"Douche to E7. Douche takes ninny. Checkmate."


"Douche to E7. Douche takes ninny. Checkmate."

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

RACONTEUR

Oh, for a screenplay of deceptive vicissitudes! Of perils divorced of consequence, of self-resolv’d plots! Of clownish cartoonish clothed as characters true, of ripped bodices and cheekbones that shall drown many a panty. ‘Tis such a tale we bear for you this day, here in the year of our Lord of Nineteen and Ninety-Eight. An epoch of comedies most romantic, of filmgoers longing for a second Titanic. In fair England, where we lay our scene, post-Oscar Geoffrey Rush pulls a Rickman, and hams for us to the delight of all…

INT. GLOBE THEATER

GEOFFREY RUSH is being tortured by TOM WILKINSON, who forces him to read a new PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN SCRIPT.

GEOFFREY RUSH

Ye gods, this one’s like five hours long! I’m a serious actor! I’m running out of ways to say “Y’arr matey!”

TOM WILKINSON

Then pay such ducats as you owe, Geoffrey, else I’ll show you Green Lantern 2.

GEOFFREY RUSH

For pity’s sake, I can pay! I’ve a comedy by William Shakespeare! It is certain to draw a crowd, what with its tropes of cross-dressing, unrequited love, verbal sparring, political conflict, tragic hubris, dick puns…

TOM WILKINSON

But this play is not yet written. How know you such tropes will be employed?

GEOFFREY RUSH

Master Shakespeare’s an entertaining hack with like twelve stylistic tricks he leans upon.

TOM WILKINSON

As it is with all writers.

They HIGH-FIVE.

INT. APARTMENT

We see the inexcusably sexy SHAKESPEARE, played by the LESSER FIENNES.

JOSEPH FIENNES

God’s teeth, my mind begs for sweet release! Such ideas I have, yet no muse to spend them upon! I feel the organ of my writer’s vision swelling, engorging, growing veiny and sensitive to the touch, where the slightest breeze could-

GEOFFREY RUSH

Joseph!

JOSEPH FIENNES

Zounds, man, I was write-sturbating!

GEOFFREY RUSH

I’ve need of a play, Joseph! A crowd-tickler, a romcom with literary pretensions! One so airy and light that it could steal acclaim from more deserving productions, like Saving Private Ryan…

JOSEPH FIENNES

Nay, man. My writerly organ grows withered and small. I must exposit to my psychiatrist, an alchemist and seller of snake oil. Because this is a Woody Allen movie all of a sudden.

JOSEPH speaks to YE OLDE THERAPIST and LIFE COACH.

ALCHEMIST

So, you are married.

JOSEPH FIENNES

Yes. To Anne Hathaway. The historical personage, not the Les Mis warbler.

ALCHEMIST

With children no less. All of whom you’ve abandoned for this career writing crowd-pleasing tripe for pennies a day while you fuck about with tavern whores and desperate liberal arts students.

JOSEPH FIENNES

You make me sound like an irresponsible twat.

ALCHEMIST

Yes, facts can do that to certain people. Well, here’s a snake bracelet. Gift it upon your latest lady love and imagination shall return to you. That will be five hundred ducats for the hour. Nay, I do not take insurance.

JOSEPH goes to witness his latest PLAY being performed for the QUEEN, a scowling BUG-CREATURE portrayed by JUDI DENCH wearing THREE COUCHES of FABRIC. Hollywood it-girl GWYNETH PALTROW watches, enamored, nearby.

JUDI DENCH

I may be a virgin queen, but fuck me, this is boring.

GWYNETH PALTROW

Such philistines these watchers be. Are they blind to the birth of genius!? High schoolers shall be using this material for Renaissance Faire auditions for centuries to come! ‘Tis the height of art we coutenance this day!

IMELDA STAUNTON

As your nurse, mistress Gwyneth-

GWYNETH PALTROW

EEEP! DOLORES UMBRIDGE! GET AWAY FROM ME, HATEFUL CUNTMONSTER!

IMELDA STAUNTON

I HAVEN’T DONE UMBRIDGE YET, THY TERROR IS MISPLACED! I’M A PERFECTLY NICE LADY IN REAL LIFE!

GWYNETH PALTROW

Apologies, good nurse. Umbridge’s bitchery transcends time.

IMELDA STAUNTON

As I was saying, mistress, I must insist you keep your head out of such lofty clouds. There can be no future in art. You should focus on a stable career being a broodmare to a rich asshole. Lo, I spy one over yon.

