the confederate flag?

          NOAH
So you’re just leaving?

          CHRIS
That’s right. I’m just going to start
walking.

          NOAH
So what about Sammy?

          CHRIS
     (shocked)
Sammy?! You know what? Fuck Sammy! Is any
girl worth this? Seriously, is any quest
in life, whether spiritual or emotional,
               worth losing everything you have and
               being stranded in an area where people
               have more guns than kids?

                         NOAH
               Just giving up, huh? This girl means so
               much to me, you don’t even know.

Chris begins walking one way down the highway, the way from
which they came.

                         CHRIS
               You know what? You can have her. Give her
               my regards. Nobody is worth all this. If
               you want her so bad, go. Vaya con dios,
               find G-d. I’m going home.

                         NOAH
               Chris!
                    (becoming upset)
               Chris!!

LONG SHOT as we see that Chris goes one way and Noah goes the
other.

Noah begins to cry silently. Then, all of a sudden, a
determined look grows in his eyes.

                         NOAH
                    (to himself)
               Sammy -- I hope you’re worth it.

EXT. STRETCH OF SOUTHERN HIGHWAY – LATE AFTERNOON

Chris is walking alone along the road, shivering from the
absence of the Southern sun. He tries to reassure himself
that he’s made the right decision.

                         CHRIS
               Nobody is worth this.

Just as he says that, a large charter bus pulls up, and Noah
gets out.

                         NOAH
               Chris! You look cold. I’ve got some
               friends for you to meet.

He throws some vintage-looking clothes and a blanket around
his friend and helps him on the bus.

ON THE BUS

We hear HALELUIAH CHORUS as it is revealed that the bus is
full of a bunch of missionary NUNS. They are all smiles as
they see the two friends enter the charter bus.

                         NOAH
               Sisters, say hello to my best friend in
               the world, Chris.

                         ALL NUNS
               L-rd bless you and keep you, Chris.

                            CHRIS
               I hope so.

They sit down in the front of the bus. Chris turns to Noah in
disbelief.

                            CHRIS
               How?

                            NOAH
               How what?

                         CHRIS
               How did you get all of this?

                         NOAH
               Oh, I just walked the other way into
               town, found some traveling missionaries,
               talked to them for a while, explained my
               situation, and they agreed to drive us as
               far as they can. You know, even though
               they’re celibate, they’re firm believers
               in true love. Isn’t that something? Oh,
               and the vintage clothes are from a
               goodwill store at the local church.
               People can be so hospitable around here.

                            CHRIS
               Oh.
                    (looking into his lap)
               Sorry.

                         NOAH
               Hey, what kind of friend would I be if I
               didn’t pull through once in a while.
               Chalk it up to saving a friend from
               losing faith.

                         CHRIS
                    (looks up and smiles)
               Thanks.

The bus continues its trek into the sunset down the stretch
of Southern highway.

INT. NUNS’ BUS – DAY

SUPER: “Jesus, Maria, y Jose… The next day.”

While most of the nuns sleep, a few in the back of the bus
have started a quiet sing along with a guitar, led by SINGING
NUN. This periodically irritates Chris who is trying to
sleep.

Noah, on the other hand, is busily in conversation with NICE
NUN, an older, wrinkly-faced woman with a warm smile.

                         NOAH
               What I’m saying is not that G-d doesn’t
               exist, but rather that he takes a few
               “active” breaks, as I call them, where He
               sort of leaves it up to us to figure
               things out. I mean, it’s not like he’s
               totally powerless, just sitting back and
               watching.

                         NICE NUN
               Hmm. Interesting theory.

                         NOAH
               I mean, we’re created supposedly in His
               image, so we’ve got to know how to
               unscrew everything up sometimes, you
               know?
          NICE NUN
Right. So you don’t go as far as to say
that he’s the absentee parent as some
think he is, but that he forsakes us on
occasion?

          CHRIS
     (toward the back of the bus)
Can I get some quiet, please? I need some
holy rest here.

          NOAH
     (looking over at Chris, then back)
No, no. Not forsakes us, but lets us
figure it out. Take World War Two for
example. The Holocaust. There, G-d
          (More)
          NOAH (cont.)
might just have said, “Alright, now this
is a mess. These humans have to learn how
to clean it up themselves. I can’t just
go around finding another poor schlub to
build an ark while I flood the world and
rid it of sinners.” Kind of like when
you’re a kid, your parents might clean up
after you. But when you’re a bit older,
if you spill that tomato sauce on the
floor, Mom’ll be damned if she cleans it
up. Get it?

          NICE NUN
Hm. I see. And maybe members of the
clergy, rabbis, priests, politicians,
etcetera are the one to lead these
metaphorical cleanups sometimes?

          NOAH
I wouldn’t go as far as the politicians,
but otherwise, yes. When the flock goes
astray and G-d gets a bit upset, it’s no
doubt you that can lead us back and atone
for our sins. And this is also the time,
these “active” breaks of his, when many
lose faith. They think He’s either
forgotten us totally, or a sham in the
first place.

          NICE NUN
Yes, sadly, I think you’re right. It can
often be hard for one to retain faith
when the world is so unforgiving.

          NOAH
Take Ivan, in Dostoyevsky’s “Brothers
Karamazov” for instance. He straight out
admits that he has no idea about the
inner workings of G-d or Heaven or the
complexity of the mystery of life. It’s
simply not his place; his simple human
mind that uses simple human logic cannot
fathom such things. But, he then says
that, though he doesn’t understand
          (More)
          NOAH (cont.)
G-d’s plan and the human comedy as a
whole, he’s prepared to give up his
metaphorical ticket into Heaven, and he
outwardly rejects this material world
that G-d has created and any of the
benefits that go along with it. He has
lost faith, never to regain it.

          NICE NUN
That’s terrible.
     (leaning forward)
Why?

          CHRIS
The volume! Take it down a little,
please?

          NOAH
Because children have to feel pain. Screw
the adults, he says, they can all go eat
their hats for all he cares. But if G-d’s
plan includes children dying and
suffering in front of their mother’s
eyes, anywhere for anything, he doesn’t
want to own any stock in
G-d’s company. He’s effectively selling
it back. Pretty rebellious, huh?
                         NICE NUN
               But what can he do? He cannot prevent
               such things.

                         NOAH
               Exactly. That’s where my theory comes in.
               G-d may be wholly infallible, but His
               creation –- us -- we’re not. That’s the
               fun of it. G-d sometimes may not
               intercede, but He ultimately never
               forgets. If man needs to suffer to sort
               things out, so be it. If I’m chosen to
               suffer for the betterment of mankind, who
               am I to refuse?

