Poor Woody Allen: A script

Poor Woody Allen: A script

Rainy afternoon. Manhattan office decorated with modern art and Eames-style furniture. Sterile. Gray. Woody, struggling TV and film writer, sits in front of desk while Tony, best selling literary author, paces to window.

TONY

….I just can’t believe, after all these years, she could be so…vengeful.

 

(VOICE OVER – WOODY)

After all these years? He didn’t seem to get it. He’d run off with her teenaged daughter. Sure, she was of age. But still, a teenaged daughter. Of course she was vengeful. She was Nemesis coming to avenge Fortune. I mean, Jesus, this guy had everything–money, fame, adoring fans. And he wanted what? To be able to breeze past barriers of conscience most people saw like flashing red lights at a railroad crossing from…zillions of miles away. He wasn’t just morally challenged. He was clueless….

TONY ends up at window, staring at Manhattan cityscape, hands in pockets.

TONY

I have a piece going in the Times, you know. Setting the record straight.

WOODY

But the police never found anything. You were scot-free. What record do you need to set straight, for God’s sake?

TONY

Oh, I know they can’t get me.

TONY whirls around, smiles.

TONY

….because I didn’t do anything. But I don’t want people THINKING I did anything.

WOODY

Maybe it would be better to leave well enough alone.

(VOICE OVER – WOODY)

And by “Well enough,” I meant the millions of adoring fans, the money, the acclaim. Jesus, this guy was more revered in the literary world than Dickens. Or Hemingway. Or Nabokov. Scratch that. Bad analogy.

WOODY

What I mean, Tony, is this all just reminds people that you did run off with Susie.

TONY

Et tu, Brute?

WOODY

Yes, et…me. It’s the truth. You had no problem with that. It was like a piece of your brain was missing, like some people can’t control cursing or saying things they shouldn’t or making puns and jokes all the time. Witzelsucht, that’s called. Except with you it was running off with Susie. It was…Frauleinsucht, I guess. Or…something some German psychiatrist will become famous for. You just couldn’t see it. I mean, I know you, Tony. I know you have a good heart, and the heart wants what it wants. But you have to see that, to other people…and to her…if you didn’t think that was wrong….

TONY

You’re jealous.

WOODY

What?

TONY

It’s all right. I understand. I have it all. I’m loved, on top of the world. But you don’t know me really. I suffer….

(VOICE OVER WOODY)

 Suffered? He wasn’t seriously saying that, was he? I was here to beg him to introduce me to an agent because my jobs were crushing my soul, and he was talking about suffering? He’d run off with a nineteen-year-old nymph, for God’s sake, the daughter of his common-law wife. And the world still loved him. They were still buying him. Still paying tribute.

WOODY

Yes, I understand. You’ve suffered. I wish we could share in that suffering. Seriously. I’d like to suffer like that. But right now, I have this favor to ask….

(VOICE OVER WOODY)

But it was too late. His thoughts had turned inward. I was forgotten. It didn’t matter. He was going to keep raking it in — the plaudits, the cash, the praise — no matter what he did. Was he a great artist? A pedophile? Or just a creep?  In that moment, I realized, it didn’t matter. Nothing did.

FADE OUT


Libby Sternberg

Libby Sternberg

Libby Sternberg is an Edgar-nominated novelist whose works include humorous women’s fiction, young adult fiction, and historical fiction. Her political writings have appeared at Hot Air, the Weekly Standard, Insight, the Wall Street Journal, and Christian Science Monitor.

Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.

Facebook Comments

Disqus Comments