COLIN FIRTH waves in their direction, before returning to his business of DISEMBOWLING BABY RABBITS.

GWYNETH PALTROW

No. I will have art in my life. Poetry! Love! I’m sure Patreon will take care of my financial woes-

But GWYNETH is drowned out by IMELDA’S SOBBING LAUGHTER.

INT. THEATER

JOSEPH goes to get some ACTION from his latest SIDE GIRL, SANDRA REINTON.

JOSEPH FIENNES

Wear this snake, my pretty. It shall make my juices flow.

SANDRA REINTON

Buy a wench an ale first, maybe?

JOSEPH FIENNES

Nay. I need my wits about me. Imagination must flow!

MARTIN CLUNES

Imagination must flow somewhere else, master Fiennes. Sandra’s been taming MY shrew as of late.

JOSEPH FIENNES

Betrayal! How could you two-time me, Sandra?

SANDRA REINTON

The same way you two-time the mother of your children?

JOSEPH FIENNES

That’s different! She’s farther away! Oh, I am going to write about you, Sandra! And since blogging about shitty exes isn’t a thing yet, my new play will just have to do!

The still-literarily constipated JOSEPH goes to get some LIQUID COURAGE with his PROFESSIONAL FRENEMY, RUPERT EVERETT.

JOSEPH FIENNES

What news, good cousin? You seem like a historical cameo I should recognize.

RUPERT EVERETT

If you had the slightest bit of culture in your dilettante’s skull, you’d know I am none other than Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare’s favorite idea bank.

JOSEPH FIENNES

Yet you look nothing like the man, and are twice the age he was when he died.

RUPERT EVERETT

Touche. How goes your latest drivel?

JOSEPH FIENNES

I’m hoping to find some ideas at the bottom of this beer mug.

RUPERT EVERETT

Why not just remake Troilus and Cressida? Everyone loves a good remake.

JOSEPH FIENNES

Repackaging a classic tale with token changes for popular consumption? You’re a genius, Rupert!

JOSEPH goes to watch a bunch of HOMELESS IDIOTS desperately try to LAND ROLES in his UNWRITTEN PLAY.

JOSEPH FIENNES

Alright, ruffians. Show me what thou got.

ACTOR

You want me to start? I can start now?

JOSEPH FIENNES

Next!

NEW ACTOR

In lieu of the usual monologues, I’d like to do a bit of a Jim Gaffigan routine-

JOSEPH FIENNES

Next!

NEW NEW ACTOR

This is a piece I wrote-

JOSEPH FIENNES

Next!

NEW NEW NEW ACTOR

Should I start now? Do you want me to start?

JOSEPH FIENNES

NEXT!

ANOTHER ACTOR

(Christopher Walken impression)

JOSEPH FIENNES

Next!

ANOTHER OTHER ACTOR

(pause)

JOSEPH FIENNES

(pause)

ANOTHER OTHER ACTOR

(pause)

Should I go or- ?

JOSEPH FIENNES

By the beard of Zeus, Dante himself ne’er conceived of a realm more hellish than auditions! How hard doth it be to stand in a place and speak pretty words!

GWYNETH PALTROW WITH A GAY MUSTACHE

If I may, sir. I think you’ll find my Emma Thompson impression is passable.

GWYNETH recites five seconds of a MONOLOGUE.

JOSEPH FIENNES

By Lucifer’s cock! You’re almost as good as an actual British actress! The swelling musical score compels me to award you with the lead in my play! Who are you, manly sir?

GWYNETH PALTROW WITH A GAY MUSTACHE

Um, Pwyneth Galtrow. I live in Gwyneth Paltrow’s house.

JOSEPH FIENNES

How unsuspicious! Embrace me, manly friend!

But GWYNETH RUNS AWAY for SOME REASON and hops in a BOAT and JOSEPH gives chase! Their two BOATS careen at high speeds down the WATERWAYS, knocking over NEWSSTANDS and APPLE CARTS while 70’s JAZZ MUSIC plays! Eventually, they arrive at GWYNETH’s MANSION.

JOSEPH FIENNES

I must sneak within so that I may procure that luscious lad for my play! Christ, theater is weird sometimes.

But instead, JOSEPH espies GWYNETH PALTROW, who is in fact GWYNETH PALTROW WITH A GAY MUSTACHE without the GAY MUSTACHE!

JOSEPH FIENNES

I was searching for a gorgeous young man, about your height and shape and with your exact voice. Pwyneth, I think he was called?

GWYNETH PALTROW

I know of no such boy, gorgeous Voldemort.

