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.
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.
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
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
INT. ELLIS ISLAND – DAYBREAK – 1947
SUPER: “Ellis Island – 1947”
A YOUNG SCHLOMO GRUENSCHPLATT eagerly walks up to the
counter, where TELLER greets him.
(stammering, broken English)
Hu hu hu… Hullo. My name is Schlomo. I
come to Ameriga to fint vork. I am
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
I am Schlomo Gruenschplatt, from
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.
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
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
Freida, dressed up in full hippie attire, sloppily kisses
John Barnes, whose outfit is preppy and collegiate.
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
There was, Marty Friedlander…
--A skinny, glaring boy with overwhelming acne.
--Slightly chubby boy with braces making kissing motions with
The notorious “Ready Eddie” Eisenschtein.
--Small sickly boy takes a puff of an inhaler and slyly
And who can forget little Lenny
--Clean cut, preppy boy with drawing smile. It is John
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.
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.
I promise. It will all work out. It’s
like the Beatles say, “All you need is
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
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
about your religion, or something
terrible will happen to you. Do you hear
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
Good! I’ve already signed you up for
classes with Rabbi Birnbaum. Oh, and
while we’re on it, there’s no better time
(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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Look mommy! Look! I successfully
transplanted the heart of a Raggedy Ann
doll to a Cabbage Patch kid!
That’s wonderful honey!
Freida beams proudly.
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
YOUNG NOAH comes into view, takes the two dolls and sets them
up in such a way that they appear to be having sex.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Now, now. I got carried away.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Um – Nietzche, I think.
(interrupting, perking up)
So you wanna go out sometime?
Are you serious? No!
The one time I stop to help someone, he
tries to ask me out.
I mean, I asked, “What would Jesus do?”
and I figured he would help. Geez…
Noah begins to pick up his things.
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
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.
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.
“It’s all Greek to me.” What is that?
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.
You’re breaking up with me?
Don’t act so surprised, you saw it
Talia comes into view.
I just can’t believe it, we were getting
along so well.
(packing her things)
No, Noah, you were getting along so well…
the whole relationship was one sided.
But, Talia, we’re in love. Coming
together like Cleopatra and Mark Antony,
in passionate unity. I need you.
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
Good, I see your one semester of graduate
work in psychology has turned you into
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.
Umm… so you’ve dated me for 2 years
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
Geez, excuse me doctor… should I be
paying for these therapy sessions?
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.
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?
You know what? You’re nothing like the
Noah I started dating… Remember, dreams
of working on Wall Street?
Ah, money hungry, materialistic Noah. I
don’t miss him.
Now look at you, struggling to get a book
Talia puts on her coat and crosses to the door. She opens it,
steps out, reconsiders, walks back in, and speaks in a
And the sex was not cosmic.
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.
-- futilely attempts to mask the
childlike nature of -- what the hell am I
(reading a magazine)
Oh, you were just talking about how you
were going to make dinner before you
She walks off into the kitchen.
(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
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.
What’s up, bookworm?
Oh nothing, just grading papers,
contemplating man’s existence, hoping
Talia is out somewhere getting hit by a
No -- she didn’t?
Oh, she did.
That bitch! Oh -- that explains it.
Why she was just walking down 81st
holding Nassater’s hand.
Jim Nassater? Dr. Jim? The plastic
(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.
Nassater?! No thanks, I think I’ll just
go shove a letter opener in my eye.
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.
Geez, and then she fed you that
psychology crap? Low, man. Really low.
And then she insulted the sex.
Whoa, whoa, whoa… Insulting the sex,
that’s a cheap shot. Low blow. She might
as well have taken a chunk out of your
Tell me about it. I mean, who needs women
Yeah. Screw ‘em. They just cause us
(raises his glass)
A toast, to no more women.
(right before drinking)
We are so kidding ourselves.
(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.
Here it is. Two-hundred and fifty “k.”
Yosef accepts the suitcase, opens it, and smiles.
Good work. Excellent. You always come
Now can I get my cut?
Yosef takes out a large wad of hundred-dollar bills and hands
them to DONNIE, whose hand is shaking.
What’s the matter?
Uh… too much coffee, that’s all. Ok,
that’s 10%, good. I guess I’ll be going.
Don’t you want to stay for a nosh?
Nah, I ate earlier. Gotta go…
(he exits quickly)
Yosef stares at his two henchmen and then speaks.
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
Sleep with the gefilte fish! You’re great
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.
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.
Come on, it’s not the same. Wait, so tell
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.
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
Noah begins to turn pale and break out in a sweat.
Are you alright?
Fine, just need some air. Ethnic
Europeans and Mexican spices don’t mix.
