>>, I>, II

, ( 2)

: , / Liar, Liar.

, / Liar, Liar

FLETCHER
All right-- now let me tell you something...you're absolutely right. I'm guilty of all charges.

I'm throwing myself on the mercy of your -court.
Audrey doesn't know what to say. Fletcher seems very sincere, but she can't trust him.
FLETCHER (CONT'D) I have an idea. I'll come over tonight, right after court lets out and play with Max. Have him invite some friends over. We'll have a game and everything. Then, you and I can sit down and talk.
AUDREY
We're suppose to be on a plane tonight-FLETCHER No, Audrey. Just talk to me about this first.

Please. Audrey, I've lost you. Don't make me lose Max, too.
AUDREY
You ' re rea l ly com ing?
FLETCHER
This is iron-clad. This is the mother of all promises.
What time?
AUDREY
.. .Six?
FLETCHER
Ten-to-six.
AUDREY
(unsure) All right... only if I tell Max you 're coming and you don 't show up and I have to see that look on Max's face - -that heartbreaking look-- it's Boston, Fletcher.
FLETCHER.
I will be there . As Audrey gets in her car -- .
AUDREY
I hope so. Do you know what your son was doing at nine-
fifteen last night? He was
making a wish on his birthday cake. He was wishing that, for just one day, his dad couldn't tell a lie.
She drives away. Fletcher starts for his car, pensive, when a new thought strikes him.
FLETCHER
Oh my God! That-'s it! An innocent kid - - a heartfelt plea-- a birthday wish! Sure, it's impossible --but it 'makes sense!.. ! If he can wish it, he can unwish it!
INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HALLWAY
Fletcher marches quickly down the hall, cake box under his arm.

INT. MAX'S KINDERGARTEN CLASS
Ms. Berry's reading a story when Fletcher enters. Max brightens.
MAX
Dad!

MS . BERRY
Are you Max's dad? I'm Ms. Berry, Max's teacher!
FLETCHER
Hi. Listen, I need to talk to
Max-MS. BERRY
Mr. Reid, we were just talking
about careers. You're a
lawyer, aren 't you?
FLETCHER
(wary)
Yes.
MAX
Mr. Reid it'would be wonderful for the children to hear something positive about lawyers!
FLETCHER
Well, actually--
MS. BERRY Children! .Mr. Reid is going to tell us what it's like to be a lawyer.
She leads the kids in APPLAUSE. Fletcher takes center stage. The children stare, rapt with attenion.
FLETCHER Uh, hi. Uh, I'm a lawyer and I work at a big law firm with a lot of other lawyers and I do stuff in a law court. Thank you. He starts out.
MS. BERRY
One moment, Mr. Reid. Maybe some of the children have questions
(hands shoot up) Jeffrey?
JEFF
What kind of lawyer are you?
FLETCHER
Mostly, I 'm a divorce lawyer.
BILLY What's that?
FLETCHER
It means if you're daddy left your mommy, he'd call me.
CRAIG
So what do you do?
FLETCHER
(growing more and more impatient) I help people fight over their money and their children.
THEODORE
Can't they fight without you?
FLETCHER ' " They could but then J wouldn't make a living.
JILL
Why would my daddy leave my mommy?
FLETCHER
To marry a younger woman. To escape a loveless marriage and have cheap meaningless sex. To cling to an illusion of youth as his body gives way to sore backs, flat feet, spare tires, gum disease, hair loss, liver spots, kidney stones, clogged arteries, diabetes, goiter and eventual death.
The kids EYES GO WIDE. A moment, then:
MS. BERRY
(brightly) Well, I think it's time for fingerpainting.
EXT. PLAYGROUND - DAY
They're in the playground just outside the classroom.
FLETCHER
Monster-Max .
MAX
Dadzilla. You came to play
catch?
FLETCHER No. I'd like to , but I can't right now.
Max is d isappo inted aga in .
FLETCHER (CONT'D) I 'm sorry I missed your party last night. How was your Uncle Glen?
MAX
Stup id. His big nose and stup id orange hair...
FLETCHER That's why he should have worn make-up.
Fletcher elbows Max, playfully, trying to induce a laugh. Max doesn't laugh.
MAX .
I want to play kickball with my friends.-FLETCHER Yeah, okay, urn... Your mother to ld me arjout.

.. the w ish you made last night. It came true.
Max is amazed.
MAX
Really? You mean you have to
tell the truth?

FLETCHER
Yes .

MAX
No matter what?
FLETCHER
No matter what.
Max gr ins - - then sudden ly asks , in rap id success ion .
MAX
Is wrestling real?

FLETCHER In the O lymp ics , yes . On Channe l 23, no .
MAX
Will sitting close to the TV set make me go blind?
FLETCHER
Not in a million years.
MAX
If I keep making this face-(makes a horrible face)
will it get stuck that way? FLETCHER
Uh-uh.
MAX
.If I go in the water right after lunch, will I drown?
FLETCHER
Only if you can 't 'swim .
MAX
Why do I have to eat squash?
FLETCHER
Because your mom buys it.
MAX
How come you ' re a lways too busy to play with me?
The sudden shift in tone startles Fletcher. He feels awful.
FLETCHER I . . . I don t know. I'm... Hey, you know I'm coming over tonight. We're gonna play together.
MAX
Baseball?
FLETCHER . Yes ! This is abso lute ly an A-number one promise. You and I -- tonight -- baseball.
Fletcher and Max do their ritual "five" slap.
FLETCHER Now, listen, Max, I need a favor from you . I'm in a little trouble today. I need you to take that w ish back.
MAX
So you can lie?
FLETCHER
Not to you.
MAX
To who?
FLETCHER
Max , sometimes grownups . .. need to lie. It's hard to explain, but if . . . Look, here's an example. When Mommy was pregnant with you, she gained a little weight. Seventy pounds. I thought she was gonna g ive b irth to a car. But she 'd say to me "How do I look?" So I id say, "Oh, honey, you're beautiful, you're glowing.11 Otherwise, I would 've hurt Mommy 's feelings.

Understand?
Max nods .
MAX
You didn 't think she was beautiful.
FLETCHER Right. No... Max , I don't know how to get along in the grown-up world if I have to stick to the truth. I could lose my case, I could lose my promotion, I could even lose, my job... Do you understand?
Max shakes h is head "no ."
FLETCHER (CONT'D) Will you help me anyway?
A moment -- then Max reluctantly nods.
FLETCHER (CONT'D) That's my boy!
Fletcher opens the box, revealing a cake and candles .... He takes out two b irthday hats. He puts one on Max and one or h imse lf.
FLETCHER (CONT'D) Now, do whatever you did last night... only this time , make an un-wish.
Not really happy, Max turns to the candles on the cake. He takes a breath-- and blows them out.
MAX
I did it.
FLETCHER
Great! Great! Now to test --
Fletcher spots an attractive FEMALE teacher. Fletcher
hurries to her and says something. A moment. Then she
SLAPS HIM. J 6
Fletcher returns to his son.
MAX Did it work?
FLETCHER
(rubbing his sore cheek)
Not like Id hoped. Did you really unwish it?
Max nods.
MAX
Only...
FLETCHER
Only what?
MAX
Yesterday, when I wished it, I really meant it. This time when I unwished it I only did it 'cause you told me to.
FLETCHER (losing patience) Well, then do it again. Only this time , mean it.
MAX
I can't.
FLETCHER
Why not?!
MAX
Because I don't want you to lie.
FLETCHER
I explained this to you! I
have to lie. Everybody lies!
Mommy lies, even the wonderful
Jerry lies-MAX
But you' re the only one who makes me fee l bad .
Fletcher is stunned by how much this hurts.
MS. BERRY (calling) Max, recess is over, come on in.
MAX
I have to go .
FLETCHER
I am coming over, tonight. Max. You believe me, don t
you?
Max hes itates , then nods .
FLETCHER (CONT'D) I' ll see you tonight, buddy .. . That's a promise .
Max heads back to class. Fletcher picks up the cake, looks at it, then dumps it in a trash barrel.
EXT . SKYSCRAPER - DAY
A worried and preoccupied Fletcher is heading toward his office building when a MACHO ATTORNEY passes by.
MACHO ATTORNEY
Yo, Fletcher! How's it hanging?
FLETCHER
Short and shrivelled.
Fletcher hurries up the steps when he spots Philip. He shields his face with his briefcase.

