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FIRST DRAFT [22/04/12]
FADE IN: INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT POPPY, 17, dressed in a very vintage-rock outfit, enters the bathroom. She puts a vinyl in the record player on the counter and music begins. She removes a polaroid photo of a blank wall from her pocket and sticks it to the mirror. POPPY dances around the room with a bottle of Jack Daniels. Her pockets are full of rose petals, as she dances, she tosses handfuls of them around the room. POPPY lights a cigarettes and sings along to the music. She turns the taps in the bath on. POPPY steps into the bath, cigarette in her mouth. She raises her bottle of Jack Daniels above her head and tips it over herself. She tosses the bottle at the ground, it smashes, she laughs. A bottle of pills sits on the side of the tub, she pops the lid. She pours two pills onto the palm of her hand and puts them in her mouth. She then sits down and wraps her lips around the running tap. She grabs the bottle of pills and knocks back a handful the same way. POPPY lies down in the running bath, puts the cigarettes in her mouth, closes her eyes and drapes her arm over the side of the tub. On her hand the word ‘Fade’ is written in marker. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. BEACH - NEXT NIGHT HANNAH, NICK and RYAN (all 18, grunge-punks) all gather around a bonfire. They are smoking cigarettes and drinking their drinks of choice. NICK There’s a word for it. RYAN You know what really killed punk rock? NICK This is going to really annoy me, there’s a word for it. RYAN It wasn’t disco or the creation of MTV.
NICK Alterophobia, that’s it. Alterophobia. RYAN Despite the medias best efforts to kill it, they never stopped the revolution. NICK The word is Alterophobia Hannah. Alterophobia? Yeah. HANNAH NICK
RYAN It was laziness that killed punk, it was a generation that made no effort to rebel what-soever. HANNAH A fear of the none mainstream? Alterophobia. NICK
HANNAH That’s not a real thing. NICK Then how do you explain why girls don’t talk to me? NICK places a cigarette between his lips, lies on his stomach and lights it in the bonfire. HANNAH It’s a mystery. NICK No, it’s Alterophobia. RYAN People think that sharing a video on Facebook or venting their anger into a blog is sticking it to the man. No one is prepared to do anything. There’s no movements, it’s dead, it’s stalemate, the system won. HANNAH So is this it? Are we all just ignoring the elephant in the room?
3. CONTINUED: (2)
HANNAH lights a cigarette. RYAN Even the ‘occupy’ movement is just a festival with less drugs. I’m telling you, Occupy are two sit-ins away from announcing Biffy Clyro as the headliners. HANNAH Can we just stop! Jesus. How about a little respect. A tiny hint of emotion. Let’s be honest, we’re saying words, but we’re all thinking about Poppy. RYAN Did we miss the red flags? NICK Why didn’t she leave a note? HANNAH Does anyone else play back their memories with her trying to piece together if we had anything to do with it? RYAN Every waking second. NICK Who doesn’t leave a note? RYAN I mean, I knew she was messed up, confused and constantly struggling to find some meaning in a meaningless life, but I didn’t think it was a red flag. HANNAH What did you think it was? RYAN Normal. For her at least. I’ve got it! NICK
HANNAH You know why she killed herself? NICK No. Not That. Panophobia. That was the word I was looking for. Panophobia.
4. CONTINUED: (3)
RYAN What’s that a fear of? NICK Absolutely everything. NICK exhales a mouthful of smoke. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. CAR PARK - NIGHT Flashback. NICK and POPPY light a cigarette, lying on the car bonnet. A song finishes playing on the radio inside the car. NICK looks at POPPY lovingly, she doesn’t notice. Poppy. Yeah? NICK shakes his head. NICK I’ve forgotten what I was going to say. POPPY It’s fascinating how that happens, isn’t it? How so? NICK NICK POPPY
POPPY If you had said what you had wanted to say, it might have changed everything. NICK That’s true. Probably not though. POPPY No. Probably not. Silence. The song on the radio finishes. They smoke their cigarettes and stare out at the world. HOST (V.O.) WE have our next caller on the line. Are you there Tori? Yes, I’m here. TORI (V.O.)
HOST (V.O.) You know, you have to answer as many phobias as possible until you get one wrong. POPPY This is my favourite part of the show. HOST (V.O.) Are you ready Tori? Yes. TORI (V.O.)
NICK How do you have a favourite part of a radio show? Autophobia? HOST (V.O.)
POPPY Fear of being alone. TORI (V.O.) Fear of being alone. HOST (V.O.) Correct. Peccatophobia? POPPY Fear of sinning. TORI (V.O.) Fear of sinning. HOST (V.O.) Correct. Technophobia. NICK You’re good at this. POPPY Fear of technology. I don’t know how you can fear sinning when a sin is just an imaginary crime. TORI (V.O.) Fear of technology. HOST (V.O.) Correct. Genophobia? Fear of sex. POPPY
NICK People have a fear of sex?
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POPPY It’s terrifying. NICK I guess your right. I don’t think I could ever be naked in front of anyone. Not unless I really loved them. TORI (V.O.) Oh crap. I don’t know. HOST (V.O.) I need an answer Tori. NICK I like your hair. What? POPPY
NICK That’s what I forgot to say before. I like your hair. Thanks. Fear of sex. POPPY TORI (V.O.)
