537 Rialto Avenue
Venice, CA 90291
EXT. SAN FERNANDO VALLEY - UPSCALE NEIGHBORHOOD - NIGHT
WE’RE FLYING LOW
Along the streets of a wealthy but not super-rich
neighborhood south of Ventura Boulevard in the San Fernando
Valley. Tended lawns. Graceful trees. No two homes alike.
It’s quiet - everyone already settled in their private little
slice of suburbia for the evening.
We fly past a restored Spanish, a mid-century modern and an
outdated Tudor as we hear the wistful voice of KELSEY, 21, a
young woman with a passion for all things real estate.
A chipped tile... A squeaky floor
board... A stolen garden hose...
We reach a stately traditional and take A RIGHT TURN at the
flagstone pathway and push toward the front door, and the
WROUGHT IRON KNOCKER
Every house has a story. But some
are more interesting than others.
A WHITE FLASH
We’ve penetrated the inner sanctum of
INT. STATELY TRADITIONAL - THE CHADNEYS’ BEDROOM - NIGHT
SUPER: THREE YEARS AGO...
THROUGH THE CHADNEY’S OPEN BEDROOM WINDOW--
We see the Mediterranean house next door. In silhouette
behind a sheer blind, a HUSBAND and WIFE are in a heated
Don’t deny it, you bastard!
There’s nothing to deny!
So, I suppose her underwear just
accidentally fell off in your car?!
PULL BACK from the open window to the interior of the
Chadney’s bedroom to see THE CHADNEYS, huddled close as they
spy on their arguing neighbors. DAMON, 35 and hot. ASHLEY,
blonde, beautiful. The Barbie and Ken of real estate. They
speak in hushed tones, loving this.
(re: the arguing couple)
I see a four bedroom Mediterranean
coming on the market very soon.
I bet we sell it in a day.
Damon traces Ashley’s cheek with his finger, his lips inches
from her face.
What do you think? A million-four?
A million-six. They just put in
Terrazzo floors and French doors.
Damon pulls Ashley tight.
I love it when you talk French
They kiss passionately.
Just a few years ago the real
estate market was hot...
Damon throws Ashley on the bed and mounts her.
Very. Very. Hot.
INT. COLDWATER REALTY - BULLPEN AREA - MORNING (SAME YEAR)
A busy, swank real estate office. Ringing phones. AGENTS
Interest rates were at record lows
and houses sold for record highs.
Realty magnate BARRY COLDWATER, a self-indulgent snake, and
his older brother, LARRY, ineffectively moral, both 50’s,
emerge from their cushy corner office.
A new milestone, folks!
We just topped 250 million dollars
A collective cheer from everyone in the office.
Strutting down the aisle - BRUCE WILDING, Vince Vaughn-type,
likeable, a little twisted, not the smoothest, most tactful
guy in the world. Heading his way, MEG DAWSON, 28, oddly
pretty but neglected, the kind of girl who only got noticed
in junior high for her pigtails and braces.
Closing escrow on the Craftsman,
then catching a plane to Cabo.
Writing up my third offer this
week, then home to see them break
ground on my new pool.
They high-five as they pass. Bruce turns back, steals an
eyeful of Meg’s perfectly round ass.
INT. TRADITIONAL HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY (SAME YEAR)
During an open house, SADIE BROMSTAD, 33, sassy Southern
Belle from Georgia, is handing out business cards to
Just FYI, we’ve already gotten
three offers, so if ya’ll are
serious, you might want to hurry.
EXT. STREET - CONTINUOUS
The BUYER COUPLE hurries out to their car.
Have your agents call me. Sadie
Bromstad, Coldwater Realty!
SADIE’S POV - across the street, another realtor, CORY
WAINWRIGHT, 24, successful too soon.
He carries a box of his things to the front door of his new
house as a MOVING VAN pulls up.
Agents were even purchasing new
homes of their own.
Sadie calls to Cory.
Hey, Cory! Congrats, hon’!
FOLLOW Cory as he unlocks the door and enters.
INT. CORY’S NEW STUDIO CITY HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Cory sets down the box. Looks around. It’s all his.
Smiles. Tosses the keys and catches them mid-air.
If ever there was a Golden Age of
Real Estate, this was it.
He opens a window to the sound of BIRDS CHIRPING.
And then... the bubble burst.
A WHITE FLASH
THE SAME HOUSE - THREE YEARS LATER
SUPER: THIS MORNING...
MOVERS carry the last of Cory’s furnishings out the front
door. Packing materials are strewn about.
Biting his lip. Twitching. Trying hard to hand over the
same set of keys to the new owners, an ASIAN COUPLE. Can’t
do it. The ASIAN MAN has to snag them from him.
Fine, but just know that the pantry
door sticks when it rains!
He storms out like an angry teen.
INT. SMALL SPANISH HOUSE - FOYER - SAME DAY
SADIE - on the heels of TWO GAY MALE BUYERS as they head for
the front door to leave.
Houses no longer sell themselves.
And agents have to throw in all
sorts of “extras.”
A $50,000 drop in price in one of
the Valley’s most desirable
(with obvious seduction)
Now what do we need to do to make a
sale here, gentlemen.
The men exchange an incredulous look.
How stupid are you?
Sadie shrinks in embarrassment. What just possessed her?
Lost commissions have hit everyone
where it hurts...
HARD CUT TO
ASHLEY - her legs up in stirrups
A LARGE SYRINGE, like a turkey baster, on a tray of
instruments at her feet. She wears a hospital gown and is
laying on an exam table at
INT. FERTILITY CLINIC - EXAM ROOM - DAY
Diagrams of the male and female reproductive systems line the
walls. Damon paces, on the phone.
What do you mean they’re backing
out? It’s a foreclosure, they’re
getting it for a song, Frank.
Um, honey, another time?
A NURSE hands Damon a clear cup with an orange lid.
If you’ll just enter that room now
and provide your specimen.
Damon looks at the cup.
What is this costing again?
INT. “JERK-OFF” ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
EXTREME CLOSE-UP ON DAMON’S FACE
As he tries to provide his specimen with PORN playing on a TV
in the b.g. It’s not happening.
