an original screenplay by Mirah Riben©
Urban neighborhood on the decline. Kids shooting hoops in the schoolyard.
Camera goes through the door of a boarded up building and up some stairs.
Inside are runaway and throw-away punk ass, drop-out kids.
Some are coupled and making out on a mattress on th floor. Some are preparing and using drugs.
Soundtrack: Paradise City, Guns and Roses
A Korean kid, sporting a tattoo that reads ABDUCTEE: "Hey, did ya' hear that Black dude, Osama somethin', may be president?"
Girl in fishnets and miniskirt, about 12-14, chewing gum: "It's Obama you dork."
Korean kid: "You're pretty smart some for a crack whore, ya' know."
Guy approaches, then a closeup reveals its a very tough-looking lesbian. Puts his arm around fishnet girl and says: "Leave her alone."
The Kid, a sexually androgynous, Goth 18-year-old – many piercings – spiked hair (played by Devon Alan)
Replying to the presidential talk: "So what? Who cares? Not like it's gonna change MY life?"
Sirens. Car door slamming. Kids try to scatter.
Enter cops who arrest The Kid.
Kid: "What the fuck did I do this time?"
They take him out tin handcuffs reading him his Miranda rights.
Scene 2: Police station. Interrogation
Soundtrack: I Fought the Law and the Law Won, Green Day
Kid insists: “I didn’t do it”.
“Do you want to call anyone, Skye?”
“Don’t call me Skye.”
“Isn’t that your name?”
“Dunno. Most just call me Kid.”
“Do you want to call anyone?”
“No one to call.”
Scene 3: (Flashback. Dusk.)
Soundtrack: Chain Gang, Sam Cook
A young Mother named (played by leaves her car 1989 car and enters a day care center. She blows a wisp of hair out of her face with air of exhaustion.
Day care worker, handing the ruffled Mom an infant: “Hard day at the office?”
June: “No different from any other day. Single motherhood sucks! I don’t have a minute for myself. I feel so guilty having to work but what else can I do?”
Day care worker, jokingly: “Marry rich?”
Scene 4: (Current time) A thirty something woman, June (played by Calista Flockhart), at a friend's baby shower.
Soundtrack: Little Green, Joni Mitchell
Gifts are opened to oos and ahs.
Party guest to June: "I can't believe I'm turning 30. How old are you?"
June: "36 next month."
Party guest: "An' no kids yet?"
June runs out wiping her eyes.
Scene 5: A tree-lined street, upper middle class.
Soundtrack: Another Day In Paradise, Phil Collins.
Mother (played by Goldie Hawn) is at the table with new husband (thin, about 35, glasses) and baby in a highchair screaming and tossing food and, dish spoon on the floor. In the background, a TV is reporting about the Clinton Flowers affair (1992).
Step-Dad (played by Ryan Stiles) to Mother: “Look, I don’t need to put up with this crap. I have a God damned headache! Shut that kid up! I married you. Not that brat! I can’t take this crap.”
Mother: “I know. I know, Jerry. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”
Scene 6: Mother seeing a divorce attorney. Asking how much child support she can get.
Scene 7: June and her husband (payed by Neil Patrick Harris) engaged in a dinner conversation in their simple apartment - Ikea meets Pier One - with a guitar hung on the wall; track trophies on the bookcase shelf.
Soundtrack: I Haven't Got Time for The Pain, Carly Simon
June: “It happened again today.”
Paulie: “What happened?
June: “You know. THE question.”
June: “Oh damn it. You never listen!” She slams down dinner and leaves the room.
Paulie: “What’s wrong, Juno?”
From the other room: “And please stop calling me Juno, Paulie Bleeker. You know damn well that I changed my name to June so I wouldn’t have to keep answering the other stupid questions people always ask – Was I born or conceived in Alaska? Jeez!” Shaking her head in disgust.
Scene 8: Upscale neighborhood. Large estate-type lots. Large brick "executive" home beyond a gate and curved driveway. Same Mother (Goldie Hawn), 10 years older, being berated by her new husband, a large man about 50 (played by Brad Garrett). TV news commentator discussing the recent terrorist attacks on the world trade center and The Pentagon (2001).
Soundtrack: Jaded, Aerosmith.
