This is an outline I wrote for a movie idea pitch in 2011! (Originally I wanted someone like David Fincher to direct it, so that’s the tone I was going for, sorta thriller-ish. Looking back at it now I can see it’s got a ton of plot-holes and whatnot, but still an interesting read if you’re into action-y stuff!)
Logline: Two spies on separate missions (Brad Pitt-type and Tom Cruise-type) vie for the affection of a charming hotel owner (Keira Knightley-type). A love triangle forms. What will happen?
LOVE AND DEATH IN THE CINQUE TERRE
Brad and Tom are spies on different missions, each searching for someone (though neither know who exactly they’re looking for) as they travel separately through the Italian Riviera. Keira owns a hotel in Riamaggiore that both men happen to have rooms reserved at, at the same time. Tom arrives first, and Keira falls for him the second he flashes her a smile. He asks her if she recommends any dinner spots in town, she begins to recommend one, he cuts her off, and says, “Wait… Don’t tell me. Just surprise me when we go there together tonight.” She smiles, he returns it, and they make plans for eight.
Tom goes up to his room, opens his backpack, unloads a fold out machine gun and two pistols, and does some research on his highly advanced laptop. As he does this, we see that Brad has arrived. Keira can’t believe her luck, two studs at her hotel in one day. Brad is happy to see Keira as well. Before they even begin to discuss accommodation details, Brad asks her what she’s doing tonight. “Well… I’ve got some plans, but I might be able to meet you around… ten?” She says. Brad agrees, and she shows him to his room. As soon as she closes the door Brad opens his suitcase and reveals an AK-47, a sniper rifle, and two-dozen grenades.
At eight, Tom meets Keira in the lobby. She looks absolutely stunning. Earlier when we saw her working at the hotel desk, she was wearing glasses and sweatpants and a t-shirt, but now her hair and face are made up beautifully, the glasses are gone, and she wears a magnificent white gown that shimmers in the moonlight. “You look… Fan-tastic.” Tom says. Keira smiles shyly, they lock arms and Keira leads Tom to her favorite restaurant, hand over his eyes so it’ll be a surprise, not letting him look at anything until they are seated. She lifts her hand and Tom is at a loss for words. They have an ocean view that is absolutely magical, with the full moon and stars reflected on the water’s surface. “What do you think?” Keira asks, unsure. Tom brushes her cheek with his thumb and says, “Exquisite.”
They enjoy their meal. Tom orders a shrimp soup, and finds that the shrimp are still in the shell, which leads to many laughs between the two as he tries to figure out how to eat them. Mid-way through the meal Tom’s sunglasses start vibrating, and he excuses himself to the bathroom for a moment. Once inside, he presses a button on the glasses and a deep grizzly voice says, “You’re in the right place. He’s there.” Tom smiles, says, “Got it.” and heads back to his date.
They finish their meal, walk back, and say good night. But before Tom goes up to his room, he turns around and lays a sweet kiss on Keira’s trembling lips, and they continue to kiss for a few more minutes. “See you tomorrow sweet heart.” He says, and then he goes to bed. Keira smiles as she watches him walk away. She looks down at her watch and nearly jumps when she sees it’s 9:59. Right as Tom walks into his room, Brad emerges from the room next door. He looks down at Keira, “Right on time.” He says, and then slides down the stair railing. Keira nervously agrees and feels a bit awkward, but is put at ease when Brad approaches her, lifts her off the ground, and playfully carries her over his shoulder. They laugh for a moment and he sets her down. They stare into each other’s eyes. There is magic between them. But is it as magic as what she and Tom have? We don’t know yet, and neither does she.
