HEAVEN HELP ME by Joe Simonelli


This screen play is based on the stage play of the same name

email jsimonelli2@msn.com for full screenplay



The three surviving Holloway brothers are facing a dilemma! Their string of casual eateries are losing money and in order to save the family business  oldest brother Sam wants to sell the only remaining joint property, a valuable waterfront  house in Rockaway Beach, N.Y. The problem is youngest, 'black sheep', brother Rollie has his own plans for the proceeds, namely to pay off the lone sharks he owes money to. Middle brother and business accountant Kevin has an overbearing wife who also wants her share. And let's not forget their deceased brother's widow Martha, who also has a quarter share and needs the money due to a pending divorce! And if all that is not bad enough, said deceased brother Fred is haunting the house and doesn't want anyone else living there!


          Please e mail me at jsimonelli2@msn.com for the revised edition!

 

WHAT THE CRITICS SAID:

"Simonelli really know his characters and writes in a way that really connects with his audience. The play is very amusing as well as very touching."

Asbury Park Press





“HEAVEN HELP ME”
FADE IN:
‘Ten years earlier(1991)’ EXT.  ATLANTIC OCEAN, ROCKAWAY BEACH N.Y., SUNSET PAN BACK OVER THE SHOULDER OF FRED HOLLOWAY forty six, stares at the waves breaking on the ocean as we hear MARTHA’S VOICE Freddy, time for dinner! CUT TO: CLOSE SHOT, FRED’S FACE CUT TO: MARTHA (ON FRONT PORCH) Come on Freddy, everyone’s waiting. FRED I’m coming, I’m coming. Fred starts to walk towards beach house as we CUT TO: INT: BEACH HOUSE, LARGE SPACIOUS COMBINATION LIVING ROOM/DINIG ROOM A dining room table is bare except for a monopoly set with pieces strewn about indicating a game in progress. Fred’s two younger siblings Kevin, age 42 and Sam age forty four, sits at the table along with Olivia, Sam’s ten year old daughter. Olivia is on the telephone as Susan, Kevin’s wife, enters carrying an infant. SAM Olivia honey it’s your turn. OLIVIA I know daddy, I’m waiting for Uncle Rollie to tell me what to do. SUSAN (short and curt) Come on Kevin, time to eat.
(CONTINUED)
KEVIN Be right there. (to Sam) Why is she talking to Rollie, if he wants to play monopoly then he should be here, not in Vegas. You know May is one of our busiest months and nobody’s minding the store. SAM Don’t worry, the restaurants won’t shut down without us. We’ve got good managers. Uncle Herbie is on call. One weekend a year we should all be together with the family. KEVIN Uncle Herbie is a senile old man, we’re lucky he doesn’t run the business into the ground. Nobody pays attention to the bottom line except me. SUSAN Kevin, come on, the baby needs to be changed. KEVIN Would you stop nagging. We’re in the middle of the game here! Fred enters from front door. SUSAN That stupid monopoly game, every year with you guys. A bunch of baby brains. OLIVIA Hey, Uncle Freddy, you want to talk to Uncle Rollie? FRED Sure Honey. (He takes phone from her) Rollie, how’s Vegas? CUT TO: INT: SLEAZY HOTEL ROOM IN VEGAS Rollie is lying on bed reading the racing form as his girlfriend Cookie, a thirty something bleached blond, is drying her nails on a chair across the room.
2.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
ROLLIE Not bad kid, how are things in Rockaway? (To Cookie)        Cookie, can’t ya do that in the bathroom. The smell is killin’ me. COOKIE You’re always complainin…geez. You promised you were gonna take me to see Wayne Newton, and what happens, zilch. Talk, talk talk, that’s all I ever get from you. When am I gonna get some action? ROLLIE Ya want action? Come here and hop on the bed. COOKIE Sure, all talk. Last night ya fell asleep while I was in the bathroom putting on my negligee. Big man. “Don’t worry baby, I got connections in Vegas. First class all the way.’ Look at this dump we’re stayin’ in. All talk. ROLLIE Would you stop naggin me I’m on the phone with my brother! CUT TO INT. BEACH HOUSE FRED Who are you talking to? ROLLIE (Via phone) Cookie. FRED Cookie? Which one is that? The short red head? ROLLIE (vai phone) Nope.
3.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
FRED

Bottled Blonde, not very intellectual?
CUT TO:
HOTEL ROOM
ROLLIE
Bingo! Cookie starts to spray her hair. ROLLIE (CONT’D) Cookie, for God’s sake, enough with the hair spray and nail polish. Open the damn window will you. COOKIE You’re in Las Vegas, the windows don’t open here! ROLLIE The one in the bathroom does. Go open it. COOKIE Alright already! She get’s up, sprays one more time in Rollie’s direction and goes into bathroom. FRED What’s going on there? (via phone) ROLLIE (as he crosses off another loser on the racing form) Nothing, absolutely nothing. CUT TO BEACH HOUSE: OLIVIA Uncle Fred. It’s Uncle Rollie’s turn to move. I’ll roll for him. Olivia Rolls the dice and moves the racing car. Uh oh!