Noah starts to get up, but falls over in the process.
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
(eyes opening slowly)
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.
I can’t even touch that stuff. Feeling
And the worst part was, she never called
BACK TO PRESENT DAY
INT. MAIN BAR - NIGHT
She never called?
No, apparently not being able to handle
the food was a sign of weakness to her
and an insult to her parents.
Shit, man -- when are you gonna find the
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
INTERCUT – NOAH’S APARTMENT/DANIEL’S OFFICE
Noah! It’s me, Daniel. What were you
No, just resting with my eyes closed and
Good one, you jokester. I would have
called earlier, but I had so many
patients to deal with. You know how
pompous and bureaucratic this profession
Actually, no. But it’s ok.
Ah, no rest for the schooled surgeon. So
I heard you and Talia broke up?
Man, news travels fast.
Yeah, I saw Chris at the gym – he said
it’s been rough on you. How’re you
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 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
INTERCUT – NOAH’S APARTMENT/BARNES’ APARTMENT
Noah, baby? It’s mommyla. What happened?
I called as soon as I heard. Ach, I’m all
Nothing Mom, it’s ok. Talia and I just
didn’t see things the same way.
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
Mom, you used to say how you loved her.
“She’s just right for my baby.”
Well, not anymore after she hurt my sweet
boy. Call Poppy, he’s worried sick about
you. Daniel told him all about it.
Daniel? Wow, that was quick. Ok, I’ll
call. Talk to you later, Mom.
Bye, bye honey… make yourself some
chicken soup, you’ll feel better.
That’s for if you’re sick.
So, nu? You wouldn’t benefit from a
little nutrition? Come on, I left some in
your freezer. Call Poppy, he’s worried
I know, I know… love you.
Love you too.
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
Bell telephone, how may I help you?
Noah! It’s Poppy… I’ve been worried sick
So I hear.
What happened with this girl?
Eh, it wasn’t meant to be. She said
something about cheap Jews, I think.
What!? The nerve of that girl. Probably
I’m joking. We just didn’t connect.
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.
You know, Poppy, it’s too early. Maybe
sometime later on.
I insist. Plus,
How many times do I have to tell you,
religion is unimportant to me -- But if
you want me to go, I’ll go.
Good, it’s settled. Oh, and you’ll be
reading from the Torah, too.
But I haven’t done that since my Bar
It’s fine, I talked to the Rabbi already.
Call him for the material. Talk to you
Ok, fine. Bye.
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.
It’s me again. Your grandmother is
dropping off some chicken soup in a
little while. I want you should eat it.
SCHLOMO (VO) (cont.)
It’s good for you. And don’t worry,
everything will work out. It always does.
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.
Which one is she?
Over there, in the pants-suit outfit.
Poppy, this is synagogue, every woman
wears pants-suit outfits. Oh, the blue? I
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.
Hi. Wow, Samantha, it’s great to finally
Likewise. Oh, call me Sammy. I’ve heard
so much about you… didn’t you write that
book, “Gay Socrates”?
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.
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.
You read it too?
Oh, cover to cover. I’m so into ancient
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?
Sure. What do you say about Carmine’s on
Broadway? Pick my up Friday at eight.
Wow. Ok -- be there or be square!
Sammy walks away smiling. Schlomo comes over.
Shit! “Be there or be square?” What the
hell was I thinking?
You weren’t. That’s why you said it.
Isn’t she something?
Oh, she is something. That special
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…?
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.
There it is. It’s all you need for the
You’ve done good work, and you’ll be
rewarded justly. The community we’re
relocating you to is in Texas, but it’s
Jews in Texas? I never heard of such a
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.
And my daughter?
She’s going with you. It’s the safest
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.
I’m so glad that this is working out.
I know, me too. I have trouble with
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…
(finishing his sentence)
…fulfillment. I’m the same way.
Wow… you’re amazing.
(pauses, then lowers his eyes)
This is going so much better than the
last time my grandfather set me up.
Why what happened?
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
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.
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.
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.
I was heavyweight champion in Stalingrad!
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
She threw you?
Straight out of the ring. I was pretty
badly bruised but…
(puffs up his muscles, jokingly)
I refused to go to the hospital.
Oh, Noah Barnes… You are something else.
Wait a second, you know what I just
noticed. You and me, Barnes and Soeble…
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
Would you like to come up?
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
I understand. Maybe next time.
Sammy moves to enter the building, but Noah grabs her
(looks her in the eye)
I always ended up knocking them down
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.
Still no call?
I don’t know what happened. Things seemed
to be going so perfectly.
Hey, man. I know what you mean.
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?
