Self Determination
An original script
by Fannie Feazell
copyright 1/1/

ACT ONE

FADE IN:

EXT. PARKING LOT, DAY

High shot from roof of store into parking lot. A large oil puddle is
visible off the curb, a little to the left of the doors. There is the sound of light traffic.

Ground level shot of the parking curb area, with the puddle glistening in
close-up.

We hear an annoying electric buzz, and footsteps approaching. A pair of running shoes (THE CLERK) comes into view. They stop beside the puddle.

The gender of THE CLERK should never be clear. They are always filmed
from behind, or with something such as a display or window poster blocking their face. THE CLERK wears all polyester, in screaming neon colors: lime green pants and hunter's orange work smock.

There is the sound of paper tearing open. Grainy stuff (kitty litter, but hopefully not immediately identifiable) begins to sift down onto
the puddle. More is dropped as it begins to absorb the oil. We can
hear it rustle as it is shaken out of the sack.

THE CLERK gets a little too enthusiastic, and a large pile of litter lands on his/her shoe. They make sounds of disgust as they shake it clean. We hear paper being wadded as the sack is closed.

The wind blows an Almond Joy wrapper onto the pile of litter. There is a
sigh, and knees come into view as The Clerk begins to squat. There is the sound of a car turning into the lot, and...

CUT TO:

INT. NICOLE'S CAR, DAY

...as they pull into the lot. The tape deck is playing Queen's 'Fat
Bottomed Girls.' Through the windsheild we see The Clerk standing up, with the wrapper in one hand and the crumpled bag of Kitty Litter in the
other. They step up on the curb as the car pulls up beside the oil puddle and parks.

LOUANNE, in the passenger seat, is grooving to the music. She is a pretty, but distinctly plump, young woman.

During NICOLE's and LOUANNE's dialogue, The Clerk shoves the wrapper
in a trash can, the same colors as their uniform, beside the door. They
pause at the doors to kick a turned up corner of the safty mat down, and pull a rag out of their pocket to rub away an invisible spot on the glass door. They enter, to the sound of the buzzer, and go behind the counter, where overhead displays obscure their face.

NICOLE is a slender, carefully put together young woman who wears more
make up, hair care products, and jewelry than any two people need.

For a second or two she watches Louanne in disbelief, then shuts off the motor, ending the music abruptly.

NICOLE
Christ, Louanne,
you act like you
BELIEVE that
song. Freddy
Mercury was gay,
he wasn't speaking
for straight men.

LOUANNE
I just like the
music, Nicole.
Can't I even
choose my music
without it
becoming a weight
issue?

NICOLE
No. If you're
going to lose that
twenty pounds
before you're
married, you have
to devote every
particle of your
being to it.

LOUANNE
And that's another
thing. Don't you
think twenty
pounds in two
weeks is
unreasonable? My
doctor said that
more than two or
three pounds a
week was
unhealthy.

NICOLE
Your doctor isn't
marrying my
brother. No
sister-in-law of
mine is going to
float down the
aisle like the
Goodyear blimp.

Nicole doesn't see how much her remarks hurt, and would be surprised and
irritated if she did.

Nicole opens her purse, and begins putting on even more lipstick,checking
herself in the mirror.

NICOLE
It's bad enough
that after all the
trouble I went
through to get you
into the
empowerment group
you embarrassed
me. GAINING
weight!

LOUANNE
Chuck took me out
to dinner. He
looked so worried
when I ordered a
plain salad and
water that I
didn't have the
heart to turn down
half his dessert.
Anyway...
(timidly)
He says he likes
me this way. He
calls me his sugar
dumpling.

NICOLE
That's Chuck,
thick as a frying
pan.

She points the lipstick tube at Louanne.

NICOLE
Your name should
be Pollyanna
instead of
Louanne. I don't
care what he
says. A man will
always be looking
for someone
thinner, younger,
or with bigger
boobs. Trust me.
I know from
experience.

She throws the lipstick in the bag and snaps it shut viciously. There's
history here.

A BIKERIDER rides in from the right. He dismounts and walks his bike up onto the parking curb and leans it against the wall.

The Bikerider is a very skinny man dressed in a spandex biking outfit,
with a storage pack around his waist. He wears a white biking helmet. When he pulls it off, he is bald, and his naked skull is almost exactly the same color and shiny texture of the helmet.

The Bikerider removes his helmet, hangs it on the bike, and goes inside.
Buzzer sounds.