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CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
FRED (as he watches Olivia move piece) Tough luck Rollie, looks like jail. ROLLIE (via phone-outraged) What do you mean, I paid my alimony last month! FRED I’m talking about the game. You landed in jail. SUSAN (fed – up as she walks to Kevin) Okay, nobody wants to eat, I’ll go eat. Here. Change her! She hands the baby to Kevin. Who get’s up. She exits to back deck. ROLLIE (via phone) Is that the big mouth of Kevin’s wife I hear? FRED You got it. ROLLIE (via phone) Put him on the phone. FRED POV – looking at Kevin holding baby He’s seems occupied at the moment. . (to Kevin) Rollie wants to say hello KEVIN I’m a little busy here. (yelling towards phone) Tell him some people have obligations, responsibilities. FRED He said some people have obliga… ROLLIE (via phone –interrupting) Yeah, I heard.
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CONTINUED:
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
What happened to him. He used to be so calm, so laid back. FRED He got married. SAM (Rises from table.) Come on Olivia. Time to eat. We can finish the game later. Let’s go Freddy. Let me talk to Roland. FRED Yeah sure. (To Rollie) I’m putting Sam on. Fred hands Sam the phone. SAM Roland. You’ve been in Vegas Two weeks. I only gave you a one week vacation. Usually you run out of money in three days and wire for more. What’s going on? CUT TO INT. HOTEL ROOM. ROLLIE Can you believe it Sammy, I actually shot craps last night and won! SAM (via phone) Good, you can pay me back for the airline tickets. Now when are you coming back to Rockaway? COOKIE She is looking out hotel bathroom window motioning with her hand to disperse smoke from cigarette she has lit. POV she looks out at black sedan pulling up to hotel room. Two ‘large’ men exit vehicle and head towards hotel room door which is around corner and out of view.
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CONTINUED: (2)
ROLLIE (CONT'D)
(CONTINUED)
Hey Rollie, I think two of your connections are comin’ to the door. ROLLIE (reacting to cookies comment) It won’t be long now Sammy! Gotta go. He hangs up phone, grabs his watch wallet and cell phone and runs into bathroom as loud knock is heard on hotel room door. ROLLIE (CONT’D) (As he pushes Cookie towards bathroom window.) Quick, out the window! COOKIE What do ya mean? Are ya crazy or something. All my stuffs in here. CUT TO: EXT.  OUTSIDE HOTEL DOOR Thug One Rollie, Rollie Holloway, you in there? CUT TO: INT. BATHROOM Rollie We’ll get you new stuff, come on, let’s go. COOKIE What do those guys want? Thug two (From outside) Let us in wise guy, we want to talk. Rollie There not here to deliver you your Wayne Newton tickets. Let’s go. (as he pushes her backside out window)
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(CONTINUED)
I knew I should have wired Sam for more money. CUT TO: EXT: DECK OF BEACH HOUSE. Entire family is seated at large wooden table with built in benches on both sides. OLIVIA I’m glad we’re eating outside. It’s so hot tonight. How come you don’t have air conditioning? SAM It’s a summer house right on the beach honey. You don’t need air conditioning. SUSAN I think you might break down and put some central air in. And some heat for the cold nights wouldn’t be a bad idea either. KEVIN She might have a point Sam. SAM Are you kidding. Pop would roll over in his grave if we tried to winterize the place. Remember what he always said to us when we were kids and we asked him to Winterize. FRED (imitating their father) “It’s a summer house and it will remain a summer house.” OLIVIA Great pasta Uncle Freddy. FRED You like it sweetie. I’m thinking of adding it on to the dinner menu at the restaurants.
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(CONTINUED)
KEVIN We better do something. Sales are down across the board. I hope we didn’t expand too fast Sam. SAM What are you talking about. Pop would have been proud of us. Look how we grew the business. KEVIN Pop was happy having one store on Ocean Parkway. SUSAN Do you guys always have to discuss business at the table? That’s all you ever do. Work, work, work.  Cost Sam his marriage MARTHA She has  a point. Sam, when are you going find a nice girl and get married again? KEVIN Leave him alone. He’s held out this long. SUSAN Shut up Kevin. FRED Would you stop brow beating my brother. SUSAN It’s none of your business Fred. MARTHA Don’t talk to my husband like that. (to Fred) And she’s right. It’s none of your business. SAM Alright, can’t we have one night around here where we eat in peace. SUSAN Can’t we have one night where you guys don’t sit around wasting your time playing stupid board games.
