Murder and Cocktails (2024) Movie Script

Never underestimate
he importance of nice weather.t
Nor should you ever
take beauty for granted.
I spend most of my day
making stuff up.
I'm a dreamer with
far too many dreams,
but I'm a lucky guy.
I turned my dreams into
a successful writing career.
But my career's
fallen off a cliff,
and I've not had
a job in months.
Things are a little tight.
Well, not a little. A lot.
And now all I think about
is money.
After coal mining,
writing screenplays
is the worst job in America.
here's no glamour, no friends.It's hard to get work,
nd then every job is temporary.a
But that's what I do,
what I chose, what I love.
But without regular income,
great weather and beauty
are not enough
o overcome our money problems.t
I have a few ideas to get out
of this debacle, but,
my experience is that plans
don't usually work out as--
well, exactly as planned.
Anyway, we'll see.
I can tell you one
goddamn truth about life
that is not overrated
and always works out:
evening cocktails.
Oh, sorry.
I'm Nick McQuoid,
Lana's husband.
Lana and I met
when we were 17,
and then separated for
a little while in college,
and then we got married
in our late 20s.
Where you been?
At La Playa, reading.
What you been up to?
Just taking some notes
for my new script.
Well, you're gonna have to
put it away, 'cause
-she'll be here any minute.
-Oh, sorry. I forgot.
Make you a drink?
Yeah. Something simple, easy?
-Martinis it is.
-Sounds good.
My cocktail recipes
never vary a drop,
and in that sense,
you can say I'm a perfectionist.
Gets you to Lana heaven.
Are you talking to me?
No. To our new friends.-
What are you talking about?
What new friends?
There's nobody here.
Thank you.
-How is it?
Little bit of perfection.
-What is that?
Is that a camera?
It is.
Are you recording us?
-Not exactly.
-What are you doing?
I'm streaming us.
You mean people are
watching us online?
Nick! God!
Why didn't you say anything?
This is another one
of your ideas, isn't it?
Yes, of course it is.
Why? Why?
Well, for money.
-Let me explain.
-What are you doing?
Who are you talking to?
To our new guests.
Oh. Our "guests."
Lana has got a great smile.
She's very photogenic.
Look, you need
to explain this to me.
To me, Nick.
Yeah, to you and to them.
As I mentioned,
I haven't made a dime
in months, nor has Lana.
So I found this
streaming platform,
and people can watch us,
and we get paid by ads,
People can chip in
a few bucks...
- Okay. So--
- ...if they want to.
People are
watching us right now?
Let me see.
Eh. Thirty-seven.
Thirty-seven people
are watching?
Yeah, and the more people
that watch,
the more money we make.
How much money?
I don't really know.
It's just the first few minutes.
We gotta give it some time.
You know, a few weeks.
A few weeks?
No, no, no.
-It's too weird, Nick!
It's really not that odd.
People do this all the time
on Facebook and TikTok
and other places.
-I don't like it.
-If you've got a better idea
on how we can make
some bucks real quick,
have at it.
Up until recently,
Lana had a lot
of regular commercial work.
She sold yogurt
and bank accounts
and wine on TV.
A lot of
prescription drugs, too.
I also used to be very good
at stroking car hoods.
-Tell them that.
-You just did.
if we're gonna do this...
I don't wanna see the camera.
Can you just hide it, please?
Are there any more...
hidden cameras?
Oh, there. Is that one?
Yeah, it is.
There's another.
Oh, another! Is th--
You can barely see them.
Come on.
Just give it a try.
I mean, what's the downside?
Uh, the loss of our privacy.
Well, then I'll only stream
for limited hours.
-A few hours.
-Not forever.
-Limited time.
I don't have time for this.
She's gonna be here any minute.
-I have to change.
-I don't even know her name.
Her name is Emily Thatcher.
And why did we invite
her over again?
Because I ran into her
in the hallway,
and she said she had
something really imp--
Bullets just don't disappear.
It landed out there somewhere.
Sure would help if we found it.
Morning, Mrs. McQuoid.
It has to be here.
So, what do you think?
All I know is that
your neighbor's dead
from a single gunshot
that entered your condo
after passing through her.
That, and that you think
you maybe heard
two doors
close simultaneously,
but you don't know which ones.
I think that I heard two,
but I can't swear to it.
So, you think the person
who killed Miss Thatcher
is on this floor?
I think that.
But then again, maybe not.
There are internal
fire escape stairs
right across the hall from
her condo,
right next to yours.
The killer could've slipped
into those stairs
and escaped.
Do you think that?
No one will admit to that.
Yeah, but do you think that?
I think everything.
It's a mystery.
-So you didn't know her?
Just said hi when
we passed in the hallway.
And you don't know why
she wanted to come over?
Nope. She said that there
were some things that were
concerning her on the floor.
She wanted my thoughts.
And you have no idea?
I'll be in touch.
-I don't like that guy.
Because he's lazy and stupid.
He didn't even find the bullet.
And where's his, uh...
-I think San Diego's
just short on cops.
Nick, this is a homicide,
not a trespassing.
He didn't even look.
Old fashioned, darling.
Can I continue telling
our guests about our backstory?
How long
are we gonna be doing this?
How about until
we see the first deposit?
Fine. If we're gonna do this,
they need to know my side
of the story.
My backstory.
Have at it.
Nick gets ideas.
Ideas are Nick's job.