“You hungry?” Brad asks. “Oh… Well, um…” She stumbles. “Yeah me neither… You ever swim around here?” Brad asks. “Not often, and never at night.” Keira says. “Well there’s a first time for everything. Isn’t there?” Brad says. We watch as Brad and Keira swim and play, naked, though not making contact with each other, so not sexual, in the beautiful nighttime ocean. Brad gets out to dry off, and as he walks towards the towels, we see he’s looking at a message on his hi-tec digital wristwatch, that reads, “He is there. All systems go.” Brad smiles, types a message back, “Clear. Thanks.” and he and Keira dry off, dress, and head back to the hotel. Brad tells Keira good night, and she holds onto his hand as he leaves. He turns looks at her for a moment, and then kisses her. She is torn, but then goes with it. They say good night, and Keira smiles as she watches Brad head into his room. What a night… Keira walks back to her place, but we stay on the hotel. We slowly begin to zoom towards Tom’s room, and as we get close, we see that there is a sliver of an opening in the window curtains, and as we zoom even closer, we see Tom’s eye looking through the sliver… He saw the whole thing.
The next morning, Brad awakes and makes a cup of coffee. He yawns and puts on a robe. He decides to see what the weather’s like, and when he opens the door he sees the words, ‘STAY AWAY FROM MY GIRL’ written on the ground in front of his door in blood. The sight makes him jump, and he spills coffee all over his robe. Brad goes back into his room and closes the door behind him.
Cut to Tom, waiting in the hotel lobby. Waiting… Where’s Keira? Cut to Keira, taking a shower, naked, lathering oil and soaps onto her body. Back to Tom. A few moments later, Keira arrives in the lobby, hair still wet, dressed in the sweatpants and t-shirt from the day before, but no glasses today. “Oh hello!” She says, happy to see Tom. “Hi.” Tom replies, a little standoffish, then adds, “I just came by to extend my stay two nights.” “Oh I’m glad you’ll be sticking around!” She says. “Yeah…” Tom says unenthusiastically, putting the money on the table and heading out for the day. Keira looks around, confused by the exchange.
A little bit later Brad walks in. “Hello!” Keira says. “Um… Hi.” Brad responds uneasily. “I’d just like to extend my stay a couple nights.” He says. “Oh okay. Maybe we can go out again tonight?” She asks. “Well… I don’t… I’ve got something to do tonight.” Brad says. It is apparent he’d like to spend the evening with her, but is worried about the message he saw in front of his door. “Oh. All right…” Keira replies. Brad pays and leaves, and Keira doesn’t know what to make of the two exchanges.
Meanwhile, Tom is standing on the roof of a building, wearing a bulletproof vest, machinegun in hand. He presses a button on his glasses, and we see his POV, a red dot walking across a map. Cut to Brad, dressed in a similar bulletproof vest, holding his sniper rifle, walking across the town. Tom props his gun over the side of the building, and as he watches the red dot move, he aims his gun at the spot near the bottom of another building, where the person that is the red dot should soon be appearing. Brad stops walking for a moment (we cut to the glasses POV of the red dot stopping, and snap back to Brad) and he says into his watch, “Activate radar jammer.” Then Brad heads up the stairs to the top of another building. We cut to Tom. “What? How could I lose him?” He says to himself. He presses a button on his glasses and says, “Activate radar mixer.” Now we see Brad, on the other roof, looking at his watch in confusion. Both men frustratedly sigh and lay on their respective roofs in defeat.
Later that day Tom heads back to his room. He takes off his vest, stows it and his gun away, and lies on his bed. He’s obviously had a long day. He dozes off, and is awoken by knocking on his door. He gets up and opens it, revealing Keira, holding a tray full of homemade food. “What do you want?” Tom asks drearily. “I just came to bring you this… I cooked it for you myself. It’s Sheppard pie and green beans. My old auntie’s recipe.” She looks at Tom with longing eyes. “Come in.” He says, and steps aside, letting her in and closing the door behind them.
Cut to twenty minutes later, they’re eating and laughing and enjoying themselves. “Listen… I really like you.” Tom says. “I really like you.” Keira replies. Tom thinks for a moment, and decides it’d be best to clear the air about what he saw the night before, “Can I ask you something?” he starts. Keira is about to answer when her beeper starts beeping. “Oh, gotta go. Got a costumer that needs something.” Tom sighs, but as he watches her go, he can’t help but feel a little cheered up.
