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Chick Lit

Script By: smehta
Humor



ORIGINAL PILOT. Meet Kate: dedicated elementary school teacher by day, aspiring romance novelist by night. Little does Kate know the world of romance novels is a surprisingly cutthroat one. Luckily she has her supportive boyfriend Brandon and her encouraging colleague Mark to save her!


Submitted:Mar 10, 2013    Reads: 42    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


"Chick Lit"

INT: ELEMENTARY CLASSROOM- DAY

Children are sitting quietly in a circle, transfixed by something sitting at the head of the circle. You can't tell whether they're scared or amused or entertained. Slow-motion pan around each kid's face. One child (ambiguous gender) has its finger up its nose, unmoving. Another is twirling her finger in her hair, but all eyes are glued to whatever is happening at the circle's head.

Pan around to the head of the circle, where we see A MAN, mid-late 20's, nicely dressed, handsome, sitting cross-legged with his chin resting on his palm, crying.

MAN

(Holding up a picture of a girl-- sob, shaky breath)…Asnd then, I made the biggest mistake of my life. I didn't call to her; I couldn't say what I felt. Not when she said she fancied me, not when she slapped me when she found me with her best friend Gina, and not every moment after that...

CHILD 1

Why would she do that??

CHILD 2

(boy, overalls and skinny)

You said it, girlfrannn'. That Gina is a hot mess.

CHILD 3

(nerdy, giant glasses)

Come on, you coot! It's simple. Either you love her or you don't. Well? Do you?

CHILD 1

Is it my turn for show and tell yet?? I brought in my mom's special stickers!

(Holds up a box of feminine napkins, shakes it, and then excitedly looks inside)

OS, Interrupting:

Hold on. You're saying the kids help him figure out that he loves her? And what child would bring in his mother's Kotex for show and tell?

CUT TO:

INT: ANOTHER CLASSROOM-DAY

Classroom is empty aside from KATE TAYLOR, late 20's, pretty and put together, AND PORTLY older friend, MARK (35+, male, chubby but not stereotypical gay friend-he's straight)

KATE looks over to the corkboard, which is haphazardly COVERED in feminine products.

MARK

Oh.

KATE

What's wrong with the kids helping him realize that he loves her? Some of my kids have tremendous insight!

FLASHBACK: KATE playing with the remote, trying to find the DVD channel for the in-class movie. CHILD 2 from before gets up, grabs REMOTE.

CHILD 2

No, Ms. Taylor, it's input 3. Also, we're all thinking it, so I'm just gonna say it… that shade of canary really washes you out.

CUT TO PRESENT:

MARK

Okay, I know you probably saw Kindergarten Cop again last night, but real kids just don't act that way… and the cheating-but-really-just-a-miscommunication with the best friend?

KATE

What's wrong with that? It has to have some type of conflict that leads to him growing up and her falling back in love him when he matures!

MARK

I don't know how to say this, but you're writing what I like to call PMF Chick Lit.

KATE

PMF… P-P-Prrretty? Pretty Much Flawless? Well, thanks, I-Unless that's something inappropriate. I'll have you know, this novel is young adult-it has no-

MARK

Perfect Man Flub. Do you remember that picture they made of the Perfect Man using a composite of the most attractive actors? You know, Brad Pre-Angelina, Tom Pre-Xenu?

KATE

I have never even heard of that…

MARK

Pinterest.

KATE

Oh goodness… not again with P-

MARK

Not important. So anyway, they announced that they had crafted this image of the Perfect Man, but when they released it, it was literally worse looking than Nic Cage's hairline from Ghost Rider 2. And you know how I feel about him.

KATE

It can't be that bad!

MARK
You'd be surprised… his face looked like a--

KATE

I'm talking about the book!

MARK

Oh, oh. Right. Honey, it's not that it's bad… it's just not very you.

KATE

It is completely me! What are you talking about?

MARK

(leaving)

Clearly you don't need my help.

KATE

No, wait, okay! But the deadline's just around the corner. How am I supposed to rewrite the whole climax before then?

MARK

(smug)

I mean, I just gave my humble opinion. You don't need to take my advice…

KATE

Please, oh sage, I would like your help.

MARK

(leaning toward her)

We can't always get what we want.

KATE

I need your help.

MARK

I don't know… I have such a busy schedule.

KATE
(squeezing his nose, hard)

Really? You do?

MARK

(recoiling)

What is wrong with you! You know I have weak nostril musculature!

KATE

(leaving, smiling)

I hate when you make me do that! Oh-time to go get the kids.

MARK

(breathing through his nostrils hard, mouth closed)

I'm serious! They're stuck together now… I can't blow them back out! Oh god, I don't think I can breathe!

KATE

(from the hallway)

Oh, relax!

MARK stands alone in her classroom, puffing his nostrils out, to get them to un-suction from his nose. Finally he gets it, and does a little hop of joy.

INT: KATE'S HOUSE - LATER

KATE and MARK are setting up for a group gathering, putting color-coordinated snacks in bowls on the coffee table.

MARK

You had to invite her?

KATE

She's the harshest critic we know, and if I want my manuscript whipped into shape, drastic measures are necessary.

MARK

Ugh, just don't make me talk to her.

KATE

Marie's your sister!

MARK

(indignant)

That has never been proven.

KATE

We-

The DOORBELL rings.

MARK

Dear god, it's here.

KATE goes to answer it leaving MARK in the living room with his arms crossed.

KATE

It might not be her.

MARK

(whispered loudly from living room)

Can't you smell the condescension drifting through the door? Is it too late for me to slip into a coma?

KATE opens the door to reveal THE SAME MAN from the fantasy at the beginning. It's her boyfriend, Brandon (30s).

KATE

(loudly so that MARK can hear)

Oh, hello, boyfriend of mine...whose name is not Marie. Welcome to the Edit-acular!

BRANDON

Edit-acular?

KATE

(unsure)

Edit-a-fiesta?

MARK

(from the other room)

I thought you nailed it with Edit-acular!

Relieved, MARK comes into the foyer to greet BRANDON.

BRANDON

(laughing)

You have another boyfriend whose name is Marie? I can't even compete.

MARK

Thank God it's you. I was having heart palpitations over there because I am not emotionally prepared for- oh-no-no-no-she-didn't.

While they've been talking, the infamous Marie (late-30s, looks kind of mean) is walking along the drive. She is carrying a Sherlock-Holmes-tote bag.

KATE

Okay, pull yourself together. Deerga breath, like your wife taught you.

(to BRANDON)

She took a Lamaze class and decided he needed the skills more than she did.

MARK

She's got a Holmes bag. You know Sherly is mine. I introduced her. I was Mrs. Hudson for Halloween this year.

KATE

Sherlock Holmes has been around for over a century… I don't think he belongs to anyone...

MARK

(clenched jaw)

Yes-He-Does.

MARIE

Hello Mark, nice to see you.

KATE

(to MARK)

Be nice.

MARK

(stiffly)

Marie. I'm glad to see you are well.

MARIE

(sighing)

How unfortunate that you've decided black shoes match those putrid brown socks. I almost had an aneurism looking at them on the way up.

MARK

(furious)

No- I'm not. No. Not today.

Marie watches him walk off, looking at his socks again. She tuts. KATE welcomes her in.

KATE

Why don't you come in and sit down? I'll go talk to him.

She sits BRANDON and MARIE down at the table, then goes into the kitchen, leaving BRANDON and MARIE awkwardly sitting next to each other on the couch. BRANDON reaches for a red M&M.

MARIE

You do know that the red ones have been proven to cause cancer…?

BRANDON

(Popping the candy into his mouth to cover his laughter)

Have they? Oh my…

MARIE

Yes, they have. Evidence suggests- and I say suggests because technically they have not reached a full ninety-five percent confidence interval- all of the dyes used to create that shade are…

CUT TO:

INT. KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

MARK sits on the ground, legs crossed, breathing deeply as KATE leans against the counter, staring at him, clearly waiting to say something.

KATE

Yo-

MARK holds up one finger, interrupting her. Deep breathing, he counts off three more breaths, then opens is eyes slowly, looking at her languidly.

KATE

Can I say something now?

MARK

Yes, dear?

KATE

I'm a bit nervous… this will be the first time anyone but you has read it… what if it's awful?

Seeing she's genuinely worried, MARK stands up, takes her by the arm, and starts leading her toward the living room.

MARK

Come now, Ms. Austen. It's brilliant. And if Marie says otherwise, well… we can always send another drunk text to her exes asking them to… you know, can't we?

CUT TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

BRANDON's face is lolling with boredom at Marie's explanation of the harmful dyes in the red colored candy, which she is still going on about. Seeing the door swing open, he perks up as he sees KATE and MARK walk in, arm in arm.

KATE

(taking a breath)

Are we all sorted? Ready to begin?

MARIE

Certainly.

MARK

Good.

MARIE

Good.

BRANDON
(delayed)

Good?

KATE

I thought perhaps we could start by reading the problem sections that you've all identified, and work on those specifically.

BRANDON

(raises hand)

I didn't have any marked…

MARIE

(sighing)

Oh here we go.

MARIE pulls out her copy of the manuscript, which is scribbled over in red pen and has post-its with angry underlined words all over it.

WE are thrown into a campy montage with cartoon hearts forming in the corners and a happy 1970s song playing in the background. First we see MARIE spreading out her papers everywhere, then KATE looking sad. She CRIES over her typewriter, shoving M&Ms into her mouth while the others (except Marie) console her. Then, we get everyone drinking and laughing extremely fake-ly.

KATE's face is very frightened.

CUT TO:

INT. CONFERENCE CENTER - FLASHBACK

KATE is in an awkward-looking skirt suit. She is clutching her manuscript, and sits down next to a elderly woman in line. They are both wearing NUMBERS, like in a race.

The OLD LADY woman looks at KATE and sighs deeply.

KATE

Oh, hello! Have you been here long?

OLD LADY

Yeah… I usually don't put any stock in these things, but it's been a while since anyone has even seen this dusty old thing.

KATE

What's it about?

OLD LADY

It's about a member of the alien species from planet ZY2119, who comes down here looking for some fingernails so that she can prove that life exists outside of ZY2119. But when she goes to the local dumpster to find some, who should she meet but the garbage man who's going for longest fingernails in the Guiness Book of World Records. They have some really sweet romantic experiences together and fall in love until he finally takes off his extra-dark shades and realizes that she's not a human woman. Anyway, when he finds out she'll be executed for betraying ZY2119 if she returns without the nails, he…

(tearing up)

well he gives up the Guiness Record by one millimeter so she can live.

KATE

(confused, but genuine)

That sounds beautiful. How did you come up with it?

OLD LADY

Well my husband refused to cut his nails for a whole year because he wanted to see them grow into those curls, you know? But it was such a hassle when he tried to comb my hair for me that…

Anyway, you don't want to listen to that saga, dearie. Tell me about you. How did you get your start?

KATE

Well I just think that, with all of the pain and anger out there in the world, everyone could us a little more romance in their lives. And comedy. And I think I'm a sensitive person… so I just started to write on my grandmother's old typewriter, and the words kept flowing. And that's when I knew… that this is what I was meant to do.

OLD LADY

That's lovely, dear. And what is your story about?

KATE

Well, I teach elementary school, so it's about a KATE, like me… You know, they say write what you know. Growing up, she saw a lot of relationships fall apart, so she wasn't looking for love. But then, one day, she bumps into this man when she's lost after a party one night when her friend finds a man and goes home with him. Nothing happens, but he walks with her until they've reached a populated street. But they're just friends at first, and then--

An ANNOUNCER calls out that the Round Table Pitch Session is starting. As the two women get up, the KATE offering her arm for the OLD LADY to grab onto. They smile at each other and walk into a room.

They pass a big glossy poster for ROUND TABLE PITCH SESSION WITH RANDOM HOUSE'S OWN ISADORA SERIPH. Underneath, in smaller letters, it reads "Get Yourself Heard, and Win A Trip to Pitch to Random House Execs!"

KATE helps OLD LADY to a chair near ISADORA SERIPH. ISADORA herself is wearing a kaftan-like dress with long bells sleeves, with long silvery hair that is down and in waves. She has half-moon glasses and a placid expression. When everyone is seated, they excitedly gaze at ISADORA. There are about 25 women and 1 man, who gazes at her just as excitedly, if not more so. ISADORA clears her throat very quietly.

ISADORA

I thought we'd begin by just going around and hearing everyone's stories. I'm so inspired by other human lives that I always like to begin this way. Perhaps you may even be featured in my next novella.

A twitter of excitement goes around the table. KATE is much calmer and slightly amused. She's clearly just here for the opportunity to pitch to a real executive at Random House. She gets a text from MARK.

TEXT
"How's it going???"

KATE texts back: "MADE A FRIEND J" and slips her phone into her pocket.

