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Ordinary World By Ryan DePesa Draft 8 04/08/09

Ryan DePesa 642 S Clark St Unit 1001 Chicago, IL 60605 (708) 846-4025 WGA # 1326637




MICHAEL, a 28 year old man with an unmistakable air of importance flips through a newspaper. He closes it and reflects on the image of himself on the cover. The headline reads: "Michael McBride MAN OF THE CENTURY -- The Single Discovery That Has Given the World Hope." DRIVER Michael, you're going to be late. Michael looks up as the Limo comes to a stop. Flashbulbs burst behind the tinted windows. The driver exits the vehicle and opens Michael's door. 2

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL ENTRANCE -- NIGHT Michael steps outside and smiles for the cameras. A small group of Photographers and reporters surround him. REPORTER Michael, when is the vaccine going to be on the market? MICHAEL We're hoping for the FDA to give it the go ahead for next month. It's already available in France and Germany. It's only a matter of time now... REPORTER 2 Michael, do you really think this vaccine has the potential to cure cancer? MICHAEL Why don't you ask the patients themselves? REPORTER 3 Can you tell us what's next for Dr. McBride? Michael grins and opens his mouth to speak, but he is interrupted. DRIVER Sir, you're going to be late. Michael checks his watch.

He turns to the reporter.

MICHAEL Well, I guess I'm going to go to my High School Reunion. He leaves the eager reporters and heads for the entrance.


2. 3






A very well dressed crowd surrounds the door to the Gymnasium turned Banquet Hall. Perhaps the prettiest woman in the room, STACEY, peeks into the hall. She quickly closes the door and joins the crowd. A moment later the doors open. The crowd erupts with APPLAUSE as everyone wholeheartedly welcomes Michael. 5

INT. HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASIUM -- LATER Michael sits at a table immersed in CONVERSATION. Michael??

STACEY (O.S.) Michael McBride?

Michael stops and turns around surprised to see Stacey. MICHAEL Stacey Stevens... STACEY I can't believe you remember me. A huge grin comes over Stacey's face as Michael stands up. STACEY (CONT'D) A Masters from Harvard Medical, "the man who cured cancer" - You've become something of a local legend. MICHAEL A legend is some old guy with a beard who rocks in his chair on the porch reminiscing over what he use to do. Michael leans in close. MICHAEL (CONT'D) I'm still doing it. Stacey LAUGHS and raises her glass. STACEY To 10 more years! Michael, Stacey and the table all raise their glasses and toast. As Michael drinks, he notices the driver in the crowd his eyes fixed on Michael. Michael jumps at the sight as everyone else goes about their business. The driver approaches Michael. DRIVER Sir, you're going to be late.


3. Michael turns away, but where Stacey once was, the driver now stands. Michael turns back terrified to find the entire gymnasium empty. DRIVER (CONT'D) Michael, open your eyes! 6



Michael wakes up fully dressed. He is startled to find himself back in his bedroom which is covered in old scientific posters, dusty quotations and photos of some of the greatest thinkers in human history. MICHAEL Shit! Michael sits up and fumbles with a piece of paper in his hand. It is his 10 year High School reunion invitation. He crumples it as he jumps up. 7



Michael runs into the kitchen and throws away the crinkled invitation. His MOTHER, an older woman in a bath robe, is frying an egg. Jesus, Ma! up?

MICHAEL Why didn't you wake me

Michael's mother turns around as Michael runs out of the room leaving her staring after him. MICHAEL'S MOTHER Have a good day sweetheart! 8

INT. SUPERMARKET OFFICE -- DAY The office is a cluttered storage room, with a desk thrown in. Various produce/sale signs litter the walls. Michael sits uncomfortably in his drab uniform. MR. MURPHY is seated behind the desk with a phone up to his ear. Michael seems genuinely concerned as he glances at the wall clock. MR. MURPHY (On the phone) I know this hasn't been our best quarter, but everybody's taking a hit right now... yes, I know, but... I understand. Mr. Murphy hangs up the phone after a quiet moment and finally turns his attention to Michael.