Keira walks into the lobby and finds Brad leaning on the counter. “Oh hey.” He says. “Hello.” She says, not sure how to handle the situation, torn between the two men, though now favoring Tom. “It looks like my plans fell through for the night. Want to get dinner?” Brad says, not letting any threatening message stand in the way of potential love. “Oh… I, uh…” She starts, struggling with what to say. Brad makes a funny face, mocking her, and this makes her laugh a little. He does a silly, yet charming little dance, and she laughs more. The tension is eased and she’s softening up to him. At the same time, deep down, this just makes things harder. “So whaddya say?” He asks. “Oh, all right.” She says. This brings a smile to Brad’s face, and he wraps his arms around her. They embrace, and before they know it, before Keira can even think to stop herself, they begin to kiss. They begin to kiss deeply, and not five seconds go by, before a voice says, “What’s this?” Brad and Keira look up. Tom is standing at the entrance to the lobby. Keira lets go of Brad, but he’s still got his arms around her. “I… I’m sorry!” She says to Tom, and then looks at Brad and whispers, “I’m so sorry.” “Is that the man you were with last night?” Tom asks. “But— how did you— who told—” Keira stumbles. “Stop.” Tom says. “I knew it was too good to be true with you. If he’s the one that makes you happy, then be with him. Be with each other.” Brad looks at Keira, still holding her. “Is this man your boyfriend?” He asks. “No, we just—“ She starts before Tom cuts in, “No… We just had one beautiful dinner together. That’s it. The best night of— But you guys should be together. That’s the way it’s meant to be.” Brad and Keira look at each other, then Brad looks at Tom. “Well, thanks.” He says. Tom winks, “Don’t mention it.” The gesture is from the heart. He genuinely wants Keira to be happy, and he can tell Brad isn’t a bad guy. Brad smiles at him, and Tom smiles back. Brad turns back to Keira and they kiss. He then looks up at Tom, who is about to go back to his room, and says, “We were gonna go grab some dinner tonight if you want to join us?” Tom thinks for a second. “Well… I couldn’t… uh—“ Tom stops, and watches Brad, who has started to make the same playfully mocking face at him that he made at Keira moments before. Brad then does the same silly, yet charming dance, and it works again, Tom can’t help but start laughing. Keira sees and starts laughing too, and soon they’re all laughing together.
Cut to the three of them laughing and enjoying a nice dinner together at the restaurant from the previous night. Keira eats meatloaf, Tom eats pizza, and Brad hilariously has made the mistake of ordering the shrimp that Tom had so much trouble with the night before. The laughing settles for a moment, and Brad sweetly gives Keira a gentle kiss. Even though he wishes it was him Keira was kissing, Tom smiles as he watches this, happy for Keira, and for his new friend, Brad.
The three of them walk back to the hotel. Brad holds hands with Keira, and throws his arm over Tom’s shoulder in a friendly manner. As they arrive, before going their separate ways, they stand, looking at each other. Brad speaks. “To love…” he says, and then kisses Keira. “And to friendship.” he says, extending his hand to Tom, who gladly accepts and shakes it. “Come on, we can walk up together.” Tom says to Brad. “I’ll join you in one second. I just want to tell Keira good night.” Brad replies. Tom goes and waits by the stairs, leaving Brad and Keira with a moment alone. “Listen.” Brad says. “I love you.” Keira looks at him, smiles, and gives him a kiss. Brad wanted her to return his ‘I love you’ with one of her own, but this will do for now. He smiles at her and watches her as she walks to the lobby. Before opening the door, she looks over her shoulder and smiles at him, then disappears inside.
Brad meets Tom at the stairs. “What’d you guys say?” Tom asks, genuinely caring about their relationship. “It was all good stuff.” Brad says and chuckles. The men arrive at their doors. “Listen man, I can’t tell you how much I apprec—“ Brad starts before Tom cuts him off, “Don’t even mention it. After watching you two, I don’t regret my decision for a second. And hey, I made a new friend in the process.” Tom smiles at Brad, and gives him a wink. Brad appreciates this gesture, and returns the wink with one of his own. Tom enters his room and closes his door. As Brad opens his door and steps inside, he takes a look down at the ground, and sees that the message that was written there this morning, has faded away…
The next day Brad awakes to a beeping wristwatch. He looks at it and reads a message, “Must execute mission today, or all is lost. Will send photos later.” Brad hops out of bed and gets ready to take care of business.
