This is an excerpt (first 20 pages) of a completed screenplay.
"The Switch" - screenplay by Derek Paterson. FADE IN: EXT. J.F.K. INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - DAY Among the daily traffic is an AEROFLOT plane, arriving from the frozen wastes of darkest Russia. INT. ARRIVALS - DAY Pick up on MAJOR TIMUR BORIN, late 20s, noted for the severity of his buzz cut. He's wearing civilian clothes but his bearing and confidence are military. As he moves through Customs like a panther he's covertly observed by several AIRPORT WORKERS who speak into hidden radio mikes, reporting his progress. AGENT (into radio) Positive identification. Subject is exiting the building. EXT. TERMINAL BUILDING - DAY Borin climbs into a waiting limo with diplomatic plates and is driven away. EXT. TRAFFIC STREAM HEADING INTO NYC - DAY Borin's limo among the traffic, heading into the city. INT./EXT. ROGERS' CAR - NYC STREETS (MOVING) - DAY ALEXANDER ROGERS, 50s, could easily be mistaken for a successful businessman. Actually he's boss of a government funded dirty tricks agency. Beside him is SERGEI RASTOV, 50s, an untidy looking Russian. The car telephone rings. Rogers picks up. ROGERS (into phone) Rogers. (he listens) Let's play this as if we're going to do it. Make the approach. He checks his watch. ROGERS (into phone) Call me in an hour and tell me how you got on. (he listens, smiling) Yes, I said an hour. He hangs up. ROGERS Borin's back, right on schedule. SERGEI (Russian accent) I've seen you come up with desperate plans before, but this one takes pie. It's going to turn to shit, I can feel it already. Rogers looks out the window, lost in his private thoughts. EXT. UNIVERSITY - DAY A busy campus. INT. CLASSROOM - DAY A PROFESSOR lectures on the history of computing science, using slides that show the original machines built in the early '50s and influenced by Turing's Colussus. RICK PRESTON, 20, sits near the front. He's not quite a geek but he could never be mistaken for a jock. He's fascinated by the subject, scribbles notes on his pad. At the back of the classroom, unnoticed and unremarked. JANICE ROGERS, could be 40s or younger. Mature, refined, intelligent. Her attention is fully on Rick. Rick gets that odd feeling we all experience at some time. He looks round, expecting to see someone watching him, but the seat where Janice was sitting is empty. INT. CAFETERIA - DAY Rick and his classmates enjoy a quiet, serious friendship. Rick selects chicken salad, fruit, diet drink. He's heading for his classmates' table when Janice steps in his way. RICK Oh, sorry-- JANICE Rick Preston? Could I have a word with you? In private. Please. She indicates an empty table apart from everyone else. They sit down, facing each other. RICK What can I do for you? EXT. MIDTOWN HOTEL - DAY With the U.N. Building visible in b.g. EXT. MIDTOWN HOTEL - ENTRANCE - DAY Borin's limo pulls up. He gets out. Two BODYGUARDS step out of the hotel. One man watches the street while the second man escorts Borin into the lobby. INT. MIDTOWN HOTEL - RECEPTION - DAY Borin and the bodyguard enter, looking mean. They sweep past the desk, heading for the elevator. This is business as usual for the HOTEL STAFF, who don't even notice what their foreign guests are up to any more. INT. HOTEL ELEVATOR AND HALLWAY - DAY The elevator doors open, Borin and bodyguard emerge. They're met by another two BODYGUARDS who let Borin pass. INT. KAMAKOV'S HOTEL ROOM - DAY LEONID KAMAKOV, 60s, an imposing figure. If he hadn't gone into politics he would probably have been a chess grandmaster. Or head of the Russian Mafia. A BODYGUARD opens the door. Borin enters. Kamakov embraces him like a lost son. It's like a grizzly bear squeezing toothpaste out of a giant tube. Both men sit down. KAMAKOV Good trip? Borin doesn't answer until the Bodyguard has walked around the room holding an electronic gizmo, and confirms with a shake of his head that they're not being bugged. BORIN A very good trip. Everyone sends their regards... and their assurances. The two men look at each other, and smile. EXT. UNIVERSITY CAMPUS - DAY Rick and Janice find a bench and sit down. JANICE I spoke to Professor Lansing. He says you're in the running for an award. RICK Me and three other guys. Some of their projects are a lot better than mine. Look, I don't want to be rude, but you still haven't told me who you are. JANICE You're in a position to do a service for your country. Rick stares at her, waiting. JANICE Call it fate. Or, if you want to get technical, call