The day before her boss's funeral, Alice doesn't know how to feel or act, or what to wear
|INT. ALICE’S BEDROOM - MORNING
A large modern bedroom decorated all in white. It’s early but the bed is already made.
The built-in closet is filled with stylish and brightly colored clothes, organized by color. The neatly manicured hand of ALICE DEL MAR pulls at the hangers, separating the garments.
A cellular phone on the white bedside table starts ringing.
Alice stands at her closet sorting through her clothes. You cannot see her face but her body is young and lean. Her amber colored hair is scooped up in a messy ponytail, tousled from a restless night. She tugs at the clothes more restlessly, GRUNTING at each article she disapproves of – all of them.
The house phone rings. It rings out and switches to answering machine.
(On Answering Machine)
You’ve reached Alice Del Mar. I’m unable to take your call at the moment. Please leave your name, message and phone number and I’ll get back to you.
(O/S on answering machine).
Miss immaculate, you are an hour late for work.
A flash of red as a shirt goes flying over the telephone.
Alice pulls a blue mini dress from its hanger, balls it up and throws it at her feet.
Nobody else has noticed because they’re all wrapped up in … well…
INT. ALICE AND DEENA’S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
In An office cubicle with two desks opposite each other, DEENA – a sassy, harsh-toned Asian with wild hair and punk clothes barely passing for corporate - sits, phone in hand, leaning on a pile of folders. You cannot see the desk top through the clutter.
She leans around her cubicle wall to a group of colleagues gathered in the hall, talking in hushed tones.
(continued from previous)
…just call me.
Deena SIGHS and hangs up the phone. She looks over to Alice’s desk, neat and clear except for a blue organizer sitting on the keyboard.
The MANAGER, marked by his fatherly manner towards the other employees puts an arm around a CRYING WOMAN and addresses the small crowd.
We’re closing the office tomorrow so that everyone can attend the funeral. I’ll be sending a memo out.
The Manager leads the crying woman down the hall, towards Deena’s cubicle.
Maybe you should take a couple of hours, go have a coffee …
(he looks at her puffy smudged eyes)
Clean your face up …
The Manager, arriving at Deena’s cubicle, leans over her desk to a box of tissues.
Deena snatches the box and holds it out of his reach.
(To crying woman)
Bitch, you didn’t even like him.
The woman stops sniffling.
Jesus, Deena. Our boss is dead.
The manager and woman storm off .
INT. ALICE’S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS
Alice stares dejectedly at her closet where a black mini tube dress hangs. The closet is otherwise empty and now lays strew around her.
INT. CLOTHING STORE – LATER THAT DAY.
Alice wanders around a generic. Flashy women’s clothing store. She picks at various items. A young SHOP ASSISTANT approaches her cheerfully.
Can I help you with anything?
Yes, I need something funeral appropriate.
Alice gives her a quizzical look.
Well, not everyone wears black to funerals anymore.
Oh, I’m sorry, were you close?
He’s, he was my boss.
Ok, lets see what we have.
She looks around her and finds the only two articles of black clothing close to hand, a black sparkly top and a-line skirt with ruffles.
The world has become too trendy.
The shop assistant hangs them back up and they continue wandering through the store, picking at tops and dresses and pants – all in a flashy corporate style. She holds up a short skirt and cropped jacket.
Your funeral is a chance for me to score and network.
Alice laughs, then sighs.
This is the fifth store I’ve been in to this morning.
You seem awfully concerned for a boss’s funeral… but then you don’t seem that emotionally distraught.
Before Alice can say anything in reply her phone starts beeping. She flips it open and reads the screen.
I forgot to cancel my lunch.
INT. DEENA AND ALICE’S OFFICE - DAY
Deena taps her pencil distractedly, trying not to look at the empty desk behind her. Finally she gives in and wheels over to Alice’s desk. She picks up the diary and flips it to the current day - Very neatly is written in the 1.30 timeslot – LBD - BREAKUP LUNCH.
INT. LBD RESTAURANT – DAY
An upscale restaurant, still packed with the lunch crowd, high corporate customers.
Alice approaches the WAITER at the front counter.
We’re pretty much full
I had a table booked for 1.30 – Del Mar?
The waiter stares up at the clock - reading 1.47 – and flips through the book.
Yes … it’s still held. Right this way.
He leads her to a table in the middle of the room.
I asked for a corner table in the …
The Waiter gives her a dead-pan look.
Never mind. Thank-you.
The Waiter holds out the chair for her to sit down.
Would you like to order something to drink while you wait for the rest of your party?
It’s just me.
The waiter clears the second table setting noisily and turns away without giving Alice a chance to order a drink. She painstakingly straightens out her own cutlery and glasses.
