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by Katie

Rated: PG   Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy   User Review: **1/2
A class assignment.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.


The camera starts as an Extreme Long Shot-an establishing
shot-showing the countryside and solitude surrounding
Faircrest Psychiatric Institute. It starts as an aerial
shot, and ends showing the whole building from ground level
and a sign saying "Welcome to Fairview".
MATT all sitting at a table, listening to MR. HAVENDENED.
The room is white and sterile-looking, but the six main
characters are all wearing stereotypical clothing for their
age and lot in life. The group is offset to the right and
MR. HAVENDENED is centered, and he is at a slightly higher
angle than the rest of the group. Square framed shot.
                       MR. HAVENDENED
...and so I'm glad you have
decided to join us for this
project. What I would like you all
to do is to go around the table
and introduce yourself to the
others. Then, wait for further
Medium/close-up shot on RUBETTA as she speaks, and then pans
left for the next person to speak. The group is ordered
My name is Rubetta Docfinnet. I'm
21 years old, I go to Penn State
and am majoring in French Language
and International Business.
Hi, my name's Jeff. Well,
Jeffrey...Colman. I'm all about
people looking out for each other
and peacefulness. I hate violence


                       JEFFREY (cont'd)
and confrontation...and, I guess
that's it. Oh. And I'm a senior at
Granite Hills, in El Cajon,
Hello, my name is Adelia, and I'm
from Greenwich, England. I won't
tell you how old I am, but I will
tell you that I have a son who is
between the ages of Rubetta and
Hello, everyone. I'm Conan
Bentley, I'm 45 years old, and I
live in Omaha, Nebraska with my
wife, Laura, our and two
daughters, Cadence and Thalia. I
don't really like to talk much.
Hi, I'm Eliza LeBeiral. I'm 55 and
happily married to my husband,
Paul. We have a son, Gabriel, who
is a business marketing executive
on Wall Street. I am a teacher at
a small elementary school in Grand
Island, New York.
Well, I guess I'm last to go. Save
the best for last, right? Haha.
So...I'm Matthias Calvin, but
everyone calls me Matt. I'm 24,
just graduated from Texas A&M last
spring and let's just say I made a
name for myself.
There is a slight pause as HAVENDENED realizes that everyone
has introduced themselves. The camera returns to the long
shot of the whole group offset to the right.
                       MR. HAVENDENED
Well now. Great. Today is going to
be an experiment in the way people


                       MR. HAVENDENED (cont'd)
relate to each other. I can't give
too much away about the project,
but I can give you some ground
rules. First-I will be your
proctor for this experiment. That
means I will monitor your
discussions, although I will not
be in the room the whole time. The
conversation will be recorded in
its entirety so we can go back and
analyze it later. Second-you
should feel free to share as much
or as little about yourself as you
want, but everyone must contribute
something about every topic. Act
naturally. And finally, try to
stay as much on topic as you can.
Normal conversations do tend to
digress from the topic they began
on to others, but there will be
time to discuss them later. The
first topic is children. Begin.
This scene starts out at ELIZA's living room, at her son's
8th birthday party. It is chaotic until she brings out the
cake, lit with candles, and everyone crowds around the table
to sing "Happy Birthday". Her son closes his eyes and blows
out the candles. The shot of his face fades to JEFFREY's
face, blowing out his candles at one of his birthday
parties. After that, he opened his presents and was happy
with getting board games and books instead of violent video
games and Nerf guns. The shot of him smiling fades to the
shot of RUBETTA, smiling. She's playing Trivial Pursuit with
adults and teenagers, and clearly beating them. The shot of
her fades to Conan's daughter, Thalia, playing soccer. She
watches Cadence get fouled, and the referee calls it, making
the girl who fouled her very upset. Her mother comes out on
the field to argue with the ref, and Thalia looks to her
dad. CONAN just watches, with an ambiguous look on his face.
Thalia looks concered. The shot of her fades to a shot of


Adelia as a child, on her dad's shoulders. They are walking
down a street in England, and Adelia is surprised to see so
many stores. She points at toy stores and dress stores
excitedly. She watches a boy walk out of an alleyway and
walk towards them. The shot of this boy turns into the face
of Matthias as a boy. He is riding his bike with a group of
his friends. All of the girls in the neighborhood are out on
their porches, swooning over him. The boys don't notice, and
they just keep riding their bikes.
These shots are all eye-level, medium/close up shots, very
slightly off-center, but focused on the person speaking.
I suppose I should start, since my
life revolves around children,
more or less. As a teacher, I have
observed the way children interact
with one another and with
authority figures. They're kind of
frightening to most people, like
wild monkeys. But to someone with
the proper training, they're
slightly less intimidating. My
favorite thing about them is their
unassuming nature. They just take
everything you say at face value,
and idolize you when they're
Not all of them, though. If they
don't have the proper upbringing,
they're no different than wild
monkeys. Some parents just aren't
fit to be parents, the way they
allow their children to behave.
Well no, of course not all of
them. But they have no choice but
to depend on adults to show them
how to behave. It's more the
parents' fault than anything else.


