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Rowhome for the Holidays: A Very Philly Netflix Holiday Movie 

–EXTERIOR: PHILADELPHIA - CITY BLOCK, DAY

 

FIVE DAYS TIL CHRISTMAS EVE 

 

Dirty snow is piled on the curb in front of a row of decorated houses. Unlit spotlights are positioned toward one front yard nativity scene: lifesize cardboard cutouts of familiar faces, covered with costume pieces

 

Mary is Aunt Mary Pat, draped in a bedazzled blue veil

Joseph is Brandon Marsh, holding a walking stick and wearing a t-shirt: “I’m Not the Stepdad, I’m Just the Dad That Stepped Up”

Baby Jesus is top half of Jalen Hurts emerging from a Wawa crate filled with hay 

 

–INTERIOR: KITCHEN, DAY 

MOM-MOM fusses at the stove while Action News plays on a small TV on the counter. Her daughter ELLEN emerges from adjacent powder room, wearing an interactive Advent calendar onesie with candy canes sticking out of the pockets. She’s affixing red and green tinsel eyelashes.  Thirtysomething CHRISTY runs down the stairs and joins them in the kitchen 

 

ELLEN: If Allegheny Mike wins best decorated SEPTA bus on Saturday, you know there’s something back alley going on. 

 

CHRISTY: Mom, your Festibus looks great, but you have to accept that Mike is the reigning champ of the Holiday Vehicle Competition for a reason. 

 

ELLEN: Ma, are you starting the seven fishes already? 

 

MOM-MOM: You think Christmas Eve dinner makes itself?

 

CHRISTY: Saturday’s going to be great. The SEPTA bus contest, Eagles play at 4:25, then the annual Christmas Eve tree lighting block party. And it’s supposed to snow! 

 

ELLEN: The only thing you’re missing is a date.

 

CHRISTY: Mom, please. 

 

MOM-MOM: I just hope that New York real estate jagoff leaves us alone. 

 

CHRISTY: He hasn’t been around in days. I think you scared him off for good, Mom-Mom. 

 

CHRISTY walks through the decorated living room and picks up a framed photo from the mantle. It’s her as a small child, making Christmas cookies with a smiling man 

 

CHRISTY (whispering): Miss you, Dad. 

 

She pulls on a hoodie and heads out front, removing a flier from the screen door handle: “Sell Your Home for Cash!” 

 

CHRISTY: Here, Louie. 

 

She tosses the flier to LOUIE THE POSSUM, hunched in the corner of the porch and gnawing on a pizzelle. He drops the pizzelle and starts chewing on the flier. Christy passes her Jalen Hurts nativity scene and waves to neighbor RICKY. He’s hanging lights on a statue of a naked woman in his front yard

 

MUSIC CUE: “Sleigh Ride” by the Ronettes 

 

CUT TO:

OVERHEAD SHOT: Christy driving on 95 toward Center City 

CUT TO:

–EXTERIOR: GOPUFF WAREHOUSE UNDER I-95, DAY

 

END MUSIC CUE 

CHRISTY and BENJI stand outside their cars in the delivery pickup line

 

BENJI: I was having a candy cane cocktail at Tinsel last night and I met this guy! We’re getting mistletoe mules tonight. If it goes well, I’m going to invite him back for spiced eggnog.

 

CHRISTY: Hm.

 

BENJI: Someone’s a grumpy elf today! 

 

A red ATV turns into the lot and idles its engine nearby. The ATV DRIVER glances over. He’s wearing no helmet and has a scraggly beard

 

CHRISTY: I just can’t believe I’m single for the holidays…AGAIN. 

 

BENJI: You have had quite the talent these past few years for picking the wrong men.

 

CHRISTY (sighing): And the ink to prove it. 

She shrugs off her hoodie to reveal the faces tattooed on her upper arm: John Bolaris…Ben Simmons…Jawn Morgan

 

BENJI: How did you meet that last one again?

 

CHRISTY (zips up hoodie): I don’t wanna talk about it. Classic case of someone misrepresenting himself. How am I going to trust anyone again? 

 

BENJI: Honey! Don’t give up! He’s out there.

 

CHRISTY: All I want for Christmas is not to be single anymore.  

 

Glint in ATV DRIVER’s eye

CHRISTY grabs GoPuff bag from the counter window and shoves it in the back of her car 

ATV DRIVER roars away under a sudden whirl of snow flurries

 

CUT TO:

–EXTERIOR: NEW YORK CITY OFFICE BUILDING, DAY 

 

MUSIC CUE: “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by The Suicide Machines

MONTAGE OF KENNETH IN OFFICE

 

KENNETH, an attractive thirtysomething in a suit, strides through a suite of cubicles...

He throws coffee at a terrified assistant…

Sits at his desk with a nameplate that reads “Winners win”...

Clicks “purchase” on an onscreen NFT of an ape wearing a sailor cap...