HOST (V.O.) Correct. Gerascophobia? POPPY Fear of growing old. NICK Did it change anything? What? POPPY
NICK Knowing I liked your hair. No. POPPY
NICK I knew it wouldn’t. POPPY One day it might. TORI (V.O.) Fear of growing old.
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HOST (V.O.) Correct. Oneirophobia? POPPY Fear of dreams. NICK How do you know all this? POPPY I just do. Same way you know every line to Almost Famous. NICK Because that’s a great film. TORI (V.O.) Fear of dreams. HOST (V.O.) Correct. Zelophobia? POPPY Fear of jealousy. NICK Do you have any dreams Poppy? POPPY I want to be photographed. Like a model? NICK
POPPY Not as perfect and fake. I wanted to be photographed as I stand in the world. That’s my dream. TORI (V.O.) Fear of jealousy. HOST (V.O.) Correct. Dementophobia? POPPY Fear of insanity. Remarkable. What is? NICK POPPY
NICK How you know all this.
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POPPY It’s not that impressive. NICK It’s immensely impressive. POPPY What’s your dream Nick? NICK My dream is for you to be photographed. TORI (V.O.) Fear of insanity. HOST (V.O.) Correct. Are you Googling these Tori? Chronophobia? Fear of time. POPPY
NICK Wow, they really do have a fear for everything. Panophobia. Is that-? POPPY NICK
POPPY A fear of everything. NICK Seriously, how could you possibly know that? POPPY Because I fear I may have it. TORI (V.O.) A fear a clocks. HOST (V.O.) I’m sorry that is incorrect. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. BEACH - NIGHT Present day. The three are sitting around the bonfire.
HANNAH I guess we all overlooked how fragile she was. RYAN But that was Poppy all over. That was just her being her, how could be have been concerned about that? HANNAH Because as her friends it was our responsibility to be concerned about that. RYAN You think by the time we finish this conversation any of us will still be friends? HANNAH I know that by the time we finish this conversation, everything will have changed. NICK So Poppy was right about that then? Even from the grave she’s still right about everything. RYAN lights another cigarette. RYAN Besides, if anyone is to blame, my money is on that bastard Max. He ruined her by dating her and he destroyed her by leaving her. NICK Wait. I missed the whole break up. That’s right. How was she after that? HANNAH Not how you’d expect. Angry? NICK CUT TO: POPPY screams smashing bottles against a wall. CUT TO: EXT. BEACH HANNAH shakes her head.
HANNAH NICK CUT TO:
POPPY lies on the ground crying her eyes out. CUT TO: EXT. BEACH HANNAH shakes her head. HANNAH Not even close. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. BEACH - MORNING Flashback. Sunrise. POPPY stands still, ankle deep in the water. HANNAH walks up behind her. Poppy? HANNAH
POPPY Shh. You’ll ruin the silence. They stand side by side, watching the sunrise in the horizon. POPPY lights a cigarette, passes it to HANNAH, then lights one for herself. POPPY (CONT’D) You know why I started smoking? HANNAH All the cool kids were doing it? POPPY My aunt died from cancer when I was thirteen. She had never smoked a day in her life and I remembered thinking, why am I avoiding something that supposedly causes all of lives cancers if there was a chance I was still going to get it anyway? HANNAH I know Max dumped you.
POPPY I could go my whole life, never smoke, never drink, never party, never take a risk and I would still die anyway. Poppy. Yes? HANNAH POPPY
HANNAH I know that you and Max broke up. And? POPPY
HANNAH And I’m asking if you’re OK? POPPY exhales smoke. CUT TO: A stop-motion, black and white, flick-book style shot of POPPY and MAX facing each other. POPPY inhales from the cigarette, leans forward, kisses MAX and heexhales the smoke. CUT TO: EXT. WATER/BEACH - MORNING POPPY and HANNAH still stood ankle deep in the water. POPPY What’s the saddest song you know all the words to? HANNAH Probably Nirvana’s All Apologies. Why? What’s yours? POPPY You know that Rolling Stone’s song, You Can’t Always Get What You Want? Yeah. HANNAH
POPPY That’s it. That’s the saddest song that I know all the words to.
HANNAH takes hold of POPPY’s hand and they stand in silence staring out at the horizon, the waves break against their ankles. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. BEACH - NIGHT RYAN pours alcohol on the fire. It blazes. NICK Do you think that Poppy wanted to kill herself that morning? HANNAH I think that she wanted to kill herself every morning. So why now? Huh? NICK HANNAH
NICK Why now? If she wanted to kill herself everyday, why did she choose the day that she did? Why not the day before? Why not tomorrow? RYAN I don’t know, maybe she wanted to catch the last episode of Desperate Housewives. Or maybe she wanted so badly for her life to have meaning that she wanted her death to mean something to. HANNAH What do you suppose it means? RYAN That’s she’s selfish maybe? NICK Whoa. Whoa. I don’t like what you just implied. RYAN Death is only sad for the living. NICK Poppy isn’t the one on trial here.