Husband #2: “He isn’t even YOUR brat! I just don’t understand why we need this in our lives…especially now that we have one of our own!”
Mother: “Bernard, I know that as well as you do, but what can we do? It’s not as if we can just return him, ya’ know.”
Adolescent, peers from upstairs overhears.
Scene 9: Starbucks type location. June is having a latte with a friend:
Soundtrack: Some new age instrumental or Alicia Keyes
June: “I can’t take it anymore. Paulie acts like nothing ever happened. Like we didn’t give away our own baby. I’m the one who went through nine months of puking and shit...and I’m the one who now has to constantly be asked ‘So, do you guys have any kids?’
"In high school I was a celebrity - but out here in the real world not everyone thinks it's so cool to give your kid away.”
Scene 10: The young teen who overheard is on a cell phone as he packs a backpack.
Soundtrack: She's Leaving Home, The Beatles
“I’m outta here. You can either come with or not, dude.”
Pause as he listens.
“Yeah. Bernard, the fat pig. I'm cuttin' loose before he lays his fat clamming paws on me again.” Pause.
“Oh you know the same old crap all her other husbands said. ’Cept this time the truth slipped out. I’m a reject. Something they bought and don’t want anymore - never did. My whole damn crappy fuckin' life is a lie. I don’t even know who I am.”
Scene 11: Police interrogation.
Soundtrack: Who Are You, The Who
Kid: “I told ya before and I’ll tell ya again: I didn’t do it!”
Cop: “We have evidence to the contrary. This is serious, son”
Kid: “Don’t call me son. I’m nobody’s son.”
Cop: “There’s lots of blood evidence. This is serious. Did ya see the sign on the door? It says Homicide Division. They can fry ya or this. First degree murder is no joke.”
Kid: "I ain't laughin'. None o' my friggin life's been a joke."
Scene 12: June on the phone.
Soundtrack: Love Stinks, J. Geils Band
June: “Yes, I love Paulie, Dad. I always did and I always will. And things are really good. But there’s always this one big elephant in the room always between us. How could I expect him to feel the same way about it I do when I had no idea it would bother me this much?”
June, almost screaming through clenched teeth: “No, Dad. It-is-NOT-going-to-get-better-with= time! It hasn’t and it never will! No one warned me. I just can’t even look at him anymore without feeling that he abandoned me and our kid.”
Scene 13: Police headquarters.
Soundtrack: something by Marilyn Manson
Cop: “If you didn’t do it, how do you explain the blood on your clothes?”
Kid: “I like blood. Don’t you? Doesn’t everyone? It’s the essence of life – DNA…ya’ know…one letter away from DNR.”
There are discussions between the cops and DA of whether to charge The Kid as an adult or a minor; and where to send The Kid for lockup for protection and because of his/her gender confusion and refusal to be labeled any one gender. Also mentioned is calling in a shrink.
Scene 14: June and her father in his basement “rec room”.
Soundtrack: Papa Don't Preach, Madonna
June: “Yeah, I’m still leaving even though the test came back positive. Paulie’s sweet, but he just never grew up and I don’t think he wants this kid anymore than he did the first. I'd rather raise it alone.”
Scene 15: The Kid meets his court appointed attorney. Kid has a black swollen eye and a fat lip.
Soundtrack: I Shot The Sheriff, Bob Marley
Attny: “I've been consulting with this doctor who specializes in cases like this. I think he can help us. Dr. David Kirschner says this is a classic case of Adopted Child Syndrome. It’s not uncommon for your anger to be taken out on your parents. He’s helped other kids in your situation.”
Kid: “I didn’t do it and I'm not coppin' no insanity plea.”
Scene 16: Dr K (played by Tommy Lee Jones)* and The Kid in jail while he awaits trial.
Soundtrack: Crazy, by Willie Nelson
Dr K: “You understand the charges against you? Two counts of murder is very serious. I’m trying to help you.”
Kid: “Listen. I can read. I read that stuff my attorney gave me that you wrote and I'm no Son of Sam…or Hillside Strangler. I mean, yeah, I tortured some cats when I was younger. So what? I’m vegan now and probably more of a...a...what's his name? Marty from Long island...
