Written By Peter Marc Jacobson And Robert Sternin & Prudence Fraser
Story By Fran Drescher & Peter Marc Jacobson And
Robert Sternin & Prudence Fraser
January 8, 1993
EXT. STREET -- FLUSHING, NEW YORK
(THEREíS A TRAFFIC JAM, A KOSHER HOTDOG/KNISH CART AND LOTS OF PEOPLE YELLING AND SCREAMING TWO ORTHODOX JEWS WALK BY, ARGUING ABOUT SOME MINUTE TALMUDIC POINT, OR THE SCORE OF LAST NIGHTíS KNICK GAME. WE FOLLOW THEM TOÖ)
EXT. DANNYíS 4 BRIDES (A KITCH BRIDAL BOUTIQUE)
INT. BRIDAL SHOP -- CONTINUOUS
(WHERE FRAN FINE AND HER BEST FRIEND, VAL, WAIT ON DOTTIE, A CUSTOMER IN A TOO-TIGHT BRIDAL GOWN. DOTTIE HOLDS A CIGARETTE BETWEEN HER ĎLOVE THAT PINKí ACRYLIC NAILS)
VAL: That dress makes you look like a virgin.
FRAN: Which half the men in Flushing know isnít true.
(SHE LAUGHS Ė A VERY DISTINCTIVE WHAT, IíM ONLY JOKING LAUGH. EVERYTHING ABOUT FRAN IS PRETTY DISTINCTIVE. WITH A FACE OUT OF VOGUE AND A VOICE OUT OF HER NOSE, SHEíS THE ULTIMATE DARE I SAY JEWISH AMERICAN GIRL FROM QUEENS. A PUFF OF SMOKE BILLOWS FROM DOTTIEíS WEDDING VEIL WHICH, AT THE MOMENT, IS COVERING HER FACE)
FRAN: (CONTíD) Could ya move the cigarette, Dottie? Iím getting emphysema here.
DOTTIE: (A GRAVELY SMOKERíS VOICE) Sorry dollÖ So when are you and Danny going to set a date already?
FRAN: Ah, you know me. Always the bridal consultant, never the bride.
VAL: So how are the shoes? Do they really feel like sneakers?
DOTTIE: I donít know if I love Ďem.
FRAN: (WITH A LOOK AT VAL) Honey, whatís to love? Be glad they even make a satin pump in a 10 Ĺ.
(DANNY, FRANíS BOSS AND BOYFRIEND, A 1990íS TONY MENERO, ENTERS AND BASICALLY GRABS FRANíS ASS)
DANNY: Hey, babe.
FRAN: Danny, not in front of the customers.
DANNY: Okay. Betty, turn around.
FRAN: (PEELING HIS HANDS OFF) Thatís Dottie, Danny.
DANNY: (ALWAYS THE SALESMAN) Oh yeah? Well, Iíd buy that dress. You look so good, I thought you were Betty. (AND HE HEADS TO CASH REGISTER)
DOTTIE: Ya better get your hooks into Danny fast. A guy like him has his pick of the litter.An entrepreneur with such a tush.
FRAN: Your Frankís got that flat tush thing happening, doesnít he?
DOTTIE: (DISAPPOINTED) YeahÖ
FRAN: Thatís appealing.
(DOTTIE HEADS OFF TO DRESSING ROOM)
FRAN: (CONTíD) Did I ever mention I hated that woman?
VAL: What are you talking about? Sheís your cousin.
FRAN: Yeah, but sheís getting married before me.
(FRAN HEADS OVER TO THE CASH REGISTER WHERE
DANNY IS EATING HIS LUNCH)
DANNY: Hiya Babe, want some schwarma?
(A REAL CLASS ACT, HE DEMONSTRATES WHAT HE MEANS WITH
HIS HERO SANDWICH)
FRAN: No. I wanna talk.
DANNY: Okay, how about if us goes and has some schwarma?
FRAN: Are we ever going to get married?
DANNY: (NO) Yeah, you know I told you. What do you want me to say?
FRAN: How about ĎHereís a ring. Pick a pattern.í Youíre just stringiní me along Ďcause Iím your best sales girl, arenít you?
DANNY: Not true.
FRAN: ReallyÖ(CALLS TO DRESSING ROOM) Oh Dottie. I swear I must
have Altzheimers but did I mention that Dayna Schwartz bought the same gown youíre wearing, and her weddingís the week before yoursÖ go
DOTTIE (O.S) (SHOCKED Is she doiní the sherbert color combo?
FRAN: (TO DANNY) Are you makiní a commitment or what? (BACK TO DOTTIE) Come to think of it. Daynaís doiní the lemon, lime, tangerine too.
DOTTIE (O.S.) CANCEL!
DANNY: What are you, pre-menstrual?
FRAN: No, Iím not even pre-engaged.
DANNY: There were nine bridesmaids and a flower girl in that party! Iíll give you a commitment. Youíre fired.
FRAN: Fired? Last night you said I was your reason for living.
DANNY: Personal is personal and business is business.
FRAN: Whatís that supposed to mean?
DANNY: The offerís still good on the schwarma.
(FRAN GRABS HIS HERO AND BREAKS IT IN HALF)
FRAN: You didnít fire me, Danny. I quitÖ(SHE STALKS OFF, RETURNS)
No, you fired me. That way I can collect employment.
(VAL WALKS OVER AS FRAN GRABS HER THINGS)
VAL: Allís not lost. She still loves the earrings.
(DOTTIEíS EARS ARE STRETCHED FROM THE WEIGHT OF
THE CHANDELIERS ON HER LOBES)
FRAN: Honey, theyíre to die for. (BEAT) Who cares if you end up with lobes that hang like a Ubangiís. (TO DANNY) Business is business, babe.
