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Saturday Rendezvous

by scriptsplayed 

Posted: 06 January 2005
Word Count: 2474
Summary: First Act of a Romantic Comedy - where Maurice the loser in love gets lucky ...


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1. INT.MRS BANKS' mobile home. day.

Focus on MAURICE'S foot - white and clammy. A solid strip of broken metal grips and clips the dead skin.

INT. LIVINGROOM.

MAURICE
Christ!

MRS BANKS
Do you mind!

MAURICE
It's cramp, mom. [To himself] Too much salt.
[To her] Too much salt. Or not enough of it.
[To himself] Goddammit!

2. INT. MRS FOX'S MOBILE HOME. DAY.

A pretty girl, SARAH, and her mother, prim MRS FOX, clean some unusual items while preparing them for a table sale. Sara carefully polishes a blue glass bowl Mrs Fox concentrates on vacuuming an ugly porcelain ornament. Over the noise of the vacuum, Sarah listens to her mother.

MRS FOX
[OFF] It's all about change, you see. Very potent is change. The one essential ingredient. We all come from the same school. We pack our lives with men, with babies, with houses ... but we never stop to wander what it is we really want.

The intruding vacuum is silenced. She stares at her daughter.

MRS FOX
You've got to accept responsibility, Sarah.

SARAH
Mum, he left me.

MRS FOX
Play the accountability game.

Sarah is bemused.

MRS FOX
Take responsibility.

SARAH
For what?

MRS FOX
Ask yourself 'why did I want him to leave?'

SARAH
I didn't want him to leave!


Sarah dumps the bowl unceremoniously into a box, it cracks. Mrs Fox quickly retrieves it carefully from the nest of torn paper.

MRS FOX
Pretend you did.

SARAH
But I loved him.

MRS FOX
Pretend you didn't.

SARAH
Mother! [Relenting a little] Okay, he did ditch me for a 21 year old.

MRS FOX
That's one reason.

Mrs Fox, purses her lips at the large crack in the glass. Sarah witnesses her dismay and lowers her eyes, apologetically.

SARAH
I'm sorry.
MRS FOX
That was one reason?

SARAH
[Reaffirming] I...just didn't want him to leave.

MRS FOX
There's that time when he didn't come home until five in the morning. Had you up half the night. I remember that. You were angry with him then.

Mrs Fox sets about gluing the chipped piece to the bowl while Sarah holds it steady for her.

MRS FOX
Tell me.

SARAH
What?

MRS FOX
The things you were angry about.

SARAH
[Irritated] I can't remember.

MRS FOX
[Persisting] Top of the list would be ... unfaithful. And?

Placing the bowl on the table they look at it.


SARAH
[Reluctantly agreeing] He could be a bit unfeeling at times.

MRS FOX
Just a little. Yes. Go on.

Sarah looks sad. Mrs Fox encircles her daughter in a hug and pats her back affectionately.

3. INT. MRS BANK'S LIVING ROOM. DAY.

Stretching a beige nylon foot-stocking over his taut toes, Maurice squashes his foot into a figure deforming shape then hobbles painfully, stretching his foot on the brown patterned carpet on his way to the kitchen.

INT. KITCHEN.

A bloated, furry-slippered pair of feet face a Formica unit.
CAMERA wanders up the varicose veined legs, the floral printed skirt and voluptuous body of Mrs Banks is in view. Mrs Banks' large flushed face turns towards Maurice who appears in the door frame. Her tight brittle voice shrills.

MRS BANKS
That should do it.

MAURICE
[Incredulous] Potato skins?

MRS BANKS
You wouldn't be up half the night if you had them in your bed.

Maurice enters, smiles and plucks the Marigolds from the wire tray.

MAURICE
Oh, I think I would be.

Relishing its own ugliness, her face scowls. She snatches the Marigolds from him and forces them over her arthritically hobbled joints, plunging them unceremoniously into hot bubbled water where she scrubs vigorously at an already clean plate. Maurice sinks his hands deep into his pockets and slouches in the doorway, watching her.

MAURICE
Did you ask about the chair, mom? Lauretta said she'd deliver it ...

MRS BANKS
Eh?

MAURICE
Hasn't your hearing aid come yet?


MRS BANKS
I won't get that. Not in my lifetime.

MAURICE
We'll get you one. Did you ask about the chair? Lauretta said she'd deliver it ...

MRS BANKS
Not in her lifetime, she won't. Said she'd take me out, she did. She never did. You know what that sister of yours is like. I never goes out I don't.

MAURICE
I said I'd take you out on Mother's Day.

MRS BANKS
Go out? I never goes out, I don't. Where would we go?

MAURICE
I could ... er ... take you to that restaurant you told me about. That new one on the Highway.
[She offers a warning scowl]

MAURICE
Sorry, 'motorway'! You know what I mean? The one on the roundabout ... with the plant tubs...POTS?

MRS BANKS
[She offers one big beautiful smile] I know what you mean, love.

MAURICE
Well?

