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Брюс Всемогущий/ Bruce Almighty

INT. KOWOLSKI'S BAKERY - KITCHEN - DAY

A news crew shuttles around a GIGANTIC COOKIE. Standing by are the KOWOLSKI BROTHERS, GUSTOV and VOL, two SHORT, STOCKY, MEN, along with MOTHER KOWOLSKI and other bakery family employees. A "30 YEAR ANNIVERSARY" sign hangs in the background.

BRUCE NOLAN looks into a make-up mirror, desperately trying to place a large segment of wayward hair.

BRUCE Oh, God, no! The hair's wrong. This is a bad sign. (calling out) We really need to get a make-up person?!

The segment producer, ALLY LOMAN, steps over.

ALLY Not in the budget. And not to worry, you're going to look great in this.

She holds out a HAIR NET.

BRUCE A hair net? I'm not wearing a hair net. I just did the hair.

ALLY (matter of fact) Health code. In the kitchen or around the cookie, you gotta have it.

BRUCE (to crew: re hair net) You guy's should tell me this before hand, this is like a huge waste of... moose.

Bruce spreads the hair net, bends down out of frame, comes up looking ridiculous and very disgruntled.

BRUCE Remind me to swing by an elementary school after this and serve lunch.

Ally laughs.

ALLY You're a thing of beauty. In three, two, one...

Bruce SNAPS from pissed to instant charismatic TV newsman.

(Note: Whenever Bruce speaks on camera he speaks in his "REPORTER'S VOICE" -- that recognizable, too-smooth delivery that all news reporters seem to have. In mathematical terms Bruce's version is to the 7th power.)

BRUCE For three decades the Kowolski Family Bakery has been a mainstay in downtown Buffalo. Known for their sinfully rich, cream filled, deep fried polski pierogis. And the occasional sugar induced coma that follows. Today, in honor of their 30 year anniversary, Momma Kowolski and her sons Gustov and Vol, decided to do something, a little bit different. Tell me guys, how did this idea come about?

GUSTOV Well, Vol said to me, 'Gustov, why don't we make the biggest chocolate chip cookie in Buffalo?' And I said, 'Yeah, sure.'

BRUCE Wow. Fascinating.

Bruce steps up to the HUGE COOKIE.

BRUCE The previous Buffalo cookie record was 3 feet, 17 inches baked by Gladys Pelsnick. But this behemoth cookie clearly proving that Gustov and Vol have much more free time.

The Kowolski brothers and all celebrate in the background, toasting with big mugs of milk. Bruce steps forward, looks dramatically at camera, slow zoom in as he speaks.

BRUCE As we witness the ceremonial toasting with milk it makes one pause and think. What are we really looking at here? Is it just a big cookie or does this cookie represent the pride of Buffalo? Our dedicated and hard working citizens the key ingredient, with a few nuts thrown in. (motions his eyes to the Kowolski twins) And finally, the love of our families which provides the warm chewy center making our beloved Buffalo the sweetest place to live.

Camera is in CLOSE as Bruce signs-off.

BRUCE And that's the way the cookie crumbles. I'm Bruce Nolan, Eyewitness News.

Bruce's hair net SLIPS UP, PUFFING HIS HAIR INTO A BUN ON THE TOP OF HIS HEAD. The Kowolskis and bystanders all laugh.

The frame FREEZES.

We PULL BACK from the TV and find Bruce holding the remote, watching the recorded spot on TV. We are now...

INT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Bruce is with his longtime girlfriend, GRACE. She has a box of photos on the coffee table in front of her organizing them into a photo album.

BRUCE So, what do you think?

GRACE It's good.

BRUCE It sucks. It's a story about a cookie. People with eating disorders will be riveted, (goes into huge pathetic fan character) Dear Bruce, love the bakery piece. I can't wait to vomit so I can make room for more cookies.

GRACE I thought it was funny. I love the hair net. How'd you get it to do that?

BRUCE What? I'm cutting that. They made me wear that stupid thing. I don't even look like myself. The hair is one of the most important parts of an on camera persona. Right out of the gate, I lost the hair advantage.

Grace looks at a photo.

GRACE Oh, my gosh, look at this one. My sister is so drunk.

She places it in the album.

BRUCE Grace. Try to stay focused here. I need your help.

GRACE Aren't you taking this a little too seriously?

BRUCE It's sweeps Grace. It is serious. There's an anchor job open. This is important. This is our future!

Bruce points to the TV as he says "future," not realizing he's pointing at the ridiculous image of himself with the hair net bun. Grace can't help but giggle.

GRACE I'm sorry.

Bruce collapses into Grace's arms like a child. He clearly has a fragile temperament.

BRUCE (sighs) I'm never going to get anchor doing these kind of assignments. I want my work to matter.

GRACE It does matter. You're funny. You make people smile. Come on, take a break, help me put this album together.

BRUCE (reluctant) Alright.

Grace holds up a photo.

GRACE Oh look at this. It's the first day we moved in together.

It's the two of them, younger, laughing.

BRUCE (down) Yeah, so full of hopes and dreams.

GRACE Oh, here's me at my sister's wedding. I caught the bouquet.

It's a picture of Grace overpowering the other bridesmaids for the bouquet.

BRUCE You look pretty intense, hun.

GRACE Well, I was thinking about you.

Grace cuddles into Bruce.

BRUCE So, you're attracted to me in some way, is that what you're trying to say?

Grace rolls over onto Bruce.

GRACE You have no idea.

BRUCE I was saving myself for the wedding night, but if you keep this up, I may lose my resolve.

Grace stands, pulling Bruce up.

GRACE Well, that's the way the cookie crumbles.

They kiss, stumbling toward the bedroom.

BRUCE Hey, that's a good line, but you need more resonance. From the diaphragm. (newscaster voice) That's the way the cookie crumbles.

GRACE Oh, say it again.

BRUCE (bigger) That's the way the cookie crumbles.

GRACE (sweet, southern groupie) Oh, I just love on-air personalities.

BRUCE (newscaster voice) Well then, let me take these clothes off and slip into my hair net.

Grace laughs, Bruce joins in as they disappear into the bedroom.

CUT TO:

A TELEVISION SCREEN

We see the INTRO FOR SIXTY MINUTES:

NEWS CLIP I'm Ed Bradley, I'm Morely Safer, and I'm --

LESLIE STAHL is HIT IN THE NECK WITH A TRANQUILIZER DART.

Her head wavers, then DROPS on the desk. The camera PANS to BRUCE, who lowers a bamboo blow gun, cooly addresses camera.

BRUCE ...Bruce Nolan. And this is Sixty Minutes.

THE SIXTY MINUTES TICKING CLOCK

DISSOLVE TO:

BRUCE'S ALARM CLOCK - IT RINGS

We are in...

INT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT - MORNING

Bruce lies next to Grace with a big smile on his face. Grace hits the alarm, rolls over snuggling close to Bruce.

GRACE Sweety, time to get up...

She kisses Bruce, gets up.

BRUCE No, I'm having a great dream.

The covers are RIPPED OUT OF FRAME. Bruce throws a mock hissy fit.

INT. BEDROOM - MORNING

Bruce watches TV as he buttons his shirt.