it the results of a database search. RICK Which database? JANICE The National Security Agency has a system called PHYLLIS that converts facial and physical characteristics into math. I believe you're acquainted with it? RICK Uh, we really shouldn't be having this conversation... JANICE The National Security Agency contracted part of the code to the academic sector. You worked on it for six months. Because of this you're on the database, along with everyone in your class. Rick's suspicion gives way to surprise. JANICE You shouldn't feel special or anything, so are nineteen million other people. Ten years from now everyone in the country will be registered. RICK That's kinda spooky, isn't it? JANICE Not unless you're a criminal or a spy. You don't strike me as the criminal type, Rick. How do you feel about being a spy? INT. MEETING ROOM - DAY Rogers meets with his bosses, three young suits who look like they just graduated from Harvard. SUIT #1 This isn't about budgets, Mr. Rogers. ROGERS Then what is it about? My section has one of the highest success rates in the international theater. SUIT #1 That's a very good point. The fact you're supposed to operate in that theater means we're often puzzled as to why the majority of your team operates in the United States. ROGERS When you say things like that, it frightens me. SUIT #1 You don't think we understand and appreciate your methods? ROGERS My section targets foreign agents and diplomats. When they move in and out of the continental United States, we move with them. Passing the mark to one of our domestic intelligence agencies in the hope they'll continue to keep the mark under covert surveillance, would invite disaster. SUIT #1 You really think these people are so important that they have to be watched the entire time they're in the U.S.? ROGERS If we didn't think they were important, we wouldn't keep tabs on them. SUIT #2 Let's talk about Berlin. ROGERS What about Berlin? SUIT #2 (reading notes) The mark's name was Lawrence Mittel. His body was discovered in an attic, tied to a chair and brutalized, then shot through the head. INT. ATTIC - NIGHT Cold and damp, bare floorboards, peeling walls. MITTEL, 50s, is naked and tied to a chair, his face bloody from numerous beatings, bruises and burn marks on his shoulders and chest. Mittel raises his head and looks at us with his one good eye. The other is so puffed up it's completely shut. Rogers stands facing Mittel. He draws a pistol, pulls back the slide, takes aim. Mittel is so detached from what's happening, you'd think he was watching this on T.V. INT. MEETING ROOM - DAY ROGERS Mittel was a former agent working for East German intelligence, before everyone in Europe became friends again. SUIT #2 If everyone is friends, why was this man tortured and killed? ROGERS Sometimes, unfortunately, that kind of thing is necessary. It's distasteful, and God knows nobody enjoys it -- none of the people who work for me are sadists -- but it has to be done. (beat) Mittel was a ghoul, an interrogator. The best in the business. He always got results. If chemicals wouldn't do it, he'd skin his victims alive. He started at the feet and worked his way up. By the time he reached their genitals, they'd be singing like birds. (beat) With women, he started at the top and worked down, removing the skull cap and hair, then the forehead, then the nose and lips... Women are far more sensitive about having their looks destroyed, you see. Shall I continue? The three suits are about ready to barf. ROGERS Lawrence Mittel was a demon from Hell, gentlemen. He got his hands on one of our subcontractors, a courier we used. We found what was left of her lying face-down in a bath tub, floating in her own juices. INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT Exactly as described, a female human corpse lying face-down in a bath tub, hands tied behind her back. We pan over her naked, bloody body, getting an idea of the awful death this woman suffered at the hands of a monster. INT. ATTIC - NIGHT Rogers aims his pistol at Mittel. BANG! A cold-blooded execution. INT. MEETING ROOM - DAY ROGERS I personally authorized Mittel's termination. We snatched him from his apartment and did a number on him. That's an "industry" term, it means inflict maximum physical damage upon the subject. I think we probably borrowed it from the Mafia. In Mittel's case, the techniques we used were similiar to those employed by some of the smuggler gangs he dealt with. We made it look as if he'd crossed them and paid the