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Ext. “Danny's Parisian Brides For Less” (Est.)
Int. Bridal Shop - Day (D-1)
Val is waiting on dottie, a customer in a bridal gown, Fran enters from the storeoom.
Fran : (gasps) Is that Heather Locklear or is that Dottie Kirschenbaum?
Fran : (Cont.) Look at you. A vision in white. Like a cloud.
Val : So how are the shoes?
Dottie : I don’t know if I love ‘em.
Fran : Honey, what’s to love? Be glad they Even make a satin pump in a 10 ½.
Dottie : Fran, do you think I’d doing the right thing?
Fran : Are you kidding? A wedding is the Most magical day in a woman’s life. You walk in here a lonely girl, you walk out into a lifetime of love.
Val : (Sotto, to Fran) What are you talking about? Fran, it’s her fifth husband.
Fran : Shut up. She’s a repeat customer.
Danny Answers it.
Danny : Danny’s Parisian Brides for Less. Je suis Danny.
Dottie : So when are you and Danny going to set a date already?
Fran : Ah, you know me. Always a bridal consultant, never a bride.
Dottie heads off to dressing room. Val carries her train. Fran heads over to the cash register where Danny is eating.
Danny : Hiya Babe, want some souvlaki?
Fran : No, I wanna talk. Are we ever going to get married?
Danny : Yeah, you know I told you. What do you want me to say?
Fran : How about “Here’s a ring. Pick a pattern." You’re just stringin’ me along ‘cause I’m your Top sales girl, aren’t you?
Danny : Not true.
Fran : Really…
Calls to dressing room. Danny, sotto, protests "Shut Up", "Stropt It", ect.
Fran : Oh Dottie, I swear I must be getting’ Alzheimers but did I mention that Dayna Schwartz bought the same gown you’re wearing… “go know.”
Dottie : (O.S.)Is she doin’ the sherbert color combo?
Fran : Are you makin’ a commitment or what?
Danny : Babe -
Fran : (Back to Dottie) Yeah, come to think of it, Dayna’s doin’ the lemon, lime, tangerine too.
Dottie : (O.S.) CANCEL!
Danny : There were nine bridesmaids and a flower girl in that party! You want a commitment, I’ll give you a commitment. You’re fired.
Fran : Fired?! I just wasted three years of an ever dwindling youth on you and this dump. And for what? For us. Now I realize there is no us. Oh no, you can’t fire me, Danny Imperiali. I quit.
She slams the door. Beat. The door opens again.
Fran : No, you fired me. That way I can collect unemployment.
Int. Sheffield Library - A Few Days Later (D-2)
Maxwell Sheffield is a dashingly handsome 40Ish Broadway producer. He stands in the library of his townhouse on upper east side of Manhattan. C.C. Babcock is perched on the edge of desk reading "Town and country". She's a smart elegant divorcee who took her rather large settlement to dabble in the theater. Maxwell is engaged in a heated telephone call.
Maxwell : Another actress is simply out of the question. She is the show. How
much does she want? Get someone else..
He stangs up.
C.C : Maxwell, if we can’t get Rita, we’ll get Chita! Same thing for God’s sake.
Maxwell : See, that’s the genius of Andrew Lloyd Webber. He stuffs his actors into cat suits and it doesn’t matter who the hell they are. God, I hate him.
C.C : Darling, you need a shiatsu.
She starts rubbing his back. Niles, Maxwell's butler, appears. He's a man in his 50's, with a dry, sarcastic humor. He clears his throat.
Maxwell : Yes, Niles. What is it?
Niles : Sorry to interrupt, sir. I see you’re working hard as always, Miss
C.C : Theater has always been a passion of mine.
Niles : Yes and I can’t wait to see what you’ll be mounting next. I just thought I’d inform you, sir, that the new nanny’s gone.
Maxwell : What did Brighton do this time?
Niles : The fake suicide, sir. You know, spread eagle on the marble with a bit of catsup trickling out of his ears.
Maxwell : (Can't help but smile.) At least we know the boy’s creative. Demented, but creative.
Niles : Shall I order up another nanny, sir?
C.C : Absolutely. I’ve got half the money people in New York coming to your
backer’s party and I will not have those children running loose. (Then) Not that I don’t love them as if they were my own. (Off Nile's reaction) I do.