(with growing frustration)
Come on, come on...
RESUME - EXAM ROOM - MINUTES LATER
Damon, defeated, re-enters with his empty specimen cup and
dashes for the exit.
Damon sprints for the exit.
INT. FUNERAL HOME - DAY
Bruce with the FUNERAL DIRECTOR shopping among expensive
Perhaps this one would suit your
Bruce bristles at the expensive price tag.
A WOODEN CRATE being wheeled in on a dolly by a DELIVERY MAN.
I think I’m going to need some more
EXT. PARKING LOT - STRIP MALL / INT. MEG’S CAR - DAY
Meg is driving while talking on her cell.
The market’s horrible. I don’t
have enough money to finish the
pool. It looks like there’s a
giant sinkhole in my backyard. I
can’t even afford car insurance
right now and--
BANG! She slams into a parked car.
Oh, God. I’ll call you back.
She backs up, views the damage to the other car.
A BIG DENT - in the side of a black BMW X5. Even worse, she
Walking toward the BMW. Realizing it’s Ashley’s car she just
hit, she peels out and flees the scene. Ashley sees the
damage, reacts in anger. She picks up PIECES OF A BROKEN
HEADLIGHT and PLASTIC TURN SIGNAL as we hear Meg’s car
peeling out in the background.
Maybe worst of all, agents are
acting in ways they never imagined.
A WHITE FLASH TO
A LIVING ROOM WALL - SOME UNKNOWN POINT IN THE FUTURE
Larry Coldwater enters, showing a house to an UNSEEN PERSON.
A diamond in the rough in a highly
desirable neighborhood. Impervious
to market conditions. I’m putting
it in the MLS on Monday.
CAMERA shifts to the wall where LARRY’S SHADOW is cast. The
UNSEEN PERSON steps up behind Larry, wielding a HAMMER.
WHACK! Larry drops like a stone.
ON A HARDWOOD FLOOR
As Larry’s body is dragged out of the shadows and across the
floor by the assailant - leaving a TRAIL OF BLOOD.
So there you have it. Kelsey Eaton
picks the worst time in history to
study to get her real estate
INT. POPULAR STEAKHOUSE RESTAURANT CHAIN - NIGHT
KELSEY EATON, sweet, likable, is on a blind date with a GUY,
Now what is it that you do again?
I’m a restaurant host.
Here. At this restaurant. I’m not
actually your date. He called and
said he couldn’t make it. I
figured you might be the one
waiting for him so I walked over.
And you started talking-- And
talking-- But, hey--
Onion blossom on the house.
He exits and Kelsey slumps, humiliated.
END OF ACT ONE
INT. COLDWATER REALTY - BULLPEN AREA - PRESENT DAY
As opposed to the earlier hustle and bustle, the office
appears deserted. Kelsey, who’s the RECEPTIONIST, sits
reading a real estate textbook as Bruce saunters up.
Did I miss it?
No, they’re still in the conference
Bruce snatches her textbook away as if doing her a favor.
Don’t waste your time, babe.
Plastics. Now there’s an industry
poised to make a comeback. Trust
me, this whole “green” trend will
be played out by Christmas.
He hands her book back like he’s just given her invaluable
advice. She politely nods. Bruce slips in the door to;
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM
Where Barry is delivering his weekly real estate “sermon” to
Damon, Ashley, Cory, Sadie, Meg, Larry and other AGENTS.
Buying a home is still the American
Buying a home is still the American
Flipping homes are still possible
Flipping homes are still possible
Damon reaches for Ashley’s hand. She pulls it away.
And we will do whatever it takes to
keep selling houses.
And we will do whatever it takes to
keep selling houses.
The soon-to-be-dead Larry Coldwater chimes in.
Within the law.
The agents look up. Seriously? Barry gives a small nod.
Within the law.
May interest rates be with you.
And also with you.
Let me hear you say...
WORK HARDER! SELL SMARTER!
The pep rally ends and the room clears except for the
Coldwater brothers. Barry closes the door.
Within the law? It’s a down
Which we’re partly responsible for.
All those risky loans we talked our
clients into. Half the
foreclosures in the Valley are our
I know. One market closes, another
That’s not what I mean. Just
yesterday I got another threatening
phone call. We went too far.
There are worse things.
Barry lights a cigar.
Regrets from the man living in more
square footage than Oprah.
Don’t you realize how serious
We’ve both seen enough recessions
to know that people will be back to
living beyond their means in no
time. The McMansion is long from
In fact, that’s a great topic for
next week’s speech.
As Barry jots some notes, Kelsey pokes her head in. She’s
Excuse me, Mr. Coldwater? You said
only to interrupt in an emergency
and there seems to be-- Well, you
were very clear--
What is it, Kelsey?
They called from your house.
He’ll need more.
Oh. The really, really big one.
The Italian marble came in the
wrong color. They want to know
what to do.
Larry in a dilemma. Barry loving it.
We’ll have to pick this up later.
He rushes out.
BULLPEN - HALLWAY LEADING TO OFFICES
Damon chases after Ashley as the other agents watch.
Come on, sugar, I said I was sorry.
She turns to confront him. In the b.g. is a self-
aggrandizing FRAMED POSTER of Damon and Ashley, back to back,
million-dollar grins with the headline: “#1 IN THE VALLEY!”
You left me on a cold steel table
with my legs spread from here to
Uh-oh. Trouble in #1-land.
Don’t you want children with me?
Or are you just going let our DNA
go to waste?
More than anyone, I recognize the
responsibility people like us have
to breed. Now, I promise, next
month, we’ll try again. Kiss,
Okay. Kiss, kiss.
Ashley notices everyone staring.
We’re clearly awestruck by superior
genes in action. Here, smile.
He takes a picture of them with his cell phone.
Now I can treasure it always.
(all he can think of)
The Chadneys exit.
How are you ever going to recover
A beer. Let’s go.
It’s 11 a.m., Bruce.
Bruce doesn’t see the problem.
I can’t, I have to pick up my check
from the escrow company.
