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Int. Living Room - Day
A fancy silver tea service is set out. Fran picks up teapot and looks at herself in it.
Fran : Niles, you did a great job polishing this.
She checks her teeth for lipstick.
Fran : (Cont.) I think I look thinner in sterling
Niles : Who doesn’t? (Indicates the table) Is everything to your liking?
Fran : Uch, what a spread. Niles, you’re the daughter my mother never had.
Fran starts for the door.
Fran : (cont'd) You know, this is Val’s first visit to the mansion. And she’s my best friend, so I just want her to drop dead.
Niles : Allow me. You pose.
Fran poses on the staircase, a la loretta young. Niles opens the door to reveal Val.
Val : Oh my god, I’m droppin’ dead.
Niles : Mission accomplished. (To Val) May I take your coat?
Val : Do I get a stub?
Fran : No, and you don’t have to tip him, either. (To Niles) She’s got no class.(Then, to Val) C’mon, Val move your ass.
Int. Living Room - A Short Time Later
Val and Fran are coming down the steps.
Val : Oy, this place is beyond. How come I’m still stuck in Flushing and you’re livin’ like Jackie O?
Fran : Better. She’s two doors down. Smaller place. Less bathrooms.
They sit at the tea serivce.
Val : Jackie O’s your neighbor?
Fran : (Daintily pouring her tea) Oh yeah, and she’s very concerned about John-John. He quit the D.A. job, ya know.
Val : (Gasps) Really?
Fran : Sure. and now he ran away with that blonde fish.
Val : Go have kids.
Fran : Honey, it’s all in how your raise them. With mine, I’ve got no complaints.
Val : You’ve been their nanny for two weeks!
Fran : And I’ve worked wonders with them.
The kids run through, screming at each other.
Maggie : Shut up!
Brighton : You shut up!
Fran : See, before me, they never communicated.
Maggie : (To Bringhton) You know, you’re going to get pimples too, if you ever grow up.
Brighton : That’s a pimple? I thought it was a small planet.
Fran : Leave your sister alone.
Brighton : I can’t. The gravitational pull is sucking me in.
A LA Scotty from Star Trek.
Brighton : I’m givin’ it all I got captain. I cannot break away.
Grace : We both hate you, Brighton!
Brighton : Good, then my work is done!
The girls exit.
Fran : Brighton, what is your problem?
Brighton : I guess I’m just bad to the bone.
Fran : Honey, you have no idea what bad is. Now the boys me and Val grew up with, they were bad, huh?
Val : The worst.
Fran : Oy, and now they’re all taken.
Val : You remember Lenny?
Fran : Sure, Lenny Brown? Baddest man in the whole damn… No, that was Leroy. Anyway, Lenny was bad.
Val : And tough.
Fran : The kid had a smoker’s cough in the fourth grade.
Brighton : So, he smoked. Big deal.
Fran : It was when he used your head as an ashtray.
Val : I wonder whatever happened to him?
Fran : I hear he’s a bigshot at R.J. Reynolds. (Beat) I should have nabbed him right out of reform school.
Int. Kitchen - Later That Afternoon
Maggie sits at the table as Fran pulls her hair back, preparing to give her a steam facial. Grace sits and watches. Niles is at the stove cooking. Brighton is folding a flyer into an airplane.
Fran : Maggie, relax, it’s just a little zit. (Before Brighton can speak) Shut up, Brighton!
Maggie : (To Fran) Thank you.
Grace : I dread puberty, I have combination skin.
Fran drapes a towel over Maggie's head.
Maggie : Is this facial gonna work?
Fran : Hey, you’re looking at a graduate from the Ultissima Beauty Institute. Four times Dean’s List.
Niles : And yet she’s so accessible.
Fran throws orange rinds in Maggie's facial pot.
Maggie : What’s that?
Fran : Orange rind. Two hundred dollars at Elizabeth Arden. They call it aroma therapy.
Brighton is about to throw plane but Fran intercepts it.
