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/ Bruce Almighty ( 2)

: / Bruce Almighty.

/ Bruce Almighty

INT. KITCHEN - MORNING

ON TV - THE MORNING NEWS

MORNING REPORTER In international news, Japanese relief workers are staging a desperate effort to rescue hundreds of people stranded by a freak tidal wave that hit Kitamoto City...

We see remote footage of Japanese families being airlifted from root tops.

MORNING REPORTER Scientists say the tsunami may have been caused by what they're describing as "unusual lunar activity." More on this, as it develops...

Grace half watches the newscast as she finishes breakfast.

INT. BEDROOM - MORNING

Bruce lies blissfully asleep. Big smile, life is good.

Then, we hear WHISPERING -- Like distant voices MURMURING all at once. Bruce wakes with a start. He looks around puzzled, sticks his finger in his ear checking his hearing as the voices fade away.

ANGLE - SAM

Circling, getting ready to go on the carpet. Bruce casually warns.

BRUCE Sam. Uh uh uh.

Sam looks at Bruce for a beat, then walks into bathroom, raises the toilet seat with his nose, and STANDS UP ON HIS TWO HIND LEGS, HOLDING HIS SNAUSAGE WITH HIS FRONT PAWS (NO, WE DON'T SEE IT) AND STARTS TO GO. He looks proudly back at Bruce.

BRUCE Good boy.

INT. KITCHEN

Grace places breakfast on the table. Bruce comes out, fully dressed with a spring in his step.

BRUCE Good morning.

GRACE (gushy-lovey, sing songy) Good morning. Cooked you grilled cheese.

BRUCE Oo, my favey.

Bruce sits, Grace sets down his plate, leans close.

GRACE Last night was just...

BRUCE Heavenly?

GRACE Mmm hmm.

Bruce enjoys his grilled cheese.

GRACE It's funny, but when I woke up this morning, It felt like my boobs were bigger.

Bruce looks away, guilty, trying to be nonchalant.

GRACE (holding them up) Do they look bigger to you?

BRUCE Huh? Ah, no, they, ah, look the same to me.

They aren't. They are clearly bigger. She holds them.

GRACE They're definitely bigger. They feel huge to me.

Bruce throws up his hands.

BRUCE You got me. Probably just a hormonal thing. (takes a quick final bite) Well, enjoy your breakfast, I've gotta run.

GRACE Where are you going?

He stops, turns. A new confident Bruce.

BRUCE To get my job back.

MUSIC UP:

EXT. BRUCE'S APARTMENT - DAY

Bruce heads for his severely beat-up junker car whistling "What If God Were One Of Us."

INT. BRUCE'S CAR

CLOSE ON - BRUCE

He gets in, fastens his seat belt, as two teenagers cruise by on skateboards, stop outside Bruce's window.

TEENAGER (sincerely impressed) Wow, nice car man.

BRUCE Well, it gets me from A to B.

MASTER - STREET

Reveal Bruce's car is now a brand new MERCEDES 2003 VISION SLR. He starts and revs THE POWERFUL NEW ENGINE and peels out.

EXT. CITY STREETS - DAY

Bruce turns the corner into bumper to bumper traffic. No problem, the traffic magically opens up for him, cars instantly swerving right and left clearing a path for Bruce.

He waves as he passes.

BRUCE And the last shall be first.

EXT. POLICE TRAINING CENTER - DAY

A POLICE DOG, HANK, performs some standard TAKE DOWNS by "attacking" a "criminal" (trainer) on the run. PHIL, a reporter from a rival station is wrapping up his story.

PHIL I certainly wouldn't want to be a fugitive on the run with Hank, Buffalo's number one police dog, on the job. This is Phil Sidleman reporting from The Police Canine Training center. (beat) And cut it. Let's go, guys.

The crew start to wrap up.

ANGLE - BRUCE

Watching the action from the side, holding his own home video camera. Phil spots him.

PHIL Hey, channel seven, right? You're the guy that went crazy.

BRUCE Yeah, I had a bad day. But things are lookin' up.

PHIL What are you doin' here?

BRUCE Just lookin' for a story.

PHIL (waving the video tape) Well, this pond's fished out. Pretty standard stuff anyway.

BRUCE I don't know. My instinct tells me there's something more.

PHIL Well, go with that. It's served you well in the past, right?

Phil and a couple of his crew laugh, as they load the last of their equipment into the van and shut the doors.

TRAINER (O.S.) Hey, Hank found something!

Phil turns back, Bruce and he exchange a glance.

Hank is DIGGING FURIOUSLY, making a BIG HOLE. The Policeman jogs over, joins the trainer. They watch as TWO DRESS SHOES ARE UNCOVERED IN THE DIRT. Hank BARKS.

POLICEMAN We got a body!

PHIL (to his crew) Shit. Get the camera, now!

EXTREME CLOSE ON - THE VAN'S DOOR LOCK

It LOCKS AUTOMATICALLY. The CAMERAMAN yanks at the door.

CAMERAMAN It's locked and the keys are inside!

Bruce casually turns his camera on, gives Phil a "tough break" look, heads for the scene, as Phil and his crew scramble around the van.

CUT TO:

ON A TV

DAN RATHER The body of Jimmy Hoffa was uncovered in a field today outside of a canine training center in Buffalo New York. Local Buffalo freelance field reporter Bruce Nolan was the first on the scene...

We cut to the pre-taped story. Bruce stands with Hank and his trainer before camera, the body being exhumed from the ground behind him.

BRUCE Since the disappearance of Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa in the nineteen sixties, his whereabouts have remained one of this country's great unsolved mysteries. That is until just moments ago, when during a routine training session, a police dog named Hank sniffed his way right into the history books. As you can see behind us, the body is being carefully exhumed and will be transported to a hospital facility where DNA testing will confirm the identity. That, of course, only a formality as in a bizarre twist, the body was found buried with a birth certificate and complete set of dental records. (rubs Hank's neck) Sort of a two-in-one for Hank today, as moments later, he busted a local news camera crew with four kilo's of marijuana.

We see footage of PHIL AND HIS NEWS CREW, being cuffed on the ground, as large stacks of marijuana plants are being pulled from the van.

PHIL I've never seen it before, I swear!

EXT. NEWS STATION - DAY

As Bruce pulls up in front of the building the NO PARKING SIGN flies back into the bushes and the RED CURB TRANSFORMS TO GREEN as though being sloppily painted with invisible brushes.

Bruce exits the car and smooths past the Homeless Sign Guy, who sits in his usual spot. His sign reads:

"HEAVEN IS AT HAND. LEGGO YOUR EGGO."

INT. NEWSROOM - DAY

Bruce cruises through the office, fielding greetings.

VARIOUS OFFICE STAFF Nice Job, Bruce... Way to go, buddy... GO get 'em, Bruce, etc.

Susan Ortega smooths up to Bruce.

SUSAN ORTEGA Hi, Bruce.

BRUCE (surprised) Oh, Susan... Hi.

SUSAN ORTEGA Good work, I'm impressed.

She give's Bruce a "look" and continues on. Bruce is a bit inflated by the encounter.

Bobby the pastry cart guy wheels his cart up along side.

BOBBY Hey, Bruce. Nice job, man. Wasn't the same without you around here, pal. (leading) I hear Jack wants to see you.

BRUCE That's the word.

BOBBY You're going to need your energy in there. Can I interest you in a donut?

BRUCE No, thank you, I'm not hungry.

BOBBY Coffee?

BRUCE No.

BOBBY Fiber grain bar with bee pollen and Spiralina?

BRUCE I'm really not interested.

BOBBY Yeah, I don't blame 'ya, they taste like grass.

Bobby CUTS BRUCE OFF WITH HIS CART. Bruce is forced to stop.

BOBBY Tell you what? I wasn't going to break it open until lunch time, but I made a batch of rhubarb that you have got to try.

BRUCE Bobby, I -

BOBBY Come on, it's my mother's recipe she's practically cripple...

Bobby forces a ladle of rhubarb out at Bruce.

BRUCE No, I really -- no...

BOBBY Open up, that's it, here comes the news chopper... (makes sound of Chopper)

BRUCE No, Bobby... Bobby NO! I said I didn't want anything. (turns, heading off) Damn you...

Bruce continues off, as Bobby stops cold, adopts an odd expression, then his EYES ROLL UP IN THEIR SOCKETS, SPIN ALL THE WAR AROUND, THEN GLOW RED. LITTLE HORN BUMPS PUSH UP FROM HIS SKULL. He turns instantly demonic.

An overly PERKY FEMALE OFFICE WORKER approaches Bobby from behind.

FEMALE OFFICE WORKER Hi, Bobby. Is there any of that split pea soup left?

She is instantly hit in the chest with a stream of green vomit. A beat and Bobby offers out a plastic spoon.

INT. JACK'S OFFICE - DAY

ON JACK

He sees Bruce enter, immediately perks up.

JACK (big laugh) There he is! Hoffa! Ha! What are the odds of that?

BRUCE (laughing along with him) Ha! What are the odds?

JACK Look, I'll be straight. We want you back, Bruce. I want to tell you, it wasn't my decision to let you go. When the big guy gives the order, I gotta...