SPORTSCASTER ...and the Sabers lost another close one last night. Four to three to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

BRUCE Of course they lost, they're my team.

CUT TO:

MOMENTS LATER

Bruce checks his hair in the mirror practicing his new signoff.

BRUCE "And that's the way the cookie crumbles." (calls to Grace) You know, I think there might be something to that cookie line. Every great anchor has his own signature sign-off. (as Walter Cronkite) "And that's the way the cookie crumbles."

ANGLE - SAM

Peeing in the corner on the carpet.

BRUCE Oh no! Grace, the dog!

GRACE (O.S.) I'm in the shower!

BRUCE Ah!

INT. APARTMENT STAIRCASE

Bruce runs along carrying the peeing Sam with extended arms dodges a man ascending the stares, who gets sprinkled.

BRUCE Whoops, sorry.

EXT. APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS

Bruce makes it outside, sets Sam down on the grass. Sam looks up innocently at Bruce, finished.

BRUCE Oh, you're all done, huh? B-e-a- utiful.

EXT. SMALL WONDERS DAY CARE - MORNING

Bruce pulls up in his Ford Taurus to a cluster of cars unloading kids. A 2003 MERCEDES SRL passes by.

GRACE Wow, nice car, huh?

BRUCE Yeah, if you want to rub your success in people's faces.

Then Bruce notices a big medical van in front of the school with a BLOOD DRIVE SIGN.

BRUCE What's with the hubbub?

GRACE We're having a blood drive.

BRUCE Creepy. Needles, yech...

GRACE Oh, that's a nice response.

BRUCE I mean, it's just so...

GRACE Helpful and life saving?

BRUCE C'mon, that's your... blood. It's in your body and I don't think it's supposed to come out. Besides, they stockpile that stuff. They have an endless supply frozen in a warehouse somewhere then tell everyone there's a shortage.

GRACE They do not. Now stop it. I'm giving. I have a very rare blood type, AB positive.

BRUCE Well, I'm IB positive. IB positive they ain't touchin' me with no needle.

Grace sighs in exasperation, starts out when...

GRACE (suddenly remembers something) Oh...

She places a STRING OF PRAYER BEADS on the rearview mirror.

BRUCE What's that?

GRACE Prayer beads. The kids made 'em. Keep you safe.

BRUCE Well, I hope they work, cause it's going take a miracle to get me to work on time.

EXT. HIGHWAY - DAY

Bruce is stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. He stares at the prayer beads with a "thanks alot" look.

A big accident ahead. Bruce looks at his watch, he's screwed. A person is CARRIED BY ON A STRETCHER, Bruce is oblivious.

BRUCE This is just my luck.

Bruce's BEEPER sounds. He checks it.

BRUCE The meeting's starting, perfect... (thinks) Screw it.

He looks to the right of the car in front of him, then peels off onto the shoulder, passing tons of cars.

BRUCE (laughs) Catch you later, lemmings! It's kill or be killed, only the strong survive, no guts, no glory!

SFX: SIREN

Bruce pulls over, fumes.

BRUCE (looking heavenward) Thank you.

EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY

Bruce screeches into a space, races out of the car, bumping over a trash can, goes back to pick it up, sees a HOMELESS MAN who sits peacefully next to a paint bucket and sign boards. The various "warnings" change daily. Today's SIGN reads:

R EWE BLIND?

Bruce looks at the sign quizzically for a beat, then continues on.

INT. NEWSROOM - DAY

Bruce rushes through the newsroom, rounds a corner and runs right into BOBBY, the endlessly yammering PASTRY CART GUY.

BOBBY Bruce the goose! Morning, Buddy. Don't even move, I got somethin' special today. My mom made it just for you.

BRUCE Well, that's -- Bobby, I gotta go -- I'm late...

BOBBY (bending down) You like Quiche?

He comes back up, proudly presents a slice of quiche.

BOBBY You know, contrary to popular belief the quiche was actually invented by the Mayans, then stolen by the French. They shoulda said, "Hey, that quiche ain't yours, it's Mayan!"

Bobby belts out a laugh.

BRUCE Bobby, I can't, I -—

BOBBY Just taste it, taste it...

Bobby shoves a bite into Bruce's mouth. Bruce feigns liking it with exasperation.

BRUCE Mmm, delicious, I really gotta go.

BOBBY That's a buck seventy-five.

BRUCE Can you get Kelly -- Ahh...

Bruce tosses the thought, digs into his pocket, fishing for cash.

BOBBY (excited) Oh, two o'clock, two o'clock, two- ofive, two-ten...

Bruce glances over, annoyed but freezes at the sight of sexy anchorwoman, SUSAN ORTEGA across the room.

BOBBY Way out of our league, huh?

Bruce offers his money to Bobby.

BOBBY You know, I saw them editing your cookie piece.

BRUCE Really?

BOBBY They must have gotten high or something, cause they was orderin' everything, I had. Hey, how long have you been interested in pastry? 'Cause I've got an aunt who makes baklava twenty layers deep.

BRUCE (holding money out) Bobby.

BOBBY (gets a brilliant idea) Maybe you could do a story on her!

Bruce tosses the money on the cart, heads off.

BRUCE Keep the change.

BOBBY (calling after) I'll give her a call, we'll talk about it later!

INT. STAFF MEETING ROOM - DAY

ON THE MONITOR:

EVAN Is something killing your kids? Find out tonight at eleven.

Bruce looks at the sign quizzically for a beat, then continues on.

IN THE ROOM

The morning meeting is well in progress. Leading the group is the station manager and Bruce's boss, JACK KELLER, 50's, a constant furrow in his brow.

Also in the room: Bruce's fellow field reporter and rival EVAN BAXTER, 30's , a walking statement. Impeccable posture, perfect speech, perfect everything and he knows it.

FRED DONOHUE, the ever jovial sports reporter; always tanned, vain weatherman, DALLAS COLEMAN and segment producer Ally Loman.

JACK Okay, promos are approved, let's -—

ALLY Ah, isn't that last one a little misleading? I mean, the story's about flu shots. Do we have to scare people to death?

EVAN No, just into watching. Or I could change it to: "Slow news day, come yawn with us. At eleven."

FRED Sniffles at eleven is nice.

DALLAS Attack of the killer sniffles?

ALLY (to Dallas) The tanning booth is starting to zap your brain, you know that?

DALLAS I don't use a tanning booth.

A beat and they all crack up.

FRED Come on. You're turning orange.

EVAN He looks Florida ripe to me...

More laughs.

JACK I would have swore I already said this, but promos are approved. Now can we move on?

ALLY Jack, shouldn't the promos be focusing on Pete's retirement. This is his last week.

EVAN (leading) Yeah, yeah. Any word on the open anchor position, Jack?

JACK Evan, you'll know something when I know something.

Bruce bursts into the room. The meeting stops. Jack doesn't need to say anything, he just looks at his watch.

BRUCE Sorry, Jack. It wasn't my fault. The traffic was -— You guys already played the spots?

JACK Nice story, Bruce, but we're going with Evan's piece on the sex scandal at the mayor's office for sweeps.

This hits Bruce hard. A beat of silence.

EVAN And that's the way the cookie crumbles.

The others chuckle. Only Ally remains sympathetic.