Maxwell : Yes, C.C., your maternal instincts are legendary. Niles do you have the number for the agency?
Niles : It’s committed to memory, sir.
Maxwell : Oh, why can’t children be more like a musical? Produce them, teach them a few catchy tunes, and send them on the road until they work out the kinks.
C.C : They can be Maxwell. It’s called boarding school. (Off magazine) Here’s a nice one. Oh look, it’s in Europe.
Maxwell : (Turns to her.) C.C., I was joking.
C.C : (Laughs) So was I. Just hire someone, Maxwell. Hire someone wonderful. And most of all, hire her before tomorrow nights.
Ext. Sheffield Townhouse - That Afternoon - (D-2)
Fran comes to the door and rings the bell. She's carryng a large comestics salescase, practicing her pitch.
Fran : Hello I’m Fran Fine, your “Shades of the Orient” cosmetics representative.
And giving up.
Fran : Oy, what a loser.
Niles opens the door.
Fran : (Cont.) Hello, I’m Fran Fine, your -
Niles : Yes, come in. We’ve been expecting you.
Fran : You have?
Int. Sheffield Townhouse - Continuous
It's a stunning New York townhouse.
Niles : You are here for the Nanny position?
Fran : (Sizing up the place) I could be… (she flips her cosmetics case) Wow, this place is nicer than my Uncle Jack’s condo in Boca and ya know he bought the model.
Niles stares in amazement.
Fran : Whats a matter? Do I have lipstick on my teeth?
Niles : No, all’s clear. May I present your resume to Mr. Sheffield?
Fran : Resume? Ya know what? Why don’t you go get Mr. Sheffield and I’ll do the resume presenting myself.
Niles : As you wish. (as he exits) This ought to be good.
Fran : (sits) What the hell am I going to do for a resume?
she opens make-up case, gets a listick and starts writing resume on back of an order form. Brighton, staggers into the room, a knife in his stomach and ketchup oh his shirt. he "dies" at her feet.
Fran : Do you have a pen?
He gasps his last gasp.
Fran : (Cont.)All right, never mind.
Maxwell : Brighton, you’re losing your touch. (to Fran) I’m Maxwell Sheffield. This is my son, the late Brighton Sheffield.
Fran steps over Brighton and crosses to Maxwell.
Fran : Wait, I know you. Esquire magazine. New York’s ten most eligible widowers. My condolences, by the way.
Maxwell : You read “Esquire”?
Fran : When they list the ten most eligible widowers, I do. I’m Fran Fine.
Maxwell : Do come in.
He turns to lead her into the living room.
Fran : Oh, do you have gorgeous chachkas.
Maxwell : (Embarassed) I beg your pardon?
Fran : You know, bric-a-brac, the dust collectors.
Maxwell : Ah, the Rodin. Yes, he’s quite will know for his bronze “chachkas”. May I see your resume, please?
Fran : Sure.
She hand him scribbled resume.
Maxwell : Crayon?
Fran : Lipstick.
Maxwell : Of course. And what a lovely shade.
She laughs. He can't help but smile.
Brighton : I hate her.
Maxwell : Now Brighton, let’s not be hasty.
Fran : Yeah, I haven’t sung “Climb Every Mountain” yet.
Maxwell is charmed. He looks over resume.
Maxwell : Miss Fine, you’ve listed the Queen Mother as a reference?
Fran : Wha? Let me see that. That’s not the Queen Mother. That’s my mother from Queens.
Maxwell : So let’s see, shall we? Three years at the Lancome counter at Bloomingdale’s, a degree from the Ultissima Beauty Institute… Well, that certainly spells out “nanny” to me.
Door opens and Maxwell's daughters enter. Grace is an adorable but very serious six year old. Maggie is a shy and insecure fourteen year old, her natural beauty hidden inside a frumpy school uniform.Grace runs to maxwell and huggs him.
Grace : Hi, Daddy.
Maxwell : (To Grace) Hello, sweetheart. (to Maggie) Maggie.
Maggie : (Barely looking up) Hello, father.
Fran : Oh, aren’t you gorgeous? Look at that hair.(to Maxwell)You can’t get color like that out of a bottle.
Maxwell : Ah, there’s that Ultissima training shining through.
Maggie : I’ll be in my room doing my homework. (She exits)
Brighton : She really lights up a room, doesn’t she?
