GRAHAM LOOKING FOR LOVE

Written by Tommy Field

3rd draft July 2013 thomasjosefield@gmail.com

MONTAGE OF PEAK HOUR RUSH The streets are noisy, crowded, unpleasant this hour. But people unknowingly know they’re in this together. Going home. Far away from work... FADE IN: EXT. TRAFFIC JAM. DUSK There are lots of cars with engines running but none move. CUT TO: INT. CAR IN TRAFFIC JAM. CONTINIOUS The driver is a skinny man wearing a white shirt and tie. He’s frustrated and having trouble breathing. He slams his hands down on the steering wheel. CUT TO: INT. MOVING BUS. CONTINUOUS The bus is quiet. Most people are playing with their mobile phones. A young woman falls asleep looking out the window. END MONTAGE EXT. BUSY STREET. CONTINIOUS A very old man in a red cardigan trudges down the street frowning. People rush past him carefully until a man who appears to be talking to himself bumps into him as he goes past. The old man falls helplessly but is assisted by people close by. Not by the yellow shirt man. GRAHAM, mid 30s and unremarkable looking. He walks on without looking back, busy in some type of deep thought. He mumbles to himself and rubs his fingers on the temples of his forehead, walking against the hordes of people. EXT. STREET CORNER. CONTINIOUS Graham stands with a couple a bit younger than him. An attractive woman and a blokey male. CORNER WOMAN Well, it’s good to see you for myself that you are doing OK. I told you it would be fine.

2.

CORNER BLOKE (cackles) Why isn’t the big team leader at work on a Tuesday then aye?! Or is that your bloody uniform? GRAHAM No I just took the day off. Having a huge one. In fact I really have to go. Now. CORNER WOMAN (surprised) Really? GRAHAM Yep. So sorry. But you know, it’s funny to see you, like today. The man puts his hand out to Graham which he shakes. CORNER BLOKE Alrighty. Catch up soon big man. The woman steps towards Graham and begins to spread her arms for a hug but he steps back out of range. GRAHAM We probably shouldn’t hug. It’d be be a bit... you know... I can’t... (turns quickly) The woman shrugs and glances at the man, bemused too. CORNER WOMAN Bye Graham. Graham’s off with his head down. The man nudges the woman in her ribs. CORNER BLOKE (laughing) You really fucked him?... INT. PUB - GAMBLING ROOM(S). EVENING Most people here are over 40. They look like zombies entranced by the flashing sounds and lights from pokie machines and horse races on tv. INT. PUB - MAIN BAR - SPEED DATING. CONTINIOUS Graham’s leaning against the bar sipping a beer. Everyone looks energised. They’re all under 45 years old in fact. Posters around the room advertise LOOKINGFORLOVE.COM.AU SPEED DATING NIGHT/22-45 YEAR OLDS.

3.

An attractive woman (30s) stands on the pub stage with a microphone to her mouth. The MC tonight. SPEED DATING MC ...and first dates are nerve wracking for all of us. So just don’t worry about it. Just don’t! Tonight is just about having fun. (beat) It’s not about meeting your future husband or your future wife... It’s just about that harmless first impression. Seeing what happens, and thinking, Would I like to go on a date with this person? (beat) Do I want to see them again? MONTAGE OF SPEED DATES - GRAHAM'S WOBBLY TABLE Small bar tables are lined up around the room. Every five minutes the women move down one table, the men wait. Graham's table has one short leg. CUT TO: Graham and a woman (28) can't think of anything to say. They look anywhere but at each other. The alarm RINGS. Time up. WOMAN 28 Nice to meet you then. GRAHAM Yep. CUT TO: An unimpressed, attractive woman (33) approaches. Graham's wobbling the table from underneath. GRAHAM (CONT'D) Step up! Step up to the moving table! CUT TO: A cheerful, rough looking woman, LORRAINE (43). She's been married twice and slept with five men in five dates arranged on lookingforlove.com.au in two months. LORRAINE Lorraine. CUT TO: A vacuous looking girl (22) sits at the wobbling table.

4.

GRAHAM This is crazy! Exciting! GIRL 22 Are you wobbling the table? GRAHAM (lying) Nobody else has seen that. I thought I was going crazy. GIRL 22 What? (thinking...) (standing) I'll get someone to fix it. CUT TO: Graham talks briefly to a new woman. GRAHAM Work work work. Let's do something different sometime soon? END MONTAGE - STILL AT WOBBLY TABLE A larger, bored looking woman strides over to a deflated Graham. She smirks at the sight of his shirt and slams down on the table with a yell, scaring the shit out of Graham. ALMA NAME IS ALMA PLEASED TO MEET YOU! CUT TO: Two minutes later. They both look good now. ALMA (CONT'D) Everyone is so fucking boring here. GRAHAM Well... ALMA Don't be afraid to say it! GRAHAM Everyone does their own thing hey? Alma cracks up laughing which makes Graham smile, looking unsure why... ALMA You are sick, sick.

5.