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(CONTINUED)
SAM Would you’re rather we’re out on the town, dancing with the local gentry. SUSAN No Sam, I’d rather you’re here at home paying attention to your wives. FRED Here we go again. We play that monopoly game because it keeps us together. It keeps us calm. When we’re playing we don’t have to think about outside pressures and obligations. We just have to worry about who lands on boardwalk. And we’ve been playing here in this beach house at that table since we were Olivia’s age. We’re the Holloway brothers, that’s what we do, that’s where we feel comfortable and that’s what we’re gonna keep doing as long as we’re around. Like it or not! KEVIN Stay out of it Freddy. FRED Why? I don’t like the way she talks to you in front of us. It’s humiliating. MARTHA It’s not your place Fred. FRED It is where my brothers are concerned. We’re blood, we always will be. SAM He’s right Martha, the Holloway boys always stick together. SUSAN Well then some of you better decide if you still want to remain married.
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CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
FRED I think she’s talking about you Kevin. SUSAN Oh, your damned right I am. KEVIN (shouting) That’s enough. I don’t want to hear any more from either of you. Baby is heard crying from bedroom. SUSAN Great, now you woke the baby up. Go get her. FRED Why should he get her. Why don’t you get her? SUSAN His big mouth woke her up. SAM Yeah, and his share in our string of family restaurants put’s food on the table. MARTHA I told you to stay out of it Fred. SUSAN You’re right. he works like a dog while that other lazy bum Rollie does whatever he pleases. Is he gambling away this week’s payroll again. SAM Don’t talk about our brother like that when he’s not here to defend himself. SUSAN Kevin, are you going to just let them talk to me like that. KEVIN (rises from table) Enough already, I’ll get the baby!
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CONTINUED: (3)
(CONTINUED)
FRED You know, Rollie was right. You are pussy whipped! MARTHA Fred, how dare you use that language in mixed company! FRED Well, it’s the truth, she knows it. And whose side are you on anyway? SUSAN That does it. We’re leaving. Kevin, pack the car. SAM There’s no reason to do that. MARTHA Please don’t go Susan. We were having such a nice time. FRED Let them go. She’s happy controlling his life. He likes to be controlled. A match made in  heaven. KEVIN That’s not fair Freddy. MARTHA (to Fred) That’s enough out of you now. FRED You know what, you’re right. That is enough out of me. Fred gets up and walks  towards deck steps that lead to the beach. MARTHA Where are you going? FRED To cool off. I’m going for a swim. SAM What are you crazy, that water is getting rough.
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(CONTINUED)
OLIVIA Don’t go Uncle Freddy, the radio said there was a storm coming tonight. MARTHA Where are you going, you don’t even have a bathing suit. FRED I have one on underneath. OLIVIA Don’t go uncle Freddy. FRED You’re Uncle Freddy will be fine honey. I’ve been swimming that beach since I was younger than you. MARTHA Fred, you’re being an obstinate idiot. FRED Yeah, well why should I change now. POV Fred walking towards ocean as he removes articles of clothing. He enters water and disappears as camera fades denoting passing of time and re -focuses on same shot in daylight mid afternoon. Ten years has passed as camera pans on Rita Romano, a forty something blond carrying two large suitcase sup the back deck. She is followed by Rollie carrying the racing form. RITA (As she  drops suitcases and looks at the ocean view) Gee Rollie, the least you could have done was help me with the suitcases. Wow, What a magnificent view. The ocean sure is beautiful, isn’t it Rollie? ROLLIE Yeah, except when it isn’t. They enter through the sliding glass back door that leads to the great room. Combination living room dining room.
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(CONTINUED)
RITA (As she peruses the house) Sure seems cozy. It’s a shame your family is going to sell the place. Rollie lies down on the couch and starts reading the racing form. ROLLIE What can I tell you babe. No one uses the place anymore since my brother Fred died. My other two brothers have places of their own on long Island. RITA (sitting on his lap) I prefer the Jersey shore myself. Remember, that’s where we met Rollie. ROLLIE That’s right, you were reading palms on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. Make any money in that racket? RITA It had it’s moments. (she strokes his lapel playfully) I like working for you in the restaurant better though. ROLLIE I recognize talent when I see it babe. That’s why my brothers made me Vice President of personnel and forms. RITA Forms? ROLLIE (As he checks her out) Yeah forms!  You  know, checks, business cards, inventory sheets. After all, you just can’t trust anyone with important stuff like that. He moves in to kiss her and she jumps up.
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CONTINUED: (6)
(CONTINUED)
RITA We better get settled in. Oh, it’s so exciting, our first trip away together…I mean besides the Holiday Inn at Kennedy airport. (she enters kitchen) Is this the Kitchen? ROLLIE (He pulls cell phone and small piece of paper from his pocket) Yeah. RITA It’s tiny. (she sneezes) And dusty. Doesn’t anyone cook? ROLLIE Martha used to. (Rita re-enters) Oh, Martha’s Fred’s widow. You’ll meet her later. She’s flying in from California to sign the closing papers. (reminiscing)  Good old Martha. She could whip up a soufflé to feed an army in forty minutes. He starts searching through his overnight bag. RITA How long has it been since you’ve seen her? ROLLIE Not since Fred’s funeral. God, that’s ten years ago. This was my parents place originally. My brothers and I spent every summer here growing up. When my father died he left it to the four boys, but Fred and Martha were the only ones who used it. Now since he’s gone, we just decided it was time to sell. Rita crosses to observe painting of a beach house on wall. RITA Oh, I like this painting.