EVAN I'm just messin' with you, Bruce. See you've got to remember that the news room is like a cookie...

More laughs.

BRUCE (re: Evan's perfect posture) That's great Evan. Is you're posture naturally that good, or do you have to shove a stick up there?

JACK Okay, knock it off... Bruce we're holding your story in reserve. Now, can we get back to the board so we have something to air today?

Jack continues with assignments. Evan sits smugly, as Bruce slides down into his chair, deflated.

INT. HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER

Jack is at Bobby's cart, paying for a sandwich. Bruce catches up to him.

BRUCE Jack, Jack, hey. Can I talk to you for a second?

JACK Sure, Bruce. What do you need?

BRUCE Sweeps.

Jack takes his sandwich and leaves. Bobby leans to Bruce.

BOBBY Don't worry about it. I called my aunt, we're on.

Bruce looks at Bobby, continues after and catches Jack.

BRUCE Look, Jack. Hear me out, I'm getting desperate man, I am pushing forty and what have I got to show for it? The point is, I've hit some kind of a ceiling here. Some kind of anti- Bruce barrier. And Evan is just lovin' it, by the way. He gets the good stories, he gets on sweeps. Maybe I have to be more like Evan.

JACK You don't want to be like Evan. Evan's an asshole.

BRUCE I can be an asshole.

JACK No, Bruce. You can't.

Bruce thinks, then flips Jack's sandwich plate over. It scatters on the floor. Jack and Bruce stare at each other for a beat.

JACK Are you going to pick that up?

BRUCE Yeah, I'm sorry.

Bruce bends down, starts picking up Jack's food.

BRUCE It's just -- this anchor position looming, it's gotten me nuts...

He hands the plate to Jack, as sexy anchorwoman SUSAN ORTEGA saunters by.

JACK/BRUCE Hi, Susan. Hi, Susan.

SUSAN ORTEGA Hi, Jack.

Bruce blanches at this obvious snubbing.

JACK Look, Bruce. You're a good reporter. You make people laugh. God knows today we can use it.

Bruce slumps, he's heard this a thousand times before.

JACK (beat) Alright, tell you what. It's the 23rd anniversary of the Maid of the Mist. I want you at Niagara Falls in an hour.

BRUCE Maid of the Mist. That's always live.

JACK Yep.

BRUCE Evan gets the live feeds.

JACK Well now you and Evan get the live feeds.

BRUCE I'm going live. In sweeps.

JACK Yes, but watch yourself, Bruce. I've seen your outtakes.

Bruce hugs Jack, pressing the sandwich against his chest.

BRUCE Yes! You will not regret this, Jack. (releases Jack) I will not forget you when I go national.

Bruce takes off, Jack looks down, peels the sandwich off his chest. We hear children's joyous SHRIEKS...

INT. SMALL WONDERS DAY CARE - DAY

A COUPLE DOZEN KIDS playing at Grace's self-starter business, a one room day care center filled with children and toys.

Grace turns, reacts.

GRACE Martin, are you eating the glitter again?

ON MARTIN - AN ADORABLE HISPANIC BOY

He shakes his head "no."

GRACE Martin. Open your mouth. Abra su boca.

He does. His tongue sparkles with glitter.

GRACE Oh, you're not huh? Well, then you've got a bad case of Liberace.

Grace's sister, Debbie, enters. She's wearing a nurse's outfit. Her youngest, ZOE, 3, runs over to greet her.

ZOE Mommy!

GRACE They didn't teach you Spanish in nursing school, did they?

DEBBIE Well, it seemed like they were speaking a foreign language sometimes, but no. Problemo?

GRACE Martin has decided to explore new food groups. (back to Martin) Martin, this is for art. Like this.

She spreads paste on the paper, sprinkles glitter.

DEBBIE Is it so wrong to tie them up?

GRACE Deb -— Martin!

Martin is busted with the paste spreader stuck in his mouth.

Grace snatches it.

GRACE Okay, go rinse your mouth with water. Lave su boca. Go. (to Debbie) I swear that kid is going to poop an ornament.

DEBBIE (laughs) You're good with them, you know. You should have some of your own.

GRACE Don't start...

DEBBIE Free milk cow.

GRACE Debbie, don't call me that.

DEBBIE If the moo fits.

The phone RINGS.

GRACE Saved by the bell. Grab that for me, will you?

Debbie does.

DEBBIE Small Wonders Day Care.

EXT. NIAGARA FALLS - DAY

Bruce is on his cell phone, while the NEWS CREW races around, setting up for the report. The FALLS ROAR behind him and the Maid of the Mist sightseeing boat is in the b.g.

BRUCE Grace?

INTERCUT DAY CARE AND FALLS

DEBBIE (cheery) No, it's Debbie. The sister who's life you're not wasting.

GRACE Hey.

Grace GRABS THE PHONE.

DEBBIE (feigns innocent) What?

GRACE Sorry, honey. My sister seems to think she's my mother. Where are you?

BRUCE (flying high) Oh, A little place called the winners circle. I'm at the Falls doing a "live" report.

GRACE Live? That's great!

BRUCE Yep, it's happenin', hun. I got sweeps and I'm live. You know what that means? They're seeing if I can think on my feet, like you might have to do in a live news anchor situation.

GRACE Oh, my gosh.

BRUCE This is happening for us, Grace. What we've always talked about. Jack practically came out and told me.

Grace quickly switches gears. She experienced the premature celebration before.

GRACE Wait, what do you mean practically?

BRUCE Well, he didn't spell it out, but this is exactly what happened to Susan Ortega right before she was bumped up to the desk.

GRACE (being cautious) I just want to make sure we're not getting too ahead of ourselves.

BRUCE I totally agree, but in the mean time you should start thinking about what coast you want to live on.

Ally interrupts, indicating the time.

BRUCE Oh, they're calling me, I gotta go.

GRACE Good luck, honey. I love you.

BRUCE I love you. (hangs up)

Debbie turns to Grace.

DEBBIE Moooo.

GRACE Stop it.

EXT. NIAGARA FALLS - MAID OF THE MIST BOAT - DAY

Ally hustles Bruce toward the bow of the boat, as he places his ear piece.

ALLY They want you close to the falls.

BRUCE What for? I'll get soaked.

ALLY That's the point. They want you to hold up this.

She hands Bruce a very stupid looking, blue "falls" shaped UMBRELLA with the MAID OF THE MIST INSIGNIA.

ALLY Part of the condition of us getting the exclusive.

Bruce takes the umbrella.

BRUCE Lovely. Glad I wore my tap shoes.

ALLY Remember, this is their 23rd anniversary. Capacity is 59. They cater to tourists, honeymooners...

BRUCE And people who are insanely thirsty, I get it.

ALLY And you'll be interviewing Irene Dansfield...

She positions A VERY, VERY OLD WOMAN next to Bruce.

ALLY ...She rode on the maiden voyage with her late husband. Okay, 90 seconds.

Bruce looks upward at the ridiculous umbrella. Mutters encouragement to himself.

BRUCE 90 seconds, going live. Think anchor, think dignity, (glances up toward umbrella) Ignore umbrella. Just have fun.

CUT TO:

THE LIVE FEED IN THE CAMERA TRUCK AT THE FALLS

Some of the CREW MEMBERS watch the feed.