BRUCE No harm no foul, Jack. I needed some time off to reassess my goals and get in touch with my true self.

JACK You did that in a day?

BRUCE Imagine what I can do with seven.

Jack pauses for an awkward beat. His face grows serious.

JACK I haven't been the best father in the world.

BRUCE What's that?

JACK I curse a lot. I cheat on my taxes. My wife used to make my kids call me, when she was alive... (breaking down) ...Now, I go to strip clubs, and drink all night. But at least they're open until four. What are you doing tonight?

BRUCE Oh, I'm busy doing... things.

Jack recovers, rejuvenated.

JACK Yeah, I gotcha. It feels good to get that out. Thank you.

Jack gives Bruce a big hug.

JACK Look, it's not in my power to give you anchor, but as far as field reporting goes, if you're looking for a bump.

BRUCE Jack, don't worry about that. Just give me a camera and a crew and I'll give you the news.

Bruce exits. Jack likes the new Bruce.

INT. NEWSROOM

Bruce heads out as The Eyewitness News opening plays on several monitors. Susan Ortega opens.

SUSAN Good evening and welcome to Eyewitness News at six. I'm Susan Ortega.

EVAN And I'm Evan Baxter. And here's what's making news...

This stops Bruce. He watches Evan on a newsroom monitor. A devilish smile forms on Bruce's face.

EVAN A potential scandal with the Buffalo P.D. surfaced today when...

Evan's voice suddenly becomes HIGH PITCHED, like a girls.

EVAN (falsetto) ...the mayor demanded that the Chief of Police issue... (clears his throat) ...Uh-hum, that the Chief of Police...

Evan tries to clear his throat again, but his voice remains HIGH PITCHED.

EVAN (falsetto) ...the Chief of Police issue a response over allegations made by...

INT. JACK'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

JACK What the hell is that?

Evan is starting to visibly sweat.

EVAN (falsetto) I'm sorry. There seems to be something.

Evan shoots Susan a look to cover for him. Susan tries to cover with a joke.

SUSAN Looks like my new co-anchor may need a glass of water.

She laughs, Evan laughs in a RIDICULOUS HIGH PITCHED GIRLY LAUGH that makes it even worse. He sips the water and his voice returns.

EVAN Ah, there we go. Sorry about that. The Prime Minister of Sweden visited Washington today as my little tiny nipples moved to France --

Evan stops cold, staring at the teleprompter.

INT. TV STUDIO - CONTINUOUS

The Director in the booth reacts.

DIRECTOR What did he just say? Check the prompter.

The Console Operator checks the text being fed to Evan.

CONSOLE OPERATOR It's fine.

DIRECTOR Well, signal for him to keep going.

The Stage Manager motions to Evan, he reluctantly continues reading.

INTERCUT TV STUDIO AND NEWSROOM MONITOR

EVAN The White House reception committee greeted the Prime Rib Roast Minister and I do the cha cha like a sissy girl... (urged to keep going, so continues slowly) I lika do da cha cha...

In desperation, Evan shifts from the prompter to the paper script on his desk.

EVAN Sorry, we're having a few technical difficulties, here... (reading) In other n-n-n-n... n-n-n-n...

Evan's NOSE STARTS BLEEDING. A sudden stream out of one nostril. Susan reacts. So does Jack. Bruce smiles.

Evan sees the blood, tries to stop it but it only streams faster. He keeps talking, but the stream increases. Susan gets up, tries to help.

SUSAN Somebody get some napkins. Dallas, help me.

DALLAS I'm not touching him. (realizing he's on camera) I mean, I'm not really qualified.

Evan's hair IGNITES.

SUSAN His hair's on fire!

Dallas runs off.

BRUCE (casual to an amazed news staffer) You know, he does have a certain pizazz about him.

Susan reaches for a water pitcher, as a crew man steps in and BLASTS Evan's head with a fire extinguisher. Evan is in shock, his face now white.

The screen cuts to a "PLEASE STAND-BY" title card, then cuts to an episode of "Dragnet."

ON BRUCE - It's fun to be God.

MUSIC UP/MONTAGE UP

EXT. FAIR GROUNDS - DAY

Bruce is bored off his ass, interviewing some BLUE HAIRED OLD LADIES at the Mark Twain chili cook off.

BLUE HAIRED LADY (talks so slow you want to kill yourself) My secret is I let the jalapeno's marinade in a spicy sauce for over 24 hours before I -

We see Bruce's pained face, realizing what horrible news this is, when he gets an idea and SCHWWWWWAAAAAAM!!! AN ASTEROID CRASHES to earth behind them.

BRUCE Hold that thought, Hazel! (Bruce walks back toward the explosion) It seems some type of meteor or asteroid has, by chance, hit the earth right behind the Mark Twain Chili Cook Off...

EXT. SKY - DAY

Bruce is free-falling in full sky diving uniform.

BRUCE ...So remember, it's sky diving season at Old Pete's airfield. (grabs the ripcord) This is Bruce Nolan... (gives it a tug, doesn't budge) My rip cord appears to be a bit stuck.

Bruce yanks again harder, nothing, then again and the cord rips free from the suit.

BRUCE This is a very unfortunate turn of events. I'm heading toward the earth at a very precarious speed...

The cameraman pops his shoot and we see Bruce continue to stream toward the ground below. He falls into a wooded area.

A CAMERA ON THE GROUND picks up the coverage, runs through the brush with other BYSTANDERS to find Bruce laying on top of a BIG, HAIRY CREATURE.

BYSTANDERS (O.S.) He's okay... What's that?... It's Bigfoot!... Bigfoot broke his fall!...

Bruce stands groggy, points to a dazed Bigfoot.

BRUCE Ah ha! You are real!

INT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT - DAY

Bruce sits watching a hockey game on TV. He follows the puck intently with his eyes, as though controlling it's path.

GOAL, SABERS! THE CROWD ROARS!

CUT TO:

GOAL, SABERS! THE CROWD ROARS!

CUT TO:

Grace sits aside him, working on the photo album.

GRACE Do you believe how they're playing? (beat) Oh, honey, would you hand me the scissors?

Bruce diverts his attention, when the Sabers screw up and the crowd GROANS. Bruce immediately turns, looks intently at the puck and GOAL, SABERS! THE CROWD ROARS!

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

CLOSE ON - BRA CLASP

Grace's BOOBS ARE EVEN BIGGER. Bruce is trying to help her fasten her bra, but it's a good three inches from touching.

Bruce shrugs "got me."

EXT. BUFFALO ZOO - DAY

Bruce is doing a report just outside the Pandas' enclosure.

BRUCE In the past, zoo officials have been unable to get these Panda's to mate, but that doesn't seem to be a problem today.

REVEAL A MALE PANDA wholeheartedly humping another PANDA.

BRUCE And the mood seems to be catching on...

WIDE SHOT of the enclosure -- PANDA'S are coupled off and humping everywhere. Mothers are frantically covering children's eyes, ushering them away from the exhibit.

QUICK CUTS OF DIFFERENT NEWSCASTERS ON TV

NEWSCASTER His stories are all over town...

NEWSCASTER #2 ...from unearthing Jimmy Hoffa...

NEWSCASTER #3 ...to an asteroid crashing to earth. Bruce Nolan is rapidly becoming known as...

EXT. BUFFALO - DAY

A BILLBOARD being put up with a big smiling Bruce with arms extended. It reads: "Mr. Exclusive".

INT. HOCKEY ARENA - NIGHT

A close up of Bruce on the Jumbotron.

ANNOUNCER Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Mr. Exclusive, Buffalo's own, Bruce Nolan.

Bruce starts SINGING THE MOST AMAZING GOSPEL SINGER/JAZZ VERSION OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM ANYONE HAS EVER HEARD.

BRUCE Oh, say can you seeeEEEEeeeeeEEEEeeeee...

ON GRACE - IN THE STANDS

Debbie turns to her, she shrugs.

GRACE I didn't even know he could sing.

INT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT - BATHROOM - DAY

Grace opens the bathroom door, revealing SAM, SITTING ON THE TOILET SEAT WITH A NEWSPAPER UNDER HIS FRONT PAWS. Sam BARKS and Grace quickly closes the door.

INT. HOCKEY ARENA - NIGHT

Bruce sings, still on the same word.

BRUCE ...eeeEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEeeeee...

INT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT - BATHROOM - DAY

Bruce finishes running a bath, gets into the tub but SLIPS as is UNABLE TO SINK and ends up sliding around ON THE WATER like on a sheet of glass. He tries to break through, can't.

Then, he concentrates and finally LOWERS INTO THE WATER.

INT. HOCKEY ARENA - NIGHT

Bruce dramatically finishes the national anthem.

BRUCE ...of the BraaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVE!

He hits an impossibly high note and the rink glass SHATTERS. Bruce is projected on the ARENA JUMBOTRON. He shoots his arms up, the crowd goes nuts! "Mr. Exclusive" flashes on the screen.

EXT. WOODS - DAY

A Mob of photographers flash photos like crazy, as Bruce stands casually with his arm around BIGFOOT.

BRUCE ...and that's the way the cookie crumbles.