But sometimes Nick's thoughts
go and wander.
He needs an editor. Me.
To the camera, sweetie.
So, Nick's thoughts can
sometimes become eccentric.
Sometimes extreme,
as in this case. But...
Nicky does always come
back to center.
Well, usually.
-Things always do work out.
-It can be trying.
-Not all that trying.
-It can be trying.
-But fun.
Before Lana's commercial work,
she had a very lucrative
and successful run
on a daytime soap.
Yes. I had a huge following.
Passionate, loyal.
Then they wrote me
out of the show,
and I will never
understand why.
That's the way it goes
in the biz.
Up one day,
forgotten the next.
But, fortunately, I managed
to move into
TV commercial work.
But she's been unable
to even secure
commercial work for months.
-It's been a year.
-Okay, 12 months.
Nick has tried his hardest
to shore up our finances.
I worked at ride-sharing.
I even worked
as a bartender, but...
I was too slow.
So as our fortunes declined,
we've found that
starting the night off at home
with a proper cocktail is
the most delightful
part of the day.
And having a cocktail
here at home
has been a huge money saver.
with some well-timed music,
we are off to the races.
We also found
that with
some well-timed puffs,
we can take a simply
delightful evening
to crazy spectacular.
I wanna talk about
the murder, Nick.
Oh, come on. It's important.
Le--let it go.
No! I will not.
I'm scared to death,
and I am so not kidding
about the "to death" part.
There is a murderer
on this floor.
Nobody knows why,
nobody knows who,
nobody knows anything.
We could get killed.
Now you're starting to think
like me, and I don't like it.
Rein it in a little.
I don't trust this detective.
He's a halfwit.
You don't have to like him.
It's not about like, Nick.
It's about trust.
I don't trust him.
Finding the bullet
after a murder is a basic.
He couldn't even do that.
I think we need to
look into it ourselves.
The murder?
Yes, obviously.
What have we been talking about?
We don't have those skills.
You haven't told me
what you're writing about.
It's called Moonlight Myth.
I like the title.
And Peter Westbay,
you remember him?
-No, not really, no.
-He's an executive producer.
He's got a big, fat wallet.
Okay, good. Excellent.
he produced my last script.
-So I'm certain
that he'll read this.
Well... what's the story?
What? Why?
you always tell me the story.
Not this one.
It's too personal.
This is about your ex,
isn't it?
The little mistake from
your late 20s? That's why
-it's too personal, huh?
Isn't it?
I'm struggling.
I need some room
to think it through.
Nick, you're good.
You're a good writer, and
you're our only hope right now.
You'll figure it out.
You always do.
Just let me read it
before you send it.
God, I have never seen you
so hung up on a story before!
The story is tough.
It's a Hail Mary.
Suppose it doesn't sell.
Can we talk about the murder?
Have I not been clear
on this one?
This is police work.
It's not Nick and Lana work.
It is our business.
Look, I'm scared, Nick.
Even the police said
the murderer is
probably on this floor.
We have to do something.
Come on!
Give me one
of those wacky ideas!
Contrary to
what you think, babe--
"Babe"? Ugh.
I am so north of 29.
-You're the North Pole.
I'm sorry. These wacky ideas
aren't a dime a dozen.
-They take time.
-Not for you, they don't.
Come on.
You're the hotshot writer.
I'm the actor.
You tell me what to do.
Flesh it out. Come on. How are
we gonna solve this mystery?
Let's take it back
to ground zero.
Yes. Okay.
We need to rely on
our single best,
most cultivated skill.
-Getting high.
We invite everybody over
on the floor one by one,
and we give them drinks
and we loosen them up.
'cause the cops can't do that!
-And then we grill 'em.
-Yes, exactly.
We'll get them nice and high,
dig deep,
ask the hard-hitting questions,
and then presto,
somebody is going to confess.
Yeah, something like that.
But we need
a very specific plan.
-That is...
-Let's play dumb.
Babe, it's too easy for you.
We'll say that we weren't here
the night the murder occurred.
Yes! Okay, so then when
we ask them probing questions,
they're not gonna think
it's so odd.
what are we gonna do about them?
They could watch. Sure.
Stay tuned, guests.
We're officially on the case.
-Isn't that what you wanted?
Yes. Let's get started.
What are you doing?
Well, it had to go straight,
didn't it?
Must've hit something.
A ricochet!
I didn't even think of that.
Yeah, if it hit something,
it could be anywhere.
- What's this?
- What?
It was in the seat
of the stool.
How hard was that?
Told you the cop's an idiot.
Thank you so much for coming
-on such short notice.
-My pleasure.
Nick, he's here.
-This is our condo.
Cocktails with Nick and Lana.
Oh! Thank you.
Sam Jones.
Sorry about the name.
How's that?
Uh, pretty boring.
Sam Jones?
- Ahh.
- A total...
Well, what's in a name?
In my case, tedium.
Nice to meet you.
I'm Captain Jack Sparrow.
Good one!
Mixing up a new drink.
Date Night.
I sure could use one of those.
You had one before?
I thought Nick
just made it up.
No. A--a date.
Not doing all that well on,
uh, Super Singles.
Ah. Well, I'm sure things
will pick up for you.
Oh, I don't know.
Been married four times,
and I'm beginning to think
it's all on me.
Well, the Date Night is
bourbon, grapefruit syrup,
and a touch of coconut water.
