2009... THE YEAR OF THE SANDRA
It's funny because this year I wrote a play about Sandra Bullock called "NetFits". It's a comedy about a young married couple who fight over having a joint NetFlix account. The wife keeps ordering Sandra "Sandy" Bullock movies and bumping her husbands picks farther down the queue.
You can read the play below if you like. It was produced and performed in New York on Off-Off Broadway on May 6th, 2009.
So hats off to Sandra Bullock and all her success! She's 45 and riding a wave. Who says actresses over 40 don't get good work? Look at Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep. Their movies are packing movie theaters. Keep it up, ladies, we love you.
A play by
LIGHTS UP. NEW YORK APARTMENT - EVENING
A young, married couple are in the living room. The wife tapping on her laptop. The husband listening to his iPod and texting on his BlackBerry.
DANA: Sweetie? Did you change the Netflix password?
TODD: Hmmm? What?
DANA Our password. For Netflix? I keep trying to log in to our account -- for like the millionth time -- and can’t.
TODD: Oh yeah. I changed it. Last week. Didn’t I tell you?
DANA:Um no, Password Phantom, you didn’t. That’s a relief. I thought I was suffering from early dementia.
TODD: Oops. My bad.
DANA: What’s the new password?
TODD: Oh, um, our last name... birthday combo... anniversary
thingie... something. I’ll e-mail it to you. Later.
DANA: Just shout it out, babe.
TODD: Nah. You’ll forget it. I’ll e-mail it to ya.
DANA: Ohmygod. You are the biggest control freak. You’re holding our Netflix account hostage.
TODD (removes earbuds) What? Say again? I’m twittering.
DANA: Stop twittering... and tell me the password.
TODD: Um. No.
DANA: No? No? Love Bucket? Did you just say no... to the love of your life?
TODD: Yeah. Because the love of my life keeps changing our Netflix queue every other day without telling me. It’s infuriating. You keep reshuffling our movies like a deck of cards.
DANA: I don’t reshuffle. I reorder. And mine usually land at the top.
TODD: Who made that rule, Dana?
DANA: Me. Welcome to marriage 101.
TODD: I didn’t know marriage meant never seeing a movie I’d like again.
DANA: Lesson One. Marriage is all about sacrifices.
TODD: Dana, I think we should open separate Netflix accounts. What? What’s that look about?
DANA: Separate Netflix accounts? Two accounts?
TODD: Yeah. Yours and mine.
DANA: We’re already driving the mailman nuts with red envelopes coming and going. That’s the lamest suggestion. Paying double for movie rentals every month? It’s a waste of money. We’re in the middle of an economic Depression, you know.
TODD: Yes, I’ve heard, Suze Orman, thank you. Separate accounts
will save headaches. Then, you can choose your movies and I can pick my movies... sweetheart.
DANA: You’re serious?
TODD: Very -- because you put your movies up at the top of the queue and keep pushing mine down into oblivion. It takes me three weeks to climb my way back up to number one -- just to get shoved down again. And then, then, you take forever to watch your movies -- they pile up, sitting unopened on your desk for weeks -- stopping the steady flow of my home entertainment enjoyment.
DANA: The movies I order we watch together.
TODD: Has it ever occurred to you that I might want to watch a movie alone? We don’t have the same tastes. To be blunt, Dana, I hate your movies.
DANA: Excuse me? You hate my movies? Hmmm. Who’s that person sitting on the sofa watching them with me every Saturday night and digging into my popcorn bag? Huh? That person looks an awful lot like you, Todd. Chews like you too. Mouth open. Loud.
TODD: I’m trying to chew and swallow without tasting your popcorn... since you insist on buying that artificial flavored stuff like Honey Buttered Popcorn.
DANA: Wow. I see. So, now, you not only hate my movies... but my snack choices too? What else about me bugs you?
TODD: Oh, don’t open that can of worms.
DANA: Oh, you already popped the lid. Big time. Bring it.
TODD: Okay. Since we’re venting. I hate the way you hog the TV remote when you don’t know how to use it.