price. Actually, he crossed us and paid the price. The gene pool is cleaner without him, believe me. The suits glance at each other, and continue. SUIT #1 The point is, Mr. Rogers, we're trying to figure how your section could possibly have any connection with the death of an ex-East German agent. ROGERS Oh, is that all? Why didn't you say so? The dead courier could identify some of my people. Mittel threatened to sell the information to the other side. We had to kill him in order to protect ourselves. SUIT #2 How do you know he hadn't already sold it? ROGERS We asked him nicely. SUIT #1 Couldn't you turn the matter over to the German authorities? ROGERS Don't you guys keep up to date with the news? The Europeans think we're trying to take over the world. If the German authorities knew we still had covert agents operating over there, they'd throw them in jail and file a diplomatic protest. Besides which, they used Mittel themselves whenever they had to get a confession from an uncooperative suspect. Chances are they would have protected him in order to protect themselves. Some things never change. Rogers stares at Suit #3 who hasn't spoken yet. ROGERS You don't have anything to say? SUIT #3 We're closing down your section. The work you do will be absorbed by N.S.A. We appreciate this probably can't be done overnight. You'll pull your people in Europe back home A.S.A.P. Some will be reassigned, probably to C.I.A.'s Europe Desk. It seems unreasonable to throw away their experience. Others will be turned loose with a generous separation package. Rogers tries to hide his shock. ROGERS What about current operations? Missions that are already running? SUIT #3 You'll meet with Hamilton from N.S.A. and turn everything over to him. Hamilton is very interested in your man, Sergei Rastov. I think he'd like Rastov to join his team. Would you have any problems with that? Rogers stands up, draws his 9mm and SHOOTS the three suits to death. His face is twisted with rage. Rewind. Rogers sits calmly. The suits are still alive. That was just his little fantasy. ROGERS I'm relieved Sergei will be given a chance to perform for N.S.A. They won't be disappointed in him, of that I can assure you. SUIT #1 We'll want to talk to you again, Mr. Rogers. Shall we say, the seventh? ROGERS I'll check my diary and have my secretary call yours. The meeting wraps up. Rogers watches them leave. EXT. UNIVERSITY CAMPUS - DAY Janice sits on the bench, looking up at Rick. He's astonished... but dealing with it. RICK How many other people look like this guy...? JANICE We'll get to him in a moment. PHYLLIS gave us 12 names. Most are unsuitable because of their age or their geographical location. The subject has what you might call a fresh-faced look. He's ten years older than you, but you wouldn't know it. RICK (laughing) And you think... I'm sorry, it's hard to take this seriously... you think I could fool someone into believing I'm him? JANICE That was the general idea. Rick turns away from her, still laughing. She waits until it subsides. JANICE Yes, things are a little desperate. That's the only reason we'd approach an outsider and ask for help. You can be damned sure we checked you out first. Because of the work you did on PHYLLIS you already have the necessary security clearance. You've got the brains to do this. If you were stupid, we wouldn't be having this conversation. RICK Tickling my vanity isn't going to work. JANICE Then what is? RICK Would my life be at risk? JANICE You're at risk just crossing the street. RICK Who's the guy? JANICE He's an officer in the Russian military. RICK When I think about soldiers, I see guns. Lots of guns. JANICE Here's the deal. We want to talk to the subject. We can't just walk up to him and ask him questions. We need to get him alone somewhere for a couple of hours... RICK You mean inject him with sodium pentathol? Janice folds over, having a laughing fit. Rick looks around, kinda embarrassed in case someone sees him with this loony. Janice finally recovers and wipes tears away. JANICE I'm sorry, that just kinda slipped out. RICK Did I say something funny? JANICE We watch old spy movies from the Sixties and Seventies for training purposes. RICK I guess sodium pentathol's a little out of date, huh? JANICE Just a little. RICK So you're asking me to look like this guy for a couple of hours... JANICE To stand in as a substitute. RICK What movie did you steal that plot from? JANICE The difference here is, I didn't just bump into you on the train to Istanbul and happen to