EXT. FAIRGROUNDS - DAY

Bruce surrounded by Hazel and other chili cook off contestants shouts up from the bottom of the crater hole:

BRUCE & CHILI CONTESTANTS (in unison) And that's the way the cookie crumbles!

INT. HOCKEY ARENA - DAY

The words FLASH on the jumbotron and the entire crowd chants:

CROWD And that's the way the cookie crumbles!

MUSIC OUT/MONTAGE OUT

INT. BEAUTY SALON - DAY

Grace lies in full body wrap, while Debbie is in the process of being wrapped by MARGARITA, a rather ruff Spanish Salon attendant.

DEBBIE So this is what success buys you.

GRACE I guess. (wiggling around) I feel like a human taquito.

DEBBIE Well, thank Mr. Exclusive for me. He's on a quite a roll. What'd he do make a deal with the devil?

GRACE And he's taking me out tonight to dinner at Chez L'Amour.

DEBBIE Well, la-ti-da. Mike's idea of a romantic evening is Chez Sizzler.

Margarita pulls the wrap tightly around Debbie.

DEBBIE (to Margarita) What does this do again?

MARGARITA Ests para su grasa.

DEBBIE Grasa? Doesn't that mean fat?

GRACE Afraid so.

Debbie eyes Margarita.

GRACE (gushing) So, Bruce said and I quote: "Prepare yourself for an amazing evening that will change our lives forever."

Margarita reaches Debbie's waist and YANKS tightly.

DEBBIE Good -- you wouldn't want to leave any spare oxygen in there. (back to Grace) Wait a second, you don't think he's going to propose, do you?

GRACE I don't think anything.

DEBBIE You do. You think he's going to propose.

GRACE Well, he's always said when he gets his career together, you know... And his career is more than together. I mean, come on, Chez L'Amour. Change our lives...

DEBBIE I don't know, hun. I mean, I like Bruce but that man's priority list is him, him, him, then him some more and then you.

GRACE Well, he just might surprise you.

DEBBIE That's what I'm worried about. (re: Margarita) Careful, you missed a spot of free flowing circulation.

Margarita senses the attitude and pulls tighter. Debbie reacts.

DEBBIE That'd do it.

Margarita motions for Debbie to lay down and leaves. Debbie struggles to lay down.

DEBBIE Let's see, how do I --

Debbie slides to the ground, Grace cracks up, gets up to help, but also in mummy wrap, topples on top of her. They both laugh and struggling to get up.

Hearing the ruckus, Margarita enters and gasps.

MARGARITA Lesbianas!

Grace and Debbie crack up harder.

DEBBIE Hey, I'll take that over fat...

Margarita tries to pull them up, but falls too.

MARGARITA No sexo, no sexo!

Grace and Debbie can't stop laughing.

INT. CHEZ L'AMOUR - NIGHT

A waiter pours the first trickle of wine into Bruce's glass.

Bruce whiffs it, tastes it.

BRUCE Very good. If you run out just bring me some water, I'll take it from there.

Grace looks over the menu as Bruce notices people at various tables eyeing him. He glances up to a ceiling light and REDIRECTS IT with his mind, so it SPOTLIGHTS HIM in golden light.

TWO CUTE GIRLS with dates SMILE and wave. He waves back.

GRACE Should we ask for a more private table?

BRUCE Huh? Oh, no this is fine right here.

Bruce looks at Grace lovingly. He takes her hand.

BRUCE I was going to wait until after the meal, but I think it's going to just bust out of me if I don't do it now.

Grace beams, looks at Bruce with total love.

BRUCE You ready?

GRACE (nervous) I think so.

BRUCE I got anchor.

Grace's face falls. She does her best to cover.

BRUCE Evidently, they're having problems with Evan. He's finishing up the week and I go live Monday.

GRACE That's great, honey. Congratulations. Wow. So that's what's tonight is about?

BRUCE Well, yeah. Grace, I got anchor. We got anchor!

She's having a hard time covering her let down.

BRUCE (noticing her flat reaction) What's the matter?

GRACE Well, to be honest, I thought that maybe tonight, you -

The TWO CUTE GIRLS interrupt, approach Bruce.

CUTE GIRL #1 I'm sorry, but we had to come over. We just think you're amazing and...

CUTE GIRL #2 Well, we can't believe it's you!

They both laugh, Bruce enjoys the attention.

BRUCE (laughing along) Yep, it's me.

CUTE GIRL #1 Can we get a picture with you?

BRUCE Well, sure. (glances to Grace) Just one second, hun. (leans to Grace) Fans. We better get used to this, huh?

Grace sits watching the two girls take turns sitting on Bruce's lap, taking pictures. Sees Bruce relishing in the attention. One girl gives Bruce a peck on the cheek and they leave. Grace is clearly upset.

GRACE You have lipstick on your face.

BRUCE Oh, thanks...

GRACE Bruce, we need to talk. I thought we had an understanding -

Suddenly, the WHISPERS start again. Bruce looks around, figures it's coming from the restaurant patrons.

BRUCE Wow. It's kind of loud in here.

Grace looks around the quiet romantic setting.

GRACE What are you talking about? It's not loud.

The WHISPERS GROW IN VOLUME.

BRUCE Geez... (shouts to the restaurant) COULD YOU KEEP IT DOWN!

GRACE Bruce, this isn't funny.

BRUCE (talking loud over the "racket") WHAT? WOULD YOU EXCUSE ME FOR A SECOND?

He gets up and darts off.

INT. CHEZ L'AMOUR KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

Bruce races through the restaurant kitchen holding his ears --

EXT. ALLEYWAY - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

He BURSTS out the kitchen exit into the alley. Unclasps his ears, but no relief. The whispers are now loud voices. We start to make out fragments of words "Please," "Help me," etc.

Overwhelmed and scared, he slides down the alley wall, covering his face, then TOTAL SILENCE -

Bruce lowers his hands and finds himself SITTING ATOP A HIGH MOUNTAIN PEAK.

GOD (O.S.) Really something isn't it?

God sits down next to Bruce.

BRUCE Is this heaven?

God laughs at this one.

GOD It's Everest. You should try flipping on the Discovery Channel every now and then. Well, I guess you can't now, being dead and all.

BRUCE I'm dead?!

God laughs.

GOD No, I'm just messing with you.

BRUCE Those voices...

GOD They're prayers, Bruce. You keep ignoring them and they're going to build up on you like that. You didn't think being God was going to be all fun and games did you?

BRUCE Prayers? Those are prayers? Why can't I understand them?

God forms a snowball in his hands as he talks.

GOD You aren't listening, son. Let's see, you've had my powers for over a week now and how many people have you helped?

BRUCE Okay, so maybe I've righted a couple of the wrongs in my own life. I was going to get around to others. I can do both. I can help the world.

GOD The world? That wasn't the world, Bruce. That was just Buffalo, between Commonwealth and 57th. Didn't want to start you out with more than you can handle. Now how you doing otherwise? Personal life in good shape?

BRUCE Yeah. Everything is great.

A DOORWAY OPENS like a crack in space. Grace steps out, sees Bruce.

GRACE Bruce? What are you doing out here?

With that, the terrain TRANSFORMS back into the alley where Grace has been standing all along. She can not see God.

BRUCE Oh, ah, (to God) She can't... (God shakes his head, back to Grace) I just, ah, needed a little fresh air.

Bruce fakes a couple big breaths.

GRACE Bruce, what is going on? The second I want to talk about us you run out on me.

GOD (to Bruce) Everything's great, huh?

BRUCE I wasn't running out on you...

GRACE You know, I actually had the crazy idea that you were going to ask me to marry you tonight.

GOD Now it's heating up.

BRUCE (to God) You are not helping. (back to Grace) ...me at all here, Grace.

GOD (sarcastic) Nice recovery.

Bruce looks to God to shut up.

GRACE Not helping you what?

BRUCE (to Grace) Look hun, I want to talk about this. This just isn't a good time. Okay?

GRACE When is it a good time? It's never a good time.

GOD She's got a point.

BRUCE (to God) Stay out of this.

Grace looks at him like he's nuts.

GRACE Who are you talking to?!

Just then, the WHISPERS start in again. Bruce reacts.

BRUCE Oh, not now.

Bruce puts his hands to his ears. Grace takes this as him not wanting to listen to her.

GOD You're going to have to answer those things, y'know.

GRACE Fine. You know what? I'm going to go home and if by some miracle it suddenly becomes a 'good time', you know where to find me. (starts out, then) And speaking of time, you're running out of it.

Grace heads back into the restaurant. Bruce stands completely frustrated.

BRUCE (to God) Thank you.

GOD You want some friendly advice?

BRUCE No.

God smiles.

GOD You wanted the job, Bruce. I suggest you get to it.

INT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT - DAY

Grace is asleep in the bedroom while Bruce paces in the living room.

BRUCE Okay... Prayers.

He concentrates for a second and in an instant, the WHISPERS start in.

BRUCE Okay, first off, this creepy whisper thing has got to go. (paces) Organization and management. I need a system. Something concrete... (an idea) Prayer Files! (commands) Let all prayers be organized into files.

Bruce WAVES HIS HAND --

Instantly, the room is JAMMED FULL OF FILE CABINETS.

BRUCE Too bulky. Ah! Prayer post-its!