                       ELIZA (cont'd)
What they allow their children to
be exposed to is the problem
rather than the children's
I don't know, kids just creep me
out. How they can have all that
energy all the time is beyond me.
My sister just got married and is
thinking about having a kid. God
bless her, but there is no way I
could ever think about doing it. I
wouldn't know where to start. And
it would kill my social life.
Chicks aren't really into guys
whose hearts have already been
taken over by someone else, ya
I definitely know. Kids aren't
exactly on my list of things to
do. They're so messy all the time,
and you always have to be careful
what you say around them, because
you KNOW they'll repeat it as
often as possible to as many
people that shouldn't hear it as
they can. They're scary.
Well, I don't think kids are all
that bad. I mean, yeah, sometimes
they can get annoying, but most of
the time they're not unmanageable.
I have a little sister, she's 14,
and she can have an attitude
sometimes, but most of the time
she's pretty cool. The only thing
I hate is when her little friends
get crushes on me and try to
always hang around me. They don't
get that they're HER FRIENDS, not
my girlfriends. That's all that's
really creepy about them.


Ugh...I definitely don't miss
that. My sister's friends always
liked me when we were kids, and I
was never interested in any of
them. I wasn't really interested
in girls until I was about 16. I
just wanted them to leave me
alone! They were so annoying.
You think it's bad for you as the
liked one...I'm the father of the
girls who like guys like you.
Everyday the girls come home
saying how dreamy this one is or
how cool that one is. It's hard to
know when to give advice about
situations and when to keep my
mouth shut. I'm just happy they're
not of dating age yet. I don't
know how I'll be able to cope with
it. Overall, though, I like most
of the children they associate
with. They seem to be of
relatively good upbringing, and
have decent manners. From what
I've seen.
                       MR. HAVENDENED
      (Coming back into
       the room)
Alright, perfect. That's exactly
how I would like the rest of the
program to run. The next topic is
the elderly. Any questions? No?
This scene begins with a long shot of a funeral procession.
It centers in on CONAN and his wife, following close behind
the casket. It is cloudy and overcast. Many people are
crying. Conan's wife is one of these people, although Conan


is not. The daughters are not there. People come up to Conan
with apologetic looks, and Conan seems to be thanking them
for their concern, although he does not look upset. The
picture of his face turns into Eliza's father's. They are in
a room similar to the room the group is in, but it is not
the same one. Her father looks confused, and ELIZA is trying
to be strong, but is clearly deeply troubled. Her face turns
into ADELIA's, who is with her mother and father at a park.
They are watching the ducks and having a conversation,
laughing. Her father's face turns into MATTHIAS's, looking
uneasy at a family reunion. He seems to have an awkward
conversation with a grandparent, and looks to be trying to
get out of it. When he finally does, the grandparent looks
disappointed. This face turns into RUBETTA's grandfather's,
who is giving her an envelope. She opens it and discovers a
check for, as it seems, a lot of money. She hugs him, and
her face turns into JEFFREY's, who is at a golf course,
swinging his club and hitting the ball on the tee. His
father and grandfather clap for him, and he smiles back at
I'm a bit concerned about becoming
elderly. To me, it just means
being closer to death. My mother
recently passed away at the age of
85, and that got me thinking...if
I die at age 85, my life is more
than halfway over right now.


For some, though, death is better
than life. For example, my father
is suffering from Alzheimer's
disease, and I see him struggle
with it everyday. Last weekend, we
went out for a bit, and by the end
of our visit, he didn't even know
who I was. It broke my heart. I
don't know if it's better to be
alive in a semi-conscious cloud or
to be dead, but being fully aware
of everything while you were
alive. It's a very difficult
My goodness. I can't imagine
growing old being as terrible as
all that. Both of my parents are
still quite alert. We see each
other regularly when I come to
visit the States or they come to
Britain. I suppose the way you
view things has a lot to do with
the experiences you've had
involving them. For example, the
way Eliza and Conan view growing
elderly are very different than
the way I do, because I haven't
had any traumatic experiences
dealing with it.
Yeah, I think she's right. Like,
whenever I have to see my
grandparents, it's always awkward
because of the way I was taught to
act around them. They were always
really proper, so I feel like I
have to pretend to be proper like
them, and it's not me. My family
had a graduation party for my
sister last year, when she
graduated high school, and all of
our relatives were there. My


                       MATT (cont'd)
grandpa came up to me and started
talking to me, and I just felt
trapped. I mean, it's been a while
since he went around chasing
chicks, and that's my specialty.
Other than that, I didn't really
have anything to talk about.
      (Rolling her eyes)
You're telling me you can't carry
on an intelligent conversation
unless it revolves around women?
Well...uh, yeah...basically. It's
the only art I've really mastered.
But I, uh, don't want to give away
my secrets.
Oh my God.
Let me guess. You're the kind of
girl who really thinks a guy's
ever going to be impressed with
her infinite wisdom and knack for
correcting him every chance she
More the type who sees an arrogant
chauvinist and calls him on it so
he knows how he's coming off, thus
making him more appreciative of a
woman's intellect.
                       MR. HAVENDENED
      (popping in)
We'll have time to discuss the
differences between males and
females later in the session. For
now, please try to focus on your
feelings for the elderly. Rubetta,