Fran : What’s this?
Brighton : Oh, some stupid thing at my stupid school.
Fran : (OFF flyer) Oh, a carnival! Cotton candy, corn dogs, chili fries. (To Maggie) This’ll be great for your skin.
Maggie whimpers from under towel.
Brighton : Like we’re really gonna go.
Fran : Why not? It says right here “fun for the whole family.”
Brighton : Wouldn’t we actually have to be a family first?
Maggie : (Under towel) Father’s very busy. He doesn’t have much time to spend with us.
Grace : (Worried) Maybe Daddy’s seeing other children.
Fran : (taking a bottle from her bag) Here, polish your nails. You’ll feel better.
Grace : Okay.
Fran : (OFF flyer) Now just leave your father to me. He’ll go, he’ll do, he’ll love.
Niles returns. Maxwell enters.
Maxwell : Help, Niles! Sondheim’s in my office and he’s on one of his rhyming jags.
Niles : Shall I send in the clowns?
Maxwell : No, just give us the Chivas. Oh God, he’s got me doing it.
Fran : Here’s something to cheer you up. There’s a carnival at Brighton’s school on Saturday.
Maxwell : (Looking at flyer) Food, rides, games. Nothing rhymes. Sounds splendid.
Fran : (To Brighton) Eh?
Maxwell : By all means, take the children and have a wonderful time.
Brighton : (To Fran) Eh?
Fran : I meant the whole family would go. That would include the father.
Maxwell : Sorry, I’m meeting composers all weekend.
Fran : Personally, I could live the rest of my life without another corn dog…
Maxwell : Congratulations. Corn Dogs Anonymous?
Fran : My point being a carnival’s a good way to spend some time with your kids. And time is so fleeting at this age.
Maxwell : While I appreciate the skill and subtlety of your guilt mongering, I’m opening a musical in eight weeks!
Fran : So?
Maxwell : I have no music!
Fran : Oh.
Brighton/Maxwell : Otherwise I’d love to go.
Maxwell : Brighton, don’t be smart. Gracie dear, don’t chew on your hair, and Maggie, (Peeking under the towel)do try to be a bit more outgoing. Well, carry on.
Maxwell exits. All the kids stare at Fran for a beat.
Fran : Well, the man has to make a living. How else can we afford the lifestyle to which I’ve become accustomed?
Int. Living Room - Next Afternoon
Fran is standing in front of Maggie, working on her face.
Fran : Okay, so I flunked facials. We’ll color it in and call it a mole.
Fran moves aside to reveal a large mole on Maggie's cheek.
Fran : (cont'd) There. You look just like Cindy Crawford.
Maggie : I look just like John Boy Walton.
Fran : I loved him.
Brighton enters with his school books.
Brighton : Hey Mags, you look really beautiful.
Maggie : (suspicious) And…?
Brighton : And nothing. You look really good.
Maggie is thrown for a beat, then responds the only way she knows how.
Maggie : Shut up, Brighton.
Fran : Why are you being so nice to your sister? Who’d you kill?
Brighton : Why does everyone assume the worst of me?
Fran : Because it saves time.
Brighton : (Wounded) You know, we did handwriting analysis in school today, and I found out I’m very vulnerable.
Fran : Really? That’s fascinating. I don’t suppose you could analyze my
Brighton : (Can't believe his luck) Sure, I happen to have a piece of old unimportant scrap paper. Sign your name right here.
Fran : Okay…
Fran grabs paper.
Fran : (Cont'd) SUCKER!!
Brighton : What just happened?
Fran : Honey, I’m so far ahead of you, we’re in different time zones.(Re: Paper) Ooh, a note from the headmaster.
Brighton : Don’t believe everything you read.
Fran : Brighton Sheffield? You were caught smoking?!! Feh! That’s disgusting. It takes the idiots that start that filthy habit years to quit. (Beat) I still haven’t knocked off all the weight.
She starts to exit.
Brighton : Where are you going?
