The Anniversary Party script
Synopsis: In the next 24 hours, Joe (Alan Cumming) and Sally Therrian's (Jennifer Jason Leigh) roller-coaster marriage will go through an unexpected transformation - witnessed and abetted by their closest friends at an anniversary party that will not soon be forgotten. As the party games grow serious, what becomes clear is that Joe and Sally stand on the precipice of change, asking the questions facing all modern relationships.

FADE IN:

TIGHT CLOSE - JOE THERRIAN - MORNING

He's in his mid-thirties, his face relaxed in sleep,

childlike. Nestled soundly a tangle in the arms of his wife.

THE CAMERA STAYS CLOSE. SLIGHTLY BLURRED, SOFT, SLOWLY

SWINGS ROUND:

TIGHT CLOSE - SALLY THERRIAN

She's in her mid-thirties, with large deep eyes. She watches

her husband unguarded in sleep. Her pretty face, alert,

she's barely breathing. Traces the just visible lines around

his eyes, and mouth. Brushes fingertips against his

eyelashes.

TIGHT CLOSE - SALLY'S HAND PULLS THE BEDROOM SHADE.

It retracts with a loud WHACK, sun, sky, trees.

STEVEN (O.S.)

And breath...and chataronga...

EXT. POOL AREA - DAY

We're in the middle of a yoga lesson. Joe and Sally stand on

their mats. Steven, their instructor, wanders around the

couple issuing soft-spoken instructions.

A large room with hard wood floors, dominated by a huge

fireplace. The dining room on one side, living room on the

other. Floor to ceiling windows overlook the back porch

garden pool... The house is classic Neutra. All GLASS and

SMOOTH LINES.

The calm is broken by the telephone. Joe and Sally ignore it

until the answering machine picks up. They break their yoga

poses and listen.

The CAMERA hovers over the answering machine.

LUCY (O.S.)

(over answering machine; sweet,

British, slightly desperate)

Joe, it's Lucy. Remember me? It's the

black sheep here. Bah...not funny.

Haven't heard from you, need you, call

me. Love you madly. Hi, Sally. Joe,

I'd love to talk to you before I go...

JOE:

Go where?

LUCY (O.S.)

(over answering machine)

It's a damn nuisance you aren't here, big

brother. Sorry I drone on. I miss you.

I lo--

The machine cuts her off.

NEW ANGLE:

Joe and Sally have resumed their positions. This wasn't the

call they were waiting for.

WIDE SHOT:

AMERICA, forty-one, and ROSA, fifty, struggle up the steps of

the back porch carrying grocery bags and packages, come

through the sliding glass door...

THE CAMERA FOLLOWS THEM

Through the dining room and into the kitchen, watches the two

unpack groceries, flowers, etc., and start to dress the

dining room table. They speak quietly to each other in

Spanish.

JOE:

America, could you just...

America closes the sliding doors between the kitchen and the

dining room, giving the couple their privacy.

JOE (CONT'D)

(calls out)

Thank you, America!

STEVEN:

Okay, let's just take a deep breath, let

your ribs expand and relax. And reach up

and into downward dog.

Otis, the Bisenji/Sheperd mix, sleeping on his leopard

pillow, stirs, stretches and groans.

JOE AND SALLY:

Good boy, Otis.

The phone RINGS again.

VOICE (O.S.)

(over answering machine)

Hello, I have Dr. Harmon calling for

Sally Therrian.

Sally jumps out of the down dog position and runs to the

phone, all angles.

SALLY:

Hello, hi, hi...and? Thank God.

Sally stands with the phone to her ear, her back to Joe.

EXT. POOL AREA - CONTINUOUS

Joe watches her from his position, not concentrating on the

teacher waiting a sign. Sally returns to the lesson. They

do their handstands against the wall, on either side of the

front door.

SALLY:

No luck.

JOE:

Oh, well, we'll just have to try again.

Sound like a plan?

Sally nods, she and Joe, at Steven's instructions, come out

of their handstands and lie on the floor in a stretched

relax, facing one another.

SALLY:

Happy anniversary, baby.

JOE:

Happy anniversary.

They smile.

STEVEN:

And change sides...

America slides open the dining room doors. The dining table

is covered with bundles of freshly cut flowers. Rosa is

singing in Spanish.

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Jennifer Jason Leigh

Jennifer Jason Leigh is an American actress, writer, producer and director. Leigh began her career as a teenager in the 1970s, guest-starring on several television shows. more…

All Jennifer Jason Leigh scripts | Jennifer Jason Leigh Books

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"The Anniversary Party" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 24 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/the_anniversary_party_319>.

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