MRS BANKS
Go get my purse. I got a leaflet in the door about it. It's in there.

She scowls again, he retreats to the fussily decorated livingroom.

MAURICE
Can't find it, mom.

As Maurice searches, her brittle voice echoes through the wall.

MRS BANKS
[OFF] It's down by the chair. By the telly. That would be nice, that would. I never goes out. That'd make a nice change. I'm looking forward to it already.

Maurice finds her bag and searches inside for the leaflet, but pulls out an envelope addressed to Mrs Banks. Air Mail stickers cover it, he pulls out the letter inside and reads, transfixed. Itís his dadís signature.

MRS BANKS
Why don't you take some time off work and stay for a while. Keep me company. For a week, why don't you?

MAURICE
[Absentmindedly] Yeah, why don't I?

He stops. While staring at the wall a tinge of a frown crosses his brow as he fumbles to quickly replace the letter.

MRS BANKS
Have you found it yet?

MAURICE
Er ... yeah! Yeah. It's great. I'll book it.

He grabs the leaflet, unfolding it. She appears, grim faced in the doorway heralding a small cup. She snatches the bag from his arm as he takes the cup from her.

MAURICE
Mom? I ... er ... I'd really like that chair. It was dad's, after all. And he did say I could have it. It's not like Lauretta needs it. Or wants it? He wasn't her dad.

MRS BANKS
It was your own fault for not coming and getting it when I told you to.

MAURICE
I was busy. I wanted to get things sorted. I'd only been in the country two days. It beat me here by a week.

MRS BANKS
Two weeks. Why did you come if you didn't want to?

MAURICE
You er ... told me to come?

MRS BANKS
I thought it'd be better for you.

MAURICE
I like it, sure. Worcester's is a bit different to New York.

MRS BANKS
You wanted a girlfriend, didn't you? You won't find one there. Full of 'happy men' that place is. You'll never find a girl in that place. No. And the girls there are far too easy for my Maurice. Them Yankee tarts. If you ask me. Open their legs at a drop of a hat they would.

MAURICE
[Ruefully] I haven't met any yet.



MRS BANKS
[Rounding on him with a satisfied smile] You haven't met any yet.

Taking a sip, he winces.

MAURICE
You always do this. Why do you always do this? I take two sugars mom. Two!

MOM
You'll be putting weight on.

Maurice visibly observes his thin frame, bemused that she should suggest such a thing.

4. INT. MRS FOX'S LIVING ROOM. DAY.

The bowl stubbornly breaks apart. Reluctantly, Mrs Fox rips a sheet of newspaper and wraps the bowl carefully.

MRS FOX
You have to unhook yourself. Try. Sit down in a quite place. Close your eyes and imagine a great big hook [smiling wickedly to herself] right between his ...

SARAH
[Horrified] Mother!

MRS FOX
Think of it. Let it go. Then you'll be able to fall in love again.

SARAH
[Sighing] It's not that easy.

MRS FOX
It takes a lot of energy to pull it out - and once it's done, you'll feel your life coming ...

SARAH
Not the hook, the falling in love bit.

MRS FOX
Sarah. No one says you have to. At least not with another man.

Sarah, unsure, glances quickly at her mother.

MRS FOX
You can love you. It's one of the greatest gifts you'll ever give yourself.

Mrs Fox hands Sarah the wrapped bowl. Sarah stares up at her mother's pretty, reassuring face.


MRS FOX
It's all about change you see. Learn to change, young lady. [Smiling confidently] Or you'll end up like old Mrs Banks next door.

They look out the window to her Mobile Home. Mrs Banks is in the kitchen, attempting to close the curtains.

5. INT. MRS BANKS' KITCHEN. DAY.

Maurice, annoyed with her deliberate fumbling, takes control. Mrs Banks arthritic fingers knot a thin string round the foiled rim of a casserole pot, while he straightens the curtains for her.

MRS BANKS
You see how much you're needed round here.

MAURICE
I have to leave, mom.

MRS BANKS
You don't come round so often now.

MAURICE
Not 'cos I don't want to.

MRS BANKS
That's what that man used to say.

MAURICE
Dad?

MRS BANKS
If that's what you want to call him. 'Bout the only good ever came out of him was you.

MAURICE
I have to leave, mom.

MRS BANKS
When will you be coming up for the week?

MAURICE
For the week? When did I say I'd come up for the week?

MRS BANKS
[Faces him squarely] That's what you said. You said you'd come up. When you said about Mother's Day. I asked you to stay for the week. You said you would.

MAURICE
[Almost groaning] I am a bit busy.

MRS BANKS
You're obsessed with that job you are.


MAURICE
I do have to work.

MRS BANKS
That's what that man used to say.

He waits impatiently while she puts other 'essential' items into his bag. Bracing himself, Maurice snatches up his weekend bag and prepares to leave. He opens the door, she follows him out.

EXT. MRS BANKS' MOBILE HOME. DAY.

Maurice places his bag in the boot and opens the car door. She pulls his coat together.