Sounds odd.
Uh, sounds good, I guess.
If you don't like it, Nick will
make you whatever you want.
You know,
it's hard to believe
that we have never met.
I really don't know
anyone on the floor.
Us either.
How long have you lived here?
Uh, four.
Just over four years.
- But we've said hi!
- Yes, we have.
What do you think?
Hey, it's free.
How can I complain?
Well, the drinks are free,
but we do have
a modest cover charge.
To cover expenses.
You understand?
No, that's a--
that's a crazy idea.
Oh, no.
We do charge for our company.
-Ah, good one!
We only take cash.
I didn't even know her name,
much less what she looked like.
Barrett thinks that the killer
lives on this floor.
that's what he told me.
So that means
you two are suspects,
'cause I sure as hell
didn't do it!
Well, us either.
How do I know that?
We weren't here.
Well, how do I know that?
I mean, really, guys?
How does anyone know anything?
But you,
you were here that night.
I was.
But I'm way, way down the hall.
I heard the shot,
but I thought it was outside.
Well, the bullet came
right through my office wall.
Landed out here somewhere.
That's her bedroom wall.
It is?
She was murdered in her bedroom!
Well, how do you know that?
Maybe the bullet
went through two walls.
I don't know.
How about that laugh?
It was a pretty
obvious question.
Yeah, like...
-he didn't know her...
...but he knows the location
of her bedroom.
How did he know that?
We just had
our first breakthrough.
What are you doing?
She's gonna be here any minute.
I don't want us
to smell like weed.
I don't wanna smell like you.
She's not gonna be able
to tell who smells like what.
-She will.
-She won't.
No! No!
I spent years
trying to forget about it
and he made me remember.
It was the worst moment
of my life. Horrid.
-We were just talking.
-Like people do.
-And I had no idea.
-When you asked
about my writing work,
you brought it all back.
I'm a writer. You're a writer.
-I thought we had a connection.
You need to be more careful.
You need to not ask
such questions.
I can only offer my sincerest
-How could I have known?
-You need to be careful.
Think! Just think!
-I'm sorry, I just--
-Think. And you think--
Look, if I had known that you
were raped by your editor--
I don't believe that
for a moment.
You were methodical.
It was all designed
to humiliate me again.
Questions, over and over again.
You are a hateful, mean,
disgusting man!
And Mr. Shitty Writer,
you smell like marijuana.
I hope that you're all
enjoying all of this.
What do you make of her?
The word "crazy" comes to mind.
It's gotta get better,
doesn't it?
No, it...
really doesn't.
- Yeah.
- I'm on my way home.
Do we need anything?
Uh, just limes.
Mm, and don't forget
Rose is coming tonight.
I've been thinking about
getting a dog,
a wirehaired terrier.
What do you think?
Just hurry home, Nick.
Well, what if we rent a dog
for a few weeks?
You don't know this,
but I'm a huge fan of yours,
going back to when you first
started on your soap.
Oh my gosh, that's so nice.
Going back to the beginning.
God, what was that,
-ten years ago?
-Oh, at least.
-Maybe more?
Nice to meet you, Rose.
Mai Tais okay?
Oh my God! Love them.
But aren't they complicated?
It's fine.
Nick is an amateur bartender.
-Didn't you just move in?
-A few months ago.
I love the building.
Thank you so much.
Scrumptious. You're a pro.
-Nick can be a little bit...
I knew you were on this floor
and I was just hoping
I'd meet you.
You have no idea
how big of a fan I am.
God, you're so sweet.
Thank you.
You know your old agent,
Lenny Schultz?
-Yes, great guy.
-He was my nephew.
Wow. What a coincidence.
But he was not good for you.
What do you mean?
He got a lot of offers
for you to do feature films.
He never said anything.
Of course not.
I don't understand.
Your soaps were
his bread and butter.
He didn't wanna jeopardize
his regular commissions
with a chance that you...
might fail on the big screen.
You were his meal ticket.
You need to call him, Lana.
Can't. He's dead.
Shot dead
in the Hollywood Hills.
Do you wanna have sex
on the kitchen counter?
You don't remember
that line, do you?
That's from episode 113.
Your best line ever.
Out of the blue and so funny.
- You don't remember?
- No.
You said that
to the district attorney
right in front of your husband.
I laughed so hard
I peed myself.
So, Rose, new to the building.
We don't usually have murders.
Were you home that night?
Oh, yes. I heard the shot
and it scared me to death.
I'm alone, you know.
Did you know Miss Thatcher?
Not at all. Did you?
No, not really.
Earlier you said
you found the bullet.
I see.
Barrett said
he didn't find the bullet.
Did you give him the bullet?
Do you think we should?
If you don't, that means
you're hiding evidence,
doesn't it?
No, we're not hiding
Sorry, Lana, but that
makes you
look a little shady.
I mean, it does.
Oh, I'm sorry.
I'm a little loopy.
It might be best I leave
before I embarrass myself.
-Can I ask a favor?
-Of course.
Can I have an autograph?
And Nick, can you snap a pic
of Lana and me?
-Turned the tables on us.
-She sure did.
We're not really
withholding evidence.
We are.
But not really.
Yeah, we are.
Can we play something?
Caw! Caw!
I love you, Nicky.
I love you, darling.
Mr. Nick.
Look, Carl, I know why
you probably came, but--
Shut up and pay.