Philip recognizes him anyway.
PHILIP
Fletcher! I'm still waiting for your call. I guess you must ve lost my card -FLETCHER
No -PHILIP
Or my phone was busy
FLETCHER
No -PHILIP
Or you just forgot -FLETCHER
No -PHILIP
(cannot be
discouraged) Or something. ;So anyway, 'why don' t you sw ing by my place around seven-thirty!
Philip starts off, when Fletcher calls after him resolutely.
FLETCHER Philip... I don't want to come over to your house!
A long moment, then -PHILIP
Fine! We'll go out! There's this new karaoke bar I've been dying to try. I'll p ick you up at your office! Seven-
thirty! !
And he runs off. Frustrated, Fletcher hurries on.
INT . OFFICE 'S - DAY
Fletcher drags himself past Greta's desk. Miranda gives him the stink-eye . Fletcher doesn't see her .
GRETA
Do you want your messages?
FLETCHER
No.
He goes into his office. Greta is concerned. She follows him in, leaving his door open .
INT . FLETCHER 'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
Fletcher collapses onto his couch. Greta enters.
GRETA
Are you okay?
FLETCHER
My son hates me .
GRETA
No ! He loves you . I've seen you together. You're his hero.
FLETCHER Oh yeah? Last night at his b irthday party, he made a wish. That I wouldn't be able to tell a lie for one whole day.
GRETA
Kids...
FLETCHER
It came true.
GRETA
What?
FLETCHER
It's true. Didn't it seem odd to you that I kept telling the truth all morning?
GRETA
Well, yeah, but...
(incredulous) You're telling me that you can't lie.
FLETCHER
That's right! I am incapable of lying-
INT . OUTER OFFICE
Miranda is 'eavesdropping. A wicked gleam in her eye INT. FLETCHER'S OFFICE
GRETA
Just today?
FLETCHER
Apparently until 9:15 tonight. It's a twenty-four hour curse .
GRETA
Yes, those are going around.
FLETCHER
You don 't believe me .
GRETA
Of course not.
FLETCHER
Go ahead. Ask me something I 'd normally lie about.
She thinks .
GRETA
All right. Remember a few months ago, I wanted a raise-FLETCHER
(qu ick ly) Forget it. Let's not do this.
GRETA
-- and the firm wouldn't.give me one. And I asked you if you would give it to me out of your own pocket and you said the company wouldn't permit it because it creates jealousy among the other secretaries? Was that true or did you just not want to pony up the dough?
INT. OUTER OFFICE
Greta is emptying all her personal effects into boxes. She's leaving. Fletcher is on the phone and looks very harras ,sed.
FLETCHER
Greta, p lease . ..
(into phone) Yes Judge Stevens, hi!.. Fletcher Reid. I m scheduled to be in your court in half-an-hour . . . Judge Stevens, I badly, badly need a continuance ... so I can go home and stay there the rest of the day. ..111? Am I ill?
He wants to say "yes", but he can't.
FLETCHER
In a way.
(covers the
mouthpiece) Please, lie to him for me.
Greta holds up a framed photograph.
GRETA
I remember when you. bought me this silver frame. From Tiffany 's .
(questioning) . . . Tiffany's?
FLETCHER
Jumbo 's House of Junk .
She thrpws it in the trash and keeps pack ing.
FLETCHER (CONT'D) I'll give you the raise!
GRETA
(gives him the finger) Here's your raise .
FLETCHER
(into phone) Hi, Judge Stevens? . . . Yes , I know I haven't given you a reason.
The PHONE RINGS .
FLETCHER (CONT'D) (into phone) But if you could just do this for me, I--
The phone won't stop ringing. . '
FLETCHER (CONT'D)
Ho ld on, p lease ,
(pushes two
buttons) Hello ... Mom!!
The phone flies into the air. He catches it.
FLETCHER (CONT'D) Mom. .. Well, I wasn t actually on vacation... Because I didn't want to talk to you... Because you insist on talking to me about Dad's bowel movements -- size, color, frequency... I'll call you later... No, not really .
He pushes -two more buttons. Then SCREAMS.
FLETCHER (CONT'D)
Oh dammit! I cut him off! I
cut off the Judge! Greta...
He falls to his knees.
FLETCHER (CONT'D)
I'm on my knees in a nine hundred dollar suit. Don't leave.
Greta stops. She seems to consider.
roof. Yes?
GRETA
FLETCHER
A few years ago a friend of mine had a burglar up on her
GRETA . . A burglar. -He fell through the kitchen skylight and landed on a cutting board on a butcher's knife, cutting his leg. He sued my friend. The
burglar sued my friend . Thanks to guys like you-- he won. My fr iend had to pay h im s ix thousand dollars. Is that justice?
FLETCHER
No. . . but what' s your poijit!
GRETA
My po int is, it's hard to get justice . But this is justice ,
(pinches his
cheek)
Have a nice day in court, bubb ie.
She leaves. Fletcher starts to give chase. . .
FLETCHER
Greta-He runs directly into Miranda.
FLETCHER
Aaaah!
Miranda smiles like a cat that's trapped a mouse.
MIRANDA
Ah, Fletcher, so nice to bump into you . Are you busy?
FLETCHER
Extremely.
MIRANDA
Good . Wou ld you fo llow me , please?
Highly nervous, Fletcher follows Miranda down the hall.
MIRANDA (CONT'D)
F letcher, d id you know that the partnership committee is being headed up by Mr. Allan himself?
(off his wary
nod)
Say, you used to work directly for Mr. Allan, didn't you?
(off his waried
nod)
Tell me, what do you think of him?
FLETCHER
(helpless) He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless, steaming pile of cow dung .
MIRANDA
(grinning) How delightful!
She swings open a door, ushering Fletcher into -INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY
The room is filled with ATTORNEYS, including MR. ALLAN, the founder himself. Fletcher freezes.
MIRANDA
Pardon me for interrupting your, meeting. Mr. Allan, you remember Fletcher Reid.
MR. ALLAN It's good to see you again,
Fletcher. '.
An involuntary WHIMPER from Fletcher.
MIRANDA
Oh, that's right. You used to work together. .Tell me, what do you think of Mr. Allah?
Fletcher gulps. This is it. His career is history. He's try ing to no ld it back, but- -
MIRANDA
I said... What do you think of Mr. Allan?
FLETCHER He's a pedantic, pont ificat ing , pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless, steaming pile of cow dung .
DEAN SILENCE. Then --Mr. Allan bursts into raucous LAUGHTER. He is joined by everyone except Miranda, who looks on, STUNNED. Everyone pounds the table in hysterics.
MR. ALLAN Marve lous! Marve lous! That's what I love most about this firm-- the collegial atmosphere, the hearty good-fellowship!
M iranda is incensed .
MR. ALLAN (CONT'D) And thanks for those flowers for my anniversary. My wife loved them .
FLETCHER Well, I'm due in court... bye-bye-
INT . HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
Fletcher exits the conference, closes the door, breathes a sigh of relief, then FAINTS.
INT . COURTROOM
CLOSE UP of Fletcher, seated alone at a table. His hands are on his-face. He looks totally dazed. At the other table, sit Dana Appleton and Mr. Cole.
BAILIFF
All rise.
They do. Judge Stevens enters. He sits. Everyone sits.
JUDGE STEVENS Counselors, are we ready to begin?
FLETCHER
(eagerly and a little too loudly)
No sir! We are not ready to begin. My client has not arrived.
The doors OPEN and Virginia Cole enters with her CHILDREN and a NANNY.