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CONTINUED: (7)
(CONTINUED)
ROLLIE Oh yeah, nice isn’t it. Fred bought that for my mother when we were kids. He said it reminded him of this beach house. It’s very serene. RITA You think so? To me it just seems peaceful. ROLLIE That too. RITA I’d love to go to a nice little beach house like that with you, Rollie. ROLLIE You’re in one. RITA I mean alone. Without all your brothers around. Why don’t we go away together, Rollie? Maybe a vacation to the Bahamas or someplace. Wouldn’t that be romantic? ROLLIE I’d love to babe. But it’s our busy season. I’m swamped with work. RITA But Rollie, you know how I get when I’m near the ocean. The smell of the salt water just does something to me. Remember Atlantic City? ROLLIE Yeah, Atlantic  City! RITA We can play the helpless drowning victim and the hero lifeguard again…and you can be the lifeguard this time. ROLLIE I’m the lifeguard! (beat) Nah, we couldn’t. Vacations are expensive. I still haven’t gotten my bonus.
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CONTINUED: (8)
(CONTINUED)
RITA The story of your life. I just don’t understand it. You’re a single man with no expenses who makes a decent living. What do you do with all your money? ROLLIE You know what a soft touch I am babe. I’m a sucker for a sob story. I keep giving my money to different charities…the Police Athletic League, the Boy Scouts… RITA Gambler’s Anonymous. ROLLIE Now baby. RITA Unlike you Rollie, I realize the value of a dollar. I’ve been saving up. I’ll pay for the weekend. ROLLIE Absolutely not, a Holloway never allows a woman to pay. We’ll split it. RITA You mean we’re really going!? ROLLIE I get to be the lifeguard this time? RITA Without a doubt! ROLLIE We’ll see. RITA (she hugs him) Oh Rollie, you really do care! ROLLIE Right now, Rita my dear, all I care about is finding my shaving kit. Now where can it be?
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CONTINUED: (9)
(CONTINUED)
RITA Maybe you left it in the car? ROLLIE Yeah maybe. Would you mind looking babe? I’ve got to make a quick call. RITA To whom? ROLLIE Ah, my accountant. RITA All right, I’ll be right back. She exits through front door as Rollie dials his cell phone. ROLLIE (He frantically looks through racing form to find horse he’s circled) Hello…hi Al, it’s Rollie Hollaway, can I speak to Charlie Stein please. I know he’s been waiting for my call Al. I know he’s angry, he’s always angry, just put him on, will you? Hello Charlie…yeah Charlie, you’re right, you’re right Charlie, I should have called you yesterday. So I’m calling you today. I know…I know…I’m with my family. I told you, we’re selling the beach house, you’ll get your money. My end has got to be worth a hundred and fifty G’s. That’s right, a hundred and fifty thou. It’s a done deal. ..Of course..of course you’ve been patient. I Know, it’s my last chance or it’s out of your hands, you’re a real sweetheart…Don’t threaten me Charlie, with the money I give you I’m worth more to you alive then dead. You could milk a compulsive gambler like me at least another twenty years…Listen, third race at Belmont, number three horse. Put a hundred on the nose will you? Thanks Charlie, you’re a peach! Huh?
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(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
No I’m not just betting the number three horse again…the Horse’s name is tarot card reader…that’s right tarot card Re… Door opens suddenly as Rita enters with shaving kit. RITA…my love!   (to phone) that’s right Mr. Stein, I promise I’ll get my w-2 form to you by Tuesday. We’ll show that IRS. Yes. Talk to you after the race….I mean it’s a real race to get to that tax deadline isn’t it! Bye. (To Rita) Accountant’s, they’re so anal. RITA (slightly skeptical) Here’s your shaving kit. Now remember, you promised you were going to talk to your brothers about transferring me to the corporate office in New York. ROLLIE But babe, you’re doing such a great job in the Paramus store. You’re already head cocktail waitress and I think you’d make a great assistant manager. RITA Listen Rollie, I didn’t go through six years of secretarial school just to be a cocktail waitress. I gave up a promising career in Atlantic City because you told me your business offered advancement opportunities. ROLLIE You consider reading palms a promising career? RITA You forget I was studying to be a croupier? Besides, I could be a big help at the corporate office. I’m pretty creative you know. I could design new placemats. Maybe even come up with some new items for the menu. You love my cooking Rollie. Or at least that’s what you always say. You’re crazy about my rigatoni. You always say that Rollie. Hey wait, that’s a great idea for the menu. Rita’s Rigatoni Royale…!