No and yes. Maybe she just lost your
number, forgot to pay her phone bill, and
her phone got disconnected.
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.
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
What is this? For rent? Excuse me, ma’am.
What happened to the woman who lived
Oh, Samantha? she moved away. Just the
other day. I’m sorry, are you Noah?
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:
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
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
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
And I wondered why Donnie wouldn’t say
“hi” to me in shul.
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
Hey, I wasn’t the one dragged to the
Short Hills mall Saturday afternoon to go
shopping for outfits.
Shutup! It’s my nephew’s bris for
And don’t knock Lucy -- the woman’s a
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?
Actually, Sammy had a boyfriend. This kid
who read the Torah, Noah Barnes.
Oh, yeah. Gruenschplatt’s grandkid.
You see? Now you’re putting all that
waste matter in your head to use.
Yeah, I heard down the Yenta Grapevine
that they were getting pretty close.
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
Definitely. Consider it done.
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.
We’re on the case.
Good… and boys? No bad reports, huh?
You got it.
Moishe and Carl exit. The camera follows them as they leave
OUTSIDE THE BAR – CONTINUOS ACTION
Moishe and Carl walk towards the parking area, each with a
newfound spring in their step.
“We’re on the case?” What in the name of
Moses is that?
Saw it on some cop show. Sounds good, no?
If you’re a complete idiot. Now, you
screwed us the first time, let’s keep it
clean this time?
(under his breath)
What was that?
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.
What, what? Christ! I thought it was the
police. Oh, Noah, what’s wrong?
Tracy, we’ve known each other since we
were kids, right?
Ach, kindela! So young we were…
And I just came here to tell you that
there has been no time in my life that I
needed you more.
I never thought you would ask.
She pulls Noah’s head in for a kiss, and plants one on him.
Shocked, Noah pulls back.
Whoa. Hang on. Not like that.
Oh my G-d! I’m so embarrassed!
No it’s ok -- I’m flattered. Really –
yeah. It’s just that you were pretty
close with Sammy Soeble, right?
Sammy? Sure. She rushed me to the
hospital that one time I came down with a
bad case of Goldman-Sachs.
Right, whatever. Point is that I was
sick. What about her?
Well, would you believe I’m madly in love
with her and I need to know what happened
to her right now?
This is awkward. Um -- actually, I’m not
supposed to say anything.
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
Ok, insult me. Fine. See how far you get
Tracy. I’m sorry, that was wrong. Now,
(on his knees and hugging her)
please can you tell me?
Get up, ok? You’re getting me all excited
(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
Jews in Texas?
Oh sure, there are Jews. Just a little
“different,” that’s all. I mean have you
ever heard a New York Jew say “Shalom,
Actually no. But thanks for the info.
He kisses her on the cheek, turns quickly, and begins to run
out of the building.
Don’t tell anybody about the kiss!
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
Chris is asleep in his chair. Noah shakes him to wake him up.
(in a female voice)
Chris! Wake up it’s your mother!
Ah! What mom? Oh, it’s you -- what are
you so uppity for? She still didn’t call,
(can’t talk fast enough)
No, better. I know where she is. She went
to Pippick, Texas -- It’s a small Jewish
Jews in Texas?
Yeah, you know…
“different” Jews. Anyway, she needed to
be relocated by the FBI or something
because her father is in the Jewish
Come on, that’s an old joke. The only
Jewish mafia you know of is the cast of
No, really it’s not. Look it up on your
Ok, but I won’t find anything. What would
they put hits on guys and guilt them to
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.
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.
See, I told you it’s real. Now search for
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
Holy shit! That’s the guy who bumped me
at the bar. That’s Samantha’s father?!
Talk about weird.
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
Tell me about it.
(reading on further)
“… Weiss received the reins after the
retirement of the famed Schlomo ‘Shotgun’
Gruenschplatt.” That’s your grandfather!
Come on, you hadn’t figured out by now
that my grandfather had ties in crime?
I guess I just realized it now. I always
wondered why his chopped meat sometimes
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.
She really must be. I’ve never seen you
like this. You’re like Pacino from the
Godfather. So determined.
Alright, enough with the mob cracks. So
are you with me?
I dunno. I got some stories to cover.
Screw ‘em. This is love we’re talking
Ok, as long as you tell me who had Sonny
Enough with the mob cracks, let’s go, we
haven’t much time. Oh, and it was
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.
Would you put those things away? How
conspicuous do you want to look?
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.
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.
There he goes. And who was that other
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.
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
Chris has been lulled off to sleep by the sounds of the open
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, honey. It’s mommy. Where are you?