I'm tired of you
fucking around with me.
You're two months behind.
I know I said I'd pay, but...
Yeah, you told me that
last time.
just follow me.
Let me show you something.
Right there.
You can see I've been writing.
It's my script.
And I can probably get
Peter Westbay interested.
He's a big deal.
If he buys it,
it'll be for a boatload
and I'd pay you first.
All I'm hearing
are "probably" and "if."
Carl, I swear.
It's shit.
-You only read two lines.
-I don't like it.
Don't look like nothing.
Look, I'm a patient man.
I'll give you ten more days.
Guess what then?
Do you like your teeth?
I borrowed $15,000 from him.
It was a mistake.
-Hey! Oh!
-I'm Whizzer.
-My world just got a lot funner.
Well, life should be
a little more funner, huh?
No. Come on. Oh!
-Oh, so I heard.
I'm thinking whiskey sour.
Is that okay with you?
If it's got whiskey in it,
I'm drinking it.
-With egg?
-With egg what?
If I mix some egg white
with it, it's frothy, nice.
-If not, it's kind of--
I don't want no sad drinks.
Egg white it is.
Let's have a seat.
Nicky loves to make the drinks.
and I love drinking drinks.
Unusual name you got there.
Yeah, I got it when
I was young.
I used to piss
like a fire hose.
- Can we say "piss"?
- Shout it out, Whizzer.
-Say "piss" all you like.
-All right, good.
Every now and then
I like to drop in a "fuck,"
sometimes "shit," too.
And I don't piss like I used to.
How about you, Nick?
Still piss
with the same vigor you did
in your teenage years?
Can't say I remember
my teenage toilet habits,
Takes me a while
to start a leak
and even now,
it's just a dribble.
I, uh, take Go Max.
-You know it?
-Can't say I do.
Imagine after a lifetime
of taking chemicals to get high
and now I gotta take chemicals
to take a piss.
What happened to us, huh?
It's got these weird
side effects, though.
Like what?
No, I better not say.
A little too weird.
But I will say this,
it tends to show up
when you're having sex.
Although I don't really
have sex anymore,
so not much of an issue.
Then how do you know
about the side effects?
- I do experiments.
- Oh.
-You guys smoke?
-Yes. Yes, we do.
You know, Nick, I wasn't
actually a hippie as they say.
More like we'd say today,
I was on the spectrum.
The summer of '69.
I was living
in San Francisco
near Golden Gate Park.
The center of the universe.
Probably the best year
of my life.
Nothing like it ever before.
Probably not gonna be
anything like it ever again.
It was where the world
wanted to be,
what world wanted to be.
There is great music
from that era.
Oh, fuck!
Janis Joplin,
Jimi Hendrix,
Jefferson Airplane,
Joy of Cooking.
I don't know that one.
This Berkeley group
that Janis overpowered.
They were good
but she was fucking great!
But it didn't end well
for any of them.
Most of them died badly...
and became drunks.
And then there's now.
What do you mean?
The singular mantra from '69
was, "Do your own thing."
Think about that.
-Seems simple enough, right?
-Sure, yeah.
But it's not. Not simple.
'Cause here's what it means.
Without regard,
without concern,
without thinking,
do whatever...
It was harmless in the 60's,
even liberating after the 50's.
- Yeah, really.
- But those four words
launched a national philosophy
that gave rise
to millions of us
doing our own thing...
And that's where we are now.
Everybody's an island.
Just... everybody's doing
their own thing.
I think my generation
totally fucked things up.
Well, what did we get from it?
I told you,
we're out of our league.
You're the one who started
asking about his life
and that led him down
Hippie Lane.
We need to stay focused
on the murder,
not be asking these people
about their personal lives.
Are you saying we don't know
how to handle an interrogation?
What I'm saying is that we need
to target our questions.
-Concentrate on the main point.
-Let's shut it down.
If you shut this down,
I am spraying black paint
all over your stupid cameras.
That's our income.
How much have we made?
-How much?
What are we gonna do?
We can't pay the mortgage.
We'll have to sell.
We have equity.
How much of that is gonna
go to paying off our debt?
A chunk.
How do we ever
get into this mess?
Circumstance is most of it.
That, and we weren't
paying attention
when the ground was shifting.
We can move back to LA.
There's more work there.
Maybe so.
By the way,
my script's ready
to send over to Westbay.
Read it first?
Maybe not.
My new friend.
Buenos noches. Good.
-Good to meet you.
-Glad you could make it.
Nice. Nice.
What a view!
Views like this are rare
and in demand.
Condos with this view,
sell easy
and at a premium.
I'm thinking gin and tonics,
My preference.
I'm sorry,
I didn't get your name.
Beautiful name and
what I expect from a woman.
-And that is?
-And, of course,
she is gorgeous.
- Just a bottle.
- Fidela?
The same for her.
Let's go sit down.
Y uno mas.
I could sell your condo
in days for top dollar.
I was in her condo once.
She wanted to sell.
A nice place,
but not nearly as good as yours.
Did you put it on the market?
And she made me very angry.
I did a lot of work for her
and nothing.
My time is valuable.
Yes, it is. Absolutely.
Yeah, the bullet
that killed her
came right in
our office wall.
You can see it from here.
Were you here
the night she was killed?
In our condo.
You know I'm right next to her.
Yes, I know.
After the shot, did you open
the door and look out?