notice your astounding resemblance to the subject. You were selected by a complex set of algorithms that threw up a ninety- nine point nine percent match. Having met you, I have to agree. Rick sits down and thinks about it, long and hard. RICK I got a question. He looks around for a hidden camera. RICK Are we on Reality T.V.? INT./EXT. ROGERS' CAR - NYC STREETS (MOVING) - DAY Rogers and Sergei in the back seat. ROGERS My instincts told me to kill everyone in the damn room. But I guess some people in Washington might not appreciate that kind of direct action. SERGEI You never know. Everyone's downsizing these days. ROGERS Downsizing. That's what they're doing to us. Guess what? I'm not going to let them get away with it. EXT. COLLEGE CAMPUS - PARKING LOT - DAY Janice unlocks her car. Rick grins. JANICE What? RICK My mother warned me never to get in a car with a strange woman. JANICE You think I'm strange, Rick? Janice gets in and closes her door. RICK No, I don't think you're strange... He climbs into the passenger seat. INT./EXT. ROGERS' CAR - NYC STREETS (MOVING) - DAY ROGERS I know where this is coming from. That dickhead Hamilton is screwing us. SERGEI You want him dead, just say the word. ROGERS Thank you, but I'll take out my own trash. He's making himself look good at our expense. Well, maybe we can do something about that. SERGEI Such as? ROGERS This Borin thing could be seen as something of a coup. We know Kamakov has Washington rattled. Putting him in charge of the arms reduction delegation is like unleashing a hungry fox into a henhouse. SERGEI Moscow wants Washington to know they're serious. ROGERS Maybe. Or maybe Kamakov pulled every string he could to get himself a seat at the conference table. We need to know what's going on in his mind. Major Borin gives us a perfect opportunity. If Janice can find us a stand-in, we're on. SERGEI Didn't they order you to turn current operations over to Hamilton? ROGERS This one's still at the planning stage, there's nothing to turn over, yet. By the time there is... I might go directly to Washington to report the outcome. Just so they know what a huge mistake it would be to shut down my section. This is our chance to make good, Sergei. Unless you want to go work for Hamilton, of course. SERGEI The thought never once crossed my mind. ROGERS Uh-huh. This could work. Let's see that it does. INT./EXT. JANICE'S CAR - NYC STREETS (MOVING) - DAY Janice drives. Rick can't stop glancing at her. JANICE Am I overpowering you with my beauty? RICK Something like that. JANICE You got a girlfriend, Rick? RICK That river seems to have dried up, if you must know. Why do you ask? JANICE I was going to give you a "thinking about having sex with me isn't fair to your girlfriend" routine. Forget it. RICK I wasn't thinking about having sex with you! I was just wondering what perfume you had on, that's all. JANICE Does it make you horny? RICK The day comes when I can't tell someone they smell nice, I don't want to live in this country any more. He winces and looks away. God, that sounded corny. RICK Where are we going? JANICE To meet someone who'll convince you you're not on Candid Camera. That's what you want, isn't it? RICK I thought you meant someone on campus, not halfway across town. I have a class this afternoon. JANICE No, you don't. RICK What's that supposed to mean? Janice slows and turns into a GARAGE. She presses her horn. Doors slide open and Janice drives inside. INT. GARAGE - DAY A MECHANIC closes the doors. Janice parks in an empty space and they climb out. JANICE You've been taken to the hospital with a virus. Everyone who needs to know has been informed. RICK A virus? JANICE Relax, you're responding well to antibiotics, you're going to be okay. Anyone calls the hospital, they'll be told you're already in recovery and should be back in class soon. It's all taken care of. RICK You're taking astounding liberties with my life. JANICE We're just being careful. It's what we do. In this line of business... RICK What? JANICE Nothing. Come on. She heads for a door at the back of the garage. Rick follows. RICK In this line of business what? JANICE We like to make sure all our bases are covered, that's all. RICK Why the hospital? Why not an old aunt's funeral, or something ordinary like that? JANICE What if a family member calls looking for you, and whoever takes the call offers them condolences on your aunt's death? Janice takes a key from her purse, unlocks the door. RICK I never thought of that. JANICE We did. They step through