Oh, actually –-
-- it’s a funny thing, really. Turns out
Sammy went to Texas, and Chris –- well
Chris and I are going to find her.
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.
You talk to that crazy son of yours.
Texas? What’s so good about Texas?
Calm down, Freid.
What’s going on, buddy? Mom says you’re
going to Texas?
Yeah, long story. I’ve gotta find Sammy.
She really means a lot to me, Dad.
This new girlfriend? I hope so. You
really like her, Noah?
Of course. She could be the one.
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
Sure! Tell the boy to pisch his life away
for a lousy girl.
Ok, sweetie. Let the Midol kick in first.
(back to Noah)
You hear me? Go get her.
Alright, thanks Dad. Love you so much.
Love you too. Keep us posted.
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.
John! Is he alive?
He’s fine. Just a little quest. He’ll be
Noah looks down at the dashboard.
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.
Excuse me? Do you know which highway
leads to Nashville?
(after no reply)
Excuse me? Buddy? Hey, you’re leaking gas
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
Oh my G-d! I’m so sorry. I was spaced out
No kidding you little jerk! These shoes
were four-hundred dollars at Bally’s.
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?
Oh no. You said Bally’s, right? I’m from
the city too. But sorry, Nashville –- hmm
-- no, I don’t know.
Oh, alright. Where you from in the city?
I live on 55th; I work at NYU.
Ah, no shit? My cousin went there. Good
school. Hey, well maybe I’ll see ya on
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.
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
What? What’d you hit me for? Did you find
This kid’s a shit. A nothing. He’s got no
connection to anything.
What about the other guy?
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.
INT. NOAH’S CAR – NIGHT
Noah drives with a contemplative look on his face. He taps
Chris to wake him up.
What’s up? We there yet?
No, just wanted to tell you something.
I love this girl, Chris. I really do.
This is it, what I’ve been looking for.
I know, man. She seems great.
Oh, she is. You’ll see.
I bet. Just let me know when you get too
tired to drive, alright?
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.
Wake up you jerk, I’ve been driving all
Alright, I’m up. I’m up. What’s going on?
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?
Yeah, I got it. I slip you the mickey
No, you idiot. I slip them the mickeys.
Get it right.
Whoo! Slippin’ mickeys! Like the good old
days. Oh boy, Moishe.
Contain your excitement. This is
business. Remember, the boss said no
roughing this kid up. He’s
(under his breath)
I’ll rough you up.
What was that?
INT. NOAH’S CAR – DUSK
Chris now drives as Noah is curled up on the seat next to
Hey, Noah. Wake up.
I’m getting kinda hungry. I saw a sign
for a roadside bar and grill type place
in a few miles. You game?
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
Mmm mmm! Gotta love the smell of deep
fried everything when you’re hungry.
Got that right. Classy, charming, with a
hint of sophistication. Ooh, and they’re
(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?
(cracking a half smile)
Oh, come on. That was genius.
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.
Well you didn’t have to hit me.
Yes I did. You don’t think, Carl, you
just don’t think.
You asked me for the Advil from the
glove, I gave you what was in the bottle.
I said the real Advil bottle, not the one
I use for mickeys. You’re lucky I spit it
I just took one.
(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.
I sure hope so.
Moishe enters the bar.
Carl stumbles in a bit. It’s clear the pills have begun to
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
I’m telling you… there was this cosmic
connection. I know it sounds cheesy.
No, not at all, I believe it.
Would you two Casanovas like to order or
what, ‘cause I sure ain’t getting’ any
Well I guess not. Do you have anything on
the lighter side, like a chicken Caesar
Salad? Our burgers come with lettuce.
Hmm. Yeah. How ‘bout like a salad for
Come to think of it, I ain’t never had
anyone ask for that. I could just take
the lettuce off some burgers.
No that’s alright. I’ll just have a big
plate of charred cattle flesh and fried
Alright, one steak an’ bacon, smartass.
And for you, sugar?
Just give me some chicken wings and a
huge pitcher of whatever you’ve got on
Behind them, Moishe and Carl are plotting.
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.
Damn it. I’m tired.
You can sleep in the car. We have to eat,
look at me. I’m skin and bones.
You just sounded like your mother.
I’m not going to tell you again Carl,
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.
Hey! I knew it was you. Gas station kid?
What do you say I buy you guys a round; I
feel bad for yelling.
Sure, just get a refill on our pitcher.
Waitress! Another round for these
Alright… another batch of funny guys.
Thank you ma’am.
Moishe refills both Chris and Noah’s beers.
Carl begins to talk, but his head is bobbing and his speech
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.
Something wrong with your friend here?
No, he’s just had one too many.
(talking through his teeth)
Shutup you idiot.