Why would I look out
when there was obviously
an act of violence
just next door?
How did you know
it was next door?
It was next door, was it not?
It was.
What did you do?
We, uh...
went in the bathroom
and locked the door.
You hid in the bathroom.
Are you calling me a coward?
I'm just saying
what you're saying.
A moment of honesty.
This is not
a business meeting, is it?
Uh, I--
I don't know what you mean.
I'm asking Nick.
Lana can answer.
I thought you wanted to sell
and you were going
to engage me tonight.
No, just a neighborly
chat with cocktails.
I am tired of being taken
advantage of by all you.
What are you talking about
"all you?" Who is all you?
I'm talking to your husband,
not you.
I'm not an idiot.
It's easy to see
that this wasn't
just a real business invitation.
My time is valuable,
as is my pride.
Fuck you.
Fuck you.
I know the killer.
And I know how, and I know why.
-How? Why?
Why would I reveal that
to you or the police?
So that the police can
go and do their job.
Who cares
if an old lady got shot?
I don't.
My information is valuable
and I'll make sure--
We'll tell the police.
I'll deny it.
Yes, we'll deny it.
Is that--
Do you think
we can use what he said?
He said he'd deny it.
If he does, we look like fools.
Can you play something, Nicky?
Here you go.
Tijuana Sauerkrauts.
What do they play?
No. No, that's enough, Nick.
-Rocking, babe.
Do you think the name
"Machine Gun Kelly" is stupid?
Of course.
Do you think
he really has a machine gun?
Nick, everyone
has a machine gun.
Don't you watch the news?
Is it James or Jim?
I prefer the full Monty--
Sergeant Russell.
I damn sure
well-earned that title.
Okay, sure.
You must be retired.
30 years next month.
I was 18 when I got drafted.
Six months later,
I'm in Vietnam.
Hey, you got
two thirsty girls in here.
Few moments, sweetie.
Tell me about Vietnam.
It was tough.
No way around that.
A lot of the guys
I know got killed.
Nothing good about it.
Bottoms up.
Can I ask you a few questions
about Miss Thatcher?
Oh, you a cop?
No. I'm an actress.
You acting now?
Not unless I'm getting paid.
Did you know her?
We had a few situations.
I don't take no guff.
So we had words.
About what?
About stuff, okay?
Were you here the night
she was murdered?
-What is this? An inquisition?
We were here,
but...why did you say murder?
I thought it was a suicide.
A suicide?
I hadn't even
thought about that.
There was no gun.
What do you mean?
Barrett told me
they didn't find a gun,
just Miss Thatcher dead.
-You didn't know that?
So, not a suicide.
Somebody did kill her.
Well, this certainly
changes things.
- Who was it?
- Someone on the floor.
Oh, my God!
Oh, my God!
-Jesus, calm yourself!
Can you pump this up for me?
You don't need
no pumping, honey.
Our floor. This floor.
So, how would you
like that?
Hmm. Well?
-I--I wouldn't.
Those troops coming back
from the Middle East,
they're heroes.
The country loves 'em.
They're big deals.
But not me.
Not my buddies who got killed.
No. We were spit on,
and now we're forgotten.
That is so not fair.
Unfair, little lady?
It was a kick in the teeth.
I just went to do
what my country asked of me...
and I was dirt.
I was a hired killer.
And you just do
what you gotta do.
So, fuck you.
Let's go, Bernice.
He has a temper, I know.
Excuse me.
For our sake,
I hope
they find the killer.
'Cause it ain't him,
if that's what you're thinking.
what you're thinking,
isn't it?
That he did it?
Come on, baby.
What do you think?
Obviously, Jimmy Boy
runs a temperature,
but other than that,
I don't have a clue.
Yeah. I'm so frustrated.
You're preaching to the choir.
Can we change the subject?
Please, not about money.
It's just one question.
How are we gonna climb out
of this financial hole?
We have our guests.
30 bucks worth.
Wait, I have an idea.
-Sue someone.
-For what?
Say goodnight, Nick.
Goodnight, Nick.
Is that a camera up there?
I don't know. It's dark.
I love you, Nicky.
And I love you, Lana.
Nick McQuoid
for Peter, please.
Hi, Nick. One moment.
Hey, Nick.
It's been a while.
Sure has.
Look, it's crunch time
here. What can I do?
I've got a script
I wanna send you.
It's the best work
I've ever done.
I'll decide that.
Quickly, come on.
Tell me the story,
one sentence.
A man
reunites with his ex
and so recalls
the best moment of his life.
Jesus H. Christ!
I've just separated
from my wife.
I know what leaving an ex is.
It can't be the best moment
in anyone's life.
-A drama?
Tough to sell dramas
these days.
Doesn't sound good.
Give me a quick synopsis.
A little more,
and I mean a little.
We open on a train approaching
Paddington Station.
Stop! London?
- Yeah.
- Come on, Nick.
You know better.
That's major bucks.
We can set it in L.A.
It'd be cheaper.
- Set it in L.A.
- Done.
Yeah, okay. Quickly,
how does it end, the payoff?
Well, our protagonist
gets stabbed in a strip club.
Meanwhile, his ex, who's
fallen back in love with him,
waits for him
at a cozy casino bar.
But he never shows. He's dead.
He got murdered.
It's barely a maybe.
Okay. Tell you what.
ake those changes and email it.M
'll have someone here read it.I
Best I can promise.
