He laughed when they said "Wear a helmet." Now he'll never laugh again.


He laughed when they said "Wear a helmet." Now he'll never laugh again.

BOYHOOD

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. 2002 – QUEEN ELIZABETH II CELEBRATES HER GOLDEN JUBILEE; THE UNITED STATES INVADES AFGHANISTAN. TEENS PARTY TO NELLY’S “HOT IN HERE” WHILE AUDIENCES FLOCK TO A YOUNG TOBEY MAGUIRE AS “SPIDER-MAN”

ELLAR COLTRANE is an ADORABLE LITTLE BOY staring at THE SKY in a FIELD OF GRASS!

PATRICIA ARQUETTE

There you are, Ellar! How's my little baby-

(double-takes)

Wait, you're a movie poster. Where...

She roots through FIVE THOUSAND IDENTICAL PICTURES OF ELLAR before finally finding THE REAL ONE.

PATRICIA ARQUETTE

So, your teacher says you’re a disinterested slacker.

ELLAR COLTRANE

Meh.

PATRICIA ARQUETTE

And she says you stuffed your homework down a toilet with a dead bird.

ELLAR COLTRANE

Fuh.

PATRICIA ARQUETTE

And when she asked you to solve a math problem on the chalkboard, you wrote “4+20=POT” and gave everyone the finger.

ELLAR COLTRANE

I think bedbugs are in the wallpaper Eskimos and a scanner darkly is gurgle dingsoldier!

PATRICIA ARQUETTE

...Wha?

ELLAR COLTRANE

Can I vandalize my street an' lookit pictures of Big Girls' nippleballs even tho' Imma young for boobylovin?

PATRICIA ARQUETTE

(sighs)

Be home before sunset.

ELLAR watches some CARTOONS. He does NOT later whine about his childhood being MURDERED because some SHITTY CARTOONS got turned into a SHITTY MOVIE instead of ART.

PATRICIA ARQUETTE

Alright kids, we're moving to a bigger house in suburbia.

LORELEI LINKLATER

(attitude)

Waaah! As the older child, I don't wanna move! I might have to show more character traits than "Has attitude!"

PATRICIA ARQUETTE

Wow, *I* remember moving as a kid! This makes me so nostalgic for times when I could be a pouty shit and everyone still loved me!

LORELEI LINKLATER

(attitudlier)

Hey, I found another character trait: I like Brittany.

(sings Brittany)

ELLAR COLTRANE

OH GOD NOOOOO THE AGONY IS TOOO MUUUUCH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOOOOOP

EXT. 2003 – SPACE SHUTTLE COLUMBIA TAKES ITS LAST FLIGHT. “SARS FEVER” GRIPS THE WORLD, WHILE A DIFFERENT FEVER GRIPS AMERICA’S YOUTH AS NELLY URGES THEM TO “SHAKE YA TAILFEATHER”

ELLAR and LORELEI hang out with their DIVORCED CRAZY-COOL-CAR DAD, ETHAN HAWKE.

ETHAN HAWKE

Um, why do we all look like bleached polar bears, but our daughter has a tan?

PATRICIA ARQUETTE

How dare you! You fucked that French chick you pined over for nine years ruined our marriage! You ass!

ELLAR COLTRANE

(upset)

Daddy left us, we never got to see him 'til now. His entrance in our lives brung us trust issues, confusion, anger, and a long road to forgive-

ETHAN HAWKE

HEY EVERYONE! It says in my contract that if the director dies, I get to take over his job! I'm SURE he DOESN'T want that to happen, because SOMEONE MIGHT GET UPSET.

(smiles charmingly)

(points car at director's chair)

ELLAR COLTRANE

(reading script rewrites)

We had fun with Dad all the time because he was a super awesome parent who understood us, meanwhile Mom kept our lives in constant craziness and instability.

ETHAN HAWKE

That's what I'm Hawkein' about.

EXT. 2004 - VATICAN CITY GAINS FULL NON-VOTING MEMBERSHIP IN THE UNITED NATIONS. PRINCE NORODOM SIHAMONI BECOMES KING OF CAMBODIA, WHILE LOVEABLE OGRE SEQUEL “SHREK 2” DOMINATES THE BOX OFFICE

PATRICIA eventually marries her COLLEGE PROFESSOR MARCO PERELLA. If by EVENTUALLY you mean ONE SCENE.