FLETCHER - - until now .
He collapses into his chair.
(to Falk, w ith
determination) Did you and Mrs. Cole ever make lo-- forni-- roll in the h-- make the beast with two ba-- Did you two ever fu--
fu-- Fu!
He begins to hyperventilate. Virginia turns to Falk.
VIRGINIA
Water! Get him water! Falk hurries into the building as Fletcher hacks on.
FLETCHER
Fu-- fu-VIRGINIA 7 Sit down! Get some air! (slaps him on the
back)
Try to relax! Breathe deeply!
Falk hurries out with a cup, hands it to Fletcher, who downs it in one gulp -- then spews it out again, SCREAMING in PAIN. -

VIRGINIA (CONT'D) What?! What?!
FALK
I couldn't find any water, so I got him coffee!
Fletcher runs up and down the steps, frantically fanning his scalded mouth. The bailiff appears.
BAILIFF
Judge is tak ing the bench. Fletcher's expression turns to terror. INT. COURTROOM - DAY
The judge settles in. Mr. Allan and a smug Miranda look on from the gallery.
JUDGE STEVENS
You may proceed, Mr. Reid. .
Everyone turns to Fletcher in anticipation. In a voice quaking with fear .. .
VIRGINIA Sorry. One of the kids threw up in the car.
Virginia takes her seat, leaving her two young children sitting dejectedly in the gallery with their nanny.
FLETCHER
(incredulous
whisper) You brought your kids. . . to your divorce?
VIRGINIA
(by way of explanation) Sympathy.
FLETCHER Well, it's working. I feel sorry for them already.
The judge BANGS the gavel.
JUDGE STEVENS Ms . App leton , you may beg in .
CUT TO:
Dana Appleton questions BRYSON, a private investigator. Fletcher watches with mounting anxiety, NERVOUSLY DRINKS from a GLASS OF WATER at his table.
BRYSON
(referring to his notes)
-- From March six through June twelve, I surveilled Mrs. Cole at the behest of Mr. Cole. During that period, I noted that Mr. Cole left each day between seven-forty and seven-fifty. Thereafter, Mrs. Cole would frequently have a male visitor arrive and stay for one to four hours. I was able to take several photographs of the male visitor.
He shows a photo --of a strapping hunk. Fletcher TAKES A HUGE DRINK
DANA
I see. And do you .know what Mrs . Cole and her male visitor did during their frequent.. . visits?
BRYSON
Well, they were pretty good about keeping the shades drawn -- but I sure was able to hear. I made an audiotape of one such . , "sess ion ."
He hands her the tape. Fletcher refills his glass.
DANA
With the Court's permission, I would like to play the tape.
FLETCHER
Your Honor, I object!
JUDGE STEVENS
And why is that, Mr. Re id?
FLETCHER
(can 't help himself)
Because it's devastating to my case.
The judge is startled by his candor.
JUDGE STEVENS
Overruled. .
As Dana pops the tape into a player, Fletcher anxiously
DOWNS THE GLASS.
Periodically CUTTING to Virginia, Mr. Cole, Dan and the thirsty Fletcher, we hear Virginia and her visitor engagec in intense physical activity.
MALE VISITOR (O.S.) So , what d id you say? You ready?
VIRGINIA (O.S.) Oh boy am I ready.
MALE VISITOR (O.S.) Good. Let me help you off with that. Come on, lie down.
VIRGINIA (O.S.) Wait a minute. Do you have protection?
MALE VISITOR (O.S.) Right here. Okay, now I 'm gonna show you something new.
VIRGINIA (O.S.)
Oh, I've never done it like
this before . . .
MALE VISITOR (O.S.) Don't worry, you can take it. Oh yeah. That's it. There you go . Yes!

Yes!
WE HEAR labored rhythmic breathing.
MALE VISITOR (O.S) (CONT'D) Yes, yes, yes -As Dana fast-forwards again then resumes... with still more labored breathing, building intensity and -MALE VISITOR (O.S.) (CONT'D) Oh yeah, bring it on .home -yes! Yes! Yes!
VIRGINIA (O.S.)
Yes! YES! YES!
The groans reach their incredible climax. There's a still moment. . .
As the shy COURT REPORTER, the macho BAILIFFS and the no-
nonsense judge all mop their brows, Dana shuts off the tape. She turns to Fletcher with a satisfied smile.
DANA
Your w itness.
FLETCHER
No questions .
JUDGE STEVENS
No questions?.
VIRGINIA
No questions?
FLETCHER
(afraid to ask any) No questions .
DANA
(triumphant) Petitioner rests.
JUDGE STEVENS All right, Mr. Reid. You may proceed.
FLETCHER
(to himself)
How?!

Gathering his courage, he stands, downs the last of his water, and moves to the lecturn. He's about to speak. . . when a WONDERFUL FEELING sweeps through him.
After a momement, he grins.
FLETCHER (CONT'D) Would the Court be willing to grant me a short bathroom break?
JUDGE STEVENS
It can 't wait?
FLETCHER
Not unless you want to mop up. JUDGE STEVENS
(frustrated) All right, but get back in here immediately so .we can finish this.
Fletcher beams. Then necessity compels him to race out. INT. REST ROOM - DAY
Fletcher stands before the urinal, taking the longest leak in legal history. Relief. Then, he looks at his watch. It's only 4:15.
FLETCHER What did I think? That I
could piss for forty-five minutes?!
He HITS HIS FOREHEAD in frustration. . . and gets an idea.
He HITS HIMSELF AGAIN and AGAIN, SMASHES HIS HEAD INTO THE WALL, POKES HIMSELF IN THE EYES, YANKS ON HIS EARS, finally
KNOCKS HIMSELF IN THE STALL, where he continues his attack. A MAN enters, hears a commotion from behind the stall door.
MAN
What's going on in-there?
FLETCHER (O .S .) I 'm abusing myself! Do you mind?!
The man looks disgusted. He carefully leaves the room. INT. COURTROOM - DAY
The judge is PISSED. Suddenly the bailiff helps in the severly beaten Fletcher. The entire courtroom is SHOCKED.
BAILIFF
I found him like this in the bathroom. Somebody beat the hell out of him.
JUDGE STEVENS
Who did this?
FLETCHER (truthfully)
A madman, Your Honor. . A desperate fool at the end of his pitiful.rope.
JUDGE STEVENS
-What did he look like?
FLETCHER
(describing
himself) About five eleven, hundred eighty-five pounds, crazed look in his eye .
JUDGE STEVENS Bailiff, have the deputies search the bu ild ing .
A HUBBUB rises. He bangs the gavel.
JUDGE STEVENS (CONT'D)
Under the circumstances, I have no choice but to recess this case until tomorrow morning at nine .
Fletcher smiles serenly -- until -JUDGE STEVENS (CONT'D)
-- Unless, of course, you think you can still proceed?
Fletcher covers his mouth in a desperate attempt to avoid answering, but he can 't repress the truth.
JUDGE STEVENS (CONT'D)
Can you?
FLETCHER
Yes, I can.
JUDGE STEVENS
Splendid. I admire your courage, Mr. Reid. I'll give you a few minutes to compose yourself, and then we'll get started.
Fletcher looks as if he has just been sentenced to death. EXT. COURTHOUSE STEPS - DAY
Fletcher sits on the courthouse steps, miserable. PHONE RINGS.
FLETCHER
Hello.
INTERCUT WITH MAX AT HOME. AUDREY IS THERE.
MAX
Dad...
FLETCHER
(summoning up enthusiasm) Max i-pad . How's it go ing?
MAX
Great. You know Paul and Emanuel from across the street?