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CONTINUED: (11)
ROLLIE (CONT'D)
(CONTINUED)
ROLLIE Rigatoni Royale? I don’t know, it doesn’t sound right. Royale is English, you need something Italian. Maybe Rigatoni Regale.’ Who knows, it’s been a long time since I looked at my Italian grammar. RITA I had an Italian grandma. She died last year. ROLLIE Well I walked right into that one. RITA What do you think Rollie? Rita’s Rigatoni Regale’. It’s catchy isn’t it. Isn’t it catchy Rollie? ROLLIE I’m not sure. I’ll have to run it by Fred. He was always in charge of the menu. RITA I thought you told me he was dead? (she picks up the suitcases) ROLLIE Oh yeah, that’s right..he’s dead. RITA Come on sir Galahad, let’s get this luggage unpacked. They exit to bedroom as Kevin enters the front door. He is holding a cell phone in one hand and a briefcase in the other. KEVIN (Into cell phone) But Susan, it’s only for tonight. I’ll be back first thing in the morning. I can’t come home tonight, we don’t know when Martha is going to arrive. CUT TO
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CONTINUED: (12)
INT. KEVIN’S KITCHEN
SUSAN (On phone with Kevin) You know we have a wedding reception to get to tomorrow, I don’t see why Sam can’t handle this with out you. You’ve got a wife and family to worry about and he doesn’t. Every year you have to spend this weekend at that stupid beach house. You know you’re not being very helpful. I still have to get a dress, the dishwasher isn’t draining and you’re off gallivanting and doing who knows what with those brothers of yours.  I don’t trust that Rollie as far as I can throw him. He’s a bad influence on you, always has been. He’ll probably have you all out at some strip club! CUT TO: INT. BEACH HOUSE KEVIN Listen, we invite you every year and every year you make an excuse not to come. And we are not going gallivanting to a strip club. We’re going to spend the evening right here in the house and play a game of Monopoly like we do every year. SUSAN (via phone) Again with that stupid monopoly game! KEVIN I can’t help it, it’s a tradition. SUSAN (via phone) Well what am I gonna do about the dishwasher!? KEVIN How should I know, call a plumber. Rollie and Rita enter from bedroom. She is now wearing his shirt indicating they may have been
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(CONTINUED)
Attempting a “quickie.” RITA I told you I heard a voice in here. KEVIN I’ve got to go Susan, Rollie and… ROLLIE Rita KEVIN His friend just came in. ROLLIE (Loud enough to be heard by Susan) Hi Susan. I won’t keep him out too late! KEVIN He’s teasing Susan. I’ve got to go, I’ll call you in the morning. (to Rollie as he closes cell phone) What’s the matter with you. You know how she is. ROLLIE Yes I know. B  - I –T –C – H! KEVIN Don’t start with me again. ROLLIE Divorce is still legal in this state you know. KEVIN You Know I’d get killed in a divorce. ROLLIE Great reason to stay in a bad marriage Kev. RITA Hi, I’m Rita Romano. Didn’t Rollie tell you about me? KEVIN He might have, it’s hard for me to keep track.
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CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
ROLLIE He means keep track of all the personnel in payroll. Kevin is our accountant. RITA Oh, weren’t you just on the phone with him? ROLLIE No…Kevin is our corporate accountant, for the restaurants. I was on the phone with my ‘personal ‘accountant. KEVIN Since when do you  have a personal accountant. I’ve been doing your taxes for years. ROLLIE You know Kevin, my other accountant, Mr. Stein. KEVIN Oh, you mean the accountant who’s in charge of all your tax losses! ROLLIE That’s the one. RITA Rollie’s going to talk to your brother Sam about me working in corporate headquarters. I went through six years of school you know. KEVIN Really? Where? Vassar, Bryn Mawr? RITA ABC secretarial if you don’t mind. ROLLIE We could use some extra help at headquarters Kev.  Rita’s very creative. RITA Should I tell him about my rigatoni idea?
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CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
KEVIN I’d love to hear it but I really should start unpacking. ROLLIE Why don’t Rita and I run to the store and do a little grocery shopping. I don’t imagine that there’s much to eat in the kitchen. RITA Nothing I’d put in my mouth!..I tell you what, I’ll run to the store for groceries and you two boys can discuss whatever business you have together. I gather you don’t get to see too much of your brother without his wife around. She holds out her hand for money and Rollie kisses it. ROLLIE What a girl! One in a million. RITA Very gallant. But I need some money. ROLLIE (searches pockets) Now let me see. I know I brought some cash… (to Kevin) Hey Kev, can you help me out, I think I… KEVIN Left my cash in the other jacket. You’re unbelievable. (Pulls money from pocket and hands it to Rita) I hope you know what you’re getting yourself into Miss Romano. RITA Oh, I know exactly. (she kisses Rollie and exits) KEVIN You sure can pick em’ Rollie.