4. MR. MURPHY (CONT'D) I don't know what's wrong with you, I would have promoted you to assistant manager months ago, if you just showed up regularly. MICHAEL I know, I promise if you just let... MR. MURPHY Michael. Michael throws up his hands determined to delay what's ahead. MICHAEL I'm sorry, I don't want to make any excuses, but I never work the early shifts and I requested not to work them, but they changed my schedule and... MR. MURPHY We can't keep doing this anymore. I'm sending you home today. Michael nods and the two stare one another for an awkward moment. MICHAEL But I told you I needed the hours. It's been a really rough month. MR. MURPHY No Michael, I have no more time for you here. I'm letting you go. Michael awkwardly shifts in his chair - defeated. 9



Michael drives down the street on an old Vespa with a 12 pack of beer hitched to the back. Angry drivers pass him by SHOUTING obscenities as they pass. He doesn't seem to notice. 10

INT. HALLWAY/MICHAEL'S BEDROOM -- DAY Michael, storms down the hall carrying a case of beer. He enters his room, SLAMMING the door behind him. Michael sits on his bed frustrated. He grabs a beer from the case and begins drinking. There is a TAPPING at the door. MICHAEL'S MOTHER (O.S.) Michael Hon? MICHAEL Yeah?


5. MICHAEL'S MOTHER (O.S.) I found this in the trash. The wrinkled invitation to the High School's 10th reunion is slid under the door. MICHAEL'S MOTHER (O.S.) (CONT'D) ...Are you not going anymore? I think they'd miss their valedictorian. Michael glances at the crumpled invitation on the floor. MICHAEL That was a long time ago. MICHAEL'S MOTHER I ironed your slacks.


Michael's mother hangs his slacks on the doorknob. 11



Jennifer stands in the middle of the empty bathroom, very still, staring at herself in the mirror. JENNIFER (O.S.) I'm having the dreams again. COUNSELOR (O.S.) Which are those? JENNIFER (O.S.) I'm in the High School ladies room. And I want to move, but I can't. I just stare at myself in the mirror for what seems like hours until... Suddenly the mirror begins to CRACK and everything goes white. 12

INT. COUNSELOR'S OFFICE -- DAY Jennifer takes a deep BREATH. A professional looking COUNSELOR sits deep in thought. COUNSELOR Those types of dreams are very common when you're feeling overwhelmed and I'm sure teaching will do that to you. Jennifer nods. COUNSELOR (CONT'D) But why the High School Bathroom? Jennifer reflects on this for a long moment.


6. JENNIFER Because that's where I gave up. COUNSELOR What do you mean? JENNIFER I was never the most outgoing girl. To be honest, just hearing me speak was a rare treat. 13



YOUNG JENNIFER places her colorful abstract painting on an easel and approaches the podium. All eyes turn to her. JENNIFER (V.O.) Sophomore year I had to present a work of art to the class. Young Jennifer looks up from the podium at her peers. YOUNG STACEY is GIGGLING in her seat and whispers things to the GIRLS next to her, who in turn LAUGH and stare at Jennifer. YOUNG JENNIFER Uhh... I call it... YOUNG STACEY Is it a self portrait? The TEACHER stands up at his desk. TEACHER That is enough Stacey. YOUNG STACEY What? The likeness is uncanny. The classroom erupts with LAUGHTER. Even the teacher smirks a bit. Jennifer forces a smile and shifts uncomfortably in her place. 14



JENNIFER Teenage girls can be the cruelest people on Earth. 15

INT. HIGH SCHOOL LADIES ROOM 12 YEARS EARLIER-- DAY Young Jennifer sits in a stall, crowded with her books and painting. She wipes her tears with toilet paper before getting up, walking to the sink and staring at herself for a moment. She takes out a bottle of pills.


7. JENNIFER (V.O.) I had been on antidepressants for months and I wondered more and more about what would happen if I took the whole bottle. 16



COUNSELOR So what did you do? JENNIFER I left it up to fate. 17



Young Jennifer stands at one end of a long hallway, clutching her school supplies as the bell RINGS and PEOPLE begin filling the hall. JENNIFER (V.O.) I decided that if I could make it to the other end of the hall without anybody taking notice of me. I'd... well, I surely wouldn't be missed. She begins walking. 18



The Counselor stares at Jennifer flabbergasted. COUNSELOR Jesus. JENNIFER What? COUNSELOR Well, I think you might need more help than a High School guidance counselor can offer that's all Jenny. There is a TAPPING at the door. A WOMAN lets herself in. WOMAN Sorry to interrupt. Jennifer, Martha's come down with the flu. We need you to work the check-in table tonight is that alright? 19

INT. MICHAEL'S LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT Michael sits on the couch playing solitaire at the coffee table and sipping on a beer. His mother, in a bright red dress, enters the room and puts his beer on a coaster.