Hits a punching bag with signs taped on it reading “inner demons” …

Stands with hands on hips in front of a vision board reading “C-Suite Lyfe”. There’s a drawing of him standing on top of a house, holding stacks of cash… 

He laughs uproariously

 

END MUSIC CUE

 

CUT TO:

–INTERIOR: BOSS’S OFFICE, DAY

 

BOSS: These hangers-on in Philly are really chapping my hide.

 

KENNETH: The block for the condos? I thought all the homeowners agreed to sell so you could clear the lot.  

 

BOSS: I wore everyone down except one. I’m sending Frank to deal with the last holdout. (picks up phone)

 

KENNETH: Wait. Let me go instead. 

 

BOSS: I don’t think you’re ready, Ken. This old grandma, you can’t underestimate her. 

 

KENNETH: Let me prove myself. Give me a chance. 

 

BOSS hesitates

 

BOSS: Okay. I’ll send you to Philly. Convince her to sell by Christmas Eve, and I’ll make you vice president of the company. If you fail, I never want to see your face again. 

 

KENNETH: But, Dad –

 

BOSS: I mean at work. We’re still on for Vail. 

 

–EXTERIOR: CHRISTY’S BLOCK, DUSK 

KENNETH walks up the middle of the narrow street, talking on his phone

 

KENNETH: I checked in at the League, just Ubered to the house. I’ll keep you posted.

 

KENNETH stops and stares at CHRISTY’s nativity scene. He opens his coat and looks at paperwork titled “Sale Agreement”. He tucks it back in, prepares himself

At the end of the block, the red ATV from the GoPuff lot pulls up. ATV DRIVER smiles and runs his hand through his beard. As he tears off, snow starts to fall

 

MUSIC CUE: “Christmas in Hollis” by Run DMC


SLOW MOTION: The WHEELIE KIDS, about fifty kids on bikes, pedal around the corner and race toward KENNETH. He puts his hands up, plants his feet and refuses to move as they descend upon him. At the last moment, his annoyance turns to terror and he leaps to the side. He hits his head on an “I BUY HOUSES” telephone pole sign and rolls into the gutter

END MUSIC CUE

A GUY in a Randall Cunningham jersey runs up, takes KENNETH’s wallet from his pants pocket and runs off 

 

–EXTERIOR: CHRISTY’S BLOCK, NIGHT 

CHRISTY maneuvers car up the street through a vicious snowstorm

 

CHRISTY: What the hell?

 

She gets out and shakes an unconscious KENNETH

 

CHRISTY: You’re in my spot. No savesies. 

 

KENNETH struggles onto the curb as CHRISTY parks. She gets out of car as ELLEN walks around the corner from the direction of the el 

 

ELLEN: Allegheny Mike added three live French hens to his bus today. That’s gotta be against code. Who are you?  

 

CHRISTY (annoyed): He was in my spot like some kind of human folding chair. I told him we don’t do that on this block. 

 

KENNETH: I think I hit my head. 

 

ELLEN: What is that flimsy coat? Cashmere? That won’t keep you warm. Come inside, my mom’s making stuffed shells. 

 

Christy frowns. As they enter the house, streetlights blink and power goes out 

 

–EXTERIOR: CHRISTY’S HOUSE, DAY

 

CHRISTY’s car is snowed under. The block is completely covered in white

 

KAREN ROGERS (Action News voice-over): Power is back on across the city as we wake up to ten inches of snow from last night’s surprise storm! SEPTA is running and plows are out, but folks on streets too narrow for plows will have to wait for the snow to melt. It could be a while, as temperatures are projected to stay below freezing until Christmas Eve. 

 

–INTERIOR: CHRISTY’S HOUSE, DAY

 

KENNETH slowly opens his eyes. He’s on the living room couch, wearing pajama pants and a “Dallas Sucks” t-shirt. He sits up suddenly, reaches for his coat at the end of the couch, and pulls out the sales paperwork. He looks around, smiles slyly and tucks it back in

 

MOM-MOM (off-screen): Ready for breakfast?

 

CUT TO: KENNETH, MOM-MOM, ELLEN and CHRISTY sit at the table 

 

CHRISTY: Why are you wearing my dad’s old clothes?

 

ELLEN: Oh stop it, Christy. Ralph’s things were all we had that fit him. I ran yours through the wash, hon. (points to suit and shirt folded on side table)

 

KENNETH: They’re dry clean - ahem. Thank you.

 

MOM-MOM: It’s a sin about your wallet. You’ll sleep on the couch until you get your bank cards sorted. Then you can get the train back to  – where did you say you were from? 

 

KENNETH: New York. I come down every year to do my Christmas shopping. You guys have the best, uh–

 

CHRISTY: We have the best everything. And we hate New Yorkers. 

 

MOM-MOM: What do you do, Kenneth?

 

KENNETH: I’m in - nonprofit work. Yeah, I’m a real nonprofit junkie. 