into-- INT. HALLWAY - DAY Janice leads Rick to a door at the end of the hallway. He looks up, notices security cameras. INT. BRIEFING ROOM - DAY A long table with chairs on each side. Janice and Rick enter. Rogers and Sergei are already seated. JANICE Rick, this is Alex Rogers and Sergei Rastov. People, Rick Preston. Rogers and Sergei lean across the table to shake hands. ROGERS Now that Janice has told you our names, I'm afraid we're going to have to kill you. Rick smiles uncertainly. SERGEI He was the first to use that line, you know. It was in the '70s, we were in Budapesht at the time... ROGERS Stop it, you're making me feel old. (to Rick) Please, take a seat. They sit. Rick's enjoying this, but still isn't convinced. ROGERS You're curious, huh? RICK Getting more so by the minute. ROGERS The most difficult thing about working for a quasi-covert government agency is trying to convince people you're not talking bullshit. Let's try the easy way. He touches a button. The lights dim, a projector beams an image onto a screen, it's a zoom lens still shot of Borin and Kamakov as they exit a building after tough-looking Bodyguards. ROGERS The guy on the left is Major Timur Konstantin Borin. The guy on the right is Leonid Vladimir Kamakov. RICK Kamakov... isn't that the guy leading the Russian delegation at the UN? ROGERS One and the same. He's a hardliner, tough as nails. Intelligence services regard him as the last true enemy of the West. Every time he stands up back home, he tells the Politburu they're a bunch of fags who need to get balls. He's advocated upgrading their military and pursuing an aggressive star wars program that makes the Reagan era stuff look positively tame. Needless to say, Kamakov's pretty popular with the Army. The Russian leaders don't dare lay a finger on him for this reason. Those guys with him are Spetsnaz. You know what that means? RICK Sure. Russian special forces. Rambo kicked their ass in the third movie. Rogers winces. Janice smiles and looks away. ROGERS We managed to get our hands on a couple of Spetznaz training movies that make "Silence of the Lambs" look like a kid's cartoon. These boys are killers, and they don't take prisoners. Kamakov has at least three Spetsnaz bodyguards within whispering distance at all times. Even Borin rates an escort. The projected image changes: Borin sits in the cockpit of a jet fighter aircraft in a hangar, surrounded by officers and engineers wearing overalls. And again: Borin in the company of Army officers, bent over a map table studying unit dispositions. And again: Borin in civilian clothes this time, sitting in a restaurant with a strikingly beautiful blonde (MICHA SHILOV) who raises a glass of red wine to her lips. ROGERS The aircraft inspection took place at an airfield in the Ukraine. The armor maneuvers took place on the northern Afghan border. He wined and dined the girl in an expensive Paris restaurant. Rick stares at the blonde. Then he realizes Janice is watching him. ROGERS Our boy gets around. Over the past month he's clocked up enough frequent flyer miles to get to the Moon and back. We figure something's going on... and that something is being orchestrated by his boss, Kamakov. JANICE He wants to know who the girl is. Rick wishes the floor would open up and swallow him. ROGERS Her name's Micha Shilov, she works as a clerk at the Russian Embassy in Paris. Borin seeks out attractive women wherever he goes. His record in that area is impressive. In psychological terms he's a compulsive sex addict. And he doesn't always wait for formal surroundings. He takes advantage of any tactically advantageous environment. JANICE Like the ladies' room in that restaurant, for example. And the entrance lobby. And the parking lot. ROGERS To name but three. (to Rick) Let's just say you wouldn't want to take him home to meet your Mom. He'd have her in the sack in ten seconds flat. Rogers switches off the projector and brings the lights up again. The three of them stare at Rick. RICK That's it? No cartoons? ROGERS I need you to stop joking and carefully consider what we're asking you to do, Rick. It isn't dangerous, not in the "flying bullets" sense, but you're going to need a cool head. More importantly, you'll need to be aware of everything that's going on around you. RICK I can be cool. ROGERS We'll give you everything you need so you look just like Borin. You're already very similar. With the right haircut, and the right clothes, and maybe the right posture... I think you can pass for him. SERGEI I agree. RICK So what