8. MICHAEL You look nice... Michael's mom smiles as she grabs her purse off an end-table. MICHAEL (CONT'D) Ya going somewhere ma? MICHAEL'S MOTHER Susan's just having some of the girls over for Cocktails. Michael's mother puts on her coat. MICHAEL Oh... But you never go out. MICHAEL'S MOTHER Well, I didn't want to sit here alone all night like an old lady while you had all the fun. Michael opens his mouth to object, but there is a HONK from outside. MICHAEL'S MOTHER (CONT'D) Oh, there she is! Michael's mother kisses her son on the cheek, leaving a lipstick imprint before heading towards the door. MICHAEL Ma... Michael's mother stops in the doorway and faces her son. MICHAEL'S MOTHER Yes? MICHAEL You look great. The door shuts and Michael is left in complete silence. He looks around the empty room and picks up a stack of mail sitting beside him at the table. He sorts through it piece by piece. Every magazine and letter is addressed to his mother save for one envelope from Mundelein Medical University He opens it to find a formal letter that states that he is being sent to a collections agency for not making payments. An itemized list of charges is included and ends in "Early termination Fee." 20

INT. MICHAEL'S BEDROOM -- NIGHT Michael enters the room looking over the letter. Michael throws his beer can in frustration and collapses on his bed haunted by the SOUNDS of his dream.


9. On his nightstand, there is a photo of himself and his parents on the day of his High School graduation - They look so proud of their son. Michael stares at the photo. 21















Jennifer is letting in guests after they check in with her. STACEY Stevens. Jennifer looks up at the familiar voice and sees STACEY in a formal dress that has seen better days. A harsh tan line peers out from beneath the straps of her gown and on her upper arm, there is a subtle tattoo of two roses. STACEY (CONT'D) It may be under... JENNIFER Stacey? STACEY I'm sorry, do I know you?


JENNIFER Not really, I guess. I went here for two years... Jennifer? Stacey smiles and shakes her head. STACEY Sorry. JENNIFER Doesn't matter. You're at table three. Stacey thanks Jennifer and heads into the gym. Michael is next. Jennifer is focused on her papers, still contemplating Stacey. MICHAEL Michael McBride JENNIFER Table 6

10. 26



People dance and socialize in the gym as Michael sits at his table alone. He watches Stacey from a distance. At long last he grabs his drink and makes his move. 27

INT. HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASIUM NEAR PUNCH TABLE -- NIGHT Michael sneaks up on an unsuspecting Stacey. Stacey?

MICHAEL Stacey Stevens?

She turns and looks at Michael curiously. MICHAEL (CONT'D) Michael... Michael McBride? Stacey shakes her head apologetically. Michael SIGHS. MICHAEL (CONT'D) Remember?? We sat next to each other in English senior year... We had a few other classes together. STACEY Not ringing a bell.


She tries to walk away, but he stops her. Really?

MICHAEL Ya sure?

Stacey nods as Michael moves awkwardly close. at the smell of alcohol on his breath.

She cringes

MICHAEL (CONT'D) What about that time we were suppose to bring "Macbeth" to class and you forgot yours, but I fooled the teacher by passing my copy to you when he was between rows? ...You called me a lifesaver. Stacey thinks about this for a moment. STACEY Right. MICHAEL Michael. STACEY That's right. There is an awkward moment of silence that leaves both of them looking around for a new subject.


11. STACEY (CONT'D) Hey, baby! Michael grins for a moment until Stacey's husband joins them with two glasses of punch. Stacey looks very relieved as Michael takes a step back. STACEY (CONT'D) This is... my old friend Michael. Michael, this is my husband Jake. Michael forces a smile.

They shake hands.

JAKE What's up man. Michael quietly nods.

Stacey and Jake exchange glances.