 

ELLEN: Is there anyone you need to call? Wife? Girlfriend? 

 

KENNETH glances quickly at Christy

 

KENNETH: Ahem. No. Just me. 

 

ELLEN: Christy can’t get her car out, so she’s taking off from deliveries today. You can take the bus with her to get what we need for Christmas Eve. Get some candy canes for me, too, hon. (to KENNETH) My Festibus has a gingerbread house theme. 

 

CHRISTY: I don’t need help.

 

ELLEN: You can’t carry everything yourself! He’s going with you. 

 

MOM-MOM hovers over KENNETH with frying pan 

 

MOM-MOM: Scrapple?

 

CUT TO:

–EXTERIOR: CHRISTY’S BLOCK, DAY

 

KENNETH follows CHRISTY past LOUIE THE POSSUM on the porch. He’s wearing an elf hat and eating rock salt from an open bag. CHRISTY waves at RICKY brushing snow off his naked statue. Mailman ERIC approaches

 

CHRISTY: Hey Eric.

 

ERIC: Tell your friends to stop sending so many damn holiday cards.

 

A piece of mail drops from Eric’s pile. Only Kenneth notices. He picks it up and tucks it quietly in his pocket. They continue down the street

 

CHRISTY: We have a lot to get for the block party. (sighs) This is going to be the last one, so it has to be good. 

 

KENNETH: The last one? Why?

 

CHRISTY: Everyone except us is selling their house. They really don’t want to leave, but this developer guy, he just wouldn’t stop harassing them until they gave in. 

 

KENNETH: You know, you could probably make a lot of money selling this house. 

 

CHRISTY: So what? Money’s not everything. This is our home. 

 

Beat

 

KENNETH: So, you’re a delivery driver? Is that what you always wanted to do? 

 

CHRISTY: I never thought about it. It’s just what we do in my family. Dad drove for Tastykake…my mom drives for Septa… I drive for GoPuff. 

 

KENNETH: Maybe if you guys sold the house, you’d have some more options? 

 

CHRISTY (glaring): Who do you think you are? You show up in my parking spot and think you can tell me how to live my life? I’ll get the stuff on my own. 

 

She stomps off

 

KENNETH sighs, frustrated. He spies ERIC across the street and pulls mail out of his pocket

 

KENNETH: Hey, Eric. You dropped something. 

 

He runs over, hands him the card

 

KENNETH: Want some help? 

 

MONTAGE: ERIC AND KENNETH DELIVERING MAIL

 

CUT TO: 

KENNETH and ERIC sit on the front steps of the post office, Eric smoking a cigar

ERIC: It’s a Sisyphean task, the mail. 

 

KENNETH: Is that the Ayn Rand guy?

 

ERIC: Holding everybody’s secrets is a heavy burden. Who’s in prison…who’s in debt…all the communication from Bed Bath and Beyond. I know more about these people than they know about themselves. 

 

KENNETH: Christy said a lot of people on her block are moving. You know about that? 

 

ERIC: Christy’s Mom-Mom, she’s the only one who refused to sell. Of course, right now she’s focused on the Christmas Eve block party. That woman lives for the holidays. Spends all year getting ready. (shakes his head) I think if she realized Christmas won’t be the same next year with everybody gone, she’d give up on holding so tight to the neighborhood. 

 

KENNETH: Interesting.

 

ERIC: Hey, it’s nice having someone lighten the load during the holidays, man. The universe really brought me what I needed. 

 

KENNETH: See you tomorrow?

 

They fist bump
 

CUT TO:

–EXTERIOR: CHRISTY’S HOUSE, DAY

CHRISTY, frustrated, drags a stack of wreaths through the snow toward her house. KENNETH runs over

KENNETH: Hey, I’m sorry about before. Can we start over? Let me help you. Please.

CHRISTY (rolls eyes): Fine, New York. But if you’re coming with me there’s a stop we have to make first. 

CUT TO:

–INTERIOR: CLOTHING STORE, DAY 

KENNETH: What is this place?

 

CHRISTY: It’s called Forman Mills. If you’re going to spend all day with me, you need some real clothes. 

 

CUT TO:

Kenneth emerges from dressing room in sweatpants, sneakers, hoodie, and “Jawn” hat

CHRISTY nods with approval

MUSIC CUE: “Winter Wonderland” by Darlene Love 

CUT TO:

CHRISTY and KENNETH board a SEPTA bus wrapped in enormous angel wings. Inside the bus are “Reason for the Season” banners and a cluster of nativity statues including animals, shepherd and angel. CHRISTY greets driver CAROL 

CHRISTY: Carol, this is Ken. He’s in town for the week. 

CAROL: Ooh. Do you have one for me too?

CHRISTY (flustered): It’s not like that! 

CUT TO:

CHRISTY and KENNETH in line at Stock’s Bakery. KENNETH steps out of line to approach the counter

KENNETH: Do you have any whole bean single origin you could put on for me? 