Just as well, I have houses to
They split up and Cory makes a call on his cell.
INT. LACY’S APARTMENT - SAME TIME
Cory’s fragile actress-girlfriend, LACY, disheveled like she
just came from a Rave, is stretched out on the couch.
Did you get the role?
Sounds of CRYING come thru the phone.
I’m sorry, baby, but you’ll get the
No, I won’t. I suck.
Cory is now
OUTSIDE - crossing to his car.
Come on, you know what they say.
It takes twelve years to become an
overnight success in this town.
I’m not gonna work for twelve
Forget what I said.
Hey, you’re not, you know,
drinking, are you?
Reveal on the coffee table: a syringe, a spoon, lighter, bag
of dope, etc.
Okay, good girl. I’ll stop by in
about an hour. I love you.
BACK TO - BULLPEN - RECEPTION
Kelsey calls to Sadie.
Sadie, you have a buyer in your
For real? Because if I walk in and
find another of Bruce’s blow-up
For real. He asked for you. Hey,
do you think I could sit in and
take some notes and...
Sadie is literally running to her office.
INT. SADIE’S OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER
Sadie enters to see the back of someone seated in her chair.
She gathers herself.
Hi. Sadie Bromstad. Can I--
A GOOD-LOOKING GUY spins around, smiling. This is MICHAEL.
She crosses to him and decks him right across the face.
Is this how you treat all your
Sadie quickly closes the door but not before Kelsey witnessed
the face slap.
Buyer? What are you talking about?
And how did you find me?!
He’s not going to answer that.
What matters is that I’m moving to
L.A. To win back the love of my
She wields her hand out again. He stops her.
Whoa, whoa! Look-- I know this is
I want you out.
I remember when you just wanted me.
Remember? The midnight swims in
Maui... Those six days in Cairo...
Michael moves within inches of her. Sadie struggles to hold
it together as memories of this hot, steamy relationship come
(barely a whisper)
You’re really moving here?
And you want to buy a house?
Then you’ll need an agent.
Pretty one. 5 feet, 6. Stunning
green eyes. Likes to eat breakfast
along the River Seine.
Sadie breaks away for the door.
(yelling out door)
Anyone want a client looking for a
three-million dollar house?
A STAMPEDE OF REALTORS enters, including Bruce, Meg and the
They besiege Michael, all speaking at once and pulling him in
Hey, fella, I know this fantastic
Greek revival. Just reduced
DAMON / ASHLEY
Damon and Ashley Chadney. / We sell
more houses than anyone. / That’s
why we’re #1 in the Valley!
Don’t listen to these losers. I
can show you a canyon remodel
that’s not even listed yet!
Michael manages to free himself from the onslaught and rushes
from the office. The others pursue. Sadie smiles with
INT. ESCROW COMPANY - OFFICE - DAY
Cory stares in shock at a CHECK as he sits in front of the
Twenty five hundred dollars? There
must be a mistake.
That’s my entire profit from the
sale of my house?
I mailed you an estimated closing
I was already moving out, I didn’t
You didn’t give me your forwarding
I don’t have one, okay? I was
waiting for this check so I could
put a deposit down on an apartment.
This check was supposed to last me
a few months until I make another
sale. There’s got to be more!
There were two liens against your
house, Mr. Wainwright.
ESCROW OFFICER (CONT'D)
Creditors get paid before you do.
You’re an agent, you know that.
Cory slumps in his chair. Screwed.
EXT. CHADNEY’S HOUSE - STREET - LATER
Ashley exits her car, talking on her Bluetooth to a client.
You think about it and let us know
but remember that we sell more
houses than anyone. That’s why
we’re #1 in the Valley...
She enters the house just as Damon pulls up to the curb. At
the same time, we hear A SIREN as an AMBULANCE rounds the
corner and pulls up to the Chadney’s neighbor’s house just
down the street.
Damon is distracted from the ambulance as he spots the DENT
in Ashley’s car. What the hell?
INT. CHADNEY LIVING ROOM - MINUTES LATER
Damon enters, a LEATHER SATCHEL slung over his shoulder.
Ashley is at the window, looking at the ambulance at the
I know, isn’t it great? Old man
Kaminsky may be taking his last
breath as we speak. That house
will be my newest listing by
month’s end. It’s the only five-
bedroom on this street. Of course
it will need an extensive airing
Not that. What happened to the
Oh, yeah. Infuriating isn’t it? I
noticed it earlier. Hit ‘n’ run.
You want some lunch?
Well how much is that gonna cost
I don’t know, we have insurance.
Yes, but with a rather large
So. It’s not like we don’t have
Damon - with a secret look of guilt.
INT. HOME OFFICE - DAMON’S FLASHBACK - NIGHT - MONTHS AGO
EXTREME CLOSE-UP ON DAMON’S FACE (as we saw in beginning)
(with growing frustration)
Come on, come on...
Pull back to see that this time, he’s at the computer,
gambling online, playing Blackjack. The cards flip on screen
to reveal he’s busted.
We see on screen that he’s lost some $10,000.
He buries his head in his hands.
INT. DRUG DEALER’S LIVING ROOM - DAMON’S FLASHBACK - NEW DAY
Damon is packing little plastic bags filled with a powdery
substance into his leather satchel as a DRUG DEALER looks on.
Easy money, man, you’ll see. I’ll
give you a few of my contacts to
get you started.
RESUME - CHADNEY LIVING ROOM - END FLASHBACK
So call the insurance guy, would
you? And say I was in the car when
I heard you can get money for
therapeutic massage that way.
Ashley exits as Damon clings to his leather satchel.
END OF ACT TWO
INT. COLDWATER REALTY - RECEPTION - LATER
Bruce and Meg round the corner to Kelsey at reception, still
looking for Michael.
Where’s that buyer? Did the
Chadneys get him?
No, they left awhile ago. I’ll
tell you where he went if you’ll
let me help at one of your open
Bruce spins around to Meg.
You’ve got an open house? Where?
South of the boulevard. On
Longridge. Where’s yours?
Oh, uh, couple miles from there.
