"That body that washed up back there WAS a funny color, wasn't it?"

NIGHTS IN RODANTHE

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. MOST GENERIC POSSIBLE HOUSE SET

Harried suburban mom DIANE LANE gets her two kids ready for a weekend with her ex-husband, CHRISTOPHER MELONI.

CHRISTOPHER MELONI

Diane, I can see that you're deeply dissatisfied with your life, so I'll keep this brief. I'm bored with screwing my secretary or whoever I was screwing and I want you to let me off the hook for that.

DIANE LANE

Because screwing me suddenly sounds less boring to you?

CHRISTOPHER MELONI

No, because she was costing me a fortune in designer makeup palettes and trips to Cabo.

DIANE LANE

(dismayed look)

CHRISTOPHER MELONI

I mean, uh, because I love you and we have kids and stuff.

DIANE LANE

Well, that's nice. But I promised my friend Viola Davis that I'd look after the incredibly romantic B&B she owns this weekend, so this really isn't a good time for me to tell you in excruciating detail what a lying, cheating, manipulative son of a bitch you are. Can it wait until Monday?

CHRISTOPHER MELONI

Of course, of course. Take the weekend to practice. Just promise you won't enter into any life-changing romances while you're there, okay?

DIANE LANE

Over the course of two days? Don't be ridiculous. That only happens in featherweight wish-fulfillment schlock novels for harried suburban moms who are deeply dissatisfied with their lives and can't handle the raw literary genius of Fifty Shades of Grey.

CHRISTOPHER MELONI

What about film adaptations of those novels?

DIANE LANE

Oh. Yeah, you lose. Bye.

INT. VIOLA'S INCREDIBLY ROMANTIC INN

The DRONE that takes all of MICHAEL BAY's 360-degree shots lovingly circles the INN, where VIOLA DAVIS is giving DIANE a few last-minute DETAILS.

VIOLA DAVIS

So there's a hurricane advisory currently in effect, but that happens all the time here and it's probably bullshit. But just in case, I left a giant stack of window boards, a generator that may or may not work, and some lube in case it turns out to be deadly and you and the one male guest with money want to shuffle off this mortal coil with a bang. Also, remember not to flush any of the toilets, ever, because they all spray your shit right back at you.

DIANE LANE

Got it. Speaking of which, Christopher wants me to forgive him.

VIOLA DAVIS

He abandoned you during one of your most vulnerable times and left you to handle your hormonal teenager and your medically challenged younger child by yourself. Don't forgive him.

DIANE LANE

Could you give me that same advice again, only... sassier?

VIOLA DAVIS

Girl, you gots to kick yo baby-daddy to the curb like the dawg he is and get yoself a fine stack a' man, know m'sayin'?

DIANE LANE

That's good, but... just a little sassier.

VIOLA DAVIS

Sheeeee-it, dat honky mofo see a broad to get dat booty yack 'em, leg 'er down an' smack 'em yack 'em. Can I leave now?

(does)

The one male guest, DR. RICHARD GERE, arrives.

DIANE LANE

Welcome, Dr. Gere! Can I get you anything to make your stay more comfortable? Extra bedding? Complimentary gerbil?

DR. RICHARD GERE

Thank you, but as you can see from this broody expression that makes me look distressingly like Neil Breen, I'm quite content being uncomfortable.

DIANE LANE

Ah. Well, in that case, would you like an awkward personal info dump exchange with dinner?

DR. RICHARD GERE

Lovely.

DIANE LANE

Excellent choice. I'm estranged from my husband, but he wants me back.

DR. RICHARD GERE

I was too busy being good at my job to care about my family and now my son hates me despite having followed in my footsteps.

DIANE LANE

My teenage daughter hates me and has a reverse tramp stamp.

DR. RICHARD GERE

I'm in town to see a man who's suing me because his wife died while I was operating on her.

DIANE LANE

I threw away my dreams of being an artist so I could become a harried suburban mom.

DR. RICHARD GERE

I'm only donating equipment to my son's clinic in Ecuador so he'll start talking to me again.

DIANE LANE

Are you as turned on as I am right now?

DR. RICHARD GERE

More.

They fulfill their GROWING ATTRACTION by playing a hearty game of CANNED FOOD TRASH CAN BASKETBALL.

EXT. THE NEXT DAY

SCOTT GLENN and his son, PABLO SCHRIEBER, show up to confront DR. RICHARD.

SCOTT GLENN

So I bet yuh're gonna tell me my wife had some kinda unexpected reaction to a completely routine procedure and yuh didn't actually commit medical malpractice.

DR. RICHARD GERE

Yes. Because that's what happened.

SCOTT GLENN

Well, let me ask yuh somethin', Mr. Fancy-Shmancy Doctor Man:

(actual line)

Do yuh know what color my wife's eyes were?

DR. RICHARD GERE

I'm sorry, what does that have to do with anything? Are you seriously mad at me because I don't know my patients as well as their families do?

PABLO SCHRIEBER

No, we're mad at yuh because yuh shoulda cared 'bout my mama's life instead of... y'know... bein' a doctor and performin' surgery on 'er and makin' sure she wuhn't in any pain and...

