JUST LOOKING -- Scene 22

For Class #7

 Instructor: Norman Hollyn T.A.: Robert Abilez
 Office: 323-275-1869 Phone: 213-220-0213-220-0408408

 E-Mail: hollyn [at] usc.edu

E-Mail: rnabilez [at] gmail.com

This scene is from the 2000 film JUST LOOKING, which I cut with Jason Alexander directing.

The scene follows a sequence in which Lenny, a 13-year old Jewish boy from the Bronx in 1955, is picked up to go to an unwelcome summer stay at his Aunt Norma and Uncle Phil's house in Queens. Not only is he going to be far from his neighborhood friends but the fact that Norma is pregnant is thwarting his stated goal for the summer -- to watch two people making love. In the shots immediately preceding this scene he has refused to shake his stepfather's hand (he strongly dislikes him) and has had his Uncle Phil tell him he can't bring his bike out with him.

Try and find the beats. To do that, ask yourself "What is this scene about?" Who is/are the characters going through change? What are those changes? Where to those changes occur? Are there areas earlier in the scene which presage those changes?

JUST LOOKING -- Scene 22


The Chevy turns into a quiet dead end block lined with small attached houses. Starter homes for the working class. There are about fifeen on each side of the stgreet with an oval island of shrubs in the middle. the car pulls into a driveway in the middle of the block

Phil and Norma bought a little
row house in the Ozone Park
section on a charming little
dead end stret that the borough
romantically named 133rd Avenue.

Phil, Norma and Lenny get out of the car. Phil gestures at all the look-alike houses.

Here we are. Home sweet home,
sweet hom, sweet home.

Phil waits for a laugh from Lenny. There is none.

Phil always says that because
all the houses look alike. You
guys unload the car. I'll make
some lemonade.

<tt>Norma goes inside. Phil and Lenny start to unload the car.

I put a radio in your room so
you can listen to the baseball
games. You like baseball?


The Yankees?


You live in the Bronx, and you
root for Brooklyn? What do your
friends think about that?

Lenny just shrugs. A painful silence, then...

Good, good, I feel we're really
warming up here. Look, do you
not-like me because your mother
doesn't like me, or do you just
not-like me on your own?

I don't "not-like" you.

But your mother doesn't like me
because I'm Italian.

She doesn't like you because
you're not Jewish. There's a

Well, the butcher's Jewish, and
you sure as hell don't like him.
That I could tell.

I hate his guts.

He's a flaming asshole, isn't he?

Guy talk. Phil grins. Lenny grins back. The ice is broken.

I never knew your real dad.

You would've like him. He was
a Dodger fan too. Which team do
you root for?

You Kidding? This city's got
three teams. Yankees, Dodgers,
and Giants. I only got on
Italian deli. Whoever I root
for, I piss off two thirds of my
customers. So, me... I only root
for the Italians. Go, Rizzuto.
Go, Furillo. Go, Campanella.

Campanella's not Italian. He's colored.

Hey, his name ends in a vowel.
What the fuck do my customers
know? You mind if I say fuck?
I figure you're thirteen; you
must've heard it by now.

I'm almost 14.

14? No kidding. You wanna
borrow the car tomorrow?

Lenny's EYES POP.


Fat fuckin' chance, kiddo.

Phil laughs. Lenny takes a beat. Then he laughs too. How can a kid like Lenny not like a guy like Phil? Feeling totally comfortable with Lenny, Phil puffs himself up and starts to SING a boisterous rendition of "La Donna e Mobile" as he carries the bags in to the house.

La Donna e Mobile! Qual piuma
al vento...

©2000 Sweetland Pictures, Inc. and Sony Classics, Inc.

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All material, except where noted, ©1999-2012 by Norman Hollyn. Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Send me an e-mail at my office
Last Modified - October 15, 2012