                       MR. HAVENDENED (cont'd)
you and Jeff are the only ones who
haven't gone yet.
Okay...sorry. So, what I'm afraid
of about getting old is getting
mean. Did you ever notice how the
older people get, the more
judgmental and less caring they
are about your feelings? They just
tell you things how they are, and
if you don't like it, they don't
care. What are you gonna do to
them? They're gonna die in a few
months anyway, what do they care
whose feelings they hurt? But at
the same time, I think it might be
awesome to finally be at complete
peace with yourself and to be able
to just say exactly what you
think, without worrying what
people will say.
Well, clearly I state what's on my
mind, anyway, so that won't be a
big issue as I age. I think my
biggest obstacle will be coming to
terms with the fact that my life
is almost at an end, if I haven't
achieved much that I'd like to.
I'm really goal-oriented, so for
me to feel like I've wasted my
life is probably the scariest
thing about me getting old.
                       MR. HAVENDENED (OS)
Next topic: Honesty.
The scene starts with MATTHIAS at a restaurant with a
beautiful woman. He gets a call on his cell phone and
excuses himself from the table to answer it. The screen


splits to show who he is talking with-another beautiful
woman. He quickly ends the conversation with her and returns
to the table, explaining it away. Neither woman looks fazed.
The scene fades to CADENCE, running up to CONAN and his wife
with a tooth in her hand and a wide smile to expose where
the tooth once stood. CONAN and his wife share a look. This
scene fades to JEFFREY's parents, also sharing a look. This
is when Jeffrey was a child, opening presents under the
Christmas tree. He is playing with his Hess truck when the
scene fades to ADELIA's son running past. He is on an Easter
egg hunt. Adelia smiles while watching her son collect the
eggs. She doesn't know that through the window, we can see
her husband kissing another woman. That scene fades to
RUBETTA, as a little girl. Her mother is reading her fairy
tales for bedtime stories. They act the stories out together
until Rubetta gets tired and falls asleep. Rubetta's
mother's face fades into ELIZA's. She, her husband, and her
son are sitting at the dinner table when Eliza and her
husband start fighting verbally. They leave the table,
leaving the son to keep eating. We follow them to the other
room, where we see her husband hitting her, and Eliza
cowering in a corner. Her son is oblivious to this.
Well, honesty can sometimes mean
too much to people. I mean,
sometimes I'm just trying to spare
people from pain when I tell the
truth. I'm sure one chick doesn't
REALLY wanna know that I went out
with her best friend the night
before, does she?
No, of course not. Which is why
you shouldn't be dating both of
them in the first place. You can't
have your cake and eat it, too.
It's not fair to the rest of the
male population if you hoarde all
the girls for yourself.


I can't help how I feel about
someone though. To turn her down
for no good reason would be like
lying to her, too, wouldn't it? So
I might as well just date both of
them and wait for one of the
relationships to end naturally.
I see where Matthias is coming
from. Lying to a girl is never
easy, so he figures he might as
well make himself feel better by
not letting either girl down as
long as he can play his cards
right and keep them from finding
out about each other.
Exactly, man. Thank you.
But I still hope neither of my
daughters ever brings home a guy
like you. Lucky for me, and them
too, I suppose, they're only
seven. Cadence lost her first
tooth yesterday, and Laura and I
told her to put it under her
pillow. When I saw how upset
Thalia was that Cadence would get
money and she wouldn't, I was
tempted to tell her the Tooth
Fairy was a lie, but I couldn't
bring myself to do it. I can't
crush their dreams so early.
I remember the day I found out
Santa wasn't real. I cried for
three hours Christmas morning.
You'd think my parents would've
been able to time it better than
to tell me at 6:45, right before
opening my first present of the


                       JEFFREY (cont'd)
day. I mean...I was 8. An 8 year
old boy in California doesn't
really have much about Christmas
to believe in. We have no pine
trees, no snow, no reindeer-like
animals. But the whole face of
Christmas being a lie? I just
wasn't ready for that.
My little Billy believed in the
Easter Bunny until he was about 5.
I couldn't let him keep on
thinking Easter was about
chocolate and not the ascension of
Christ. It wasn't right. We wanted
to bring him up to be a good
Christian, and having him rely too
heavily on such nonsense for so
long would not only brand us as
bad parents, but as bad
Christians. We couldn't have that.
Wow...you take religion pretty
seriously, don't you?
                       MR. HAVENDENED (OS)
Ahem. We'll talk about religion
later. Right now we're discussing
the value of honesty.
Right, sorry. I just can't believe
a parent wouldn't allow their
child to believe in something so
It's more detrimental than
helpful, actually. My mom used to
read me fairy tales every night
before I went to bed, and young,
impressionable me believed them.
(LAUGHS) I was such an idiot. I
used to dream that some


                       RUBETTA (cont'd)
ridiculously gorgeous guy would
come up to my window on a white
horse and summon me down to him
from my balcony. And we'd go live
happily ever after in the sunset.
Wow...definitely didn't have you
pegged for one of those types.
That could be because I'm not one
anymore. As soon as I discovered
love like that doesn't exist, I
completely changed my ways to try
to forget that I really believed
that could happen.
Something similar happened to me.
I didn't exactly believe in fairy
tales, but I thought when I found
love, it would be perfect. I met a
wonderful man who made my troubles
fade away, and after a few months,
he asked me to marry him. There
were some odd quirks about him,
but I decided to overlook them
because he seemed to be such a
great man, After we were married,
I learned of the secret he tried
so hard to keep from me. He was an
alcoholic. A violent one. I spent
our wedding night cowering in the
corner of the bathroom with the
door locked so he wouldn't hit me
anymore. It wasn't bad all the
time, just when he was
particularly stressed or upset
about something. Gabriel still had
no idea until he was well into his
teens. I stay with my husband
because I hope it'll get better,
but I know i'm lying to myself. I
just can't believe what a fool I