RYAN And we are? I didn’t make her swallow a bottle of pills like they were tic tacs. Ryan! NICK
HANNAH It’s never just the guy that pulls the trigger, you got to account for the guy that supplies that guy the gun. Who said that? Me, just now. NICK HANNAH
NICK No. Death is only sad for the living. Who said that? RYAN Poppy used to say it. Hell, she used to swear by it. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. BRIDGE - EVENING Flashback. RYAN and POPPY leans over the side of a bridge. POPPY is pulling petals off of a bunch of red roses and dropping them into the river below. POPPY Did you know that when you stand on a ledge and look down, the fear you feel isn’t a fear that you will fall, but rather, a subconscious fear that you might lose faith and jump. I didn’t. It’s true. RYAN POPPY
RYAN I like being around you Poppy. Why? POPPY
RYAN You’re so knowledgable. I learn so much for talking to you, there’s nothing you don’t know. POPPY I don’t know how to have sex. What? RYAN
POPPY And I don’t know how to work a toaster. Is that weird? RYAN You don’t know how to have sex? POPPY It goes in and five minutes later it comes out black. His penis? RYAN
POPPY No, the bread, in the toaster. RYAN OK, I think we need to go back to the beginning here. POPPY You can’t just hit restart because you don’t understand. RYAN How do you not know how to have sex? POPPY Max and I tried it, several times and each time I just lay on my back, he thrusted, he came, he got cleaned up and that was it. I don’t know what the hell I was doing but every time I was left unsatisfied and Max said it was because I didn’t know what I was doing. RYAN Max is an idiot Poppy. POPPY How do you know that for sure?
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RYAN Because he left you. I know for sure he’s an idiot Poppy because he had you and he walked away. POPPY Do you believe in mermaids? Mermaids? RYAN
POPPY I need to know if I can trust your judgement on this. RYAN No Poppy, I don’t believe in mermaids. Do you miss Max? POPPY Everyone keeps asking that. RYAN We’re just concerned about you. POPPY Don’t be. Just because I’m aware that something exists, why am I expected to miss it? RYAN Probably the same reason people are expected to cry at funerals. POPPY Death is only sad for the living. We’re all living proof of that. RYAN I still don’t believe that you don’t miss him, just a little. POPPY Believe what you want but 90% of the ocean is unexplored, don’t stand there and tell me that mermaids don’t exist. POPPY drops a final handful of rose petals. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. BEACH - NIGHT Present day.
RYAN tries to light a cigarette, the lighter is dodgy, HANNAH stands up. HANNAH Did you have sex with her? RYAN Why would you ask me that? HANNAH Because, I want to know, did you have sex with her? NICK Of course he didn’t have sex with her. RYAN Why would you assume that? NICK Because you don’t have sex with your friends. RYAN Sure you do. Surely there’s no better person to lay with that those who already accept and love you. HANNAH Did you have sex with her Ryan? RYAN I don’t know why all the heat is suddenly on me, we all know it was the photographs that ruined her. NICK Don’t go blaming me because you can’t keep your penis in your pants. HANNAH Ryan! Did you have sex with her? RYAN Yes, I had sex with her. Did you? HANNAH steps back, that’s not what she wanted to hear. (Sigh) HANNAH
17. CONTINUED: (2)
HANNAH One thing lead to another. I was foolish to think it meant anything. NICK Ok, but why does nothing ever lead to me having sex? RYAN Because you were too busy trying to make her fall in love with you by making her dreams come true. NICK It wasn’t like that Ryan. RYAN Look at history. The fairy God motherHistory? NICK
RYAN -makes the dreams come true and the Prince charming gets the action. Of course, Fairy God mother’s don’t end up being pornographers. NICK You’ve got this all wrong Ryan! RYAN She was seventeen Nick! NICK You’ve got this all wrong! DISSOLVE TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY Flashback. NICK and POPPY walk down the hallway to the photography studio. POPPY runs her fingertips along the wall. POPPY So how did you find this guy again? NICK After you told me that you wanted to be a model(CONTINUED)
POPPY -Photographed. I said photographed. NICK I reached out to him and we made a deal. POPPY It wasn’t a moonless night was it? NICK What do you mean? POPPY Robert Johnson. Who? NICK
POPPY He was a blues singer in the 40s, a fairly talentless guy who suddenly became a successful musician. NICK What’s that got to do with anything? POPPY Will you let me make my point? NICK Go ahead. Make your point. POPPY It became a popular myth that he met with the devil himself on a moonless night and sold him his soul for money and fame. NICK’s eyes widen: CUT TO: INT. CAFE - NIGHT NICK signs a page and slides it across the table towards DEAN, who we are about to meet as our photographer. CUT TO:
INT. HALLWAY They are outside the studio now, the walls are covered in pictures the photographer has taken. NICK Do you believe that’s true? About the deal with the devil. The studio door opens. You may enter. They go to walk in. POPPY 90% of the ocean is unexplored, you can’t stand there and tell me mermaids don’t exist. CUT TO: - A SERIES OF SNAPSHOTS OF POPPY DOING DIFFERENT ‘GLAMOUR’ SHOTS CUT TO: INT. STUDIO - DAY POPPY flicks through the photographs. No. No. No. POPPY (Beat) (Beat) DEAN (O.C.)
DEAN (30) and NICK stand beside her. No? No! DEAN POPPY
DEAN Your friend is very picky Nick, you failed to mention that. POPPY I look too pretty in these pictures and so I find them to be ugly. DEAN looks at NICK.