                         NICE NUN
               That’s a strong statement. But will you
               not lose faith?

                         NOAH
               We’ll see. I’m not ready to hand back my
               ticket just yet.

                         NICE NUN
               Hmm -- how do you get such ideas?

                         NOAH
               Dunno. I guess I like to dabble in
               religion a little. Give everything a try,
               you know? Like this one time I
               ritualistically shaved my head, as
               Buddhist monks do…

Chris becomes noticeably more irritated.

                         CHRIS
               For the love of Christ, can we please
               turn down the acoustic guitar of love a
               few decibels?

The Singing Nun stops, this younger, obviously more hot-
headed nun is not ready to take it from Chris.

                         SINGING NUN
               By the grace of the almighty in Heaven,
               I’ll play my guitar as loud as I want,
               and these sisters back here would like it
               if you didn’t take the L-rd’s name in
               vain.

                         CHRIS
               Oh, is that right?

He stands up and faces the back of the bus.

                         NICE NUN
               I think your friend’s about to cause some
               trouble, hm?

                         NOAH
               Oh boy. Chris, calm down a bit here, huh?
               There’s no need for all of this. If she
               wants to play, let her play. They’re nice
               enough to give us a ride.

                         CHRIS
               You stay out of this, Noah.
                    (walks to the back)
               As a matter of fact, I didn’t take the L-
               rd’s name in vain. There was a purpose to
               my statement. If it would make you stop
               screeching, I’d have said it twice.

                         SINGING NUN
                    (stands up, curls her lips)
               Oh, is that right? Well maybe I didn’t
               get the message.

She begins SINGING and PLAYING HER GUITAR right in Chris’
face to spite him. The other nuns beg for this to stop, and
we see that it will in a second. The tension is mounting.

EXT. OUTSIDE OF THE NUNS BUS

The bus continues down the road until we here a PUNCHING
NOISE, then a BANG, and the bus SCREECHES to a halt, the
doors open, and Chris is thrown out.

Noah follows after him, speaking back into the bus, which,
when he finishes, speeds off.
          NOAH
Oh man. I’m really sorry, ladies. I don’t
know what’s gotten into him, it’s just
been a rough past few days. Thanks
anyways.
     (to Chris, becoming angered)
What the hell was that?

          CHRIS
     (clutching the side of his head)
Ow! Nice of you to take their side. She
had no right to hit me in the side of the
head with her guitar like that.

          NOAH
     (powerfully)
You punched her in the face! You punched
a nun, a sister of G-d, in the face? Are
you the spawn of Satan?

          CHRIS
Like I said, nice of you to take her
side.

          NOAH
Her side? They were nice of us to give us
a ride. I wouldn’t have cared if she was
back there playing death metal riffs,
screaming the lyrics to Iron Maiden’s
“Number of the Beast.”

          CHRIS
Oh, look at what we have here. Mr.
Altruistic.

          NOAH
I have never even heard a nun swear like
that! You know what, screw you. You know
how much this girl means to me and you
love to go and screw things up.

          CHRIS
So sorry Mr. Perfect.
     (in a baby voice)
Me not know how important little puppy
love is.
                         NOAH
               Stop being a child! You know what? Maybe
               you’re right. No girl is worth this.
               Maybe I’ll just head back to New York
               City, crawl in a ditch, and spend the
               last few moments of my life wishing I had
               continued on.

                         CHRIS
               Sounds good to me.

Noah, becomes so enraged that he lunges at Chris, knocking
him down, and the two begin to fight on the side of the dusty
road.

EXT. SIDE OF THE ROAD – DUSK

Noah and Chris sit side by side at the fringe of the road.

Noah has his head in hands and looks as if he’s thinking
things over.

Chris is wiping a small bit of blood from the side of his
mouth.

                         NOAH
               I’m really sorry man. I shouldn’t have
               lost it like that.

                         CHRIS
               Nah. It’s alright. I’m the asshole who
               got us into this mess. I don’t know. I
               think I need anger management.

                         NOAH
               Who knows? Look   at us here. It’s both our
               faults. Is this   really how it’s going to
               end? Starvation   or lack of water? I
               always pictured   going peacefully in bed
               at the ripe old   age of one-hundred and
               fifty.

                         CHRIS
               Headline in tomorrow’s local paper: “Two
               Cityfolk Found Dead By Side of Road, And
               They Thought Us Okies Were Stupid.”

                         NOAH
                    (laughs and then sighs)
               Man. Sammy, Sammy, Sammy -- For what it’s
               worth, Chris, I’m really sorry about
               hitting you.

                         CHRIS
               Nah, chalk it up to opening the eyes of a
               friend. We’re even now.
                    (looking down the road)
               Hey, what’s that?

A large 18-wheeler is barreling toward them down the open
highway.

                         NOAH
                    (raises his hands into the air)
               Hey, buddy! Stop! Help us out!

Chris makes a hitch-hiking motion and the truck grinds to a
halt in front of the two men. The door of the large, purple
18-wheeler cab has an interesting painting on the side. With
cherubs likened to Renaissance artwork surrounding the words,
the door reads “Virgil’s Vigil.”

The driver, VIRGIL, calls out.

                         VIRGIL
               Come on, boys. Hop in. Next stop,
               paradise.

The men look at each other for a second, give approving
glances, and enter the cab of the truck.

INT. VIRGIL’S VIGIL – NIGHT

Packed into the truck cab, Noah sits in the middle and Chris
is situated next to the window.

The cab is of typical style, but the driver, Virgil, stands
out. Quite a large man, Virgil takes up most of the seat
(which is why Chris and Noah appear like tiny sardines next
to him), but his size is mainly due to a powerful, muscular
physique. He is bearded, wearing a flannel shirt with
suspenders and undershirt, and a black trucker’s hat that
says “The Guide.” He speaks in a raspy, southern Louisiana
accent.

                         VIRGIL
               You boys ain’t from around here, is you?

                          NOAH
                     (speaking up after a pause)
               Um, no. No, sir. We’re not. How could you
               tell?

                         VIRGIL
                    (looks them up and down)
               By them stupid clothes you wearin’. They
               vintage?

                         NOAH
               Yes, sir. We got them for free. We’re
               actually not from around here.

                         VIRGIL
               You just said that.

                         NOAH
               Oh.

                         VIRGIL
               Well where ya from?

                         NOAH
               New York City.

                         VIRGIL
               Ah, New York. A couple of cities! Whoo-
               dawgies! Fresh like a baby’s bottom!

                         NOAH
               Yes, sir. I guess so. Well, I’m Noah, and
               this is my friend Chris.