There is a stunned, awkward silence. Everyone looks
furtively to each other, but never quite maintain eye
contact. They look more to the table or beyond people to the
stark walls than at each other.
RUBETTA is shown at the beginning of this scene signing her
full-ride scholarship to Penn State. There is a crowd of
people clapping, watching this. The scene fades to JEFFREY,
counting money in a huge box he has labeled "Air Fare Fund".
That scene fades to CONAN, watching the real estate agent
replace the "FOR SALE" sign with a "SOLD" sign on his newly
bought home. This scene fades to ADELIA, being robbed on the
street outside of a store. She screams for someone to help
her, and a stranger chases him down and forces him to give
her purse back. The man who robbed her runs away, as the
stranger comes to return the purse. We recognize him as
Adelia's husband, but this is clearly the first time they
have met. ELIZA is the subject when the scene fades and is
shown giving money to what seems to be her friend. When the
scene fades from her, we see MATTHIAS getting a paycheck
from his job. He smiles, shakes hands with his boss, and
walks out and across the street to the car dealership.
                       MR. HAVENDENED (OS)
Our next topic is Money.
I can go first for this one. Money
played an integral part in me
becoming the young woman I am. It
is because of money that I had the
opportunity to attend Penn State.
As a girl growing up in the
"shady" parts of Philly, I knew
I'd have to work extra hard to get
myself out of it. So I completely
poured myself into my studies and
applied for every scholarship for
which I was even remotely
eligible. It paid off, and I ended


                       RUBETTA (cont'd)
up not only getting into Penn, but
I also received a full scholarship
for my four years, as long as I
maintain a 3.5 GPA. I'm very
appreciative about the power of
money to make wishes come true.
Yeah, money can be great. About
three years ago, I met this girl
through my friend Ally when I went
on a trip to see her. My family
and Ally's family have always been
friends, but about five years ago,
Ally moved to Ocean City, NJ and I
stayed in El Cajon. But one summer
my family and hers arranged for me
to go and stay there for a week.
It was really expensive, but so
worth it. I met this awesome girl
named Lorie Sonnenschien. She was
amazing...my dream girl. Ally's
best friend. So, after the week
was over, we exchanged phone
numbers and emails and have gotten
to be better and better friends
ever since. So I'm saving up to be
able to go back there this summer
as a little graduation party for
myself. I have over eighty dollars
saved up.
      (struggling not to
So you're telling me you're saving
up money to see some girl you met
for a week and haven't seen in
over three years?
It's not as crazy as it sounds.
We've really kept in touch. We're
like best friends. Actually, I
kind of lost touch with Ally, but
my relationship with Lorie is so


                       JEFFREY (cont'd)
strong. I'd do anything to be able
to have the rest of the money
saved up so I can see her again.
Where would you stay if you did
get to visit? If you've lost touch
with Ally, I guess you can't stay
with her, can you?
Oh...well, I haven't really
thought about that. I guess I
could just like, find a hotel room
or something in the area. And I've
heard they have timeshares or
something there. I could just rent
a beach house for a week or
Owning a house, even if it's just
for a little while, is a lot
harder than it looks. It's
nerve-wracking because you never
know if someone will try to break
in, or how your neighbors are, or
anything like that. It's a total
leap of faith. I remember when I
bought my first house, I was so
nervous but so proud at the same
time. It was a huge investment,
but symbolized so much changing in
my life.
Right...it is a scary thing when
you're dealing with large amounts
of money. But it can create so
much change in your life when
you're not even expecting it.
Money actually led to me meeting
my husband. I was going shopping
one afternoon when a man ran up
and grabbed my purse. I screamed
and tried to chase after him,


                       ADELIA (cont'd)
yelling "That man stole my
purse!". A random guy chased him
down and grabbed my purse back
from him, and pushed him away,
telling him scum like him didn't
deserve the slight effort it would
take to beat him to a pulp. So,
then the man gave me my purse
back, and told me the least I
could do was let him take me out
to lunch. How could I refuse a man
as daring as that? So, that was my
first date with the man I ended up
marrying 3 years later. Amazing
what money can do.
That was a beautiful story. Mostly
I'm just the ATM for my friends.
They know they can depend on me to
spot them a few dollars here and
there. I'm surprised I'm not
bankrupt by now. Not that I have
an inordinate amount of friends,
just that they've borrowed a lot
of money throughout the years. But
it's not as if I need it for
anything particularly pressing.
And the less money we have, the
less alcohol my husband can buy.
I remember when my paychecks
centered around buying alcohol.
That lasted about three months and
then I realized I should start
saving up for a really sweet car.
That was five years ago and now I
have a cherry red vintage Mustang.
It's like my child, if I liked
children. At all. I love it more
than life itself.
                       MR. HAVENDENED
Speaking of loving things more
than life itself, what are your


                       MR. HAVENDENED (cont'd)
feelings on those willing to give
up their lives for their nation?
The next topic is war.
WAR. J, A, C, E, M, R
The scene starts with JEFFREY, throwing away pamphlets and
brochures asking him to join any military service. This
scene fades to ADELIA, watching her son prepare to go for
his physical to join the Navy. That fades to CONAN, in an
Army uniform when he was younger. That fades to ELIZA,
looking at a picture of her father in a Marines uniform.
That fades to MATTHIAS, watching the news, showing the
violence in other countries. Finally, this fades to RUBETTA,
at ROTC practice in college.
I hate war and everything that has
to do with it. I feel it's
senseless to kill people for not
believing your beliefs. There are
always other, better ways to
resolve differences short of
violence. People just are too
impatient to wait it out.
What about in situations where you
can't just "wait it out"? What
about hostage situations? Time is
of the essence in those
situations. Sometimes it's
necessary to take violent action
to ensure that others don't.
That has nothing to do with
full-on war. Mass onslaught. The
killing of millions of people
because the other country won't