Deena walks into the restaurant – her appearance draws attention from some of the other diners but she doesn’t notice. She sees Alice and sits down at her table and hands Alice the organizer.
They stare at each other for a moment in silence.
Okay, let’s hear it.
Alice gives her a puzzled look, silently saying – what?
I know you have a speech memorized.
The Waiter sees Deena and hurries back over to the table.
Will your guest be staying for lunch?
(mimicking his curt voice)
Yes, she will
The waiter glances briefly at Deena with his smile and turns to walk off.
The waiter looks back but before he can approach the table Deena calls over half the tables
(looking at Alice)
And a sauv blanc with ice
What’s the point?
Alice unfolds and refolds the napkin, neatly measuring up the edges.
It was an outline really. I wouldn’t be able to deliver an entire speech without him interrupting me to argue.
Deena reaches over and gently removes the now tightly folded napkin from Alice’s hands.
It’s ok, I get it. So let’s role-play. I’ll be the corpse.
Alice opens her mouth to talk but Deena stops her
(mutters to herself)
I’m a forty-year-old man, I bench-press 180, can’t remember my kids’ names, isn’t my hair pretty, Armani knockoffs, Armani knock-offs –
Ok, I’m good
I have been reassessing my life, these past few months and I need more.
Deena raises her eyebrows
Not more from you. In fact, I actually want less from you. I want nothing from you. I mean, you can’t give me what I want
(adopting deep voice)
Alice, you only think you don’t want this. But you do – because it’s easy, emotionally void, and doesn’t mess up your organized life.
That’s not true. I want a real relationship.
You feel safer in this unaffectionate relationship. So let’s go back to your place for a quick one before anyone notices we’re both absent from the office outside of normal lunch hours.
The waiter returns to the table carrying a tray with the girls’ drinks
You’re … just a bit of a jerk aren’t you?
(Grabbing her glass from the tray)
So here’s your speech. You’re beneath me.
Alice throws the drink over Deena but half splashes on the waiter.
His tray and the glass both shatter on the floor. Deena, Alice and the waiter are all frozen in stunned silence.
EXT. CURB OUTSIDE RESTAURANT - DAY
The Waiter walks behind Alice and Deena, ushering them out of the restaurant. And storms back inside
I liked that restaurant
The girls exchange a serious look. Deena grabs a piece of her hair and wrings out the wine and both of the girls burst into laughter.
Alice removes her jacket and puts it around Deena’s wet shoulders.
INT. ALICE’S BEDROOM - AFTERNOON
O/S The metallic jangling of a key opening a door.
Oh, my god.
Deena enters the room and looks around at the mess in amused dismay.
Oh my god. Alice, you have clothes on your floor. Your whole wardrobe is on the floor.
Alice walks into the room and bites her lip.
Are you going crazy? You must be? You really want to clean this up don’t you?
Alice kicks a dress out of her way and moves to stand in front of Deena. She takes her jacket from around Deena’s shoulders, throws it on the floor and kisses her.
INT. ALICE’S BEDROOM - LATER.
Post-coital, Alice and Deena lie on the bed. Alice’s face is twisted in distress, she drums her fingers against her lips. She sits up abruptly.
Yeah, I need to clean my room.
EXT. FUNERAL PARLOR GARDEN - DAY.
Funeral guest mill around in small groups in a dark enclosed garden courtyard.
Alice and Deena stand together, apart from the other guests. Alice downs her glass of wine.
Alice nods stiffly.
Deena leans in, takes the glass, kisses Alice and walks over to a table set up with drinks.
Alice sits on the bench behind her and smoothes out her grey pencil skirt. She watches Deena and smiles.
A woman in her early forties, THE WIFE, still very attractive and showing off her figure in a tight maroon dress, breaks away from some guests and sits beside Alice.
I thought that you were having an affair with my husband.
(looking at Deena again)
I’m sorry for your loss.
Don’t be. I was at my mother’s when it happened - with the boys - and two suitcases. He just, well, he was just a bit of a bastard really, wasn’t he?
The Wife pats Alice’s knee and stands up
That’s a very nice blouse, by the way.
The wife walks away.
Alice bursts into quiet tears.
Deena walks back over with Alice’s drink and sits down. She pulls a tissue from her bra and offers it to her.
It’s just handier than a pocket.
Alice laughs through her tears and accepts the tissue.
Are you alright?
Alice pats her eyes with the tissue, looks up at Deena and smiles
Yeah, I think I am.
Alice sits up and looks straight ahead with a blank expression.
(N.B. the margins and formatting are correct in the original piece)