FLETCHER
The tw ins .
MAX . (excitedly) Well, they never want to play baseball with me, but I told them I was gonna play tonight with my Dad, so now they want to play with us. Is it okay?
FLETCHER
Sure.
MAX
Oh boy. We're setting up a whole field in the yard. Where we buried Petey the hamster is second base.
(Fletcher sighs) You 're still coming right? '
FLETCHER
(sees Virginia approaching) I'll be there. I gotta go now, Max . I'll see you in two hours.
Max hangs up .
MAX (to Audrey) He's really coming.
She smiles, but she 's worried . .
COURTHOUSE STEPS
Virginia approaches with her handsome lover, LAURENCE FALK.
VIRGINIA
Mr. Reid, you remember Laurence Falk, the man from the tape.
FALK
How are you?
FLETCHER I've slipped into the seventh circle of Hell, thank you, and
you?
V irg in ia exchanges an anxious look with Falk .
VIRGINIA Shouldn't we go over our testimony?
FLETCHER Well, basically the plan is I walk you through the tape step by step, I ask you questions--
VIRGINIA
And we give the explanation you came up w ith.
FLETCHER
Exactly .
FALK
So all we have to do is lie. Sounds s imp le enough .
FLETCHER Doesn't it? And I'll finish up with a dramatic series of questions , something like . ..

"Mr. Falk, isn't it true that you and Mrs. Cole have never made lo--"
But Fletcher GAGS . He CAN T GET THE QUESTION OUT . The others look concerned, but he waves them off.
FLETHCER (CONT'D) Sorry. I'm fine. "Mr. Falk, isn't it true that you and Mrs. Cole have never made lo--
IO- .H

To his horror, he GAGS AGAIN, .unable to form the word.
FLETCHER
(to himself) Oh my God! I can't do it! I can't finish the question if I know the answer is a lie!
At this moment Miranda and Mr. Allan come up the steps.
MR. ALLAN
Don't let me interrupt, Fletcher. I just want you to know I'll be observing this afternoon.

Miranda insisted I see you in action.
Fletcher shoots a hateful look at Miranda. She smiles.
MR . ALLAN (CONT 'D) I'm looking forward to it. Go
get 'em!
Mr. Allan and Miranda head into the building, leaving Fletcher more desperate than before.
FLETCHER C 'mon! Gotta rephrase the question!
FLETCHER Respondent calls... Lawrence Falk.
Fletcher's clears his throat. Here goes...
FLETCHER Mr. Falk, do you know my client, Virginia Cole?
FALK
Yes.
FLETCHER Isn't it true that your relationship with my client is entirely platonic, not?
The "not" was INVOLUNTARY. It takes everyone by surprise.
FALK
Excuse me?
FLETCHER
If I might rephrase your Honor.
(trying again) Is your relationship with my client entirely patonic, not? Is your relationship with my client not entirely platonic? Is not your relationship with my client entirely platonic?
(thinks he's got it, beams with confidence) Mr. Falk, is not your relationship with my client entirely platonic?
FALK (confused) No. I mean, yes. I think .
FLETCHER
Yes, is your relationship with my client not entirely platonic, or yes, is not your relationship with my client entirely platonic?
FALK
What?
FLETCHER How 'bout just answering the question you think I'm asking?
DANA
Your Honor, he's badgering the wintness!
JUDGE STEVENS It's hig witness!
FLETCHER Did you ever not make lo--Did you not ever make lo-(losing it) YOU HAD SEX WITH HER EVERYTIME
YOU MET, DIDN'T YOU? DIDN'T
YOU?!!
Falk looks shaken as Fletcher barrels on, unable to stop
FLETCHER (screaming at him)
ADMIT IT! YOU .SLAMMED HER!!
YOU STOKED THE FUR FIRE! YOU -DID THE YAM DANCE! !

FALK
(breaking down) YES, YES,-- IT'S TRUE! I HUMPED HER. BRAINS OUT! !
A GASP from the audience. All eyes are on Fletcher.
FLETCHER
(weakly) No further questions.
DANA
Uh .. .no questions .
JUDGE STEVENS (to Fletcher) Call your next witness .
FLETCHER I have no further witnesses, your Honor.
A MURMUR erupts from the crowd.
JUDGE STEVENS
You have no further witnesses?!
Fletcher meekly shakes his head, no.
VIRGINIA
(whispers, to Fletcher) What are you doing? Call me.
FLETCHER
(to Virginia) I can 't.
JUDGE STEVENS
Mr. Reid?
VIRGINIA
Call me, damn it!
FLETCHER You don't understand. I can't lie. Until nine-sixteen tonight, I can't even.ask a question that calls for a lie!
Virginia GRABS HIM BY THE TIE, pulls him CLOSE to her face.
VIRGINIA Listen, you bastard. I want my money. I am not gonna wind up a 31 year old divorce on welfare because my scum bag attorney had a sudden attack of conscience!
Fletcher suddenly stops -- focused on something Virginia said.
FLETCHER
(to himself) Thirty-one?
JUDGE STEVENS Mr. Reid, we're not getting any younger.. .
Fletcher quickly looks at the blowup of Virginia's prenup and her passport.
JUDGE STEVENS
(he 's had it) Mr. Reid you have presented virtually nothing in the way of evidence and as such I have no choice but to rule in favor
of --
FLETCHER
WAIT!
S ilence.
FLETCHER
(dramatically) Your Honor, I call Virginia Cole to the stand.
Stunned, Virginia nervously makes her way up
MR. ALLAN (in the gallery) What the hell is he doing?
MIRANDA
Kissing his career goodbye.
The Baliff stands before the witness.
BALIFP
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help -you God?
VIRGINIA
I do.
Fletcher approaches,. CONFIDENT NOW, COCKY.
FLETCHER Mrs. Cole -- may I call you irginia?
VIRGINIA
Yes.
FLETCHER But that would be a lie, wouldn't it?
VIRGINIA
What do you mean?
FLETCHER Isn 't your true name ... (brandishing

VIRGINIA Well, yes. But it wasn't me so I started us ing V irg in ia . Is there anything wrong with that?
FLETCHER .
Not really. It's just the first and smallest in the tissue of lies that is the Kleenex of your life. Let's take one simple document as a sample of your veracity, shall we, Carlotta?
He grabs her purse from the desk, rifles through it
FLETCHER Your driver's license. What color are your eyes?
VIRGINIA
Blue.
FLETCHER True blue? What if I asked you to remove your contact lenses? What color would they be then?
VIRGINIA
(reluctantly)
Brown.