(SHE EXITS IN A HUFF)
VAL: What was that all about?
DANNY: Who know with that woman? So Val, you want some schwarma?
ACT ONE Ė SCENE ONE
INT. TOWNHOUSE Ė SHURFELD LIBRARY (MAXWELL SHURFELD IS A DASHINGLY HANDSOME 40ISH BROADWAY PRODUCER. HEíS ALSO A WASP, AND WORSE YET, AN ENGLISHMAN. SOMEWHAT OF A CONTROL FREAK, HEíS ALWAYS MORE COMFORTABLE WHEN THINGS ARE GOING ACCORDING TO PLAN. UNFORTUNATELY, SINCE THE SUDDEN DEATH OF HIS WIFE LAST YEAR, HIS WORLD HAS BEEN TURNED UPSIDE DOWN. HE STANDS IN THE LIBRARY OF HIS TOWNHOUSE ON THE UPPER EAST SIDE OF MANHATTAN. HIS LADY FRIEND, C.C. BABCOCK, IS PERCHED ON THE EDGE OF THE DESK READING ĎTOWN AND COUNTRY.í C.C.íS IN HER EARLY 40íS, A SMART ELEGANT DIVORCEE WHO TOOK HER RATHER LARGE SETTLEMENT TO DABBLE IN THE THEATER. ACTUALLY, C.C. HAD HER EYE ON MAXWELL EVEN BEFORE HIS WIFE PASSED AWAY, BUT NO ONE SUSPECTS FOUL PLAY, REALLY. MAXWELL IS ENGAGED IN A HEATED TELEPHONE CALL)
MAXWELL: Now you tell me, how does one produce a musical without a star?ÖLook if you canít get Rita, get Chita! Or Liza. Or Pia. As long as she can sing and her legs donít look like road maps, weíll both be very wealthy men. (HE HANGS UP)
MAXWELL: (CONTíD) Oh, this is ducky. Half the money people in New York will be at our backers party and we have a star vehicle without a star.
C.C.: Just tell them weíre in negotiations for Liz Taylorís return to the theater.
MAXWELL: (MOCK SHOCK) Deliberately mislead our investors? C.C.! Youíve done this before.
C.C.: (COMING ON STRONG) But I want to do it with you, Maxwell.
Again and again.
(NILES, MAXWELLíS BUTLER, APPEARS. A MAN IN HIS 50íS, WITH A DRY, SARCASTIC HUMOR, HIS AFFECTION FOR MAXWELL HAS RECENTLY BEEN TEMPERED BY C.C.íS ARRIVAL. BASICALLY HE HATES HER. AS C.C. LEANS IN, HOPING TO LAND A KISS, NILES CLEARS HIS THROAT. THE MOMENT IS BROKEN)
MAXWELL: Yes, Niles. What is it?
NILES: Sorry to interrupt, sir. I see youíre working hard as always, Miss Babcock.
C.C.: Theater has always been a passion of mine.
NILES: Yes and I canít wait to see what youíll be mounting next.
MAXWELL: Niles, Miss Babcockís generous patronage and that of her many wealthy friends is going to make my next production possible.
NILES: Well, three cheers for her and on with the show. I just thought Iíd inform you that the new nannyís gone.
MAXWELL: What did Brighton do this time?
NILES: The fake suicide, sir. He perched on the balcony, threatening to jump, and when the poor woman ran to summon me, he slid down the
bannister, and arranged himself spread eagle on the marble with a bit of ketchup trickling out of his ears.
NILES: (CONTíD) Quite theatrical, really. Worthy of one of your
productions. (HE EXITS)
MAXWELL: (CANíT HELP BUT SMILE) Well, at least we know the boyís creative.
C.C.: Maxwell, need I remind you of tomorrow nightís importance? The last thing we need is those children running loose. (THEN) Not that I donít love them as if they were my own.
MAXWELL: Theyíre not bad kids. Theyíre just not used to having a nanny.
C.C.: Theyíve had five in the last six months!
MAXWELL: No, before that. When Sarah was alive.
(C.C. LOOKS AT PICTURE OF MAXWELL, SARAH, AND TWO HAPPY CHILDREN)
C.C.: Yes, the woman was a saint, we all miss her. (THEN, WHEN MAXWELLíS NOT LOOKING, SHE KNOCKS IT OVER CROSSING TO HIMÖ)
C.C.: (CONTíD) Oh Maxwell. Dear, dear Maxwell. Youíve done everything you can to be both a father and a mother to those kids, but face facts Ė they need more attention than you alone can give them. (BEAT)
Have you thought about boarding school?
MAXWELL: C.C., theyíre my children, not a musical. You canít just produce them, teach them a few catchy tunes, then send them on the road until they work out the kinks.
C.C.: Then hire someone, Maxwell. Hire someone wonderful. But most of all hire her before tomorrow night. (SHE GLANCES AT HER WATCH) Oh, look at the time. My concern for your children has made me late for my comb out with Mr. Kenneth.
ACT ONE, SCENE TWO
EXT. SHURFELD TOWNHOUSE Ė CONTINUOUS (ITS AN IVY-COVERED TOWNHOUSE ON A LOVELY STREET WHERE THE SOUND OF CHIRPING BIRDS IS INTERRUPTED ONLY BY THE CLIPPITY-CLOP OF THE HANSOM CAB THATíS DRIVING BY. FRAN COMES UP THE STAIRS CARRYING A LARGE SALESCASE, WORKING AT LOSING HER ACCENT)
FRAN: Hello, Iím Fran Fine, your ĎShades of the Orientí cosmetics representative. (AND GIVING UP) Oh, what a loser. Danny, I hope you get Oh, what a loser. Danny, I hope you get a disease and die. (BEAT) No, I hope you live and suffer.