                       JEFFREY (cont'd)
give you oil or you don't like
their system of government.
War isn't that cut and dry,
Jeffrey. There are a lot of
different reasons war is
initiated. Some are senseless,
like the ones you are talking
about, but others are valiant,
necessary causes. There is always
a good and bad side to everything.
You just have to be willing to see
it. War is not always a terrible
thing. Things are lost and gained
on both sides.
He's right. As long as the reasons
are legitimate, and many other
options have been exhausted, war
is sometimes the best choice. For
example, in World War II, the
Germans were committing horrific
crimes on millions of Jews, solely
because of their heritage. Are you
saying that would have ended if we
sat them down for a conference?
Because, as I'm sure you know, we
did try to talk to them, and the
horror continued.
I just can't imagine that half of
the wars going on in the world
haven't been merely power
struggles. People are innately
corrupt, and to me, war is the way
that those in power manifest this
characteristic of themselves.
I think the media is partly at
fault for that way of thinking.
They overplay footage of our
efforts to control other nations.


                       MATT (cont'd)
The way that the news construes
things can not give an accurate
depiction of what war is really
like. I think until you're in the
reality of war yourself, you can't
judge whether it is good or bad,
worth it or not.
Yeah, just like how veterans come
home with war stories. From what
I've heard and experienced, if
soldiers are too eager to share
their hero stories, chances are
they were far removed from the
actual battles. My dad won't tell
me anything about his time in the
service because it affected him so
deeply and scarred him so
emotionally. He can't bring
himself to relive those memories.
Well, I kind of see your point
about how war is necessary
sometimes, but only in extremely
rare circumstances, and not just
to get something we want. It has
to be to ensure the wellbeing of
people or something noble like
Yes, I agree. Without good cause,
war is a disgusting thing that
nations should not resort to as
often as they do.
                       MR. HAVENDENED
The scene starts with ADELIA and her family at a Baptist


church. This scene fades to MATTHIAS, walking into a
confession booth in a Catholic church. That fades to
RUBETTA, reading books about various religions, among them
Judaism, Islam, Taoism, Christianity, and Baha'i. That fades
to ELIZA getting married in an old English church, which
fades to JEFFREY, at a wedding in a judge's chambers. That
finally fades to CONAN, at his Bar Mitzvah.
Religion plays a big part in my
life. I recognize the sacrifice
that Jesus made so I could live
consequence free, and have
dedicated my life to serving Him.
I believe wholeheartedly that
Jesus died for my sins and make a
conscious effort everyday to show
my thanks to Him.
I also believe that Jesus died so
I might live in Heaven. But I
don't feel so strongly connected.
I feel kind of like my life is
insignificant, and my relationship
with Him is distant. I don't go to
church as often as I should...just
Christmas and Easter, basically.
But I believe in Jesus and God and
the Holy Spirit, so I think when I
die, I'll go to heaven.
You're a Catholic.
Yes...how did you know?
Catholics always do the bare
minimum to get by. They don't
realize that you have to strive to
do good. Just believing isn't good
enough. You have to devote


                       ADELIA (cont'd)
yourself to godliness. I don't
think I've ever met one Catholic
who really tried to show even a
little bit of understanding for
the ordeal Jesus went through.
Wow. You believe pretty strongly,
don't you, that because I don't go
out everyday with the single goal
to praise Jesus, I'm going to
Not necessarily, I just think
that's the least you could do for
the price He paid for you.
I understand, but I think it's
offensive that you could speak so
easily about how my branch of
Christianity is lesser than yours.
We're both Christians, which is a
religion that supposedly believes
in loving one's brother, correct?
It disturbs me that there are
people who claim to be all about
love, when in reality they can be
more hurtful and hypocritical than
those who do not believe.
      (taken aback)
I'm sorry. You're right. Sometimes
I just get so caught up in showing
my devotion that I dismiss the
religious beliefs of others.
Going to college has opened my
eyes to many different religious
options. I grew up as a Methodist,
but when I went away to college
and met different people from
different backgrounds, I started


                       RUBETTA (cont'd)
wondering whether Christianity
really did offer answers to all of
my questions. So I began reading
up on various religions to try to
find the one that fits me best.
The Baha'i religion says that all
religions are valid since they all
stem from the same basic
principles, but if they're all
valid, does that also mean that
none of them are, since all of
them claim to be the "right" one?
And Buddhism isn't really a
religion, but its teachings make a
lot of sense, as far as how people
should behave. A lot of the
religions I've been reading up on
make good points, so as of right
now, I haven't really decided
which I believe most.
That's my problem. I'm not sure I
believe all of any one religion,
but I don't really believe all of
them are completely false, either.
So I just decided to be an
Agnostic. I feel that there is
some guiding power, but I'm not
sure what it is or what religion
it pertains to, so I'll just find
out when I die.
Aren't you worried that at that
point it will be too late? The
Messiah might come between now and
then. Wouldn't you rather be
prepared with a belief?
But what if I'm wrong? Then I'm
screwed either way, aren't I? It's
kind of like gambling for me. I'd
rather not make any commitment
than make a commitment and find


                       JEFFREY (cont'd)
out I was wrong and filling my
head with lies all along.
But what if you were right?
Wouldn't you feel worse knowing
that the right answer was right
under your nose all along and you
were just too blind to make the
choice to believe it? I understand
that teenagers and young adults
struggle with making these
decisions, because they are so
eager to question what they have
been told all their lives. I just
pray for you that you make a
choice and that it's right before
it's too late. For you too,
Thank you. I'm sure I'll be able
to figure out the right one
through my studies, eventually.
Just know that religion is not a
science. It's quite possible that
in studying each religion, your
thinking will just become more
muddled than clear, because each
does make seemingly-valid points.
The answer lies more in your heart
than your head. Deep down, you
know or will soon know what's the
right belief for you. It is good
to expose yourself to your
surroundings, but don't expect the
answer to necessarily jump out
from a book page at you.
                       MR. HAVENDENED
Well that was certainly an
enlightening conversation. Our
next topic is males.


