The Carmens

The lives of 3 women merge into one clever and comedic mix in “The Carmens”. Three very different women, with one name in common, end up working in the same office– and discovering that despite being such opposites, they are more alike then they ever would have thought.

 

The Carmens

A half hour comedy pilot

INT. MORNING. CARMEN MEDINA’S HOUSE

Vicente Fernandez serenades the comfortable, modest home from

the CD player. CARMEN MEDINA, an energetic, somewhat

melodramatic, Mexican-American divorce in her early 40’s

bustles around the busy home. She oscillates between each of

her twin 20 year old daughters, helping them get dressed and

ready for the elaborate wedding. CHRISTINA makes a beautiful

bride, her caramel-colored skin glowing next to her white

gown, her long shiny black hair in curls atop her head. Her

twin sister, MARINA a carbon copy of her sister, but sporting

a short, trendy, haircut, is a picture-perfect maid-of-honor.

 

CARMEN M.

(Fussing over her hair and make-up)

Ay, hijita. You are the most

beautiful bride I’ve ever seen.

CHRISTINA

Mom, stop already. Tia Yolie did a

great job.

(Glancing approvingly in

the mirror)

Don’t you have to finish getting

dressed yourself. Everyone looks at

the Mother of the Bride. You want

them to gossip about how hot you

look.

CARMEN M.

What they’ll be saying is: Pobre

Carmen, first her husband abandoned

her, and now her lovely daughters

can’t wait to leave the house. That

woman doesn’t deserve so much

heartache…

In walks MARINA

MARINA

Button me, por favor, Mami

CARMEN M.

(Pleased one of her

daughters needs her help)

(MORE)

I’m going to miss all this when

both of my daughters have left me

all alone.

CHRISTINA

Not this again! Come on Mom, it’s

supposed to be a happy day. No

puedes ser feliz?

MARINA

Anyways, the way Christina carries

on with that new husband of hers,

there’ll be plenty of grandchildren

running around this house, raising

hell, soon enough.

CHRISTINA

And the way Marina freeloads,

she’ll be back from Berkeley every

month so she can do her laundry and

have you cook.

CARMEN M.

Ojala que si. I want both of my

girls visiting all the time. This

will always be your home as long as

I’m here.

(Fussing with MARINA’s

hair now)

Hold still, just let me…

CUT TO:

INT. MORNING. CARMEN COLLINS’ HOUSE.

U2 plays faintly in the background of the organized, welldecorated

middle class home of Cuban American CARMEN COLLINS

and her Irish American husband CARTER. Carmen is a lightskinned

Latina with expensive blonde high-lights, impeccable

fashion sense, and no trace of an accent. In contrast to the

house we just left, the furniture and fixtures of this home

seem more for display than for comfort or function. As we

open, Carmen puts on earrings while conversing with Carter

who is watching ESPN.

 

CARMEN C.

We don’t have to stay long. I just

want to make an appearance and

offer my congratulations. Do these

look alright?

Not waiting for an answer she goes into her closet to select

a pair of shoes

CARTER

(Keeping his eyes on the

TV screen)

Whatever Hon. I have some work I

wanted to get to tonight.

CARMEN C.

Emerging from the closet with expensive shoe wear

 

I would’ve liked to take the BMW in

for an oil change and stop by the

Farmer’s Market– this damn wedding

is so inconvenient. I had things I

needed to get done today.

CARTER

C’mon Hon, it’ll be fine to relax

for once. You might get along

better with the other Carmens once

you hang with them outside the

office. Have a few drinks, laugh a

little, bullshit a little– you’ll

be one of the gang in no time.

CARMEN C.

I’m not really one for “bullshit”.

Besides, I just…don’t really have

much in common with them. Other

than a name.

(Yelling)

Aaron…Sadie– 5 minutes and we’re

leaving. I want TVs, computers, and

IPODs turned off and everything put

away.

CARTER

Three women, all named Carmen. That

must make for some confusion and

chaos around the office. Must give

everyone some comic relief on a

stressful day.

CARMEN C.

Wait till you meet them. The names

are the least of my problems. Too

bad I don’t have a sense of humor,

the comedy of it all is lost on me.

CARTER

You said they’re Latin like you.

That’s something.

Carmen makes a sour face.

I’m tellin’ you, take this

opportunity to get to know them a

little. They can’t be that bad.

Work will be run a lot smoother,

and be more entertaining, if you

get along with the other girls in

the office. Trust me.

CARMEN C.

I don’t know. Work isn’t

entertainment it’s about getting

the job done– and getting it done

well.

(Coming around a little)

But I guess, it wouldn’t be so bad

to have a few allies at the office.

I just wish I had more in common

with them. They’re just not really

my crowd. And I have a feeling this

reception is not going to be our

scene. I hope you ate a little

something like I told you to. You

might not like the food.

CUT TO:

INT. CARMEN AYALA’S HOUSE. MORNING.

In sharp contrast to the quiet, distinguished household we

just left, we open to a cacophonous sound track of hip-hop

music blaring, the TV playing, fan whirling, and noise from

the street below wafting in through the open window. Puerto

Rican CARMEN AYALA is a sexy, bold, impetuous young woman

with a coke bottle figure. A figure she accentuates with

tight clothes and plunging necklines. We see her in front of

the bathroom window with a colorful array of beauty tools:

lipstick tubes, curling iron, hair sprays and gels, eye

shadows, eyeliners and much, much more.

The phone rings

 

CARMEN A.

Curling her hair with one hand and reaching across the

bathroom sink for her cell phone with the other. She puts the

phone to her ear, almost burning herself in the process.

 

(To herself)

Shit!

Answering the phone

Yeah?