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CONTINUED: (3)
(CONTINUED)
ROLLIE Don’t start with me. KEVIN Do you realize what dire straights our company is in right now? (beat) No, you don’t do you. We’ve been bleeding red ink for seven ears and all you can think about is women and gambling. What’s that you’re reading? ROLLIE The racing form KEVIN The racing form.  Playboy Rollie, he fiddles while Rome burns. ROLLIE Relax will you. The restaurants will survive We’ve been in trouble before and we’ve always pulled out of it. KEVIN No thanks to you Rollie. ROLLIE Don’t start blaming me Kev. You and Sammy run the show, I’m mere window dressing. KEVIN Oh yeah Mr. “Vice President of Personnel.” By the way, the prices on the menu came out backwards again. ROLLIE You know I’m dyslexic! KEVIN Never mind that. Here, look at this (pulls papers from briefcase) The profit and loss statement for the Luscious Onion Chain of restaurants. New York State, out of twelve stores, only five are making money. Connecticut, eight stores, three are profitable, and New Jersey!
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CONTINUED: (4)
(CONTINUED)
ROLLIE What about Jersey? KEVIN Paramus. ROLLIE I knew it. That’s because I hired Rita for that store. What a gal! KEVIN I seem to recall that you hire the waitresses for all the stores. And most of them are losing money. What’s your excuse for that? ROLLIE I’m working on it. You think girls like Rita grow on trees? It takes months of painstaking interviews before I find a woman with the right qualifications. KEVIN Right qualifications? You’re the only personnel director I know who hires on looks. This isn’t a modeling agency or an escort service? ROLLIE The waitresses have to look nice for the customers don’t they? KEVIN They also have to know how to read the menus and write down the orders. ROLLIE Listen Kev, the problem with the restaurants is not the staff and you know it. If Fred were still alive… KEVIN Well he’s not! ROLLIE Yeah he’s not. Except for every May 15th.
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CONTINUED: (5)
(CONTINUED)
KEVIN Don’t start with that. Kevin crosses to bar and pours a drink for himself and Rollie. ROLLIE Why not, he’s shown up the last ten years, only stands to reason… KEVIN (he drinks and examines bottle) Yuck. I thought scotch didn’t go bad. Listen, I’m still not convinced of what happened the last ten years. It seems like a bad dream. And don’t go bringing it up to Sam either.  He thinks we’re crazy. ROLLIE Sam’s in denial.  Always has been. First when Pop died, and now Fred. (downs his drink) KEVIN That didn’t taste funny to you? ROLLIE Delicious, you just don’t appreciate aged scotch. KEVIN In any case, don’t go bringing it up to Sam. He’s under enough pressure. ROLLIE We’re all under pressure. KEVIN Yeah, but Sam especially. You know how he feels about being the oldest. He’ll do anything to save the restaurants. He’s sentimental about the family. The only reason he agreed to sell this house is because he’s putting his share of the money back into the business. He even blames himself for Fred.
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(CONTINUED)
ROLLIE Fred’s death was not his fault. KEVIN I know Rollie. But you know Fred was a workaholic. Sam insisted that he take that weekend off to be with the family. That’s why Sam feels responsible. (beat) But how would you know? You were away living the high life in Vegas while the rest of us were busting our asses in the restaurants. ROLLIE I flew right back from Vegas when I heard about Fred. Besides, I’ve been here ever since, haven’t I? KEVIN That still doesn’t make up for Fred. Or the way Sam feels. ROLLIE Well then Sam better let go. KEVIN Of what? ROLLIE Of his guilty conscience. That’s what. Fred’s death, this beach house, even the restaurants. KEVIN He’ll  never give up the business. Even if it kills him. ROLLIE And it probably will. KEVIN Don’t make light of it. Sam is losing it. Haven’t you noticed that he’s been acting a little strange lately? ROLLIE Not really, he seems perfectly fine to me.
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(CONTINUED)
KEVIN What do you know. You’re never in the office. And when you are you’re just taking the secretaries to lunch. ROLLIE People have to eat. KEVIN Look Rollie, I’m being serious here. I work closely with Sam everyday and I’m telling you the pressure’s getting to him. He’s cracking up. SAM (enters front door carrying monopoly set ) I got the Monopoly set boys! Let’s get crackin. CUT TO: INT. BACK SEAT OF A TAXI CAB Martha, a stylish woman in her early fifties,  is on her cell phone. MARTHA (on phone) I don’t know, I  just grabbed a cab at  Newark airport… How should I know, you’re the lawyer…Yes, tell that embezzling cad’s lawyer that I want everything that wasn’t seized by the SEC. He thinks he’s got problem’s now, wait till we’re done with this divorce…., I realize legal proceedings cost money Harry, we’re liquidating the family beach house that I had a share in with my first husband, that’s why I’m in New York… I can’t borrow money from him, he’s dead… I know, it breaks your heart when they die instead of divorcing…I don’t remember you being this much of a shark when we went to N.Y.U. together... What!