Fran : (Moving towards door) Where do you think? I’m telling your father.
Brighton : He’s busy.
Fran : Not too busy to hear this.
Brighton : But, he’ll bring up that whole military school thing, and can our country really afford that?
Fran : Smoking. Where would you ever get an idea like that?
Brighton : From you.
Fran : Me?
Brighton : Bad, bad Lenny Brown?
Fran : Wha…? (It sinks in) Oh. Oy.
Brighton : (Seeing a way out) So maybe we should just keep this our little secret. I mean what kind of Nanny tells a story like that to an impressionable ten year old?
Fran : Are you trying to blackmail me?
Brighton : Let’s just say if I’m going down, you’re going down with me.
Fran : Who are you, Edward G. Robinson? You think I’m going to be intimidated by someone who can walk under a coffee table? (Beat) Were they at least low-tar?
Int. Kitchen - Later
Fran is puffing frantically on a cigarette. Niles is cooking at the Island.
Fran : He’s gonna fire me! I’d fire me! And I just figured out the bidet is not a water fountain. Uch! (Re: Cigs) What am I doing? I quit.
She stubs out the cigarette.
Fran : (Cont'd) I gotta deal with my problems without a crutch. What’s to eat? (Raiding fridge) What was I thinking, blabbing a story like that to a ten year old? On the other hand, if I told him to jump off the Empire State Building… (Stopping herself) Hello, that was my mother’s voice that just crossed the Queensboro bridge and flew out my mouth.
Niles : But with such dulcet tones.
Fran : This is so typical of kids. You try and try and what do you get - a slap in the face. Oy, my mother again. Niles, call an exorcist.
Niles : The previous nannies always signed all of Brighton’s discipline reports.
Fran : The nanny can do that?
Niles : Of course. In fact Nanny Six retired with Carpal-tunnel syndrome.
Fran : No I gotta tell Mr. Sheffield what I did or the evil eye’ll get me and I’ll be hit by a bus.
Fran gets up and starts for the door.
Niles : The evil eye? Your mother again?
Fran : No, Grandma Yetta.
Niles : Well, Miss Fine, it’s been a pleasure spending this time with you and your family.
Fran : Oy, why do I have to be such a straight arrow? Goodbye Niles, goodbye house, goodbye Jackie O.
Fran exits. Niles smiles and goes back to work.
Int. Living Room - Continuous
Maxwell and C.C are in a meeting with a composer, an energetic, artsy type who is completely stressed out.
Composer : The kind of music I hear for this show has a kind of, you know,
Bacharach/David kind of a “Promises, Promises” groove…
Pounding chords on the piano.
Composer : Ba Da Da, Ba Da Da, Ba Da Da Da-Da! Bounce, bounce. Lots of bounce.
Maxwell : I’m… not sure.
Composer : You’re right. Dated! Awful! Out!
Fran peeks her head in.
Fran : Knock-knock?
Maxwell : (Tense and preoccupied) Yes, what is it, Miss Fine?
C.C : And quickly, please. We’ve go eight more composers to see today…
Maxwell glares at C.C, she realizes her faux pas and turns to the composer with a big smile.
C.C : (Cont'd) But you’re right up there.
Maxwell : (Prompting Fran) Well…?
Fran : It’s about Brighton…
Maxwell : (Impatient) Yes?
Fran : Remember The other day, me and Val were in the kitchen? Or was it in the living room? It was somewhere in the house. (Then, choked up) And it’s such a nice house.
Maxwell : What about Brighton? Has he been injured?
Fran : (Weakly) No.
Maxwell : Is there property damage?
Fran : (More Confident) No.
Maxwell : Is he missing?
Fran : (Almost giddy) Nah, he’s right upstairs!!
Maxwell : Then what are you doing here? Isn’t this something you could handle on your own?
C.C : Honestly, Maxwell, what’s the point of having a nanny is she can’t deal with these things herself?
Maxwell : Isn’t that what I just said?
C.C : Yes, but I wanted to say it, too.