NICOLE
Don't you want to
look good for
Chuck in your
bathing suit when
you go on your
honeymoon?

LOUANNE
We're going to
Disneyworld, not
Cancun.

NICOLE
Well, don't you
want to impress
him the first time
he sees you in a
skimpy nighty?

Louanne gives her a steady, disbelieving stare.

NICOLE
Oh. Yeah. Right.

It obviously never occured to her that they might have had sex.

Nicole opens her door.

NICOLE
Wait here while I
go get the ritual
sacrifice. No
point in exposing
yourself to all
that junk food.

LOUANNE
You act like you
expect me to start
scarfing Goo Goo
Clusters without
bothering to
unwrap them.

NICOLE
You've already
proved you're too
weak to resist
temptation. You
wouldn't need my
help if you
weren't.

She steps out of the car, and we hear kitty litter grit. She looks down.

NICOLE
God DAMMIT!

She slams the door shut.

EXT. PARKING LOT, DAY

Camera shoots through the driver's window as Nicole leans down to talk to
LouAnne.

NICOLE
No one is going to
call my brother's
wife spineless.

She steps up on the curb, shaking her feet to dislodge kitty litter, and
goes into the store. Sound of buzzer.

INT. NICOLE'S CAR, DAY

LOUANNE
No one but you.

Louanne peers through the windshield.

Reverse shot of windsheild from outside. The reflection is too blurred
to be clear. Louanne leans forward, her face becoming more distinct.

Shot of what she's looking at. A large display of 12 packs of diet soda. The sign taped to it reads 'DIETER'S SPECIAL 2/5.00'.

Back to Louanne, studying it. She lifts her eyes higher.

Shot of poster on the window behind the display. 'ASSORTED CANDY BARS
3/1.00'.

Louanne pulls a women's magazine out from under her seat.

Close up on cover. OUR MOST LUSCIOUS DESSERTS', with picture of chocolate
cake.

Close up on her eyes, reading.

Close up on magazine. 'DIET SECRETS OF THE SUPERMODELS'.

She flips open the magazine. It falls open to a section where an ad
for premium ice cream is across from an ad for an exercize machine.

Louanne throws the book over her shoulder into the back seat.

Louanne turns on the radio. 'Sugar, Sugar' by the Archies starts playing, and she snaps it off violently.

EXT.PARKING LOT, DAY

The Bikerider comes out of the store. He drains the last of a bottle of water, and puts it in the trash. He straddles his bike, and walks it down off the curb, stopping just opposite Louanne's window.

Suspenceful music starts, and the next sequence runs in slow motion. It is in the style of a woman being assaulted, or witnessing an assault.

Shot from other side of Bikerider into car, to Louanne. She looks over
and notices him.

Closeup on waist pack as Bikerider unzips.

Louanne's eyes widen in apprehension.

Bikerider reaches into pack and slowly pulls out...a giant Snickers bar.

Louanne's reaction. Her mouth drops open.

Close up on Snickers. He rips the paper half way off with one gesture. The sound is exaggerated.

Louanne reacts.

Close up of Snickers. It looks like a baseball bat. The camera makes
love to it's sensouse waves of chocolate. The shot follows it as the
Bikerider raises it slowly, till it's even with his face. His face
is blurred in the background. There is a shock focus, bringing his
face into clear detail with a stinger of music.

He looks mad and demonic, his pale face all planes and angles.

A shot of Louanne, wide eyed.

Back on the Bikerider's face. He bares huge, saliva glistening teeth.

Louanne, bracing in dread.

Close up of the Bikerider. With another musical stinger, he takes a HUGE bite of candy, ripping off a chunk. Chocolate crumbles, long strands of caramel spin out as he jerks his head back.

Close up of Louanne as she jerks and gasps, as if she's been shot. Or had an orgasm. She closes her eyes and throws her head back against the head rest with a distinct THUMP.

At the sound of the thump, everything goes back into regular speed and the music stops.

INT. NICOLE'S CAR, DAY

Louanne's head is back, eyes closed, and she's breathing heavily.

The Bikerider leans down and looks in. He looks perfectly bland now. His mouth is smeared with chocolate, and there is caramel on his chin. He hasn't quite finished chewing when he speaks.

BIKERIDER
Hey, lady. Lady?
You alright in
there?

Louanne opens her eyes, and rolls her head to look at him.

BIKERIDER
You need some
water? 911?