(FRAN IS ABOUT TO RING THE BELL WHEN C.C. COMES OUT)
FRAN: Hello. Are you the lady of the house?
C.C.: Soon, dear.
FRAN: Yeah, thatís what Danny told me.
C.C.: (NOT WANTING TO GET TOO CLOSE TO HER) I see. Youíre not one of those Ďwill work for foodí people, are you?
FRAN: Iím Fran Fine, your Shades of the Orient cosmetics representative.
C.C.: (ICILY) I donít think so. (AND SHE STARTS OFF)
FRAN: (CALLS AFTER HER) Oh yeah? Youíd be surprised what a little blush would do to round out that pointy chin. (SHE PICKS UP HER SALESCASE AND WHEN SHE LOOKS UP,NILES IS STANDING IN THE DOORWAY) Hello.
NILES: Come in. Weíve been expecting you.
FRAN: You have?
INT. THE SHURFELD FOYER Ė CONTINUOUS
(ITíS A STUNNING NEW YORK TOWNHOUSE)
NILES: You are here for the Nanny position?
FRAN: (SIZING UP THE PLACE) I could beÖ Why donít you fill me in a little?
(THEY HEAD INTO THE LIVING ROOM)
FRAN: (CONTíD) Wow, this place is nicer than my Uncle Jackís condo in
Bocca and ya know he bought the model.
NILES: The late Mrs. Shurfeld was a woman of impeccable taste.
FRAN: Late Mrs. Shurfeld? Are we talking habitually tardy or an incredibly wealthy widower looking for a breast to lay his troubled head upon?
(NILES STARES IN AMAZEMENT)
FRAN: (CONTíD) Whatsa matter? Do I have lipstick on my teeth?
NILES: No, allís clear. May I present your resume to the troubled Mr.
FRAN: Resume? Ya know what? Why donít you go get Mr. Shurfeld and Iíll do the resume presenting myself.
NILES: As you wish. (HE EXITS) This ought to be good.
FRAN: Resume, resumeÖ
(SHE OPENS MAKE-UP CASE AND SCRIBBLES ONE OUT ON THE BACK OF AN ORDER FORM WHEN BRIGHTON, MAXWELLíS 10 YEAR OLD, COMES UP FROM BEHIND HER. BRIGHTON IS A BRILLIANT, BUT RATHER HOSTILE YOUNG MAN WHO, DUE TO HIS MOTHERíS DEATH, LEARNED AT AN UNFORTUNATELY EARLY AGE THAT LIFEíS NOT ALWAYS FAIR)
BRIGHTON: Well, at least this oneís got a pair of legs.
FRAN: (TURNS AROUND AND LOOKS HIM OVER) What were you expecting, flippers? (SHE SMOOTHES HER SKIRT OVER AND HER SHAPELY FIGURE)
BRIGHTON: Who are you?
FRAN: Who are you?
BRIGHTON: I asked you first.
Brighton: Are you here for the Nanny job?
FRAN: I donít know. Are you the kid Iíd have to play with? What are you, a psychopath? You got ketchup in your ears.
BRIGHTON: Shut up.
FRAN: You shut up.
BRIGHTON: You canít talk to me like that. Iíll tell father not to hire you.
FRAN: And Iíll tell him you made a pass at me.
BRIGHTON: Okay, go ahead.
(FRAN LOOKS UP TO SEE THAT NILES HAS RETURNED WITH
MAXWELL, WHO HAS BEEN WATCHING THIS. AGAIN, SHE RESORTS
TO HER LAUGH)
FRAN: Mr. Shurfeld, I presume. Just joking with the lad.
BRIGHTON: She told me to shut up.
NILES: (ON HIS WAY OUT) Iíd hire her for that alone.
MAXWELL: Youíre early. The agency said three oíclock.
FRAN: The agency? Yeah, well, you know, I thought Iíd come early to have some time to bond with Brighton. And I think itís going well.
BRIGHTON: I hate her.
MAXWELL: Now Brighton, letís not be hasty.
FRAN: Yeah, I havenít sung ĎClimb Every Mountainí yet.
MAXWELL: (SMILES) May I see your resume, please?
(SHE HANDS HIM SCRIBBLED RESUME)
FRAN: Eyebrow pencil. I just jotted down the highlights. My impressive resumes are at the printerís.
BRIGHTON: You canít hire us another mother.
FRAN: Ooh, youíre a bitter little person. Weíre going to get along great.
MAXWELL: (LOOKING OVER RESUME) Miss Fine, youíve listed the Queen Mother as a reference?
FRAN: Wha? No, no, no. Thatís my mother from Queens. But sheís very particular, too. You want me to fix that, Iíll need a little cold cream.
FRAN: Oh look, he laughs. It almost makes him look like a kid.
(GRACE, MAXWELLíS SIX YEAR OLD DAUGHTER, ARRIVES AT THE FRONT DOOR WITH CHAUFFEUR EDMOND. SHE RUNS TO MAXWELL AND HUGS HIM)
GRACE: Hi, Daddy.
MAXWELL: Hello darling. Thank you Edmond.
EDMOND: (EXITING) Youíre welcome, sir. And Iím sure the play-do will
wash right out of the Bentley.
MAXWELL: (TO GRACE) How was therapy today darling?Ö Any breakthroughs?
GRACE: Dr. Bort and I did some regression. She took me back through my childhood.
FRAN: Must have been a quick trip.