JOSEPH FIENNES

Well, thou art a fine consolation prize. This provides sweet inspiration for my unwritten play! For truly, random hookups at parties are the purest form of love!

COLIN FIRTH

Fie, bandit! Keep your pirate’s eyes off my slam piece. You have a name?

JOSEPH FIENNES

Rupert Everett.

COLIN FIRTH

The author?! Such talent!

JOSEPH FIENNES

Well, he’s not that good… I mean I’M not that good! I’m Rupert Everett!

COLIN FIRTH

Well, I’ll be drinking Ye Olde Fresca from your scalp come the morrow. Enjoy the cocktail weenies. They shall be your last…

(disappears , cackling)

EXT. BALCONY

Like the gentleman that he is, JOSEPH goes to STALK GWYNETH by peeping on her from the COURTYARD.

JOSEPH FIENNES

Hark! What light through yonder window breaks! Tis the east, and Gwyneth is the HOLY SHIT IT’S UMBRIDGE GET WRECKED YOU HATEFUL CRONE!

IMELDA STAUNTON

I DO NICE MOVIES TOO! GET OFF MY BACK!

GWYNETH PALTROW

Beg pardon, master Joseph, my nurse only occasionally terrifies me. But pray, what brings you here to this garden, in such romantic fashion that Dire Straits may immortalize it with elevator music?

JOSEPH FIENNES

It is love overwhelming, my dear! My author-boner throbs for thee!

GWYNETH PALTROW

Rip this bodice! Rip it, I say! Nude scenes for major actresses are still kind of unique in the late 90’s, we’ll score major Oscar points if I get my Two Ladies of Verona out!

They BANG inside a SOAP OPERA SOFT FOCUS FILTER.

INT. THEATER

His creativity RENEWED, JOSEPH and GAYSTACHE GWYNETH work together on their PLAY.

JOSEPH FIENNES

Alright, gents. Here’s the checklist. We need cute cameos-

WEIRD BOY

I’m another writer you’ve never heard of!

JOSEPH FIENNES

A subplot that goes nowhere-

MARTIN CLUNES

You banged my side girl! Have at thee!

JOSEPH FIENNES

Perfect, that dovetails nicely into point three, random swordfight-

They do some HEAVILY EDITED HIGH SCHOOL-LEVEL STAGE COMBAT.

JOSEPH FIENNES

Also, name actors couldn’t hurt-

BEN AFFLECK

I am here, for some reason.

JOSEPH FIENNES

Ugh, really? That’s who we got? Where are we in the Affleck Acclaim Continuum?

BEN AFFLECK

This is in one of my good eras. Post-Good Will Hunting, so I’m considered a prodigious young screen talent.

JOSEPH FIENNES

Then let’s get this done before Daredevil comes out. Well, I do believe our pot of plot will boil over soon, with such rare and choice ingredients as these. Our success is assured!

They celebrate as all actors do, by getting SHITFACED with DOUCHEBAGS and SLUTS.

GAYSTACHE GWYNETH PALTROW

Such tawdriness! Such bombast! I’ve never felt more alive! You lower-class pigs sure know how to get crunk!

GEOFFREY RUSH

Don’t we just! And here I was thinking Joseph would cease to sow his wild oats when he fathered children upon a lovely bride, but lo, he is as crossfade as the next man, and twice that again!

GWYNETH PALTROW

You are married!?!?

JOSEPH FIENNES

Pray, be cool about it, babe. I thought not to worry you with such frippery. And I only have like a few kids.

GWYNETH PALTROW

You’re a total asshole.

JOSEPH FIENNES

But true looooove!

But GWYNETH flees!

JOSEPH FIENNES

This night just couldn’t get any worse.

SOME ACTOR

Rupert Everett got shanked to death!

JOSEPH FIENNES

Nooooo! Who will I steal ideas from!?!

INT. CHURCH OF OUR HOLY MOTHER OF MANUFACTURED CONFLICT

At some random MASS, JOSEPH finds GWYNETH and COLIN.

GWYNETH PALTROW

Oh heart of hearts, my Joseph is dead! Truly I do love this man I’ve spent like two weeks gently humping. Our honeymoon phase could have lasted forever!

COLIN FIRTH

Cast him from your thoughts, woman. I shall be your husband ere long. You will find a much more stable life with me, with only moderate amounts of abuse. It really is the best a rich lady can hope for in this epoch.

But JOSEPH appears and COLIN gets SPOOKED!