Oh, well, good luck.
Mm. You too.
They disperse, and Kelsey strikes out again.
INT. SADIE’S CAR - SAME TIME
Sadie is driving. She senses something is not quite right
and starts to make a u-turn.
I’m taking you back, Michael.
Michael pops up in the back seat.
Not like that, you idiot. I’m
taking you back to the office.
Come on, I deserve another chance.
I’ve had two years to think about
what you deserve, and trust me, you
don’t want it.
Just show me a house or two. Take
the commission. I know for a fact
you need it.
I’d rather file bankruptcy.
Time to switch tactics.
Do they know who you are?
Sadie slams on the brakes. Michael’s head slams into the
rear of the seat.
She stares at him, knowing he’s got her where he wants her.
EXT. CHADNEY’S STREET - SHORTLY LATER
Ashley is still peeking out the window at the ambulance at
THE KAMINSKY HOUSE
NEIGHBORS have gathered, including a 300-lb. woman, BIG
OLD MAN KAMINSKY, 150, is wheeled out on a gurney by
PARAMEDICS, ashen with an oxygen mask. He’s followed by his
daughter, RUTH, 60.
Ashley rushes across the street and up to Ruth.
Ruth! Hi, hi. Gosh, is your
Yes, he’s fine, thanks.
Are you sure? He doesn’t look all
He’s very strong.
Still. I mean, we all gotta go
Ruth gives her a stern look. Big Maggie looks on.
Like you said he’s very strong.
Still living after all these
No one’s won the pool yet.
As he’s loaded in the ambulance, Ruth calls to him.
(loud and slow)
Don’t worry, Poppy. I’ll meet you
at the hospital.
OLD MAN KAMINSKY
(through oxygen mask)
Let me die!
You’ll be fine, Poppy.
Here, Ruth, take my card. If you
need anything... I can water the
lawn, collect mail... list your
father’s house should, God forbid,
Well this magnificent house is your
And as long-time neighbors of your
father, Damon and I would be happy
to step in as your agents should,
God forbid, anything happen.
You said that already.
Ruth stares at the card in Ashley’s outstretched hand. She
refuses to take it.
We already have a friend in the
family who’s a realtor.
(through gritted teeth)
But does he sell more houses than
anyone else because that’s what
makes us #1 in the...
He’s known my father some 30 years.
Brings over cabbage and kielbasa
every Sunday night.
That explains that smell.
(still offering card)
Well, just in case.
I already have three of your cards.
You don’t need to slip any more
under the door.
The ambulance doors close. Ruth crosses to her car leaving
Big Maggie staring down Ashley.
Will you stop at nothing?
EXT. CORY’S EX-STUDIO CITY HOME - FRONT DOOR - DAY
Cory knocks on his former front door. The Asian couple
I’m sorry to bother you, but I
forgot to ask about the mailbox.
Is it okay if I take it? My
grandfather made it himself.
There’s no value to it. Other than
It was a gift.
The last thing he ever made before
You should have itemized it in the
And you’re an agent.
I know I’m an agent! Look, I’ll
admit I made some mistakes! I
trusted my boss and took out a loan
on a house I couldn’t afford. I
fell in love with an addict. Who’s
also an actress. Bad combination!
I forgot to write down the word
“mailbox” on a contract! I’m
learning. “Don’t make mistakes!
Ever!” Okay? I got it.
Just give me the mailbox.
We don’t like you.
They shut the door. Cory takes this in.
HARD CUT TO
POP! THE METAL MAILBOX (affixed to the front of house) is
pried off with a TIRE IRON.
Cory runs with it down the driveway to his car, gets in and
EXT. STUDIO CITY RESIDENTIAL STREET - INTERSECTION - DAY
CLOSE ON - A COLDWATER REALTY OPEN HOUSE sign with the name
“MEG PARKER.” It’s just been placed at the corner. Meg is
EXT. 50’S RANCH STYLE HOUSE - DAY
Meg drives up to the location of her open house. The smashed
headlight still unfixed. Speaking of things in need of
repair: The house is a FIXER. Strewn across the porch and
lawn - a rusty wheelbarrow, buckets, garden equipment etc.
Clearly, the sellers did not tidy up. Meg places more OPEN
HOUSE SIGNS on the sidewalk, in front of the driveway, etc.
She also plants two RED FLAGS.
INT. 50’S RANCH STYLE HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - MINUTES LATER
More clutter. Meg, carrying a platter of cookies, is let in
by the owner, STELLA, a woman who cares as much for her
appearance as the rest of the house. Stella tries to swipe a
cookie but Meg won’t let her.
No, no. For buyers.
Stella takes one anyway. Meg looks around.
You do know that today is your open
And would it be too much trouble to
tidy up a bit?
Stella takes a drag of her cigarette.
Do you want me to sell your house?
That’s what I hired you to do.
Meg nods. It’s a lost cause.
BACK TO - STUDIO CITY RESIDENTIAL STREET - INTERSECTION
ON MEG’S SIGN
As a BLACK AUDI cruises by. Slows to a stop. Backs up.
The door opens. BRUCE emerges.
He looks around to make sure no one is looking, then takes
MEG’S SIGN and tosses it in his back seat. He then replaces
it with his own open house sign with his name: BRUCE WILDING
CLOSE ON - MEG’S OTHER SIGNS - including the RED FLAGS - as
one by one they are swiped by Bruce: Plunk, plunk, plunk.
Like the Grinch stealing Christmas decorations.
INT. CAPE COD STYLE HOUSE - BRUCE’S OPEN HOUSE - LATER
A small but tastefully done home. Bruce is welcoming BUYERS.
Welcome, first weekend on the
market. Prime location. Here’s a
one-sheet. If you could sign in...
BACK TO - 50’S RANCH STYLE HOUSE - MINUTES LATER
Meg has been tidying up like crazy. She keeps glancing out
the window to see if any buyers are coming up the walkway.
There’s only a cat.
BRUCE - opens a wine cooler to show buyers.
MEG - hides kitchen clutter under the sink.
BRUCE - opens the sliding glass door to show the backyard.