MARCO PERELLA

Nice to meet you, Ellar. Go play with Lorelei while your mom and I, ah, turn some "D's" into "D+'s" and eventually raise some "C" out of there.

ELLAR COLTRANE

You what to what with Mommy?

MARCO PERELLA

We're going to study, real HARD. Gotta put INSIDE HER... some knowledge.

JAMIE HOWARD

Hi, my brother and I are your new stepsiblings. Surprisingly, we're really cool! Disney lied, stepsiblings aren't always evil!

ANDREW VILLARREAL

Marco's a cool dad, except for his huge red flag collection. Like, it takes up the whole garage.

EXT. 2005 - THE HUYGENS PROBE LANDS ON TITAN. POPE JOHN PAUL II PASSES AWAY, FOUR MILLION ATTEND THE FUNERAL. MILLIONS ALSO ROCK OUT TO GWEN STEFANI’S “HOLLABACK GIRL”. THE AMOUNT OF OVERLAP IS AS YET UNDETERMINED

ELLAR goes to SCHOOL and does AHHHHHH THINGS WITH SO MUCH NOSTALGIA, for those of us who group up in THE FAST FOOD NATION. This includes going to a HARRY POTTER BOOK RELEASE PARTY!

ELLAR COLTRANE

Yeah, only children loved Harry Potter. It's not like every demographic went nuts over it or anything.

LORELEI LINKLATER

(attitudliest)

Isn't it cool to follow the episodic adventures of Harry's youth, watching him grow older with each installment? The only thing better would be to read them ALL IN A ROW AT ONCE!

DANIEL RADCLIFFE takes TEN YEARS NOT TWELVE so FUCK HIM.

EXT. 2006 - GERMANY HOSTS THE WORLD CUP, ITALY HOSTS THE WINTER OLYMPICS. NEW DEAD PEOPLE INCLUDE DON KNOTTS, DARREN MCGAVIN, AND NINA SCHENK VON STAUFFENBERG

MARCO turns into the DRUNK DAD FROM HELL and it is TERRIFYING. The MODERN HORROR GENRE cowers, found-footage camera between its legs.

MARCO PERELLA

LORELEI! It says your mother called and left you a message. Tell me what she said!

LORELEI LINKLATER

(blah-ttitude)

She said, "Child abuse isn't funny, so anyone writing an abridged script should skip these-"

MARCO PERELLA

FUCK THAT! South Park's made child abuse funny like fifty times! Wait, not really. I'm not that drunk.

LORELEI LINKLATER

(whatever)

Sure, "Dad." You have the phone in your hand, check the message yourself. I see we're boldly entering a whole realm of heavy issues and deep subject ma-

PATRICIA ARQUETTE

AAIIEE, run, kids! Run away from the thing resembling a plot!

ELLAR COLTRANE

Alright! Come on, Jamie and Andrew!

PATRICIA ARQUETTE

Sorry, we have to abandon their asses. Texas law says they're stuck with Marco, since all the available foster parents are gay couples.

ELLAR COLTRANE

But-

They ABANDON JAMIE AND ANDREW, presumably to DIE VIOLENTLY after short lives of terror.

ANDREW VILLARREAL

Wow. Fucking Texas CPS.

JAMIE HOWARD

You know what's weird? We shot this when we were like nine and never acted again; ten years later we're suddenly major roles in a gigantic movie yet nobody gives a shit about us.

ANDREW VILLARREAL

Fucking Texas fucking Rick Perry fuck.

They move to OKLAHOMA for some AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM.

EXT. 2007 - "CRANK THAT (SOULJA BOY)" DEBUTS IN SEPTEMBER, DESPITE THE MOVIE PLAYING IT SEVERAL SCENES AGO...WHOOPS

ETHAN HAWKE

Hey son! Let's go to a ball game and catch some bad news, Bears! Oh wait, this is baseball.

ELLAR COLTRANE

Dad? Do you have a job? Other than making shit horror movies, I mean.

ETHAN HAWKE

Watch your language, young man. I've fallen in love with a beautiful woman who I've fathered another child with and we're visiting Greece together while solving our relationship problems. How are you doing with girls?

ELLAR COLTRANE

Are cooties real?

ETHAN HAWKE

Not if you feed the girls before midnight.