NICK She knows what she wants. POPPY I want to be photographed in a way that reflects how the world really sees me. DEAN Let’s do that then. DEAN picks up a Polaroid camera. DEAN (CONT’D) The closest to reality a snapshot can ever really feel. CUT TO: A SERIES OF CLIPS OF POPPY DOING DIFFERENT POSES. CUT TO: INT. STUDIO - LATER DEAN hands POPPY the Polaroids. She flicks through them, she looks confused. They are all of the blank wall behind her. What’s this? POPPY
DEAN An accurate representation of how the world really sees you. Your life may seem like this huge adventure darling, but in the scheme of things, you’re nothing but a vacant existence. POPPY takes this all in staring at the prints. DEAN (CONT’D) See you next week Nick. Sure babe, keep staring at them, that’s a sure fire way to waste your precious pathetic life. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. BEACH - NIGHT Present day. RYAN pushes NICK.
RYAN No wonder she was messed up. NICK Don’t push me dude. RYAN pushes NICK again. RYAN What are you going to do about it? Make me kill myself? You seem pretty good at that. Screw you! NICK
RYAN You ruined her! NICK You had sex with her and sex with you has got to be enough to make anyone want to blow their heart out. RYAN You blow your brains out asshole. HANNAH Will you two quit it? RYAN You’re not innocent here either Hannah. HANNAH You’re damn well sure I’m not.But Unlike you two, I can admit that I didn’t do everything I possibly could have to save that poor girls life. Silence. HANNAH (CONT’D) At what age did you lose your compassion? NICK When did our talking turn to screaming? RYAN Are we going to let this night be the death of us?
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HANNAH Every second has the potential to ruin everything, Poppy taught me that. You know what else she taught me? NICK What girl on girl is like? RYAN That was going to be my guess. HANNAH That we will never again be as young as we are right now. HANNAH lights a cigarette. DISSOLVE TO: INT. VENUE BATHROOM - NIGHT Flashback. Pre-gig, POPPY and HANNAH are in the bathroom checking their make up. HANNAH Who is it playing tonight? POPPY Some rock back I’ve never heard of. HANNAH If you’ve never heard of them, then why are we here? POPPY Some people go to gigs to support the band, others for the alcohol. I go to gigs because bodies crashing into me in the centre of a mosh pit is the closest I get to feeling the warmth of another human body against my own. POPPY takes the lipstick and writes ‘Autophobia’ across the mirror. What’s that? HANNAH
POPPY writes under it ‘Fear of being alone’
POPPY Not to be confused with the more irrational fear of dying alone. Irrational? HANNAH
POPPY Come on Hannah, everyone dies alone. That is unless you’re Juliet or a victim of a terrorist attack. No one’s dropping dead over you. HANNAH I’m not asking them to. You should be. POPPY
POPPY reaches over and grabs HANNAH’s hand bag, their hands touch, a spark of chemistry. POPPY pulls the handbag towards her. POPPY (CONT’D) Existing is the most insignificant thing about living. Nothing lasts forever and therefore nothing really matters. The thought of being the superior species caused us to lose something, compassion. Shotguns are killing humans and rabbits alike, as otters are falling asleep holding hands for fear that they will slip apart while they are dreaming. I’m lucky if I can get Satan to hold my purse so that I can taste the nicotine hit my throat. When Kurt wrote It’s better to urn out than fade away, he wrote the truth and it scared the shit out of us. HANNAH Neil Young actually said it. Kurt just quoted it. POPPY You don’t think I know that? But if the most iconic man on the planet uses your words in his suicide note, you can take it to Vegas that they won’t be your words anymore.
24. CONTINUED: (2)
HANNAH What if Kurt heard that song on the radio and that’s what drove him to suicide? POPPY That’s what all suicides come down to? Music? Words. HANNAH POPPY
POPPY pulls a permanent marker from HANNAH’s handbag. POPPY (CONT’D) It says here it last forever. I’m willing to bet it doesn’t. POPPY begins writing on her arm. Can we go? HANNAH
POPPY What is permanent if not temporary in denial? HANNAH Come on, I want to check out the support. POPPY You’ll never again be as young as you are right now. Poppy! HANNAH
POPPY looks at herself in the mirror , then at HANNAH’s reflection. Slowly their hands move closer together until they touch, then they’re holding hands, their fingers intertwining. On Poppy’s arm the words ‘What is forever if not a death sentence’ are written. POPPY I need a cigarette. Why? I’m addicted. HANNAH POPPY
HANNAH Why now though?
25. CONTINUED: (3)
POPPY Because I’m scared. Of what? Being alone. HANNAH POPPY
They look at each other. Heavy breathing, tense pauses. HANNAH I won’t leave you alone. Autophobia. POPPY
HANNAH Otters hold hands while they sleep? POPPY Yes. Well, flippers, they don’t have hands. HANNAH So they don’t slip apart while they dream? POPPY Humans don’t do that. HANNAH Do otters dream? Their bodies inch closer together. POPPY Do you believe in mermaids? HANNAH Why are you trembling? POPPY I’m not good as sex. They kiss. As they kiss they fall into a cubical and close the door. -No Way! NICK (V.O.) JUMP CUT TO: EXT. BEACH - NIGHT RYAN That’s not true.