GRACE: Oh you have no idea how complicated I amÖ
FRAN: You got your kids in therapy?
BRIGHTON: It was easier than talking to us directly.
MAXWELL: Thatís enough, Brighton.
BRIGHTON: Yes, it was disrespectful of me. Perhaps I should go to my room and think about how sorry I am while I sharpen my Nintendo skills. Come on, Gracie. Letís leave Father alone to interview another caretaker for his problem children.
FRAN: Oy, do you have your hands full, mister!
MAXWELL: (STUNG) Iím sorry you had to see that. Niles will show you out. (HE GETS UP TO LEAVE)
FRAN: What, thatís it? The interviewís over? One smart ass remark from the kid and I donít get the job? Thatís not fair.
MAXWELL: Miss Fine, I donít know how you got in here, but you can see
for yourself I need more help than can be provided by a door to door cosmetics girl.
FRAN: Me? A cosmetics girl? Whatever gave you that idea? (RE: BAG)
This just says cosmetics. Itís actually a portable library of sophisticated child-rearing manuals. Three on regression therapy alone.
MAXWELL: Please. Never try to con a con. Iím a theatrical producer. (HE STARTS TO LEAVE)
FRAN: Well, Mr. Producer, Iím talking to you, sir. How many so called experts have you had in here already?
FRAN: (CONTíD) Me, I grew up in Queens. Thereís nothing these kids can throw at me I havenít seen before.
NILES: Iím terribly sorry, sir. Thereís been some confusion. Thereís a woman at the door who actually is from the Nanny Institute.
FRAN: The Institute, very nice. Iím sure sheís the expert youíre looking for.
(SHE PICKS UP HER BAG AND STARTS TO GO. SUDDENLY FROM THE HALLWAY WE HEAR A BLOODCURDLING SCREAM AND THE FRONT DOOR SLAMS. BRIGHTON WALKS BY WITH A NOOSE AROUND HIS NECK)
BRIGHTON: Iím afraid she had to leave.
FRAN: (PUTS HER BAG DOWN) On the other handÖ
MAXWELL: (DEFEATED) Do you have any experience with children?
FRAN: Are you kidding? I practically raised my sisterís kids when she was suing her chiropodist.
NILES: You do need someone by tomorrow night, sir. Ms. Babcock was rather explicit.
MAXWELL: This is highly irregular.
FRAN: Soís my Uncle Myron, but you know if we just give him a chance, eventually everything comes out okay.
MAXWELL: All right, Ms. Fine. Youíre hired. But only on a trial basis.
FRAN: Thank you, Mr. Shurfeld. You wonít regret it.
(SHE HUGS HIM THEN, REALIZING WHAT SHEíS DOING, BACKS OFF AND SHAKES HIS HAND)
MAXWELL: Somehow Iím rather sure I will. Niles will show you to your room. (MAXWELL EXITS)
FRAN: My room? The nanny lives here:?!
NILES: Is that a problem?
FRAN: Well, I am going to miss being twenty-nine years old and still living with my parents, but hey, if itís best for the children Ė
FRAN: Donít start with me, Niles.
(THEY HEAD OFF)
END OF ACT ONE
ACT TWO, SCENE ONE
INT. SHURFELD DINING ROOM Ė BREAKFAST
THE NEXT MORNING
(MAXWELL AND THE CHILDREN ARE SEDATELY SEATED AT
TABLE EATING BREAKFAST. NILES POURS TEA. FRAN SWEEPS IN
IN HOUSECOAT AND SLIPPERS)
FRAN: Good morning everyone. Boy that jacuzzi tub really know how to perk a girl up in the morningÖ(THEN, NOTICING THEYíRE ALL FULLY
DRESSED AND COIFED) Do you people sleep like that?
MAXWELL: We make it a habit to dress for breakfast.
FRAN: I see. Niles, you have to tell me these things.
NILES: I simply assumedÖ
FRAN: Iím from Flushing. Donít assume anything. (SHE LOOKS AROUND THE TABLE, SET WITH FINE CHINA, LITTLE SILVER TOAST SERVERS, FRESH BUTTER CURLS AND DAINTY JARS OF MARMALADE) So, whereís the bagels?
NILES: (SOTTO) Ixnay on the agelsbay.
FRAN: Thank you.
(NILES EXITS. FRAN WATCHES IN DISGUST AS MAXWELL DEFTLY DE-CAPITATES HIS SOFT BOILED EGG WITH A STERLING SILVER EGG DECAPITATOR, THEN SCOOPS OUT THE YELLOW, GELATINOUS YOLK)
FRAN: (CONTíD) Umm, looks delish. So kids, whatís on for today? A walk in the park, or should we just kick back and hang around the mansion?
MAXWELL: Actually, an outing is a splendid idea. The caterers will need the run of the house to prepare for this evenings gala.
FRAN: Weíre having a gala? (TO GRACIE) I love a good gala. So what are we wearing?
GRACE: (SADLY) Weíre not invited.
BRIGHTON: And neither are you.
FRAN: Oh, come on. Itís your fatherís party.
(O.S. A PHONE RINGS)
MAXWELL: Really, itís more of a business thing.
(NILES ENTERS WITH PORTABLE PHONE)
NILES: Ms. Babcock for youÖ
MAXWELL: Hello? Ö CC darling, hold on. Let me take you in the library. (TO THE OTHERS) Iím taking C.C. in the library. (AND HE EXITS)
GRACE: See, I told you. We never get to go to Daddyís parties.
FRAN: Weíll see about that. Excuse me a minute. (SHE HEADS OUT)
NILES: He really hates to be disturbed when heís taking C.C. in the library.