Maxwell : Brighton.
Fran : So, who needs personality whey you’re an heiress.
Maxwell : She’s a little withdrawn, but I’m sure it’s just a stage.
Brighton : Fourteen years now.
Maxwell : Brighton, you’re ten. Would you like to see eleven? Now that’s enough. (to Grace) How was therapy today darling?… Any breakthroughs?
Grace : Dr. Bort and I did some regression. She took me back through my
Fran : Must have been a quick trip.
Grace : Oh, you have no idea how complicated I am…
Fran : So you’ve got your kids in therapy?
Brighton : It was easier than talking to us directly.
Maxwell : That’s it, Brighton. Go to your room.
Brighton : Come on, Gracie. Let’s leave father alone to hire someone else to take care of his problem children.
Maxwell : (Hurt)I’m sorry you had to see that. I’ll show you out.
He hands her the resume and leads her into the foyer.
Fran : What did I do? One smart-ass remark from the kid and I don’t get the job? That’s not fair.
Maxwell : You can see for yourself I need help here. More help than can be
provided by a door to door cosmetics girl.
He puts the cosmectics case on her shoulder.
The phone rings.
Maxwell : Niles!
The phone rings.
Maxwell : Niles!
Fran : Oh, for God’s sake, I’ll get it.(Answers phone)Sheffield residence. No, honey. This is Fran.
Maxwell : Give me that.
Fran : It’s the Nanny agency.
Maxwell : (Into phone) Maxwell Sheffield, here. (Then, back to Fran) Thank you. It’s really been a pleasure meeting you.
She goes into the foyer as niles comes down the stairs.
Maxwell : (Cont) Cheers.(Back to phone) No, Monday is not acceptable. I need a nanny this weekend.
Niles opens the door for Fran.
Maxwell : I’ll give you front row tickets to my new show. No, I can’t get you tickets to “Cats”!
He hangs up and looks over to find Fran still in the room. She waves.
Maxwell : Do you have any experience with children?
Fran : Hey, I come from Flushing. There’s nothing these kids can throw at me I haven’t seen before. Except maybe their trust funds.
Maxwell : All right, you’re hired. But only on a trial basis.
Niles closes the door.
Fran : (Hugs Maxwell) Thank you, Mr. Sheffield. You won’t regret it.
Maxwell : (Breaking out of the hug) Somehow I’m rather sure I will. Niles will show you to your room.
Maxwell exits. Fran starts off with Niles.
Fran : So, the nanny gets to live here?!
Niles : Is that a problem?
Fran : Well, I’m sure I’m gonna miss being twenty-nine years old and still living with my parents, but if it’s best for the kids…
Niles : Twenty-nine?
Fran : Don’t start with me, Niles.
They head off.
Int. Sheffield Dining Room - The Next Morning (D-3)
Maxwell and the children are sedately seated at table eating breakfast. Niles pours tea. Fran sweeps in in housecoat and slippers.
Fran : Good morning everyone. Boy, that jacuzzi tub really knows how to perk a girl up in the morning…
Then, noticing they're all fully dressed and coifed.
Fran : Do you people sleep like that?
Maxwell : No, in a rather astounding coincedence, I sleep in pink, fuzzy slippers just like yours.
Fran : A simple “we dress for breakfast” would suffice. Niles, you have to tell
me these things.
Niles : I simply assumed…
Fran : (Piling food on her plate at the buffet.) Don’t assume anything with me, Niles. I’m from Flushing, for God’s sake.
Niles stares at her plate.
Fran : (Cont) I just love a good buffet.
Niles : It’s free, Miss Fine. You’re allowed to go back.
Fran : So where do I sit?
Niles : The previous nanny sat in the kitchen.
Fran : How anti-social. (She pulls up a chair and sits) So kids, what’s on for today? A walk in the park, or should we just kick back and hang around the mansion?
Brighton : We have to go somewhere. Father’s kicked us out again.
Maxwell : I didn’t kick you out, Brighton. I simply asked you not to torment the caterers as they prepare for this evenings soiree.
Fran : Ooh, a soiree. You know, my sister- in-law’s a caterer. She does a porko de pruno - that’s French for pork and prunes - not only delicious, but a natural digestive.
Maxwell : Thank you for sharing that, Miss Fine.