MEG - kicks shoes and misc. objects under the couch. Looks
again to walkway. Now there’s two cats.
BRUCE - hands out a business card, shakes hands.
MEG - ties draperies back to let in more light. Notices that
her signs are gone. Gives a puzzled look.
Meg rushes to the curb. Where are her signs?!
Down the block, another open house in progress. Walks toward
it. Faster and faster until she sees the name on the signs:
BRUCE WILDER. Then, she spots her signs in his car. SFX:
Meg charges up the walkway.
BACK TO - CAPE COD STYLE HOUSE - CONTINUOUS
Bruce with a buyer.
Regardless of the market, this
house is priced to sell--
The door flies open.
A couple miles from here?!
You said your open house was a
couple miles from here!
Pardon me for just a sec.
He ushers Meg down the hall.
Why’d you take down my signs?!
Bruce shoves her into
And closes the door behind them.
You jerk! For three hours I’ve
been cleaning that rat hole and not
one single buyer! It’s a fixer! I
need those signs! This place is
Only one way to shut her up...
I haven’t sold a house in four
months! I need that sale!
...He kisses her. Hard. Long. Deep. And she doesn’t say
INT. COLDWATER REALTY - DAY
Larry Coldwater is crossing the bullpen.
Line three, Mr. Coldwater.
Before Kelsey transfers the call, she hears a distinctive
CLICK-CLICK-CLICK coming through the phone.
INT. BARRY AND LARRY’S OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER
Larry picks up the phone.
THREATENING MAN (V.O.)
(sinister, altered voice)
You cost me a three hundred
thousand dollar loss on my house.
Who is this?
THREATENING MAN (V.O.)
I’m in ruin because of you!
Listen, you, I’ve notified the
police and this call is being
recorded as we speak.
Larry throws open the door, covers the phone and yells to
A dumbfounded Kelsey doesn’t know what to do so she picks up
the line on her headset and begins typing the conversation on
INT. HOME OFFICE - SAME MOMENT
Shot from behind, we see;
THREATENING MAN talking on his cell phone through a voice
I’m not afraid, but you should be.
The man hangs up. A WOMAN pokes her head in the office.
Can we see the pool house again?
REVEAL BARRY COLDWATER
As the threatening man.
Oh, sure, sure. Let’s go now.
END OF ACT THREE
EXT. LACY’S APARTMENT - FRONT DOOR - DAY
Cory knocks on his girlfriend’s door. It’s answered by
Lacy’s bitchy roommate, DEBBIE, 20’s.
On the couch.
She walks away, leaves the door open.
INSIDE THE APARTMENT
Cory finds Lacy in a stupor, spread out on the couch.
What’s going on? Is she--
What do you think?
Cory tries to sit her up. She can’t even open her eyes.
Lacy, come on, baby. Lacy--
(suddenly in his face)
It’s over between us, you ass!
Besides, the baby’s not yours.
Why are you laughing?
She’s reciting her lines. That was
for her audition today.
Cory is relieved. Sort of.
Lacy, it’s me, Cory.
Mm, did I get the part? Did they
Yeah, Lacy, you got the part. You
rehearse with George Clooney
Why are you telling her that?
It’s okay, Lace, you had a relapse.
I’m gonna get you some help.
Oh, trying to help makes me an
enabler? What’s your plan? Let
her o.d.? I’m gonna pack her
things. She’s going to rehab.
Lacy snuggles back down on the couch.
INT. THREE MILLION DOLLAR HOME - KITCHEN - DAY
Sadie, all-business, shows Michael around the gourmet
Viking appliances. Wine cooler.
I wasn’t in love with her you know.
Italian marble floors. Custom
cherry cabinetry. Butler’s pantry.
No one could ever compare to you.
She crosses off, he follows.
INT. MASTER BEDROOM SUITE
She charges in, he’s on her heels.
It was a mistake!
She’s heard enough.
Nothing you say is going to make a
difference. I can’t be manipulated
anymore! I’m not the same girl!
A beat. Michael looks around the bedroom suite and spots a
JEWELRY BOX on the dresser
He pulls out a DIAMOND NECKLACE. Dangles it at Sadie.
Well, that’s fairly obvious. Two
years ago, this jewelry box would
have been emptied and there’d be no
further trace of-- what were you
calling yourself again? Sadie
She stares at him. If looks could kill.
INT. CAPE COD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM/HALL/BEDROOM - SAME TIME
The front door opens and Kelsey enters. A BUYER is looking
over the one-sheet.
Are you the agent?
Me? No, not yet. But I do work at
the real estate agency. I just
came by on my lunch break.
She doesn’t see Bruce.
Can I help you?
I was wondering when the electrical
was last updated.
On Kelsey, an unsure look.
INT. BEDROOM - SAME TIME
BRUCE AND MEG
Fully making out. Lip-locked in the awkward newness of it
all. Like two bison that only mate once a year. One wrong
move and someone gets hurt. Finally, Meg pulls back, stares
into Bruce’s eyes. He stares back. What is this? Why this
passion? Did you know? Eh, why fight it?
With one sweeping motion, Bruce yanks back all the covers on
the bed and throws Meg down. She reaches up and pulls him
down on top of her.
The door opens and Kelsey’s eyes go wide. She quickly pulls
it shut, turns and comes face to face with the buyer.
Did you find him?
Um.... The pool!
You have to see the pool!
There is no pool.
(not buying it)
What are you hiding, lady?
It’s nothing. Just termites.
The buyer lurches for the door, and Kelsey just panics and
POV - FROM INSIDE THE BEDROOM - The buyer looks on with
INT. REHAB CENTER - CHECK IN - DAY
Cory is at the check-in counter. Lacy is sitting in a chair,
her suitcase at her feet. Her head rests against a wall.
The CLINIC DIRECTOR hands Cory a clipboard.
I’ll need her signature here.
Cory takes the clipboard to Lacy, tries to get her to sign.
It’s very difficult. The clinic director is watching.
You know, sir, as the director of
this clinic, I have to be certain
she’s here of her own free will.
Cory whispers to Lacy.