RYAN I don’t believe it. HANNAH It’s true. Otters hold hands while they sleep. RYAN Wait, you think that’s the bit we’re finding hard to believe. NICK No way did you kiss her. HANNAH You’re right, I didn’t kiss her. I knew it! NICK
HANNAH She kissed me. I think. Or we kissed each other. I don’t know. I was so surreal. NICK What happened next? HANNAH One thing lead to another... Uh-huh. I see. NICK
RYAN Wow Nick, you really are a virgin aren’t you. NICK Well Ryan, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize we were all taking turns to ride Poppy like a wild horse, I must have missed the memo. RYAN What even is a memo. HANNAH It’s a word that virgins say. NICK Oh, I see how it is, you two think it’s acceptable to gang up on me when eighteen hours ago I lost the only person who would stand up for me?
27. CONTINUED: (2)
RYAN We all lost her dude, you didn’t invent grieving. NICK Then why am I the only one expressing emotion? RYAN Probably the same way you’re the only guy in the world to do porn and stay a virgin. NICK It wasn’t pornography. RYAN Let’s just call it what it is, it’s porn. NICK I never did pornography. RYAN Then why have I seen pictures of your penis? NICK It wasn’t pornography, it was art, just ask. RYAN Ask who? Poppy? I think you’re going to have some difficulties getting her to vouch for you from now on. NICK Go bathe in acid you asshole. RYAN You’re not angry that Poppy killed herself, you’re angry that you’re the only one she didn’t sleep with. NICK Sits down beside RYAN. NICK I need you to tell me about the night you two spent together and there had better be a damned good reason why you weren’t still holding her hand the next morning.
28. CONTINUED: (3)
RYAN How about because we aren’t otters and this isn’t a love story. Get off my back Nick, I just lost a friend. NICK And you’re about to lose another... RYAN looks at HANNAH, she nods as if to say ‘tell it’. RYAN lights a cigarette. DISSOLVE TO: INT. POPPY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT RYAN and POPPY are in the bedroom, a vinyl plays in the corner. RYAN paces the room. POPPY is on the bed, she takes an aspirin. RYAN Has it been four hours since you last took one? Yes. POPPY
RYAN Because you took one ten minutes ago when I was standing right here. Shh. POPPY
RYAN It’s dangerous. POPPY There are people surviving on a constant stream of heroin and cocaine. Somehow I don’t think Not-Suitable-For-Under-8’s paracetamol I bought in the news agents is going to cause my vital organs to combust. RYAN Why are you always taking them? POPPY I have a sore head. Constantly? RYAN
POPPY It’s so full of the things I never done. Like what? RYAN
POPPY Heroin and cocaine. RYAN Is that a bad thing? POPPY I’ve never been skinny dipping. RYAN That’s giving you a headache? RYAN downs a bottle of beer. POPPY I think it’s weird that I’ve never taken all of my clothes off and ran into the ocean. RYAN You’re right, that’s weird. I encourage that you do that sometime. RYAN opens another bottle of beer. POPPY I’ve never stood for anything, I’ve never fallen for anyone , I’ve never just been there for people. Not really. RYAN That’s not your fault. RYAN is making great progress on drinking his second beer. POPPY It’s society and this lazy generation I was born into. RYAN Don’t even get me started. POPPY I need a cigarette. RYAN tosses POPPY the box and lighter. Gets himself another beer. She opens the window and lights upShe stares out the window at the city. RYAN stands next to her.
30. CONTINUED: (2)
POPPY (CONT’D) You know that when Kurt Cobain died, teenagers across America all took to the streets to gry, get high and support one and other in their time of need. A lost generation brought together to pay respect to the one man who gave them something to stand behind. I’d say that’s the last documented occurrence of compassion in human history. POPPY takes another pill, uses RYAN’s beer to wash it down. RYAN has difficulty letting go of the bottle. He wrestles it back and finishes it off. RYAN You know that whenever you asked me if I wanted to hang out in your room I had a whole different night planned out in my head. POPPY stares at the Polaroids of the empty space that she has hung on her wall. She stubs out her cigarette. POPPY Expectations fuel disappointment. RYAN I’m horny and I came here to help you. POPPY Help me? Look at my arms Ryan. RYAN looks at her arms, there’s nothing there. RYAN There’s nothing there. POPPY That’s my point. POPPY jumps back onto the bed. RYAN grabs another beer. As she says each of the following lines, she takes an aspirin and RYAN takes a swig. POPPY (CONT’D) I’ve never been to Paris. JUMP CUT TO: PARIS TRAVEL GUIDES BURNING CUT TO:
INT. POPPY’S BEDROOM POPPY I’ve never played poker. JUMP CUT TO: A DECK OF CARDS BURNING ON THE FIRE. CUT TO: INT. POPPY’S BEDROOM POPPY I’ve never tried to understand art. JUMP CUT TO: A PAINTING BURNS ON THE FIRE. CUT TO: INT. POPPY’S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS POPPY I’ve never seen a mermaid. I’ve never saved a life. I’ve never slow danced. I’ve never had a cigarette that I didn’t enjoy. POPPY still takes a pill between each one. RYAN has finished his beer. RYAN Hold up. Slow down. POPPY lights a cigarette. RYAN (CONT’D) You’ve never slow danced? POPPY shakes her head. She lies back, cigarette pursed between her lips and closes her eyes. CUT TO: EXT. FIRE - EVENING RYAN lies next to the blazing fire he has built of the things Poppy has never done, he’s lying close enough to burn, crying his eyes out.