Instantly, the files are gone and millions of POST-IT'S, EACH WITH A PERSON'S PRAYER REQUEST begin slapping down attaching themselves to everything in the room. Bruce himself becomes a big post-it mummy. He pulls the one covering his mouth.

BRUCE Sloppy. (an idea) Ah!

CUT TO:

Bruce sits before a High Tech computer sitting on a desktop. We HEAR the famous "You've Got Mail" sound bite.

BRUCE Welcome to the information super highway. No mess, full bless.

A COMPUTER PROGRESS BAR titled "Downloading Prayers" appears on screen, there's a long, long way to go.

Bruce watches and waits, bored -- looks at his watch.

DISSOLVE TO:

BRUCE - MORNING

He's fallen asleep by the computer. As he wakes he sees: "1,567,432 unread messages"

BRUCE Whoa.

Suddenly, Grace bounds out of the bathroom.

GRACE Okay, this is getting ridiculous!

Grace's boobs are enormous! A healthy D-cup.

GRACE I have to see a doctor. There's definitely something wrong with me.

Bruce jumps up from the computer, hides what he's doing...

BRUCE No. You look great.

GRACE I look like a hooker! My whole body is changing.

She turns profile, her back sways causing her ass to stick out.

GRACE My back didn't used to arch like this.

Bruce gets up, walks to Grace.

BRUCE I think you look amazing.

GRACE Bruce, I feel like our relationship is becoming all about sex.

BRUCE No it's not. Come on, give me a hug.

GRACE No, Bruce. Come on.

She breaks away and sees the computer is on.

GRACE What's that? What are you doing?

Bruce tries to cover.

BRUCE Oh, ah. Nothing. Surfing the internet... for stories...

GRACE Is this why you didn't come to bed?

BRUCE No, ah... Honey, you're going to be late.

GRACE No, I'm not.

Bruce looks over Grace's shoulder and ADJUSTS THE CLOCK FORTY MINUTES FORWARD. Grace turns and is surprised.

GRACE Oh my gosh! How did I sleep this late? I've got to run. Are you giving me a ride?

BRUCE Don't need to.

Bruce motions to the window. Grace walks over, looks out and sees...

A NEW SPORTY RED CONVERTIBLE wrapped in a WHITE BOW.

BRUCE Happy two months and four days before your birthday.

GRACE (gasps) You're crazy. Can we afford that?

BRUCE I'll work it out. Just trust me.

Bruce dangles the keys in front of her eyes.

GRACE If you're trying to buy your way out of the hot water you're in, it's not working... (Looks at the car) Well, it's working a little...

Bruce smiles.

CUT TO:

GRACE DRIVES OFF IN HER NEW CAR

Bruce turns away from the window, gets back to the computer.

BRUCE Okay. Let's start with something easy. (typing) Find: Sports... Sabers. (reading) Please make the Sabers win the playoffs, good. Please, please let the Red Wings beat the Sabers.

Bruce puzzles over the two prayers. Starts typing.

BRUCE Yes to you, loyal Sabers fan. And no to you. (typing) And your goalie has turrets.

Bruce smiles, this is fun.

MUSIC UP: MIC JAGGER "GOD GIVE ME EVERYTHING I WANT"

MONTAGE - BRUCE ANSWERS PRAYERS CLOSE ON COMPUTER SCREEN

EMAILS SCROLL, STOP AT:

Filbert Davidson RE: GYM CLASS.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL GYM - ROPE CLIMBING DRILL - DAY

A BULLY taunts a FAT KID WITH HORN RIMMED GLASSES.

ANGLE BRUCE - WATCHING FROM THE BLEACHERS.

The FAT KID nervously grabs the rope and much to his surprise, he CLIMBS IT LIKE STALLONE IN CLIFF HANGER. Bruce is in the stands, pleased. He flicks his finger upward and the BULLY'S gym shorts SHOOT UP HIS BUTT CRACK -- a supernatural wedgy.

Filbert flexes his flabby arm, amazed.

CUT TO:

CLOSE ON - COMPUTER SCREEN E-MAIL

ESTER MAHA RE: BANKRUPTCY

INT. BANK OFFICE - DAY

Bruce looks in the bank window and sees a very stressed, ESTER sitting in the loan officer's office, tears in her eyes. As she opens her purse for a tissue, IT IS FULL OF CASH. She registers shock and joy.

BRUCE Ask and ye shall receive.

CUT TO:

CLOSE ON - COMPUTER SCREEN E-MAIL

Bella Winters. RE: PARKING.

EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY

Close on a middle-aged woman driving a car in a parking lot.

MIDDLE AGED WOMAN Please let me find a space.

She drives right by Bruce who smiles...

BRUCE Knock, and the door shall be open...

Bruce makes a KNOCKING MOTION and...

ANGLE - HANDICAPPED SPACES

All the signs fall off their post. The painted wheelchair symbols on the pavement animate WHEELING THEMSELVES OFF THE SPACES. She pulls into the now open spaces.

EXT. PRISON YARD - DAY

Bruce watches a stickball game in progress. One PRISONER chases a batted ball to the prison wall revealing a HUGE HOLE to freedom.

PRISONER (looks heavenward) Thank you, God.

EXT. BEASLEY CONSTRUCTION SITE - DAY

Construction workers stand staring down in awe as woman after woman on the sidewalk below, STOP, RAISE THEIR TOPS AND FLASH THEM.

CONSTRUCTION WORKER Thank you, God.

INT. SMALL WONDERS DAY CARE - DAY

Grace bends over to help with a craft, revealing ample cleavage.

ANGLE - MARTIN AND THE OTHER BOYS STARING AT HER, EYES WIDE.

MARTIN Gracias, dios. (Subtitles read: Thank you, God.) He shovels a scoop of paste in his mouth.

CLOSE ON: COMPUTER KEYBOARD

Bruce's hands typing responses. His fingers move faster and faster.

FRAGMENT MONTAGE OF OVERLAPPING IMAGERY - TEXT AND VISUALS:

"I want to be bigger" text and dissolve to a young man growing six inches. He smiles wide -

Close up computer text snippets dissolve over one another:

"Please help my stock go up" "...my stock..." "...make a killing in the market..."

Then another "I want to be bigger" this time dissolve to a grown man, peeks down his pants, smiles wide -

EXT. BUFFALO CITY STREETS - DAY

Bruce walks along head high, FULL OF HIMSELF. He audibly hears snippets of prayers, snapping off responses.

VARIOUS PEDESTRIANS I've got to find a better job... Come on light, turn... God, I wish I were thinner...

BRUCE Promotion with 15% raise... It's green... Donuts are now healthy...

INT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT - DAY

Bruce sits at the computer, looks at the total prayer requests, his jaw drops. 3 MILLION and growing.

BRUCE Oh, come on. What a bunch of whiners. This is going to suck up my whole life.

Bruce gets an idea, pulls down a menu on the computer, highlights "ANSWER ALL" types in the word "YES" and hits enter.

The computer takes over, ANSWERING EACH EMAIL AUTOMATICALLY.

Bruce smiles and gets up.

CLOSE ON - THE COMPUTER SCREEN

We see the list scroll by, everything from "LOST CAT" to "MORE MONEY" "MAKE ME SMARTER" "MAKE ME THINNER," ETC. "YES" "SEND", "YES" "SEND" and on and on.

MUSIC OUT/END MONTAGE

INT. EYEWITNESS NEWS STATION - JACK'S OFFICE - DAY

ON JACK

Very uncomfortable, struggles for the right words as he's firing somebody.

JACK Look this isn't easy for me. We're starting to get some complaints and... Well, Bobby, things just aren't working out.

JACK'S POV

Bobby's demon-looking head, slowly ROTATES 360 DEGREES ON HIS NECK.

JACK (scared) An, you can keep the cart if you like.

We can SEE BOBBY'S BREATH NOW.

BOBBY (deep demonic voice) Thanks. I've grown kind of attached to it.

EXT. SMALL WONDERS DAY CARE - DAY

Bruce pulls up, Grace, her BODY BACK TO NORMAL, walks up and hops in, happy.

GRACE Look! I'm back to normal. It was the wildest thing, I was worried, so I said a prayer and the next thing I know, I was completely healed. It was like a miracle.

BRUCE (fakes happy) That's great.

GRACE So, you're taking me to lunch? This is rare - (catches herself) But wonderful.

BRUCE Oh, I've got something better than lunch.

Bruce pulls out. They drive off.

GRACE (O.S.) Oh, you'll never believe it. Debbie won the lottery!

BRUCE (O.S.) Really?

GRACE (O.S.) But get this, there were like 433 thousand other winners, so it only paid out 17 dollars. Can you believe the odds of that?

EXT. UPSCALE HOME - DAY

Bruce leads her out of the car.

BRUCE Keep 'em closed...

GRACE (laughing) What is this?

EXT. UPSCALE HOME - DAY

Bruce leads Grace through the gates.

BRUCE Okay... open your eyes.

Grace does and sees A STAGGERING MANSION.

GRACE Wow. This is a bit overwhelming.

BRUCE I know, it's incredible. Come on in, look.

