200 Cartas Screenplay Leaked!

200 Cartas

200 Cartas, a film about the Nuyorican/Puerto Rican experience, is coming this September! You’ve probably already read this feature about the clever way the producers raised money to make the film through “product placement and brand partnerships.” Let’s not kid ourselves–bringing in corporate partners to support “the arts” is an essential strategy in today’s globalized economy. It’s actually getting to the point where we can’t even imagine art anymore without some friendly corporation “angel” footing the bill. Think of how much better classic novels like Don Quixote and The Catcher in the Rye would have been if Cervantes and Salinger respected the bottom line a little more.

Of course there’s a price to pay for this, but I think we can all agree it’s a small one. After all, to require that the making “art” have some sort of predictable performance in terms of ticket sales and profit margin is really not unreasonable. Product placement has been a staple of American cinema for decades, and I don’t think it interferes at all with the enjoyment of mass market film. After all, as Freud would say, it’s “subliminal,” and it’s about time films targeting us starting sending us a few hidden messages. In the case of 200 Cartas, rather than draw on our previously unprofitable cultural traditions, strategic alliances with companies like Banco Popular, Goya Foods, and Diageo liquors might finally create a space where we can celebrate our “bicultural identity.”

I know it’s going to be hard to actually sit still until 200 Cartas makes its debut in movie theaters this fall. But until then, I’ve actually obtained a leaked copy of the screenplay, and I’m going to share some of the excerpts from it here. Happy reading, and see you (standing on line at a theater near you) in September!

200 CARTAS

Written by

Banco Popular, Bacardí, Goya, and Diageo Liquors

Thirteenth Draft

08/04/13

SCENE 14 Fade up to RAUL and JUAN sitting in a club in the Upper East Side, making plans to travel to Puerto Rico. RAUL takes a sip of his drink.

RAUL

I know I’ve said this before, but this time I’m really in love.

JUAN

You’re right, you have said that before.

RAUL looks blankly at the bottle of vodka they were forced to buy as mandatory bottle service.

RAUL

This Ciroc vodka is really smooth. It’s French, right?

JUAN

Yeah, France.

RAUL

I just didn’t want to buy any Russian vodka, you know, there’s an anti-Putin boycott, right?

JUAN

No, the Russian vodka would be Smirnoff, which Diageo also distributes.

RAUL

Oh, good. Doesn’t Diageo also distribute Captain Morgan Rum?

JUAN looks at the scantily clad barmaid and sighs.

JUAN

Yeah, it turns out that in 2009 Captain Morgan signed a long-term lease to build a distillery in the Virgin Islands and terminated production in Puerto Rico.

RAUL

No joda!

JUAN

Yeah, Puerto Rico expects to lose $140 million a year as a result of the move.

RAUL

Fuck! Does that mean the economy in Puerto Rico is so messed up it won’t be a conducive atmosphere for my romance with Maria?

JUAN

Chill out, Raul. The rum thing isn’t the only reason the economy is fucked. Don’t sweat it, you still the mack daddy.

RAUL nods and offers up a toast.

RAUL

To amor…and rum—I mean, vodka. French vodka!

SCENE 38 MARIA goes to visit SANTERA to find out if RAUL is the right man for her. They meet in her storefront on Ashford Avenue in El Condado.

MARIA

Ay Santera, thank you for meeting me. Yo no sé que hacer con este hombre.

SANTERA

Mi hija, I always have time for you. But you know the rules, please pay in advance.

MARIA pulls a Banco Popular ATM card out of her purse.

SANTERA (CONT’D)

Oh, I prefer cash, but here…okay, you can swipe now.

MARIA

It’s just that he seems like a nice guy, but I’m just not sure.

SANTERA

Well, what does he do for a living?

MARIA

He works at a bank.

SANTERA

A bank! You know que esa gente son pillos! Can you believe Obama bailed them out? Y el se atreve decir que es uno de nosotros!

MARIA

Well…no. But I did sign a Move On petition against naming Larry Summers as the next chair of the Federal Reserve Bank.

SANTERA

Let me see what the caracol shells tell me.

With great fanfare, SANTERA tosses the shells on the table between them and reacts with great excitement.

SANTERA (CONT’D)

It says here that…what was his name?

MARIA

Raul.

SANTERA

It says here that Raul can set you up with a low-interest car loan!

MARIA

But, Santera, will he be faithful to me forever and be a good father to our children?

SANTERA snaps her fingers and flails her long mane of curly hair.

SANTERA

Ay, nena, you gotta get your priorities straight. By the way, your card was declined. Got another one you want to use?

SCENE 49 RAUL and MARIA relax on the living room couch in her apartment after sharing a meal that she made: bistec encebollado with rice and beans.

MARIA

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

MARIA smiles and moves closer to RAUL

RAUL

You’re so right, Maria. Did you ever see “Like Water for Chocolate”?

MARIA

No, art house movies kind of give me the creeps. I’m more of an “American Pie” girl.

RAUL

Oh. [smiles sheepishly] It’s nice to know you’re not…a snob.

MARIA’s brown and gray domestic shorthair cat suddenly causes a commotion by jumping on the kitchen counter and knocking an empty can of Goya pink beans to the floor.

RAUL (CONT’D)

My mother always used to cook these!

MARIA

Your…mom?

MARIA can barely contain her excitement, as she begins to stroke RAUL’s arms and their noses come so close they are about to kiss. Just then, RAUL grimaces and passes a small amount of gas.

RAUL

Uh…sorry, I….

MARIA

That’s okay, mi amor. I mean, being able to fart comfortably in your querida’s presence is a healthy sign of shared intimacy!

RAUL

I love it when you talk Spanish, baby.

The couple begin to make out on the couch, slowly, then more earnestly and just before the scene fades to black, the cat is seen with his entire head stuffed into the Goya can.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: