INT. DINER, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA
It's seen better days, but it's clean and tidy. Aging, but
still proud. A couple CUSTOMERS sit at booths, listening to --
JACK BUNHILL (60s), British expatriate, a bit worn around the
edges, but still comfortable in his own skin, like the place
here he owns. He's currently playing an acoustic guitar --
Accompanied by MAGGIE WITHERS on an upright bass. She's 50s,
all-American, sensible clothes and a warm, friendly face with
no makeup (not that she needs it).
They finish "GREENSLEEVES" to a smattering of applause. They
smile at their regular customers and put away their
instruments. Jack straps on an apron and takes a position
behind the counter as Maggie comes over to grab her waitress
order pad. She leans over the counter towards him.
That was lovely. Kiss me.
Jack spares a look around the room.
(a trace of Cockney)
He concentrates on breaking an egg, ignoring her look.
Later, I promise.
The front door opens to REGINALD DWIGHT - black business
suit, uptight gait, carrying a packet. He makes for Jack.
A black limo can be seen through the front window.
(very proper British)
At Jack's nod, Reginald hands him the packet.
Her Majesty requests your presence.
With that, he turns and leaves.
Jack, perplexed, opens the packet. Reading, it looks like
he's getting bad news.
I put it behind me forty years ago.
Never missed it. With good reason.
He's joined by Maggie, who is looking across the counter,
reading upside down.
They want a "Jack-O-Lanterns"
reunion for a Valentine Benefit???
Apparently, she was a fan.
The question is, is she worth it?
EXT. HEATHROW AIRPORT, ENGLAND - DAYS LATER
Jack's plane hits the runway. Bumpy landing. Not a good omen.
INT. SOUND MACHINE STUDIOS
Jack and Maggie enter. The room is big and it's crowded with
music/entertainment types milling around for the pre-concert
party. No business suits here. Just whatever is hip or edgy.
Lots of NOISE and MUSIC.
MICK JAGGER walks by. Does a double take as he moves past --
Jack! Long time, mate!
Across the room. LAURA VANDERBILT (60s - but you wouldn't
know it) turns. She's slim, trim, and made up To-Die-For...
That is, if you're into the industrial gothic rock opera
queen scene. Which, apparently, she is right now. Her hair is
dyed jet black, her fingernails are black, and her lipstick
is some sort of shade of red/black. She's got a killer figure
- as displayed by her, natch, black leather outfit.
The face is flawless. Literally, it's flawless. Some cosmetic
surgeon is probably buying a palatial estate on the Riviera
with the work he's done here. As if on cue, the speakers
begin playing Roxette's "She's Got the Look."
Not to mention attitude. She's a bunch of street signs rolled
up into one, especially DANGEROUS CURVES AHEAD or SLIPPERY
WHEN WET. Oh, and ROCKSLIDE AREA - PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Laura quickly comes over. Taking in the whole picture, Jack
is obviously not surprised by what he sees.
Morticia. How wonderful to see you.
And how are Gomez and Uncle Fester?
She takes the verbal jab in stride, deflecting it like the
greeting of a long lost lover. She throws her arms around
him. Running her fingers up through his hair, she grabs a
handful on each side and shakes his head back and forth. It's
not really rough, but it still looks painful.
Jack. Always the kidder. I have so
missed your sense of humor.
She kisses him, right on the mouth. Before he can react, she
pirouettes neatly, wrapping an arm around Jack's waist.
Red in the face, Jack reaches over and grabs Maggie by the
arm, pulling her over.
This is my, uh, friend, Maggie.
Laura gives Maggie a totally insincere minx cat smile.
So nice to meet a friend of Jack's.
She squeezes Jack and wriggles a little closer. He manages to
disentangle himself when Laura spots STING nearby.
I have a very tight schedule today.
My car will take you to my home.
EXT - LAURA'S ESTATE - LATER
A car pulls in past the extensive gardens. The house is huge.
It should be in Castle and Garden magazine.
INT. LAURA'S LIVING ROOM - LATER
The expansive room is filled with expensive antiques and
furniture. Jack and Maggie sit alone, holding hands,
conversing in low tones.A BUTLER walks in and approaches
Jack, who quickly unclasps hands.
If you will follow me, sir.
But what about my, uh - Maggie?
Make yourself comfortable, Miss.
Without waiting for Jack, the butler turns and leaves. Jack
has no choice but to follow.
INT. SITTING ROOM
Jack is ushered in. Laura's here, waiting for him, blond
haired now, the goth makeup completely gone. She's all
cleaned and washed up - AND in a very expensive, filmy robe.
She's seated on a settee - the only seat in the room . A tea
set is on a coffee table, hot tea steaming in the cups.
What happened to the real you?
This earns him a sarcastic smile in return from Laura.
That was business. My cosmetics
company is launching a new line for
teens. Goth is an untapped market.
She pats the cushion next to her on the settee. Since there
are no other chairs, he doesn't have any choice. He sits
down, but as far to the other side as possible.
I'm sorry about at the studio. I
was just afraid and acting out. I
thought you might still be mad at
me - after the things I said to you
back when you broke up the group.
What? Oh, well. Ancient history,
She brushes a lock of hair back from her face.
Well, not ancient. And it's not
like I've not done well for myself.
She scootches over next to him. Hip touching hip. She looks
at him earnestly. Practically batting her eyes.
But I really did miss you. Did you
miss me? All these years?
Well, uh. You know...
She leans really near.
I know. I'm sure there were lots
other women over the years.
Well, you know. Just, uh...
She leans closer. Lips soooo close. He's hypnotized - the
mouse and the snake. She KISSES him. REALLY kisses him.
For a moment, he fights it. Another moment, he leans into it.
Then he stiffens, breaks. Gasping for air, sanity, anything.
He makes a fast grab for his tea cup. As he pulls it in, she
leans in quickly towards him again. Her arm and his tea cup
collide. Hot tea goes flying. She screams. He yelps.
She's pulling the front of her flimsy robe away from her
chest, trying to keep the hot tea off her skin. Jack is
momentarily distracted by this, but the hot tea burning his
own skin quickly gets his attention back.
Hot! Hot! Hot! I need to go change.
You can use my room.
But he's already bolted out the door.
INT. LIVING ROOM
Jack returns (in a new shirt). He joins Maggie on the couch.
She eyes the shirt, but doesn't say anything.
What was that about?
A lot of years have passed since
the band was together. Laura, uh,
wanted to talk about old times.
Emphasis on old.
You're really not old, you know.
Oh? Don't you think so?
Victor Hugo said, "The wise man
does not grow old, but ripens".
That would make me an over-ripe
pumpkin, it would seem.
(checking his watch)
Speaking of time. Gotta go.
INT. GUEST BEDROOM - LATER
Maggie's sitting on the bed. Looking miserable as there's a
KNOCK. The butler sticks his head in the door.
The car has already taken the
others to the concert site.
He takes in the look on her face - enters the room.
Begging your pardon, Miss. But I
only work here. I don't have to
agree with Laura. Will you allow me
to assist you in getting ready?
EXT. CONCERT SITE - EVENING
A giant field, full of people facing an enormous stage with a
banner "ROYAL VALENTINE CELEBRATION".
INT. DRESSING ROOM
Jack is putting on his Jack-O-Lantern costume - black with
shiny vines climbing up the sides.
Maggie makes an entrance - No joke. An entrance. All you can
say is WOW.
Apparently, the butler knows folks. The makeup is so artfully
applied that you don't even realize she's wearing it, but she
glows. The dress is Saint-Hill & Von Basedow. Her hair is a
sculpted masterpiece. She's stunning. Pure and simple.
The butler's behind Maggie, checking out the reaction.
Jack's jaw drops. He finally finds his voice.
"She was a phantom of delight."
Wordsworth? For me? How thoughtful.
I cannot, for the life of me,
remember the next line.
Make it up to me when we get home.
Maybe I can borrow the dress.
That causes him to smile. He rlaxes. Finally. For the first
time since they got here. And with a look between them, it
shows that he realizes he's really in love with this woman.
Jack spots a ROADIE passing by the door. He grabs him, then
grabs a piece of paper and a pencil off a table. He's talking
(mostly to himself) while scribbling.
There used to be a little novelty
shop on Haymarket down at West End.
He hands the roadie the slip of paper. Taps the list.
Find the phone number and get me a
delivery service. FAST.
EXT. STAGE - NIGHT
The crowd mills about as ROADIES finish changing out gear on
the stage following the latest set. The EMCEE comes out.
Tonight, a reunion of one of the
most artistically influential bands
to come out of England during the
sixties. The Jack-O-Lanterns!
The lights go out. SCREAMS AND WHISTLES rise in volume. Most
of the crowd has no idea who they are, but hey, it's a
monster of a concert, so whoever it is has gotta be good.
The stage and spotlights go on.
The Jack-O-Lanterns! In full Jack-O-Lantern regalia! Jack at
the mike, Fender Strat in hand, face painted like (of course)
a Jack-O-Lantern. The rest of the group also in makeup and at
their posts. Laura at keyboards, BASSIST, DRUMMER...
A DRUM BACKBEAT. The KEYBOARD BUILDS. A thumping BASSLINE...
The Jack-O-Lanterns fly into their song - "LIGHT ME UP".
It's a great number. The crowd's in it. The TECHS/MUSICIANS
on the sidelines are digging it. Everyone is having a fest.
Jack glances over to Laura.
She's practically panting. Soaking it in. Pure hedonism.
Three. Two. One. And a crescendo for the end. People in the
crowd are jumping and waving amidst all the screaming!
Laura leaves her spot and practically skips to the front of
the stage. Waving and blowing kisses to the crowd. She takes
a look at Jack. Gives him a silent "Ha!", followed by a look
of contempt: "Why would you ever want to give this up?" She
takes a deep bow, drawing it out.
As she does so, Jack turns his back to the crowd. He puts
down his Strat. Stops, looks up for a moment. Thinking,
reminiscing, deciding? And then...
He drops his pants. There, for all of world-wide television
to see, is an enormous pair of white boxer shorts, covered
with large pink hearts.
He fiddles with something at the waistband.
The emcee is furiously waving at the techs to cut the lights.
They find the switches, and as they do...
The hearts on Jack's shorts light up in flashing red, made
more brilliant in the dark. The crowd goes even wilder.
Jack sidles over to the drumkit and reaches behind it -
pulling out a larger poster just as someone hits a spotlight.
CLOSE ON POSTER
"JACK LOVES MAGGIE" - The "O" is done in the shape of a