                         CHRIS
               It’s a pleasure to meet a man of your
               size. I admire the physique.

                         VIRGIL
               Don’t get smart with me, city boy. You
               like the idea of dying a slow death,
               alone on a dusty road?

                         CHRIS
               No sir. Sorry sir.

                         VIRGIL
               That’s what I thought.
                    (back to the conversation)
               Well, this old fella you’re talking to’s
               name is Virgil Steven Alighieri, the
               Third. But my friends call me Tiny.

                         CHRIS
               I can see why.

VIRGIL

gives a demeaning stare at Chris, who sinks back into his
seat.
                          NOAH
               Well, Tiny, if you don’t mind me asking,
               how’d you get a last name like Alighieri?

                         VIRGIL
               I reckon it’s Eye-talian. My great-great-
               grandpappy was from Italy. Came to New
               York City, as a matter of fact. Found my
               great-great-grandmammy, a nice corn-fed
               country girl, and moved down South. Ever
               since then, our bloodlines were as white
               as alabaster. Reckon that’s why I’m not
               Eye-talian looking.

                         NOAH
               That’s interesting.

                         VIRGIL
               I guess I’m just what you cities call a
               regular old hick, but
                    (stares at the two men, seriously)
               I don’t like that word.

                         CHRIS
               No problem. Any word in the dictionary
               that you don’t like is out of my
               vocabulary for good.

                         VIRGIL
               Good to hear. I know I may just seem like
               a dumb Southerner to you, but you’ll see,
               I can be a pretty fine asset.

                         NOAH
               Oh sure. You are already.

                         VIRGIL
               So where you boys going?

                         NOAH
               Pippick, Texas. A small Jewish suburb.

                         VIRGIL
               Ah, the Hebrews of Texas. Mighty fine,
                         (More)
                         VIRGIL (cont.)
                    (quotation fingers)
               but “different.” Turns out I’m going
               right around there. So you boys just sit
               back, relax, and I’ll take you where you
               need to go, and we’ll see some folk along
               the way. How’s that sound?

                         CHRIS
               Mighty fine, biggie. I mean, huge
               muscles. I mean -- Oh G-d -- Tiny! Tiny,
               I said Tiny. Please don’t kill me.

Chris once again sinks back into his seat, as Virgil shoots
another mean stare in his direction, followed by a low
chortle.

MONTAGE – VIRGIL’S PASSENGERS

SUPER: “More than midway into our hero’s journey…”

Every scene we see in the montage takes place in Virgil’s
cab, with a different person or people squished in next to
Noah and Chris in every shot.

Between the shots of the cab, we also see that the characters
are getting closer to their goal, revealed through road signs
such as “Welcome to Texas: The State You Don’t Mess With.”

--An ugly man with a menacing look, a fishing hat, and an oar
in his hand.

--A couple holding a book between them, namely an erotic
paperback called “Lance A Lot,” and making out passionately.

--A fat man, CHOCKO, with an oversized bucket of fried
chicken who turns to them and speaks.

                         CHOCKO
               Just call me Chocko, because I’m chock-
               full-o goodness!
                    (laughs maniacally)

--CULT MAN, wearing all black suit, with his arm around
Chris, talking with a Southern drawl. He is reminiscent of
the simoniacs in Dante’s “Inferno.”

                         CULT MAN
               Well, if you’d like to give me the money
               now to get the church started, I could
               make you co-reverend. Now, I don’t like
               the word cult.

--Man who steals the shoes off of Noah and Chris while they
are sleeping.

--Fat, red-haired man in a Halloween devil costume (complete
with a pitchfork), who is giving the two men seductive looks.

END MONTAGE

INT. VIRGIL’S VIGIL – DAY

Virgil stops the truck, and wakes Chris and Noah who are
asleep.

                         VIRGIL
               Hey, cities, c’mon. Here’s your stop.

                         NOAH
                    (waking up)
               Oh. Hey, thanks for the ride.
                            VIRGIL
                  Sorry that this is as far as I can go
                  with you. The rest, I reckon, is up to
                  you.

Chris opens the door and exits, Noah follows suit. They stand
outside, and Virgil opens the window.

                            NOAH
                  Hey, thanks again.

                            CHRIS
                       (looking around)
                  How come it seems like the further
                            (More)

                            CHRIS (cont.)
                  South we go, the more I feel like I’m
                  descending into the ninth circle of hell?

                            VIRGIL
                  Oh, and city, for what it’s worth, I hope
                  you get the girl.

                            NOAH
                  Wait, how did you…?

                            VIRGIL
                  I know it all…

Virgil laughs as he puts the truck into gear, the air breaks
HISS, and he drives away.

EXT. OUTSIDE OF PIPPICK, TEXAS – DAY

It turns out that Noah and Chris are standing on the outer
boundary of a Texas suburb. They both turn around, to their
amazement, to see a large painted sign.

INSERT – PIPPICK TEXAS SIGN

The sign reads:
                  “Welcome to Pippick, Texas
                  The nicest dick in the Lone Star State.”
BACK TO SCENE

                          NOAH
                Oh my G-d. We’re here! This is Pippick!
                Unbelievable!

                          CHRIS
                Hmm, and the local kids must have some
                sense of humor. They turned the ‘p’ in
                “pick” on the sign to a ‘d.’ Now that’s
                what I call comedy.

                          NOAH
                I don’t think you realize the magnitude
                of this situation. We are here!


                          CHRIS
                Yeah, yeah. I know.

The second they begin to walk into town, a state police car
with the Texas logo pulls up, with SIRENS blaring.

Out of the car come two troopers, BOBBY-JO and NEALL. Bobby-
Jo is the picture of the gym-obsessed male. His chiseled
physique and spiffy uniform give off an air of discipline; he
means business. Neall is a short, red-haired beanpole whose
bark is much worse than his bite.

Neall gets out of the car only to get straight into the faces
of Chris and Noah, who back up quickly.

Bobby-Jo is semi-disapproving.

                          NEALL
                You boys ain’t look like you’re from
                around here. You fixin’ to cause trouble?

                          NOAH
                No, sir. We just came from New York.

                          NEALL
                Did I ask you to talk, dickwad?

                          NOAH
                But you asked…
          NEALL
I don’t care if I asked you to stand on
your head while hummin’ “My country ‘tis
of thee” with one thumb in your ass and
the other in your smart-talking mouth. We
do things around here in Texas a little
differently.

          BOBBY-JO
Now, Neall. Is this necessary?

          NEALL
Hush up, Bobby-Jo. I think we got some
high-class terrorists here from the big
city, fixin’ to wreak havoc in our quiet
little town.