Consider it done.
I blew it.
He's just doing me a favor.
Come on in, Detective.
Can I get you a drink?
Martinis tonight.
Esteban Escorial was murdered
late last night.
Not in the building.
At La Playa.
At La Playa?
He was shot
at close range in the face.
Brutal. Really nasty.
That's a rage murder,
something personal.
A few nights ago,
we invited him
and his girlfriend
by for drinks.
Yeah? Where did that go?
As he was leaving, he...
said he knew
who killed Miss Thatcher.
You didn't call me.
- No.
- Why?
He said he'd deny it, so.
What about his girlfriend?
I've talked to her.
She went to Tijuana
to see her mother
the same day he was shot.
She's still there.
That checks with
border officials.
That rules her out.
That rules her out
of killing Esteban.
Not Miss Thatcher.
That implies two murderers.
Guess again.
-Tonight, it's Tiffany.
But it's a special night,
so you can call me Tiff, okay?
Okay. Come on in.
-Tiff is here.
How you doing?
Just great. Super great.
I'm making highballs.
-I love highballs.
-Love them to death.
Let's go sit in the lounge.
Please, come in, come in.
Special glasses
for a special night.
Oh, cute. Love them.
Let's cheers.
It's my coming out party.
I've never done this before.
Yeah, Barrett talked to me,
but the shot was so muffled
I wasn't certain.
-What did Barrett ask?
-A lot of questions about her.
-Were you here?
-No. Mm-mmm. Nope.
This case is weird.
-How's that?
-I don't know.
It's like a murder and
Barrett doesn't seem to care.
Our take exactly. Yes.
Then again, the city
is short cops, so that might--
Oh, no. Nope. It's a murder.
You would expect more.
-You would, yeah.
Barrett told us that the killer
probably lives on the floor.
Mm, makes sense.
Oh, but this
neighborhood worries me.
Homeless and all.
I have a gun and I carry it
with me all the time.
-I don't take no shit.
I can be a mean son of a bitch.
Look, I hate
to cut this off early,
but I have to transition back
and it takes me
a while to do that.
I have work tonight.
- What do you do?
- I'm a cop.
I can't believe
I said I'm a cop.
-You're not a cop?
-No, I am a cop.
Oh, my God!
I said it again.
On a scale of one to ten,
how do you think we did?
Like a three.
Two, maybe.
-It was a cute dress.
I finished your script.
It's deliciously
heartbreaking, darling.
The premise is interesting.
Two people in search
of their very best day ever.
It's kinda scary, actually.
Scary how?
Who wants to think that
their best day is behind them?
Nobody wants to think that.
Otherwise, what's the point
of going on with the future?
That's what
I'm struggling with.
What was yours?
Your best moment?
Ah, private.
Jesus Christ, Nick.
What is with all of this
privacy stuff
all of a sudden?
What, are you afraid of them?
No, it's just...
Doesn't include you.
That's fine.
Tell me anyway.
Tell them.
I was ten years old...
and my father, who...
didn't really do much
of anything with me...
took me
to my first baseball game.
And it was nighttime.
We walked into
the stadium and...
it was just this riot of energy.
Men smoking cigars and...
downing bottles of beer.
The field was
this bright green glow.
It was electric.
Reached over
and grabbed his hand.
I knew there'd
never be another day like that.
Hey, Nick.
Peter here. Got a few?
- Sure.
- I got Sarah on with me.-
Hi, Nick.
Full disclosure,
Sarah works here.
Used to be my secretary,
but now she works
in script development
'cause she's also my fiance.
Oh, well, congratulations.
Thank you.
I've skimmed your script.
Sarah read it all.
She likes it. Parts, anyway.
It has potential,
but the end's brutal.
I mean, the lead dies?
The co-lead, what's her name?
- Carla.
- Yeah, Carla.
She's lost her lover
for a second time.
This time he's murdered.
That's the biggest part
I don't like.
- Okay.
- I was just hoping
you could soften the end,
just so it's happier.
Not happier,
but more friendly somehow.
t can't be that kind of ending.I
Faye Dunaway dies
at the end of Chinatown.
- Bonnie and Clyde die--
- That was then.
This is now.
Come on, Nick.
Those are old movies.
We need new.
I can rework it.
Then do it!
No problem.
Okay, good. Okay?
Work on it, fix the end.
Doesn't have to be
Mary Poppins,
but it can't be Chinatown.
Consider it fixed.
And leave
the strip club murder in.
That scene fucking rocks.
Work on it and I'll read
the whole thing, okay?
The lead's killed
at the end in the strip club.
If you want happy,
you can't have that, too.
You are the writer!
Figure it out! Bye!
Mm. How'd it go with Westbay?
Well, the good is
he had a few notes.
So he's interested.
What were the notes?
He didn't read the script.
-His whore assistant did.
He was just freelancing.
God, I hate this
business sometimes.
Yeah, I know.
Think about your teeth.
Who was it?
Wrong door.
-Wrong door?
I'll get it.
-We need to talk.
-Can we come in?
-Mrs. McQuoid.
What can we do for you,
I'm just letting everyone
on the floor know that
William here
is taking over the case.
I'm overwhelmed.
William's a straight shooter.
Hardworking, honest.
What you see is what you get.
Anything new? Remembrances?
found this.
When did you find it?
Yeah, it was, uh,
in the bar stool.
- Today.
- Yeah.