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(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
Absolutely not, we’re not taking it out in trade, just because we were an item in college doesn’t mean you can take liberties thirty years later. Of all the guys from back east to run into in Malibu it had to be you! CUT TO: INT. BEACH HOUSE The three brother’s are playing monopoly as a nostalgic song like Glenn Miller’s ‘String of Pearls’ plays in the background. KEVIN (rolling dice) Look Sam, maybe we should skip Monopoly this year and just talk business. SAM Never! Monopoly’s been a tradition in this house since the game was invented. Your grandfather Holloway used to play it at this very table before any of us were born. ROLLIE He’s right Kev. We have to play the game. KEVIN Alright, but we’re not playing with real money this time. ROLLIE You take the fun out of everything. SAM What’s with the ancient music? KEVIN The mover’s stored all the valuable stuff. I just left that old radio. They’ll be back for the rest of the furniture on Monday. ROLLIE The problem is the radio only gets one station. Nostalgia.
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CONTINUED:
MARTHA (CONT'D)
POV SAM LOOKING AT PICTURE SAM (to Kevin as song on radio switches to a song like Sinatra’a witchcraft) I thought you said you packed away all the valuables? KEVIN So? SAM (referring to the picture of the beach house) What about the picture? ROLLIE Well Sam, we kind of thought the picture should stay with the house. You know, for him. SAM He’s dead, he doesn’t need it. KEVIN Still and all Sam, it has no monetary value. Let it stay with the house. SAM Alright, let it stay already… Would somebody turn that music down, I can’t hear myself think. ROLLIE It’s Sinatra Sammy, you love Sinatra. SAM I know, but not so loud. I have to concentrate on a six to hit Boardwalk. Six, six, six, six! ROLLIE (Noticing roll of dice) Whoops, seven! Luxury tax! Seventy five bucks, hand it over! SAM Damn! I told you the music was too loud!
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(CONTINUED)
Rollie gets up to turn down volume on radio. ROLLIE Down ever play craps in Atlantic City. Seventy five bucks. Put it in the middle! KEVIN It goes in the bank. Not in the middle. SAM Kevin’s right, it goes to the bank. ROLLIE It does not. It goes in the middle and whoever lands on Free Parking get’s the dough! KEVIN That’s not what the rules say. ROLLIE Screw the rules. (to Kevin) And how come you’re always the banker? SAM He’s good with numbers, he’s the banker. ROLLIE Says who? SAM Say’s me. KEVIN I’ve always been the banker, ever since we were kids. ROLLIE And ever since we’ve been kids we’ve always put the money in the middle for Free Parking! KEVIN It ruins the integrity of the game. The whole game is based on the premise that you start with nothing and see who survives. Just like real life. In real life no one just hands you money.
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(CONTINUED)
ROLLIE Yeah, what about hitting the lottery? SAM (sarcastically) Or a trifecta? ROLLIE Don’t start with me Sam. SAM You gamble too much Roland. The loan sharks are always chasing you. Remember when they beat you up and you spent three months in the hospital? ROLLIE So what? SAM So it’s not right. Mom and Pop raised you better than that. ROLLIE Get off my back Sam. Who died and left you boss anyway? SAM Pop did that’s who! ROLLIE (sarcastically mocking him) Pop did, that’s who. KEVIN Would you two cut it out!  You’re acting like children for Pete’s sake! Now act like adults, and play monopoly. SAM It’s his fault, he never listens! I try to give him good, sound advice but he never listens. ROLLIE And I still don’t see why Kevin always gets to be banker. Give me one good reason why he should always be banker?
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(CONTINUED)
SAM He’s an accountant and I can’t trust you with money. ROLLIE I only asked for one good reason. KEVIN I get to be banker because ever since you came along you got to be the racing car. SAM He’s the youngest, he get’s his choice. KEVIN There you see, just like when pop was alive. “He’s the baby, let him have his way.” ROLLIE (imitating a Viennese therapist) Aha, zee middle child syndrome, I must consult with Dr. Freud about this case. SAM Keep quiet Roland, your brother’s right, it’s time you were more responsible. KEVIN Yeah, no more coddling. If you don’t start pulling your weight around the office we can kiss those restaurants goodbye. We’re barely hanging on by a thread now. You can’t expect Sam and I to keep carrying the load forever. SAM Listen Kevin, we are not going to lose the business. Not after all pop did to start those restaurants. KEVIN I brought the figures with me Sam. I’d be happy to show them to you.
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(CONTINUED)
SAM Never mind the figures. I’ll think of something. I always do. (to Rollie) And Kevin’s right. It’s time you started to pull your own weight. KEVIN Yeah Rollie, time to face the music! SAM That’s it, music! ROLLIE What are you talking about? SAM Quiet, I’m having a creative jag! (He frantically picks up ukulele as if in a maniacal trance) We have theme music nights in all the restaurants! Fridays can be Hawaiian night. A Luau, roasted pigs and Hawaiian music! Sam starts to pluck ukulele and sings a Hawaiian style song as Rita enters the room carrying a grocery bag. ROLLIE (Joining in) Yeah! Yeah! I can see it now. We dress the waitresses in grass skirts and they greet the customers with a flowered necklace! RITA (to Rollie) Lei?! ROLLIE Not now baby, I didn’t take a pill. RITA No, the flowered necklace, it’s called a lei. (she starts to dance with Rollie as Sam continues to strum) SAM Hello girlie, I’m Sam!