RYAN (Chocking on tears) You...Saved...Mine. CUT TO: INT. POPPY’S BEDROOM POPPY is passed out, cigarette still burns between her lips. Poppy? He walks over to her. RYAN (CONT’D) I can’t believe you’ve never slow danced. RYAN picks POPPY up into his arms and begins dancing around the room with her. RYAN lays her on the bed, removes the cigarette from her mouth and stubs it out. He then climbs on top of her body and begins to kiss her. CUT TO: EXT. BEACH - NIGHT HANNAH stares at RYAN, disgusted. You knew. What? HANNAH RYAN RYAN
HANNAH You knew that she had a problem with pills. RYAN I never knew that she had a problem, I just knew that she liked them. HANNAH That’s a problem you ass! NICK You saw a red flag raising and you just saluted. RYAN I’m sorry guys, I didn’t know.
HANNAH goes to yell, no words come out. She just stares, breathing heavily. RYAN tries to avoid eye contact. RYAN (CONT’D) What happened to we’re all equally responsible? NICK That was before we knew what you done. RYAN Like you’re so innocent. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY POPPY runs down the hallway, her fingertips running along the wall, in her other hand she holds the polaroids. She bursts into: INT. STUDIO - CONTINUOUS NICK is posing naked. DEAN is taking photographs of him. POPPY I need you to photograph me again- Nick? POPPY is shocked. DEAN snaps a photo of her expression. She drops the photographs. NICK reaches for his boxers. POPPY (CONT’D) What are you doing to my friend? DEAN I’m taking photographs of him. What don’t you like about my photographs of you? POPPY I’m not in any of them. DEAN There’s not a single existing photograph of William Shakespeare. No one debates his existence. NICK There’s no photos of Jesus and all we do is debate his.
POPPY Why are you here Nick? I thought you were against doing that. NICK He likes taking photographs of naked people. Virgins. DEAN
POPPY You’re doing porn. Poppy. NICK
DEAN It’s not pornography. It’s art. POPPY It’s disgusting. DEAN You read comic books? POPPY Ever since I was eight. DEAN Martin Goldman runs a publication company and wants to rival DC in the 40s, he hires Stan Lee, an office assistant, to come up with some new heroes for America to unite behind and pay money to read about. And so he does. To generate revenue the company also created some of the most successful porn magazines of that era. You see darling, money is money, art is art and no one gives a damn how you sleep at night. No. Yes. Nick. I’m sorry. POPPY DEAN POPPY NICK
DEAN It’s four-twenty. Join me.
35. CONTINUED: (2)
DEAN removes three joints from his pocket. CUT TO: NICK, DEAN and POPPY stand in a circle, joint hanging from their mouths, the tip of each meeting in the centre. DEAN places a lighter underneath the joints, he flicks it and lights all three at once. DEAN (CONT’D) Four-twenty started back in the early seventies, coined by a group of teenagers called the Waldos who met at four-twenty to go in search of an abandoned crop of cannabis. After that, the term quickly became slang for getting high and four-twenty became the socially acceptable time of day to smoke weed. POPPY Imagine influencing culture like that. NICK Did they call themselves the Waldos because they wore stripy jumpers and were difficult to find? POPPY They called themselves it because their hang out was a wall behind the school. That’s right. DEAN
NICK is laughing for no reason. NICK I have no clothes on. DEAN Your a smart kid Poppy. Shame you’re so insignificant. POPPY I want to be photographed again. CUT TO: POPPY and NICK stand for a photograph holding hands. POPPY is fully dressed, NICK is in his boxers.
36. CONTINUED: (3)
DEAN (V.O.) You allow yourself to be haunted by reality and plagued by dreams. FLASH! CUT TO: POPPY slowly drops to her knees in front of NICK. She pulls his boxers down around his ankles, her head blocks us from seeing anything. DEAN (V.O.) (CONT’D) Ignorant to the line between good and evil. FLASH! CUT TO: POPPY is on NICK’s back, her hands playfully cover his eyes. His boxers still around his ankles, again we see nothing. DEAN (V.O.) (CONT’D) The line between love and hate. FLASH! CUT TO: POPPY and NICK are kneeling on the floor, POPPY has shed most of her clothing, NICK is still naked. They share a lollipop. DEAN (V.O.) (CONT’D) The line between art and pornography. FLASH! CUT TO: INT. STUDIO POPPY stubs out her spliff. DEAN shakes her hand. DEAN You should take photographs. Maybe I will. Goodbye Poppy. POPPY DEAN
POPPY I hope we never meet again. DEAN It won’t matter, the damage is done. I have met you, therefore, I am a part of you. FADE TO: INT. HALLWAY - AFTERNOON POPPY runs her fingertips along the wall as they leave. POPPY How did you end up having to do that? NICK (Sigh) It was a moonless night... Oh. POPPY
(Beat) I always get the urge to touch things. Everywhere I go. Leave my fingerprints so that I was there, that I exist. NICK Please Poppy, I need you to forgive me. POPPY Incredible how those kids back in the 70s weren’t movie stars, they weren’t in bands, they didn’t even have the internet and they somehow managed to still influence people 40 years on. She stops touching the wall. NICK tries to take hold of her hand, she pulls away. NICK looks away, tries to hide his shame and embarrassment. CUT TO: EXT. BEACH - NIGHT Present day. NICK What was I doing? I was so in love with her.
