At Rise: A college aged girl sits on a couch in a basement lounge at 3am. SHE is engrossed in the television. Jerry Maguire is on as JULIE sits clenching her pillow, wrapped up in a blanket. FRANK enters, groggy as though he just woke-up.

.

FRANK:

Um…What are you still doing up?

JULIE:

Shhh!

FRANK:

[Mid-yawn]

Sorry. Couldn't sleep. Hungry.

JULIE:

He's just about to tell her "she completes him!"

FRANK:

Oh God. How many minutes is it for popcorn?

JULIE:

SHUT-UP!

[We hear the famous quotes, "I love you. You... complete me," and "Shut up. Just shut up. You had me at "hello." Julie stifles tears.]

FRANK:

Oh right, popcorn button... um… Jerry Maguire, seriously?

JULIE:

You're lucky it's on commercial right now.

FRANK:

So… what is it with girls and chick flicks?

JULIE:

For your information, Jerry Maguire is a lot more than just a "chick flick." It is unfairly billed as such. It is an intellectual comedy about a sports agent and his struggle to keep his integrity in such a competitive profession. He just happens to find the love of his life along the way.

FRANK:

Uh huh.

JULIE:

It's got sports. Men like sports.

FRANK:

[Laughs]

Look who's advancing stereotypes now!

JULIE:

Well, you're a guy. What's your favorite baseball team?

FRANK:

The Yankees. What's yours?

JULIE:

The Mets.

FRANK:

You just disproved your own stereotype!

JULIE:

No I didn't. I didn't say women don't like sports. I just said that men do. That's all.

FRANK:

Well, you know, liking the Mets doesn't count as liking sports anyway.

JULIE:

What's that supposed to mean?

FRANK:

You know what METS stands for? My Entire Team Sucks.

JULIE:

Ha. Ha. It takes more heart to like a team that's the underdog, than it does to like a team that wins all the time. Way to join the bandwagon.

FRANK:

I take offense to that. I've been a Yankees fan my whole life. My whole family likes the Yankees. I've been watching their games since before I even knew what baseball was.

JULIE:

Like I said, "Bandwagon." Ok, ok, it's back from commercial and your popcorn's been done for the past 10mins.

FRANK:

Yankees rule. Mets drool. And you just don't want to accept it!

JULIE:

Real mature. Movie!

FRANK:

Sorry, I forgot you are waiting to see the ever-so-charming (and insane) Tom Cruise win back the heart of the doe-eyed Renée Zellweger. Are Scientologists allowed to marry single mothers?

JULIE:

QUIET!

[Raises the volume to block out Frank.]

FRANK:

[Popcorn in hand, sits beside Julie on the couch.]

Seriously, how many times have you seen this movie?

JULIE:

I don't know.

FRANK:

I bet it's one of your favorites. Even though you have it on DVD, you still have to watch it whenever it's on TV. Right?

JULIE:

Are you still here? Don't you have an exam to study for or something?

FRANK:

Geez, I'll leave you alone.

[Stops talking, but doesn't move.]

JULIE:

[Pause]

I thought you were leaving.

FRANK:

What? Can't I enjoy an intellectually stimulating film at three o'clock in the morning, with my big bag of satisfying, freshly made popcorn?

JULIE:

Fine, but only if you share your popcorn. It's the end anyway.

FRANK:

Good.

JULIE:

And you can't talk.

FRANK:

Fine.

JULIE:

[Pause]

What's with you tonight?

FRANK:

Jerry Maguire! Shhh!

JULIE:

Ugh.

[We hear the last quote of the movie, "Hey... I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I have failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my life. I love my wife. And I wish you my kind of success."]

It's over. What's up?

FRANK:

Credits! SHHH!

JULIE:

Ok, I get it. I'm a bitch when I watch chick flicks. I can't help it. Honestly, it doesn't matter what type of movie I watch, I hate being interrupted right at the end of it. I've been bonding with the characters for the past hour and a half, and right at the best part, someone brings me back to reality. And I'm the worst with chick flicks.

FRANK:

You know the first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one. Congratulations.

JULIE:

Thanks. I'm getting help.

FRANK:

Good for you.

JULIE:

So what's up? I usually have this lounge all to myself at this time of the night.

FRANK:

I… um… can't sleep. Too hungry.

JULIE:

Uh huh. Ok. Well I needed an escape.

FRANK:

So… uh… what's with girls and chick flicks anyway? Really. I want to know. Is it the whole "knight in shining armor" thing?

JULIE:

No. Not really. Ok, maybe. I don't know. Romance in the movies is a lot less awkward than it is in real life. The hard work is done and scripted. Leave it up to the writers, and Prince Charming will be ready and waiting to sweep you off your feet.

FRANK:

You mean off your feet.

JULIE:

Yeah. Off my feet. Nothing romantic ever happens in my life. So I live vicariously through the characters, but what girl doesn't? That's why Hollywood created the billion dollar industry.

FRANK:

Did you ever think that nothing romantic ever happens in your life because you never let it?

JULIE:

What do you mean?

FRANK:

I mean, you know, you're probably just oblivious to it.

JULIE:

Oh come on! Me? All I do is watch chick flicks. I own both versions of Sabrina on VHS and 2 disc special edition DVD's. I can quote Pretty Woman and As Good As It Gets in my sleep. I think I'd be aware if I were having a romantic moment.

FRANK:

[HE inches closer to her]

Well… you said it, Julie. Romance doesn't happen like it does in the movies. Unlike your favorite leading men, normal people don't typically say exactly what's on their minds, even when, you know, the time is right. Everything is easier (not to forget unrealistic) in the movies because it is scripted. You'd be surprised, but a lot of men wish they were as smooth as Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman, you know, to be able to sweep you off your feet.

JULIE:

Off my feet?

FRANK:

Exactly.

JULIE:

[Pause]

When did this become about me anyway? I thought I was trying to get to the bottom of why you are still awake. Don't tell me insomnia.

FRANK:

Well, I… uh… You know, Julie, you are impossible. I'm going back to my room and getting some overdue sleep. Enjoy your fantasies.

JULIE:

Finally. Good night, Frank.

FRANK:

Sweet dreams, Julie.

[FRANK exits. JULIE resumes watching television, SHE flips through channels.]

JULIE:

Clueless! Perfect!