Small caliber,
probably from a pocket pistol.
Not very professional.
I'll need to take it.
Of course.
Hey, Nick.
How you doing?
-Hey, Peter. Good, good.
-You got a minute?
You got a lot of really
good things
going on in this story.
The new end works perfect,
but the story
has two fatal flaws.
Let's hear it.
In scene 43, you have
a well-drawn crazy guy
ake the lead into the basementt
to fuck him in the ass,
but he's saved by
a minor character, a nobody.
I do.
First off, that can't
happen to the lead.
e can't get drilled like that.H
He'd be humiliated.
ig stars don't get butt fucked.B
lus, that makes the little guy,P
this nobody, the hero.
You have it backwards.
The lead is the hero.
Fix it.
Turn it around somehow.
-Second flaw:
How does this nobody
save the lead?
he talks him out of it.
Can't do that.
The guy's crazy, Nick.
You did a great job
creating this crazy character.
He's a certified loon.
He's a wack job,
but logic doesn't
work with crazies.
Facts just don't work
with crazies.
Hell, facts hardly work
with us normals.
-Got it.
-Deal with the crazy
like he is crazy.
Fight crazy with crazy.
And when you do that,
it'll all come into focus.
This could be great, Nick.
-I'll think it through.
-You're getting there.
Figure it out.
You're the writer.
Act like it.
You're in charge of the story.
I have a new idea
about the murder.
Suppose that the killer
does not live on this floor.
Suppose doesn't even
live in the building.
So why do you think that?
The building's internal fire
escape stairs
right across from
Miss Thatcher's unit.
Barrett mentioned it.
-Two, three steps.
That's a quick way
off the floor.
So should we go check out
the internal fire escape stairs?
What are you doing?
I'm gonna check all the floors.
-To look for clues.
Good luck, buster.
That's nine floors.
-Find anything?
Our first clue. It's a woman.
Ballpoint pen.
Another clue?
I haven't a clue. And this.
No name.
The address is all smudged.
Nick, that's not odd.
That's weird.
Why is there is no name?
-This cake is calling me.
-Where did you find it?
Third floor, under the stairs.
What do you think of our clues?
Well, lipstick
is the odd man out.
-It's meaningless.
What woman do you know
is gonna take
nine flights
of creepy stairs?
What about William?
Could be his.
Yeah, maybe.
But he said that night
that he came over,
that was the first time
that he got into his...
-He could have lied.
All right, well...
where are we now?
Could I have another piece?
Yeah, when you tell me
where we are.
I don't know.
Should we open the package?
It doesn't belong to us.
It's no one's. There's no name.
Maybe it's yours.
In fact,
I declare it to be yours.
Where are you going?
You know.
-Feeling better?
Yeah. I've got an idea,
a very obvious one.
We need to go back to basics.
We need to throw
a big cocktail party.
Thank you.
Well, hello.
-I decided to come after all.
The evening promises
to be good,
if not revealing.
I hope he doesn't talk to me.
Oh, don't worry.
He's terrified of you.
Besides, everyone else is here.
Got lots of catching up to do.
I am.
What's all this?
Having a good time?
-Tell him not to talk to me.
-Don't talk to her.
-Is it me?
Oh, well, stick around,
the fun's just beginning.
-And remember, no matter what,
-play along, kiddo.
-To hell and back, baby.
-Drinkin' tonight?
-I'm on duty.
-Wouldn't stop me.
-You're not a cop.
Spoken like a cop.
The highball here
looks like bourbon,
but it's apple juice
if it makes a difference.
- Cute.
- Okay, okay, wait,
I got a joke for you.
-All right.
-Yeah. Capitalism.
Free refills?
-You know...
If it's free,
it's for me.
-Where's the free weed?
-Oh, Whizzer.
It's a cocktail party.
How's it going, sweetie?
Everyone well-watered?
Everyone is well-watered,
but not with well water.
Why don't you ever
kiss me like that
once in a while, huh?
I'm a huge fan of Lana,
for years and years.
A goddess.
The goddess of soaps.
She's been on TV every day?
I adore her.
You have no idea how happy
I am living near her.
-No kidding.
-No kidding.
And what about Nick?
I don't really know his work.
I mean, who really cares
about writes?
They're just creepy hermits.
He seems okay.
It's probably an act.
So he acts too?
More juice?
I'm off the juice.
Here you go.
My very best bad liquor.
-We're out of vodka.
-Then let them drink bourbon.
-Let's let them eat cake, baby.
Say, do you have any more
of that carrot cake?
Would you like
some carrot cake, William?
Not with this cheap bourbon.
Can't please
all the people all the time.
Are we gonna be speaking
in clichs all evening?
As much as possible.
It's less thinking.
-God, I hope I die before you.
-What brought that up?
All married couples say that
eventually, don't they?
If they love each other.
Let's get this party
on the road.
Who do you think did it?
Mm, Sergeant Russell?
Boy, do I wish she did it.
-You don't have a clue, do you?
-I do not.
Me neither.
-Wish me luck.
-I'm your co-pilot.
I think that was
"God is my co-pilot."
Oh, God.
Please, please, everyone.
Could I have your attention?
And could we just
gather around a bit?
-All right.
-Yeah, we're close enough.
First of all, thank you so much
everyone for coming
and for being
such wonderful neighbors.
Hear, hear!
Thank you for the invitation.