Fran : I could get you a deal.
Maxwell : C.C. has already made the arrangements.
Fran : C.C.? What’s a C.C.?
Maggie : Father’s lady friend.
Maxwell : Maggie, dear, she’s just a business associate.
Niles : Um-hmm.
A phone rings O.S.
Niles goes to answer it.
Fran : Well, tell her to double the egg rolls. Shiksas are notorious for not
ordering enough food. (Pouring tea) Booze, yes. But food, they don’t know from.
Maxwell : Shiksa? Is that like a chachka?
Fran : Yes, but they cost a lot more.
Niles : It’s Ms. Babcock for you.
Maxwell : I’ll take her in the library.
And he exits.
Niles : (Sotto) Miss Babcock loves to be taken in the library.
And he exits with plate.
Fran : So we’re having a party. What are we wearing?
Grace : (Sadly) We’re not invited.
Brighton : And neither are you.
Fran : Your father’s paying for it. Of course we’re invited. We’ll eat, we’ll
dance… (To Maggie)You’ll bring a date.
Brighton : Maggie doesn’t date.
Fran : Never?
Maggie : The boys haven’t noticed me yet.
Brighton : They noticed, Maggie. That’s why you don’t date.
Fran : What is wrong with you, Brighton?
Grace : Middle child syndrome.
Brighton : Thank you, Sybil.
Fran : Knock it off, you’re supposed to be a family here. Now if we’re going to a party, we’ve got things to do. We’ll go shopping, get our hair done. A manicure. You’ll do a French tip. It’s a very clean look.
Maggie : You don’t understand. Daddy’s parties are always for business.
Brighton : He’s wooing backers for his new show.
Fran : Oh, it’s a wooing thing. Well, as you can imagine, I’ve had my share of wooers. And the first thing I want to know is, who is this guy? Can I trust him? Who’s not going to trust a Dad that brings his kids to the party?
Brighton : Makes sense to me.
Fran : Great. I’ll just throw something on and then we’ll go, we’ll do.
She takes her plate and heads out.
Fran : I hate to waste.
Maggie : This doesn’t make sense at all. Dad’s going to hate this.
Grace : C.C.’s going to totally freak.
Brighton : Sounds like a party to me.
Ext. “Danny's Parisian Brides For Less” (Est.)
Int. Bridal Shop - Later That Day (D-3)
Fran is flipping through a rack of dresses. Gracie is trying on a bridal veil. Val is busy at the register.
Fran : So what’s your favorite color?
Maggie : I don’t know. Beige?
Fran : Oy. How you doing, Gracie?
Grace : I’m feeling empty and alone.
Fran : You want a tic-tac?
Grace : (The emptiness gone.) Okay.
Fran gives her a tic-tac.
Brighton : Oh, cool. A cockroach. Got any rats?
Fran : Wait until Danny gets back. (to Val)Where is he anyway?
Val : Getting his back waxed.
Fran : Oh good, we’ve got all day. Now come on, we’ve got to make Maggie beautiful.
Brighton : Yeah, like that’s going to happen.
Maggie : Shut up, Brighton.
Brighton shoots Maggie with a garter.
Fran : You know, you should be nicer to your sister.
Brighton : (Sarcastic) Why, because we’re a family?
Fran : That’s right. And someday your father’s going to be old and sick and you’re going to want him to live with her.(Then, giving Maggie a dress) Here. Go try this on. It’s a copy of a knock-off of a Yves St. Laurent.
Maggie : It’s so fancy. Everyone’s going to look at me.
Fran : So they’ll see a beautiful girl.
Maggie : I don’t know. I’m not good at this like you are.
Fran : So that’s why I’m here. What do you think, you turn fourteen and bumb, you have the savoir-faire and sophistication of a woman of my years and experience? Hey, when I was fourteen - just go try it on.
Maggie goes into dressing room. Brighton and grance wander off.
Fran : (Cont'd)Who knew this job would be so demanding?
Val : Please, I’m exhausted. Meanwhile, who’s the guy? Where’s the house?
Fran : Wait. I’ve got pictures. (She shows picture to Val) This is the boss. Cute, but a little repressed.
Val : Nice.
Fran : (Shows her another picture) Niles, the butler.
Val : Ooh, a butler. Very classy.
Fran : Val, it’s like living in Caesar’s palace. Of course, the kids are going to need some work.