ACT TWO. SCENE TWO
INT. LIBRARY Ė CONTINUOUS
MAXWELL: (ON THE PHONE) Oh, and better than good news, I hired a
Nanny. Sheís a bit unusual, but I think she may be just what the children need.
(FRAN POKES HER HEAD IN)
FRAN: Hi, itís me. Could we have a word?
MAXWELL: Iím still on the phone.
FRAN: Good. Tell her to order more eggrolls.
MAXWELL: What are you talking about?
FRAN: Shiksas are notorious for not ordering enough food. Booze, yeah. Food they donít know from.
MAXWELL: C.C., let me put you on hold. Did you want something, Miss Fine?
FRAN: Please, call me Fran. Weíre living together. Look, I donít want to overstep my bounderies the first day, but then I figure why wait Ďtil tomorrow? The little pishers want to come to your party.
MAXWELL: I beg your pardon.
FRAN: Your kids. Theyíre feeling left out.
MAXWELL: I told you, itís business. Iím trying to woo backers for my next show.
FRAN: Oh, I see, itís a wooing thing. Well, as you might imagine, Iíve had my share of wooers. And the first thing I want to know is, who the hell is this guy? Do I trust him? Now I ask you, whoís not going to trust a Dad who brings his kids to the party?
MAXWELL: I donít think C.C. would like it.
FRAN: Weíll get to her later. Come on, they show up
for five minutes in freshly pressed pajamas, make a little Ďmy heís so bright, heís only tení small talk, maybe get a scrap of pastry and I whisk them off to bed. Your investors see youíre a family man and your kids get to be a part of your life.
MAXWELL: I suppose it wouldnít do any harm.
FRAN: You wonít be sorry. (SHE STARTS OUT) Are you coming?
MAXWELL: Let me finish this call.
(HE PICKS UP RECEIVER. SHE PUTS IT DOWN.)
FRAN: Thatís another thing. Where I come from meal time is family time. You sit around the table, you yell and scream and throw things. That way
everyone knows they love each other.
MAXWELL: Youíre right. You are overstepping your boundaries.
FRAN: Okay, maybe. (SHE DOESNíT LEAVE)
MAXWELL: Why do I feel a Ďbutí coming on?
FRAN: No Ďbuts.í HoweverÖ you hired me to tell you
what the children need. A fatherís a good starter.
MAXWELL: Iíll be right in. (TO PHONE) Iíve got to get back. Iíll see you tonight. (HE HANGS UP AND EXITS BACK INSIDE)
FRAN: Yeah, C.C., see ya! (AND SHE FOLLOWS)
ACT TWO. SCENE THREE
EXT. DANNYíS 4 BRIDES Ė ESTABLISHING
INT. BRIDAL BOUTIQUE Ė CONTINUOUS
(VAL IS HANGING UP SOME DRESSES WHEN FRAN ENTERS WITH THE KIDS)
FRAN: Val Ė
VAL: Fran, what are you doing here?
FRAN: Whereís Danny?
VAL: I donít know. I think heís getting his back waxed.
GRACE: Look at all the dresses! Theyíre just so incredibly tacky.
BRIGHTON: Hey, are these dummies anatomically correct?
FRAN: What do you care, youíre ten years old? Now do me a favor, be normal. (TO VAL) I need something for tonight. (SHE STARTS RIFLING THROUGH THE RACKS) Iíve got a little gala to go to.
VAL: So this new job is great, huh?
FRAN: Itís like liviní at Caesarís Palace.
VAL: So thatís great.
FRAN: Yea. (HOLDING UP DRESS, LOOKING IN MIRROR)
What do you think?
VAL: I think itís great youíre great. This way you wonít be upset if Danny starts going out with someone else.
FRAN: Whadda ya know?
VAL: Whadda ya mean?
FRAN: You know what I mean. I want her name.
VAL: Itís only a rumor. Forget it.
FRAN: (TO GRACE) What do you think?
GRACE: Sheís holding out on you.
BRIGHTON: Iím hungry. Arenít nannies supposed to feed you when youíre hungry?
FRAN: Hereís a Tic-Tac. (BACK TO VAL) So who the hell is this tramp?
VAL: Who cares? Youíre better off without him. I mean look, you got this great new job.
FRAN: I know her, donít I?
VAL: You got a great boss.
FRAN: Iíll kill her, wonít I?
VAL: And tonight youíve got a great party. This whole break up thingís like a mitzvah in disguise.
FRAN: Youíre right.
VAL: So who cares if Dannyís taking her to Puerto Rico?
(OFF FRANíS REACTION, WEÖ)
ACT TWO. SCENE FOUR
EXT. SHURFELD TOWNHOUSE Ė THAT NIGHT
INT. SHURFELD TOWNHOUSE Ė CONTINUOUS
MUSIC: SONDHEIMíS ĎHI-HO THE GLAMORUS LIFEí FROM ĎA LITTLE NIGHT MUSICí
(A GALA PARTY IS IN PROGRESS. THE MEN ARE IN TUXEDOS.
THE WOMEN ALL IN LITTLE BLACK DRESSES AND PEARLS. THE
MUSIC IS BEING SUNG BY AN A CAPPELLA TRIO OF ATTRACTIVE
BROADWAY CHORUS PEOPLE. C.C. SUCKS UP TO THE VANDENBERGS, AN ELDERLY, VERY WEALTHY LOOKING COUPLE. SHEíS A WARM, GRANDMOTHERLY TYPE. HEíS A MISER.)
C.C.: Mr. And Mrs. Vandenberg. How nice to see you.
MRS. VANDENBERG: Hello, C.C. dear.
MR. VANDENBERG: You donít have to kiss her, she just wants our money.