are we talking about here? I stay in bed all day and tell them I have a bad cold? ROGERS The Russian delegation has taken over the second floor of the hotel they're staying in. We considered making the switch there, but it's too risky. They have guards on the elevator and on the stairs at all times. RICK Then... where? ROGERS Either when they leave the hotel, or once they reach the UN Building. We haven't decided yet. Setting up a distraction for the bodyguards at the hotel would be difficult, but not impossible. All we need are a couple of seconds to spirit Borin away and put you in his place. SERGEI All eyes will be on Kamakov when the distraction happens. Borin will only be a secondary consideration. RICK You've done this kind of thing before, right? Rogers and Sergei glance at each other and smile. Janice smiles too. ROGERS You might say that. RICK I don't speak Russian. JANICE Then it's just as well that we do. We'll teach you a dozen stock phrases that should carry you through any situation that doesn't get too involved. You'll also be wearing a radio mike and earphone, so you'll receive an on-the-spot translation whenever anyone speaks to you. Don't worry, they're so tiny no one will notice them. RICK You almost make it sound easy. ROGERS It will be easy, assuming you agree to become our spy for the day. RICK Do I have a choice? ROGERS Yes, you have a choice. If you say no then Janice will drive you back. We'll ask you to say nothing about what you've just seen and heard, of course. You understand that's covered by the terms of the National Security Act, which you've already signed? RICK When would it happen? Rogers looks at his watch. ROGERS Oh, about this time tomorrow. EXT. DOWNTOWN APARTMENT BUILDING (ROGERS' H.Q.) - DAY INT. LIVING ROOM (H.Q.) - TOP FLOOR - DAY Janice shows Rick inside. It's really a combination living room and dining room, with a table and chairs by the window. Doors lead off into other rooms. A full length mirror stands in one corner, a fridge in the other. Janice closes the door and stands staring at Rick. He can't help but notice. RICK What? JANICE Take off your jacket and shirt. RICK I beg your pardon? JANICE The clock's already running on this one. The quicker we get started, the better. She helps Rick unbutton his shirt. In a moment he's naked from the waist up, embarrassed. JANICE You're about twenty pounds lighter than Borin. We can give you a padded vest that'll bulk you out. She looks him over like a butcher inspecting a calf. RICK You're making me nervous. It's like you didn't eat today. JANICE I'm going to pass your sizes on to our tailor. I'll be back in a minute. She exits, leaving him half-naked. Rick almost jumps when a door opens and TERRI enters, 20s, very attractive, wearing black lace panties and bra. Terri smiles hello. RICK God, I'm sorry, I didn't know-- TERRI That's okay. Where's Janice? Rick picks up his shirt, puts it on. RICK She said something about a tailor. TERRI I'm Terri. RICK Rick, Rick Preston. Terri offers her hand, they shake formally. She laughs, then indicates the fridge. TERRI You want some juice? RICK I'm okay. Uh, you do know you're only wearing underwear? Terri takes juice from the fridge and sits down, relaxed. Rick struggles to keep his eyes averted. TERRI It's okay to look. You don't need to be nervous. RICK Thanks! That makes me feel a whole lot better. Terri grins, enjoying the moment. She takes a drink. TERRI So where are you from, Rick? RICK Nowhere, Michigan. TERRI Hey, there's a coincidence, I'm from Nowhere, Ohio. RICK What do you do here? TERRI Janice didn't tell you? RICK Tell me what? Janice enters. JANICE I see you two have met. (to Terri) Go next door and put some clothes on. Close the door. Terri gets up and goes back into the bedroom. Rick gives Janice a questioning look. JANICE Terri's a hooker. RICK A what? JANICE She's a nice girl, very bright, speaks fluent French, German and Russian. RICK She's going to teach me Russian? JANICE She's going to teach you how to make love like Major Borin. Rick thinks about that. It's an appealing idea... but just too damn weird for him to accept. RICK Using books and diagrams? JANICE I'm sure she has a flow chart handy. Janice opens a box and takes out an ink stamp. RICK What's that for? JANICE I'm going to give you a tattoo on your left shoulder. It's a special ink, it won't wash off. Shirt. Rick slips his shirt off. JANICE Borin joined the Army as a commando, then transferred to the parachute division six months later. The tattoo is a pig beneath