Points towards dressing room, sotto.
Fran : That one’s got no personality.
Indicates Gracie, who is staring at her infinite reflection in a three-way mirror.
Fran : This one’s got multiple personalities. And Brighton - where’s Brighton?
From underneath a wedding gown, we hear.
Brighton : Are these dummies anatomically correct?
Fran : (Pulling him out) What do you care, you’re ten years old? Now be normal or you can’t come to the party.
Val : Party? What kind of party?
Fran : The boss is having a fundraiser.
Val : The repressed guy? And he wants these kids there?
Fran : Well, yes. But he doesn’t know it yet. That’s why he needs me. (beat) Of course he doesn’t know that yet either.
Val : Maybe you should just keep the kids at home.
Fran : The party is at home.
Val : What kind of person has a party at home and tells his family to disappear?
Fran : Hello.
Fran holds up picture and gives Val a look.
Ext. Sheffield Townhouse (Est.)
Int. Sheffield Townhouse - That Night (N-3)
A gala party is in progress. The men are in dark business suits, the women all in little black dresses and pearls. The music is being sung by a piano plyer. Maxwell comes us behing C.C.
Maxwell : Has anyone told you how handsome you look this evening?
C.C : Oh Maxwell, you’re such a flirt. It’s going rather well, don’t you think?
Maxwell : It’s perfect. The food is exquisite, the music is divine, and the
guests obscenely wealthy.
C.C : Doesn’t Ivana look marvelous? My surgeon, of course.
Niles : Miss Fine would like a word with you, sir.
Maxwell : Really? Where is she?
Niles goes to the stairs.
Fran : I’m up here.
Fran appears at the top of the stairs in an incredibly out of place evening gown.
C.C : What’s that?
Maxwell : (Dumbstruck) That’s… the nanny.
The piano player sings, "lady in red" as fran descends the stairs.
Piano player : (sings) Hey, the lady in red. The fellows are crazy 'bout the lady in red...
Maxwell : Look at that dress.
C.C : Maxwell!
Maxwell : And you look nice, too.
C.C : Handsome. You said mine was handsome.
Fran : You like? I borrowed it from my cousin, Miss Long Island, 1989.
Niles : A very good year.
Fran : I just wanted to tell you that the children are ready.
Maxwell : For what?
Fran : To come to the party.
Maxwell : Miss Fine, the children are not invited to the party.
Fran : They’re not? Is my face red.
C.C : Well, now it matches the rest of you.
Niles : There’s that rapier wit we’ve come to count on.
Fran : You must be C.C.
C.C : (Ice) Charmed.
Fran : Likewise, I’m sure.
Maxwell : Well, now that we’ve all met, why don’t you just go back upstairs and inform the children they can’t come.
Fran : Oh no, I can’t do that. They’re all dressed up. It’ll break their little hearts.
Maxwell : Well I can’t tell them.
C.C : I’ll tell them.
Grace and Brighton come down the stairs.
Grace : Hi, Daddy.
Maxwell : You really play dirty, Miss Fine.
Grace looks adorable in her party dress. Even Brighton, in his shirt and tie, looks normal.
Grace : Daddy, you like my party dress Loehmann’s, seventy percent off.
Fran : (To C.C.) She’ll never shop retail again.
Brighton : Hi, Dad. Surprised?
Maxwell : No tricks tonight, Brighton.
Brighton : Best behavior, Dad.
Maxwell pats him down.
Maxwell : Alright.
Fran : (Calls up the stairs.) Come on, Maggie, don’t be shy.
Maggie appears. She's stunning.
Maxwell : My God, I never realized how much you look like your mother.
Maggie : You like it?
Maxwell : You look so grown up.
Grace : So Daddy, can we come to the party?
On the spot, Maxwell looks from C.C to Fran.
Maxwell : Of course you can.
He ushers them into the living room. Then, to Fran...
Maxwell : We’ll discuss this later. (To the room) Friends, I’d like to thank you all for coming here this evening. Now before I tell you about my latest production, I’d like to introduce the three greatest production of my life… my dear children.
Fran : Aw, isn’t this sweet? Could you just drop dead?
C.C : I don’t know, could you?
Fran : Let’s take a picture.
Maxwell : Miss Fine, you’ve done quite enough already. I don’t think this is the time or the -
Partygoer #1 : Lovely family, Sheffield.