ISADORA indicates the man of the group. He preens.

ISADORA

Let's begin with you, my darling.

MAN

Well, it all started in grade school, when I fell in love for the first time. She was wearing a pinafore and had gingham ribbons in her hair. I knew that I loved her even before she gave me her special edition Spiderman gel-pen set to borrow. But then she took it all away and gave them to George at recess and gave me the cold shoulder. I gave her everything. Everything! And then she just stabbed my heart over and over again. And now she's married in Fresno with three kids with some guy she met at work at the Halloween party of 2005. He was dressed as a-

ISADORA

How nice, dear.

MAN

(giggling nervously, looking to the woman next to him)

Yes, so that's my story… what about you?

The woman next to him gulps, and begins speaking.

CUT TO:

KATE is trying to continue smiling, but looks extremely bored, and is texting under the table. She glances around the room. Finally, it is the OLD LADY's turn to tell her story. Something makes KATE zone back into the conversation.

OLD LADY

…with all of the pain and anger out there in the world, everyone could us a little more romance in their lives. And comedy. And I think I'm a sensitive person… so I- I just began to write on my grandmother's own typewriter. I knew that this is what I was meant to do. I don't have many years left, but I'd like my grandchildren to be able to enjoy something from their own grandmother, as I was able to.

Around the table, everyone is sniffling and a few women are wiping away tears. KATE is too shocked to respond at first.

ISADORA

And what is your tale about?

OLD LADY

Well, I taught elementary school, so it's about a KATE, like I used to be… You know, they say write what you know. Growing up, she saw a lot of relationships fall apart, so she wasn't looking for love--

KATE

(shocked)

Excuse me…?

OLD LADY

(innocently patting her arm)

Sorry, dear?

ISADORA

You'll have your turn in a moment. This woman… Gladys… was just telling us how she got started writing her novella.

KATE

But that's-

ISADORA

Young lady, please. This is an open, loving environment and all are welcome to their own time.

KATE

Yes, I understand, but-

GLADYS

(with an evil smile at KATE)

Oh, I don't mind if she wants to go first…

She holds up a sign under the table so that only KATE can see-on the back of her name plate she has written "SUCKAH" in giant pen letters. She nudges KATE, who look down and then gawks at her in indignation.

KATE

Yes, I would, thank-

ISADORA

No, that's not necessary Gladys.

(to KATE, suddenly stern and icy)

You, young lady, are what we call climbers. You're not here for the communal sharing of the craft, are you? You're here to pitch to a reputable publishing house. Well your kind of people are not welcome here.

All of the other members of the table gawk and shake their heads.

ISADORA

(in her quiet voice again)

Please retreat to the quiet corner.

KATE

What?? No, no. Let me explain.

A few of the other members of the Round Table are walking toward KATE menacingly. She glances over to the QUIET CORNER-it is an uncomfortable plastic chair facing a corner with sound-proof headphones sloped over the side.

The group comes closer to KATE. The man reaches for her elbow.

KATE

Get your hands off me, you Neanderthals. You, Spiderman gel pens-is your novel about a four-decade stalking? And you-

ISADORA

(standing up)

That's enough. You need the quiet corner. Come everyone, let us go back to discussing our novellas.

KATE

Okay…Isadora, is it? It's called a novel. Novella isn't just a fancy way of saying novel-it's an entirely different-

CUT TO:

EXT. CONFERENCE AREA PARKING LOT - SOON AFTER

KATE is pushed out by the two security guards, to the very edge of the parking lot of the hotel, very far from the entrance.

KATE

Form. Really? Putting me in the lobby wasn't far enough? You had to bring me all the way outside? My car's not even over here-it's all the way over there!

SECURITY GUARD 1

Isadora's rules, ma'am.

KATE pulls out a bill from her clutch purse and looks at the security guard seductively. She folds the bill between her two fingers and puts it against her lips.

KATE

Any way that I can convince you to let me back in? I think I left something back there…

KATE leans back to lean on the car behind her, but she has miscalculated by a few feet. She doesn't fall, but stumbles and then rights herself. Regaining composure, she looks at them seductively again.

The SECURITY GUARDS look at each other and walk away. One turns around to look at her again. She waves the bill.

SECURITY GUARD 2

That's a one dollar bill.

He turns around and they walk off.

KATE

(yelling after them)

You could split a 1.5 serving back of fruit snacks with this from the vending machine! Or you could each get a five-pack of Wrigley's!