FLETCHER
And here it says you're a blonde . Are you?
(off her silence) C 'mon , Carlotta, there's a very easy way for us to check. If you don't remember, perhaps Mr. Falk will.
VIRGINIA
Brunette.
FLETCHER More like a dirty brown, isn't
it?
(she nods) Let's see - . - 'Weight: one-o-five"? Please ...
VIRGINIA . One-eighteen.

(off his look) One-twenty-six. I swear!
FLETCHER
So on this single document, you basically lied at every opportunity. I'm sure a woman as vain as you would also lie about her age. It says you were born in 1964 . What s the truth? 1962? '60? How young did you try to make yourself?
VIRGINIA
(joyfully) Wrong! I didn't lie to make myself younger. I made myse lf older. I was born in 1965!"
FLETCHER
(feigning
surprise) What? You're trying to tell us you lied to make yourself older?
VIRGINIA Yes! "* lied so I could get married! So .there Mister 'I got-all-the-answers-because-I-went-to-law-school'!
JUDGE STEVENS Mr. Reid, does this have a point?
FLETCHER Oh, you bet it does, your Honor!
(on a roll) My client lied about her age because she was only 17 when she got married. Which makes her a minor. And in the great state of California, NO MINOR
CAN ENTER INTO A LEGAL CONTRACT WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT INCLUDING-DANA
(defeated, to herself) Prenuptua l agreements.

FLETCHER
(knows he has them)
PRENUPTUAL AGREEMENTS! THANK
YOU VERY LITTLE! This
contract is void!!! The fact that my client gets nailed more often than a two-by-four is irrelevant. Standard community property applies and this woman is entitled to half of the marital assets or thirty-seven point three-nine-five million dollars!!
(to Dana) You. . . . are .... TOSTTTTT! ! !
(dramatically) Nothing further, your Honor!
A MURMUR OVERTAKES THE ROOM!
JUDGE STEVENS
(banging his gavel)
Quiet! Let me see-the license and birth certificate.
All is quiet while the Judge reviews the documents. Then:
JUDGE STEVENS
In light of this new evidence, the court must rule in favor of the defense. Mrs. Cole is hereby awarded half of the marital assets -or thirtyrseven million three hundred and ninety-five thousand dollars.
The courtroom ERUPTS. FLETCHER'S WON! Dana, Mr. Cole are devastated.

MR. ALLAN
That son of bitch pulled it
off!
Mr. Allan gives Fletcher a thumbs-up; simultaneously, Miranda gives him the finger.
JUDGE STEVENS
Order! Order!! Now i understand both parties have agreed to joint custody. Is that correct?
FLETCHER AND DANA
Yes--
VIRGINIA
No! I'm contesting custody. F letcher freezes.
FLETCHER
What?
VIRGINIA
(re: her husband) Payback. For him trying to prevent me from collecting my thirty-seven million.
FLETCHER He was entitled to prevent you. You committed adultery. ' You only won because you're a liar, remember?
VIRGINIA No. You pointed out that my husband took advantage of a poor underage girl. I was the victim here. And now I'm going to hit him where it hurts.
FLETCHER But -- but -- you said he was a good father.
JUDGE STEVENS Mr. Reid? Do we have an agreement on custody or not?
Fletcher takes a distressed look at the children.
FLETCHER
No. .
JUDGE STEVENS In that case, there will be a custody hearing tomorrow morning at nine. Court is adjourned!
He BANGS THE GAVEL. Everyone gets up, but Fletcher's attention is drawn to a commotion between Virginia and her
kids.
VIRGINIA
Stop that! We're leaving now!
CHILD
I want to go w ith Daddy .
Fletcher watches, horrified, as she drags the kids away from their tearful father.
MR. COLE
Don 't worry . I'll see you no matter what. I promise.
Mr. Allan has made his way up to Fletcher.
MR. ALLAN
(re : the commotion) I love k ids . They g ive you so much leverage in a case like this.
(pats Fletcher on back)
Congratulations, partner. how does it feel?
And with that question asked, as he watches poor Mr. Cole and his kids, the truth dawns on Fletcher like a sledgehammer!
FLETCHER ' Excuse me. Just a second.
(to the Judge) Your Honor? Your Honor?
Wait!
JUDGE STEVENS
We' ,re adjourned, Mr. Reid.
FLETCHER Screw that!! She lies and she wins?! What are we, nuts?
Everyone stops, watches Fletcher.
FLETCHER (CONT'D) This woman --my client -goes down with the frequency of a nuclear submarine and we just gave her thirty seven million dollars because she's a liar! And now as an extra added little bonus, we're going to let her steal, the kids, too?

JUDGE STEVENS
Mr. Reid, you are out of order!
FLETCHER
(screaming) SO'S THE HAND TJRYER IN THE MEN 'S ROOM! ! Do you ever stop to ask yourself, why do people hate us? Could it be because what we did here today sucks?! We don't care about the truth! We don't want to find the truth! We want to win! We want to win at all costs...and you know what the worst thing about wanting to win so badly
is? WINNING! Winning and finding out you're left with nothing!
JUDGE STEVENS
That's enough, Mr. Reid -FLETCHER -Let' s see what I' ve done today. I've helped a gold digging slut get richer. I'm taking this guy's kids away.
(to Mr. Allan) I don't like you in the least, now I'm one of your partners ! YOU WANNA KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE MR. ALLAN? IT FEELS LIKE SHIT! BUT TO TELL YOU IT FEELS LIKE SHIT, FEELS FUCKING GREAT!!

Fletcher does feel strangely fantastic. Free,
JUDGE STEVENS
That's it, Mr..Reid. I find you in contempt!
FLETCHER
GOOD! I'M CONTEMPTIBLE! MY
WHOLE GODDAMN LIFE IS JUST ONE BIG FAT FIB! YOU LIKE MY HAIR? -(mussing hair)
MOUSSED! SHOULDERS -(ripping out pads)
PADDED! SHOES -

(kicking them off)
LIFTED! TEETH -(pulling out caps)
CAPPED! FIVE-NINETY A
CHICKLET!!
COMMOTION in the court. The judge BANGS HIS GAVEL!!!

JUDGE STEVENS Bailiff! Remove Mr. Reid from the courtroom!
FLETCHER You wanna know the truth? Oh yeah, let's let it rain... The truth is is that I've traded my life... a beautiful wife, an incredible son for THIS PISS POT OF BIG DOUBLE O'S!
The bailiff grabs Fletcher, forces him out...
FLETCHER GO AHEAD, YOUR HONOR, BANG YOUR GAVEL .-- KEEP TELLING
YOURSELF YOU'RE A BIG SHOT! DO
I SENSE A CASE OF GAVEL ENVY!!
WHAT'S THAT UNDER YOUR ROBE -INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE?!!
(the judge is turning beet red)
. I TOUCHED A NERVE DIDN 'T I? WE 'RE ALL A BUNCH OF BULLSHIT
ARTISTS!! IS THAT THE TRUTH IN YOUR PANTS OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE ME??
Fletcher is pushed passed Mr. Allan.
MR. ALLAN
You just killed your career. I hope you ' re happy .
FLETCHER
I 'M BEYOND HAPPY MY BUTT FACED FRIEND--- I'M EUPHORIC!
EXT . AUDREY 'S PORCH - 'DAY
A sad Max is seated on the steps . TWO other BOYS are there with baseball equipment.
PAUL
We ' re go ing home .
EMMANUEL
Yeah, thanks for the great game, Max.
Emanuel knocks Max's hat off. Audrey's been watching from the door. She goes and sits by her son.
AUDREY
Max, honey. Your dad had a very big case today. It probably just-MAX
I don 't want to talk about it. AUDREY
Okay.
MAX (suddenly) I hate dad! I hate him!
AUDREY
Honey , donAt say that.
Max is really upset. It's "that look" and then some. The look Audrey never wanted to see again.