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(CONTINUED)
RITA Pleased to meet you. I’m Rita, Rollie’s friend. KEVIN (exasperated) Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Are you all nuts? Am I the only sane person in this room? It’s like being trapped on a sinking ship, running to get the captain and finding out he’s Daffy Duck! SAM Who’s Daffy Duck? KEVIN You are Sam. (points to Rollie)And this guy is Bugs Bunny. (looks at Rita) And you, you…I don’t know who you are! RITA I’m Rita, did you forget already? KEVIN Heaven help me! ROLLIE Lighten up, will you Kev? You’re way too tense. (to Rita) Why don’t you put the groceries away babe. We’ve got to finish the game. RITA Okay sweetie. I like your family. Don’t forget to talk to you know who. She exits to kitchen as the boys sit at the table. SAM Now who’s turn was it? KEVIN My turn. ROLLIE No, it was my turn.
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CONTINUED: (5)
(CONTINUED)
KEVIN No, Sam just rolled and landed on Luxury Tax remember. ROLLIE That’s right, put the money on Free Parking. KEVIN It goes to the bank. ROLLIE (getting louder) Free Parking! KEVIN BANK! ROLLIE Free Parking! KEVIN B-A-N-K, Bank! SAM Would you two knock it off, you’ll wake the dead! Lights start to flicker,  song starts to play on the radio in the vein of ‘That Old Black Magic’ plays on the radio. Ghost of Fred walks through wall where picture is hanging. FRED Hey guy’s, what’s with all the shouting, you woke me from a dead sleep. ROLLIE He’s here again. KEVIN I see. SAM Who’s here? FRED Wow Monopoly! Can I play? KEVIN No you can’t.
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(CONTINUED)
SAM Can’t what? ROLLIE Can’t play Monopoly. SAM I most certainly can! KEVIN (to Sam) Not you…him. SAM Who? ROLLIE Fred. SAM Fred! FRED Why can’t I play. KEVIN Because you’re dead Fred. FRED I am not. ROLLIE Yes you are Fred. SAM Oh no. Don’t start that nonsense again. Every year it’s the same thing. You two think you see our dead brother. The joke’s getting worn. FRED I don’t feel very dead. KEVIN Take our word for it, you are. FRED Prove it. KEVIN Prove it? (to Rollie) Prove it.
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(CONTINUED)
ROLLIE
Prove it?
SAM Now cut this stuff out! ROLLIE Okay Fred. I’ll ask you some questions. You’ve been dead ten years. I’ll ask you some questions about recent events that you couldn’t possibly know. FRED Ask away. SAM I know what this is. (he points to Kevin) this is your doing. It’s a conspiracy. You two want to drive me crazy then have me declared incompetent so you can sell the business out from under me. KEVIN That’s ridiculous Sam. Fred’s standing there as plain as day. ROLLIE First question. Who won the world series last year? FRED The Yankees. ROLLIE Bad question. They win every year. SAM You’re not gonna get away with this. (he walks toward kitchen) KEVIN Where are you going? SAM To the kitchen. To talk to a real person. ROLLIE We’re not trying to pull a fast one Sam. Fred is here.
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(CONTINUED)
SAM And you.  Instead of gambling and talking to dead people why don’t you come up with an idea for the restaurants. ROLLIE I’ve come up with some terrific ideas for the restaurants but you never use them. SAM Terrific idea’s? (to Kevin) His last terrific idea was free entrée night. ROLLIE It brought people in. SAM Speaking of free food.  You want to ask our dead brother a question. Ask him what we should do to increase business because if we don’t we’ll be joining him soon. We’ll all starve to death. (he exits to kitchen) FRED Why is Sam so upset? And why won’t he talk to me? KEVIN He won’t talk to you because he can’t see you, because you’re dead. A ghost, a metaphysical spirit wrought into being and apparent only to us for some unknown reason. FRED He see’s my alright. And I’m not dead…I’m not really dead, am I Rollie? ROLLIE I’m afraid so kid. You died ten years ago. FRED But it can’t be. It just can’t be. Ask me one more question Rollie. Kevin, ask me just one more question.
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(CONTINUED)
KEVIN (to Rollie) Go ahead, ask. ROLLIIE Who’s the president of the United States? FRED That’s easy, George Bush. KEVIN Junior or senior? FRED His son got elected? I really am dead. KEVIN We tried to tell you Fred. FRED Well somebody say something. ROLLIE Ah, you look good…for someone your age. FRED Ten years, that means I’m… KEVIN Fifty six. FRED How did it happen? How did I die? KEVIN You went swimming. Ten years ago tonight. We were all here playing Monopoly. It was a hot night for May, just like tonight. FRED I drowned? But I’m a good swimmer, you know that Rollie, I’ve been swimming that beach since I was a kid. ROLLIE There was a bad rip tide that night kid, they never..well…
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