Steven Goldman

February 23, 2009

From: The Idiot’s Guide To Life

According to a Latin proverb, there are four things a man must do in his life:

1. Plant a Tree.
2. Father a Child.
3. Write a Book and…
4. …?

In the Idiot’s Guide To Life, Martin McTavish, a 35-year-old Scottish immigrant in New York, has survived a near death experience and is pursuing ‘The Four Things’. Having planted his tree and finding the woman of his dreams (the woman who saved his life, Dr. Rebecca Barnes) he turns to his best friend, Judith Greenberg, for help with his book.

[ Pilot Episode, Act II
By Steven Goldman]

THE FACE OF A LAUGHING MONKEY
INT. CIRCUS STAGE – NIGHT

Under the swirling lights, monkeys clown around on stage.

Martin (v.o.)

Unfortunately, writing a book was no monkey business. In fact, it was hard work. Much harder than I’d ever imagined…

The audience applauds with delight; the show continues.

Martin (v.o.) (CONT’D)
And so, after spending a good two days at it, I’d come to the grim but certain conclusion that it was time to call it quits.

Reveal: Martin sitting next to Judith in the audience. The crowd roars with laughter around them.

Judith
Can we get back to the other part?

Martin
The tree?

Judith
After that.

Martin
Rebecca?

Judith
You call your doctor by her first name?

A MARRIED COUPLE with YOUNG CHILDREN, shushes them.

Judith (CONT’D)
(quietly)
Not that it’s any of my business…

They look ahead, half-watching the show.

Judith (CONT’D)
Intern?

Martin
Resident.

Judith
Blonde?

Martin
Brunette.

Judith
Serious?

Martin
Well, I’ve already planted the tree.

Judith
Forget the God damned tree!

The couple shushes them again.

Judith (CONT’D)
(whispering)
Forget the tree.. (BEAT) Look, Maxi. Writing a book is hard. But if it’s something you really want to accomplish, the only way you’ll get there is by trying… And the only way you’ll fail is by never trying at all.

Martin
I don’t know…

Judith
But I do know. I know you. And I know you’ve got a book in you. I’ll bet, a great book… And if you want, I’ll help you find it.

Martin
(surprised)
Would you really do that, Judith?

Judith
Who knows, I might even have a few publishing contacts left…

Martin
(thinking)
You’re right… I can do this. Thank you, Judith… Thank you.
He hugs her.

Judith
(all happy)
So, tell me… Is she good in the sack?

Martin
Huh?

Judith
Rebecca… Nice ta-ta’s? Hot little tuchas?

Martin
Judith.

Judith
I’ll bet she’s a real screamer, huh? (LOUD) “Oh, give it to me, Martin! Give it to me!”

The couple, with their children, get up and leave in a huff.

Judith (CONT’D)
(calling after them)
Hey! Better they find out now, sweetmeat!

Some people in front get up and leave as well.

Judith (CONT’D)
(calling after them)
Yeah, that’s right- he’s that good!

Martin pulls Judith back in her seat.

Martin
Look, Judith – she’s just my doctor. (BEAT) Honestly, I don’t even know if she’s interested.

Int. Hospital examination room – days later
Martin, in a dressing gown, facedown on a table.

Martin (v.o.)
Of course, Rebecca was interested, alright.
Rebecca stands behind him with a gloved hand.

Rebecca
Now, Martin, you might experience some mild discomfort.

Martin (v.o.)
Interested in knowing me more intimately than any woman I’d ever encountered.

Martin’s eyes go wide with mild discomfort.

Martin (v.o.) (CONT’D)
As Aunt Clare always says:

Int. Aunt clare’s apartment

Aunt clare
Love is a pain in the arse.

steven-goldman1low-resFollowing an initial stab at political satire for The Sunday Times of London, the Brooklyn-born writer has remained a recurring nightmare for British readers. Steven got his start in the UK, working at London’s premier listing’s magazine, Time Out, and subsequently for The Guardian, filing film features, theatre reviews and covering the major European film festivals. His credits in the UK also include BBC Children’s Television, GQ, Cosmopolitan, The Evening Standard and The Face. In the US his work has been published in The New York Times, Premiere and Interview Magazine.

Specializing in film coverage, Steven has worked as a Hollywood correspondent and frequent contributor to The Sunday Times and Esquire in the UK, with numerous covers for both publications. His interviews include : Martin Scorsese, John Travolta, Samuel Jackson, Sharon Stone, Woody Allen, Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Jude Law, Kevin Costner, Ray Charles and Timothy Leary amongst numerous others.

Approached by former Disney animator, Raul Garcia, he scripted the animated feature, Sian Ka’an, featuring the voices of Salma Hayek, Placido Domingo, Alfred Molina and Cheech Marin. Additional credits include two animated Eloise holiday specials from Film Roman & Handmade Films (based on the books by Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight), featuring the voices of Tim Curry, Lynn Redgrave, Brad Garrett and Jim Belushi.

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