Lacy, see that woman over there?
She’s the director--
Yes. She’s the “director.” Can
you sit up straight and say this
I’m here of my own free will.
I’m here of my own free will.
Her head drops against the wall again. The director isn’t
fooled, but lets it slide because she sees that Lacy needs
treatment. Cory returns with the signed form.
I’ll also need another form of
payment for the deposit.
Her credit card’s been declined.
How much do you need?
The director looks at Lacy again and back at Cory.
First, we have to put her in detox.
Then she can enter the program.
Twenty five hundred dollars.
Cory’s face drains. That’s all the money he has.
RESUME - CAPE COD STYLE HOUSE - BEDROOM
Meg and Bruce hurriedly redress, untangling their entwined
Those are mine.
Uncomfortable is an understatement.
LIVING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Bruce enters to find the buyer exiting.
Did you have any questions?
He looks at Bruce with a knowing smirk.
No. This place is too much. I’ll
wait for the market to drop some
Maybe I can show you something.
Meg arrives. The buyer looks interested, of course. He’ll
just bet she can show him something.
There’s an excellent buy down the
street. Two hundred thousand less.
Follow me, I’m going there now.
Bruce looks on, impressed how she just stole his buyer as
payback. He likes her.
INT. LACY’S APARTMENT - THE NEXT MORNING
Debbie, in pj’s, yawning, crosses from her bedroom into
She starts rummaging through Lacy’s closet. But then sees
A MASS MOVING
Under the sheets of Lacy’s bed.
The sheets are thrown back to reveal that
CORY - has slept there overnight.
Oh, my God! You stayed here last
night? You can’t stay here! I
don’t even want Lacy staying here.
Well, she won’t be for a while.
Look, just let me stay for a few
Can you pay rent?
Why do I keep getting stuck with
the deadbeats? No money, no stay.
Come on, I used every last dollar I
had for Lacy’s rehab. My credit’s
screwed. I can’t get an apartment.
I won’t have any money till I get
another commission check.
You and Lacy really are perfect for
each other. Nothing but excuses.
He throws the bedding against the wall.
EXT. LACY’S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS
Stepping up to the door, with his satchel secured in hand,
making a “house call” is Damon. He raises his hand to knock
but the door is flung open with Cory making a hasty exit.
Damon. What are you doing here?
I got a name from-- Someone. For--
A real estate lead.
No one here is buying real estate,
Cory charges past him.
(calling after him)
Obviously a mistake. A huge
mistake. I was never here! Got
HARD CUT TO
CORY’S GRANDFATHER’S MAILBOX
Very angrily being hammered into position on a TREE. PULL
BACK to reveal that we are at;
EXT. STUDIO CITY PARK - DAY
There! Home sweet home.
(then to someone unseen)
What are you looking at?
A SQUIRREL stares at him and chitters.
Yeah, I know, there goes the
Cory slumps, resting his back against the tree, pissed at the
world, himself. How did he get to this point?
EXT. / INT. KAMINSKY HOUSE - FRONT DOOR - LATER
Ashley, carrying a BAKED APPLE PIE, knocks on the door to no
answer. She peeks in the window, tries the door. Unlocked.
Ashley enters with her pie.
Mr. Kaminsky? I heard you were
home from the hospital! Mr.
Ashley finds the old man in bed, hooked to a RESPIRATOR.
Mr. Kaminsky? I brought pie! And
also a couple of business cards.
She sets the pie and cards down, takes a chair. He’s not
happy to see her.
Now Mr. Kaminsky, I know you have a
realtor friend, but, really,
there’s a good reason why Damon and
I sell more houses than anyone
else. And when the time comes...
Rather than listen to her yammer on, and more than ready to
leave this Earth, Kaminsky musters his last bit of strength
to reach back and pull the ELECTRICAL CORD from the wall.
The RESPIRATOR DEFLATES. Kaminsky GURGLES. And EXPIRES.
All the while Ashley prattles on, oblivious;
SERIES OF DISSOLVES
...comprehensive marketing plan.
...it’ll help get your daughter top
...don’t worry about the crappy
housing market, we have ways around
We can have a contract drawn up by
tomorrow. What do you say? Mr.
Kaminsky? Mr. Kaminsky?
Ashley sees the CORD resting in his cold, dead hand.
Huh. I wonder who won the pool.
SOUND OF FRONT DOOR CLOSING. Someone’s home.
Ruth is approaching the bedroom with a sack of medications.
Ashley opens the window and has but moments to DIVE OUT. As
she does, she knocks the CORD out of the old man’s hand so it
doesn’t look like suicide, but maybe murder?
EXT. KAMINSKY HOUSE - SECONDS LATER
Ashley comes running from the side of the house without her
pie. She darts across the street as BIG MAGGIE (THE 300-lb.
woman who was there the previous day) watches with interest.
A SCREAM FROM RUTH - coming from Kaminsky’s open bedroom
Big Maggie rush-waddles to the Kaminsky home.
Big Maggie arrives to find Ruth crying over her father’s
body. Big Maggie frowns, what a shame. But her attention is
drawn to the dresser and the
Maggie’s eyes grow wide and she moves toward it.
END OF ACT FOUR
INT. COLDWATER REALTY - BATHROOM - NEXT DAY
Cory is shaving at the sink. Over the intercom, a page.
Larry, reception, please.
Cory hears someone enter and dashes into a stall, not wanting
to be seen shaving. It’s Damon with a brown paper bag. He
removes a cheesy fake mustache and beret, models them in the
mirror. Cory, peeking, finds it odd. Damon re-stuffs the
goods in the bag and exits as we hear another page.
Larry, reception. Larry,
LOUNGE AREA - MOMENTS LATER
A buyer, DAVID, is waiting for Larry as Kelsey approaches.
Sir, Mr. Coldwater isn’t answering
the page or his cell phone. Maybe
I can help you though.
Are you an agent?
Well, no, not yet--
(always the optimist)
but I’m studying to be one.
Then keep studying and send me a
pro. Someone who knows where the
bargains are, exceptional
negotiating skills, trustworthy.