ON TV

Pete Fineman is reporting.

PETE FINEMAN ...but because of the fast response by our local fire fighters, the toxic chemicals were cleaned up without incident. Susan.

The female co-anchor, SUSAN ORTEGA:

SUSAN Bruce Nolan is standing by at Niagara Falls with a report on the Maid of the Mist sightseeing boat, but before we go live to Bruce, we have an announcement to make. As everyone knows, after 33 years, our beloved Pete Fineman is retiring.

Pete smiles a proud, heart-felt smile.

SUSAN Pete's shoes are virtually impossible to fill, but the show must go on. And we could think of no one better than our very own Evan Baxter.

ON BRUCE

Listening to the feed. His FACE GOES WHITE. He stands in shock.

Evan is seated next to Susan.

SUSAN Congratulations, Evan. Looks like we'll be sitting side by side from now on.

EVAN Thanks, Susan. I'm thrilled and honored. Like you said, no one can replace the great Pete Fineman, but I'll do my best. I have to say I am so proud to be a part of our local community of Buffalo. I think a great city is a lot like a great recipe really. Put in some hard working citizens, add some care givers, maybe a few nuts...

The other news anchors and Evan himself chuckle at "his" joke. Bruce listens on the feed, beyond stunned.

EVAN All sprinkled with the strength and love of our good families, that ultimately creates a sweet place to live. Thank you.

SUSAN (touched) Wow. That was amazing. And now let's go live to wacky Bruce Nolan out at Niagara Falls.

EXT. NIAGARA FALLS - CONTINUOUS

Bruce stands like a deer in headlights, drenched, holding the ridiculous umbrella. Ally signals Bruce he's on. He stares into camera, numb.

INT. SMALL WONDER DAY CARE - SAME TIME

The kids are gone. Grace watches the TV with a few other teachers. She's concerned.

GRACE Talk honey, talk.

INT. STUDIO CONTROL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Jack rushes in, looking at Bruce on the monitor.

JACK What's going on?

DIRECTOR We've got a Walt Disney.

CONSOLE OPERATOR Frozen solid.

JACK He may not have audio. Check his feed, have Susan cover.

INT. STUDIO CONTROL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Susan reacts to the message in her ear piece.

SUSAN We may be having a bit of technical difficulty...

Evan smiles in the background, clearly enjoying himself.

INT. STUDIO CONTROL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

CONSOLE OPERATOR Feed's good, Jack.

JACK Come on, Bruce, talk damnit... Okay, get ready to pull the plug.

INT. SMALL WONDERS CARE - DAY

GRACE Please baby, say something...

EXT. NIAGARA FALLS - CONTINUOUS

Like popping out of a coma, Bruce surges in. Surprisingly, seems very up and fine.

BRUCE Thank you, Susan. Bruce Nolan here aboard the Maid of the Mist at Niagara falls.

INT. SMALL WONDERS DAY CARE - CONTINUOUS

GRACE Thank you, God.

INT. STUDIO CONTROL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

JACK (sighs relief) Thank God.

Jack pats the Director's shoulder, heads out of the room.

EXT. NIAGARA FALLS - CONTINUOUS

BRUCE First off, I want to add another congratulations to Evan Baxter. It's good to see what someone with real talent can accomplish when great opportunities are given to him instead of me. (still smiling) Anyway, I'm here, I believe with Katherine Hepburn's mom. Tell me, why did you toss the blue "heart of the ocean" jewel over the railing of Titanic?

The Old Woman doesn't know what to say.

BRUCE Did you feel guilty at all letting Leonardo DeCaprio freeze, while you were safe floating on the big door? Do you think he would have survived if you had taken turns, or were you too afraid to freeze your big fat ass off?

INT. STUDIO CONTROL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Jack rockets back into the room.

JACK Did I just hear..?

BRUCE Well, I guess that's the way life works, isn't it? Some people are drenched, freezing to death, on a stupid boat, with a stupid umbrella... (heaves the umbrella) while others who aren't fit to kiss my willy, are sitting in a nice, comfy news room, sucking up all the glory.

INT. SMALL WONDERS DAY CARE - CONTINUOUS

GRACE This isn't happening. This isn't happening...

EXT. NIAGARA FALLS - CONTINUOUS

Bruce takes off walking, the camera follows.

BRUCE Now, lets speak to the owner. Come on in here, Bill.

Bill shakes his head "NO" as Bruce pulls him into frame.

BRUCE Bill, you've been running the Maid of the Mist for 23 years. Tell me, why do you think I didn't get the anchor job?

BILL Hey, man, I don't want any -—

BRUCE Do you think it's my hair? (Bruce messes his hair like crazy) Maybe my teeth aren't white enough? Or like the great falls, is the bedrock of my life slowly eroding underneath me. (moving closer to camera, to an inch away) Eroding. Erroooding. Errodiiiing...

INT. NEWS ROOM - DAY

All work has stopped. Stunned staffers stare at the monitor.

INT. STUDIO CONTROL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Jack stands with his jaw dropped, snaps out of it.

JACK Alright, cut the feed! Cut to black if you have to.

CONTROL BOOTH OPERATOR I'm on it.

EXT. NIAGARA FALLS - CONTINUOUS

Bruce is now licking the camera lens. He steps back and signs- off. Smooth as silk.

BRUCE I'm Bruce Nolan for Eyewitness news. Back to you fuckers.

INT. STUDIO CONTROL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Susan Ortega stares frozen blankly into camera.

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT. OFFICE BUILDING - DAY

Bruce is TOSSED OUT THE FRONT DOORS, his box of possessions spilling on the ground. Bruce FLAILS at the building.

EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY

Bruce carries his box to his car, when he HEARS A NOISE.

A street GANG is hassling the HOMELESS SIGN GUY. Pushing him around, breaking and painting over his signs.

Instinctively, Bruce walks over.

BRUCE Hey, come on guys. What are you doin'? Just leave him alone.

They turn, look at Bruce, laugh and head off. Bruce helps the Sign Guy up, looks after the Gang.

BRUCE Yeah, you'd better keep walkin'.

They stop cold, turn back to Bruce and CHARGE AT HIM. Bruce attempts to run, but they leap on him in a big dog pile, swinging and kicking.

Bruce is left with a bloody lip, lying beside his car. We hear the sound of smashing glass and scratching metal and the gang running off. Bruce slowly gets up.

Reveal Bruce's car, WINDOW'S SMASHED, PAINT SCRAPED and the word "HERO" KEY SCRATCHED ON THE DOOR.

BRUCE B-e-a-utiful. (looks up) Just what you get for trying to help someone.

Bruce gets in, pulls out of the parking lot passing the Homeless Man who sits beaten up holding a scrawled out sign

"LIFE IS JUST"

BRUCE Get a clue, buddy.

INT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Bruce is pacing, holding an ICE PACK to his swollen lip.

GRACE Thank God you're alright.

BRUCE God, yeah. Let's thank God. Thanks for everything, Lord. I am so honored that my horrible demise is a part of your loving and mysterious plan.

GRACE Bruce, don't talk like that.