She makes a decision.

AUDREY
Max, there's something I-want to talk to you about. . .
INT. JAIL AREA
Fletcher's handcuffed and is led to jail by TWO OFFICERS-. There's a happy/crazedness to him now.

The truth is pouring forth, but he looks way, way off the deep end.

(desperately, passing a phone) Phone call!! Phone call!! I get to make a phone call!!
INT. AUDREY'S KITCHEN -- DAY

Max and Audrey at the table. gave her are in front of them
MAX
When would we move?
The airline tickets Jerry

AUDREY
Soon. My semester's almost over. You only have a week left of school... You like Jerry don 't you?
(he nods) So what do you say, should we check it out? Jerry wants us to come with him tonight. He has to pick out a place to live and he really wants our help?
MAX
Could I get a sled for when it snows?
AUDREY
Of course you can. Max th inks , then :
MAX
Okay.
INT. JAIL
Fletcher's holding a phone. He's frantic, now.
FLETCHER
(re: ringing phone)
Answer! Answer!! Answer!! !
The phone RINGS, Audrey answers it.
AUDREY
Hello.
INTERCUT FLETCHER/AUDREY

FLETCHER
Audrey! It's Fletcher-AUDREY
(pissed) I can't talk now, Fletcher. We have to pack.
FLETCHER Wait, the most amazing thing's happened to me! I am feeling so good ...
(realizing) Pack?! Did you say pack?!
AUDREY
Max was sitting on the porch again, waiting for his dad. I won 't let you do this to him anymore.

I won 't let you do this to me.
FLETCHER Audrey, wait. Please, I need to talk to you. I swear, I'm a changed man. Just come to the courthouse with a thousand dollars and ba il me out. . .
Hello?
(to a cop) One more call!! I need another call!!
INT . JAIL CELL - DAY
Fletcher is pacing back and forth. A GROUP OF TOUGH PRISONERS are on the far side of the cell, trying to stay as far away from Fletcher as they can.
FLETCHER And what about our water supply? You don't think "the man s dumped enough toxins to render every dick in this cell as lifeless as a beached minnow? You 're damn rightJ "The man" does anything he wants. We're nothing but puppets . . . Little game pieces they move back and forth.
A DEPUTY appears.

DEPUTY
Mr. Reid.

FLETCHER
That's me. F letcher T. Reid. Pawn no. 332-154-9867.
DEPUTY
You made bail. Some woman.
INT . OUTER AREA
Fletcher rushes in.
FLETCHER
Audrey?
(he spots) Greta?!
GRETA
Am I too late? Have you been sexually molested yet? I cou ld c irc le the b lock .
FLETCHER Greta! Greta!! .... Look at you , you well preserved, underpaid, overworked, underappreciated thing you. Give me a hug! You came and got me out!! Hug me!!
GRETA (totally wierded out)
Yes, well, I heard you went all noble in front of Mr. Allan so-FLETCHER You know what?! I love you. I love you love you love you. I want to hug you. Come here . .
GRETA
Mr. Reid, what has gotten intc to you?!
FLETCHER Just the truth, Greta . Fifteen years of being stuck in a lie is nowhere near as powerful as one day of being stuck in the truth. (checks his watch)
Oh , my God!! I have to go! Thanks again, Greta! (as he runs off he calls back to her)
By the way, the truth is that I need you and I couldn't file a paperclip without you!
Greta smiles, then catches herself, and quickly regains hei "composure".
CUT TO:
EXT.STREETS/INT. BMW
Fletcher's driving like a madman . . .
FLETCHER
(on his phone) Answeransweransweranswer.. .

We HEAR a RECORDED VOICE:
VOICE
The subscriber you called is either unavailable or outside the calling area.
FLETCHER
Shit!!
INT. LAX UNITED TERMINAL - DAY
Audrey and Max meet Jerry by the ticket counter. Max is wearing the Dodger cap his dad gave him.

Jerry surprises him with a Boston Red Sox hat.
JERRY
A little going away present. I was gonna get you a bowl of clam chowder but they only had Manhattan.
AUDREY
Say thank you , Max .
MAX
Thanks.
Max takes off the hat his dad gave him and replaces it with the Boston hat.
INT. BMW - DAY

Fletcher's on the phone. He sails passed a parked POLICE CAR.
FLETCHER
(into phone) She lton , Jerry She lton . What time 's that flight leave? 7:50. Thank you .
(checks his watch) Oh, shit! Shit! ! Shit!
Fletcher spots the FLASHING LIGHTS.
FLETCHER Shiiiiit!!!
He pulls over -- so quick he jumps the curb.
POLICE OFFICER Would you step out of the car, please?
Fletcher obeys.
FLETCHER Listen; I know I'm driving a little crazy but i have an emergency to attend to. ..
The cop's just getting off his walkie talkie.
POLICE OFFICER
I 'm impound ing th is veh ic le .
FLETCHER Why? What for? For changing lanes?
POLICE OFFICER I just ran your tags through the computer. You ve got. seventeen unpaid parking tickets.
FLETCHER No! I paid them! This morning! That's the truth! I swear!!
POLICE OFFICER
Not according to the computer.

FLETCHER The computer is wrong! It hasn't been updated. The computer's a liar!
POLICE OFFICER You can straighten it out at the impound yard.

NO! No?

FLETCHER
(checks his watch, firm ly)

POLICE OFFICER

FLETCHER That's right, no! I'm not gonna lose my son because some stupid clerk was too lazy to update the computer. (getting cockier. as he goes) Now if you want to follow me, . you can follow me and take the car after I get where I'm going. I'm a lawyer and I know my rights! Understand?!
CUT TO:
A TOW TRUCK drives away with Fletcher's car, leaving Fletcher stranded.
EXT . STREETS - DAY
Fletcher frantically tries to hail a...
FLETCHER
Taxi! Taxi! ! No luck . He spots
A PAYPHONE
digs through the Yellow Pages. Finds "Ten Minute Taxi" . Yes! He fishes for change. Shit! He doesn't have any!!
FLETCHER
(looking
heavenward) Noooo!!!
He spots a man walk ing by.
FLETCHER 'Scuse me, sir. Do you have
any - -
The man turns. It's the same BEGGAR Fletcher was rude to outs ide the courthouse .
BEGGAR
Change? Absolutely. He continues walking.
FLETCHER
Could you spare some?
BEGGAR
Unquestionably.
The beggar cont inues on.
FLETCHER Alright, I get your point. But this is a crisis! Look, I'll give you ten bucks .
The beggar pulls out a quarter and holds it up.
BEGGAR
(admiring quarter) It's so sh iny and new.
FLETCHER
Twenty .
BEGGAR
Minted in Denver. Imagine that. 5
FLETCHER Thirty-four. That's all I have.
A moment as the beggar th inks , then :
BEGGAR
It's worth twice that to screw you-
He walks off, grinning.
FLETCHER
JERKOFF!
BEGGAR
LAWYER!
Fletcher turns, spots a familiar building in the distance.
FLETCHER
My office! !
INT. LOBBY FLETCHER'S OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
He starts in the front door, when a SECURITY GUARD stops him.
SECURITY GUARD
Whoa, where do you think you ' re go ing?
FLETCHER I just need to use the phone to call a cab. I work here .
MR. ALLAN (O.S.) Used to work here.
Mr. Allan has just exited the elevator.
MR. ALLAN (to security
guard)
Son, that man is tresspass ing . The guard starts toward Fletcher threateningly.
FLETCHER
Hold it!
(to Mr. Allan) I've got ten years worth of d irt on you and th is firm, and I'm in the kind of mood today to get a lot off my chest. You let me use the phone or I start talking!!
CUT TO:
Fletcher's is THROWN ON HIS ASS in the street. Mr. Allan has watched from atop the stairs of the building.
MR. ALLAN Still euphoric, Reid?
He goes back inside.* Fletcher starts to get up when a CAR SCREECHES to a HALT, inches away.

