Thursday, September 07, 2006

Stranger Than Fiction


It fees like I have been waiting for an eternity to see the new Will Ferrell movie, Stranger than Fiction. I won’t say how or why.

However, this clever script was penned by Zack Helm (who also has a movie he wrote in post-production right now called Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium).

I’m in the mood to be a little naughty. And so I’d like to share with you guys one of the first scenes of
Stranger than Fiction, which I thought was pretty funny. Emma Thompson does the narration, and I swear, Will Ferrell was BORN to play Harold...


SUPER: "I woke the same as any other day except a voice was in my head." —Soundgarden


INT. NIGHTSTAND — DAY

The glow of Harold's wristwatch again, which reads: 7:15 A.M. It promptly begins beeping.


INT. BATHROOM — DAY

Harold is once again brushing his teeth meticulously.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
If one had asked Harold, he would
have said that Wednesday was
exactly like all the Wednesdays prior.
And he began it the same way he —

Harold suddenly stops, as does the narration. He begins looking around, obviously hearing something. He pauses and listens. There's nothing there. He resumes brushing.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
And he began it the same way he
always did—

Harold stops again, and the narration stops abruptly with him. He definitely hears something. He looks at his toothbrush.

HAROLD
Hello?

He holds the toothbrush to his ear to listen. Nothing. He shakes it. Then he holds it stiffly and shakes his head. He resumes brushing, and the narration immediately returns.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
He began it the way he always did.
When others' minds would—

He stops once again, now a little worried. He puts his toothbrush down and looks in his shower.

HAROLD
Hello? Is someone here?

Heart racing, he looks around but finds no evidence of anyone else. He slowly lifts his toothbrush to his teeth and begins to carefully brush again.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
When others' minds would fantasize
about their upcoming day or even
try to grip on to the final moments
of their dreams . . . Harold just
counted brush strokes.

Harold suddenly stops once more, and so does the narration.

HAROLD
All right. Who just said: "Harold
counted brush strokes"? And how do
you know I'm counting brush strokes?
(pause)
Hello?

He looks at his toothbrush once again. He inspects it. Paranoid that somehow the toothbrush might be causing the voice, Harold delicately places it on the edge of the sink and walks away.


IN THE CLOSET

Harold folds a red tie over itself as he watches himself in the mirror.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
It was remarkable how the simple,
modest—

Harold stops. He sighs. He looks over both shoulders. He closes his eyes. He picks up his tie.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
It was remarkable how—

He stops again. He turns and begins to search his apartment in the hopes of discovering where the sound is coming from. He looks at his watch. He has no choice but to resume getting dressed. He takes his tie in hand. . . .

NARRATOR (V.O.)
It was remarkable how the simple,
modest elements of Harold's life,
so often taken for granted, would
become the catalyst for an entirely
new life...

Harold just tries to ignore it.


EXT. CITY STREET — LATER

Harold again runs down the street, this time with a pear in his mouth, a red tie knotted in a single Windsor.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
This was the last dash Harold would
make for the 8:17 bus, the last
morning Harold would hear his
breath leap from his throat, the
last day his stiff leather shoes
would make that terrible squeaking
sound as they flexed against
the concrete...

Harold stops running. He looks down at his feet and wiggles them. They squeak against the concrete. He wiggles them again. More squeaking. He looks up, amazed. The bus quickly passes, and Harold breaks out of his stupor to run after it.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
...for this was an extraordinary
day. A day to be remembered for the
rest of Harold's life.

Harold misses the bus and throws his arms up in disgust. He comes to a stop next to a short Polish Woman who also just missed the bus.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
But of course, Harold just thought
it was a Wednesday.

Harold grabs the woman by the shoulders.

HAROLD
Did you hear that?

The woman just stares at him.

HAROLD
The, the, the... the voice. Did you
hear it? "Harold just thought it
was a Wednesday."

POLISH WOMAN
Don't worry. It is Wednesday.

HAROLD
No. Did you hear it: "Harold just
thought it was a Wednesday."

POLISH WOMAN
Who's Harold?

HAROLD
I'm Harold.

POLISH WOMAN
Harold. It's okay. It is Wednesday.

HAROLD
No. I... No. The voice said it was
"just a Wednesday."

POLISH WOMAN
Voice is right. It's Wednesday.

HAROLD
I... No. I'm... (Christ.)

The woman looks at him for a second, then walks to the other side of the bus stop to stand.

3 comments:

wcdixon said...

Cute...is it a one trick pony? Or does the gag work throughout the pic?

Mystery Man said...

I plead the fifth.

Hehehe...

I am getting a subtext scene from you SOON, I hope? I've SO been looking forward to reading your scene...

-MM

kjb said...

Okay, now I'm dying to see this movie. That scene was really good.