Dr. K: "Tankleff"
"Yeah, that guy. More like him than like any of those other guys. And you think he's guilty too? So get outta here with your theories about adoption. Who cares? Ya' think a jury would care, even if I did it which I didn't? They'd just see me as just one more ungrateful bastard! Benn called that enough! I should have been aborted and save everyone the trouble.”
Scene 17: June, with two friends – one male one female – in a natural childbirth class.
Soundtrack: The Beat Goes On, Sonny and Cher (or Oops, I Did It Again)
June pats her pregnant belly and says: “This one’s a keeper for sure. Boy, I can’t believe how naive I was…believing all that crap that I’d forget.”
Dr. K with The Kid in jail.
Soundtrack: Still Crazy After All These Years, Paul Simon
“I would like to help you find your biological parents.”
Kid: “Don’t bother. They never gave a f*ck about me. All they did was abandon me to the bitch who bought me! I have no parents – never did! I was hatched - created like a monster and the bought and sold like a used car in a Pennysaver, but never wanted.”
Scene 19: Dr K meets The Mother’s biological child, a teen-aged well-dressed, “valley girl.”
Soundtrack: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! Cyndi Lauper
“The Kid’s like too weird!" she says rolling her eyes. "And his friends! Yuch! They don’t even like bathe! Besides, he like ran away and he’s like not even her real kid… No biggie. It’s not like he was ever gonna get anything in her will anyhow.”
Scene 20: June to Dr K, her eyes wide with shock: “You’re shittin’ me, right? This is the ‘better life’?” She’s crying, hysterically. “This is why I gave him to her? This is the "better life"? Oh my God! I can’t believe it. I always dreamed of him going to college, becoming something… having things I couldn’t give him…not this!”
She grabs her belly and looks down at a puddle of blood.
June, screams: “Oh my God! It’s too early. I’m not due for another three months.”
Scene 21: Doctors in the hospital at June’s bedside.
Soundtrack: When I Lost My Baby (I Almost Lost My Mind) Ivory Joe Hunter
Dr: “I’m so sorry Mrs. Bleeker. We did everything we could. The baby would have sever brain damage had he lived.”
June: Sobbing, wiping her eyes.
Dr: “You’re actually lucky we were able to save you. It was touch and go. But, my dear, we had to remove your uterus.”
June: “What are you saying? I can never have another her baby?”
Dr. “I’m sorry.”
Her best friend is there and says to her: “June, you can always….adopt.”
June: “Don’t even…! Do you think I could inflict this much pain on another human being?”
She sobs. Then says: “God is punishing me for giving away my firstborn.”
It's starts to snow.
Scene 22: June on the phone to Dr. K: “I don’t know. I just don’t know.” She sobs.
“How can I face him after what I did – giving him away? What could I say?”
“I’m sorry. I just don’t think I can. Not now. Not seeing him like this – in jail….knowing it’s all my fault.”
Scene 23: Dr. K. reports this to The Kid in jail.
Dr. K. "Give her time."
Kid: “Who cares?”
Scene 24: Season changes. Trees are blooming. June is back in shape, mentally and physically, as she enters the prison for the reunion with her only child.
Guard: “Relationship to the prisoner.”
June pauses...then chokingly says: "I'm his...um...ah....he's my son.”
Scene 25: Kid's attorneys’ office.
Attorney on the phone: “All the charges are dropped, are you sure?
“The ‘real killers’ confessed and the DA has withdrawn the charges? That's great news!”
Scene 26: June is told to wait in a visitors room while they go and get The Kid.
Scene 27: Guards running and screaming for an ambulance.
Soundtrack: Dying. Courtney Love and Hole
They are taking The Kid down from where he is hanging in his cell.
Scene 28: Dr. K is meeting with Paulie. They're shaking hands and talking, though audience cannot hear conversation.
Soundtrack: All Apologies, Kurt Cobain
Paulie's head goes down into his hands - he's sobbing.
Scene 29: The Kid has been taken down and put on a gurney and wheeled out to an ambulance with sirens blaring. June jumps in her car and follows ambulance, sirens blaring off into the dust....
Soundtrack: Knocking on Heaven's Door, Avril Lavigne
Copyrighted Mirah Riben, 8/2008 ©
* Sorry, David. Sean Connery was booked.