(back to Noah)
Sorry about that. He just can’t hold his
Carl’s head crashes to the table. Noah and Chris jump up.
Maybe we should help him?
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
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.
-- So then this girl just up and leaves
him, with this “Dear John” type note,
saying how she can never see him again.
She left so suddenly?
Just like that. Poof. She’s gone.
She didn’t say where she’s going?
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?
No? She left? Where did she go?
So I got all this info because I’m an
experienced photographer for a New York
Where did she go?
Geez. My friend was just about to get to
Pippick, Texas. With her father. Some
Jews in Texas?
Oh yeah, you know… they’re
“different” and all.
Wow, so you guys are just two New York
City schmucks who are looking for this
girl? Either of you work for the
Why? I’ve been told I look like an FBI
Oh boy, you guys are too much.
(under his breath)
What a waste of two mickeys.
What was that?
Nothing. Finish your drinks.
They both do, and as soon as they’re done, both heads hit the
table as they pass out.
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
Waste of my friggen time.
INT. HENCHMEN’S CAR – NIGHT
Moishe is already on the highway driving away when Carl comes
I don’t want any kreplach. Huh? Where am
You’re in the car, dummy. We just left
Oh, what’d we find out?
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.
And where are they going?
Pippick, Texas. That’s where Soeble is.
Jews in Texas.
Well, they are. Have you ever met a Jew
who wore Cowboy boots and hat, a belt
buckle, chaps, and chewed straw? I
That’s no matter. All that matters is
we’re gonna get there before them and
take care of this little Soeble problem.
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
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.
Uuuuungh. What the?
(realizes he’s on top of Chris)
Holy shit. Chris. Wake up.
He taps Chris nervously. Chris opens his eyes.
Huh? Noah? Why are you on top of me?
I think we were drugged.
We didn’t do anything, did we?
No, I don’t think so.
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.
Oh my G-d. My wallet! My watch! All of
Fuck! Me too. Bastards! Who did it?
I don’t know. I don’t remember much of
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.
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
Noah wets his hands and rubs his face to wake himself up. He
then leaves the dregs of the bathroom, also slamming the door
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.
(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.
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.
What? What’s the matter?
What’s the matter? Are you blind or were
you born yesterday in that germ-laden
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
Oh, He must not be for this to happen.
What are we going to do?
That’s what I’ve been asking myself for
the past ten minutes while you’ve been
jerking off and eating soul food in
What can we do?
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
What are you talking about?
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?
So you’re just leaving?
That’s right. I’m just going to start
So what about Sammy?
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?
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.
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.
LONG SHOT as we see that Chris goes one way and Noah goes the
Noah begins to cry silently. Then, all of a sudden, a
determined look grows in his eyes.
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.
Nobody is worth this.
Just as he says that, a large charter bus pulls up, and 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.
Sisters, say hello to my best friend in
the world, Chris.
L-rd bless you and keep you, Chris.
I hope so.
They sit down in the front of the bus. Chris turns to Noah in
How did you get all of this?
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.
(looking into his lap)
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
(looks up and smiles)
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
Noah, on the other hand, is busily in conversation with NICE
NUN, an older, wrinkly-faced woman with a warm smile.
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
Hmm. Interesting theory.
I mean, we’re created supposedly in His
image, so we’ve got to know how to
unscrew everything up sometimes, you
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
(toward the back of the bus)
Can I get some quiet, please? I need some
holy rest here.
(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
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?
Hm. I see. And maybe members of the
clergy, rabbis, priests, politicians,
etcetera are the one to lead these
metaphorical cleanups sometimes?
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
Yes, sadly, I think you’re right. It can
often be hard for one to retain faith
when the world is so unforgiving.
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
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.
The volume! Take it down a little,
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?
But what can he do? He cannot prevent
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?
That’s a strong statement. But will you
not lose faith?
We’ll see. I’m not ready to hand back my
ticket just yet.
Hmm -- how do you get such ideas?
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.
For the love of Christ, can we please
turn down the acoustic guitar of love a
The Singing Nun stops, this younger, obviously more hot-
headed nun is not ready to take it from Chris.
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
Oh, is that right?
He stands up and faces the back of the bus.
I think your friend’s about to cause some
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.
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.
(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.
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
(to Chris, becoming angered)
What the hell was that?
(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.
You punched her in the face! You punched
a nun, a sister of G-d, in the face? Are
you the spawn of Satan?
Like I said, nice of you to take her
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.”
Oh, look at what we have here. Mr.
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.
So sorry Mr. Perfect.
(in a baby voice)
Me not know how important little puppy
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
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
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
Chris is wiping a small bit of blood from the side of his
I’m really sorry man. I shouldn’t have
lost it like that.