Maxwell : Smile, everyone.
Fran : Oops, got to wait for the flash.
C.C : Just take the picture!
Niles steps in as Fran takes the picture.
Fran : Oh, that’s great.
Fran goes to take a picture of the food. C.C comes over ot her.
C.C : You might want to keep a low profile. You’re a little out of your element here.
Fran : Don’t worry. I’ve been to my share of affairs. My Uncle Jack threw a weekend bar mitzvah with a “Star Trek” theme they’re still talking about. (beat) Ooh, is that Ivana? Excuse me.
And she heads off with her camera.
C.C : Waiter
And she takes a drink from a passing.
Int. Sheffield Townhouse - Later That Night (N-3)
The party's over. The last party goers are heading out. Maxwell and Fran are at the door ad-libbing goodbyes. Fran holds a check.
Fran : Goodnight, Ivana. Don’t worry, honey, you’ll meet somebody else, too.
C.C sits on the couch, seething. She holds out an emply highball glass.
C.C : Niles - more.
Niles pours and exits.
Fran : Do I count four zeroes on this check?
Maxwell : All right. I’ll admit having the children here wasn’t the complete disaster it might have been.
Fran : Oh Mr. Sheffield, you gush!
Maxwell : All right. All right. It went splendidly.
Taking the check from her.
Maxwell : Let me put this with the others.
He heads toward the library. Fran stars cleaning up.
C.C : Well, congratulations, Nanny Fine. It seems you’ve pulled it off.
Fran : What could go wrong when you put a father together with his children?
C.C : I think I’m going to be ill.
Int. Library - Continuous
Maxwell closes a desk drawer, locks it and smiles. he hasn't yet noticed Maggie and the waiter, Eddie, kissing on the balcony.
Maxwell : Maggie!
Maggie : Daddy!
Eddie, The Waiter : Mr. Sheffield, I was -
Maxwell : You were just leaving.
Eddie, The Waiter : Right.
Eddie runs out of the room. Maggie follows.
Maggie : Eddie - wait!
Maxwell : Maggie!
Int. Towhouse - Continuous
Eddie runs through on his way to the front door, followed by Maggie and Maxwell.
Maxwell : (Cont'd) Maggie!
Maggie : Eddie!
Maxwell : Maggie, come back here!
Maggie : How could you embarrass me like that?
Fran : What’s going on?
Maxwell : That boy was mauling her on the balcony!
Maggie : It was just a kiss!
Fran : He kissed you?
Maggie : Yeah.
Fran : Oh, her first kiss! This is so exciting! Let me get the camera.
Maxwell : This is not exciting, Miss Fine. It’s appalling! She’s just a child.
Maggie : No, I’m not.
Fran : She’s not, you know.
C.C : (Starding to perk up)I think I’m starting to feel better.
Maggie : Daddy, I’m fourteen years old.
Fran : You know, when I was fourteen… maybe this isn’t the time.
Maxwell : Maggie, go to bed and wash that make-up off your face! You -
Fran : Me?
Maxwell : This would never have happened if not for you.
C.C : Yes. Definitely feeling better.
Fran : What the hell did I do?
Maxwell : You took an innocent schoolgirl, dolled her up and turned her into…
Fran : A young woman?
Maxwell : She’s just a little girl.
Fran : Get outta here! She’s a woman, I’m telling you, and unless you’re going to dip here in bronze and put her on display with the rest of your collectibles, she’s going to grow up and someone’s got to help her.
Maxwell : You are way out of line. She’s not your daughter.
Fran : No, if she was, she wouldn’t be upstairs crying her eyes out on what should be a very exciting and memorable evening.
Maxwell : Thank you for your candor and concern.
Fran : You’re welcome.
Maxwell : You’re fired.
Fran : Fired? After all I’ve done, this is the thanks I get?
He gives her the camera.
Fran : (Con't) Oh no, you can’t fire me, Maxwell Sheffield. I quit.
She slams the door, then returns.
Fran : No, you fired me. That way I can collect unemployment.
Ext. Sheffield Townhouse - Night (Est.)
Int. Sheffield Library - Late That Night (N-3)
Maxwell sits at his desk, starning into space. Niles enters with a sandwich on a plate.