No one says anything. A cigarette burns between NICK’s fingers. He begins to cry, the crying progresses into a complete emotional breakdown. No one is sure what to do. HANNAH and RYAN looks at each other. NICK continues to cry hysterically. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. STREET - DAY HANNAH and POPPY walk through the street. POPPY is taking photographs on a disposable camera. HANNAH Do you think Hugh Hefner wakes up every morning, looks at himself in the mirror and thinks ‘holy crap, I’m Hugh Hefer’? POPPY lines up a photograph of a teenage couple about to kiss. She snaps it. POPPY No, I think Hugh Hefner wakes up every morning and has a threesome with two hot twenty year olds. HANNAH How the other half live huh. POPPY Nick is doing porn. What? HANNAH
POPPY I did porn with him. HANNAH Is that code for something? No. POPPY
POPPY’s attention is suddenly caught by a homeless guy holding a cardboard sign that reads ‘MY LIFE DEPENDS ON CHANGE.’ POPPY stares at this. HANNAH (O.C.) What do you mean you did porn together? POPPY raises her camera to her face. HANNAH (O.C.) (CONT’D) Porn as in pornography?
POPPY takes the photograph. As in naked? HANNAH (O.C.) (CONT’D)
POPPY What kind of change do you suppose he’s after? Give him 50PHANNAH
POPPY -He must really need change, he made a sign about it. HANNAH Poppy this is huge. For who? POPPY
A GIRL stands across the street in a ‘FREE HUGS’ tShirt, no one is hugging her. A GUY that is too busy texting walks directly into her, he barely looks up and carries on walking. POPPY snaps a photograph. POPPY (CONT’D) I think this is depression. Finding beauty in only the saddest of things. HANNAH Why would you do something so stupid. POPPY He did it. I was just there. POPPY’s hand reaches out to touch something, there’s nothing there to touch. She touches HANNAH. POPPY runs her hand down HANNAH’s back, HANNAH smiles. POPPY’s hand goes into HANNAH’s back pockets and removes a box of matches. She strikes one and lights a cigarette. HANNAH What are people going to say when they find out? POPPY Hey Poppy, good job, you look good compared to Penis. (Beat) You know I used to look at people and wonder what my life would be like if I was them, then I realized something, my life would be no different, I’d still be me, just, I’d be them. (MORE)
40. CONTINUED: (2) POPPY (CONT'D) There’s no escape and so, there’s no point. Kainotophobia, fear of change. Get a photograph.
POPPY gives HANNAH the camera, she walks up HOMELESS MAN, places his arm around her and sign in the air. HANNAH takes a photograph. HOMELESS MAN looks at POPPY, he’s sad, he’s speak but no words come out. POPPY (CONT’D) You don’t want change sir, you just want more.
to the raises his The trying to
POPPY looks into his eyes, there’s a deep sadness, she places her hand on his in comfort. CUT TO: INT. POPPY’S BEDROOM - DAYS LATER POPPY sits on her bed looking at the photograph, she’s shocked. The HOMELESS MAN is passed out, the sad eyes are in fact hers. They are replicated by her as she stares at the photograph and comes to the realization of the situation. She reaches for her bottle of pills. CUT TO: EXT. BEACH - NIGHT HANNAH and NICK comfort each other, both crying. NICK She didn’t have sex with the Homeless Dude did she? No. HANNAH
NICK Thank God. I was beginning to think I was the only one who didn’t have a go on her. RYAN walks up to them, bottle in hand. RYAN Where’s my hug? What? Go away. HANNAH NICK
RYAN I lost a friend too. Where is my comfort? NICK We have no sympathy for the devil. RYAN Sure you do. Forgiveness is sympathy of evil and the kid on the cross was all about that. Am I wrong? RYAN kicks sand at them and manages to fall over drunk. DISSOLVE TO: INT. BATHROOM - EVENING Flashback. POPPY stands in front of her mirror in her bra and underwear staring at herself. The deep sadness in her eyes has consumed her whole face. RYAN bursts in the door, bottle of Jack Daniels in hand. Poppy! RYAN
She ignores him, continues looking at herself. RYAN (CONT’D) Poppy. Come on and talk to me. Say something to me Poppy. Say anything. He tries to take her hand, she pulls away. He tries to her her, she pushes him off. She stares at herself in the mirror. RYAN (CONT’D) Poppy. I am so, so, so, very so-Is that a picture of Nick’s dick? RYAN lifts up the picture, he moves a knife that is sitting on top of it without even acknowledging it’s presence in the room. RYAN (CONT’D) That’s hilarious. RYAN drops the photo on the ground.