BRUCE Oh, don't worry, he's not listening. If he is he doesn't care. Have you seen the news lately? We got gangs, we got drugs, we got corruption. What kind of God lets that happen? Every time we cure a disease he comes up with a new one! (goes into God character) Yeah, is this the lab? Yeah, it's God. They've just come up with a treatment for syphilis down there. I think it's time to release the tainted monkey. Oh, and there's a guy in Ohio who's praying for strength and wisdom, blind him and cut off his legs.

GRACE So God is torturing us?

BRUCE Think about it, Grace. God is all- powerful He could fix everything in five minutes if he wanted to. But he doesn't want to. He doesn't like me.

Sam starts PEEING ON THE RUG.

BRUCE Oh, Perfect! (to the dog) But you're aim isn't so good, I'm over here!

GRACE Bruce, please. This isn't his fault.

BRUCE Of course not. (hushed tone) It's part of the mysterious plan.

Grace puts Sam outside. Returns, trying to calm Bruce.

GRACE Honey, you're mad right now. It's understandable. And what Evan did was slimy and wrong. But your job doesn't matter to me. You matter to me. You could've really been hurt. I'm just glad you're okay.

BRUCE Okay? News flash: I'm not okay. And I'm not okay with the fact that you think everything is okay. I'm not okay with a mediocre job. I'm not okay with a mediocre apartment. I'm not okay with a mediocre LIFE!

Bruce angrily swipes at the table knocking the photos and the photo albums to floor.

GRACE Is that what you have, Bruce? A mediocre life? Well, I'm sorry for being a piece in your mediocre puzzle.

BRUCE Terrific. I'm drowning and you throw me a brick!

Grace starts to cry.

BRUCE Perfect! I'll have the worst day of my life with a side order of guilt, please. I -— I don't need this.

Bruce grabs his keys and heads out.

INT. CAR - NIGHT

It's RAINING now. Bruce drives, going nowhere in particular.

His frustration is turning to desperation.

BRUCE Okay, God. You want me to talk to you? Then talk back. Tell me what's going on? What should I do? Give me a sign...

Bruce passes a BLINKING YELLOW CAUTION LIGHT, doesn't notice...

BRUCE I'm right here. Speak to me.

A PEDESTRIAN stepping into the crosswalk, steps back out of the way.

PEDESTRIAN SLOW DOWN, ASSHOLE!

Bruce is oblivious.

BRUCE All I need is some guidance. Please send me a signal.

A TRUCK TRANSPORTING VARIOUS ROAD SIGNS pulls in front of Bruce. Four ways, blinking. The varied signs read: Yield, Wrong Way, Dead End, Do Not Enter, Stop.

BRUCE Oh well, I guess you don't care.

Bruce spots the PRAYER BEADS hanging on the rearview mirror.

BRUCE Okay, we'll do it your way. (pulls the beads from the mirror) Lord, I need a miracle. Please help me.

He hits a bump and the BEADS DROP TO THE FLOOR. Bruce reaches down, fishes for the beads...

BRUCE Come on, where'd you go? (holds them up in triumph) Ah ha! AHHH!

And BAM!!! BRUCE'S CAR SLAMS INTO A LIGHT POST.

EXT. STREET - LAKE EERIE - CONTINUOUS

Bruce stumbles out, surveys his demolished car, then looks at the beads in his hands. He begins to laugh maniacally.

He spots the lake, starts running toward it like a madman, HEAVES THE PRAYER BEADS INTO THE LAKE. He looks heavenward, challenging the Infinite.

BRUCE Okay, if that's the way you want it. The gloves are off, pal! Let me see a little wrath! Smite me oh mighty smiter! I What, no pestilence no boils? Come on, you got me on the ropes, don't you want to finish me off?! You're the one who should be fired! The only one around here not doing his job is YOU! What are we, you're little pet project? A hobby you tinker with now and again? Answer me. ANSWER ME!!!

A beat of silence then Bruce's BEEPER GOES OFF. He cynically chuckles at the timing, checks it, sees 772-5623.

BRUCE Sorry, don't know you, wouldn't call you if I did.

Bruce walks off toward his wrecked car, it BEEPS AGAIN.

CUT TO:

CLOSE ON - AN ALARM CLOCK

The BEEPING continues. We are in...

INT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - MORNING

Bruce wakes, slaps at the alarm clock, groggy, reaches for the phone, finally realizes it's the beeper. He gets up, begrudgingly, checks it. The same number.

BRUCE Well, hello again 772-5623, don't hold your breath.

Bruce tosses the pager on the bed, heads for the bathroom.

The beeper BEEPS. Bruce stops in his tracks, turns, opens the window, grabs the beeper and FIRES IT OUT. It SHATTERS against a telephone pole. He calmly continues to the bathroom.

INT. BATHROOM

A note is stuck in the bathroom mirror, with an old picture of he and Grace in happier times. The note simply says:

"I LOVE YOU. WE NEED TO TALK. GRACE"

Peering over top of the note, Bruce sees Sam circling on the rug.

BRUCE Oh, no.

EXT. STAIR WELL - CONTINUOUS

Bruce runs down the stairs carrying the trickling, Sam.

EXT. APARTMENT - DAY

Bruce sets Sam on the grass. Sam looks up, finished.

BRUCE What's the point?

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP...

Bruce walks over to the shattered beeper. He picks up a small piece of it containing the LED read out: 772-5623

ON BRUCE - AMAZED

CUT TO:

INT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT - MOMENTS LATER

A PHONE - BRUCE DIALS THE NUMBER

A PRERECORDED VOICE ANSWERS

COMPUTERIZED VOICE Denied that promotion at work? Is life unfair? Everywhere you turn is there someone less talented than you reaping all the benefits? Is your name Bruce? Then do we have the job for you. We're located at 77256 23rd Street...

Bruce reaches for a pen, begins jotting down the address.

COMPUTERIZED VOICE So come on down, or we'll just keep beepin' ya.

EXT. WAREHOUSE - DAY

An old building on the outskirts of town. A faded sign painted on the wall reads, OMNI PRESENTS.

Bruce's demolished car enters frame. He studies the area and building suspiciously.

Bruce cautiously moves towards the structure and then, STEPS IN A PUDDLE. He SINKS UP TO HIS KNEE.

BRUCE Perfect.

He gets out, shakes off his sopping leg, and heads inside.

INT. OMNI PRESENTS - DAY

Bruce enters and checks the BUILDING DIRECTORY. It reads:

OMNI PRESENTS UNLTD.

Personnel Rm. 7 Accounting Rm. 7 Security Rm. 7 Creative Rm. 7

VOICE (O.S.) You're looking for room 7.

Bruce turns to see a JANITOR mopping the floor. He looks at Bruce's wet leg, offers the mop.

JANITOR Want me to even those up for you?

BRUCE (feigns a smile) How would I get to room 7?

JANITOR That'd be on the seventh floor. Stairs are right over there.

BRUCE What about the elevator?

He points to an elevator bank a couple of steps away.

JANITOR Out of order.

Bruce heads for the stairs.

JANITOR You mind giving me a hand with this floor?

BRUCE What? Yeah, I mind.

He continues on.

SEVENTH FLOOR

The stairwell door opens up to a LARGE ROOM with a SINGLE DESK at the end of an otherwise empty space.