Nah. It’s alright. I’m the asshole who
got us into this mess. I don’t know. I
think I need anger management.
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
Headline in tomorrow’s local paper: “Two
Cityfolk Found Dead By Side of Road, And
They Thought Us Okies Were Stupid.”
(laughs and then sighs)
Man. Sammy, Sammy, Sammy -- For what it’s
worth, Chris, I’m really sorry about
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
(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.
Come on, boys. Hop in. Next stop,
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
You boys ain’t from around here, is you?
(speaking up after a pause)
Um, no. No, sir. We’re not. How could you
(looks them up and down)
By them stupid clothes you wearin’. They
Yes, sir. We got them for free. We’re
actually not from around here.
You just said that.
Well where ya from?
New York City.
Ah, New York. A couple of cities! Whoo-
dawgies! Fresh like a baby’s bottom!
Yes, sir. I guess so. Well, I’m Noah, and
this is my friend Chris.
It’s a pleasure to meet a man of your
size. I admire the physique.
Don’t get smart with me, city boy. You
like the idea of dying a slow death,
alone on a dusty road?
No sir. Sorry sir.
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.
I can see why.
gives a demeaning stare at Chris, who sinks back into his
Well, Tiny, if you don’t mind me asking,
how’d you get a last name like Alighieri?
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
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.
No problem. Any word in the dictionary
that you don’t like is out of my
vocabulary for good.
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.
Oh sure. You are already.
So where you boys going?
Pippick, Texas. A small Jewish suburb.
Ah, the Hebrews of Texas. Mighty fine,
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?
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
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.
Just call me Chocko, because I’m chock-
--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.”
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
--Fat, red-haired man in a Halloween devil costume (complete
with a pitchfork), who is giving the two men seductive looks.
INT. VIRGIL’S VIGIL – DAY
Virgil stops the truck, and wakes Chris and Noah who are
Hey, cities, c’mon. Here’s your stop.
Oh. Hey, thanks for the ride.
Sorry that this is as far as I can go
with you. The rest, I reckon, is up to
Chris opens the door and exits, Noah follows suit. They stand
outside, and Virgil opens the window.
Hey, thanks again.
How come it seems like the further
South we go, the more I feel like I’m
descending into the ninth circle of hell?
Oh, and city, for what it’s worth, I hope
you get the girl.
Wait, how did you…?
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
Oh my G-d. We’re here! This is Pippick!
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.
I don’t think you realize the magnitude
of this situation. We are here!
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.
You boys ain’t look like you’re from
around here. You fixin’ to cause trouble?
No, sir. We just came from New York.
Did I ask you to talk, dickwad?
But you asked…
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
Now, Neall. Is this necessary?
Hush up, Bobby-Jo. I think we got some
high-class terrorists here from the big
city, fixin’ to wreak havoc in our quiet
What did we do? I know my rights.
Hush up! You don’t know the half of it.
See, I don’t like your clothes and you’re
not wearing any shoes…
(under his breath, looking down)
Huh? We lost our shoes, too?
…and round here in Texas, I could pull my
weight and get both you boys the death
The death penalty? What! Just because you
don’t like our clothes?
Quiet! You can get the death penalty for
just about anything here in Texas.
Sho’ nuff. Take it easy on ‘em 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.
Oh, thank you. Gee, what a kind man.
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.
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.
What in the sam-hell? Neall, hush up you.
He opens the car door and throws Neall in.
(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
(back to Neall)
You start hollerin’, and I’m gonna tell
Thanks. You guys really do it different
in Texas, huh?
You better believe it. Yo cops in New
York don’t hit folk from time to time?
No, if they breathe on people the wrong
way they get slapped with a lawsuit.
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?
Oh, we just came all the way from New
York City because I’m looking for this
girl that I kinda like.
He’s in love.
Well, gollee. Congratulations, man.
What’s her name?
Samantha. Sammy. And I think she changed
her last name.
Sammy? Brown hair, shortish, kinda cute?
Likes to wear Prada shoes and
accessorizes to the tee?
Yeah, yeah, yeah!
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.
You believe this Chris?
Oh I do.
Can we make a quick stop first?
Sure thing. And mind Neall. He won’t bite
(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.
This is it. The guy in the liquor store
said a man named Donnie just moved in
with his daughter the other day. Jackpot.
You think this is such a good idea?
Why, Carl? You scared? We’re gonna bag us
I don’t know if killing him is the right
thing, though. He’s got a daughter.
You going soft on me, Carl? How ‘bout I
tell that to Yosef and see how approving
Alright, fine. Fine.
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.