ELLAR COLTRANE

Is there really... magic?

ETHAN HAWKE

Oho, serious scene time!! Of course there’s magic, if I told you this crazy project would be the Best Picture frontrunner, would you believe that?

EXT. 2008 - FIDEL CASTRO RESIGNS AS PRESIDENT OF CUBA. DMITRY MEDVEDEV BECOMES PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA, REPLACING PUTIN. MEANWHILE KATY PERRY KISSES A GIRL AND IS REASONABLY OKAY WITH THE CONCEPT

STEREOTYPICAL BULLIES show up and vanish, in that way bullies do.

PATRICIA ARQUETTE

I'd like to talk about women's rights and the pay gap.

LORELEI LINKLATER

So... bored...

(enters vegetative state)

(drools)

EXT. 2009 - JAMES CAMERON MAKES A MOVIE AND SPENDS THE MONEY ON SCIENCE INSTEAD OF A BIGGER MANSION, UPSETTING EVERYONE FOR SOME REASON

Nothing else happens for a while.

RICHARD LINKLATER

This is a whole new type of storytelling! I’ve stretched film into a multi-segmented, episodic approach that can span years of real time! Now you can see actors grow and change when you binge-watch it all at once!

ELLAR COLTRANE

Oh, brilliant job, Richard. You’ve invented television.

(slow clap)

OSCARS

(dodging bullet)

Whew!

EXT. 2010 - BP SPILLS OIL EVERYWHERE, BUT PROMISES TO NEVER DO SO AGAIN. THE CRISIS OF OIL DRILLING IS FOREVERMORE RESOLVED

ELLAR continues through his waking life by getting drunk and stoned while making out with chicks, yo. He arrives home to discover PATRICIA has married BRAD HAWKINS.

ELLAR COLTRANE

(dazed and confused)

You seem pretty cool, Bro... Bernie... I mean, Brad. Whoa, do NOT mix ups and downs, crunk BLOWS.

BRAD HAWKINS

I'm a chill veteran rebuilding his life, ready to calm down with a family and KIDDING I'm the drunk dad from hell!

ELLAR COLTRANE

What? Nah man, we already did that. Tell me we didn't already run out of ideas, there's, like, five years to go!

PATRICIA ARQUETTE

Sorry honey, but Linklater's having trouble thinking up childhoods that weren't his own. He and Orson Welles have that in common.

ELLAR COLTRANE

But-

(looks in mirror)

(checks Google Images)

(looks in mirror again)

Erm, why do I have the same hairstyle Linklater-

GRANDPARENTS

-HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ELLAR! We got you a gun and a Bible, now you can be just like the Newton Boys!

ELLAR COLTRANE

(reading interviews)

And this TOTALLY isn't what Linklater got for his 15th birthday. He got, oh I don't know, a roll of duct tape. Like, whatever.

ETHAN HAWKE

I don't know about the kids having guns...

GRANDPARENTS

Have you seen the parade of guys Patricia brings home? Fuck yes they need guns.

EXT. 2011 - THE VIOLENT UNREST OF THE “ARAB SPRING” DOMINATES WORLD HEADLINES WHILE BRUNO MARS SETS OFF A “GRENADE”; OBAMA ANNOUNCES BIN LADEN'S DEATH, MOVIE-GOING PUBLIC WONDERS IF HARRY WILL SURVIVE PART TWO OF “DEATHLY HALLOWS”

ELLAR meets with his TEACHER of SOMETHING OR OTHER.

ELLAR COLTRANE

I've discovered my true passion: photography. Here's my photo.

TEACHER

This is my face with the word "Dick" drawn on it.

(pause)

I'm promoting you to school paper photographer.

ELLAR'S RESTAURANT BOSS

You're lazy. I'm promoting you to head cook.

ELLAR'S FUTURE LANDLORD

You don't pay rent. I'm upgrading you to a larger apartment.

ELLAR COLTRANE

So that's how the Texas economy works.

ELLAR, face locked in "vaguely interested" mode for the remaining years, goes to ONE OF THOSE SUPERSIZE HIGH SCHOOL MOVIE PARTIES. Keg! Beer pong! Hot girls! It's not fucking college yet!

ZOE GRAHAM

Hey Ellar. I get turned on by people who spiel about, like, the universe and shit.