Niles : I drove Miss Babcock home and called Betty Ford. They’ll pick her up in the morning.
Maxwell : (smiles)Thank you, Niles.
Niles hands him the sandwish.
Niles : I noticed you didn’t have a chance to eat and I thought you might be a bit peckish.
Maxwell : (beat)I overreacted, didn’t I?
Niles : Like Reagan in Grenada.
Maxwell : It’s just that Maggie looked so much like her mother. I’ve already lost Sarah. I don’t want to lose my little girl.
Niles : I quite understand.
Maxwell : How can I be so smart about some things and so stupid about others?
Niles : It’s called being human, sir.
maxwell eats in silence a beat.
Maxwell : What is this?
Niles : I believe Miss Fine calls it a light nosh. Brisket on a kaiser with a bit of catsup.
Maxwell : Hmm. Delicious. (Beat) Miss Fine, eh?
Niles : Yes. (Beat) Just what you needed?
Maxwell nods, holding up the sandwish, thinking this is what Niles is referring to. A beat, and a look to Niles.
Maxwell : You’re not talking about the sandwich, are you?
Niles : (Smiles) No sir. Not the sandwich.
Ext. Apt. Bldg. In Queens (Est.)
Int. Sylvia And Morty Fine's Apartment - The Next Afternoon (D-4)
Fran is watching T.V. in a plastic-covered recliner, seriously depressed. Sylvia, her mother, a zaftig woman in her mid 50's, enters wearing a house dress and slippers. Her hair is wrapped with toilet paper.
Sylvia : Do you need a Mallomar, Fran?
Fran : No Ma, food’s not the answer to everything.
Sylvia : Meanwhile your father and I have based our entire relationship around food. Passion goes, sex goes, communication we never had, but food is forever.
Fran takes a cookie. Sylvia yells into the back bedroom.
Sylvia : Morty? You want another Mallomar? Morty?
Fran : Ma, Daddy can’t hear you. He’s watching the game… why can’t I find a guy like him? Deaf and on a pension!
Sylvia : You will.
SFX : Doorbel.
Fran : I’ll get it.
She opens door to reveal Maxwell.
Fran : Mr. Sheffield.
Maxwell : Sorry to disturb you, Miss Fine. I just wanted to drop off the rest of your things.
Sylvia : You could never disturb anyone. I’m Fran’s mother, Sylvia.
Maxwell : Maxwell Sheffield.
Sylvia : Sheffield, is that a Jewish name?
Fran : Ma, are you insane?
Sylvia : I can dream, can’t I? Come on in, I’ll make some Ovaltine.
Maxwell : I’m sure I’d love some, but I really can’t stay. There’s a mob surrounding the limousine.
Fran : Oh, I’ll take care of that. (She screams out window) Get away from that limo. Nobody died. There are no vacancies!(Then to Maxwell) It’s a dog eat dog when you’ve got a two bedroom that’s rent controlled. Ma, could we have a little privacy?
Sylvia : All right, don’t push. En chante, Mr. Sheffield.(to Fran) Put on some blush.
Sylvia exits. They stand there a beat.
Fran : Why don’t you have a seat?
Maxwell : You have plastic on your furniture.
Fran : They’re preserving it for the afterlife. (Then, to Maxwell) So how’s Maggie?
Maxwell : Well, she’s not talking to me, but Brighton says she’s fine.
Fran : Brighton?
Maxwell : Yes, he’s been surprisingly attentive to her. He wouldn’t tell me why. Something about me getting old and where I’d live.
Fran : Kids.
Maxwell : Well, I’m sorry things didn’t work out.
Fran : We come from two different worlds. I mean, if I were you and I hired me - oh, I’d be thrilled, who’s kidding who?
Maxwell : But you’re not me. In fact you’re not like anyone I’ve ever met. Which is not altogether a bad thing, necessarily. Do you understand what I’m getting at?
Fran : No.
Maxwell : Oh well, perhaps, if we learned to respect each other’s differences we could give it another go.
Fran : Are you asking me to come back?
Maxwell : So it seems.
Fran : So what you’re saying is you feel lousy about the whole damn thing. And if you could, you’d get down on your hands and knees and apologize.
Maxwell : MS. FINE!
Fran : Apology accepted… Ma, pack my things, he wants me back!!
Sylvia : Smile!
She snaps a picture.