Tomorrow night is what I’m saying.
What I’m saying is you’re an asshole.
You running your mouth Carl?
No, king Moishe, I’m not.
EXT. “REMEMBER THE ALAMO” MEMORIAL MIDDLE SCHOOL – DAY
The car full of men pulls up to this nice, yet small middle
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 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! What are you doing here? How did
you find me? Why…?
Well, I’m really glad to see you, too.
How did you know where I was?
A big birdie slipped and let me know.
You got it.
Well you have to go. Just go back to the
city, Noah. This wasn’t meant to be.
But why? I thought this was the beginning
of a relationship?
So did I.
So what’s the problem here?
You want to know what the problem is?
Sammy’s students call her from the classroom.
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… 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…
I know about all that, the federal
relocation and stuff.
I see Tracy didn’t spare you any details.
No -- anyway, I know all of that.
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.
(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.
Well, I wish the circumstances could have
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.
Well –- how do you know you weren’t
followed? This is dangerous, you know.
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,
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
I know, but…
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?
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
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.
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.
There he is. That’s our rat. Got the go
ahead from the boss, and tonight is the
He looks again and sees Noah in the house, as well.
Christ! It’s that Barnes kid! How did he
I dunno. Train, plane, or automobile, I’m
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.
I’ll put a price on your head.
What was that?
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.
So, uh, you basically know just about
And you didn’t tell nobody? And you
No, and, as far as I know, no.
Good. That’s good. So you like my
They sit uncomfortably; the situation is awkward. Noah’s cell
rings. He picks up; it’s Freida.
Hello, bubby. It’s mommy. So are you in
Yeah, I’m here. Safe and sound… nearly
escaping disaster quite a few times.
What? You want I should have
palpitations? You’re father is worried
Did you call for any reason, Mom?
Yeah, honey. Listen, your great aunt
Zlotty is sick in Florida, so Dad and I
are going to fly down for a few days.
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.
A layover from New York to Florida?
We’re flying cheap. Your aunt Lucy got us
Wow, must be real cheap. You know what
though? I’m not staying at a hotel. I’m
staying with Sammy.
What? This new girl? Oh, well I wouldn’t
want to impose.
FREIDA (VO) (cont.)
I guess your father and I will just sleep
a little on those hard, airport benches.
Alright, Mom. Enough with the guilt. Hang
Would it be alright if my parents stayed
for a few hours tomorrow night? My aunt’s
sick, long story.
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.
Oh hello Donnie!
Hey Freida sweetie!
Alright, enough. So it’s settled, Mom.
I’ll pick you up at the airport tomorrow.
Six o’clock, no later.
Ok, love you. Bye now.
He hangs up.
I’m going to hit the bricks. Thanks for
letting us stay, Mr. Soeble.
Sure, call me Donnie now.
Ok. Hey, I guess Sammy’s out late?
Yeah, that girl is a work-a-holic. Holds
three jobs already.
Ok, then. See you in the morning.
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…
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.
Carl, Carl! Wake up. Check out who’s
I love Lucy too! And sometimes I sing
like Judy Garland! Oh, I just love old
Carl! Wake up! What are you talking
about? Judy Garland… Hearing that, I’d
fix ya for a fairy.
What do you want?
I was just pointin’ out how our little
friend’s daughter here was gone the
entire night, so the hit will go down
Must be working multiple jobs. It’s hard
for a young girl.
What? Anyway, tonight’s the night.
Everything’s gonna change for us after
this. Moving up.
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.
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.
Hi, mom. It’s great to see you too.
Hey, buddy. How are things going?
Could be better, actually.
She’s alright. Not as excited to see me
as I was her.
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.
And while you’re at it, a housewarming
Anything else, Mom?
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
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
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.
What I should break my back with this?
Maybe if you hadn’t packed it all in the
Would you two at least try to act sane
for tonight? Please?
Ok. For my Noah, anything.
John, Freida, and Noah enter the house.
Moishe sits up quickly in the car.
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.
So let’s call it off. The whole thing.
I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that. We just
gotta be extra careful.
Oooh… We can’t hurt him. He’s got great
taste. Was that a designer lamp?
What? Shutup Carl. Quiet.
INT. THE SOEBLE KITCHEN – NIGHT
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.
So, uh, Freida. You really – um -- look
Oh, well. Donnie, you always were the
charmer. I remember back in the day…
You do? I thought you’d forgotten all
Oh no. Mr. Dashing Donnie.
(she giggles like a little girl)
Well, I don’t know about dashing…
So, Noah, how was your trip down?
Too much to tell. Hey, Mr. Soeble…
Donnie. Please, call me Donnie.