Let's make this a weekly event.
Let's not turn this
into a love-in, Whizzer.
The killer
of Miss Thatcher is among us.
In just a few minutes,
I will reveal--
-What are you saying?
-I'm saying...
I know
who killed Miss Thatcher.
You're a twit.
You're not smart enough
to have a clue.
I'm not sticking around
for any bullshit interrogation.
-I'm leaving.
-You're staying.
Everyone's staying.
I'm going to list
a few odd occurrences
that led me to discover
who killed Miss Thatcher.
Poor choice of words, darling.
They were all odd occurrences.
First, you, William.
In your personal life,
you possessed
the exact same weapon
that killed Miss Thatcher,
-That makes you a prime suspect.
Wrong. Look, you gotta do
better than this
or I'm gonna let
everyone go.
Oh, I will.
-Sergeant Russell.
-You got a nasty temper.
-Fuck you.
That doesn't mean anything.
Oh, I think it does.
His anger is a hair trigger,
and I believe dangerous.
He killed in Vietnam.
And he's admitted to
having several arguments
with Miss Thatcher.
Sam, you said you didn't know
Miss Thatcher.
Yet you told Lana and me
the exact location
of her bedroom.
I know how
the building's laid out.
Every unit?
That's hard to believe.
Well, it's true.
And let's have it all out
right now.
You both lied to me.
You told me
that you weren't here
the night of Thatcher's murder.
Yes, we did lie.
But we did it to find
the truth, the killer.
The "truth."
"We wanted to find the truth."
Fuck you.
You're not a cop.
It's not your job.
Go ahead, Nick.
But you better step it up.
Yeah. So who did it, wise guy?
Get on with it. Name him.
You're right, Jimmy, there's
no reason to drag this out.
But first,
I have three tell-all clues
that I found in the stairwell.
A very common ballpoint pen...
a lipstick...
and this package
with a smudged address.
And strangely,
there's no name on it.
This package is the key clue.
Lana and I
opened the package and
it was empty, correct, Lana?
And finally,
the most telling clue of all.
Sam, you were right.
The killer lied
when she said
she wasn't here the night
the murder occurred.
She was in fact home.
So it's a she?
It's a she.
Lana, you hired
the delivery man
to kill Miss Thatcher.
And your plan was
for him to escape
down the internal stairs.
But Esteban saw the escape.
And like every one of us here,
he knew the delivery man.
Esteban was blackmailing you,
wasn't he?
And so you invited him
to your favorite reading spot.
The very remote,
very private,
very quiet...La Playa.
And you shot him in the face.
And for the two murders,
you'll likely get life in prison
and a $250,000 fine,
a fine which I personally know
you cannot pay.
I knew she did it.
She asked too many questions.
She lied to me.
I bet you put her
up to it, you weed hound.
Stop it!
Stop it!
You're all wrong.
No, I won't have it.
She can't just go away,
not like this.
I won't have it.
I've loved you,
Lana, for years.
I only moved into this building
to be with you.
I've loved you so much,
so long.
You are a gentle soul,
a sweet, caring woman...
But only on TV.
I loved you.
But now I hate you.
I hate you!
I hate you! I hate you!
You never returned
my affections.
I said hello to you in the hall
and you barely dignified me
with a "hi."
Just--just a stupid lazy "hi."
I recorded all of your shows.
I memorized
your greatest lines.
I wrote to you,
but I got nothing back.
And I begged to meet you.
I started a fan club.
And for what? Nothing.
So I wanted you dead.
But they can't
just take you away. No.
You can't just go away.
You had it right, Nick,
but the delivery man
I hired to kill Lana
was just plain stupid.
And he got the wrong unit,
right, Rose?
And he escaped down the stairs?
Yes. I buzzed him
into the building,
and, yes,
he escaped down the stairs.
And Esteban?
He was mean.
What? What are you saying?
He was blackmailing me.
So, you know, bye-bye.
And while I'm at it,
I shot my nephew too.
He was mean to you, Lana.
They were all mean.
But you've been mean too, Lana.
All you had to do, Lana,
was love me as much
as I loved you! That's all!
You see, Lana,
it's all your fault!
I don't know how
you figured it, Nicky.
Well, there was never
any logic to the crime.
-No facts. Nothing, really.
In the absence of logic,
it had to be crazy.
And crazy
always reveals itself.
Rrr-ready for rapid fire?
Yes, I am.
If our body's 98 degrees,
then why do we feel hot
when it's 98 degrees outside?
Shouldn't we feel cold
when it's 72?
Yes, we should.
Shouldn't we? Shouldn't we?
Why are there no Eskimos
in Antarctica?
-Not enough seals to eat.
If we're clean
after we take a shower,
then why do we need
to wash the towels?
Because I say so.
It's Westbay.
Put it on speaker.
I wanna hear.
I love it.
That's great.
That's such a huge burden off--
All right, but hold it.
I'm sorry. Very sorry.
But I have
an insurmountable problem.
I filed the company
for bankruptcy.
I--I know the market's tough,
but I thought that you--
It's not the market.
It's my ex-wife.
She's forced this
and I'm stuck.
-I see.
-If you can hold on
to the script,
I'll circle back when I can,
but, hmm. Could be years.
Got it.
Thanks. Good luck.
I'm speechless.
That's the biz.
-Our streaming deposit.
Hold on a second.
for just one week.
-One week.
-For one week?