STACEY Uhh... It sure is strange seeing everyone again isn't it? MICHAEL Oh, definitely. I don't know if you noticed, but most of these gene pools could use a bit of chlorine if you know what I mean. Michael LAUGHS. Stacey looks concerned and turns to Jake who doesn't seem pleased. JAKE Let's go dance. Jake leads Stacey away. 28



Jennifer peers into the bright and noisy gymnasium. She closes the door and walks down the hallway, each STEP magnified in the large, empty space. 29



Young Jennifer walks through the crowded hallway. Everyone around her is hurrying about their business. She tries to catch the eyes of each passerby, but none return her gaze. Finally, as she approaches the hallways end, someone bumps into her. 30

INT. HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY -- NIGHT Jennifer stands alone in the middle of the empty hallway clutching her pill bottle. She walks away.


12. 31



Jennifer enters the ladies room and walks towards the mirror. She stares at herself for a long moment before a painful WHEEZE from the stall behind her causes her to drop her pill bottle. The bottle rolls towards the sound as there is a FLUSH, the stall door opens and Michael exits picking up the pill bottle at his feet. JENNIFER You know this is a ladies bathroom? Michael looks around. MICHAEL ...So it is. They make eye contact for the first time in 12 years. looks familiar to Jennifer.


JENNIFER Are you drunk? MICHAEL No... Are you drunk? Michael pulls out a flask and takes a swig as Jennifer watches questionably. MICHAEL (CONT'D) Don't look at me like you're my God Damn mother or something. Jennifer extends her hand for the pill bottle that Michael is clutching. JENNIFER I'm sorry I disturbed you. MICHAEL You're not better than me you know! Michael focuses on the name Jennifer on the bottle. a curious look on his face. 32

He has

INT. HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY 12 YEARS EARLIER -- DAY YOUNG MICHAEL is gathering Young Jennifer's things which are sprawled across the floor. YOUNG MICHAEL I'm so sorry. I wasn't looking where I was going. Here you go... He hands them to her.


13. YOUNG MICHAEL (CONT'D) Jennifer right? Right.


Young Michael nods. YOUNG MICHAEL Nice painting. Young Jennifer grins. YOUNG JENNIFER Thanks. 33



Michael and Jennifer stare at one another. MICHAEL What happened to you? You just fell off the face of the Earth. Michael hands the pill bottle to Jennifer who takes it and pockets it. She hesitates a moment. JENNIFER My family and I moved the summer before junior year... I didn't think anyone noticed. Jennifer pauses as Michael stumbles over to the sink. looks down into the depths of the drain.


MICHAEL Yeah, well shit happens. Jennifer nods. JENNIFER Now I teach art here. MICHAEL I'm sorry... Michael offers Jennifer a drink from the flask. politely shakes her head no. JENNIFER So what have you been up to for the past... 12 years? MICHAEL You want the truth? Jennifer nods.


14. MICHAEL (CONT'D) Absolutely nothing. Michael takes another swig. MICHAEL (CONT'D) I studied Medicine for a few years, then my dad got sick and... I just kept telling myself I'll go back to school next year, and now it's been years, and I have no degree, no car, no job... I'm not going back to school. I'm not going anywhere. Michael turns on the faucet and splashes some water on his face. MICHAEL (CONT'D) This isn't how I imagined things would turn out. I always thought I'd help people, you know? That was the "dream." Jennifer stares at Michael curiously. JENNIFER Do you honestly think that you never helped anyone? Michael nods. JENNIFER (CONT'D) Your parents. MICHAEL Don't count. JENNIFER What about me then? That day in the hall, I might have... Well who knows what I might have done if you hadn't bumped into me. MICHAEL That was an accident. No.

JENNIFER It wasn't.

Jennifer takes Michael's empty hand and they stare at each other awkwardly for a moment. 34

EXT. MICHAEL'S HOME -- NIGHT Michael is pulling his Vespa out of the trunk of Jennifer's car. He slams it closed and catches her eye in the rear view mirror. He smiles.


15. 35

INT. MICHAEL'S BEDROOM -- DAY Michael turns on a light and walks over to his desk. He dusts off the computer monitor with his sleeve and begins CLICKING away. He CLICKS on a college admissions tab. A new screen pops up. Michael grins as he begins typing in his information.


Ordinary World  

Michael McBride, a high school valedictorian turned medical school drop out, finds himself an undistinguished, forgotten guest at his 10 yea...

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