COLIN FIRTH

Ye gads! Dead Joseph appears before me! It could be either that he gave me a fake name and is just sort of here to point at me or, far more rationally, HE’S A SPOOKY GHOOOOOST AAAAHHHHH!

Leaving a trail of TERRIFIED URINE in his wake, COLIN departs.

GWYNETH PALTROW

My love! You live! All is forgiven! Grief has revealed my insurmountable passion for you, married compulsive liar that you are!

JOSEPH FIENNES

First adolescent passion, now grief. Our entire relationship is based on temporary flights of emotional fancy, not similar interests or values nor anything that matters. What a fantastic message for my play! You are a fine muse, mistress Gwyneth.

GWYNETH PALTROW

I also blog about applesauce!

JOSEPH pats her on the HEAD.

INT. THEATER

The PLAYERS prepare for the first ever production of his new play, TROILUS AND CRESSIDA RELOADED.

JOSEPH FIENNES

By Plato’s backfat, we are screwed every which way! Gwyneth’s been outed as a woman and thus unfit to perform, our Juliet just hit puberty, our raconteur, Mark Williams, has a terrible stutter we really should have caught before now. This rabble cannot possibly perform!

GEOFFREY RUSH

This ain’t Hamilton. But worry not, master Joseph. The laws of theatrical happy coincidences shall save us! Observe!

MARK WILLIAMS

(stepping onstage)

G-g-g-good evening, l-l-ladies and g-g-gents. P-p-p-please no f-f-f-flash etching d-during the production.

(gets doused in theater fairy dust)

Please visit our concession stand for discount pig’s feet! Don’t forget to tip your prostitute! On with the show!

JOSEPH FIENNES

Well that is well enough. But what of our Juliet! Perhaps if we tape his testicles back up…

GWYNETH PALTROW

Stow your testicle tape, man! I have returned to act! Surely we could all be jailed, bankrupted, or executed for displaying a woman onstage, but fuck the constabulary!

JOSEPH FIENNES

I hope I can still act with this throbbing erection. On with the show!

They put on a PRETTY DECENT PRODUCTION! But suddenly, COPS show up!

HEAD OF YE OLDE MPAA

Such lewdness upon the stage! A woman being displayed for the public eye! Might as well be a donkey show! The laws of theatrical happy coincidences prevented us from stopping this production mid-way, so we apologize for all the trauma you in the audience have likely suffered. Hopefully, brain parasites in our shit-laden water will help purge these pornographic images from the public consciousness. In the name of Queen Judi, I hereby sentence you all to-

JUDI DENCH

(flying down on massive bug wings)

Did somebody order a hot deus ex machina?

JOSEPH FIENNES

What luck! Famed patron of the arts, Queen Judi, arriveth at our precise moment of need! I was wondering what that four couches worth of snoring tarpaulin was doing in the nosebleed seats the whole show!

JUDI DENCH

Now, let me assess this farce. You all think this Gwyneth here is a woman? Such nonsense! She’s got a bigger dick than you, Colin, of that I’m certain.

COLIN FIRTH

(bowing, seething)

A fine burn, my queen.

GWYNETH PALTROW

Your majesty, I am… free?

JUDI DENCH

Well, don’t lose your head.

GWYNETH PALTROW

(shooty fingers)

Aaayyyyyyy!

JUDI DENCH

(shooty fingers)

Aaaaayyyyyy! But seriously, you’re not acting ever again. Consider this your Ye Olde Vacate The Dungeon Forthwith card. But now the revels are ended, and you must away to Virginia to be Colin’s baby printer. Say goodbye to your boy toy. Judi out.

(shoots strand of web, swings away)

GWYNETH PALTROW

Oh Joseph, you are my one and only. For all time. I shall never forget the way you manipulated me into taking my virginity but I’m cool with it because you talk pretty.

JOSEPH FIENNES

Nor shall I forget you, oh sheltered ninny. You shall be my muse forever more! I shall immortalize you in prose, just like my bitch ex-girlfriend!

GWYNETH PALTROW

Or you could use your imagination and invent new characters instead of milking your personal life.

JOSEPH FIENNES

Writing is hard, okay?!

GWYNETH departs for AMERICA to go BLOG ABOUT CORN for the rest of her life, leaving the mournful JOSEPH to lead a sad life being SUCCESSFUL and ACCLAIMED but getting LAID slightly less.

JOSEPH FIENNES

(sitting down to write)

Hmm.

(pause)

“About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire…”

EXIT, PURSUED BY SOME OSCARS.

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