RYAN (CONT’D) Don’t lose faith and jump. RYAN tries to kiss POPPY. She pushes him off. RYAN (CONT’D) You know what. You are bad at sex, you suck. POPPY slaps RYAN. As the slap hits we: JUMP CUT TO: INT. RYAN’S CAR - EVENING RYAN drives around drunk. RYAN What have I done? What have I done? He sees his reflection in the rearview mirror. He smacks the mirror so he doesn’t have to look at himself. RYAN thinks for a moment and then swerves the car around. CUT TO: EXT. SIDE STREET - EVENING RYAN pulls the car up and gets out. CUT TO: INT. APARTMENT BLOCK HALLWAY - EVENING RYAN staggers down the hallway. On the walls we can see Poppy’s fingerprints. RYAN stops at a door and pounds on it. MAX opens it. RYAN grabs him and punches him repeatedly. RYAN (Repeating, angry) You made me hurt her, you made me hurt my friend. He continues to beat MAX, who doesn’t attempt to fight back. He drops MAX to the ground, beaten and bleeding. RYAN spits on him. RYAN (CONT’D) You made me hurt her...
RYAN starts to walk away. RYAN (CONT’D) You made me hurt my friend. No. RYAN turns back. He pours his alcohol over MAX. RYAN (CONT’D) You made me hurt her. RYAN lights a cigarette. He bends down, his cigarette between his lips, he moves right up close to MAX. RYAN (CONT’D) It’s all your fault. You did this to us. I’m two inches away from burning you alive, you scared? MAX is terrified, his bottom lip trembles, he tries to beg for mercy but can’t speak, so he does it with his eyes. RYAN stands up. RYAN (CONT’D) I should burn you alive. Take Poppy, move to Paris, show her how beautiful she is, play poker, swim with mermaids, slow dance around your burning memory. RYAN shakes his head. This isn’t right. He walks off down the hall, smoking his cigarette. FADE TO: EXT. BEACH - NIGHT The sun is about to rise, the fire is almost burned out, everyone is exhausted. NICK If you had known that last night would be the last time all four of us would be together, would you do anything differently? No. No? RYAN NICK
RYAN No. Last night was sad and all, but it was perfectly Poppy. I wouldn’t change a thing.
HANNAH I guess I wouldn’t either. DISSOLVE TO: INT. POPPY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT Flashback. POPPY lies on her bedroom floor which is completely covered wall to wall with photographs. POPPY is in the centre of the floor space wearing the same outfit she kills herself in. HANNAH, NICK and RYAN show up. They are shocked by the room but one by one, they slowly walk across the photographs and lie down on the floor like Poppy, their heads all meeting in the centre. POPPY You guys must think I’m messed up. No. HANNAH
NICK Of course we don’t. RYAN A little bit, yeah. Ryan. HANNAH
POPPY It’s true. I am. I don’t know why you put up with me. I don’t know why I’m here. It’s the photographs, the life within them. Every single person in every single photograph is a real person, out there living in the world, completely unaware of how much they fascinate me. What if they never know? POPPY takes hold of HANNAH and NICK’s hand, they, in turn, take hold of RYAN’s. They all raise their linked hands in the air. NICK I wish I could make you feel alright Poppy. You do. POPPY
NICK I mean really feel alright. What can I do? What do you need? Just tell me and I will do it. POPPY sits up. POPPY I need a carton of cigarettes and someone to smoke them with. Pause. RYAN sits up. I’ve got that. RYAN
RYAN takes a twenty deck from his pocket. Time lapse: The night speeds by as the four friend smoke the entire box. They’re talking, POPPY even laughs at one point. One by one, they fall asleep, right there together on the floor. POPPY wakes up, stands up, looks at her friends. She bends down beside each of them and kisses them on the cheek, then slowly heads for the door, staring at the photographs as she walks over them. The other three remain asleep. After a while, we can faintly hear music coming from downstairs, it’s the same song POPPY killed herself to. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. BEACH - SUNRISE RYAN And that was all she wrote HANNAH It was an incredible story, wasn’t it? NICK One that deserves to be told. HANNAH I can’t believe it’s morning already. PhengophobiaNICK
RYAN pokes the ashes of the fire wuth a stick.
RYAN That’s it. Summer is over, the night is dead, as is the only person any of us ever really loved. NICK -Fear of daylight. HANNAH Here guys, if you could be anyone, just for a day, who would you be? Poppy. NICK
NICK raises his bottle in the air. NICK (CONT’D) I would be Poppy for the way she saw the world. HANNAH raises her bottle in the air. HANNAH I would be Poppy for her courage an beauty. They both look at RYAN. RYAN I would be Hugh Hefner. RYAN stands up and raises his bottle. RYAN (CONT’D) I would be Poppy for her intelligence and that effect she had on people. They smiles and each other, bottles raised. Simultaneously, they all drop their bottles onto the burned out fire. RYAN takes off his shirt. NICK What are you doing? RYAN Something Poppy never had the chance to. RYAN removes his jeans, the others begin stripping too and then they run towards the ocean. Skinny dipping. They splash about. Inspiring music plays. The camera passes by them having fun, then carries on pulling out into the ocean until you can no longer see them.
EXT. OCEAN The camera sinks into the depths of the ocean. A mermaid swims past. She runs her fingertips across the screen as she passes. FADE TO BLACK.
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