C.C.: Oh, Edgar, youíre tighter than bark on a tree.
MR. VANDENBERG: Not tight, dear. Just careful. How much do we really know about this Shurfeld chap?
C.C.: Just that heís a brilliant theatrical producer with a string of hits reaching back to his beginnings in the West End of London. But Iíll let the Tonyís speak for themselves.
(C.C. SCANS THE ROOM FOR HER NEXT VICTIM. MAXWELL COMES UP FROM BEHIND)
MAXWELL: Has anyone told you how handsome you look this evening?
C.C.: Oh Maxwell, youíre such a flirt? Itís going rather well, donít you think?
MAXWELL: Itís perfect. The food is exquisite, the music divine, and the guests obscenely wealthy. Oh, and by the by, I must thank you for your incessant insistence that I hire a new nanny.
C.C.: (HER EYES STILL SCANNING THE PARTY) Iím always here for you, Maxwell. Doesnít Mrs. Frigand look marvelous? My surgeon, of course.
MAXWELL: I think itís good to broaden the childrenís horizons. Did you know this afternoon Gracie braised me a brisket?
C.C.: A brisket? What on earth are you babbling about?
MAXWELL: The new nanny.
C.C.: Yes, sheís doing a wonderful job. I havenít seen the children all evening.
MAXWELL: Theyíre getting dressed. Theyíll be down in a minute.
MAXWELL: Fran thought it would be nice to include them.
C.C.: Whoís Fran?
MAXWELL: The new nanny. Havenít you been listening?
(NILES COMES OVER)
NILES: The children are ready.
MAXWELL: Thank you, Niles. (TO THE ROOM) Friends, friends, may I have your attention?
(THE PARTY BUZZ QUIETS DOWN)
MAXWELL: (CONTíD) Iíd like to thank you all for coming here this evening.
I hope youíll make yourselves at home, enjoy the food and champagne and take this opportunity to get to know more about me and my theatrical history. Iím certainly looking forward to knowing more about you and your checkbooks. (POLITE LAUGHTER) Now before the evening gets any later
Iíd like to introduce the two greatest productions of my lifeÖ my dear children.
(THE CHILDREN APPEAR AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS AND START COMING DOWN. AS PROMISED, THEYíRE ADORABLE IN THEIR FRESHLY PRESSED PAJAMAS. THE PARTY AWíS APPRECIATIVELY. C.C. IS MORTIFIED)
C.C.: (THROUGH CLENCHED TEETH) Are you out of your mind?
MAXWELL: Donít worry, the nannyís right behind.
(FRAN APPEARS AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS. HER OFF THE SHOULDER BRIDESMAIDíS DRESS FROM THE ROSENBERG- HOROWITZ WEDDING IS A LITTLE OUT OF PLACE, BUT YOUíVE GOT TO ADMIT IT DOES SET OFF HER CLEAVAGE NICELY. THE PARTY MURMURS ITíS SHOCKED REACTION)
C.C.: Thatís not a nanny. Itís the Avon lady. (SHE SHIFTS INTO DAMAGE CONTROL, PUSHING A NEARBY WAITER) Pour. (THEN, TO THE TRIO) Sing.
(THE TRIO SINGS, ĎBROADWAY BABYí AS FRAN DESCENDS THE STAIRS. C.C. AND MAXWELL COME OVER. GRACE JUMPS IN MAXWELLíS ARMS AND GIVES HIM A BIG KISS)
(SHE LOOKS VERY HAPPY TO BE HERE. EVEN BRIGHTON HAS LOST SOME OF HIS SURLINESS)
BRIGHTON: Not a bad crowd, Dad. Whereíd you get All the Tony awards?
MAXWELL: Some are mine, some I borrowed. The ones in back are bowling trophies.
BRIGHTON: Nice touch.
C.C.: Okay, this was a lovely family moment. Now, off to bed.
FRAN: Oh, itís you. Hello, again. (THEN, SOTTO) The chin looks great.
(C.C. TURNS HER BACK ON FRAN)
C.C.: (SOTTO TO MAXWELL) Get rid of her. (AND SHE STORMS OFF)
MAXWELL: C.C. Ė (HE PUTS GRACIE DOWN AND TURNS TO FRAN)
Just get them a cookie and keep a low profile.
FRAN: Iím sure Iíll blend right in. Come on kids, lets find a little nosh.
(THEY HEAD OFF. MAXWELL FINDS C.C. FUMING)
C.C.: Maxwell, how could you? Sheís going to ruin this party.
MAXWELL: Okay, Iíll admit I should have checked her wardrobe. But you know, on her, it works.
(FRAN LEANS OVER THE BUFFET TABLE)
MAXWELL: (CONTíD) My God, that dress defies the laws of physics.
C.C.: I canít believe Iím hearing this.
MAXWELL: (REALIZING HOW DEEP HEíS IN) And your dress is nice, too. I said that.
C.C.: Handsome. You said min was handsome.
ACROSS THE ROOM
(VANDENBERG IS PEERING AT THE TONYS OVER THE TOP OF HIS BIFOCALS)
MR. VANDENBERG: Very impressive. And what are these back here?
(BRIGHTON SCOOTS OVER TO DIRECT HIS ATTENTION TO THE
ARTWORK. FRAN FOLLOWS WITH A PLATE OF COOKIES AND
BRIGHTON: Have you noticed my fatherís collection of primitive art? This one is early Mesopotamian. The so-called cradle of civilization.
MRS. VANDENBERG: My, heís only ten, how bright he is.
BRIGHTON: (PICKING UP ANOTHER OBJECT) Whereas these distinctive markings clearly indicate itís Mayan.
