Daily Dialogue — February 2, 2013

February 2nd, 2013 by


Carolyn stands by the pool next to two fortyish WOMEN.

CAROLYN: You know, you could have some really fun backyard get-togethers out here.
WOMAN #1: The ad said this pool was “lagoon-like.” There’s nothing “lagoon-like” about it. Except for maybe the bugs.
WOMAN #2: There’s not even any plants out here.
CAROLYN (re: shrub): What do you call this? Is this not a plant? If you have a problem with the plants, I can always call my landscape architect. Solved.
WOMAN #2: I mean, I think “lagoon,” I think waterfall, I think tropical. This is a cement hole.

A beat.

CAROLYN: I have some tiki torches in the garage.


Carolyn enters, alone. She’s furious. She locks the sliding glass door and starts to pull the vertical blinds shut, then stops. Standing very still, with the blinds casting shadows across her face, she starts to cry: brief, staccato SOBS that seemingly escape against her will. Suddenly she SLAPS herself, hard.

CAROLYN: Shut up. Stop it. You… Weak!

But the tears continue. She SLAPS herself again.

CAROLYN (CONT’D): Weak. Baby. Shut up. Shut up! Shut up!

She SLAPS herself repeatedly until she stops crying. She stands there, taking deep breaths until she has everything under control, then pulls the blinds shut, once again all business. She walks out calmly, leaving us alone in the dark, empty room.

American Beauty (1999), written by Alan Ball

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week is agents, suggested by Teddy Pasternak who also suggested American Beauty.

Trivia: Chris Cooper was the last actor cast – virtually when rehearsals were beginning. When he first read the script, he found the character infuriating, thinking: “God, do I want to spend so much time in this character’s head?” He remembers, “Then I started making excuses… I said, this is such a negative script, I don’t like this and that.” His wife finally told him he was “frightened of this script and chances are because you’re frightened you should do this part”; his response was that he “knew, really immediately, that she was right.”

Dialogue On Dialogue: Yes, a real estate agent. And such a memorable scene, a private moment revealing a powerful self-loathing within Carolyn’s character.

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