DANA: You mean that contraption that you got from Best Buy? That’s not a remote, Todd -- that’s a NASA control panel. “Houston, we have a problem in Apartment 3C. Houston? I'm trying to change the channel. Houston? Copy?
TODD: Truly boggles my mind how someone with a Master’s Degree in Engineering can’t comprehend a simple DVD menu.
DANA: Oh, I comprehend plenty, Skippy. Plennnnn-tttyyyy.
DANA: We’re married what, eight months? But ohhhhh... I’m wise to you.
DANA: What’s the new password, Todd?! I want it! Give it to me! I mean it! Or --
TODD: Or what?
(DANA SEARCHES THROUGH HIS PAPERS ON THE DESK AND SOFA)
DANA: I’ll report you to Netflix. They have people who handle identity theft.
TODD: What?! I didn’t max out your credit cards. It’s not against the law to change a password.
DANA: On a joint account? It certainly is, Buckaroo. I think it’s a federal offense.
TODD: Netflix is in my name, Dana. I pay the bill every month.
DANA: Well, I pay the phone bill every month. How about I change our phone number and forget tell you about it? Huh? Or better yet, change all the locks on the door? And say, oops - - my bad, Todd, I’ll mail you the key later.
TODD: Whatever, Dana.
(Todd turns away. Dana leaps on his back.)
DANA: TELL ME THAT DAMN PASSWORD?! WHAT IS IT?!
TODD: I DON’T REMEMBER IT OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD! GET OFF MY BACK!
WHAT ARE YOU, A MONKEY? I DON’T REMEMBER!
(Dana hops down. Rumbles through his desk on another frantic search. Then, exhausted, she looks at him.)
DANA: If you don’t tell me the password -- this relationship is over, pal! I mean it!
TODD: You would break up our loving marriage over that?!
DANA: Yes! On grounds... of mental cruelty! I was all psyched up about ordering a New Release but now I can’t! You’re a very cruel man, Todd Roberts!
TODD: What new release? Let me guess. Another romantic comedy?
DANA: Don’t worry about it, pal. (A beat, then -- ) The new Sandra Bullock movie.
TODD: Oh God. Now I’m glad I blocked you.
DANA: See! Cruelllll-tttty! You don’t even know what movie I’m talking about.
TODD: It’s a Sandra Bullock movie! That’s all I need to know.
DANA: For your information, Sandy happens to be the MOST rented
actress on Netflix.
TODD: Sandy? What, did you two have lunch together or something?
DANA: All her friends call her Sandy.
TODD News flash. You’re not her friend.
DANA: If we met -- we would be.
TODD: Oh. So, she’s your famous... imaginary friend?
DANA: Funny. Since when don’t you like Sandra Bullock movies? You
laughed your ass off at “Miss Congeniality 2.”
TODD: Yeah, at how bad it was. We were dating when we saw it. I
had to act like I liked everything back then.
DANA: Oh, you mean, how I had to act when you made me see every
Vince Vaughn movie ever made? Then, have to listen to you recite all the tag lines from “Swingers”? “You’re money, you’re so money.” “Drinks first. Questions later. You’re so money.” I got news for you, Todd, Vince Vaughn is way overrated.
TODD: And Sandy Bullock isn’t?
DANA: Sandra-freakin’- Bullock is hilarious. Shall I list her movie credits? While You Were Sleeping -- brilliant! Hope Floats - amazing. Crash - riveting. I’m out of adjectives... because she’s that talented. Sandy’s got range, baby, range!
TODD: Sandra Bullock’s got about as much range as our kitchen stove. Now, my boy Vinny Vaughn is golden. He’s home on the range.
DANA: Your boy Vinny? Who are you all of a sudden, P Diddy? You’re an accountant, Todd. Talk like one. “I’m down with my boy Vinny”
TODD: That’s right. My boy V to the V is a comedic genius. Shall I run his credits? Wedding Crashers --. hilarious. Old School -- a pisser. His only misstep was The Breakup.
DANA: We’re making the sequel if you keep bad-mouthing Sandra Bullock!