Loueanne shakes her head. Her eyes fix on his candy bar.

He notices.

BIKERIDER
Are you having an
insulin reaction?
My cousin's a
diabetic, and he
acts like that
when his sugar
gets too low.
Here.

He holds out the Snickers.

Louanne stares, eyes wide like a junkie who's just been offered a free hit of China White, unable to believe such luck. Then she shakes her head sadly.

LOUANNE
No,thank you.

BIKERIDER
You sure?

LOUANNE
Yes, I'm fine.
Just pre wedding
jitters, I guess.

BIKERIDER
(grins in
understanding)
Oh! That's
great. Tell him
he's a lucky man.

He puts on his helmet and rides off as Nicole exits the store, carrying a
small paper bag.

INT. NICOLE'S CAR, DAY

Nicole gets in, putting the sack on the seat between herself and
Louanne. Louanne regards the bag as if it contains a rattlesnake.

NICOLE
I found the
perfect symbolic
sacrifice.

LOUANNE
Can't we forget
this? It's bad
enough when I have
to stand up in
front of a group
of strangers and
'confess' my 'diet
sins'.

NICOLE
All new phases of
life are marked by
cerimony:
graduation,
weddings,
christenings,
wakes. This will
symbolize your
self empowerment.
Now quit whining.

Nicole starts the car, and begins backing around.

EXT. PARKING LOT, DAY

As the car moves to the exit, and waits for traffic to break, the Clerk enters from behind the camera. Again, only the back is presented. They are carrying a broom and dustpan, and begin to sweep up the soaked kitty
litter as Nicole pulls out into traffic.

DISSOLVE TO:

ACT TWO

INT. KITCHEN, DAY

This is a clean, bright, cheerful room. A small round table is in the
center. It is covered with a pristine white cloth. Two white candles in
crystal holders are spaced in the center.

We hear a car drive up and stop, engine cutting off.

The back door opens, and Nicole and Louanne enter.

Nicole puts the paper bag on the counter, looking approvingly at the table.

NICOLE
Good. That looks
perfect. Where's
your good china?

Louanne points to a cabinet. Nicole opens it.

NICOLE
We'll do this in
style.

She pulls out a china dinner plate that has a pretty pattern of roses
around the rim. She regards it as if it were a dead rat.

NICOLE
What the hell is
this?

LOUANNE
Chuck and I picked
those out
together. Aren't
they pretty?

NICOLE
I wish you'd
consulted me
before you
registered your
china pattern. I
might have saved
you. Please tell
me you got Danish
Minimalist for the
silver.

LOUANNE
(weakly)
Venetian Baroque.

Nicole rolls her eyes
expressively.

NICOLE
Don't worry, you
can exchange it if
you kept the
receipt. I
suppose everything
else you have is
KMart blue light
special, so this
will have to do.
Now, the
sacrificial pit.

Nicole picks up a wastepaper basket and sets it beside the table, then
puts the plate on the counter next to the sack.

NICOLE
Give me some
matches.

LOUANNE
I don't have any.

At Nicole's disbelieving look she hastily explains

LOUANNE
My kitchen is all
electric, and
Chuck and I don't
smoke...

NICOLE
Of course you
don't. Never
mind.

Nicole gets a lighter out of her bag and lights the candles.

She turns to the counter. Her back hides her actions, but we hear her
remove something from the bag, and the rustle of celophane as she opens it.

Louanne is staring at the table.

CUT TO:

CAMERA IS AT TABLETOP
LEVEL, ACROSS THE TABLE
FROM LOUANNE.

We only see Louanne from upper thighs to a little above where her
bellybutton should be, centered between the flickering candles.

Nicole's hands descend into view. She holds the plate.

There is a single Hostess cupcake (or clone) precisely in the middle of
the plate.

Nicole sets the plate down gently, and her hands withdraw.

Extreme close up on cupcake. Camera caresses every dark crumb, every
drip of chocolate, it follows the sensual swoops of the white icing. This is the most desireable cupcake in the history of the universe.

NICOLE (OS)
(solemnly)
Are you ready?

LOUANNE (OS)
I am.

NICOLE (OS)
Face your enemy.

Louanne squats down. Now her face is centered between the candles, behind the cupcake, visible from the nose up. Her eyes fix on the
cupcake. We don't see her lips move as she speaks. As she goes on, her tone moves from indecisive to firm. Nicole's voice gradually rises in pitch and volume as she goads Louanne on.