INT. MANSION

As amazing as it is, its interior design is way over the top ritzy. Painted ceilings, gold trim everywhere.

GRACE (laughing) This place is hilarious. Are you doing a story here?

BRUCE (coy) No. Guess again?

Grace turns to Bruce confused.

BRUCE It's mine... ours.

GRACE What?

BRUCE (beaming) This is our new home. Come on...

Bruce pulls Grace up the stairs.

GRACE This had to cost -- I can't even imagine how much this had to cost.

BRUCE 7 million. That was the asking, but I got a deal.

GRACE Wh -- What am I missing here? You can't afford this. You're a reporter. Buying cars is one thing, but this --

Bruce grabs a hold of Grace.

BRUCE We'll have the money. Listen to me closely. I'm getting anchor. Then, I'm going to get spotted, offers will come flooding in to go national, and then you and I are moving to New York City to a place that will put this to shame. This has been my exact dream my whole life and it's finally going to happen. Every step just how I pictured it.

Grace just stares at Bruce.

GRACE There's only one problem.

BRUCE What?

GRACE I hate it.

Bruce is surprised.

GRACE What were you thinking? Why didn't you talk to me about this?

BRUCE I wanted to surprise you.

GRACE Mission accomplished.

BRUCE Honestly, I thought you'd be a little more appreciative.

GRACE Appreciative of what? The fact that you didn't include me on a major life decision or that we now live in the Sultan of Bernai's house?

BRUCE (under his breath) Like pearls to swine.

GRACE What is that supposed to mean?

BRUCE Let those with ears hear.

GRACE What is happening to you? You're changing.

BRUCE Exactly. For the better. I'm not poor and struggling. And maybe that threatens you. I'm telling you, there are plenty of women who would love this place.

GRACE Yeah, and so would their pimps.

BRUCE I can't believe this. I did all this for us.

GRACE Us? What us? You always said when your career takes off we'd get married. What happened to that us?

BRUCE I want that.

GRACE 'That'. You can't even say the word.

BRUCE Marriage, I want marriage, okay. It's just not a great time right now.

GRACE Not a great time. What is that, your mantra? This is never going to change...

Grace heads down the stairs.

BRUCE Come on Grace, lighten up. Tomorrow's Saturday. The office is throwing me a party here, for getting anchor. Let's enjoy the ride for a while. We're just starting to have some fun.

GRACE No, you're just starting to have fun.

Suddenly, the TOILET FLUSHES off camera. Grace sees Sam in the bathroom spraying some deodorizer before he exits.

GRACE And what in God's name is going on with that dog!?

Grace pulls her cell phone out of her purse, heads for the door.

GRACE I'm going to have Debbie pick me up.

BRUCE Grace.

GRACE I'm sorry, but I won't be attending your little party tomorrow. And if you would like to see me after I will be at our home.

She starts out.

GRACE Oh, and that poor, struggling guy you talked about? I miss him.

ON BRUCE - BUMMED

PARTY MUSIC UP:

INT. UPSCALE HOME - NIGHT

The PARTY OF PARTIES is in order. The place is jam packed with co-workers, fellow reporters, and various news contacts Everyone is in an ecstatic mood, many prayers having been recently answered. We MOVE THROUGH THE PARTY and hear snippets of various conversations.

BUSINESSMAN I'll drink to that! My tech stocks tripled in five days.

They clink glasses.

WOMAN You seem taller.

JOE I am!

FATHER TYPE My son pitched a no hitter!

HEAVYISH WOMAN I lost 47 lbs on the Krispy Kreme diet.

ON SAM

Walking on his hind legs, delivers a cold beer to Bruce.

ON BRUCE

Well on his way to plastered, takes a swig, then glances at the beer.

BRUCE (to Sam) Hello... (pointing to bottle) Corona. Lime next time?

Sam walks away, his tail between his legs.

Bruce maneuvers down the hall dancing, high-fiving, drunkenly accepting the praise coming at him from all sides.

PARTIERS There he is... The man!... All hail our new anchor!

BRUCE Bless you. Bless you.

PARTYING SPORTS GUY Hey Bruce, who do you like in the game tonight?

BRUCE Put your money on the Sabers. Coach prays a lot.

A FRENCH WAITER approaches Bruce.

FRENCH WAITER Ah, Mr. Nolan, we're running out of hors doerves. I'm afraid we under- ordered, sir. And the people are hungry.

BRUCE What do you have left?

The Waiter holds up a small basket.

FRENCH WAITER Only three chips and two shrimp.

BRUCE (confident) Just take it around.

The Waiter gets a confused look.

CUT TO:

CHIPS OVERFLOWING, SHRIMP SPILLING OUT OF BASKETS, HANDS REACHING GLUTTONOUSLY FOR THE BOUNTY.

The Waiter walks along amazed as handfuls of shrimp and chips are pulled from the small basket.

Partiers crowd around Bruce, start to chant.

CROWD Speech! Speech! Speech!

Bruce takes center stage, quiets the crowd.

BRUCE I'd thank you all for coming, but the liquor is free so maybe you should THANK ME!

Everyone laughs.

BRUCE And now let me tell you a story. There was a man who had two sons. The younger son took his inheritance and squandered his money on a life of lust and debauchery. I LOVE THAT GUY!!

Everyone throws their hands up and continues to party.

Bruce's big smile fades. He looks around the room, hoping to spot Grace. He grabs a phone, walks out to the balcony, dials --

He gets their answering machine, hears their outgoing message together from happier times. He hangs up.

FEMALE VOICE (O.S.) Hey there.

Bruce turns, sees SUSAN ORTEGA, completely stunning in a sexy dress.

SUSAN Hi Bruce. What are you doing out here all alone?

BRUCE Oh, ah, I was calling Grace.

SUSAN Yeah, I didn't see her in there. I love the new place, by the way. So how are you and Grace doing?

BRUCE I don't know, we had a fight earlier. Ever since I... Well, things are different now and...

SUSAN You're on fire Bruce. Some women can't handle fire. Some can.

Susan smooths close to Bruce.

SUSAN You know, I always had an instinct about you. I knew you were going to make something of yourself.

BRUCE Really?

SUSAN There's something special about you Bruce. I like special...

BRUCE Look Susan, I don't know, I -

Susan grabs Bruce, kisses him passionately. Bruce doesn't join in, but doesn't fight it either.

ANGLE - THE FRONT DOOR

Grace and Debbie enter.

DEBBIE So this is your new place, huh?

GRACE Cozy, don't you think? Come on help me find him.

They head into the room.

DEBBIE You sure you want to do this?

GRACE I don't know. It's his big night. I don't want to spoil it. I know how much this means to him.

DEBBIE So much for lashing back...

Grace stops dead in her tracks. Her face drops.

GRACE'S POV - BRUCE, still lip-locked with Susan Ortega.

DEBBIE Oh, boy.

Bruce turns and sees Grace.

BRUCE Grace, I...

GRACE (Fighting back tears) Get the car, Deb.

DEBBIE Right.

BRUCE Grace, wait.

Grace follows Debbie out.

EXT. UPSCALE HOME - NIGHT

Bruce follows Grace outside.

BRUCE Grace, come on.

Grace stops, opens her purse, tosses the keys to her new car in Bruce's chest.

GRACE Here. I don't want your car. I don't want your things... I don't want you.

BRUCE Come on, don't say that. I was just calling you -

GRACE And you thought Susan's mouth was the phone?

BRUCE I didn't think you were coming - I mean, I... I screwed up, okay. Let me make it up to you.

GRACE How about a boat, Bruce?

BRUCE If that's what you want.

GRACE Yeah, a big boat and oh, maybe two bags of cash, you know, the ones with the big cartoon dollar signs on the front. Then I'll be happy. Because I'm just hollow inside. Debbie's been right. All this time. I defended you, told her there was good in you. Another side to you. Well, I just saw that other side and I don't want anything to do with it.

Debbie pulls up, Grace storms off to the car. Bruce follows,

BRUCE Grace, come on, don't do this.

GRACE Go back to your little co-anchor. Or is that ho-anchor? (tearing) I came back here to apologize. How stupid am I?

Grace turns and heads to the car.

BRUCE You're the one that didn't like the new place!

Grace gets in, slams the door.

BRUCE You can't walk out on me! I'm the alpha, lady! I'm the Omega!

Debbie peels out.

BRUCE (desperate last attempt) I could make you stay!

Bruce is left alone in the middle of the street.

BRUCE Fine! I don't need you! I have everything I need. Did you hear that?! (yelling) I have EVERYTHING!

INT. UPSCALE HOME - MOMENTS LATER

Bruce walks in, Susan is waiting for him.

SUSAN I was right. She couldn't handle the fire.

Bruce looks at Susan with disgust, then glances to a FIRE ALARM on the wall, mentally TRIGGERS IT. The sprinklers turn on, as well. People scream, rush toward the exit.

Bruce sits down on the sofa, being rained on by the sprinklers, alone. He finally plops back and God is sitting next to him.

GOD Enjoying your party? Yeah, nothing like spending time with some real friends. Any shrimp left?

BRUCE Grace left me.

GOD I know.

BRUCE (certain) She'll take me back. (uncertain) Will she take me back?

GOD Would you take you back?