          CHRIS
What did we do? I know my rights.

          NEALL
Hush up! You don’t know the half of it.
See, I don’t like your clothes and you’re
not wearing any shoes…

          CHRIS
     (under his breath, looking down)
Huh? We lost our shoes, too?

          NEALL
…and round here in Texas, I could pull my
weight and get both you boys the death
penalty.

          NOAH
The death penalty? What! Just because you
don’t like our clothes?

          NEALL
Quiet! You can get the death penalty for
just about anything here in Texas.

          BOBBY-JO
Sho’ nuff. Take it easy on ‘em Neall.
                         NEALL
               You mind yourself, Bobby. Alright, so
               walking around without shoes… violation
               of penal code 1197, section Q-A, lines 8
               through 11. I could get you for this one,
               oh, it’s a big ticket. But I’ll let you
               off with a warning.

                         CHRIS
                    (sarcastically)
               Oh, thank you. Gee, what a kind man.

                         NEALL
               You will address me as Officer Martin!
               That’s a fine!

Neall begins to write out a ticket. He mumbles angrily under
his breath, tears it and gives it to Chris.

As soon as Chris takes it, Neall hits him in the stomach.

                         NEALL
               There you go! Now you’re not so funny,
               huh? How ‘bout that? Don’t mess with me!
               Don’t mess with Texas, baby!

Bobby-Jo pulls Neall off of him.

                         BOBBY-JO
               What in the sam-hell? Neall, hush up you.

He opens the car door and throws Neall in.

                         BOBBY-JO
                    (picking Chris up)
               I’m real sorry about that. He kinda has a
               short guy complex. You know, Napoleon
               style. Angry at the world because the
               good L-rd didn’t grace him with vertical
               verisimilitude.
                    (back to Neall)
               You start hollerin’, and I’m gonna tell
               ma!

                         CHRIS
               Thanks. You guys really do it different
in Texas, huh?

          BOBBY-JO
You better believe it. Yo cops in New
York don’t hit folk from time to time?

          NOAH
No, if they breathe on people the wrong
way they get slapped with a lawsuit.

          BOBBY-JO
Geez. I reckon I couldn’t deal with not
     (making punching motions)
venting my anger on a perp from time to
time. Anyway, how can I help you boys?
You look lost?


          NOAH
Oh, we just came all the way from New
York City because I’m looking for this
girl that I kinda like.

          CHRIS
He’s in love.

          BOBBY-JO
Well, gollee. Congratulations, man.
What’s her name?

          NOAH
Samantha. Sammy. And I think she changed
her last name.

          BOBBY-JO
Sammy? Brown hair, shortish, kinda cute?
Likes to wear Prada shoes and
accessorizes to the tee?

          NOAH
     (excited)
Yeah, yeah, yeah!

          BOBBY-JO
Well you, sir, are in luck. Hop in the
cruiser and I can take you right to her.
               Just moved here the other day. Real
               peach, she sure is.

                         NOAH
               You believe this Chris?

                           CHRIS
               Oh I do.

                         NOAH
               Can we make a quick stop first?

                          BOBBY-JO
               Sure thing. And mind Neall. He won’t bite
               ya --
                     (under his breath)
               -- in the face, at least.

They all get into the car, and drive away into town.

EXT. SAMMY’S HOUSE – DAY

Looking exactly like every house in the neighborhood, the
only thing that makes Sammy’s distinguishable is the number
on the mailbox.

The henchmen’s Lincoln Towncar pulls up on the other side of
the street. Moishe and Carl gaze out.

                         MOISHE
               This is it. The guy in the liquor store
               said a man named Donnie just moved in
               with his daughter the other day. Jackpot.

                         CARL
               You think this is such a good idea?

                         MOISHE
               Why, Carl? You scared? We’re gonna bag us
               a rat.

                         CARL
               I don’t know if killing him is the right
               thing, though. He’s got a daughter.

                           MOISHE
               You going soft on me, Carl? How ‘bout I
               tell that to Yosef and see how approving
               he is?

                         CARL
               Alright, fine. Fine.

                         MOISHE
               Damn right. Now, the plan is, we stake
               out the house, make sure it’s him, and
               after we get the go ahead from upstairs,
               it’s lights out for dirty Donnie.

He pulls out a gun and screws on a silencer.

                         MOISHE
               Tomorrow night is what I’m saying.

                         CARL
               Fine.
                    (muttering)
               What I’m saying is you’re an asshole.

                         MOISHE
               You running your mouth Carl?

                         CARL
                    (bitterly)
               No, king Moishe, I’m not.

                         MOISHE
               Good.

EXT. “REMEMBER THE ALAMO” MEMORIAL MIDDLE SCHOOL – DAY

The car full of men pulls up to this nice, yet small middle
school.

Noah gets out of the car quickly, holding a huge bouquet of
flowers, and rushes into the building.

INT. SAMMY’S CLASSROOM

He runs down a hallway until he reaches Sammy’s classroom.
Slowly, he peers through the window on the door.
Sammy’s class is festively decorated with many bright colors
and pictures on the wall. It appears that she’s teaching a
group of multiply-handicapped kids, special kids with
problems like autism and Down’s Syndrome.

As Noah knocks on the door, she’s in the middle of reading
the kids a story as they look on intently. She pauses to go
open the door.

                           SAMMY
               Yes?

                           NOAH
               Surprise!

Sammy screams and slams the door in his face. She backs up
against the door and is breathing deeply.

Noah waits on the other side, looking obviously distraught.

Sammy regains composure, and opens the door slowly again.

                         NOAH
                    (less excited)
               Surprise.

                         SAMMY
               Noah! What are you doing here? How did
               you find me? Why…?

                         NOAH
               Well, I’m really glad to see you, too.

                         SAMMY
               How did you know where I was?

                         NOAH
               A big birdie slipped and let me know.

                           SAMMY
               Tracy…

                         NOAH
               You got it.

                           SAMMY
               Well you have to go. Just go back to the
               city, Noah. This wasn’t meant to be.

                         NOAH
               But why? I thought this was the beginning
               of a relationship?

                           SAMMY
               So did I.

                         NOAH
               So what’s the problem here?

                          SAMMY
                    (becoming angry)
               You want to know what the problem is?
               Huh, Noah?

Sammy’s students call her from the classroom.

                         SAMMY
               I’ll be there in a second, sweetie.
                    (to Noah, angered)
               The problem is that your mere presence
               here could get my father, me, and you
               killed. All of us. How about that?

                           NOAH
               But how?