TODD: Lame chick flicks... you force me to sit through them at your mother’s every Thanksgiving weekend. Come back with your sisters all giddy from Blockbuster holding every romantic comedy ever made by Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson and Reese Witherspoon. It makes me want to slit my wrists with a turkey bone!
DANA: Fine, Todd! You want separate Netflix accounts? You got it. How about separate beds and lives while we’re at it?
(Todd taunts her for fun.)
TODD: Dana? I know the new password and you don’t. Try to guess it.
DANA: It wouldn’t be hard... you’re about as deep as a puddle.
TODD: Bullock Lover!
DANA: And proud of it!
TODD: And I happen to be plenty deep. Check out my movie picks on Netflix. Foreign films -- Il Postino. Au Revoir Les Enfants. Cinema Paradiso.
DANA: You slept through those! You only watch movies with subtitles to impress your friends at work. So they’ll think you’re intellectual.
TODD: No -- they know we share the account. They forgave me for renting Failure to Launch and rating it with five gold stars! Thank God you don't get to judge the Olympics.
DANA: So. You might order the foreign films but I order the docs.
TODD: Why do you insist on calling documentaries “docs”? Like you’re Albert Maysles or something. (DANA IS AT HER WITS END WITH HIM.)
DANA: GIVE ME THE PASSWORD!
TODD: STOP SABOTAGING MY QUEUE!
DANA: FUCK QUEUE!
DANA: I have to put up with you writing all those pompous movie reviews on Netflix! Who died and made you Jeffrey Lyons? Who cares what you think about art direction and sound?
TODD: Fellow Netflixers do!
DANA: Right -- you and all the other wanna-be filmmakers, actors and screenwriters stuck in their 9 to 5 boring jobs... and crummy marriages!
(This stops Todd cold. He watches as Dana sits on the sofa. He approaches her.)
TODD: Do you really think... our marriage is crummy, D?
(She doesn’t respond.)
TODD: Do you? I was just kidding about... everything I said. I’m sorry if I take my movies seriously... maybe if... I went to film school like I wanted to instead of --
DANA: Well, you didn’t! I didn’t follow all of my dreams either, Todd. You’re never going to be as cool as Vince Vaughn and I’m never going to be as pretty and witty as Sandra Bullock! Okay? That’s life. That’s why people go to the movies in the first place. To escape being so ordinary.
(They take a moment.)
TODD: Our marriage isn’t crummy, Dana. We just don’t talk anymore. We’re so distracted by work, family, friends... Facebook... Twitter...... and watching too many bad movies.
DANA: I need a moment, Todd. Okay? Just... don’t say... anything.
(Todd sits next to her. Takes her hand.)
TODD: Hey? I really liked one Sandra Bullock movie.
DANA: Todd. Don’t even... which one?
TODD: Speed. That scene when Sandy drives that big-ass bus down the freeway and she screams at Keanu Reeves “Stay on or get off? Stay ON or get OFF?”. Man, that was Oscar worthy. I even said it online in my review. Check out Netflix if you don’t believe me.
DANA: I would -- but I can’t log on.
TODD: Six-April-07. That’s the new password.
DANA: Six-April-07? That not our birthdays. Or anniversary. How am I supposed to remember that?
TODD: It’s the day we met. The day I found someone who won’t let me get away with being an ass. Someone who tells me... to follow my dreams... even when I’m too afraid to. It’s a lot easier to bury myself in movies.
DANA: I’m sorry I put my movie picks first. That wasn’t cool. But, they’re only dumb movies, Todd. What we have -- will last a lot longer than some two hour DVD.
TODD: Four -- I like to watch the commentaries.
DANA: The way I see it -- deep down we may despise each other -- but our love is real.
TODD: Can we survive a joint Netflix account?
DANA: No returns. No exchanges. That’s what we promised each other almost a year ago. I’m keeping up my end of the deal.
(They kiss, then snuggle on the sofa.)
DANA: We got a new movie in the mail today. Wanna go watch it -- in bed?
TODD: Is it a special feature?
DANA: It could turn into one.
TODD: You’re so money and you don’t even know it!