Bruce mulls this over, then...

BRUCE How do you make someone love you when you can't effect free will?

GOD Welcome to my world, son. You come up with an answer to that one, you let me know.

Off of Bruce thinking...

CUT TO:

INT. DEBBIE AND MIKE'S HOUSE - MORNING

Grace's alarm goes off. The radio comes on and it plays a John Cougar Mellencamp song. But the lyrics are different.

JOHN COUGAR MELLENCAMP Here's a little ditty, about Grace and her man Bruce, two Americans growing up, needing to make a truce.

Grace's eyes pop open. Is she dreaming?

EXT. DEBBIE'S HOUSE

Bruce hides behind a hedge, watches Grace jog past.

ON GRACE

notices something CARVED IN THE TREE it reads: "GRACE + BRUCE". Carved in the next tree, "A COUPLE FOR THE AGES".

Carved in the next tree, "COME ON ALREADY, GIVE HIM ANOTHER CHANCE". She does a double take, continues on.

INT. COFFEE SHOP

Grace reaches in her purse to pay for her coffee and a bunch of PICTURES FALL OUT. They are all of Bruce and Grace. She thinks, definitely didn't put them there.

INT. SMALL WONDER'S DAY CARE - DAY

Grace is helping one of the kids, when she notices something outside the window. It's a cloud formation that strangely looks like BRUCE (in profile) HOLDING HANDS WITH GRACE. She reacts as the imagery melts away into a very faint "FORGIVE HIM."

EXT. SMALL WONDERS DAY CARE - LATER

Grace is talking with one of the other teachers. The kids, playing dodgeball in the background, laugh and scream louder and louder. Grace turns and sees...

Bruce getting pelted by multiple balls.

BRUCE Okay, surrender, surrender.

He walks over to Grace.

BRUCE Hi.

GRACE Hi...

BRUCE I, ah, have my first anchor tonight.

GRACE That's great. I hope it goes well for you.

He's hit in the head by a ball. Grace can't help but smiles Bruce leaps at the opportunity.

BRUCE I miss you. (off her silence) I just took the first step, shot myself out on the ledge, awaiting vulnerably your response.

GRACE ...I don't know what to say.

BRUCE How about you love me and you'll take me back.

GRACE No, Bruce.

BRUCE Come on, what about all the signs?

GRACE What? How do you know about that? Did you talk to Debbie?

BRUCE (beat) Would it help if I told you I acted like an ass?

Martin is standing nearby.

MARTIN Hey, you said ass.

BRUCE It's okay as long as you mean a donkey. I didn't add "hole." It's only bad when you say "ass-ho --

GRACE Alright, inside, Martin. (to the others) Okay everyone, inside.

The kids race in. Grace starts to follow.

BRUCE Grace, please. None of this seems right without you. (off her reaction) Is that a glimmer of hope I see?

GRACE I have to go...

She starts off...

BRUCE Wait.

Bruce DRAMATICALLY RAISES A HAND TOWARD GRACE, like putting a love spell on her.

BRUCE Now how do you feel?

She looks at him, oddly.

GRACE ...Are you out of your mind? Have you been drinking?

BRUCE Drinking? Sure. I'm drunk with POWER.

Bruce RAISES BOTH HANDS IN FULL HEXING FASHION...

BRUCE ...LOVE ME!!!

GRACE (a beat) You need help.

She heads back inside. Bruce throws his hands in the air, frustrated.

EXT. SMALL WONDER'S PARKING LOT - MOMENTS LATER

Bruce heads for his car as he sees a two guys in PRISON SUITS (from the prison yard) drive off with it.

BRUCE Hey!! That's my car!!

INT. BRUCE'S CAR - CONTINUOUS

The PRISONERS drive off laughing.

PRISONER #1 Ha, nice wheels, huh?

BRUCE sits up in the back seat.

BRUCE Thou shalt not steal.

The prisoners JUMP.

BRUCE Car, show them the way out.

Instantly, the car doors fly open and the seats tilt sideways dumping the prisoners.

BRUCE What is wrong with the world?

INT. EYEWITNESS NEWS STATION - TV STUDIO

ON A TV MONITOR

NEWS ANCHOR #1 The Dow skyrocketed again today and with a new influx of paper millionaires, analysts are warning of a potential run on banks...

We see a stock graph superimposed on the screen with a ludicrous jump straight up off the charts.

CHANNEL CHANGES TO:

NEWS ANCHOR #2 The scene nearly turned violent when hundreds of disgruntled Buffalo residents protested the results of lasts weeks fluke lottery results...

CHANNEL CHANGES TO:

NEWS ANCHOR #3 ...another 37 arrests today at the Beasley Construction Site for indecent exposure...

We see women getting pulled away one by one into police vans, after they flash their tops. In the background, a "Girl's Gone Wild" van is there rolling tape of each flashing.

ON JACK

JACK The world's gone mad.

Jack clicks off the monitor. Bruce hustles in from make-up.

An air of forced confidence about him. Nothing and no one is going to ruin his big moment.

JACK Oh, there you are. Your big debut. How you feeling?

BRUCE You know what? I'm good. The show must go on.

Bruce sits in the anchor desk, breathes in the reality.

SUSAN (whispers) Bruce, if I had any idea Grace was going to be there last night...

BRUCE Susan, you didn't do anything wrong. In fact, I found the moment rather pleasurable.

Susan shudders, tries to compose himself.

SUSAN (flustered) Oh, really... that's nice.

JACK Okay, the Sabers just won the Stanley Cup. It's getting pretty crazy out there. We're going to kick live to Fred at the stadium. Oh, and Bruce, you won the pool again. Exact score, dead on. Twenty-three to one, who would have thought. In five, four...

STAGE MANAGER

JACK This is it, you good?

Bruce nods, straightens in his chair, prepares for his dream

ON THE MONITOR

The Eyewitness News opening plays, then fades away to Bruce and Susan.

SUSAN I'm Susan Ortega.

BRUCE I'm Bruce Nolan and here's what's making news -

And the screen goes to STATIC. Lights dim in the studio.

JACK What happened? What the hell happened?

The Stage Manager listens to his wire.

STAGE MANAGER We lost the signal. It's another power surge.

JACK Aw, geez. Ever since that damn asteroid hit.

The power comes back up.

STAGE MANAGER We're back.

SUSAN We apologize for the interruption, and now back to the news. Bruce...

BRUCE Thank you, Susan -

Susan gets a feed in her earpiece.

SUSAN I'm sorry, we're going live to Rupp arena where the Buffalo Sabers have won the Stanley cup. Fred...

Bruce is noticeably bothered.

CUT TO:

INT. SABERS LOCKEROOM

Fred is with the coach. The team is celebrating, champagne rains down.

FRED Thank's Susan. I'm here with coach Tucker who has lead the Sabers to their first championship in 22 years...

ON BRUCE'S mounting frustration. He gives a look.

FRED Tell me coach...

Fred's face registers A PAINED LOOK. He tries to keep it together. A beat of silence...

FRED (quickly) I have to use the restroom.

He drops the mic and runs out. Off the coach's puzzled look...

INT. NEWS STATION

JACK What the hell?

Bruce covers.

BRUCE We'll get back to the Saber victory in just a moment. In other news -

Again, STATIC... Jack tosses his headset.

JACK Oh, for the love of God! What is it now?

The Stage Manager again listens to his wire.

STAGE MANAGER The whole booth is down.

CRASH! A BRICK flies through a front window. Bruce turns to see...

EXT. DOWNTOWN - NIGHT

A FULL ON RIOT in progress. College students, city dwellers going crazy. Cars are burning, people are out of control.

Escaped convicts are running in and out of stores looting right alongside ordinary citizens.

The Kowolski brothers and Momma Kowolski are helpless against the onslaught as pillagers run out of the bakery carrying cakes, pies, bread -- whatever they can get their hands on.

Bruce stumbles through the mayhem, confused.

BRUCE What's going on?

COLLEGE KIDS Partying, man. Woooo!!!! Sabers !!

They continue to trash the area.

BRUCE But your team won!

Cars are being rolled over. A lone POLICE OFFICER protects himself with his shield as he's pelted with various debris.

The Officer PULLS BRUCE down behind a car.

POLICE OFFICER Stay down.

BRUCE Where are the other officers?

POLICE OFFICER What other officers? Half the force just retired. Said their "ship came in." You better get home pal. It's dangerous out here.

The Officer heads out. Bruce stands, then quickly DUCKS, as a bottle is tossed through a window that has a lotto sticker on it.

RIOTER The lottery sucks! I only won 17 bucks!

BACK TO SCENE

Bruce looks up at a burning building with a flaming "Mr. Exclusive" billboard above -- it comes CRASHING DOWN. Bruce looks out over the rioters.

ON BRUCE

We see the anger build in his face, like Moses looking down on the Israelites. He RAISES HIS ARMS. DARK CLOUDS SWIRL IN THE SKY. WIND BLOWS. LIGHTENING CRACKS.

BRUCE Hear, O' Buffalo, you have awakened my wrath. Vengeance is mine!

A BOLT OF LIGHTENING shoots right into the middle of the rioters, scattering them. People flee in every direction as THUNDER CRASHES and lightning bolts continue to strike.