Maxwell : Miss Fine, look, whatever it is, just take care of it. I’m giving you
carte blanche, all right?
Fran : Alright.
Int. Hallway - Cont.
Niles : Well?
Fran : Honestly, Niles. What’s the point of having a nanny if she can’t handle
these things herself.
Niles : You didn’t tell him.
Fran : He gave me Carte Blanche. I’m off the hook and I’m getting’ my own credit card. I love this job.
Niles : What about the evil eye?
Fran : It blinked!
Int. Dining Room - Morning (Saturday)
Niles enters carrying a tray of food. fran, in her bathrobe, is standing at the sidebar with her plate.
Niles : You’re up early.
Fran : I couldn’t sleep.
Niles : Um-hmm.
Fran : (Defensive) I had indigestion. It has nothing to do with a guilty conscience, if that’s what you’re implying
Niles : Crepes?
Fran : Back off, Niles! I’m gonna punish the kid, what else do you want?
Niles : Dare I suggest syrup?
Fran : What’s with the third degree? I tried to tell Mr. Sheffield, but the man doesn’t listen! Everything I say goes in one ear and out the other.
Maxwell : Good morning, Miss Fine. I’ve been thinking about what you said.
Fran : Whaa? What’d I say?
Maxwell : About spending more time with the children.
The kids enter.
Maxwell : (Cont'd) See I’ve started already. Children, we’re going to the carnival.
Fran and Brighton give each other a frightened look.
Maggie : All of us?
Maxwell : The whole family. We’ll go on the rides. We’ll eat cotton candy.
Grace : It will be like being a child again.
Maxwell : And it’ll give me a chance to talk to Brighton’s headmaster, see what he’s been up to.
Niles spills some syrup.
Niles : Whoops! These things can get so sticky.
Fran glares at Niles.
Fran : You know, I think I’ve soured on the whole carnival thing.
Maxwell : (Exasperated) Miss Fine, I rearranged my entire schedule and now you’re telling me you don’t want to go?
Fran : I wasn’t a hundred percent that day. I must’ve been ovulating.
Niles : Your eggs, sir?
Maxwell : Well, you can stay home if you like, but we are going.
Brighton : (To Fran, in desperation) Do something!
Fran : I will. I’ll do what I should have done in the first place.
Niles : (Gives a cheer) Here, here. (Covering, he hands Maxwell his tea) Here.
Fran : Mr. Sheffield, there’s something I think you should know.
Giving Brighton a chance to speak up.
Fran : Brighton…?
Brighton : (Desperate, to Fran) We don’t care that you’re on parole! Everyone deserves a second chance!!
Fran : Fine, I’ll tell him. When we go to the carnival, the headmaster might mention something about Brighton smoking, but he’s quit, he’s sorry, so there’s nothing for you to worry about. (Changing the subject) Niles, these crepes are divine.
Brighton : (Jumping in) And so light.
Fran : My mother makes a blintz that could double for a bed spread.
Grace : You know smoking will stunt your growth.
Maggie : And you’re already a dwarf.
Maxwell : Girls, you may be excused.
Maggie and Grace exit, Fran tries to follow.
Maxwell : (Cont'd) Not you, Miss Fine.
Fran : Oh.
Maxwell : Smoking, Brighton? I can’t believe it. What on earth possessed you to do this?
Brighton looks at Fran.
Niles : (To Fran, re: her plate) Are you through here?
Fran : It’s starting to look that way.
Maxwell : I’m waiting, young man. What do you have to say for yourself?
Brighton : I just did it once, but I didn’t inhale.
Maxwell : That is the most pathetically lame excuse I ever heard. Go to your room.
Fran starts to get up.
Maxwell : Not you.
Fran : Mr. Sheffiled, there’s something you need to know.
Maxwell : I’ll say. Why wasn’t I told about this?
Fran : Well, I tried to tell you in your office. You told me to take care of it.
Maxwell : Because I didn’t know what the problem was.