                         SAMMY
               Noah… I should have told you this in my
               letter, but my father has some bad
               history. He got involved with the wrong
               guys, and pretty soon he was a high-
               ranking official in an organized crime
               group. And now, to save his ass and mine,
               he’s giving testimony against some pretty
               awful people to put them in jail. That’s
               why I’m here and…

                         NOAH
                    (interrupting)
               I know about all that, the federal
               relocation and stuff.
          SAMMY
I see Tracy didn’t spare you any details.

          NOAH
No -- anyway, I know all of that.

          SAMMY
Then why did you come? Do you have some
kind of death wish?
     (starting to show she cares)
Look at you, it looks like the gangsters
already got to you.

          NOAH
     (dusting himself off)
No, just some bad luck. But it doesn’t
matter. I want to be with you. I want to
see where this love goes.

          SAMMY
Well, I wish the circumstances could have
been different.

          NOAH
I know the danger and I’m willing to risk
it for you. I’ve given up everything just
to be here now talking to you.

          SAMMY
Well –- how do you know you weren’t
followed? This is dangerous, you know.

          NOAH
I wasn’t. Tracy only told me because she
knows I love you. Listen, I want to make
this work, when you get off of school,
we’ll talk.

          SAMMY
You know, I just can’t. This can’t work
out. It was doomed to fail from the
beginning; my past is not all you think
it is.

          NOAH
I know, but…
                         SAMMY
               You don’t know. You have no idea what
               it’s like to be responsible for your
               father’s problems, to move away and leave
               a life you loved just to save his life.
               Do you what that’s like? Self-sacrifice?

                         NOAH
               Well…

                         SAMMY
               No. Listen, here is my address…
                    (writes it on a piece of paper)
               You are welcome to stay for a day or two
               to get things in order, but then
                         (More)
                         SAMMY (cont.)
               you have to leave, and that’s when we’ll
               say our final goodbyes. Who knows where
               I’ll be after the trial is over? I’m
               sorry, Noah. For now, I have work to do.

                         NOAH
               But…

Sammy closes the door on him once again, and he is left
standing in the hallway, forlorn.

INT. HENCHMEN’S CAR – NIGHT

Moishe looks through the large pair of binoculars into the
Soeble house, where he sees Donnie talking on the phone.

                         MOISHE
               There he is. That’s our rat. Got the go
               ahead from the boss, and tonight is the
               night.

He looks again and sees Noah in the house, as well.

                         MOISHE
               Christ! It’s that Barnes kid! How did he
               get here?

                         CARL
               I dunno. Train, plane, or automobile, I’m
               guessing?

                         MOISHE
               Shutup Carl. Man, looks like we’re gonna
               have to postpone the hit until tomorrow
               night. Weiss would put such a high price
               on our heads if we hurt that kid.

                         CARL
                    (muttering)
               I’ll put a price on your head.

                         MOISHE
               What was that?

                          CARL
               Nothing.

INT. SAMMY’S HOUSE – NIGHT

The house is brand new, with all white interior, including
white carpet. Upon a cursory inspection, one can easily tell
that it was haphazardly moved into just days ago.

Noah sits across from Donnie at the kitchen table in a medium
size, fully equipped kitchen that connects to a large family
room, which is full of boxes. The only thing unpacked, in
fact, is the couch and TV set, both of which are being put to
good use by Chris.

Noah and Donnie sit in silence; Sammy is nowhere to be found.

                         DONNIE
               So, uh, you basically know just about
               everything?

                         NOAH
               Just about.

                         DONNIE
               And you didn’t tell nobody? And you
               weren’t followed?

                         NOAH
               No, and, as far as I know, no.
                         DONNIE
               Good. That’s good. So you like my
               daughter?

                            NOAH
               Very much.

They sit uncomfortably; the situation is awkward. Noah’s cell
rings. He picks up; it’s Freida.

                            NOAH
               Hello?



                         FREIDA (VO)
               Hello, bubby. It’s mommy. So are you in
               Texas already?

                         NOAH
               Yeah, I’m here. Safe and sound… nearly
               escaping disaster quite a few times.

                          FREIDA (VO)
               What? You want I should have
               palpitations? You’re father is worried
               about you.

                         NOAH
               Did you call for any reason, Mom?

                         FREIDA (VO)
               Yeah, honey. Listen, your great aunt
               Zlotty is sick in Florida, so Dad and I
               are going to fly down for a few days.

                            NOAH
               Ok. So?

                         FREIDA (VO)
               So? We have a layover in Houston. We were
               wondering if we could stay with you in
               your hotel for the night. Our flight
               leaves at seven A.M. and Pippick is right
               outside of Houston.
          NOAH
A layover from New York to Florida?

          FREIDA (VO)
We’re flying cheap. Your aunt Lucy got us
a deal.

          NOAH
Wow, must be real cheap. You know what
though? I’m not staying at a hotel. I’m
staying with Sammy.

          FREIDA (VO)
What? This new girl? Oh, well I wouldn’t
want to impose.
          (More)
          FREIDA (VO) (cont.)
     (sighs)
I guess your father and I will just sleep
a little on those hard, airport benches.

          NOAH
Alright, Mom. Enough with the guilt. Hang
on.
     (to Donnie)
Would it be alright if my parents stayed
for a few hours tomorrow night? My aunt’s
sick, long story.

          DONNIE
Sure. No problem. Your grandfather was a
good guy, so for your mother, anything.
You know I kind of had the jones for her
back in the day.

          FREIDA (VO)
     (interrupting)
Oh hello Donnie!

          DONNIE
Hey Freida sweetie!

          NOAH
Alright, enough. So it’s settled, Mom.
I’ll pick you up at the airport tomorrow.
                         FREIDA (VO)
               Six o’clock, no later.

                         NOAH
               Ok, love you. Bye now.

He hangs up.

                         NOAH
               I’m going to hit the bricks. Thanks for
               letting us stay, Mr. Soeble.

                         DONNIE
               Sure, call me Donnie now.

                         NOAH
               Ok. Hey, I guess Sammy’s out late?

                         DONNIE
               Yeah, that girl is a work-a-holic. Holds
               three jobs already.

                         NOAH
               Ok, then. See you in the morning.

                           DONNIE
               Yup.

Noah exits. Donnie is left sitting alone, head down in
contemplative thought; Chris is already asleep on the couch.

INT. HENCHMEN’S CAR – DAWN

SUPER:    “The next day…
             6:15 AM”

The car remains parked across the street, with the two front
seats reclined so as to remain inconspicuous, but also
because Moishe and Carl are sleeping. Moishe wakes up to the
noise of a CAR DOOR CLOSING.

Sammy has just pulled into the driveway and creeps out of her
car and slowly enters the house.