Bruce stands alone in the street, surveys the smoldering mayhem, then reaches into his pocket and pulls out the key God gave him. He grips it tightly and...

INT. OMNI PRESENTS - NIGHT

Bruce stands there, sees God as he originally found him, mopping. God looks up at Bruce, not surprised to see him.

BRUCE They're all out of control. I don't know what to do.

GOD You mind giving me a hand with this floor first?

Off Bruce's look...

DISSOLVE TO:

LATER

Bruce's sleeves rolled up, mopping next to God.

GOD "Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king, king's dissatisfied 'cause he rules everything..." (to Bruce) Springsteen. I like a little Boss in my head while I'm workin'...

They finish up. God looks back at the sparkling floor, satisfied.

GOD There we go. Wonderful thing. No matter how filthy something gets, it can always be cleaned right up.

God collects Bruce's mop.

BRUCE What happened? I gave everyone what they wanted.

God sets the mops down.

GOD Since when does anyone have a clue about what they want?

God holds up a REMOTE AND CLICKS, changing the room into the DINER where Bruce first parted his soup. (NOTE: Whenever the room "changes" we're actually still in the room, but seeing a full projection of an environment on the walls and columns)

The older waitress, Ginnie, clears some dishes...

GOD Remember Ginnie?

Ginnie bends down behind the counter and when she comes back up she is a hot 21 YEAR OLD.

GOD Ginnie thought she lost her beauty when she got older. I'm trying to convince her otherwise.

Ginnie bends down again, and when she comes back up, she is HER OLDER SELF again.

God clicks the remote, changing the environment into a SCHOOL YARD. We see the grade school where Filbert Davis, the boy Bruce helped up the rope, is in a fight.

GOD Ah yes, Filbert. Brilliant young man. He was going to be a great poet. The soul of his work would have been built out of his hardships. He would have touched millions. (feigns cheery) But now he's headed for a career as a professional wrestler.

God clicks, changing the environment into a CONDO. We see a lonely woman (who found the cash in her purse) sitting depressed, rocking in a chair.

GOD Ester Maha. I love Ester. Ester was bankrupt. She was going to have to eat her pride and call her sister. Would've got the two of them together again. Instead, she bought a condo in Florida.

God clicks the remote again...

GOD (recalling Bruce's own words) And have you seen the news lately?

We see footage of the ARCTIC SEA and NORTH AND SOUTH POLES...

NEWSCASTER #1 Scientists believe last weeks asteroid may have knocked the earth off it's axis resulting in the rapid acceleration of the melting of the polar caps...

Click. More footage of FLOODWATERS and RISING TIDES...

NEWSCASTER #2 And more tidal wave activity reported and resulting in devastating floods all tied to last weeks abnormal lunar activity...

Click. We see footage of DECIMATED CROPS.

NEWSCASTER #2 That swarm of locusts spotted in Buffalo has multiplied, wreaking havoc on local agricultural crops. Food and produce prices are expected to skyrocket.

GOD (to Bruce, again using Bruce's words) Now what kind of a God let's that happen?

God clicks the images off.

GOD Not as easy as it looks, is it? This God business.

BRUCE So what do I do?

God smiles, asks him again what he asked him in the alley...

GOD You want some advice?

BRUCE Yes.

God smiles, starts to walk away...

GOD Everybody wants a miracle, Bruce. Want me to do everything for 'em. But what they don't understand is, they're the one's holding the power.

God claps the bright ceiling light on, walks over to the latter.

BRUCE Wait. Where are you going?

GOD This is good-bye, Bruce. You've learned a lot. I think you should be able to handle things now.

God climbs, ascending into the light.

BRUCE What if I have a question? What if I need you?

God stops, looks down to Bruce.

GOD See Bruce, that's your problem. That's everybody's problem. You keep looking up...

He smiles and disappears into the light, leaves Bruce thinking.

INT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT - DAY

Bruce stands in the apartment, Sam at his side. No signs of Grace. The bed is made. Empty.

Then, he notices the BOX OF PHOTOS, the incomplete albums.

He picks up a photo of he and Grace in an even tinier apartment, Sam is a puppy, they have little money, and despite it all look very happy. Bruce smiles at the memory.

Reaches for a stack of photos...

EXT. CITY STREETS - MORNING

Bruce sits in bumper to bumper traffic. A man's car is broken down in the middle of the street causing the bottleneck.

Bruce sees THE SIGN GUY by the side of the road. His sign reads: ALL FOR WON.

Bruce looks out at the other drivers honking and shouting at the frustrated man.

CUT TO - the stalled car is now rolling to the shoulder and we REVEAL that Bruce is doing the pushing.

INT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT

THE COMPUTER

The auto-function is answering "YES" to the prayer emails.

Bruce clicks cancel, turns off the computer.

INT. SCHOOL YARD

Filbert Davis is beating up another kid. Bruce watches at a distance.

BRUCE Bruce giveth and Bruce taketh away.

Suddenly, Filbert goes to throw a punch but his punch has no sting. The bigger boy looks down and grins.

CLOSE ON FILBERT - SUDDEN FEAR IN HIS EYES

INT. SCHOOL CLASSROOM

The teacher stands before the class, reading a student's paper.

TEACHER "Pain". By Filbert Davis.

As she reads the poem, PAN TO Filbert Davis seated in class with a ripe BLACK EYE.

EXT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT - MORNING

Bruce is waiting for Sam to pee.

BRUCE Come on, Sam. Let's do this the right way... Oh, alright...

Bruce pulls out a SWATCH OF CARPET, lays it on the grass.

Sam happily goes. They walk off together.

BRUCE That's not normal you know.

INT. HARDWARE STORE - DAY

Bobby places three blue home address number tiles on the counter -- all number 6.

BOBBY (demonic voice) Do you have these in red?

Bruce walks up behind Bobby.

BRUCE Okay Bobby, it's time to come back.

Bobby HISSES at Bruce, turns INSANELY DEMONIC.

BOBBY LEAVE ME HOLY MAN OR I WILL FEED ON YOUR SOUL!!!

BRUCE (casual) Un-damn you, Bobby.

Bobby instantly transforms to normal.

BOBBY Hey thanks, Bruce. (holds out a cookie) Biscotti?

INT. NEWSROOM - DAY

Evan is packing his things at his desk, still looking much worse for the wear. Bruce walks up to him.

EVAN You're probably here to gloat over the anchor position. Go ahead, I'm sure I deserve it.

BRUCE You know, Evan. I've been a real prick.

Evan stops, looks up at Bruce, confused.

BRUCE You were born to anchor. I'm not taking the position. Oh, and I never really congratulated you on getting the job in the first place. Congratulations, Evan.

Bruce offers his hand, Evan takes it. When their hands meet, there is a kind of ELECTRICAL CHARGE that passes between them. Bruce walks off, Evan is confused when he catches his reflection in the mirror. HE'S BACK TO NORMAL!

INT. JACK'S OFFICE - LATER

ON TV

Evan is manning the anchor desk and looking good doing it.

Jack is relieved.

EVAN BAXTER In the financial world, things are settling back to normal in what analysts are calling a fluke market fluctuation...

Bruce enters.

BRUCE You made the right choice, Jack.

JACK So what about you? What will you do?

BRUCE With your permission, I think I'll go out there and make the people laugh. To quote a friend, "God knows we could use it."

Jack smiles.

JACK Permission granted.

Bruce turns to go, then turns back.

BRUCE Oh, are you hungry? I know a place that makes a mean tomato soup.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

Bruce walks along side Jack. Jack talks and talks, happy to have the company. Bruce opens a door for Jack, leading to...

INT. DINER

Bruce and Jack take a seat at the counter.

WAITRESS (O.S.) Coffee, gentlemen?

Jack and the waitress lock eyes -- there's an instant attraction. Bruce smiles.

BRUCE Jack. This is a friend of mine, Cindy. Cindy this is Jack.

JACK (smitten) Hi.

CINDY (smitten) Hi.

EXT. EYEWITNESS NEWS STATION - DAY

ON THE HOMELESS SIGN GUY

HIS SIGN READS:

"GOD BEE GOOD HONEY"

PULL BACK to reveal BRUCE, sitting next to him with his own sign reading:

"WHATEVER HE SAID"

With a little arrow pointing to the Homeless Sign Guy.

EXT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT - DUSK

Bruce paces, waiting for Sam.

BRUCE You can do it, Sam. Without the carpet. Come on.

Sam does. Bruce celebrates, does a happy dance and is surprised to see Debbie standing there.

DEBBIE (re: the peeing dog) Looks like your rain dance worked.

BRUCE Debbie. Hey. You know, I never got to apologize for -

DEBBIE I didn't really come to chat, I came for Grace's things.

INT. BRUCE AND GRACE'S APARTMENT

Debbie is packing items into a box. She sees the photo albums on the coffee table. She flips through, surprised.

DEBBIE They're full... You did all this?

Bruce nods. Debbie looks at Bruce, sizing him up.

DEBBIE You really hurt her, you know.

BRUCE I know.

Debbie starts to go, but turns back.

DEBBIE You know what I do before I go to sleep every night? I tuck my kids in bed, I eat a scoop of ice cream and watch Conan. You know what Grace does? She prays. Most of the time for you.