MAN'S VOICE (O . S .) Fletcher!
It's PHILIP.
PHILIP
Seven-thirty... It's Karaoke time!
Fletcher runs up and HUGS the astonished man,
FLETCHER
PHILIP!! LOOK AT YOU!!! MY PHILIP! !
Fletcher KISSES HIM ON THE LIPS . INT. PHILIP'S CAR - DAY Philip's driving Fletcher.
FLETCHER
You're saving my life, Philip.
PHILIP
You know, it's funny, but for some reason I was beginning to think you didn't like me. Isn't that silly?
FLETCHER . No. It's not silly. I don't like you.
PHILIP
What?
FLETCHER I don't like you . I'm sorry . I find you boring. I hate charades. And you wouldn't know a good time if it sat on your face.
(feels bad) I'm sorry. It was easier than telling you how I really felt. Are you upset?
A moment, then:
PHILIP
No. To be honest, I don't like you either. You treat people like obstacles and you cheat at charades. .

FLETCHER
Then why are you always trying to socialize with me?
PHILIP
You're a client. I figured if I didn't try to be your friend, you 'd get a new accountant.
FLETCHER
Philip, I don't like you as a person, but I'm crazy about you as my accountant. I 'd never hire a new accountant. Never!
PHILIP
So we don't have to like each other anymore?
FLETCHER -
Not at all.
PHILIP
All right. Sooner I get you to the airport, sooner I can dump your sorry ass off.
EXT . AIRPORT -- DAY
Philip's car skids to a stop. Fletcher jumps out. INT . LAX TERMINAL - DAY . Fletcher races in.
FLETCHER Bedelayed. Bedelayed . Fog , ra in , someth ing , anyth ing . ..
He sees the DEPARTURE BOARD
"Flight 69. Departs 7:50. On Time. Gate 17." Fletcher looks at the clock -- It's 7:46!! Holy Shit!! INT. LAX ESCALATOR
Fletcher pushes his way HE a crowded escalator. Past people standing on the left despite the SIGN that says STAND ON RIGHTb
FLETCHER
Excuse me. . . excuse me. . . Come on folks, let's let the frantic man pass . .. Sorry . .. Thank .. . you .. . Stand ing on the right, passing on the left. They can't make this-deal any easier than it is... Come on... com ing through .. .
At the top,- a WOMAN in a NURSES UNIFORM asks for money. .
WOMAN
Help the poor?...
FLETCHER
(speeding past) I don 't trust you . I don 't know what the hell that uniform is. Sorry.
(a Hare Krishna
tries to stop
him)
NOT NOW , TOGA BOY!
INT. LAX - SECURITY AREA
Fortunately, there's no line at the metal detector. Fletcher races right by but SETS OFF THE ALARM.
INSPECTOR
Please step through again.
FLETCHER
Ahhh!! ! Damn . . ;
Fletcher frantically tosses his keys, cufflinks, his Rolex into a tray.
He tr ies aga in . It BUZZES aga in!
FLETCHER
What? I'tii p ract ica l ly naked! A guy in a TURBAN passes over him with a DETECTOR WAND.
FLETCHER
It's called a ZIPPER , Hodgy . . .
The wand BEEPS over Fletchers front pocket. He reaches in and pulls out the now familiar BLUE PEN...
INT. LAX - DEPARTURE CONCOURSE

Fletcher races by Gate 15, 16, gets to 17... but sees the
PLANE Slowly TAXIING AWAY.
FLETCHER
Nooo!!!

Fletcher spots a door marked "NOT AN EXIT". Goes for it
when a FLIGHT ATTENDANT interrupts.
FLIGHT ATTENDANT
Can I help you?
FLETCHER
Look out!! ! -(truthful) -NOTHING 'S COMING ! !
The woman raises her eyebrows and looks anyway. And
Fletcher BOLTS THROUGH THE EXIT! EXT. TARMAC - DAY
He scurries down a flight of stairs calling after the plane which is moving away.
No way he'll catch it.
Then, he sees a MECHANIC working on a MOBILE STAIRS UNIT (These are the steps they pull up to planes) Fletcher gets an insane idea. . .
The worker hears an ENGINE START , looks up to SEE FLETCHER in the truck, driving off, TOWING THE STAIRS.
WORKER Hey!! Hey!!!!
But Fletcher's gone .
EXT. AIRPLANE - DAY

Fletcher's DRIVING THE STAIRS trying to catch up with the
plane. GROUND WORKERS react.
Soon, the "stairs" are racing alongside the plane.
Fletcher looks for signs of Audrey and Max but he 's too low to see in the plane.
He grabs the TOOL BOX'on the passenger's seat,-puts it on the accelerator, pinning it to the floor. Then, he CLIMBS
THE STEPS!
The "stairs" sway back and forth as he reaches the top.
INT. AIRPLANE - DAY - MOVING
PASSENGERS calmly read while outside FLETCHER speeds along,
WAVING HIS ARMS like a maniac. The ENGINE NOISE drowns out his call for...

FLETCHER
MAX?!! AUDREYY?!!

A STEWARDESS stands in the aisle, giving the safety lecture.
STEWARDESS In case of a water landing, please use your seat cushion as-Her MOUTH DROPS as she notices Fletcher.
EXT. TARMAC - DAY
Fletcher is BANGING on the windows. People on the plane POINT, STARE in amazement.
Fletcher looks ahead, SEES the stairs about to CRASH INTO THE WING! Fletcher desperately fiddles with some controls
At the last second, finds the one that LOWERS THE STAIRS.
He surfs under the wing...
... and RAISES UP THE STAIRS at the other side .
Fletcher's at the front of the plane, where he finally spots. . .
MAX, AUDREY AND JERRY SEATED IN THE BULKHEAD
Max has the window seat, Audrey arid Jerry are next to him. Audrey has on her headset and Jerry is looking for his
seatbelt. NEITHER SEES FLETCHER.
Fletcher SCREAMS to get their attention. But it's TOO
NOISY.
Then, Fletcher looks ahead and his EYES GO WIDE! FLETCHER'S POV
The RUNWAY is ENDING!.
Just then, Max looks up...SEES HIS DAD. Audrey is now trying to help Jerry find his seat belt.
AUDREY
(checks under his seat)
It's right here, honey. MAX
Mom! Mom ! !
AUDREY
Just a second, Max.
MAX
Mom, it's dad!
AUDREY What? What about dad?
Audrey turns. Then she sees Fletcher WAVING weakly...
AUDREY
Fletcher?!
AT THAT INSTANT -- THE PLANE MAKES A SHARP TURN! BUT THE STAIRS DON'T! They keeps going straight heading
CrAiRgTh.t f.o r- the END OF THE RUNWAY and a parked LOADED LUGGAGE
And BAM! FLETCHER, THE STAIRS, THE LUGGAGE ALL GO FLYING! Audrey strains to watch as FLETCHER lands hard ONTO A MOUNTAIN OF BAGGAGE! CLOSE ON FLETCHER
With all the strength he has he lifts his head, sees he's
in one piece, and then COLLAPSES IN DEFEAT.
CUT TO:
INT. JAIL CELL - NIGHT
Fletcher's BANGED UP pretty good. His head is BANDAGED.
He.puts a COLD COMPRESS to his BRUISED FOREHEAD and WINCES.
FLETCHER
(mumbles to himself) Oh boy, the truth hurts. Yes indeed.