                           MOISHE
               Carl, Carl! Wake up. Check out who’s
               checkin’ in.

                         CARL
                    (sleep talking)
               I love Lucy too! And sometimes I sing
               like Judy Garland! Oh, I just love old
               movies.

                         MOISHE
               Carl! Wake up! What are you talking
               about? Judy Garland… Hearing that, I’d
               fix ya for a fairy.

                         CARL
               What do you want?

                         MOISHE
               I was just pointin’ out how our little
               friend’s daughter here was gone the
               entire night, so the hit will go down
               smoothly.

                         CARL
               Must be working multiple jobs. It’s hard
               for a young girl.

                         MOISHE
               What? Anyway, tonight’s the night.
               Everything’s gonna change for us after
               this. Moving up.

                         CARL
                    (sighing)
               Or moving out…

INT. NOAH’S CAR – DUSK

SUPER: “6:07 PM”

Noah’s car pulls up to the terminal at the airport. The
weather is quite stormy and Noah has had some trouble
locating the terminal.

Freida and John get into the car. They are both soaked.
                         FREIDA
               What, you couldn’t get here at six like I
               told you? I said exactly six! Now your
               father and I are soaked to the bone, and
               we’ll probably catch our death cold.

                         NOAH
               Hi, mom. It’s great to see you too.

                         JOHN
               Hey, buddy. How are things going?

                         NOAH
               Could be better, actually.


                         JOHN
               What? Sammy…?

                         NOAH
               She’s alright. Not as excited to see me
               as I was her.

                         FREIDA
               Noah, honey. Stop off and get some dinner
               for everybody. I feel bad that we’re
               imposing. Get some Tex-Mex or something;
               people around here love that stuff.

                          NOAH
               Alright.

                         FREIDA
               And while you’re at it, a housewarming
               gift too.

                         NOAH
               Anything else, Mom?

                         FREIDA
               Maybe a nosh, your father is famished.

Noah looks ahead angrily, and steps on the gas. It’s evident
that his driving is careless, even though it’s raining and
he’s using Donnie’s car.
EXT. OUTSIDE SAMMY’S HOUSE – NIGHT

SUPER: “7:32 PM”

Moishe and Carl are laying low in their car, watching and
waiting.

Donnie’s car pulls up with Noah, Freida, and John. They all
get out. Noah is carrying a large bag of food and a designer
lamp.

Freida and John bring their luggage into the house; Freida
carries about 5 bags of all different sizes, John has one
small piece of luggage.


                         FREIDA
               What I should break my back with this?

                         JOHN
               Maybe if you hadn’t packed it all in the
               first place…

                         NOAH
               Would you two at least try to act sane
               for tonight? Please?

                         FREIDA
               Ok. For my Noah, anything.

John, Freida, and Noah enter the house.

Moishe sits up quickly in the car.

                         MOISHE
               I can’t believe this. He brings the whole
               ‘mishpucha’ to this girl’s house? We
               gotta be extra careful tonight. If we
               popped Gruenschplatt’s kid by accident,
               there’ll be hell to pay.

                         CARL
               So let’s call it off. The whole thing.

                         MOISHE
               I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that. We just
                gotta be extra careful.

                          CARL
                Oooh… We can’t hurt him. He’s got great
                taste. Was that a designer lamp?

                          MOISHE
                What? Shutup Carl. Quiet.

INT. THE SOEBLE KITCHEN – NIGHT

SUPER: “8:40”

Noah, Chris, Freida, John, and Donnie all sit around the
kitchen table, which is piled high with Mexican food.

Donnie steals the occasional glance at Freida, and John
begins to notice.

                          DONNIE
                So, uh, Freida. You really – um -- look
                great.

                          FREIDA
                Oh, well. Donnie, you always were the
                charmer. I remember back in the day…

                           DONNIE
                You do? I thought you’d forgotten all
                about ‘em.

                          FREIDA
                Oh no. Mr. Dashing Donnie.
                     (she giggles like a little girl)

                          DONNIE
                     (blushing)
                Well, I don’t know about dashing…

                          JOHN
                     (interceding)
                So, Noah, how was your trip down?

                          NOAH
                Too much to tell. Hey, Mr. Soeble…
                         DONNIE
               Donnie. Please, call me Donnie.

                         NOAH
               Ok, Donnie. When are you expecting Sammy
               home?

                          DONNIE
               I don’t know, she works so hard
               sometimes.
                    (changing the subject)
               Freida, this food is outrageous! You have
               to tell me where you got it. The spices!

John begins to cough from the spiciness of the food.

Noah starts to pat him on the back.

                         JOHN
               Oh, yeah. Just wonderful.

                         DONNIE
               I always knew you had the best taste in
               everything.

                         FREIDA
               Well, I don’t know about that…

                         JOHN
               In men, especially! Excuse me, if you
               don’t mind, this food’s gone through me
               already and it’s on the way out. And
               then, I’m going to bed. Freida, we have
               an early flight to catch.

He exits the room, first walking, and then running to the
bathroom where we hear GRUNTING NOISES.

The rest go back to eating, and Donnie and Freida continue
with the looks.

INT. ENTRYWAY TO THE SOEBLE HOUSE – NIGHT

SUPER: “1:02 AM”

The front door slowly opens and Sammy silently enters. She
closes the door behind her. Just as she does, she’s startled
by something.

Noah is sitting on a chair in the dark, right by the door.

                         SAMMY
               You nearly scared me half to death!

                         NOAH
               Well, I just figured I would wait until
               you got in to chat. You know, I’m leaving
               tomorrow, and I didn’t want to go without
               getting a few things off my chest.

                         SAMMY
               Well, fine. Go ahead.

                         NOAH
               First, where were you?

                           SAMMY
               Just out.

                         NOAH
               Just out, huh? Until one A.M.?

                         SAMMY
               Not that it’s any of your business, but I
               was trying to avoid a situation like
               this.

                         NOAH
               Is that right? You think you can avoid
               seeing someone who’s traveled halfway
               across the country just to be in your
               presence?

                         SAMMY
               I thought I could, but you just don’t
               understand, Noah.

                         NOAH
               Damn right I don’t.

They continue fighting in the front of the house.
INT. SOEBLE KITCHEN – NIGHT

SUPER: “1:15 AM”

John is fumbling around the kitchen cabinets.

                         JOHN
               All this Mexican food, and no antacid?
               How can you live around here and not keep
               some Tums or Maalox on hand?

He leaves the kitchen and sees Freida and Donnie on the
couch, sipping red wine.