This not only touches Bruce, but it gives him an idea.

INT. BRUCE AND GRACE' S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Bruce sits anxiously at the computer with Sam, checks the emails and types in GRACE CONNELLY. He hits "search". 1,273 entries appear.

BRUCE The woman does pray a lot.

He types in "Grace and Bruce" and eagerly awaits. There are 335 matches. He checks a few...

"Dear God, please help Bruce to find himself, find contentment, find You."

"Dear God, please help Bruce. He's struggling to find meaning."

"Dear God, help Bruce to be happy. He can't seem to find his way..."

Over and over, he finds the same prayer, the same entry every morning and night for months on end.

Bruce is touched.

BRUCE She still loves me, Buddy.

He KISSES SAM and races out.

EXT. DEBBIE HOUSE - NIGHT

Bruce stands in front of the house with flowers, another special creation. He looks at the lavish bouquet, then sets them down, picks a single, normal Daisy from the garden.

Better.

He heads for the door when he hears crying. It's Grace. He looks up, sees a light on in the upstairs guest room.

He climbs the fire escape and looks in the window.

GRACE is sitting on the bed crying. As Bruce watches her cry, feeling her emotion, it starts to LIGHTLY RAIN.

GRACE Please God. Please...

Through her tears she is praying. Bruce looks at her with total love.

GRACE Please God. I still love him...

Bruce smiles, thankful.

GRACE ...but I don't want to love him anymore. Please God. Help me to forget. (cries) I don't want to hurt anymore. I want to forget.

Bruce just stands there, stunned. He gets it. He raises a hand, and with a simple wave, he performs an excruciatingly selfless act. He lets Grace go.

ON GRACE

Her face changes. She wipes her eyes. The pain is lifted.

And it is Bruce now who feels that pain. He looks at Grace.

A sad smile.

EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT

Rain droplets splash on the river where Bruce first raged at God. He stands in the middle of the street, looks up heavenward, weakly. Humble.

BRUCE You win. I'm done. Please. I don't want to do this anymore. I don't want to be God. (sighs) Please, help me.

And with that, the rain stops. The dark clouds slowly open as beams of light cut through, shining down upon Bruce, birds begin to chirp.adding to this magical moment as...

HONK! HONK!

A MAC TRUCK SLAMS THROUGH FRAME, MOWS BRUCE DOWN. His spirit remains in the same spot, looking confused, then STREAKS UP heavenward.

FLYING POV

SHOOTING HEAVENWARD like a missile, THROUGH THE CLOUDS, THROUGH THE SKY to...

A HUGE WHITE ROOM -- No walls, just white as far as the eye can see. The flooring is the whitest of white puffy clouds.

Bruce finds himself standing there. He looks around and when he turns behind him, he sees GOD. Floating on nothing, as though sitting in the most royal throne.

BRUCE Am I...?

GOD You can't expect to kneel down in the middle of a highway and live to talk about it.

BRUCE But why? Why now?

GOD I work in mysterious ways, son.

A beat as Bruce takes everything in.

BRUCE You knew it all along. You knew if I got everything I wanted, I would ruin my life.

God doesn't respond, just listens.

BRUCE So I'm dead... Okay. If this is what you want. Okay, okay...

God holds up the PRAYER BEADS, tosses them to Bruce. Bruce looks at the beads, then up at God, puzzled.

GOD Go ahead, use 'em.

BRUCE Alright... I've learned that I don't know as much I thought I did...

GOD Boy, you can say that again.

BRUCE Hey, I'm praying here.

GOD Sorry, go.

BRUCE If I could have just one thing in the world. It would be for Grace to live a happy, joyful life. And that she finds someone... (getting emotional as he realizes what he's saying) ...that she finds someone that will treat her with the love and respect that she so deserves.

God smiles the most satisfied of smiles.

GOD Now that is a prayer. (beat) Well, I better get on that one. See ya, Bruce.

Off Bruce's puzzled reaction he DROPS THROUGH THE CLOUDS -

FALLING POV - BACK DOWN TOWARDS EARTH, back THROUGH THE CLOUDS, and right INTO ANOTHER WHITE ROOM where...

BRUCE EYES OPEN and he GASPS FOR BREATH. The PRAYER BEADS still clutched tightly in his hand.

TWO DOCTORS stop giving Bruce CPR, see that his vitals have returned...

NURSE He's back!

INTERN BP 40 over 110 and rising.

DOCTOR #1 (to Bruce) Bruce? Can you hear me? (Bruce nods) We almost lost you there.

WIDER ANGLE -- The WHITE ROOM is a HOSPITAL ROOM -- Bruce is heavily bruised and bandaged.

DOCTOR #1 You lost a lot of blood. It wasn't easy to find a match -- you're a very rare blood type.

Bruce looks to the blood bag, sees "A/B Positive" written on the side.

CLOSE ON BRUCE - THINKING, HIS MIND RACING

BRUCE (groggy whisper) A/B Positive...

DOCTOR #2 (O.S.) You should thank God for donors. We don't have a lot of that type on hand.

NURSE There's your angel now.

Bruce turns toward the hospital door and sees...

GRACE

A cotton swab taped to her arm. Now he remembers where he heard of that blood type.

GRACE (re: her swab) I hear that all of this winds up in a warehouse somewhere. But you know me, I'm a sucker for this stuff.

The doctors give Grace the nod to enter as they go, leaving the two of them alone. Grace tentatively approaches.

GRACE I don't even know what I'm doing here. But... When I heard that you'd been in an accident and that you might not make it...

She starts to cry.

BRUCE Hey, I'm okay.

GRACE Does it hurt?

BRUCE Only when I talk, and smile... and y'know, exist in general.

Grace laughs. That's one thing Bruce could always do, is make her laugh. Grace spots the prayer beads in Bruce's hand, raises his arm.

GRACE Oh my gosh, you still have those?

Bruce looks at the prayer beads, then looks at Grace. He remembers his prayer to God and the emotion wells within him

GRACE What is it?

BRUCE Nothing. It's just really nice to see you.

She goes to him, Bruce sits up a bit and they embrace.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. CITY PARK - DAY

A BIG BLOOD DRIVE in progress. Everyone is there, Grace, Sam, Debbie and Zoe, Ginnie and Jack, the Kowolski brothers, Momma Kowolski, Evan, Susan, Dallas, Fred. Bobby serves various food items from his cart.

BOBBY You know, French Toast was invented by tavern owner, Joseph French, who had a poor knowledge of grammar, and did not know how to use the possessive apostrophe, so he called it French Toast instead of French's Toast...

Pull back to reveal BRUCE, crutch under one arm, cast on his leg, mic in hand, reporting. He's now talking in his OWN VOICE, much more himself.

BRUCE This is Bruce Nolan at Buffalo's first annual "Be the Miracle" blood drive. Remember, the life you save may be mine, so hurry down. I had a close call and, well, can you imagine what life would have been like without me?

Laughs in the background, from the people that know Bruce.

Bruce walks over to the Kowolski Brothers.

BRUCE In honor of this event, the Kowolski brothers have baked a one-of-a-kind, creation.

The brothers proudly unveil the special cookie and we see that it's a HUGE SYRINGE SHAPED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE.

BRUCE Sure, a little creepy and a shameless plug, but we love 'em. (Bruce breaks off a little piece, takes a bite) Mmm, good needle. Remember, that's Kowolski's bakery. The bakery that gets more air time than a high speed chase.

Everyone laughs. The Kowolski brothers beam.

Bruce takes a seat as a VOLUNTEER NURSE pulls up his sleeve, revealing the prayer beads worn around his wrist. She ties off his arm, starts to probe for a vein.

BRUCE To be honest, I've never been a big fan of shots...

The volunteer now is swabbing Bruce's arm and Bruce is starting to sweat.

BRUCE (nervous) Okay, we're good to go... They just stick it into my arm. Breaking through the skin, of course...

The volunteer pulls out the needle and Bruce PASSES OUT COLD.

Gasps, the Nurse leans close, total silence, then:

BRUCE BLLLAAAA!

Bruce jolts awake making the Nurse and several people jump.

They all laugh.

BRUCE Had you going, didn't I!

He reacts to the nurse POKING the needle in. Everyone laughs more.

BRUCE No, this is nothing. In fact, this is the second time I've given blood this week. For those of you who haven't heard, I'd like you to meet the soon to be Mrs. Exclusive.

He throws a look to Grace who smiles in return. The crowd applauds.

BRUCE This is Bruce Nolan reporting for Eyewitness News.

The camera cuts. Bruce lowers his mic, turns to Grace.

BRUCE So, what'd you think?

GRACE I don't know, I thought it was very pleasurable.

Bruce smiles, they kiss...

As the blood drive continues, we push through the crowd, heading somewhere. Bodies clear frame and we see the HOMELESS MAN sitting on a park bench. His sign reads:

"THEE END"

The Homeless Man smiles into camera. We continue forward and in a slow, mysterious, subtle fashion his face slowly transforms into the very pleased, FACE OF GOD, who winks and we...

CUT TO BLACK:

ROLL CREDITS

<<<

/ Bruce Almighty.
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