The scene begins with ELIZA sitting in the corner of the
living room, watching her husband walk out of the house. She
is crying. GABRIEL comes around the corner from another
room, staring at his mother. It is apparent that GABRIEL is
finally realizing what has been going on. He goes to hug
Eliza. The scene fades to MATTHIAS, out at the beach with
the woman he was in the phone with at the restaurant. They
seem to be having fun together, and he hugs her. When they
pull apart, we see the woman he was at the restaurant with
standing in front of them, clearly upset. Matthias has a
look of dismay on his face. This scene fades to RUBETTA,
sitting at a table in a college library, studying. An
attractive college male comes up to her and she smiles at
him-clearly interested. He asks her a question about what
she's studying, and she answers-clearly disappointed. He
smiles and walks away, and Rubetta just stares after him.
This fades to JEFFREY, playing air guitar in his room. He
gets really into it when his sister and all of her friends
come barging in. He instantly exchanges his rocker pose on
top of his bed for sitting on the edge of it, looking like
he's too cool to do anything that embarrassing. This fades
to ADELIA, who walks in her son's room to see if he wants
anything for lunch and finds him making out with a girl.
Everyone involved is understandably embarrassed. Adelia just
walks right back out again, and shuts the door behind her.
This fades to CONAN, watching TV. His wife comes up and sits
on his lap and he appears to question why. She keeps being
cute and flirting with him until she realizes he really has
no idea why she's doing that. Her face gets stony and she
walks out. Conan looks at the calendar and realizes the
date, and puts his head in his hands. The scene fades.


Men...men are trouble. Sometimes I
wish I didn't need them so much.
Ever since I was young, I felt
like I needed someone who loved me
to be a complete person. My father
left me when I was ten, and ever
since then, I've tried my best to
please everyone around me, so they
wouldn't leave me like he did.
You must see that that's not your
fault though, Eliza. It's not your
fault your father left. Nothing
you could have done would have
made him stay. The same goes for
anyone else you feel you have to
appease. If they don't like you
for the person you are, and not
what you can do for them, you
should not feel obligated to make
them happy. You're only being used
as their tool. Deep down you know
I can't just leave them though. I
know the pain I felt when my
father left...I still feel it. I
could never do that to another
person. These people need me to be
a good, dependable person for
them. They may not have anyone
else to depend on.
That may be true, Eliza, but by
maintaining this unhealthy
relationship with them, you are
not helping them. You're just
allowing them to keep worsening by
not doing anything to correct
their behavior. You don't have to


                       CONAN (cont'd)
completely sever ties with all of
these people, but you do need to
stand up for yourself so they
appreciate you as a human being.
You are no less of a person than
them, and you should never be made
to feel that way. Especially not
by your husband.
What can I do now? I have already
made a commitment both to him and
to Gabriel.
Gabriel is an adult now. You can
leave your husband if you are
unhappy with him. I'm sure that's
what's best for everyone right
now. Your husband needs to know
that what he's doing is not right.
And Gabriel realizes what's going
on, right? I'm sure he'll be happy
that you're extricating yourself
from a position you never should
have been placed in.
He's right, and until you take
drastic action, he won't even
think about changing his ways. Men
are quite possibly the most
selfish creatures on the planet,
and will never take others'
feelings into consideration until
they have to.
You mean THE ladies man has been
unlucky in love before? Say it
ain't so.
Very funny. Well listen, at least
now I know that not every girl
will fall for the charm and sweet


                       MATT (cont'd)
words of a man whose name
literally means "God's gift to
I just can't wait to hear this
one. Please, elaborate, Mr.
Calvin. I'm dying to hear.
Alright. So I was seeing this girl
named Raquel, but I was also
interested in her friend. So, I
went out with Raquel to the beach
one day about a week after I took
her friend, Ainsley, out to
dinner. To make a long story
short, Ainsley also decided to go
to the beach that day, saw me with
Raquel, and I lost both of them.
It took me that long to realize
that I shouldn't really date girls
who are friends with each other.
Nor should you lead women on into
thinking they're in a serious
relationship with you when you're
also in a "serious relationship"
with half of the other girls you
Oh, come on, we're not that bad.
It sounds like you got hit with an
errant arrow of Cupid's, too.
To say the least. So...I used to
be THE most boy crazy girl on the
planet, up until about three years
ago. I had been seeing this guy
named Chad for about a year before
that, and before THAT we had been
best friends for about two years.
We were kind of reluctant to start


                       RUBETTA (cont'd)
dating each other because we
didn't want to mess up our
friendship, but at the same time
we knew that we had to see what
would become of it. So we were
together and it was great...until
it came time for me to go to
college. I met all these new,
intriguing people, some of which I
wanted to get to know better than
others. I should also tell you,
Chad is a year younger than me, so
he was a senior in high school at
this point.
                       MR. HAVENDENED (OS)
Be careful, Rubetta, that you
don't border on the topic of love.
We will have time to deal with
that later.
Okay, I'll keep that in mind. So
anyway, these guys at college just
made me see how immature Chad
really was, and we ended up
drifting from each other. We "went
on a break" and eventually broke
up about three months later. Those
college guys were interested in me
only because I was unattainable
with a boyfriend, and as soon as I
became single, they became
disinterested. Guys are the
hardest sex to understand. Why is
it that they want you when they
can't have you, and when they can,
they don't want you? Well, anyway,
then I called Chad when college
was over for the year and told him
I was sorry and wanted to see if
we could get back together, and he
said he was too busy for me. So
that sucked. But hey, now I have
time to devote to myself and my
studies. Which is cool, I guess.


