Affairs of State

Synopsis: A young campaign aide gets in way over his head when he sleeps with the wife and daughter of a presidential candidate only to end up bleeding out on the side of an empty road at night.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Eric Bross
Production: Grindstone Entertainment Group
97 min


[cheering, applause]

[Baines] Thank you! Thank you!

Thank you.

Thank you very much!

Thank you very...

Thank you, so incredibly

grateful to be here.

Thank you very much.

[crowd chanting]

Baines! Baines! Baines!

[rhythmic clapping]

[Baines] God bless America!

[crowd] Baines! Baines! Baines!

Thank you very, very much!

[Michael] History has proven that a

great leader can change the world.

For better or for worse.

Once upon a time,

in the not-too-distant future,

America was at war with itself.

Our political parties

had fallen into crisis.

An identity crisis.

And where there is war,

there are soldiers.

[man grunting]

And where there are soldiers,

there are casualties.

Mary Maple was once

the Magnolia Queen.

Yes, it's me.

Thirty years and 30 pounds ago.


- Michael.

- Yes.

Tell me about yourself,

what's your background?

Where'd you go to school?

I graduated from GW.

Hmm. What did

you major in?

Political Science with

a minor in Journalism.

What kind of grades?

Graduated with honors.

Cum laude.

Cum laude.

My goodness.

- Sugar?

- Oh, yes please.

[Michael] Mary Maple.

A very good person

to know in Washington.

So, how can I

help you, Michael?

Well, it's pretty clear

that Senator Baines

is gonna run for president.

If I can be anywhere

near that, I mean...

I could learn a lot

from the man.

Well, John is a good friend.

- Nothing is set in stone, of course.

- No, no, of course.

Rob Reynolds is unofficially

running the campaign.

I have heard of him, although I

haven't made his acquaintance.

Rob is also

a good friend.

He's the best at what he does.

Yes, he is.

Consider yourself invited to

the Maple Foundation event,

where my good friend John Boland

Baines is our guest speaker.

I'll even introduce you

to Rob Reynolds myself.

I'd very much appreciate that, Mrs.


Call me Mary.

Oh! My goodness!

Oh! My goodness!

Oh! My! Oh, darlin'! Michael!

Darlin', I need you...

I need you...

I need you to stop

for a minute.

Oh. Oh. Oh.

[Mary sighs]


- Hey.

- What?

Where'd you go?

I'm in here.


You know, I like you

better without it.

You mean you

don't like my wig?

No, no, no.

I like your wig.

I mean, here.


I like you like this.

[sighs] You do?

Oh, sugar, you really

are something.

[both chuckling]


Oh! Oh!

[moaning loudly]

[Michael] A little over a

year ago, at a lunch counter,

my boss,

Senator Lester Garret,

told me he had a pain

in his abdomen.

Less than two months later,

Lester died of pancreatic cancer.

I'd been out of work

ever since.

I had to make something happen.

I was on borrowed time

in a borrowed SUV.

That Judge Karl?

How did you get this?

Callie, Judge Karl

has a wife and kids.


And he's been

a judicial activist

against same-sex marriage

for his entire career.

Some of his legal language was

actually in DOMA, for Christ's sakes.

I mean, he's a hypocrite

of the highest order.

[Michael] Callie and I met when we

were both interning for Lester.

Yeah, but, Callie...

wife and kids.

Yeah, you're right, I can't

do that to the wife and kids.

[Michael] She's my roommate and

my best friend. But lately...

I'll blackmail him.

How much do you think

we would get?

Not much, honestly.


[Michael] She had quite

a collection going.

Most of those guys weren't

exactly big players, though.

The judge tape...

This was different.

You know,

in this little box...

is the real DC.

Yeah, and it's going to

stay in that box.

For a rainy day.

Speaking of rainy days...

umm, how we doing on rent?

[sighs] 'Cause, uh,

that's a final notice.

Yeah, we're probably going to

have to bust out the umbrellas.