LOUANNE
I will face my
enemy.

NICOLE (OS)
Face your
weakness.

LOUANNE
I will face my
weakness.

NICOLE (OS)
You don't HAVE to
eat that cupcake.
You don't have to
do it!

LOUANNE
I don't have to do
it!

NICOLE (OS)
You will take
control of your
life!

LOUANNE
I will take
control of my
life!

NICOLE (OS)
Nothing can rule
you unless you let
it!

LOUANNE
Nothing can rule
me unless I let
it!

NICOLE (OS)
Now stand up tall,
take your life
into your own
hands, and throw
out your enemy!

Louanne stands up straight. The brief glimpse we get of her face shows us an expression of determination and zeal.

Louanne's hand reaches down into the frame, seizes the cupcake, and lifts it out of frame.

There is a pause. We're waiting for the sound of the cupcake hitting the
wastepaper basket.

After a moment, we hear Nicole groan.

NICOLE
Louanne!

The cupcake is set back on the plate. There is a big bite taken out of it.

We return to a medium shot of the kitchen.

Nicole, hands on hips, glares angrily at Louanne, who is chewing, eyes
downcast. If it's possible for a human being to flounce while standing
still, Nicole is doing that now.

NICOLE
That was
absolutely
disgusting. After
all I've tried to
do for you, to
just... just... FLAUNT
your appetite like
that!

Louanne won't look at Nicole as Louanne sinks into a chair at the table. She props her elbow on the table and rests her forehead in herhand.

Nicole snatches up the cupcake and slams it into the wastebasket. Her
movements stiff and angry, she gets the other cupcake out of the sack and slaps it down on the plate.

NICOLE
Now. Do it again,
and do it RIGHT
this time.

Louanne tilts her head and eyes the cupcake morosely.

LOUANNE
(her voice is
lifeless )
I am ready.

She says the rest of the monologue slowly, with pauses between each line,
thinking. As it goes on, she sounds as if she is realizing something. Her voice grows firmer, more determined. She sits up with a resolved look on her face.

LOUANNE
I will face my
enemy. I will
face my weakness.
I don't have to do
it!

Her face is glowing with revelation.

LOUANNE
I will take
control of my
life!

Suspicious at first, Nicole has moved to jubilation, and triumph.

NICOLE
Yes, yes! That's
it, Louanne! You
can do it!

LOUANNE
I CAN do it!
Nothing can rule
me unless I let
it. I will stand
up tall...

She stands up.

NICOLE
YES!

LOUANNE
(her voice is
rising into a
glorious shout)
I will take my
life into my own
hands...AND I WILL
THROW OUT MY
ENEMY!

Louanne turns suddenly, grabs Nicole's arm, rips the door open, shoves her out, slams it, and locks it.

We see Nicole through the door window. Shocked, outraged, she pounds on
the door and shouts to be let back in, raining abuse and guilt on Louanne.

Louanne wilts a little. As she opens the door, Nicole nods insatisfaction and prepares to let her have it.

But Louanne just grabs Nicole's purse off the counter and tosses it at
her, then shuts and locks the door again. Nicole looks on, stunned, as
Louanne pops the rod at her in a ladylike manner, then draws the shade on
the door.

The kicking and yelling recommence as Louanne goes back to the table, pulls up her chair and sits down.

She picks up the cupcake and studies it for a moment. She runs one
finger admiringly over the flowers around the rim of the plate, totally
ignoring the ruckus outside. Then she blows out the candles, one by
one, and with great satisfaction begins to eat the cupcake.

FADE OUT.

For those who prefer that Nicole get a bit more of a comeuppance, here is an alternate ending. It begins just at the end of Louanne's second ritual speech.




ALTERNATE ENDING FOR 'SELF
DETERMINATION'.

LOUANNE
I will take my
life into my own
hands!

She picks up the cupcake, and turns to Nicole, who is beaming.

Suddenly Louanne grabs a handfull of Nicole's over moussed hair, and rubs the cupcake in her face, a la James Cagney and the grapefruit in Public
Enemy.

LOUANNE
I will tell my
future sister-in-
law to mind her
own fucking
business.

Nicole is too stunned to do anything.

Louanne examines the mess on her hand, regretfully.

LOUANNE
And I will stop
wasting perfectly
good food on
anorexic neurotics
who don't
appreciate it.

FADE OUT.