MRS BANKS
You keep yourself warm. That flat of your's is too damp by far. Don't know why you want to live there. And with that fella 'an all. Is he funny, or what?

MAURICE
He's funny.

She scowls.
MAURICE
Funny ha-ha. Not the other funny.

MRS FOX
How long you going to live there? Youíll catch your death you will. Haven't you got a cupboard to put all them mops in?

MAURICE
[Perplexed] Yes, but it's too small for them. Besides, it's called Lawrence's bedroom.

She proffers the casserole dish and takes the opportunity of close proximity to grip his cheeks and slobber his face, then marches away.

He is distracted when he sees Sarah leaning into the overlarge bin where she places the wrapped cracked bowl. She turns quickly to see him staring and turns away. Both she and Maurice are shy and embarrassed.

MRS FOX
You drive careful mind. All those women driver's out there. Can't trust any of them. It's true you know. What they say. Men may have accidents that cost more Ė but women have them more often. Cheap ones, mind. That's 'cos most of them are.

Sarah disappears inside her mother's home while Maurice watches his mother clamber painfully up the steps. He steps into his car and dumps the casserole dish on the car seat.



6. INT. MAURICE'S LIVING ROOM. EVE.

The casserole dish is dumped on the cheap formica table. Curry carry-out bags, tin-foil dishes and newspaper-wrapped chips are scattered alongside. LAWRENCE spreads a dazzling smile across his amicable face and carries his curry to the small sparsely furnished living-room. Slumping comfortably into the snug sofa he automatically clicks the remote and the TV flicks to life. Maurice enters.

LAWRENCE
Christ, Mo, your face must the fittest in Worcester.

MAURICE
[Peeved, but polite] Lo? Would you mind not wracking my brains with words I have no hope of comprehending?


LAWRENCE
[Staring at the TV] Some fella in the pub told me you use 32 muscles to make a frown.

Unimpressed, Maurice is sucked into the half empty bean-bag.

MAURICE
You sound like my mother. What is it that stops us from killing them?

LAWRENCE
[MOCKING] I love my mother. I adore my mother. I know that my mother provides the essence of a good future relationship.

MAURICE
Oh? And how is it that you have so many of them?
Sounds like one mean mother you got there!

Lawrence has stuffed more curry into his mouth, takes a swig from the beer bottle, belches and smiles.

LAWRENCE
Good looks and charm. Good looks and charm.

MAURICE
Is that what's missing in my life?

LAWRENCE
You have one good selling point.

MAURICE
One?

LAWRENCE
The accent. With my good looks and charm and, well, your accent. Yeah. It's the accent. There's something about the American accent. A throw back from the war I 'spose. GI 'Mo' Joe. Gets 'em all weak at the knees. All them rounded syllables.

MAURICE
Let's say we go out tonight. [Smiling] Put that theory to the test.

Leaping forth from the sofa, like a bursting spring Lawrence, dumps his half eaten curry and chips and strides to his tiny 'broom-cupboard' bedroom filled with mops and buckets where clothes are strewn everywhere.

LAWRENCE
I'm quite happy to hump and [picking up a mop] dump [dumping it out the window].

Pushing his clothes into available space in the cupboards. Lawrence exits.

MAURICE
Just how many do you need to smile?

LAWRENCE
Nine.

Eager and smiling, Maurice follows, closing the door firmly.

7. INT. MAURICE'S BEDROOM. MORNING.

Not smiling, Maurice listens to the annoying birds twittering outside his open window then stares at the door. Sitting upright in bed, under a King Sized duvet he turns his attention to the birds which he can see if he cranes his neck to stare through the hole ripped in the yellow curtains. The birds flutter away when a large menacing ginger Tom appears. The irritating squeak remains as he turns his head to stare at the bare floral-patterned wall between his bedroom and Lawrence's.

Scrambling out of bed he pads to the cold kitchen, yawns, rubs his sore eyes and makes himself a coffee. Sitting at the table he reads the paper that wrapped last night's chips. A chip sticks to a section he wants to read, he carefully peels it off and chews on it.

Lawrence enters half dressed from his bedroom with a slim ruffled red-haired girl. She proffers a brazen smile to Maurice then leaves. Unconcerned, Maurice chews on his chip.






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Comments by other Members



Anna Reynolds at 10:10 on 07 January 2005  Report this post
Scriptsplayed, there's some lovely characterisation here- I particularly warmed to Mrs Fox, whose pronouncements are extremely bizarre and unlikely, and work wonderfully. A nice role reversal, she seems to hypnotise Sarah into making 'therapy-speak' confessions that she doesn't actually believe to be true, but which nonetheless make her think. And Maurice and Mrs Banks seem to have an equally complex relationship. I assume you're setting up Sarah and Maurice for some sort of romance that is foiled by one or both mothers- are you planning this as TV/film, sit com, etc, have you ideas about where it's going plot wise? I'd hate, personally, for it to become too predictable, as what attracted me to it is the slightly kooky tone of the conversations between mothers and children, and the bemused, exasperated nature of those relationships.


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