Send me the agent you’d most want
to help you find your next home.
From this office?
I mean, I know the one.
MOMENTS LATER-- CORY shows up.
Hi. Cory Wainwright. I’d be happy
to show you some properties.
Cory mouths “thanks” to Kelsey. She smiles broadly in return
and answers the ringing phone line.
Through the phone, the CLICK-CLICK-CLICK she heard earlier.
INT. BARRY’S CAR
Barry on his cell phone.
Kelsey, I need you to look up a
listing in the MLS.
Sure, Mr. Coldwater.
INT. / EXT. MID-CENTURY MODERN HOUSE - DAY
Cory unlocks the realtor lock box and withdraws a house key.
Cory and David enter. The house is vacant and is partially
under construction for some upgrades.
Nice. Very open.
The owners started doing some
remodeling, but then separated, so
they decided to sell it as-is.
David notices a distasteful smell.
I think I know another reason why
they’re selling. Mold. But I’d
probably be tearing down a lot of
these walls anyway.
Would you like to see the rest?
They return from the tour, then round the corner to the den
with a view of the expansive yard.
I’m going to make a phone call.
David crosses for the sliding door.
Sure. I’ll check back on you.
As David exits, Cory dashes back down the hall to
He slides open the shower door. What luck, a bar of soap.
Cory starts the water and begins stripping quickly.
A shower-fresh Cory re-buttons his shirt and joins David.
So what do you think?
A lot of potential.
Let’s write up an offer.
Cory can hardly believe it! A smile spreads across his
relieved face. His financial nightmare is over.
EXT. KAMINSKY HOUSE / INT. CHADNEY HOUSE - EARLY EVENING
Caterers are entering, flowers are being delivered as a wake
ASHLEY POV - looking out the window at the Kaminsky house.
The front door opens. RUTH is letting in VISITORS.
A POLICE CRUISER pulls onto the street, intentions unknown.
Damon enters and Ashley quickly shuts the drapes.
Hey, hon’, why’d you park in the
garage? You never park there.
I haven’t seen much of you the past
couple of days. What have you been
No one’s confessing to anything.
STERN KNOCKING ON THE FRONT DOOR
They both leap before catching themselves.
Damon opens the door to a GROUP OF NEIGHBORS with stoic faces
including Big Maggie. Ashley shrinks back.
What’s going on?
Not sure if you’re aware but Mr.
Kaminsky passed on yesterday.
We had absolutely no idea
You won the pool, Damon!
AD-LIBBED CONGRATS. Relief for Ashley and Damon.
Hey, great. How much did I win?
Didn’t we each put in a thousand?
You’ve got eighteen-grand coming.
Damon grins ear to ear. This will bail him out a little.
Oh, honey! That’s enough for
Damon forces a smile.
INT. COLDWATER REALTY - BRUCE’S OFFICE - SAME NIGHT
Bruce is at his computer when Meg appears in the doorway.
Back for more? You naughty thing.
Just so we’re clear, what happened
is just between us, okay?
You got it.
I can trust you on that?
Babe, I’m nothing if not honorable.
INT. “SOUTHBAR” - NEIGHBORHOOD BAR - LATER
Bruce and Cory sit at the trendy bar. We spot SADIE at a
table alone in the back drinking hard liquor.
...during the open house?!
...while I had three buyers in the
Nice. I’m buying you a beer.
Right after I get my commission
Yeah, congrats, I heard they
accepted the offer. So did you get
Yeah. Not far from here. Great
view of the park.
What do you suppose her story is?
Cory indicates Sadie in the back.
Trying to forget something she’s
done. I know the look.
Sadie drops a bill on the table and starts to exit, crossing
by Bruce and Cory. Bruce stops her.
Weight of the world on your
Oh, no. I’m fine.
Where’s money man?
My friend? You probably won’t see
Why? D’ya knock him off?
He laughs. She doesn’t. He still won’t let her pass.
Do you mind?
You are quite the lady of mystery,
Georgia. Sit and chat a spell.
She leans over seductively and whispers in his ear.
I’m CIA. And if you don’t let me
pass, I’m authorized to remove your
testicles through your nostril.
He lets her pass.
(calling after her)
But you’re not CIA. CIA never says
She’s not CIA. I’m pretty sure.
EXT. / INT. MID-CENTURY MODERN HOUSE - LATER
Cory parks on the street. Opens his trunk, removes a small
SUITCASE, looks around to make sure he’s not drawing
attention then sneaks up to the lock box.
Cory enters and flips on some OVERHEAD LIGHTS. He smells the
bad smell. What is that? It seems worse.
He rolls his suitcase down the hallway.
Cory removes an AIR MATTRESS and PUMP and starts to inflate
his bed for the night at the “Vacant House Hotel.”
THE NEXT MORNING
Cory’s phone alarm wakes him up. He starts the shower.
INT. HALLWAY/FOYER/KITCHEN - SHORTLY LATER
Cory, dressed for work, wheels his suitcase down the hall
toward the foyer and kitchen. He revolts at the smell.
God! What is that?!
He grabs a t-shirt out of his bag and covers his face. It’s
clearly gotten worse.
Cory looks around with his face still covered. Where is it
ON A HANDLE
Of a BUILT-IN PANTRY as Cory pulls on it. The pantry slides
out of the wall and the
DECOMPOSING BODY OF A MAN DRESSED IN A BUSINESS SUIT
Falls onto the floor. Cory reels.
EXT. MID-CENTURY MODERN HOUSE - STREET - MINUTES LATER
Rounding the corner with a SCREECH. It parks, and Bruce
jumps out. Cory is by the curb with his suitcase.
Is this some joke?
No, dude. I’m telling you, there’s
a majorly dead guy in the kitchen.
And I’m pretty sure it’s Larry
Jesus! No wonder no one’s seen
him. You call the cops?
He looks Bruce squarely in the eyes.
Because you’re going to help me
move the body.
This is the house I sold, man! The
guy will back out for sure if he
knows someone was murdered here!
It’ll be all over the news.
There’ll be no keeping it from him.
Cory loads his suitcase in the trunk of his car.