(trails off)

I don't think we're makin' any sense, Pa.

SCOTT GLENN

Well... uh... his car's real nice. See? Only in it for the money.

DR. RICHARD GERE

Don't you think I could have found another career that would allow me to buy this car without going through med school and spending all day looking at other people's entrails?

PABLO SCHRIEBER

Um...

SCOTT GLENN

We're, uh...

PABLO SCHRIEBER

We don't like yuhr tone, mister!

SCOTT GLENN

Yeah! Yuhr tone! That's why we're suin'!

They leave.

DIANE LANE

You know, they have a point. Clearly you're in medicine for the money and the glory and you have no compassion for other people. If you did, you'd work in a remote clinic like your son instead of a hospital like 70 percent of American physicians as of June 2021.

DR. RICHARD GERE

Oh, really? Well, you don't have any compassion for yourself! That's why your life is so miserable! And you'll only make it more miserable if you take Christopher back and expect him to be satisfied with your Karen haircut and your Ross Dress for Less blouses!

The BIG STORM hits, knocking out the ELECTRICITY and PHONE SERVICE and threatening all the DANGLY BREAKY GLASS THINGS.

DIANE LANE

Wanna fuck?

DR. RICHARD GERE

Ehh. Nothing else to do.

EXT. THE NEXT DAY

DR. RICHARD joins DIANE on the beach.

DR. RICHARD GERE

Well, it took three photo albums, six home videos, two sets of vacation slides, and every bite of the last Jell-O salad his wife ever made, but Scott finally got me to say "I'm sorry" and I guess he's not suing me anymore. So now we can have a happy new-love montage.

DIANE LANE

But... we just had sex kind of randomly? And up until then we just bitched about our problems and played canned food trash can basketball? I'm sorry, I'm not really getting the whole "new love" feel from this.

DR. RICHARD GERE

No? Oh, wait, we haven't slow-danced outdoors yet. That ought to do it.

DIANE LANE

Someone really has to tell Sparky that you can't make a romance more convincing just by checking your own clich├ęs off a list. Look, we've got less than 100 minutes, so let's just get to the pledge to write to each other in longhand until we live happily ever after or whatever.

DR. RICHARD GERE

Sounds good.

INT. DIANE'S HOUSE

DIANE returns home to see CHRISTOPHER and their children, MAE WHITMAN and CHARLIE TAHAN.

CHRISTOPHER MELONI

So, let's get down to--

DIANE LANE

I entered into a life-changing romance. Go to hell.

MAE WHITMAN

MO-OM! Can't you put your own needs aside for once and accept all the bullshit that your scumbag ex feeds you? What kind of example do you think you're setting for me?

DIANE LANE

In any other movie? You'd learn to set boundaries with any guy who tries to mistreat you. In this one? You'd learn that a weekend of first-time-since-Heaven's-Gate sex is worth everything else.

She goes upstairs to begin writing to DR. RICHARD.

DIANE LANE

"Dear Richard: It occurs to me that, as often as we shoved our problems in each other's faces, I don't really know that much about you. What's your middle name? What was your undergrad major? What's your favorite color? What's your favorite TV show? Who's your favorite author? How old are you? All my love, Diane."

DR. RICHARD GERE

"Dear Diane: Tiffany, philosophy, red, Kojak, the Dalai Lama, 58. You know, this list of questions sounds familiar. Have I read it somewhere? Kisses, Richard."

DIANE LANE

"Dear Richard: Yes. In a different Sparks novel. And that couple was already engaged. Wait, your middle name is Tiffany? Lots and lots of hugs, Diane."

DR. RICHARD GERE

"Dear Diane: It was my mom's maiden name. You know, THAT Tiffany. Gushingly yours, Richard."

DIANE LANE

"Dear Richard: Ohhhh. So I can expect an absurdly overpriced engagement ring out of this, right? We can talk about that more when you come visit. Not trying to pressure you, Diane."

RICHARD doesn't show up.

DIANE LANE

(sighs)

He did feel pressured, didn't he? My stupid mouth.

But his son, DR. JAMES FRANCO, does.

DR. JAMES FRANCO

Dad died when a surging flow of plot contrivances fell on him.

DIANE LANE

NOOOOOO!!!

DR. JAMES FRANCO

We also lost a large quantity of medical supplies that are extremely difficult to obtain in that remote part of the world where most of the population lives in abject poverty, facing diseases that don't even exist in America anymore.

DIANE LANE

WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAPPEN TO MEEEEEEE?

DR. JAMES FRANCO

Anyway, I came to thank you. You taught him that doctors need to have a bedside manner. I'm sure I could persuade you to donate some money to our clinic in his--

DIANE LANE

NOOOOOO!!!

EXT. RODANTHE

DIANE arrives to see some WILD HORSES running on the beach.

DIANE LANE

I feel better now.

CHRISTOPHER MELONI

(pops up out of nowhere)

Great! Does that mean--

The HORSES turn around and trample him.

END

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