 

CHRISTY (yanking him back to line): You don’t ask for coffee here! Stop embarrassing me!

 

CUT TO:

CHRISTY and KENNETH getting on another SEPTA bus decorated like a giant parking ticket, the inside full of electric candles. CHRISTY greets driver JEROME 

 

CHRISTY: I love the combined PPA/Hygge theme, Jerome. 

 

JEROME: Can’t compete with your mom’s! 

 

CUT TO: 

CHRISTY and KENNETH standing at exit door on JEROME’s bus

 

CHRISTY: You have to say back door.

 

KENNETH: Back door.

 

CHRISTY: What are you, in church? (yelling loudly) BACK DOOR!

MONTAGE OF CHRISTY AND KENNETH SHOPPING

 

CHRISTY and KENNETH board more decorated buses, CHRISTY greeting all the drivers… CHRISTY directs KENNETH toward the tinsel at Kindy’s Christmas Factory Outlet…

She orders the branzino at Anastasi Seafood…

Stacks boxes of panettone in KENNETH’s arms at Termini’s…

Deliberates over poinsettia plants on a table surrounded by merchandise in a gas station lot. KENNETH looks confusedly at a painted sign leaning against the table. It reads: “Holiday Flowers, Grave Wreaths, Team Shirts, Chicken and Rice, Notary”

 

CUT TO:

KENNETH and CHRISTY back in her neighborhood, sitting on a curb in front of a construction site. They’re surrounded by Dollar Tree bags and drinking hot chocolates. She opens a tub of Tastykake Holiday Cookies and hands him one 

 

CHRISTY: These remind me of my dad. He had this dream of expanding the Tastykake line of Christmas cookies…He made the most incredible gingerbread ones. We don’t know what happened to his recipes…We were never able to recreate them. (sighs) I’d give anything to taste his cookies again. 

 

KENNETH: My mom died when I was little, too. It’s just me and my dad.

 

They look at each other. Moment passes between them  

 

CHRISTY: We better get home. 

CHRISTY stands up and slips on an icy patch. KENNETH grabs her sleeve and tumbles to the ground on top of her. The hoodie has slid to the side, revealing her arm tattoos of John Bolaris, Ben Simmons, Jawn Morgan

 

KENNETH: What are those?

They both sit up. CHRISTY looks at the tattoos and sighs 

CHRISTY: Mistakes. And...reminders not to make the same mistakes again. 

 

Suddenly the house behind them, next to the construction site, collapses

 

KENNETH: Oh my God!

 

CHRISTY: Don’t worry. It happens all the time. Part of living in the neighborhood.

 

KENNETH: But why?

 

CHRISTY: All this development. Permits get rushed through, L & I can’t keep on top of it, negligence and safety violations all over the place. The developers hold their hands up when the contractors they hire dump their trash all over, and we have to live with it every day. 

 

KENNETH:  You seem to know a lot about real estate development in the city. 

 

CHRISTY: Well, I live here. I care. 

 

KENNETH: Hmm. 

 

CUT TO:

–INTERIOR: CHRISTY’S HOUSE, NIGHT 

 

MOM-MOM stirs something at kitchen counter while ELLEN and CHRISTY sit at the table 

 

ELLEN: Allegheny Mike has got twelve kids sitting on top of the bus drumming on Home Depot buckets. That can’t be legal. If he makes the cover of the calendar this year, I’ll throw a fit. 

 

MOM-MOM: I told you to do Dickens. People love a little Dickens.

 

ELLEN: I’ve got cinnamon air freshener…gumdrops glued to the pull cords…I’m giving out candy canes…But I’m still missing something. I can’t put my finger on it. 

 

CHRISTY is on her phone 

 

BENJI (TEXT): The spiced eggnog turned into Christmosas! He’s still here!

 

CHRISTY (TEXT): I have news too! I met this guy…he’s an annoying New Yorker, but…he’s cute. 

 

BENJI (TEXT): Honey!

 

CHRISTY glances into living room. KENNETH is on the couch, on his phone

 

BOSS (TEXT): You better get that signature by Christmas Eve. 

 

KENNETH (TEXT): I’m on it, Dad. I have a plan. 

 

KENNETH types into search bar: “Philly hauling companies remove decorations dead of night Grinch destroy Christmas”. CHRISTY comes in as KENNETH quickly puts phone away

 

CHRISTY: Wanna help fill cannolis?

 

CUT TO:

Cozy scene as everyone works in the kitchen, smiling and laughing. A Yule log flickers on the TV screen. MOM-MOM shows KENNETH how to pipe cannoli filling into shells. He smiles, enjoying himself

 

CUT TO:

–EXTERIOR: CHRISTY’S BLOCK, DAY

THREE DAYS TIL CHRISTMAS EVE 

KENNETH is helping ERIC with the mail 

ERIC: You ever hear of Narcissus? Now think about the photo Christmas card. You see where I’m going?