Are you living out of your car?
(points to the house)
I’m living out of other people’s
houses! That’s why I need this
So no apartment?
No. Look, don’t say anything. I’m
sorry I dragged you into this.
Larry Coldwater. Jesus. You know,
if we move this body, we’re messing
I’m pretty sure the maggots are
doing the same thing. Look, I move
him with or without you.
Maggots, eh? Is it wrong that I
really want to see that?
Cory gives him a look like, “yes.”
I know. It started with a
fascination with dead birds and
grew from there. You sure you want
to do this? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure
Every time I’ve done the right
thing lately, it’s come back to
bite me in the ass. So yeah.
Yeah, I do.
They look toward the house. A big job at hand.
Bruce locks arms with Cory.
That’s sort of gay.
EXT. COLDWATER REALTY - PARKING LOT - LATER
Ashley exits her parked car. On the way toward the building,
she notices the smashed headlight of Meg’s car. Very
Damon is now with Ashley. He matches the BROKEN PIECES Ashley
had collected that day in the parking lot to the headlight.
She is going to pay for everything!
Including the deductible!
Exiting the building. Walking toward her car, she sees the
Chadneys. Stops dead. Busted.
There she is.
Meg runs back inside as Ashley and Damon give chase.
INT. COLDWATER REALTY - BULLPEN AREA - MOMENTS LATER
Meg rushes in, Damon and Ashley hot on her heels.
I’m sure I don’t know what you’re
You lying little bitch.
You’re paying for this!
KELSEY, on a phone call, gets some news, screams in shock.
Oh, my lord!
This sidelines the drama with Meg/Ashley/Damon as everyone
reacts to the scream. Sadie comes rushing out of her office.
Kelsey, you’re as white as a ghost.
I just heard some shocking news.
After a beat;
My sister and I got four of the six
Lotto numbers last night. We won
five hundred bucks!
Oh, for heaven’s sake. We thought
someone had died.
Barry emerges from his office, pale and stunned.
My brother. Larry.
(with furrowed brow)
There was an anonymous tip. The
police just found his body stuffed
inside a fireplace in a Georgian
revival on Halkirk.
As the shock registers;
Oh, my God!
(then, to Damon)
That’s our listing.
END OF ACT FIVE
INT. COLDWATER REALTY - CONFERENCE ROOM - NEXT DAY
Another gathering for real estate church with our agents. A
somber mood. Hands held, heads hung low - although Bruce is
secretly checking sports scores on his cell phone.
...and so here we are as united in
grief as we are bound by our
commitment to save the McMansion.
I know Larry wouldn’t have it any
other way. In his name we say...
Work harder. Sell smarter.
Excuse me, Mr. Coldwater? The
police are here.
All eyes turn to see DETECTIVE JOHN BREWER, 50s, unflappable,
great patience, enter the room. He flashes his badge.
Detective Brewer, LAPD.
Barry Coldwater, Detective. Is
this about the murder of my
Mr. Coldwater, rest assured we’ve
got our best men on the case. I’m
here because another very serious
crime has taken place. And I need
to make an arrest.
QUICK SHOTS of instant fear on the faces of:
SADIE (the jewel thief)
MEG (the hit-and-run driver)
ASHLEY (the accidental killer)
CORY AND BRUCE (the body movers)
DAMON (the drug dealer)
Each assuming they’re busted. Then;
A MAD STAMPEDE by all SIX AGENTS for the exit!
Barry smiles slightly. This could take the heat off him.
But he catches Det. Brewer’s glare.
I’m as surprised as you.
THE FLEEING SIX rush from the building, passing two stone-
faced OFFICERS. Det. Brewer exits the conference room
Should we pursue, chief?
He thinks it through for a beat.
No. But put a tail on our main
suspect and do your homework on the
others. I have a feeling it’s
going to be a busy week.
SLOW DISSOLVE TO
A NEW DAY AND;
A POLISHED, EXPENSIVE MAHOGANY CASKET
A PHOTO OF LARRY next to the casket and MOURNERS gathered
EXT. FOREST LAWN - BURBANK - LARRY’S FUNERAL - DAY
Barry is front and center by the casket with other presumed
COLDWATER FAMILY MEMBERS while the other realtors are
gathered nearby. Bruce dabs at his eyes.
He was like a father to me.
Meg and Cory exchange a puzzled look.
Nah. It just felt like someone
should say it.
I remember the last time I saw him.
He winked at me and wished me good
luck at my open house.
I remember the last time I saw him
(changing subject quickly)
Nice view, eh?
We see a SHOT OF LARRY’S BURIAL PLOT high on a grassy green
hill overlooking the Valley.
Even in death, it’s about location.
Sly devil. He’s got a panoramic of
all the homes he sold to
unqualified buyers over the years.
Poor little Cory’s house is right
down that way.
Cory - insulted.
Former house, sweetheart. I can
only hope we find as much success
as Larry from the young and
Keep it up, mustache man.
Cory glares at Damon like, “I know something.”
If that kind of success gets you
killed, no thanks.
Oh, please, success never kills
anyone. Poor decisions do.
(happy to interrupt)
Excuse me, everyone, they’re
(whispering to group)
There’s gonna be food afterwards
As the PREACHER begins the service, we hear the voice of
Kelsey, once again talking about her favorite subject.
...So, you know, no one knows how
much further the market will fall
but California is among the states
with the highest rate of
foreclosure. Some call it a
correction, some a recession, some
INT. OFFICE - DAY
Kelsey has been talking to an unseen person on the other side
of a desk.
I just hope that some day I get to
make my first real estate sale. I
think that’d be exciting.
REVEAL that she’s speaking to Detective Brewer at his desk in
his office, staring back at her with steely-eyes.
Do you talk a lot when you’re
Kelsey nods her head yes.
Well-- my turn now. Okay?
Kelsey nods her head again.
You’re not in any trouble.
Kelsey sighs in relief.
In fact, you and I are going to
keep chatting, okay? But let’s
shift topics. Let’s talk about the
people you work with.
On Kelsey, looking scared;
END OF SHOW