                         JOHN
               What the hell is this? I can’t sleep
                         (More)
                         JOHN (cont.)
               because I’m up with the runs like a
               faucet, and you two are in here playing
               love connection?

INT. BACK DOOR OF SOEBLE HOUSE – NIGHT

SUPER: “1:20 AM”

At a small door in a room adjacent to the kitchen, Moishe
picks the lock and silently slides the glass door open.

Carl is right behind him, but trips.

                         MOISHE
               Quiet, Carl! You want them to hear us?

                         CARL
               I’m sorry, it’s my sciatica. I can’t walk
               straight.

                         MOISHE
               Shh. Let’s lay low and do this quietly.

He takes out his gun and screws on the silencer.

INT. ENTRYWAY TO THE SOEBLE HOUSE – NIGHT

SUPER: “1:22 AM”
Noah and Sammy are still fighting.

                         SAMMY
               Now did you come here to fight, or did
               you come to tell me something? I have to
               go to bed, I’m getting up early.

He stands and moves closer to her.

                         NOAH
               Alright. I just wanted to tell you that I
               think I love you, and as of now, you’re
               the only one I want to be with.

                         SAMMY
                    (straightforward)
               How can you know what love is, Noah?

                         NOAH
               I know. Believe me. Listen. Love is
               traveling from New York City to Pippick,
               Texas, where the Jews are
                    (quotation fingers)
               “different” just to be with you right
               now, talking. Love is losing everything
               in the process, such as your car, your
               clothes and shoes, and even your dignity
               to a bunch of hot-headed Texas police
               officers. Love is knowing what you want,
               and knowing exactly how you’re going to
               get it, come what may. Love is you and
               me, Sammy. Love is us. This is it. That’s
               why I’m here, for our love. To give it a
               bit of a chance, to see where it goes.
               I’ve been waiting all my life for you,
               and I’m not about to lose you just
               because your father has a shady past. Who
               doesn’t? The point is, Sammy, that I need
               you. And you need me; you just aren’t
               sure it’s the best thing. You know what?
               It may not be. In fact, it probably
               isn’t. But if there’s one thing I learned
               from this whole ordeal it’s that, no
               matter how many times I lost faith in
               myself and my journey, I never lost sight
               of my goal, to reach you. I guess that’s
               how things sometimes work in this great
               comedy; spiritually, emotionally, and
               physically. Though we say we lose faith
               in G-d, isn’t it ourselves that we’ve
               forsaken? Haven’t we just given up and
               taken the easy way out? Well, I’ll tell
               you something, I’m not giving up on this.
               No, I’ve lost too many good things in my
               life just by letting them go and not
               doing anything about it. But you, Sammy,
               you’re worth it. This whole trip has been
               worth it, and even if I go tomorrow and
               never see you again, I’ll be satisfied.
               Now what do you say to that?


                         SAMMY
               Well, I guess -- You know, you can’t
               just…

Noah cuts her off and embraces her. She resists at first, but
then joins in. She pulls away a bit, smiles, and continues
kissing him.

                         SAMMY
               I knew you would come. I never lost
               faith. That’s why I told Tracy, knowing
               you’d go to her.

                         NOAH
               You…? Wait a second…

                         SAMMY
               Don’t screw this one up, Noah Barnes.

This time, she moves forward for the kiss.

INT. SOEBLE LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

SUPER: “1:30 AM”

John continues to fight with Freida and Donnie.

                         DONNIE
               Hey, I can explain.
                         JOHN
               You better.

                         DONNIE
               We was just catching up on old times.

Freida gets up and moves toward John.

                         FREIDA
               I swear, it was innocent. Just a little
               red wine, some nostalgia…

                         DONNIE
               Your wife’s something, alright. I was
               just wondering why we never got together,
               that’s all.

                         JOHN
               Alright, that’s it.

John lunges at Donnie; they begin to scuffle and roll about
the floor while Freida screams.

At that moment, Moishe walks in with the gun pointed at
Donnie. Carl follows behind him.

                         MOISHE
               I hate to break this little love-fest up,
               but I got a rat to take care of.

Donnie and John stop fighting. Freida draws back in
fear.

                         MOISHE
               So this is how it ends, Donnie boy. The
               cat gets the rat.

                         CARL
               Maybe you shouldn’t Moishe.

                         MOISHE
               Shutup Carl, I’m tired of your bullshit.

                         FREIDA
               Moishe?! Carl! Tell him to stop! He’s
               gonna hurt someone!

                         CARL
               Please, Moishe. I’m begging you.

                         FREIDA
               Please! There’s other ways to sort this
               out.

                         JOHN
               There’s no need for this.

                         MOISHE
               Yes there is.

He’s about to pull the trigger.

Noah and Sammy walk in.

                         NOAH
               What’s the matter? I heard screaming
               going on.

With tension rising to a peak, Moishe turns quickly and
pulls the trigger at Noah.

Noah pulls out a remote and hits pause.

                         NOAH
               See this is where I’d like to be able to
               stop time, but no, the immutable laws of
               physics won’t allow it. Remember I told
               you I got shot? Alright. Go.
                    (he un-pauses it)

The bullet hits Noah in the arm. He’s knocked down, writhing
in pain.

Sammy comes to his aid.

                         MOISHE
                    (pointing gun at Donnie)
               And now for the rat.

He is about to pull the trigger when Chris walks in the back
door behind him.
                           CHRIS
                 Man, the stars at night really are big
                 and bright, deep in the heart of Texas. I
                 was just smoking a cigar, and I heard…
                      (he sees Moishe and the gun)
                 My G-d!

He drops his

CIGAR

which slowly falls to the floor at

MOISHE’S FEET,

which are gas soaked.

Moishe looks down, and realizes in a split-second what’s gone
wrong. His shoes are engulfed in flames, as is the rest of
his body as he runs to the backyard SCREAMING. He jumps in
the pool.

Donnie and John get up and run to Noah’s aid.

Noah sits up.

                           NOAH
                 The gas on the shoes…

                           SAMMY
                 What’s that?

                            NOAH
                 Nothing.

                           JOHN
                 You alright?

                           NOAH
                 Yeah, just got it in the arm. I’ll be
                 fine. No need to go to the hospital.

                           DONNIE
                 No, come on. We better go. I’ll drive
                 you.
                            NOAH
                  Thanks.

                            DONNIE
                  No, thank you for saving my life.

Sammy kisses Noah as they begin to carry him out. The police
arrive; it’s Neall and Bobby-Jo.

                            NEALL
                       (drawing his gun)
                  All of you! Get down on the floor!

                            BOBBY-JO
                  Cool it, Neall. They’re alright. We got a
                  report of a suspicious pair of men
                  entering your house. Is everything ok?