Well, I can see how he felt. He
was so into you and you blew him
off, so what did you expect him to
do? And senior year of high school
is a really busy time. He couldn't
let his friends see him go
crawling back to the girl who
decided he wasn't worth her time a
few months ago. And I'm sure he
didn't want to be tied down to
some girl the last summer before
Yeah, I guess, but I just can't
see how he can justify letting a
good thing go after I've realized
what a good thing it was.
Maybe he just moved on. I don't
know. Maybe the key word is "was".
You're a guy. I guess you guys
have some weird bond where you're
all infallible or whatever.
No, I've just never been hurt by
love before. I don't really see
the point in getting involved with
anyone at this stage in life. It's
more important for me right now to
spend my time having fun with my
friends and just being a goof than
to try to act overly grown up to
impress some girl. It's hard
enough to impress them as it is. I
can't imagine having to actually
succeed. I mean, I'm the loser who
jumps on his bed playing air
guitar to the radio when all my
sister's friends bust in and I
have to try to act like the older,


                       JEFFREY (cont'd)
more mature senior I am so they
don't all tell their older, senior
friends what a dork I really am.
There's nothing worse than
embarrassing a high school boy. I
know. I once walked into Billy's
room when he and his friend
Bridget were studying for their
Spanish finals to ask if they
wanted anything for lunch,
and...well...it was awkward for
all of us. Males are just hormonal
creatures that will take advantage
of any opportunity they can find
to make use of their urges.
That may be true, but I think the
worst thing about men is our
uncanny ability to overlook
important dates. For example, my
wife and I have been married for
10 years and on our anniversary, I
forgot. It's not that I didn't
know the date, I was just so
preoccupied with work and the
girls and everything else that it
snuck up on me. Laura came up to
me that day and sat on my lap,
interrupting my favorite
television show. I didn't
understand why she would do that.
She knows everything about me,
including my favorite programs, so
when I asked her about it, she
just kept flirting until she
understood that I really had no
idea what was going on. She
instantly just froze up and told
me that if our relationship wasn't
important to me, maybe I should
sleep somewhere else that night.
It was the first time she had ever
said anything like that, so I


                       CONAN (cont'd)
immediately knew I had screwed up
big time. I looked at the calendar
and saw the date and was
mortified. The next day I went out
and ordered flowers to arrive at
our doorstep at 6:00 pm exactly
that evening and bought her a
beautiful necklace. It didn't make
up for it, and she's never let me
forget that mistake, but at least
it showed her I cared.
                       MR. HAVENDENED
Speaking of women, that's our next
topic. Begin.
RUBETTA is seen in her room with her hair done up all
elegantly and her makeup is nearly done, very beautifully.
There is a prom dress hanging in the background.This scene
fades to CONAN, in the hospital with his wife laying in a
hospital bed. She is holding one baby and CONAN is holding
the other. This fades to ELIZA, looking jealously at her
husband talking to his secretary. They seem very friendly.
When he introduces her to Eliza, Eliza acts as if nothing's
wrong. We see JEFFREY at a party. All of his friends are
paired off with some girl, except him. He looks
uncomfortable. This scene fades to ADELIA, heading to the
bathroom after dinner. We see her head to the toilet and
lean over it. That scene cuts to MATTHIAS at a bar, trying
to hit on girls.
Alright, so I've been the really
girly-girl, as I've said. But that
ended once I hit college. For prom
though, my senior year, it was
amazing. I've never been the
particularly pretty, idolized,
popular girl, mainly because I was
never involved with the big


                       RUBETTA (cont'd)
parties with the drinking and the
drugs and the sex. But I was like,
what the heck? I might as well
go...it's my last chance. I didn't
even go to prom my junior year.
But I wanted to see what it was
like, so I made an appointment and
got my hair done, spent an ungodly
amount of money on this beautiful
fairy tale dress, and had this
personal stylist lady come to my
house and do my makeup. I felt
like a princess. So, Chad and I
went to prom and had a pretty good
time. We didn't really dance all
that much because I'm not a slut
and don't dance like one. So it
came time to announce prom queen
and I got named prom queen! It was
insane. I had no idea people
actually liked me, or that I was
nominated or anything. It was
probably the best night of my
life. Who could have imagined that
a girl like that would become a
cynical young woman like I am now?
Well, I'm sure you deserved it.
You're a beautiful girl. And you
sound like you had a good head on
your shoulders. You're not a
cynical person now, you just
aren't falling for the lies you
used to. That's good, and natural.
I can only hope my girls grow up
to be as insightful as you seem to
be. I remember the day they were
born. Cadence in my arms and
Thalia in Laura's. I've never seen
three more beautiful girls ever in
my life. Having kids really
changes your life.