Ok, Donnie. When are you expecting Sammy
I don’t know, she works so hard
(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.
Oh, yeah. Just wonderful.
I always knew you had the best taste in
Well, I don’t know about that…
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
Noah is sitting on a chair in the dark, right by the door.
You nearly scared me half to death!
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.
Well, fine. Go ahead.
First, where were you?
Just out, huh? Until one A.M.?
Not that it’s any of your business, but I
was trying to avoid a situation like
Is that right? You think you can avoid
seeing someone who’s traveled halfway
across the country just to be in your
I thought I could, but you just don’t
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.
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.
What the hell is this? I can’t sleep
because I’m up with the runs like a
faucet, and you two are in here playing
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.
Quiet, Carl! You want them to hear us?
I’m sorry, it’s my sciatica. I can’t walk
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.
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.
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.
How can you know what love is, Noah?
I know. Believe me. Listen. Love is
traveling from New York City to Pippick,
Texas, where the Jews are
“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?
Well, I guess -- You know, you can’t
Noah cuts her off and embraces her. She resists at first, but
then joins in. She pulls away a bit, smiles, and continues
I knew you would come. I never lost
faith. That’s why I told Tracy, knowing
you’d go to her.
You…? Wait a second…
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.
Hey, I can explain.
We was just catching up on old times.
Freida gets up and moves toward John.
I swear, it was innocent. Just a little
red wine, some nostalgia…
Your wife’s something, alright. I was
just wondering why we never got together,
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.
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
So this is how it ends, Donnie boy. The
cat gets the rat.
Maybe you shouldn’t Moishe.
Shutup Carl, I’m tired of your bullshit.
Moishe?! Carl! Tell him to stop! He’s
gonna hurt someone!
Please, Moishe. I’m begging you.
Please! There’s other ways to sort this
There’s no need for this.
Yes there is.
He’s about to pull the trigger.
Noah and Sammy walk in.
What’s the matter? I heard screaming
With tension rising to a peak, Moishe turns quickly and
pulls the trigger at Noah.
Noah pulls out a remote and hits pause.
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
Sammy comes to his aid.
(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.
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)
He drops his
which slowly falls to the floor at
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
Donnie and John get up and run to Noah’s aid.
Noah sits up.
The gas on the shoes…
Yeah, just got it in the arm. I’ll be
fine. No need to go to the hospital.
No, come on. We better go. I’ll drive
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.
(drawing his gun)
All of you! Get down on the floor!
Cool it, Neall. They’re alright. We got a
report of a suspicious pair of men
entering your house. Is everything ok?
Oh, no. It was just one man. And I think
you’ll find him in the pool.
Moishe, moaning in pain with serious burns, treads water in
the pool as Carl comes out back.
Carl, you gotta help me! The feds are
(with a newfound confidence)
They’re here alright. Here and ready for
You gotta help me! Get me out! I think we
can make a run for it.
No, no, Moishe baby. I think you’re
forgetting all those times you dumped on
me, called me names, put me down.
You’re talking crazy! Get me outta this
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.
What? It doesn’t matter now, Carl. Let’s
put it all behind us now, huh?
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.
Thank you, sir.
No problem. Love those uniforms!
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.
Come on Carl! Give me a hand!
EXT./INT. HOSPITAL IN HOUSTON – DAY
Noah lies with his arm in a sling in a propped-up hospital
Sammy, Freida, John, Donnie, Chris, Carl, Bobby-Jo, and Neall
are at his bedside, comforting him.
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
MONTAGE – EVERYONE’S FATES
--We see Neall decked out in Napoleon style clothes riding a
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
--Carl and Bobby-Jo are in Hawaii, wearing Hawaiian shirts
and flowers around their neck. They appear to be having a
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.
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
--We see Donnie in a karate outfit, teaching a class of kids
with yarmulkes on, goofily kicking and karate chopping.
With the threat of Yosef’s gang gone,
Donnie was free to move back to New York
City, where he now teaches the art
NOAH (VO) (cont.)
of Judo and Tae Kwon Do to Hebrew school
kids who don’t know how to defend
--We see Chris thumbing through photos of naked women.
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.
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.
Talia now works in my mom’s restaurant
after getting divorced with Dr. Jim, the
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
After practically losing all her friends
to some bad gossip, Tracy went legit and
wrote a self help book on the
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
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.
Oh, you’re such a scheister. Just like
your grandfather, you are. I can’t wait
to circumcise the first baby!
Just kidding! Just end the movie already,
Noah, you’re no good with endings either.
END OF MONTAGE
SEARCHING FOR SAMMY
*** This script has been formally registered with the Writer’s Guild of America, East ***