CHRISTY walks up to KENNETH

CHRISTY: Thanks for all your help yesterday. I was thinking…maybe today I could show you around a little bit more? 

KENNETH smiles. ERIC raises his eyebrows and takes KENNETH’s mail pile

 

MUSIC CUE: “Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande

 

MONTAGE OF CHRISTY AND KENNETH AROUND TOWN

 

CHRISTY and KENNETH board Carol’s Reason for the Season bus. She gives him a saucy look

JEROME high fives KENNETH as they board his PPA/Hygge bus

At Oscar’s Tavern. CHRISTY puts shot and beer down in front of KENNETH

 

CHRISTY: It’s called a citywide. 

 

They both take shots and a swig of beer, then clink cheers

 

MUSIC SEGUES INTO: “It’s A Marshmallow World” by Darlene Love 

They sniff candles labeled “Arctic Splash” at the Philly Christmas Village…

Skate at Penn’s Landing; Kenneth falls…

Have a flirtatious snowball fight under the el 

 

…At The InkWell 215, KENNETH holds CHRISTY’S hand while a tattoo artist covers up her arm tattoos of John Bolaris, Ben Simmons and Jawn Morgan. From the chair next to them, PHILLY TATTOO GUY ROB DUNPHY nods in approval

 

At Donna’s Bar, KENNETH performs “Christmas Rappin’” by Kurtis Blow on karaoke while wearing ELLEN’s Advent calendar onesie. Christy cheers

 

MUSIC SEGUES INTO: “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree (Trap Remix)” by StarBoy

 

KENNETH wears a Santa hat as he and CHRISTY dance with Dolly Parton Christmas drag queens at Franky Bradley’s

 

CUT TO:

–EXTERIOR: BROAD STREET, NIGHT

 

END MUSIC CUE 

 

KENNETH and CHRISTY stumble through the snow, laughing. They stop at the bottom of a streetlight

 

CHRISTY: You really never climbed a greased pole before?

 

KENNETH: Never.

 

CHRISTY: I’ll teach you. It’s easy. They’re already slicked up for Saturday’s game against Dallas. 

 

CHRISTY clambers up the pole, touches the top, and slides easily back down

 

KENNETH: Um, okay. Here I go. 

 

He attempts to climb… 

 

CHRISTY: Move your hands! Keep going!

 

He struggles… 

 

CHRISTY: You’re doing it! You’re halfway!

 

KENNETH: Agh! 

 

He slides down, falling into her. They look into each other’s eyes. Start to move in for a kiss. His phone rings

 

KENNETH (reluctantly): It’s my dad. He probably wants to know when I’m coming home. 

 

He moves out of earshot 

 

BOSS (voice-over): Where have you been, Kenneth? Remember what I said! You get that signature by Christmas Eve or you’re out of the company!

 

KENNETH looks at CHRISTY, happily making a snow angel in the middle of Broad Street. He sighs, troubled 

 

CUT TO: 

–INTERIOR: CHRISTY’S HOUSE, DAY

 

TWO DAYS TIL CHRISTMAS EVE 

 

MOM-MOM and KENNETH are baking in the kitchen, wearing well-worn aprons reading “Mrs. Lindros” and “Mrs. Rolen” 

 

MOM-MOM: I’m glad you were up for a baking lesson today. 

 

KENNETH: Christy told me her dad was a great baker. 

 

MOM-MOM: He was. (sighs) Christy’s had a tough couple of years. I haven’t seen her smile this much in a long time. 

 

She takes tray of ricotta cookies out of the oven as CHRISTY comes in

 

MOM-MOM: Let’s see how the rookie did on his first try.

 

She takes a bite, gasps

 

MOM-MOM: A natural talent! (She hugs KENNETH) Well, it’s time for my nap. Keep an eye on the oven.

KENNETH (to CHRISTY): Yesterday was fun.

 

CHRISTY: It was. Um…could I show you something?

 

He follows her down the basement stairs. CHRISTY removes a panel on the wall, leading through a tunnel to a secret back room. There’s a table laid out with a 3-d design of the city, covered with models of new bike lanes, community gardens, and rooftop farms. On the wall are maps, charts, printouts of legal documents

 

KENNETH: What is all this?

 

CHRISTY: It’s my hobby. Sometimes I get to thinking about a sustainable alternative to GoPuff that would reduce traffic pollution and keep profits among community members in a cooperatively owned system. 

 

KENNETH: Have you ever shown this to anyone?

 

CHRISTY: I couldn’t. My family - we’re drivers. They wouldn’t approve of me talking about bike lanes. I just…like to dabble. 

 

KENNETH: I think you should give yourself a chance. You’re incredible, Christy. I’ve never met anyone who sees the world the way you do. 

 

CHRISTY: I’m going to miss you, New York.

 

They look at each other. Slowly move closer. Kiss

 

CHRISTY: I have to go get more candy canes for Mom, but maybe after you help Eric with the mail, we could…go for a walk? 