KATE, sighing, pulls out her phone and types furiously into a text message with MARK and BRANDON.

She presses send. The first response back is from BRANDON: "Oh, I'm sorry babe. It's okay, though. There'll be other conferences."

She looks up from her phone, smiling slightly but disappointed in the response. Then she hears a beep and knows it's a text from MARK: "Okay. Just recovered from the shock. What a hag! We'll be there in ten."

Soon her phone pings again and BRANDON has said: "We?"

MARK: "Yes. You and me. Change into a suit."

KATE slips her phone into her pocket and takes a deep breath. She begins walking back toward the hotel (to her car).

INT. CONFERENCE AREA LOBBY - A FEW MINUTES LATER.

MARK and BRANDON walk in, wearing suits and dark sunglasses. They approach security slowly, intense spy music playing in the background. MARK flashes a "badge" coolly, but then drops it.

MARK and BRANDON scramble to pick it up-we see that it's a Halloween costume sheriff's badge, made out of gold plastic.

Righting themselves, MARK and BRANDON take a beat, and then resume their swagger to the conference room door. Hurriedly, they burst into the room. Everyone at the table stops and looks at them.

ISADORA looks at them and stands up.

ISADORA

Gentlemen, this session is closed. You'll have to come to the next Round Table in one month.

MARK
Ma'am, please seat yourself. Our business is not with you.

BRANDON

(hesitantly)

Ye-yeah. Yes.

(clears throat)

We're looking for a…

He goes for his phone because he's forgotten the name of the OLD LADY.

MARK

Gladys.

(to the BRANDON)

He looks at BRANDON as if to say, "Get a hold of yourself, man!"

GLADYS

Me? What could you possibly need from me? I haven't seen a suit like that in years, sugar. Care to show me more of it?

A chuckle goes around the table.

MARK

Ugh. No. We're from the Oral Plagiarism Division.

ISADORA

Division of what?

BRANDON

Of the FBI. We are here… because of a story stolen just this afternoon in this very conference.

MARK

This is a very serious offense, people. Punishable… with jail time. And a fine. Committed by Gladys here. She's fooled you all.

GLADYS

Oh yeah, chubby? What are you gonna do about it?

MARK
Ma'am. You're gonna have to come with us. Or if you admit what you did right here and credit the true owner of the ideas you stole, we'll consider that cooperation.

GLADYS

(putting her fists up)

You ain't gettin' nothin' outta me, ya little bitch. Hold me back, or Imma mess him up!

MARK

I haven't felt the urge to hit a woman in my life until right this second.

BRANDON

Dude, don't do it. She's so old!…er…ly. Elderly. She's slightly above the average age in this room.

MARK

(putting his fists up)

Okay, let's go, Mee-maw!

ISADORA

SECURITY!

CUT TO:

EXT. HOTEL PARKING LOT - MINUTES LATER.

The two security guards have dragged MARK and BRANDON back to the same corner that they dragged KATE to earlier. The GUARDS give them a dirty look and start to walk away.

MARK
(whispering to BRANDON)

Dude, give me some money.

BRANDON

Why?

MARK

NOW!

BRANDON reaches into his wallet without looking and whips out a bill. MARK folds it between two fingers and puts it against his mouth. He puts one arm on BRANDON's shoulder, leaning into him, crossing one leg over the other.

MARK

(loudly)
Oh boys…

The security guards don't even turn around this time. Mark sighs and looks down at the bill he's holding.

MARK

Dude, this is a 1. How was that gonna work?

BRANDON

That's a mini-bag of pretzels from a standard vending machine. If it's a good one, possibly cheddar-flavored.

MARK

Man, now we have to walk all the way--

A CAR pulls up to them. It's KATE. She rolls down her window.

KATE

You guys need a ride to your car?

CUT TO:

INT. KATE's LIVING ROOM - NIGHT.

We have another campy, heart-filled montage of Mark, KATE and her BRANDON laughing, talking about what happened, imitating GLADYS, ISADORA, and the SECURITY GUARDS. They're EATING leftovers from KATE'S editing party and swigging a bottle of ginger ale. Suddenly, BRANDON stands up.

BRANDON

Wait! You guys know the red ones cause cancer, right?

KATE and MARK just stare at him, eating the red m&m's they have cupped in their hands.

END OF EPISODE 1.





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