FRAN: (TO MR. VANDENBERG) Well, you know what they say Ė whatís Mayan is yours.
(HER DISTINCTIVE LAUGH RESOUNDS THROUGH THE ROOM. C.C. BLANCHES)
C.C.: Maxwell, sheís talking to the Vandenbergs.
C.C.: So, stop her.
FRAN: No kidding. Your entire family came over on the Mayflower? Iíve wanted to trace my family tree, but my Grandmother said when we landed on Ellis Island they changed everybodyís last name and now we donít know who the hell we are.
MAXWELL: Ms. Fine?
FRAN: Heís lost without me. (SHE TURNS TO MAXWELL) You needed something?
MAXWELL: (TRYING TO PUT A GOOD FACE ON IT) I think maybe it is time we went to bed.
FRAN: Okay, Mr. S., but Iím going to have to charge you extra. (SHE WINKS AT VANDENBERG, WHO LAUGHS. MAXWELL IS FLUSTERED)
MAXWELL: No, I meant Ė
FRAN: (TO VANDENBERG) You can always trust you money with a man
who blushes. Come on kids, shluffy time.
(THEY HEAD OFF)
MAXWELL: Mr. Vandenberg, I can explain. (THEN, WITH A LITTLE LAUGH) No, actually, I canít Ė
(C.C. SCURRIES OVER)
C.C.: Sheís a temporary nanny. The regular girl had toÖhave an operation. (GRASPING AT STRAWS) It wasÖ her kidneys. She didnít have any.
(VANDENBERG HASNíT BEEN LISTENING. HEíS BEEN WATCHING FRAN CROSS THE ROOM)
MR. VANDENBERG: I like her. (TO MAXWELL) If your casting choices are half as creative as your selection of a nanny, you can count on my support.
(THEN TO HIS WIFE) Letís eat.
(THEY HEAD OFF. MAXWELL GIVES C.C.A VICTORIOUS SMILE.)
MAXWELL: And you were worried.
C.C.: Sheís not up the stairs yet.
(SUDDENLY VAL BURSTS IN THE FRONT DOOR, VERY UPSET)
VAL: Whereís Fran?Ö Fran? (SHE SPOTS HER) I just gotta tell ya the truth or Iím gonna die. Iím the one whoís been dating Danny.
FRAN: And you thought if you didnít tell me you were gonna die? How could you be so two-faced?
VAL: Well, you two already broke up. So I figuredÖFran, Iím sorry. I havenít had sex in three years!
(THE PARTY HAS COME TO A GRINDING HALT. EVERYONE IS STARING AT THEM)
C.C.: I hate to say I told you so.
MAXWELL: (QUITE TENSE) Then why are you always doing it?
(MAXWELL WALKS OVER TO FRAN AND VAL)
MAXWELL: Ladies, umÖ could you continue this in the library?
FRAN: Ya see Val, youíre disturbing our party guests. (TO MAXWELL)
Sheís got no polish. (TO VAL) Come on, move your ass.
(FRAN SLAMS THE LIBRARY DOOR. THE FIGHT CONTINUES
IN THE LIBRARY WHICH IS SEPARATED FROM THE LIVING
ROOM BY LARGE GLASS DOORS. WE CAN SEE EVERYTHING
THAT IS GOING ON BUT CANíT HEAR A WORD. ITíS TURNING
INTO A SERIOUS CATFIGHT AND A CROWD IS BEGINNING TO
C.C.: Maxwell, do something.
MAXWELL: What do you suggest?
C.C.: Shoot them.
(MAXWELL OPENS THE DOOR AND WE CATCH A WORD OF THE ARGUMENT)
(HE QUICKLY SHUTS IT)
C.C.: Maxwell, this party is the crowning achievement of a lifetime of social
climbing. I will not let that woman ruin it. Either she goes or I do.
NILES: (PASSING BY) Do I get a vote?
(MAXWELL STANDS THERE A BEAT, THEN WITH DETERMINATION, OPENS THE DOOR)
(THEY STOP IN MIDDLE THROTTLE AND LOOK AT HIM)
MAXWELL: (CONTíD) Youíll have to leave now.
FRAN: Yeah, Val. Youíre not welcome here.
(MAXWELL JUST STARES AT HER)
FRAN: (CONTíD) Wha--? Me, too?
MAXWELL: Iím afraid this isnít working out.
(NEARBY, C.C. ALLOWS HERSELF A LITTLE SMILE. MAXWELL CONTINUES QUIETLY, THIS ISNíT EASY FOR HIM) Youíre fired.
FRAN: Thatís alright, you donít have to fire me. I ruined your party, Iíll quit.
(SHE GIVES MAXWELL A LONG LOOK AND EXITS. BEAT. SHE RETURNS.) No, you fire me. This way I can collect unemployment.
(SHE EXITS, LEAVING MAXWELL ALONE IN THE LIBRARY DOOR. C.C. SIGNALS THE TRIO TO SING)
MUSIC: ĎIíVE GROWN ACCUSTOMED TO HER FACEí
ACT TWO/SCENE FIVE
EXT. AN APARTMENT BUILDING IN QUEENS Ė
NIGHT Ė ESTABLISHING
INT. SYLVIA AND MORTYíS APARTMENT Ė
(FRAN IS WATCHING T.V. IN A PLASTIC-COVERED RECLINER, SERIOUSLY DEPRESSED. SYLVIA, HER MOTHER, A ZAFTIG WOMAN IN HER MID 50íS, ENTERS WEARING A HOUSE DRESS AND SLIPPERS. HER HAIR IS WRAPPED WITH TOILET PAPER)
SYLVIA: Do you need a Mallomar Fran?