 

KENNETH: Definitely. 

 

CHRISTY leaves through the tunnel. KENNETH pauses and looks over the model city. He’s lost in thought as he walks back up the basement stairs, and whacks right into an overhead shelf. Handwritten index cards flutter down to his hands. 

KENNETH: Christmas Spirit Cookies? What…? 

 

There’s a knock on screen door

 

KENNETH: Give me one second, Eric! 

 

He sticks the index cards in his pocket and runs upstairs, pausing at the door to pull out his phone

 

KENNETH (TEXT): Dad, I’m not going to do this. I’ll be back for Christmas. I’ll explain then. 

 

He opens door, happily greets ERIC and takes a mailbag 

 

CUT TO:

–EXTERIOR: PHILLY STREET, NIGHT

 

CHRISTY and KENNETH walk in the snow. They talk, hold hands, kiss under streetlight, tumble into the snow in a passionate embrace

 

–INTERIOR: CHRISTY’S HOUSE, DAY

 

ONE DAY TIL CHRISTMAS EVE

 

KENNETH wakes up on couch, remembers last night and smiles. He reaches for his coat and pulls out the sales paperwork. He’s about to rip it up. Someone starts banging at the door

 

KENNETH: Relax, Eric! I’m coming!

 

He hops up, coat and paperwork in hand, and opens door. BOSS is standing there

 

KENNETH: Dad!

 

BOSS: I knew you couldn’t get it done.

 

KENNETH hurries out onto the porch

 

KENNETH: You have to leave.

 

BOSS (grabbing paperwork from his hand): I’m here to finish the job.  

 

KENNETH: Dad, please! Let me show you something. (Pulls BOSS down to sidewalk) I had a plan, okay? I was ready to hire a junk hauler to take all their decorations away, just so Mom-Mom could see how devastated she’d be without community merriment on Christmas Eve! But I’ve changed my mind. These are good people. I can’t believe I ever considered ruining their Christmas and trying to ruin their lives. I won’t do it. And neither should you.

 

BOSS: This is a multi-million dollar deal. Get out of my way. 

 

CHRISTY comes onto the porch, holding an open tub of Crisco and a set of measuring spoons

 

CHRISTY: Kenneth? Mom-Mom wants another batch of - (stops and gasps). What are you doing here?

 

BIG BAD (waving paperwork at CHRISTY): My son may have been too weak to do the job, but I’ll change your grandmother’s mind soon enough! 

 

CHRISTY: You’re his son?!

 

KENNETH: Let me explain! 

 

CHRISTY (crying): I can’t believe I trusted you. 

 

She hurls the tub of Crisco at him, with terrible aim. It hits the top of the streetlight and grease drips down the pole. She goes inside and slams the door 

 

ERIC (walking up): Guess you’re staying with me, cuz. 

 

–INTERIOR: ERIC’S APARTMENT, DAY

 

CHRISTMAS EVE MORNING 

 

KENNETH sits next to ERIC on the couch, miserable. On TV, the California Raisins sing on “A Claymation Christmas Celebration” 

 

KENNETH: I’m going over there and explain everything. She has to listen to me.

 

–EXTERIOR: CHRISTY’S BLOCK, DAY

 

KENNETH approaches a chaotic scene. The neighbors are all on the sidewalk, gesturing to their houses. All the decorations, trees, and lights are missing. CHRISTY’S nativity scene is gone except for the Wawa crate, now empty. LOUIE THE POSSUM, wearing a chunky knit, sits on the porch with his head in his paws

KENNETH runs up to CHRISTY. She’s crying and hugging MOM-MOM and ELLEN 

 

KENNETH: What’s going on? What happened to your decorations? Where’s Jalen Hurts? 

 

CHRISTY: It’s all gone. Thanks to you. 

 

BOSS: MWA HA HA!

 

KENNETH looks over. At the bottom of the street, BOSS is standing atop of a pile of decorations on the back of a flatbed truck. He’s wearing a Grinch suit 

 

BOSS: And if you don’t sell, you can look forward to more surprises from me! (To driver, a WHARTON INTERN wearing reindeer ears) Now drive! To the nearest lot, to set fire and dump it! 

 

MOM-MOM shakes head, a tear running down her cheek. She turns and goes inside. CHRISTY takes ELLEN’s hand

 

KENNETH: Please, let me help –

 

CHRISTY (coldly): You’ve already helped enough. Just leave!

MUSIC CUE: “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley

MONTAGE: 

 

KENNETH sadly helping ERIC deliver mail, dogs barking at him

BOSS setting fire to decorations in vacant lot, laughing maniacally as WHARTON INTERN shrieks and covers head 

MOM-MOM, melancholy, cooking branzino

ELLEN in driver’s seat of her gingerbread theme bus, looking around, dissatisfied 

CHRISTY moping around the house in sweatpants, two pairs of thick socks, two scarves, and Oliver Twist-style fingerless gloves. She picks up photo from mantle

 

CHRISTY: I wish you were here, Dad. 

