King Of California

Synopsis: A fresh-out-of-the-mental institution father and his emancipated teenage daughter venture together on a quest for an ancient Spanish treasure buried beneath their local Costco in this take on the modern family and the American dream.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Mike Cahill
Production: First Look Studios
Rotten Tomatoes:
93 min

[Foot steps running]

[Girl narrating]

Technically, what happened wasn't my fault.

I'm a minor.

I'm not responsible

for my actions... technically.

[Alarm sounding]

- Where are you going?

- Running away. What does it look like?

- We gotta stick with the plan.

- No!

But these things should be taken

on a case-by-case basis.

In our case, I've always

been the responsible party.

- We gotta get out of here.

- Stick with the plan.

Oh, God.

[Girl narrating]

Someone had to look out for him.


Welcome to McDonald's.

Can I have a Number 1?

[Punching button]

Actually, can I have

a five-piece chicken?

Um, but instead of the Coke

I want a McFlurry

with extra Oreos,

and make sure

they stir it in.

And then a Number 1 with mustard, ketchup...

[punching buttons]

Pickles and lettuce only.

[Girl narrating]

When my father went away,

I lived alone in our house.

Which was not exactly normal,

but at least I had a routine.

Before, when he was home,

I could never exactly get comfortable

because it always felt like

something was about to happen.

- [Chuckling]

- What?

Oh, yeah,

it was so weird,

I don't know whether

I dreamt it, you know,

or heard it on the news.

Naked Chinese men

washing ashore by the dozens

up and down

Southern California beaches

at sunrise.

Boat people, you know?

The boat stops outside

the maritime limit,

they put their clothes

in plastic bags,

and they swim ashore.

Naked Chinese guys.

F***in' amazing.

[Girl narrating]

Naked Chinese guys?

Jesus Christ.

Don't people go to hospitals

to get better?

[Men chattering]

[Jack hammer rattling]

It would've been easier

if we'd just sold the house,

because the way

the market was,

we would've cleaned up.

But Charlie grew up

in our house;

he refused to leave.

Even though we were

barely getting by.

Before I was born, he had

already lived several lives

and managed to avoid

fatherhood for a lot of years.

I'm pretty sure my arrival

took him by surprise.

Once, when things went south

for Charlie in Saint Louis,

he had to pawn that bass.

He said that everything

really started to go wrong after that.

And they didn't start going right again

until he found it two years later

in a pawn shop in Atlanta.

He said things were

all right after that,

all evidence to the contrary.

[Charlie speaking

foreign language]

[Recorded female voice

speaking foreign language]

[Charlie repeating phrase]

Oh, sh*t!

[Speaking foreign language]

What's going on?

Great things.

[Girl narrating]

So, it was time to get back

on that ol' bipolar

pony and ride.

Naked Chinese guys.

Hee hee hee!

[Record static]

## [Jazz]

[Girl narrating]

Pepper and Charlie spent

years together on the road

with a five-piece jazz combo.

Once, after a club date

on the Kentucky side of Cincinnati,

Pepper ate so many pancakes

at a Denny's that the busboys

had to unbolt the table

to get him out of the booth.


lookin' good, man.

Lost some weight.

It's the chemo.


Hey, might as well

put that away.

I'm not playing anymore.

Some other time.

I'm not doing that,


Oh, it's a whole new


- Hello, Miranda.

- Hey, Pepper.

How are you, sweetie?

What the hell is that?


It's my uniform.

You got a job?

Aren't you supposed

to be in school?

No, wait. Wait a minute.

Wait a minute.

Is this Christmastime?

It's March.


Well, then, why aren't

you in school?

I had to give

school up, Charlie.

I had to make money,

you know,

while you were gone

for two years.


I'll be back around 10.

You working at night?

Rate this script:(5.00 / 1 vote)

Mike Cahill

Mike Cahill (born July 5, 1979) is an American film director and screenwriter. more…

All Mike Cahill scripts | Mike Cahill Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "King Of California" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 18 Aug. 2022. <>.

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