Bruce hears someone tinkering atop a tall ladder extending into a hole in the ceiling.

BRUCE Excuse me. Hello. I'm, ah, looking for whoever runs this joint...

MAN (O.S.) Be right with y.a, just fixin' a light. Tell me if it's working?

CLICK and an INSANELY BRIGHT WHITE LIGHT ILLUMINATES, shining down blinding Bruce.

BRUCE Yep, seems to be. (wiping his eyes) Kinda bright, though.

An electrician, silhouetted in the bright light, descends the ladder.

MAN (O.S.) Yeah, it is for most people. They spend their lives in the dark...

As he talks he steps down next to Bruce and we see that it is the SAME JANITOR.

JANITOR ...thinkin' they can hide from me.

The two stand, angelically illuminated. Bruce tries to put everything together.

BRUCE Oh, the elevator's broken, huh?

JANITOR Yeah, but I'll get around to it.

The Janitor CLAPS HIS HANDS TWICE and the light goes off.

BRUCE You installed a clapper?

JANITOR Nope. Catchy jingle, though. (sings) CLAP ON. CLAP OFF. CLAP ON, CLAP OFF. THE CLAPPER. (claps twice) You can't get it out of your head.

BRUCE I gotta go.

JANITOR Okay, but the boss'll be right out.

The Janitor unzips his uniform, revealing a very nice suit.

He extends his hand to Bruce.

JANITOR You must be Bruce. I've been expecting you.

BRUCE Oh, this is hilarious. So you're the boss and the electrician and the janitor.

JANITOR Nothin' wrong with rollin' up your sleeves, son. People underestimate the benefits of good 'ol manual labor. There's freedom in it. Happiest people in the world stink like hell at the end of the day.

He strolls down the room, takes a seat behind the big desk.

JANITOR Your father knew that. He was a damn good welder.

Bruce approaches the desk.

BRUCE How do you know my father? And how did you get my pager number?

JANITOR Oh, I know a lot about you Bruce. Pretty much everything there is to know. Everything you've ever said, done or thought about doin', is right there in that file cabinet.

He points out a single drawer file cabinet.

BRUCE (sarcastic) Wow, a whole drawer. Just for me? Mind if I take a look?

JANITOR It's your life.

Bruce pulls the drawer and it FLIES OPEN, DRAGGING HIM THE FULL LENGTH OF THE ROOM —-

The Janitor casually pulls a file.

JANITOR Now this last entry was a little disturbing.

He thumps the file cabinet with his fist and the drawer dramatically sucks closed, DRAGGING BRUCE BACK. The Janitor reads from the file.

JANITOR (reads, scanning) Thanks for everything, Lord. I am so honored that my horrible demise is a part of your loving and mysterious plan... The gloves are off, pal... Smite me oh mighty smiter. (aside) I'm not much for blaspheming but that one made me laugh. Oh, and let's not forget "What kind of a God would let this happen? I mean, have you seen then news lately?"

Bruce stands, dazed.

BRUCE Who are you?

JANITOR I'm the creator of the heavens and the earth. I'm the alpha & omega. The first and the last.

BRUCE Sorry, it's not ringing a bell.

JANITOR/GOD I'm God, Bruce.

BRUCE Oh, you're God. Well that explains everything! That's how you know everything about me. That's how you got up to the seventh floor so quickly. (placating) Well, it's really nice to meet you. Thanks for the Grand Canyon and, ah, good luck with the apocalypse.

Bruce turns to leave, BUT FINDS HIMSELF WALKING RIGHT TOWARD GOD AND HIS DESK. He tries again, and again.

BRUCE Okay, I don't know how you're doing that, but I really gotta go. This place is obviously rigged in some way. We're on some freaky hidden camera show. (playing to the "cameras") ...for which I will not sign a release, by the way! But you know what, I'd be a little more impressed if you didn't use the cheesy file cabinet illusion. Everyone with a brain in their head would know that the drawer is being fed through the wall from behind -—

Bruce pulls the file cabinet from the wall, sees it has a normal back.

BRUCE Okay. That's good. That's a good one.

Bruce quickly puts his hands behind his back.

BRUCE Okay, God. How many fingers am I holding out?

Bruce extends three fingers.

GOD Three.

He quickly pulls one finger in.

GOD Two.

Bruce begins switching fingers rapidly. God doesn't miss a beat.

GOD Four. Nine. Six. Eight. One...

One final attempt, Bruce holds seven fingers.

BRUCE Okay, how about now.

He quickly pulls in two fingers.

GOD Seven.

BRUCE AH HA!

Bruce proudly presents his single hand of five extended fingers to God, then immediately notices he has SEVEN FINGERS ON HIS ONE HAND.

BRUCE AAAHHH!

He shakes his fingers wildly and the two extra fingers disappear. God approaches Bruce.

GOD You've been doing a lot of complaining about me, Bruce. And quite frankly, I'm tired of it...

Bruce backs away from God.

BRUCE You stay away from me! I don't know what your doing. But whatever you're doing is probably actionable!

GOD Well, that's not very neighborly. I brought you here to offer you a job.

BRUCE Job? What job?

GOD My job. You think you can do it better, so here's your chance. When you leave this building you will be endowed with all my powers.

BRUCE Sure, whatever you say, Pal.

He turns to go but GOD STANDS BEFORE HIM in the Janitor uniform, holding the mop.

GOD All the power of God.

Bruce glances back at the empty desk, turns back again and God the Janitor has also vanished. A beat, then Bruce sprints out of the room.

EXT. OMNI PRESENTS - DAY

Bruce barrels out of the building —-

BRUCE Okay, that did not happen.

He races to his car stepping in the SAME PUDDLE, but this time his foot doesn't sink, he WALKS RIGHT ACROSS IT. He pauses for a beat —-

BRUCE No.

He races on.

INT. BRUCE'S CAR

Bruce jumps in, turns the key, the car turns over but doesn't start.

BRUCE I'm having a breakdown. That's what it is. Just a normal, everyday psychotic episode, brought on by tumor or brain lesion...

We hear the car wind down to nothing. Bruce releases the key pounds the steering wheel in frustration.

BRUCE (to the car) Come on, start!

The car INSTANTLY starts.

BRUCE (denial) Well, that was lucky.

Bruce backs up, peels out.

MUSIC UP: "HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS"

EXT. CITY STREETS

Bruce drives, whistling the tune, catches himself, immediately stops whistling.

BRUCE Okay, just relax here. I did not meet God and I do not have his powers. (laughs) If that was God, then I'm Mario Andretti.

Instantly, Bruce's car PEELS OUT, races through traffic, dodging and passing cars right and left.

BRUCE AAAHHHHHHHH!!!

Suddenly there is a GUY IN A RED PIT CREW SUIT standing before Bruce waving a red flag. Bruce swerves to avoid the man and SCREECHES into a pit stop. Several other red-suited Italian men engulf the car. Bruce watches in amazement as the professional racing team jacks up his car, slaps on HUGE MAG TIRES, gases him up, etc. PAUL NEWMAN leans into the driver's window.

PAUL NEWMAN Hey Mario, did you get that box of dressing I sent you?