GRAHAM (giggling) Why? ALMA Graham yeah? sorry (he nods) Have you been fucking with everyone like this? GRAHAM I'm trying new things I guess. Mixing it up. If I seem careless to you I'm doing ok. (both laugh) But I don't know. ALMA Haha you are awesome. You dress like Elvis and all. GRAHAM Elvis is great! CUT TO: Time between Graham and Alma is nearly up. ALMA (kinda laughing) So, are we going to go on a date? GRAHAM Well. I'd like to butALMA A date with Elvis. So good. GRAHAM But I can't commit yet. Sorry it's just I'm keeping my options open until the end. ALMA Oh yes. So Elvis. (beat) I hope you don't die alone and shitting like him. (laughs) Alarm goes off. GRAHAM He was a great singer (beat) ...and you know he could have been a great actor. A real star. (MORE)

6. GRAHAM (CONT'D) But the people around him said no to it. Elvis had dreams.

INT. AVERAGE RESTAURANT. NIGHT Elderly couples and middle-class families are out for dinner. There's a TV playing with the sound down but loud enough for obnoxious ads to be slightly heard. Graham is out on a date with Lorraine from speed dating. He's got a black dress shirt on tonight and she's all dolled up. GRAHAM I thought it would be sort of bigger, to be honest. People always act differently to how they sort of should be. I don't know. LORRAINE Yeah it was bullshit. No time in between to even get a drink. She takes a gulp of a cheap pink cocktail. LORRAINE (CONT'D) Didn't meet anyone I sort of clicked with. What about you? GRAHAM I met a good lookers but yeah. Nobody really liked me. (chuckles) Except you I guess? Lorraine finishes off her cocktail. INT. TRASHY NIGHT CLUB. NIGHT Repetitive dance music blares. People who aren't yelling at each other over it or drinking are dancing. Graham and Lorraine down a shot each at the bar. And another. They kiss. They're all over each other. Not pretty. EXT. STREET. CONTINIOUS They stagger into a taxi together. Kissing more. EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - GRAHAM'S HOUSE. CONTINIOUS The street is dead quiet. They stagger out of the taxi together towards the front door. They kiss a bit more at the door and go inside Graham's house.

7.

EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - GRAHAM'S HOUSE. MORNING 9 AM activity. Bins getting taken in, dogs being walked... Lorraine steps out of the front door looking worse for wear. She walks out onto the street, to the nearest train station. INT. GRAHAM'S BEDROOM. MORNING The room's furnished with cheap new stuff. Graham's sleeping. A tap can be heard running in the house. He wakes up with a smile that quickly turns to confusion. He scans the room for Lorraine. He hears the running tap and heads to it. INT. GRAHAM'S KITCHEN / LOUNGE ROOM. CONTINIOUS The room is empty apart from more new and cheap furniture. The kitchen tap is running. Graham ignores it and falls onto his couch in a dramatic fashion. Cuddles it a bit. INT. VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT. NIGHT Alma slurps noodle soup. Graham is drinking wine, Alma's glass is clean and the bottle is half-empty. He's slurring. GRAHAM I know you were laughing at me at speed dating. ALMA (sincerely) Oh sorry. You weren't offended were you? GRAHAM Well, I should have been. ALMA Well I think you're great. Different, very funny definitely. GRAHAM You're not messing around still? ALMA No. GRAHAM Okay. Good. (beat) Why were you even at speed dating? (beat) Or even on looking for love? You just don't seem the type.

8.

ALMA A joke sort of. I wanted to make some kind of doco on speed dating, internet dating stuff. But I'm sort of lazy and I ended up just, going... (beat) And now I'm out with Elvis - Yes! Graham shakes his head and gulps down some wine. CUT TO: TEN MINUTES LATER The bottle is nearly empty. Graham's finished eating. Alma isn't. GRAHAM (drunkedly) I'd be keen to party after this if you ever finish that soup. Out of control soupy soup. ALMA What? Jus have your dessert now. GRAHAM What? Let's get out of here. Screw dessert! ALMA I'm so having dessert. Have you seen those caramel jelly things? GRAHAM Nahhh who cares? lets party. ALMA You wonder why people don't like you. GRAHAM Ha! OK. Eat your extra dessert and talk about my problems. Ha! ALMA You chase bullshit. You have no fucking idea do you? A lack of fucking dessert is your problem buddy. GRAHAM Well... (speechless)

9.

ALMA Look I think you are nice but you just need to chill out. On a lot of different levels. (beat) Let's sit and talk. Hey? INT. RESTAURANT BATHROOM. CONTINIOUS Graham washes his hands and face in the sink. Fixes his hair. His demeanour is similar to speed dating and his walk to it. INT. VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT. CONTINIOUS Graham walks through the restaurant back to his table. Focused. Alma is ordering her dessert with a teenage waiter. Graham slams his hands on the table in front of them and snarls. GRAHAM Well maybe I will die like Elvis. Maybe I wont be able to find a real woman who appreciates me for me! All or nothin' baby! He storms outside and Alma turns back to the waiter laughing. ALMA Two fucking banana splits!

THE END

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