a parachute canopy. Don't laugh, they take it seriously. The pig means he was attached to an internal security unit. The regular troops eat slop. The security guys eat pork. RICK Who's laughing? You're about to stamp a parachuting pig onto my shoulder. JANICE If you have to take your shirt off for any reason and it's not there, people are going to ask questions. RICK It'll fade eventually, right? Janice takes careful aim, then presses the stamp against his skin. She admires her handiwork. Rick checks his reflection in the mirror. RICK What if you got it an inch too high? JANICE Never happened before, won't happen now. The ink's dry already. It won't smudge, no matter how hard Terri bites. She buttons up his shirt. JANICE Come on, let's not keep her waiting. INT. TERRI'S BEDROOM (H.Q.) - DAY Janice leads Rick in. Terri's changed into a clerk's uniform, crisp white blouse, power jacket, tight skirt, patent leather high heels. She looks pretty classy. Rick gapes in surprise. JANICE Down, boy. Take a deep breath before you pass out. RICK You enjoy making a fool of me, don't you? JANICE There's a big difference between helping you relax and trying to make a fool of you. She sits down in a chair and crosses her legs. JANICE (to Terri) He's all yours. Terri walks up to Rick in what can only be called a provocative manner. Rick sucks in a deep breath. TERRI I met Major Borin when he was stationed in Paris six months ago. He locked me in his hotel room and used me for three days. His lovemaking technique was... let's say, unusual. To be him, you have to make love like him. I'm ready and willing. How about you? Rick looks at Janice. No help there. He swallows hard. RICK Is this really necessary? JANICE Let's say Borin has just screwed someone. She comes back later for more, and won't take no for an answer. If you can't provide the service, she might become suspicious. That's why you have to be Borin in every respect. RICK Okay, I give up. This isn't Reality T.V., it's The Truman Show. (raising his voice) You can come out now, I know you're watching. TERRI No one's watching. He indicates Janice. RICK She is. Terri puts her arms around his neck, stands on her toes and kisses him on the mouth. It's long, it's deep and it's got to be the most erotic thing he's experienced in his life. Terri draws back but keeps hold of him. TERRI She doesn't count. You and me are alone together. RICK Do I kiss like Borin? TERRI No, you're nicer. Softer. Friendlier. Borin kisses like he's about to napalm your home town. Terri glances at Janice like she's asking for her okay. RICK I thought we were alone together? JANICE Remember what was said about taking this seriously? Stay focused. Terri, move onto Phase Two. RICK What's Phase Two? TERRI You tie me to the bed, beat me with a horse whip until the pain causes me to faint, then you have sex with every orifice while I'm lying unconscious. RICK Jesus, you have got to be kidding me. A long beat... then Janice and Terri explode with laughter. Janice doubles over in her chair, Terri falls back onto the bed, shaking uncontrollably. RICK Dammit, I thought you said we had to take this seriously! Okay, finally he gets the joke. He laughs too. RICK I guess I'm feeling more relaxed now. Janice stands and picks up a towel and a barber's electric hair clipper. She pulls the chair forward for Rick. JANICE Come and sit down. First a haircut, then a shower. RICK What happened to Phase Three? TERRI Maybe it's better you get the trivial things out of the way first. You might not feel like it later, when you're exhausted and gasping for breath. RICK Very funny. JANICE She means it. RICK You two should be on T.V. Rick sits in the chair. Janice puts the towel around his shoulders. RICK Just take a little off the top, please, and tidy up at the back. Janice smiles at Terri over the top of Rick's head. She turns on the clipper. It BUZZES like a pneumatic drill. DISSOLVE TO: Rick admires his new buzz cut in the mirror, not quite sure whether the look's right for him. But it does make him look a lot more like Borin... Janice puts the hair clipper down. JANICE You're lucky I didn't take one of your ears off. This thing is Russian, I think they used it to harvest the wheat crop. RICK You people believe in authenticity, don't you? JANICE We can't have you walking out of here looking like Tom Cruise. RICK No danger of that. Janice and Terri don't say anything. RICK You're supposed to argue, dammit. JANICE Sorry, Tom. End of excerpt.
Back to Script Samples
Back to my Home Page