ELLAR COLTRANE

I'm scruffy and shampoo my hair with sausage grease, and-

ZOE GRAHAM

STOP RIGHT THERE YOU'RE ALREADY A GOD

A year passes, or maybe two, it's getting hard to tell.

EXT. 2012 - THE HIGGS BOSON PARTICLE IS FOUND, SPARKING A WORLDWIDE ARMAGEDDON LED BY ITS FEARSOME HERALD, JOHN CUSACK IN A LIMOUSINE

ZOE and ELLAR wander around before sunrise.

ELLAR COLTRANE

Society, like, turns us into mind-controlled robots with Facebook and smartphones.

ZOE GRAHAM

Oh no... You've turned into one of THOSE people! Basically, how you were when I met you! We're breaking up.

ETHAN HAWKE

That sucks, kid. But hey, life goes on.

RICHARD LINKLATER

That's it for you, Ethan! See you on the set of "Before Afternoon." I feel like visiting Venice, let's set it in Venice.

EXT. 2013 - POPE FRANCIS AND EDWARD SNOWDEN LAUNCH THEIR CONSPIRACY TO END SOCIETY

RESTAURANT OWNER

Hey guys, Patricia told me to go to school once and I did, now I'm a successful restaurant manager. Please enjoy your Pollos Hermanos.

LORELEI LINKLATER

(waking from coma)

GOOD LORD, HOW MUCH LONGER CAN IT POSSIBLY BE

(relapses)

EXT. 2014 - "LET IT GO" IS FROZEN INSIDE THE PUBLIC'S HEADS, THE DOG "DOGE" SWEEPS THE INTERNET AND PRESUMABLY DROWNS IN BUCKETS OF ICE WATER CHALLENGES... WHAT A COOL YEAR

ELLAR packs up for COLLEGE with PATRICIA. She bursts into TEARS.

PATRICIA ARQUETTE

I dunno, it’s like, this whole movie is just a checklist of moments, and every time I think a story’s about to happen, we skip ahead! I just thought… there would be more, y’know?

ELLAR COLTRANE

Now seems like a time when I could hug you and demonstrate my development while closing our-

(leaves)

Oh. Well fuck you Mom. Thanks for paying for my degree in an oversaturated field!

INT. NEW ADULT UNIVERSITY

ELLAR prepares to end his boyhood at the momentous, naturally closing note of-

GIRL

You've never seen me! Have drugs I stuff in your mouth!

ROOMMATE DUDE

Let's blow off our orientation! Eat pot brownies!

ELLAR COLTRANE

This is such a school of rock!

They wander around and act OBNOXIOUS.

GIRL

You're on the cusp of a grand new journey. It's time for your last observations on life, love, and the world, before the end.

ELLAR COLTRANE

(deep breath)

It's... it's always right now!

GIRL

What?

ELLAR COLTRANE

For some reason, it's always now until it's later!

GIRL

...I learned that from Calvin and Hobbes. In 1994.

ELLAR COLTRANE

(doing more drugs)

What, did you want something profound?

GIRL

Well, yes, see, I have a monologue about how we perceive moments against our-

ELLAR COLTRANE

-Because everything I've done indicates I'm going to end up another drunk asshole! I blow off responsibility! I spend most of my free time on substances! My potential job market is overcrowded! You think it's an accident this is the last way you're going to see me? You think I listened to those warnings from my parents about birth control? Hate to tell ya, Random Girl, but we are CLEARLY having blackout sex. Tonight.

ROOMMATE DUDE

But... it was TWELVE YEARS, man!

ELLAR COLTRANE

You know why everyone's enamored with this movie? Because you can look at it and see whatever you want. Your own life, your kid's life, coming-of-age, bunch of shorts, delayed gratification exercise, ETC... everyone stares at it trying to get SOMETHING AMAZING, and they automatically love it!

RICHARD LINKLATER

For example, I use this movie to fathom the mysteries of human aging, since I look like I haven't aged in two decades.

ELLAR COLTRANE

Oh shut up. Stop inserting your personal life all over this story.

(squints)

Hey, did you insert yourself all over this script, too? Why does it have all the names of your-

RICHARD LINKLATER

Yes, I'd like to thank the Academy for my nice, well-deserved Oscar, rewarding pure perseverance and vision over, say, some whiny meta arthouse drama nobody will remember after a few years.

END

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