 

MUSIC SEGUES INTO: “Where Are You, Christmas?” by Faith Hill

 

CUT TO:

–INTERIOR: ERIC’S APARTMENT, DAY

 

KENNETH slumps over kitchen counter, chin in hand

 

ERIC: You gonna watch the Eagles game with me? Kickoff’s in an hour. 

 

KENNETH: Not in the mood.

 

ERIC: Sorry, man. I know you’re feeling like Orpheus right now. I wish I had the recipe to make things better. 

 

KENNETH lifts head

 

KENNETH: The recipe? That’s it!

 

He runs across the room, pulls the handwritten recipe cards from his coat pocket, and turns to ERIC

 

KENNETH: I need your help. 

 

MUSIC SEGUES INTO: “Run Rudolph Run” by Chuck Berry 

MONTAGE:

KENNETH furiously baking 

ERIC gathering bags of mail from post office and rounding up the WHEELIE KIDS

KENNETH leaving the apartment with tupperwares, slipping on ice, pushing children to get by, running as fast as he can…

…He arrives at the SEPTA Holiday Vehicle Competition at Love Park. CAROL, JEROME, ALLEGHENY MIKE, and more drivers stand in front of their buses.  Judge JIM GARDNER waves to the cheering crowd

KENNETH runs up to ELLEN’s bus

 

ELLEN: I’m sunk. Look at Allegheny Mike’s five golden rings! 

 

ALLEGHENY MIKE waves a hand laden with five Philly team championship rings as the crowd roars

 

KENNETH: Forget about Mike. And forget your candy canes. What your bus needs is a little Christmas Spirit. 

 

He hands her a cookie; ELLEN takes a bite. Tears come to her eyes

 

ELLEN: Ralph’s cookies! 

 

KENNETH: You can serve them to the judges. This is what your bus has been missing! 

 

CUT TO:

JIM GARDNER at podium in front of buses 

 

JIM GARDNER: And first place goes to Ellen for her Christmas Spirit Gingerbread House! 

 

ELLEN screams, hugging KENNETH. JEROME, CAROL and the other drivers honk and cheer. KENNETH hugs ELLEN back. He looks around the row of buses: a moment of realization. A tear runs down his cheek. He clambers onto the bike rack on the front of ELLEN’s bus

 

KENNETH: Everybody! I need your help! Follow me! 

 

JEROME: We got you. 

 

KENNETH clings precariously to the front of ELLEN's bus as the fleet of decorated buses speed through the streets, beeping all the way. ALLEGHENY MIKE’s bus still has twelve DRUMMER KIDS on top. KENNETH yells into his phone

KENNETH: Eric, we’re almost there! Get ready! 

 

The buses pull up to CHRISTY's block. The WHEELIE KIDS start carrying decorations from each bus and putting them up on houses. They bring CAROL’s nativity scene statues to CHRISTY’s front yard. Eric hands his mailbag to the DRUMMER KIDS

 

ERIC: You can keep any money you find. Just open all the cards and hang them up. 

 

ALLEGHENY MIKE removes his five championship rings and helps LOUIE THE POSSUM string them around RICKY’s naked statue

JEROME lines the sidewalk with electric candles

BENJI and an attractive man arrive, pulling a wagon with a punch bowl

 

BENJI: We brought Jingle Juice!

 

CHRISTY comes out of her house. A hush falls over the crowd. She looks at the newly decorated block and walks toward KENNETH, standing in the street near CHRISTY’s snowed-under car

CHRISTY: What is this? 

KENNETH: Christy, even if I can’t do anything more to save your house, I can’t go any longer without telling you I love you. Try a cookie. 

CHRISTY, frowning, takes a bite. Gasps

 

CHRISTY: Dad’s cookies? But how-

 

KENNETH: Three…two…one! 

 

ERIC flips a switch and the block lights up. The crowd cheers. KENNETH grabs CHRISTY’s hand

 

KENNETH: With your dad’s secret recipes and my newfound baking skills combined with your plan for a local business cooperative, we can start a cookie delivery company. I worked out the numbers. (produces printed spreadsheet)

 

CHRISTY: But my family- 

 

ELLEN: We had no idea you were interested in sustainable transportation, hon. We just want you to be happy. 

 

JALEN HURTS walks up, the entire team of Eagles players behind him

 

JALEN HURTS: Eric told us your Jalen Hurts got stolen…would you settle for the real thing? 

 

CHRISTY: Oh my God! (to Eric) You know the Eagles players? 

 

ERIC: I’ve handled some of their mail. 

 

Players nod

 

CHRISTY: But how’d you get here so fast from Dallas?

 

JALEN HURTS: It’s the season of miracles. 

 

CAROL (nodding approvingly): That’s right. 

 

JASON KELCE: Since we’re here… we’re working on a New Year’s follow up to our Philly Special Christmas album. Could we run something by you? 

