MOVIE PITCH – Part I
What do you think of this for a storyline?
Film opens with woman in London putting finishing touches to her packing and closing her suitcase. The phone goes. It’s her future ex-husband. ‘Just had an email from the managing agents’, he says. ‘You can’t stay in our apartment in Nice, the tenant didn’t move out at the end of his contract two weeks ago’.
Woman immediately calls managing agents. Owner of the agency tells her the tenant overstayed his contract, it’s too early to call in the lawyers. Woman demands to know why she hasn’t been told this before. Agent tells her she should have emailed him before this morning that she was coming over. Woman points out loudly, but in a caring way [PARENTAL GUIDANCE] that she emailed managing agent as a courtesy, she doesn’t have to ask managing agent permission to stay in her own property. Woman also informs managing agent that she has a friend arriving from America in a couple of days to stay with her in her (own) apartment. Managing agent, without bothering to muffle his phone, talks to colleague in his office, saying in French (which woman understands very well and which managing agent should know she understands very well since she has often conversed with him in the language) ‘She’s got a friend coming over from America in a couple of days. What am I to tell her?’
The doorbell rings. It’s the cab – five minutes early – to take the woman to the airport. Woman tells driver she’ll be off the phone in an instant, but cab driver tells her he’ll wait in the car park.
Woman hangs up from the managing agent (who has anyhow fallen silent), somehow manoeuvres heavy cases out into the hallway and locks the door. Struggles with heavy cases to the car park, where the cab driver is feigning sleep and only notices the woman and her (heavy) suitcases once she is 4 millimetres from his window. Cab driver laconically gets out of cab and reluctantly puts (heavy) suitcases into the back. They set off for the airport.
Cab driver attempts to break speed of light speed. Woman finds G-Force a teensy bit unsettling so early in the morning. Mostly monosyllabic, the driver does let on, however, that he regularly takes people to Gatwick Airport. It’s at this point on the busy motorway that he hurtles at 183 mph ever so slightly past the very well-signposted slip road for Gatwick Airport and – ye gods – reverses back to it. [SUITABLE FOR OVER 18s]
Woman, in Minnie Mouse voice, whilst crossing herself (hoping the Good Lord won’t remember she’s actually Jewish), endeavours to confirm that the driver takes her credit card. The driver says ‘I’m a cab driver, I don’t take credit cards’. Woman points out to driver she has paid by credit card many times before in taxis, and that the website she booked him through states very clearly OUR DRIVERS ACCEPT ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS. Well, says the cabbie, you should have told them you were going to pay by credit card when you booked.
Woman starts to lose the will to live.
After stopping at petrol station with a cash machine, taxi drives to drop off point outside terminal. Driver (very) laconically moves to back of car, but has problems opening the boot, because one of the cases has somehow become enmeshed with the boot locking mechanism. Looks at woman as if to say ‘you sure you want to take these cases with you?’ but something in the woman’s demeanour [CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE AND THOUGHTS OF EXPLICIT VIOLENCE] persuades him she does indeed want to take these cases with her, and he persists, eventually freeing them. He places them on the ground in a miserable fashion. Woman holds out bank notes for the fare, and hands him a couple of coins (fewer than she would normally give) as a tip. Driver stares at coins in derisory fashion. Woman says ‘Thanks. That was completely terrifying’ and walks away.
Woman checks in, then mysteriously bleeps several times going through the security bleepy thing. Has already taken off watch, belt, jewellery, normally pleasant disposition. Has to stand with arms outstretched and feet apart to be wanded and patted down. (Day starts to get better). Five minutes later is still bleeping, but they let her through anyway. (Comforting).
After putting back on watch, belt, jewellery (but stuffing normally pleasant disposition into her handbag), woman visits stationers, where she picks up a bottle of water, two political magazines and a newspaper. She stands in line to pay for them, but the line doesn’t move for ten minutes. This, she sees, is because the stationers has installed new self-service checkouts for greater speed and efficiency. Which nobody can work out how to use. Woman glances at watch and deposits bottle of water, two political magazines and newspaper onto a shelf displaying Do It Yourself magazines. [Woman extremely likeable character – obviously breathtakingly beautiful – with an ever-present charmingly-ironic wit].
Woman enters departure lounge and approaches drink dispenser machine. Sees from stickers under the bottles that water costs £1.20, puts £1.20 into slot. Nothing happens. Woman presses button to refund money, tries again. And again and again. Man wanting to use the machine looks at woman and sighs. Woman then notices from a sticker elsewhere on the machine that water is apparently priced at £1.60. Woman looks at man wanting to use the machine and sighs. Woman puts in £1.60, tiny bottle of water is dispensed.
By this time, virtually everyone else has boarded the plane. Woman finds boarding pass and shows it to the cabin crew, is directed to seat between morose drinks machine guy and very fat woman, who is sitting in the ailse seat. Woman stares at seat between morose drinks machine guy and very fat woman sitting in the ailse seat, the latter eventually cottoning on to the fact that the woman is staring at the empty seat next to her for a reason. Very fat woman chirps ‘OK, if you want to sit there’. Woman [petite, hourglass figure, exceedingly gorgeous in the strange airplane light filtering through the steam emanating from her ears] thinks no, I don’t WANT to sit there, but smiles and stands back so very fat woman can climb out of her seat and let her pass.
Morose drinks machine guy falls asleep. Plane takes off. After two minutes very fat woman unclicks her seatbelt and makes for the toilet. Stewardess tells very fat woman the captain has not switched off the seatbelt signs. ‘I want to go to the toilet’ very fat woman insists. But stewardess is trained in professional insistingnessnosity stuff. Ha ha ha.
Time passes. Just as they are about to land in Nice, very fat woman – who has studiously ignored woman for an hour and a half – suddenly turns to her and says ‘It’s incredible the difference between the weather in London and the weather in Nice, isn’t it?’ Woman says ‘Haven’t you been to Nice before?’ to which very fat woman replies ‘Oh, loads of times. My grandson lives here’. Pauses. Waits for woman to speak. Nothing is forthcoming. Very fat woman says ‘I just use a lot of face cream’. Woman [Taurean,Virgo Rising, Moon in Taurus, stereotypically stubborn] won’t be drawn. Very fat woman got moment covered – says ‘Are YOU a grandmother?’
Plane lands in Nice. Very fat woman almost recovered. Woman exits airport and makes way by No.98 bus to managing agents…
BE AFRAID. BE VERY AFRAID. BE VERY VERY EXTRA SPECIALLY VERY AFRAID…