Fran : Because you wouldn’t listen.
Maxwell : Because you didn’t tell me it was something like this.
Fran : It’s pointless to continue this discussion. You had chocolate cake yesterday.
Fran exits to the hall.
Int. Hall - Continuous
Maxwell bursts in.
Maxwell : What’s that bloody well got to do with anything?
Fran : Low blood sugar. You’re completely irrational.
Fran exits to the living room.
Int. Living Room - Continuous
Maxwell bursts in.
Maxwell : You’re twisting the whole thing around!
Fran : Oh, so now I’m twisting.
Maxwell : You’re the most exasperating, infuriating…!!
Then holds his fingers to his temple.
Maxwell : I think I just had a small stroke.
Fran : Does that mean we’re not going to the carnival?
Maxwell : Miss Fine!!
Fran : You know, it’s so easy for you to find fault. You’re out there all day with your glamorous theater people, while I’m stuck at home, working like a dog raising the kids.
Maxwell : You’re the Nanny! It’s your job!
Fran : You’re the father! It’s your job too!
Then realizing she's out of line.
Fran : Mr. Sheffield, sir.
Maxwell : (Exasperated) Go to your room!
Fran looks around.
Maxwell : Yes, you!!
Maxwell storms out the front door, slamming it hard.
Fran : (To Niles, who looks on) Oh, can you believe he sent me to my room? He is so adorable sometimes.
Int. Theater - A Short Time Later
Auditions are going on on stage. An angry Maxwell is sitting in the audience with C.C and the director. A middle aged female performer is just finishing a song.
Singer : “…IN LOVE.”
Maxwell : (Angry) No. Wrong. Totally wrong! Make a note. Fire the casting director.
C.C : Maxwell, you’re being an absolute beast today. (Beat) I love it.
Maxwell : It’s just that I know what I’m looking for. I need a Broadway star with tremendous stage presence who is instantly recognizable to the entire country. (Then, calling out) Next!
Carol channing enters takes center stage and starts the instantly recognizable opening to "hello Dolly".
Carol : (Singing) HELLO…
Maxwell : (Preoccupied) Next!
Carol reacts and crosses offstage, passing Fran entering from the wings.
Carol : (To Fran) He’s tough!
Fran : You’re telling me.
Carol exits. Fran stops and looks after her doing a double-take. She then walks out on stage.
Fran : (Cont'd) (Calling out, a la "Funny girl") Hello… Mr.Sheffield, Mr. Sheffield!
Director : (To Fran) Your song, please.
Fran : Oh, I get to sing? Alright. (Then, to accompanist) “People”, in E flat. Hit it.
The pianist hits a chord, Fran inhales.
Maxwell : Miss Fine!
Fran : I’ve got dreams, don’t I?
Maxwell : (Crossing to stage) Ladies and gentleman, let’s take a break. (Re: the audition) Miss Fine, we were in the middle of something.
Fran : (Re: their fight) I know, that’s why I’m here. You shouldn’t leave the house with things unresolved. You’ll get a peptic ulcer.
Angle on :
Director : The wife?
C.C : The nanny.
Back to :
Fran : Look, we both know you ran out on me because you were losing that argument.
Maxwell : I wasn’t losing.
Fran : Trust me, when you induce a stroke in your opponent, it’s a clear win.
Maxwell : (Holding his head) I think you’re winning again.
Fran : But it wasn’t a fair fight, because you didn’t have all the facts.
Maxwell : Please, no more facts.
Fran : Brighton got the idea to smoke from a story he maybe, mighta, sorta heard from me.
Maxwell : From you?!
Fran : Kinda. I gotta be like the worst Nanny in the world. Okay, Rebecca De Mornay, then me. Uch, I could cut out my tongue. So if you want to fire me, do it now. That way, I’m available to be in your show.
Maxwell : I’m not going to fire you, but that offer to cut out your tongue may have some merit.
She chuckles weakly.