It absolutely does. Your
priorities change so quickly. You
no longer think about yourself
primarily. Well, as a mother and a
woman, I don't. Perhaps it's
because of my maternal instinct
that I feel the need to take care
of everyone. Maybe I'm just an
You are far from an idiot, Eliza.
You've just been hurt by the men
in your life.
The women, too. Years after my
father left, my mother told me the
reason he left. He had been having
an affair with his secretary since
before I was born. He just
couldn't take it anymore...the
guilt everytime he looked at my
mother and I. It got worse after I
was born, though, because then he
wasn't just hurting one, but two
people. My mother made me feel as
though his leaving was my fault.
And then when my husband began
staying later hours at the office,
I suspected the worst. He has to
be sleeping with his secretary,
too. I just keep thinking if I'm a
better wife, it will get better.
Women just want to be wanted,
Eliza. It has nothing to do with
you being a bad woman, or a bad
wife. You are neither. You are
just going through a tough time
right now, trusting people. It's
understandable with what you've
been through. It's for reasons
similar to yours that I abstain


                       JEFFREY (cont'd)
from engaging in relationships
with girls at school. I don't want
to hurt them and send them on a
downward spiral, making them feel
like they've done soemthing wrong.
It's not you. It's the faultiness
of the relationship you're in.
For a seventeen year old boy, you
do understand a lot about the way
people relate to one another.
Women are just terrible to each
other and to the people around
them. It seems like it's hard for
them to say something nice about
each other. For a while, I
struggled with an eating disorder
because of what the girls in high
school used to say about me. I
grew up in a very wealthy
neighborhood where all of the
females looked flawless, and I was
a bit overweight. The girls looked
down on me, and I couldn't stand
to be different, so I developed
bulimia to try to make myself look
like them. I ended up in the
hospital for three months and it
took over five years to recover.
Sometimes I still get the urge to
purge my meals, but now I am
mentally strong enough to overcome
it. Females don't realize how
hurtful they can be with their
words and actions.
See, I completely understand and
agree with that, but I can't get
them to stop hitting on me. I
mean, I can't go anywhere without
a girl hitting me up for my number
or at least trying to talk to me.


Oh please, Matthias. I doubt any
girl would be interested in
talking to you beyond five minutes
after they see how arrogant you
are. You're not THAT cute. Didn't
you take psychology in college?
You're projecting YOUR behavior on
girls, saying that they all want
you, when in reality you're the
one hitting on all of them. Get
over yourself.
It's not my fault you've been
unlucky in love, Rubetta. You're
no angel either. You think just
because you're smart and gorgeous
that you can be condescending to
everyone else, and because you've
been spurned once by love you can
hate every member of the male race
for the rest of your life. You
can't. You're not oblivious to
love either. Deep down, you wish
men weren't too intimidated to
talk to you in a flirty way,
aren't you? Just do us all a favor
and admit it. Stop hiding behind
all the walls you have surrounding
your little princess castle,
                       MR. HAVENDENED (OS)
Alright. Well. That topic is over.
We've heard quite enough about
gender differences, and everything
else we've talked about today. I'd
like to thank you all for your
interest in this project. The
conversation is now at the end of
its recording. You can shut the
recorder off now, Mr. Lutz.


Does anyone know why we just bared
our souls like that? Like, are we
getting money for any of that?
Will that be broadcast publicly or
Well...no, not really. I just got
a letter in the mail asking me to
come participate in an experiment
to help better understand the
nature of mankind.
I think it just showed us how easy
it is to open up to complete
strangers about ourselves instead
of talking to those closest to us
about it.
And how easy it is to argue with
people you don't really know,
instead of worrying about hurting
someone you care about.
Does anyone else feel a little
less stressed, being able to just
talk about everything and nothing?
You know, it is a bit relieving
being able to open up completely
and knowing that whatever you say
isn't really important to those
hearing it. You can say whatever
you want without worrying that it
will get back to anyone you don't
want it to, since none of us know
each other.


                       MR. HAVENDENED
Let me tell you a little bit about
what you've just participated in.
That was an experiment in seeing
how previous experiences have
affected the way you feel about
generic topics everyone has to
deal with in their lives. No one
will ever hear what you all have
said, and no one will ever see
what you all have just seen. We
have recorded the memories you all
conjured up when I said the new
topic, and they have been logged
away in our database. You may all
now return to your homes and rest
assured, the general public will
never be made aware of what has
transpired here.
ADELIA walks out with her head held high. ELIZA walks out
looking newly liberated. RUBETTA looks less confident than
she has throughout the whole film when she walks out.
JEFFREY looks peaceful and content with himself when he
walks out. CONAN walks out smiling and like he knows
something no one else does. MATTHIAS starts walking out,
winks to the secretary who does a cute little wave back to
him, and leaves. MR. HAVENDENED watches them all go.
                       MR. HAVENDENED
What do you think, Miss
Northbridge. Do you think they
                       MISS NORTHBRIDGE
Not at all. They see life as
something with meaning in every
crevice. None of them are
believers in simple
existentialism. None know that
everything is nothing. That
existance is existance, nothing
more. That what they think is
nothing more than emotional
responses to previous experiences,
and is no more or less profound


                       MISS NORTHBRIDGE (cont'd)
than anything else any creature
has ever thought. But it has made
them think. And I think, for their
purposes, we have helped them. You
don't have that Matthias's number,
do you?
                       MR. HAVENDENED
Only you, Miss Northbridge, only
Every single character, mentioned or shown previously, is in
the theater watching the previous scene, implying that they
have seen the whole movie in its entirety. When it is over,
the audience claps, and the movie starts over again, from
its beginning. The screen fades to black and this quote
appears: "Life is not merely a series of meaningless
accidents or coincidences. Rather, it's a tapestry of events
that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan."

--Dean Kansky, "Serendipity"


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From Shara M Date 7/19/2005 **1/2
Hmm...Sounds interesting. I didn't get to read all of it, but I will be back and I'll let you know when I finish it. Pretty good though. Shara

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