[clears throat]

That was a gift

from Tanya.

Oh, how nice of her.

Did you ever consider

selling the coke?

Michael, I can't

sell a gift.

We have to pay rent.

I know.

[sighs] Whatever are we to do?

[Michael] This is

my friend Kevin Bidwell,

noted political journalist

for a noted political newspaper

whose circulation

was way down.

Who you f***in'?


[Michael] Kevin Bidwell,

former college roommate who

lived vicariously through me.

I wanna work

for John Baines.

I want a rim job

from Ann Coulter,

but that doesn't mean

it's gonna happen.

[Michael] It was like college

had never ended for Kevin.

All right, so what is it

you actually want, Michael?

I mean, let's say you...

you get the job,

and Baines became president?

Where do you see yourself?

Humor me.

I see myself running

for Congress.

And I see myself winning.

I'm officially humored.

You think I'm kidding.

Congress... I-- Are you even

a resident of any state?

Where's the Podunk town

you come from?

It's not about where I'm from,

it's where I'm going.


That should be your

campaign slogan.

Rob Reynolds will never

take you seriously.

What if I told you...

that Rob Reynolds is going

to have to take me seriously.

If it were me...

I'd go to Reynolds like

I'm doing him a favor.

Give him what I have,

protect my sources...

Does Callie have

anything to do with this?

All right, two things,

and I want you to listen

to me, very carefully.

Do not let Reynolds know

that you want to

run for Congress,

or anything else,

for that matter.

- And?

- And...

just be careful.

These aren't Boy Scouts

you're dealing with.


The Maple Foundation fundraiser.

An annual event to raise money

for Mary's various causes.

In this case, the cause

was the United Party.

Excuse me, sir.

[Michael] Rob Reynolds.

A wunderkind who had gotten

his first congressman elected

before his 25th birthday.

His tactics:

His resolve:

Rob Reynolds had

started a new party

and Senator Baines

was gonna be the face of it.

This is not about this year,

it's not about this election,

- it's about the next elec...

- Rob, darlin'.

Excuse me, gentlemen.

I wonder if you've

met Michael Lawson.

Michael is... Well, Michael...

Uh, Michael would do

anything to get onboard.

Oh, yeah, well,

good luck, Michael.

Uh, Mary.

[sighs] Don't worry,

darlin', I'll work on him.

[Michael] Well, Kevin had

been right about one thing,

Reynolds was never going

to take me seriously.

I had known that.

But Mary had kept her promise

and gotten me the introduction.

The rest was up to me.

Lydia Bowman. New Year's

Eve a couple years ago.

Senator Barr's party, you were

Rob Reynolds's assistant.

Executive assistant.

Of course, of course.


Lawson, yeah, I know.

Lydia, I was wondering

if maybe you...

- Oh, Michael, I'm here with someone.

- I know.

I was wondering if maybe you'd

give this to Mr. Reynolds for me.

Oh, I...

I thought...

- Now I'm embarrassed.

- No, don't be.

I knew you were

here with someone.

My great misfortune.

I'll give this to Rob.

Thank you.

- [applause]

- [Mary] Ladies and gentlemen,

my dear friends,

I would like to welcome you

to this party.

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Tom Cudworth

Tom Cudworth (born February 15, 1964) is an American screenwriter. He lives in Los Angeles. Cudworth grew up in an Italian neighborhood in Bloomfield, New Jersey. After studying filmmaking at Montclair State College, Cudworth co-wrote his first film with Eric Bross, entitled TenBenny, in 1994. The film featured one of Adrien Brody's first leading roles, and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1996. Cudworth's follow-up film Restaurant garnished critical praise, and was released at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival on April 17, 1998. Restaurant starred Adrien Brody, Elise Neal, David Moscow, Simon Baker, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, and Lauryn Hill (who performed in Restaurant while pregnant). In 2000, Adrien Brody received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his role as Chris Calloway in Restaurant. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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