Maxwell : Look if you told Brighton to jump off London Bridge… Oh God, I sound just like my…
Fran : Don’t you hate when that happens?
Maxwell : What we’re overlooking here is Brighton didn’t turn you in. Why do you suppose that is?
Fran : He’s got some hideous torture planned for later?
Maxwell : (Amazed) I think perhaps… Could it be… He likes you?
Fran : (Slightly offended) Stranger things have happened.
Maxwell : Not really. (He smiles) Rest assured, Miss Fine. You’re at least as good a nanny as I am a father.
Fran : Well, that’s comforting.
Maxwell : The truth is, Sarah did most of the parenting. Brighton had a special relationship with his mother that he and I don’t have. (Beat) He feared her.
Fran : Well, that’s what I’m here for. How are we going to fix it so he never smokes again?
Maxwell : I sent him to his room.
Fran : With a wide screen T.V. and a fully stocked mini-fridge? Punish me.
Maxwell : Well, what do you suggest?
Fran : Something much more cruel and unusual. (She picks up a phone and dials) We need to consult the hight priestess of punishment. Hello Ma… what’s the penalty for smoking?… No, I couldn’t, he’s just a kid… Although…
Int. Nursing Home - Day
Fran swings open doors leading to small recreation room mostly inhabitated by senior citizens. A lone comatose-like woman stands in one corner fixedly staring in front of her. Fran, Maxwell and Brighton enter and approach an elderly woman wearing a housecoat and orthopedic shoes. She is sitting in a chair and reading a "National Enquirer" as she puffs on a "Bellaire 100" hanging loosely from her lips.
Fran : Grandma Yetta!
Yetta : (Immediately suspicious) Yeah?
Fran : It’s me, Frannie.
Yetta : Frannie!
Yetta begins to cough and hack uncontrollably.
Fran : How ya’ doing?
Yetta : (Hacking away) Thank God, I still have my health.
Fran : (to Brighton, who looks on in horror) Maybe you two can go out for a smoke later. (Then to Yetta) Yetta, I’d like you to meet -
Yetta : Oh, look at the baby! I haven’t seen you since you were this big!
Fran : Grandma, you’ve never met him before.
Yetta : Oh. (To Brighton) Did you bring me a carton?
Yetta again begins to cough and hack.
Fran : Oy, Yetta, you sound like you’re making espresso over there.
Yetta : Ah, it’s the air conditioning. I’m allergic. (Then, noticing Maxwell) Morty! Morty, you look good.
Fran : Grandma, it’s not Daddy.
Yetta : It’s not? Well, he never comes. How would I recognize him?
Maxwell : (Extending his hand) Maxwell Sheffield. We brought you a (Looking questioningly to Fran) …babka, I believe.
He hands her a cake box.
Yetta : (Urgently) Cake! Put it away! Save it for my room! (Referring to the others) If they see babka, they’ll all want. (To Fran) So is this your new boyfriend?
Fran : No Yetta. Remember I told you I got a job working as a nanny? This is my boss.
Yetta : The rich one?
Fran : (Embarassed) Yetta…and this is his son, Brighton.
Yetta : Brighton?
Fran : Like the beach.
Yetta : So Brighton, are you a good boy? Do you listen to your nanny?
Maxwell : I’m afraid he was caught smoking.
Yetta : Smoking?!
Brighton : You smoke.
Yetta : Me it doesn’t affect. I’m like a horse.
Putting her arm around Brighton.
Yetta : But wait, we’ll go meet Ethel; phlegm in a hairnet.
Brighton : Please not Ethel. I swear I’ll never touch another cigarette again.
She leads a frightened Brighton away.
Maxwell : Miss Fine, you are good.
Fran : I try. And all it cost us was a babka.
Comatose Woman : Babka?
Suddenly all the people in the room start to close in on Fran and Maxwell a la "Night of the living dead".
Residents : Babka, babka…
Fran and Maxwell retreat into the corner as the geriatric mob encircles them. Maxwell handsthe babka to Fran.