 

CHRISTY: Please.

 

JASON KELCE, JORDAN MAILATA, and LANE JOHNSON step forward

 

JORDAN MAILATA (doing a vocal warmup): La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la.

 

KELCE, MAILATA, and JOHNSON (singing): Should auld acquaintance be forgot…

 

The rest of the EAGLES PLAYERS join in

 

EAGLES PLAYERS (singing): And never brought to mind…

 

Everyone joins in 

 

ALL (singing): Should auld acquaintance be forgot…and auld lang syne…

 

BOSS (off-screen): It’s too late!

 

He drags MOM-MOM over, waving paperwork over his head

 

JASON KELCE: We were singing, man.

 

BOSS: You can party all you want, but it’ll be your last! Mom Mom signed the house over! 

 

MOM MOM: He forced my hand! Literally, he dragged my hand over the paper. 

 

KENNETH: No! 

 

He steps forward

 

KENNETH: You’re not going to win this time, Dad. 

 

Down the street, an engine revs. It’s the red ATV with bearded ATV DRIVER. A gust of wind comes toward the crowd, blows the papers out of BOSS’S hand and whirls them to the top of the streetlight. It’s still greased from yesterday’s Crisco, and the papers stick to the top

 

LANE JOHNSON: Uh oh. 

 

KENNETH looks at Christy. She nods

 

KENNETH: I got this.

 

JASON KELCE: One, two, three, four!

 

JASON KELCE, JORDAN MAILATA and LANE JOHNSON start singing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”. KENNETH begins climbing the greased pole. He scales it, grabs the sale agreement from the top, slides all the way down and rips it into pieces. The crowd cheers 

 

BOSS: It doesn’t matter! She signed it, and everyone else did too! You’re all bound!

 

KRASNO #1 (off-screen): Not true!

 

Everyone turns to see a trio of guys wearing Three Wise Men costumes overtop suits

 

ERIC: It’s Krasno Krasno and Onwudinjo!

 

KRASNO #2: Actually, my name is Dlin. The other Krasno wanted to honor the original founder -

 

ERIC: Boring! Get back to saving Christmas, second Krasno!

 

KRASNO #2: Sustained. 

 

ONWUDINJO: Those agreements were all signed under duress, and we can prove it. You’ve got no case.

 

KRASNO #1: See you in court! 

 

They walk over to CHRISTY’s yard and stand in place with CAROL’s nativity statues 

 

CAROL: I knew I forgot something. 

 

CHRISTY: Now those guys seem trustworthy. 
 

BENJI (to BOSS): Your truck is getting towed. 
 

JEROME has hitched BOSS’s truck to the back of his PPA-decorated bus. The WHARTON INTERN is still in the driver’s seat in his reindeer ears, shrieking. JEROME drives away, pulling the truck with him 

 

BOSS: No! 

 

He runs after truck, pausing to yell back at KENNETH

 

BOSS: You’re fired! And you can forget about Vail!

 

MOM-MOM: What do you all say? Will you stay? Christmas wouldn’t be the same without you.

 

NEIGHBORS: Yes!

 

Everyone cheers and starts hugging. MOM-MOM, ELLEN and CHRISTY embrace

 

JASON KELCE: You said there’d be food?  

 

ERIC: Right this way. 

 

ELLEN turns to ALLEGHENY MIKE 

 

ELLEN: Do you like seafood? 

 

ALLEGHENY MIKE smiles, follows ELLEN inside the house with ERIC and EAGLES PLAYERS

 

CHRISTY and KENNETH look at each other

 

CHRISTY: So you’re staying, New York?

 

KENNETH (gesturing to ground): If you’re okay with me being in your spot. 

 

CHRISTY realizes: they’re standing right where they met. She laughs. They kiss. An engine revs. They turn and notice the red ATV

 

KENNETH: Who’s that? 

 

ATV DRIVER runs his hand through his beard, eyes twinkling. As he turns and roars off, snow starts to fall

 

CHRISTY: Was that - ?

 

JASON KELCE, JORDAN MAILATA and LANE JOHNSON poke their heads out CHRISTY’s front door

 

JASON KELCE, JORDAN MAILATA and LANE JOHNSON: It’s the Little Saint Nick, Little Saint Nick…

 

MUSIC CUE: “Little Saint Nick” by The Beach Boys

 

ZOOM OUT as Kenneth and Christy kiss…

The NEIGHBORS laugh, cheers their drinks and make merry… 

LOUIE THE POSSUM comes out the front door with the branzino in his mouth

 

MUSIC SEGUES INTO: “Merry Christmas Baby” by Jordan Mailata and Lady Alma

OVERHEAD SHOT: The ATV DRIVER zooms away through the neighborhood. As he passes the collapsed house, debris swirls together into a ramp. He drives up the ramp, launching into the sky and flying through the snow over the city. He looks into camera. Winks   

BLACKOUT 

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