Bruce responds against his will IN PERFECT ITALIAN —-

BRUCE (in perfect Italian) Si, dovete venire sopra per il pranzo un certo tempo. (SUBTITLES: Yes, you must come over for dinner some time.)

Bruce reacts shocked. The crew backs off and urges him on in Italian.

PIT CREW Vetel Vetel.

Bruce's car peels out on it's own, he struggles to control the wheel, finally pulling over to a curb. His car door won't open so he has to crawl out of the driver's window.

He rushes onto the sidewalk, backing away from his normal looking Taurus. Not knowing what to do, he slips into a diner.

INT. DINER - DAY

Bruce quickly walks to a back corner booth. The only other patron is an OLD MAN seated at the counter.

BRUCE It isn't real, it isn't real, it isn't real...

An older. Sally Kirkland-type WAITRESS, order pad in hand, stands listening to Bruce with a raised eyebrow.

BRUCE Oh hi, ah, coffee please.

The waitress pours him a cup.

WAITRESS We've got a special on soup today.

BRUCE No, that's okay.

WAITRESS It's tomato.

BRUCE Alright, okay.

She heads off. Bruce sits thinking. Could it be real?

He looks at the SUGAR down at the end of the table, holds out his hand and the SUGAR SLIDES ACROSS THE TABLE RIGHT INTO HIS HAND. The CREAMER slides into his other hand.

Bruce is half scared, half thrilled. He pours some cream and sugar into his cup, looks around the table.

BRUCE Excuse me I need a spoooo...

Bruce chokes up a spoon into his hands, wipes it off with his napkin.

BRUCE That's alright, I found one.

The Old Man eyes Bruce suspiciously, gets up and moves further down the counter.

The Waitress sets down the soup, heads off, then turns back.

WAITRESS I lie to my sister.

BRUCE What?

WAITRESS (becoming emotional) And I'm sleeping with my best friend's husband. I know he's just using me but.. I'm just so tired of being alone. I don't know why I'm telling you all this. Just seems like you'd understand.

BRUCE Okay.

WAITRESS (sets the check down) Take care of that whenever you're ready.

Bruce looks at the soup. His look grows intense. He slowly raises his hands over the soup bowl....

MUSIC UP: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS THEME

The front door blows open, as A WIND SWIRLS through the diner and with all the flourish of Moses at the Red Sea, BRUCE PARTS HIS RED SOUP.

A little cockroach scurries across the table, climbs up the edge of the bowl and walks through to the other side.

GOD (O.S.) Havin' fun?

Bruce is startled and the soup splashes back to normal collapsing on the cockroach. He looks up at God standing beside the booth. Bruce is now awestruck.

BRUCE You -- He -- Thy...

GOD Let's take a walk.

EXT. LAKE ERIE - DAY

God leans down, lets the little soup covered cockroach go.

God and Bruce then walk along the lake shore.

GOD (re: the cockroach) Most people want to kill these guys. I'm quite fond of em'. Very streamlined design. Like little armored tanks. Y'know, they can hold their breath for forty minutes and their cells divide only once per molting cycle creating a cytoskeleton with cell adhesion that... (catching himself) Oh, this is a bit over your head, isn't it?

Off Bruce's look.

GOD Okay, let me explain the rules.

BRUCE Rules?

GOD Yeah, you left in such a rush I didn't get a chance to explain.

BRUCE Well the two extra fingers freaked me out a little bit.

GOD (laughs) I figured that would get your attention. I did the same thing to Gandhi, he couldn't eat for three weeks. Now, here's the deal. You have all my power. Use it any way you choose. There are only two rules. You can't tell anyone you're God. Believe me you don't want that kind of attention. And you can't mess with free will.

BRUCE Uh huh. Can I ask why?

GOD (excited) Yes you can. That's the beauty it.

Suddenly a LARGE SAILBOAT SAIL PASSES RIGHT BY THEM. Bruce looks to the sail, oddly, then...

WIDE ANGLE - REVEAL

God and Bruce are now walking ON THE LAKE about 100 feet from the shore. They watch the sailboat pass.

Bruce is awestruck.

BRUCE This is amazing.

GOD Oh, speaking of amazing...

God dips his hand in the Lake and pulls out THE PRAYER BEADS.

He pockets them as he talks.

GOD Since you're finished with these, I think I'll hang to 'em. Might come in handy someday.

WIDE MASTER - BUFFALO CITY-SCAPE

God and Bruce are tiny figures on the river, as God begins to walk away.

GOD I'll be seein' ya.

BRUCE Where are you going?

GOD I'm taking a vacation.

BRUCE God can't take a vacation. Can he? Can you?

GOD Ever hear of the Dark Ages? Besides, I'm covered. You can fix everything in five minutes if you want to, right?

ON BRUCE

BRUCE ...Right.

Left alone, Bruce begins to carefully tip toe back to shore, progresses to a full sprint.

INT. GROCERY STORE - DAY

Grace and Debbie stand at the check-out stand. Grace flips through a celeb magazine, as Debbie places the last few items from the cart to the conveyor belt.

In the background, throughout, Debbie's daughter, Zoe is grabbing random items off the shelves and placing them on the belt.

GRACE (re: magazine) Gosh, this girl is so talented and all they ever talk about is her hair.

DEBBIE Yeah, she should marry somebody famous, take the focus off.

Grace checks her cell phone screen.

DEBBIE We would have heard it ring.

GRACE I know. It's just that he usually calls during the day.

DEBBIE He just needs to blow off some steam, he'll be fine.

GRACE I hope so. I've never seen him that mad. And I lashed back -—

DEBBIE Wow, you lashed? You never lash. I'm impressed.

GRACE I feel bad for him. He's wanted anchor for so long.

Zoe begins pulling groups of items onto the belt.

DEBBIE Well, I've been praying to win the lottery for fifteen years, but it's not going to happen. You know, it's not all about money.

The CLERK finishes ringing the last item.

CLERK That'll be four hundred and twenty seven, eighty --

DEBBIE What?!

Debbie looks in a bag, pulls out a handful of various counter items. Zoe giggles and proudly holds up one of the hundred or so Tic-Tac mint containers.

DEBBIE Zoe. (to Clerk) Hang on, I might need you to uncheck a few things.

The people in line hem and haw, exasperated.

GUY IN LINE Come on, lady.

DEBBIE (snaps) Hey, everybody back-off!

Zoe laughs, enjoying the commotion.

GRACE Listen, I better get back. I want to be there for him.

DEBBIE You're a saint, Grace.

GRACE What can I say, I love him. And if I know Bruce, he's out there wandering around with the weight of the world on his shoulders.

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY STREETS - DUSK

Bruce struts down the street the embodiment of confidence.

He turns shooting a finger at a fire hydrant, it BLASTS WATER. KIDS run off their front steps, start playing.

A PRETTY GIRL IN A DRESS, comes walking toward him. As she passes he BLOWS A LITTLE AIR OUT OF THE CORNER OF HIS MOUTH and turns to watch her SKIRT FLY UP.

BRUCE And he saw that it was good.

He spots a mannequin in a store window display, wearing a cool, casual outfit. He closes his eyes. When he opens them, HE'S WEARING THE COOL NEW OUTFIT and the mannequin is dressed in his clothes. He checks his reflection... better.

