'Red, Red Wine': A 'major motion' picture starring the Reluctant Townie

'Red, Red Wine': A 'major motion' picture starring the Reluctant Townie

Someday, when the moneymakers decide they want to make some serious money and thus produce a Lifetime Original Movie of my life starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as my head and Ryan Gosling as my body, the following incident, which occurred last week, will be presented as a pivotal moment in my character's dramatic arc:


JACKSON (whose dialogue will be handled by Philip Seymour Hoffman's face and neck), his WIFE (as portrayed by the sexiest contemporary actress available in Lifetime Movie Network's modest budgetary range) and daughter, THE KID (an evil CGI leprechaun), are gathered around the dinner table. A glass of WINE sits before each adult. It's a cabernet the wife picked up on her way home from work. (The wine brand — Cupcake — is not the kind Jackson would ever be caught dead purchasing but is exactly the kind he would drink in secret and like enough to worry someday someone might find out.)

The atmosphere is semiformal, despite the dinner's pairing of bacon and waffles — there are flowers, candles and a recently purchased tablecloth. The dinnerware is arranged in such a way that implies a feminine touch — or, at least, a touch more nuanced than Jackson's.

The Kid in the high chair indicates she is finished with her dinner by knocking over her milk bottle and throwing half a piece of bacon at the DOG (as portrayed by Johnny Knoxville). The wife stands to remove the high chair's food tray.


He knows he must act quickly, lest the tasty morsel upon his daughter's food tray be lost to the dog. He NINJA-SNATCHES SOMETHING from the tray but in the process BUMPS HIS WINE GLASS.

CLOSE UP: Slow motion. The glass teeters, totters and begins to hula-hoop. It is going to fall. The DEEP RED wine crashes against the inside of the glass, threatening to wash over the rim and stain the new tablecloth.

Reflexively, Jackson's other hand SHOOTS FORWARD to steady the glass.

But instead of catching it, he miscalculates and THUNDER-PUNCHES his wine glass with the force of 10,000 runaway semi-trucks. (Think "Black Dog" with Patrick Swayze, Meat Loaf and Randy Travis, times 11, minus the country music, with an extra helping of mullet.)


The wine glass launches forward into a serving bowl and EXPLODES. Red wine splatters the surrounding area like a crime scene — spraying the refrigerator, the tablecloth and The Kid with flecks of particulate matter.

The vase of flowers tumbles, spilling ROSES into the mixture of BROKEN GLASS and lost wine, while underneath, a RED STAIN spreads across the tablecloth as if it had been stuck in the belly and left to die.

There is a beat of silence.

WIFE: Did all of that just happen because you tried to grab food off your daughter's tray?

JACKSON: (silence)

WIFE: Was it bacon, at least?

JACKSON: Chunk of waffle.

WIFE: You know, that wine glass was part of a set we got for our wedding. It's supposed to be shatterproof.

JACKSON: I'm sorry that God cursed me with Dolph Lundgren fists.

Shaking her head in mild disbelief (perhaps because she's lived this moment before), Wife removes The Kid from her high chair and heads to the bathtub to wash the cabernet from its malevolent CGI leprechaun hair.

Jackson is left to clean up the destruction, while the dog SLOW CLAPS in the corner.

Musical Cue: "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day



Title Card: Fifteen minutes later.

Musical Cue: "All Star" by Smash Mouth

Jackson has cleaned the tabletop and surrounding areas. This means REMOVING THE TABLECLOTH and EVERYTHING ON TOP OF IT, then painstakingly reassembling the setting: the cutting board, the flower vase, fruit bowl, candles, the bottle of cabernet.

It was tedious work, and he is nearly finished. As he goes to replace the final piece — the CONDIMENT CADDY — a SUDDEN DRAFT OF WIND catches the caddy, which causes it to sway ever so slightly —


(Record scratch!)

Musical Cue: "O Fortuna" from the opera "Carmina Burana" by Carl Orff

As the bottle's contents empty onto the chairs and floor, Jackson FALLS TO HIS KNEES and SHAKES HIS FISTS ANGRILY at the HEAVENS.

JACKSON: Curse you, Cupcake Cabernet! Curse yooooooooooooooou!


— Excerpt from "KEEP TRYING, DON'T GIVE UP: THE SADLY TRUE LIFE STORY OF RYAN JACKSON," courtesy of Lifetime Movie Network. Copyright 2013.

Ryan Jackson shares a similar head density to Philip Seymour Hoffman and can be reached at thereluctanttownie@hotmail.com.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on January 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Philip Seymour Hoffman does have a big head compared to his height.