In the room next door, Tom’s sunglasses vibrate on the dresser next to his bed. He wakes up, presses a button on them, and the same deep, grisly voice from earlier comes out, “You must finish what you went there to do, today. Have you seen the target man yet?” “Not yet, I came close yesterday, but then my radar got jammed.” Tom replies as he gets out of bed and slips into his mission clothes. “Okay, well we’ll be sending you some photos of the target shortly. This should help you to identify and take him down more easily.” “Exquisite.” Tom says and smiles to himself as he zips up his black nylon body suit, puts on the glasses, and cocks his gun.
Brad is dressed in a similar body suit, although his is burnt orange and maroon. He stands in the lobby, speaking with Keira. “Listen.” He says. “I’ve got some business to take care of today. I might not be back until late, but I will be back. Okay?” “Yeah.” Keira says and laughs. “Why so serious?” She asks, not grasping the magnitude of the situation. Brad cracks a smile and kisses her. “I love you.” He says and waits. She doesn’t say it back, but she kisses him deeply and passionately. “What’s this?” a voice off screen says. Brad and Keira look up to see Tom, just like yesterday, only today, they all burst out laughing. “Just the man I wanted to see!” Brad says. “Come here.” Tom says back, and waves him over. Brad goes to him and they hug. “You’re a good guy.” Brad says to Tom. Tom smiles at him. “Listen you guys… There are some things I’ve got to do today, so I might not be able to join you two for lunch or dinner. But I want you to know I really appreciate you guys.” Tom says. “Well I’m waiting for a… fax.” Brad starts, “Why don’t we all hang out for a little bit? I mean, if you’ve got time, of course.” He says to Tom and Keira. “Yeah… I’d love to. I’m actually waiting for something too.” Tom says and takes a seat. “Well, I’ve got to be at work actually.” Keira starts. “Oh wait… work is right here!” They all laugh at Keira’s joke (they’re in the hotel lobby where she works).
We watch a quick montage of them talking, laughing, and enjoying they’re time. Then, Tom and Brad both take a break from the conversation to look at the info coming into their sunglasses and wristwatch respectively.
Tom’s eyes go wide as he looks into his sunglasses. We cut to his POV. A photo of Brad. Brad’s eyes go wide as he looks at his wristwatch. We cut to his POV. A photo of Tom. It dawns on them… one of them is going to have to kill the other.
They reach for their guns. Tom has his out and pointed at Brad’s head, first. Brad has his hand on his gun, but it isn’t even out of the holster yet. Keira looks on in wide-eyed shock. Brad looks at Tom. Tom looks at Brad. They stare into each other’s eyes. A tiny smile of understanding appears on Brad’s face, and he gives Tom a small nod. Tom returns the tiny smile, gives Brad a wink… a tear rolls down Brad’s face… and Tom pulls the trigger, blasting Brad’s face and head to pieces.
Keira shrieks, Tom shudders, Brad’s headless body falls to the floor. Keira begins sobbing and runs to Tom, who wraps his arms around her and softly cries one solemn tear into her shoulder. “I love you.” Tom whispers in her ear. “I love you so much.” He says. Keira’s sobs slow down. She moves her hands from Tom’s back to over his heart. She stays like this for a few moments, her crying ceases, and she says, “Your heart beats in synch with the tides of life… I’ve always wanted to sail the tides of life.” Tom looks at her, then he smiles. Keira smiles back, and for the first time in the movie she says, “I love you.”
Slam cut to credits.
At the very end of the credits there is a bumper.
The bumper is Tom and Keira in the mission headquarters. The president of the company tells Tom the destination of his next mission. Paris.