Bruce rounds the corner, sees the SAME GANG that beat him up, hanging out in the alley.

BRUCE B-e-a-utifull.

EXT. ALLEY

Bruce approaches the gang.

BRUCE Hey guys, remember me?

The gang members turn to Bruce.

HOOD #1 Oh look, it's the hero.

HOOD #2 Hungry for another can of whoopass?

HOOD #3 Your stereo sounds great in my car, man.

He and a couple other gang members laugh and high-five.

BRUCE Look, I don't want to fight you guys. So as soon as you apologize, I'll be on my way.

A beat, then the Hoods BURST OUT LAUGHING. A few circle behind, surrounding Bruce.

HOOD #1 Oh, yeah. I'll apologize... The day a monkey climbs out of my butt.

BRUCE What a coincidence. That's today.

The Hood gets a PAINED LOOK, starts gyrating around, then a MONKEY comes climbing out the back of his baggy pants.

The Big Guy looks at Hood #1.

BIG GUY Did that come out of your butt, man?

Hood #1 faints from shock.

BRUCE Now I'm going to have to teach the rest of you guys a lesson.

HOOD #2 Yeah, you and whose army?

BRUCE Just me... and me...

ANOTHER BRUCE steps out from behind a stack of crates.

BRUCE And me, and me, and me, me, me, me, me and me and me.

As Bruce talks, DUPLICATE BRUCE'S begin popping out from various spots, a doorway, hanging down from a fire escape, a dumpster pops open, six Bruce's jump out.

BRUCE PILE ON THE RABBIT!

THE BRUCE'S converge on the gang —-

Hood #2 is instantly tackled by THREE BRUCES —-

ONE BRUCE kneels down behind a hood, ANOTHER BRUCE pushes him down over his back. The two Bruce's high-five —-

A Hood climbs a fire escape. ONE BRUCE gives a hand up to ANOTHER BRUCE, who takes pursuit. ANOTHER BRUCE leans out of a window SMASHES a potted plant over his head —-

ON THE MONKEY - SCREECHING, ENJOYING THE EXCITEMENT

Our Bruce stands in the middle of the action, happily watching the mayhem.

HOOD #2 Let's get out of here, man!

Hood #2 takes off running, the gang members follow.

BRUCE Okay guys, Kum Ba Ya!

The Bruce's jog over, leaping and diving into Bruce's body.

BRUCE I'll take it from here.

Bruce takes a deep breath, OPENS HIS MOUTH WIDE, RELEASING A SWARM OF LOCUSTS --

EXT. ALLEY - CONTINUOUS

The gang streams out of the alley screaming, COVERED IN LOCUSTS.

Bruce exits the alley, the monkey at his side. He looks down to the monkey.

BRUCE Back home for you, little one.

The monkey takes off back into the alley, as we see HOOD #1 stumbling to his feet.

HOOD #1 No! NOOOOO!

He takes off running, the monkey in hot pursuit.

ON BRUCE

He belches and one last locust flies out. He reacts to the unpleasant aftertaste and walks off.

CUT TO:

CLOSE ON - BRUCE

We widen to an UP ANGLE of him standing on the top of Buffalo's tallest SKYSCRAPER. Clouds swirl behind him. He looks out over the vast city lights, opens his arms and proclaims to the world.

BRUCE I AM THE LORD THY BRUCE ALMIGHTY. MY WILL BE DONE.

Bruce poses in dramatic god-like form, lightning crashes behind him. He is an awesome god.

INT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Grace sits on the floor next to the coffee table with a box of photos working on the album. She takes a sip of wine, sets down the glass. Sam walks over and laps up the wine.

GRACE (to Sam) Well, at least I have someone to drink with.

Grace hears Bruce coming up the stairs, singing.

BRUCE What if God was one of us... Just a slob like one of us... Just a stranger on a bus... Trying to make his way...

Grace reacts a bit surprised by Bruce's happy tone, she gets up, opens the door and there stands BRUCE, beaming smile, holding a very unique BOUQUET OF FLOWERS.

BRUCE (finishing song) ...home.

GRACE (re: the flowers) Oh, my God.

BRUCE You can call me Bruce.

GRACE Where have you been? You're so... happy.

BRUCE Who wouldn't be on a night like this? (holding out the flowers) For you.

Grace takes the flowers, gives Bruce a kiss, still sizing up his mood.

GRACE These are amazing. What are they?

BRUCE It's a totally new breed. A cross pollination between tulips and Daisies. I call them Todayzees.

GRACE Todayzees? Okay...

Grace goes to put them in water.

INT. KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

GRACE Bruce, is there something you're not telling me?

BRUCE Nothing of this world. Why?

GRACE What do you mean, why? Last night you weren't exactly happy with life.

BRUCE Last night, I was only human.

Bruce backs out of the kitchen seductively.

INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Bruce breezes through, casually instructs the stereo as he passes.

BRUCE CD 4, Track 7.

The Stereo illuminates and Barry White music plays.

EXT. BALCONY - CONTINUOUS

Bruce opens the doors, steps onto the balcony. He surveys the cloudy sky, reaches up with his hand and ERASES THE CLOUDS, LIKE ON A CHALKBOARD.

Still not completely satisfied he reaches up toward the moon and makes a LASSOING MOTION, THEN BEGINS TO PULL.

CUT TO:

OUTER SPACE - BEHIND THE MOON

Earth far off in the distance -- And with a THUNDEROUS RUMBLE the MOON starts MOVING CLOSER TO EARTH.

BACK TO SCENE

Bruce adds a finishing touch by adding several stars with points of his finger.

Grace joins Bruce on the balcony and is taken aback by the perfectly orchestrated sky.

GRACE Wow, it really cleared up. I've never seen the moon that big.

Bruce puts his arms around Grace from behind.

BRUCE We shouldn't waste it.

Bruce starts kissing her neck. Grace turns, they kiss and a METEOR SHOWER lights the sky behind them. The kiss ends.

BRUCE Bedroom.

GRACE Five minutes.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

Grace grabs a negligee from the drawer, heads into the bathroom. Bruce enters, adjusts the ambiance of the room, BLOWS THE LIGHTS OUT with a quick puff of air, LIGHTS CANDLES with a gesture. His clothes magically fall away.

INT. BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS

Grace slips her negligee on, begins brushing her hair.

GRACE I'll be out in a minute.

BRUCE (O.S.) Don't rush yourself. Sometimes anticipation can heighten the pleasure.

Grace SHUDDERS a bit at the word "pleasure", quickly finishes brushing, picks up her lipstick.

BRUCE (O.S.) It's a funny thing about, pleasure.

GRACE'S KNEES BUCKLE, causing the lipstick to smear across her face. She sits down on the toilet seat to get a hold of herself.

BRUCE (O.S.) It can be extremely pleasurable.

Grace has a very POWERFUL ORGASM and slides off the toilet out of frame to the ground.

GRACE (out of control) Oh, oh. Oh my...

CUT TO:

BRUCE

Standing at the door with both arms extended toward the bathroom like an WARLOCK CASTING A SPELL. Suddenly the light hits him from the open bathroom door and he quickly strikes a casual pose.

Grace stands in the open doorway, panting like an animal.

She dives on Bruce, attacking him.

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