                            FREIDA
                  Oh, no. It was just one man. And I think
                  you’ll find him in the pool.

SOEBLE BACKYARD

Moishe, moaning in pain with serious burns, treads water in
the pool as Carl comes out back.

                            MOISHE
                  Carl, you gotta help me! The feds are
                  here?

                            CARL
                       (with a newfound confidence)
                  They’re here alright. Here and ready for
                  you.

                            MOISHE
                  You gotta help me! Get me out! I think we
                  can make a run for it.

                            CARL
                  No, no, Moishe baby. I think you’re
                  forgetting all those times you dumped on
                  me, called me names, put me down.
                         MOISHE
               You’re talking crazy! Get me outta this
               pool!

                         CARL
               Not this time, Moish. Not saving your ass
               this time. No, in fact, I think I’ll go
               back inside and turn on some Lucy reruns.
               Because, you know what Moishe? I’m gay.
               That’s right. Flamingly homosexual. All
               along, and you didn’t even know it.

                         MOISHE
               What? It doesn’t matter now, Carl. Let’s
               put it all behind us now, huh?



                         CARL
               I don’t think so.
                    (to the house)
               Officers! Here’s your man. Trying to
               escape, but he fell in the pool. Arrest
               him, and let those big boys in the Texas
               prisons have their way with him.

Bobby-Jo and Neall come outside.

                         BOBBY-JO
               Thank you, sir.

                         CARL
               No problem. Love those uniforms!

                         BOBBY-JO
               Why thank you.

Bobby-Jo and Carl’s eyes meet.

Neall fishes Moishe out of the pool and while manhandling
him, begins to read him his rights.

                         MOISHE
               Come on Carl! Give me a hand!

                         CARL
               Sorry sister.

EXT./INT. HOSPITAL IN HOUSTON – DAY

Noah lies with his arm in a sling in a propped-up hospital
bed.

Sammy, Freida, John, Donnie, Chris, Carl, Bobby-Jo, and Neall
are at his bedside, comforting him.

                         NOAH (VO)
               And that’s how it all ends. The night
               that changed that us all. Starting with a
               hospital, ending with a hospital, simple
               as that. And I guess you’re probably
               wondering what happened to everyone
               afterward, right?


MONTAGE – EVERYONE’S FATES

--We see Neall decked out in Napoleon style clothes riding a
horse.

                         NOAH (VO)
               Neall went a little crazy. I think it was
               the whole short guy complex and all. Last
               time anyone saw him was trying to
               recreate the battle of Waterloo by
               himself, authentic Napoleon clothes and
               all.

--Carl and Bobby-Jo are in Hawaii, wearing Hawaiian shirts
and flowers around their neck. They appear to be having a
wedding ceremony.

                         NOAH (VO)
               Bobby-Jo and Carl finally found what each
               had been looking for their whole life.
               Bobby-Jo found a real, city man, and Carl
               found the rough and rugged country boy.
               They live in Hawaii now, happily married.

--Yosef and Moishe sit together in a prison cell, fighting
over the toilet.
                         NOAH (VO)
               Partly because of Donnie’s testimony, and
               party because of a new initiative in New
               York City to crack down on organized
               crime, Yosef and Moishe are serving 25 to
               life in federal prison. It’s now rumored
               that Yosef is a changed man who found
               religion, while Moishe is simply a large
               man’s bitch.

--We see Donnie in a karate outfit, teaching a class of kids
with yarmulkes on, goofily kicking and karate chopping.

                         NOAH (VO)
               With the threat of Yosef’s gang gone,
               Donnie was free to move back to New York
               City, where he now teaches the art
                         (More)
                         NOAH (VO) (cont.)
               of Judo and Tae Kwon Do to Hebrew school
               kids who don’t know how to defend
               themselves.

--We see Chris thumbing through photos of naked women.

                         NOAH (VO)
               Chris is still my best friend. He hasn’t
               changed one bit.

--John and Freida are cutting the ribbon at the opening
ceremony of “Pippick’s Tex-Mex-Jewish Deli.” John is already
looking nauseous from the food.

                         NOAH (VO)
               My mom liked the Mexican spices so much
               that she decided to open a deli that
               serves an infusion of Tex-Mex and Jewish
               cuisine. I mean, where else can you get a
               Pastrami burrito, or whitefish
               quesadillas? After she opened it, my dad
               practically bought stock in Maalox, Tums,
               and other fine antacids.

--Talia is a waitress at Freida’s deli. Her breasts are
incredibly large and out of proportion to the rest of her
body, and her face is swelled with Bo tocks.
                         NOAH (VO)
               Talia now works in my mom’s restaurant
               after getting divorced with Dr. Jim, the
               plastic surgeon.
                    (whispering)
               I think it had something to do with some
               bad plastic surgery.

--Tracy is at a book signing, autographing copies of her
first book with a large picture of herself on the front. The
title reads: “Harnessing Your Inner Yenta: Going Good with
Gossip.”

                         NOAH (VO)
               After practically losing all her friends
               to some bad gossip, Tracy went legit and
               wrote a self help book on the
               (More)
                         NOAH (VO) (cont.)
               correct form, content, and delivery of
               good gossip. It topped “Modern Jewish
               Woman” magazine’s bestseller list for
               fifty-six straight weeks.

--Sammy and Noah sit at Carmine’s Bistro in NYC, enjoying a
candlelight dinner.

                         NOAH (VO)
               And as for Sammy and me, my search is
               over. We decided that the “different”
               Jews of Texas just weren’t for us, and we
               moved back to the city. Sammy took all of
               the money her dad got from testifying,
               plus a wad of dirty cash he had stashed
               away, and she opened a school for kids
               with special needs. As for me, I got a
               job as an associate professor at Columbia
               after my new book, “G-d Isn’t Dead: The
               Theory of the ‘Active’ break,” made it to
               the New York Times best-seller list. So
               Sammy and I are engaged and the wedding
               is set for next June. And the good news
               is: my grandfather approves.

                         SCHLOMO (VO)
                 Oh, you’re such a scheister. Just like
                 your grandfather, you are. I can’t wait
                 to circumcise the first baby!

                            NOAH (VO)
                 What?!

                           SCHLOMO (VO)
                 Just kidding! Just end the movie already,
                 Noah, you’re no good with endings either.

                            NOAH (VO)
                 Alright.

END OF MONTAGE
                                                    FADE OUT.

                            THE END
SEARCHING FOR SAMMY

        by

  Stephen Black




         sblack@fas.harvard.edu
*** This script has been formally registered with the Writer’s Guild of America, East ***

				
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