FRAN: No Ma, foodís not the answer to everything.
SYLVIA: Meanwhile your father and I have based our entire relationship around food. Passion goes,, sex goes, communication we never had, but food is forever. (SHE YELLS INTO THE BACK BEDROOM) Morty? You want some more Mallomars?
FRAN: Ma, Daddy canít hear you. Heís watching the gameÖ Why canít I find a guy like him? Deaf and on a pension!
SYLVIA: You will.
FRAN: Oh Ma, Iím so humiliated. I canít believe I was fired.
FRAN: Whatíd you do, take sadist pills today? I already feel like a loser.
(FRAN GOES TO ANSWER IT)
SYLVIA: Nobodyís a loserÖ except all your fatherís second cousinsÖ
(FRAN OPENS THE DOOR TO REVEAL BRIGHTON)
FRAN: Brighton, what are you doing here?
BRIGHTON: (STRANGELY CASUAL) It seems Iíve run away from home.
FRAN: Whatíd you do that for?
BRIGHTON: You know me. Just another desperate plea for attention. (RE: MALLOMARS) Mmm, those look good.
SYLVIA: Help yourself.
(FRAN SHOOTS HER A LOOK. SHE SHRUGS)
FRAN: Iím calling your father. He must be worried sick.
BRIGHTON: Donít bother. I imagine heís on his way.
FRAN: What, you run away and leave a forwarding address?
SYLVIA: I thought you said the girl was cute, the boy was smart.
FRAN: He is smart. (TO BRIGHTON) What are you up to?
BRIGHTON: What makes you think Iím up to something? (HE PLOPS DOWN ON THE SOFA, STRETCHES OUT CASUALLY THENÖ)
BRIGHTON: (CONTíD) Why do you have plastic on your furniture?
FRAN: Itís a cultural thing.. Now get your feet off the table and tell me whatís going on in that warped little head of yours.
BRIGHTON: Look, me personally, Iím too old to have a nanny. But Gracie seemed to enjoy the whole brisket experience and I think youíre good for father. As you would say, his life needs a swift kick in the tuchkas.
SYLVIA: What kind of family is this youíre working for?
FRAN: So what? You think your fatherís going to walk in here, beg me to come back and weíre all going to live happily ever after?
BRIGHTON: I got him here. The rest is up to you.
(SYLVIA GOES TO ANSWER DOOR)
FRAN: (TO BRIGHTON) Donít get your hopes up. Your Father and
I come from very different worlds. I mean if I were him, and I hired meÖ Ah, Iíd be thrilled, whoís kiddiní who?
(SYLVIA OPENS DOOR TO REVEAL MAXWELL)
SYLVIA: (TURNS BACK TO FRAN) Ooh, heís cute.
MAXWELL: Iím terribly sorry to disturb you.
SYLVIA: No oneís disturbing anyone. Come on in, Iíll make some
Ovaltine. (SCREAMS) Morty, you want some Ovaltine? Morty, Morty?! Ah, forget it.
MAXWELL: Brighton you had me worried sick.
SYLVIA: Kids, nothing but tsuris. This one, such
heartburn she gave me. What do you need? Donatol? Tagamint? Gas X?
FRAN: Ma, do me a favor. Take Brighton in the kitchen.
SYLVIA: All right, come on. Iíll introduce you to the next love of your life --
Entemannís nonfat streusel swirl. (THEY HEAD OUT. AS SHE PASSES FRAN, SHE WHISPERSÖ) Put on some blush.
FRAN: Look the kid shouldnít have run away but this gives me a chance to apologize for ruining your party. I did ruin it, didnít I?
MAXWELL: Letís just say you broke it up before we ran out of eggrolls.
FRAN: What can I say, sometimes I get emotional. You know what emotions are, those things you feel inside that arenít your kishkas.
MAXWELL: I have emotions. Right now Iím very distraught.
FRAN: Well, break out the Kleenex. My life falls apart, I get a little crazy. I come from a long line of screamers. You, your wife dies, your kids are
a mess and for the life of me, I canít find a hair out of place.
MAXWELL: (ANGRY, BUT HEARTFELT) Would you feel better if I broke down and sobbed? Is that what you want to see? Tears in my tea because
the light in my life went out the day Sarah died? Shall I cry in my crumpets at the terror I feel as my children withdraw further and further into themselves? Iím sorry, Miss Fine, I come from a long line of stiff upper lips. We just donít express those things publicly.
FRAN: (GENTLY) You just did.
MAXWELL: Yes, but in a round-about way.
FRAN: It still counts.
(THEY LOOK AT EACH OTHER A BEAT)
MAXWELL: Well, thatís that then, isnít it? (CALLS) Come along, Brighton, time to go.
(BRIGHTON AND SYLVIA RETURN FROM KITCHEN. BRIGHTON LOOKS AT FRAN, SHE SHRUGS, SADLY, BRIGHTON HEADS OUT. MAXWELL FOLLOWS, THEN STOPS AT THE DOOR)
MAXWELL: Are you going to get your things or what?
(FRAN LOOKS AT HIM AND SMILES. THEN, BACK TO NAGGING)
FRAN: Thatís it? No fanfare? No I need you? The kidís not even going to hug me? (SHE THINK ABOUT IT A BEAT) All right. (SHE GRABS HER SUITCASE AND THEY EXIT)
SYLVIA: Morty, he took her back. Morty, Morty! Ah, forget it.
END ACT TWO
*Webmaster's note: As you can see, this script went through a lot of changes before the final version. Some of which were, Shurfeld became Sheffield. The actor they cast for Niles, was younger than they had pictured in the beginning. And they added another child, Margaret.