DEPUTY
Mr. Reid. Someone made bail for you.
EXT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT
Fletcher comes out LIMPING, totally dishevelled, missing a shoe, and still holding the compress.
FLETCHER
(weak ly) Greta? Is that you?
He looks up and is surprised to see AUDREY and JERRY waiting for him just outside the door.
Max is sitting at the bottom of the stairs, still ANGRY. He sees his dad, then quickly turns away.
FLETCHER
(to Audrey and Jerry, trying to seem chipper) Sorry I made you miss your flight, not really.
(no response) You ' re obv ious ly a l itt le . upset, not that I blame you... although I'll bet you'll still get the bonus miles. . .
AUDREY
Fletcher, are you crazy? What were you doing?
FLETCHER
That's two questions . A ; Yes , but I think the legal term is temporarily insane. And B; I was trying to finally have that talk with you about Boston.
Audrey 's patience are growing thin...
FLETCHER
Okay, okay .. . The whole truth and nothing but the truth,
(with difficulty,
sincerely) I tried to stop the plane because it was taking off with my life .. . you and Max.
This comes as a surprise to Audrey. Not just what Fletcher said, but the way he said it.
FLETCHER I know you've met somebody. .. somebody pretty great... and the truth is I wish you didn't but you did and ... All I'm asking is . . . Please don't move to Boston. Please don't take Max away.
She's definitely moved by Fletcher, but not convinced.
AUDREY
You can come visit anytime. It's only a four hour flight.
FLETCHER
I don 't want to visit him. That's what I've been doing-visiting him, dropping by, stopping in.

I want to be in his life. I don't want to be some jerk that sees him at Easter. I want to be his father.
Fletcher turns to Jerry.
FLETCHER
I know I have no right to ask, but can I talk you out of taking that job? I can get you a better job here in L.A. I've got all Kinds of connections...what do you do again?
JERRY
I design security systems. FLETCHER
How symbolic. Okay great. You know Pac-Tec?
JERRY
The biggest.
FLETCHER
One of their systems shorted
out and burned down a
supermarket. I got them off.
Another proud day for justice.
If I ask them they'll oeat
your Boston offer in two
seconds. . .
AUDREY
Don 't put Jerry in the middle.
JERRY
It's okay.
(to Fletcher) Boston means this
(snaps his
fingers)
to me . All I want is for th is lady and Max to be happy. Preferably, with me. Whatever they want, I'll go along with .
They both look to Audrey.
AUDREY
All I want is for Max to be happy.
Audrey looks over to Max seated at the bottom of the stairs . He's still upset.
AUDREY
You better know your jury. You 're hot exactly Max's hero today.
FLETCHER
Just let me present my case .
Fletcher walks over,, tries to be playful, starts WALKING, TALKING LIKE THE TERMINATOR .

FLETCHER/TERMINATOR I have been sent from the future to destroy you . . . Argghhh!
(no response, a beat) You mad at me?
Max nods. Fletcher's at a loss for how to begin. Then:
FLETCHER You wanted me to stop ly ing. But lying isn 't the problem . .. Why we lie ~ that's the problem. Sometimes we lie to make someone e lse fee l better. But sometimes we lie because the truth gets in our way...
(touches him) But being an adult means you sacrifice some things for more
important things . Much more important things . I was so stup id, Max . (pointing to his own head) Malfunction in vector one. All this time you've been here and I could see you anytime I
felt like it. And I. didn't. Please don't go to Boston. Max, I love you more than anything else in the world and you know it's true. I cou ldn' t say it if it weren 't true . Not today .
A moment as Max studies his father, then:
MAX
(to Audrey) He's telling the truth, Mom. He's not allowed to lie. I made a wish and anything Dad says has to be the truth.
(to Fletcher) ..
Right?
But Fletcher's looking at his watch. . .
FLETCHER
Max. .. it's 9:22.
AUDREY
What?
FLETCHER Max, you made the wish at 9:15. I've been able to lie for the last seven minutes.
Max steps away from Fletcher.
MAX
So then, you were...
FLETCHER No ! It wasn't a lie. I just wanted to be honest with you and tell you -- there was no wish to guarantee it anymore. You just have to believe me.
Max looks at Audrey, who is letting Max decide for himself Max looks at Fletcher and tries to decide.
MAX (to Audrey) Mommy... do we have to go to Boston?
Audrey looks at Jerry, then back at Max.
AUDREY
No . We don 't have to .
Fletcher hugs his son -- the kind of hug that says "I'll never let you go ."
MAX (to Fletcher) Can we play catch tomorrow?
Fletcher smiles. . .
EXT. PARK - DAY
A beautiful park with a basball diamond. Fletcher is seated on a bench, waiting. He's dressed in sweats, with a baseball glove. Soon, Jerry, Audrey, and Max pull up...
MAX
Dad! !
FLETCHER
Maximum!! Fletcher picks Max up.
MAX
Transformer! !! . Fletcher and Max do the TRANSFORMER ROUTINE again...
FLETCHER Malfunction in vector seven. I have lost control of my affection reflex . ..
Fletcher starts KISSING MAX on the head over and over. He sees Audrey.
FLETCHER
Procreate! Procreate!
AUDREY
(playfully) Fletcher... You 're gonna lose a limb--
MAX
Come on, dad, let's play catch!!
FLETCHER
Sure. . .
(starts to toss Max)
Here you go , mom .
(Max screams) Oh, you mean with a ball...
He puts Max down. Max runs into position. Fletcher stops for a second and turns to Jerry, man to man.
FLETCHER I take back every dirty, dishonest thing I ever said about you, wrote about you, faxed about you, E-mailed about you.
JERRY
Appreciated.
Fletcher tosses the baseball up and down.
FLETCHER So, you up for a little friendly competition?
JERRY
No , you go play with your son.
FLETCHER I wasn't talking about basesball.
A slow smile from Jerry. Fletcher winks and tosses the ball to Max.
FLETCHER
(to Max)
Alright, it's time to show you the old Fletcher Reid change . . .
Fletcher winds up in an EXAGERATED SUPER FAST MOTION, then
instantly shifts to SUPER SLOW MOTION. Max CRACKS UP.
Audrey LAUGHS . Jerry can 't help but smile , too .
There may be better things in life .. . but at this moment, it's hard to think of a single one.

Honestly.
THE END

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