(Beat)

Nah, Girl. Afraid you’ll have to

fly solo tonight. Got plans

already.

(A few beats)

Wedding. You know I love me a big,

loud, Mexican wedding. They party

almost as hard as us Boriquas.

Booze, Dancing, and the food as hot

and spicy as the men.

(Beat)

Not my stilo. You know this. Why

bring carne asada to a barbecue?

I’m out for fresh meat tonight.

Something new. The catch of the

day.

(Beat)

Late.

Tossing the phone aside, she goes back to the business at

hand.

 

EXT. RESTAURANT PATIO. LATER THAT DAY.

An open air patio with a stage at one end, double class doors

at the opposite end, and a large stone fountain in the

center. Tables fill the long patio, and a mariachi band

provides lively music for dancing. Seated at one table is

Carmen Collins, her husband; and two children SADIE and

AARON. Sadie is skinny, eleven years old, with shoulder

length brown hair and light eyes. Aaron is a stocky eight

year boy with an inquisitive nature, glasses and dark blonde

hair. They look as if they stepped out of a J. Crew ad. At

the bridal family table is seated Carmen Medina and her twin

daughters. Our over-sexed Carmen Ayala is no where to be

found. The Mariachis have already begun to play, so everyone

is milling about. Some are at the buffet table set up along

one side of the patio;others are at the bar. A massive amount

of steaming Latin cuisine ranging from arroz con pollo, to

tamales, to plantanos, to a desert cake of Tres Leches and

more. Guests are beginning to mix and mingle. We open on

Carmen M. chatting with her daughter.

 

CARMEN M.

You made me cry, your toast to your

sister, so beautiful. You have such

a way with words.

MARINA

(Jokingly)

Making you cry, not so hard really.

Actually, I expected you to be

falling apart by now.

CARMEN M.

Ay, Marina. Is it such a crime to

love your daughters? You two are

the most important things in my

life. Now that your father has left

with that Puta, my whole life is

only for you two. You better

believe I’ll be a Llorona the day

you get married, too.

MARINA

Just don’t expect me to be into the

whole traditional, church thing. If

I do get married, it’ll be barefoot

on the beach or in a circle of

trees in the forest…

CARMEN M.

If you get married! Don’t say such

crazy things. You’ll give your

mother a heart attack. Of course

you’ll get married one day. You do

want kids.

Marina rolls her eyes, but changes the subject.

MARINA

The food is delicious, Mami. My

Tias and Abuela did such a good

job. I’m going to get more arroz

con pollo and some cake. I love the

way Abuela makes Dulce de Tres

Leches. It’s the bomb! Want

anything?

CARMEN M.

No, Hija. I’m fine. Gracias.

Scans the room nervously

But have you seen Carmen Ayala?

I’ve said “hello” to almost

everyone but her. She was at the

church…

MARINA

No se. Last time I saw her was at

the bar, flirting with the

bartender. She was drinking

Hennessey. Yuk.

Nods towards the bar set up on the opposite wall as the

buffet table.

CARMEN M.

Uh-oh. That girl is too much. No

tiene pena.

MARINA

She’s off the hook, alright. Last

time I saw her she was smoking a

blunt and drinking a 40 outside of

that Salsa and Reggae club I go to.

CARMEN M.

Ay, Mari, no fumaste eso?

MARINA

No, I didn’t smoke any weed. From

the smell, I’d say it was the good

stuff though. But don’t worry, I’m

not a smoker. I don’t need any help

getting hungry– or going to sleep.

Carmen M. is relieved. She smiles and rubs her daughter’s

back.

 

MARINA (CONT’D)

But I was recently reading on the

hypocrisy of the criminalization of

marijuana in this country. Do you

know many more driving deaths,

family violence, and addiction is

due to alcohol than to weed, but

alcohol is legal in this country

and marijuana is not. As a drug,

marijuana is much safer, for

individuals and society as a whole,

in fact…

CARMEN M.

Ya, Mari. Enough. Sometimes you’re

too smart for your own good.

PAN TO

A table where Carmen C. and husband Carter are seated. Both

children are gone, playing with the other kids.

 

CARMEN C.

I just have to say “hello” to the

                  Carmens and we can go soon.   

 

CARTER

Digging into a plate heaped full with food.

I don’t see why you would think

this would be out of the ordinary

for me. I’m Irish, remember? We

party hard, get loud, and drink

till there’s no liquor left. We

party like you Latins do. And we’re

Catholic just like you. I can’t

believe you thought I wouldn’t like

the food. It’s amazing.

CARMEN C.

Yeah, you’re on seconds and going

strong.

CARTER

Loosen up. Have another glass of

wine. Better yet– have a martini,

so I can drag you on the dance

floor.

CARMEN C.

I don’t like this music. But I’m

glad the kids are having fun.

CARTER

Everyone’s having fun. It’s a hell

of a party. I’m surprised you’re

not having more fun. You’re Latin,

didn’t you grow up with this music?

CARMEN C.

I’m Cuban. This is Mexican music. I

grew up listening to salsa and

merengue.

CARTER

Well, I never hear you play any of

that at home either. And why don’t

you ever cook like this for us?

CARMEN C.

Oh yeah, since I have so much time

to cook being a working mother with

two kids, a household to run and a

husband to take care of.

CARTER

Fine. But there’s plenty of food

here. Why don’t you eat some more?

CARMEN C.

I ate. But everything’s loaded with

carbs, and there’s lots of cheese,

and you know I’m cutting carbs and

limiting my dairy right now.

CARTER

Then, for God’s sake, Carm, have

another drink at least. Look at

them, they love the music.

We see Sadie and Aaron dancing around and laughing with some

of the other kids their age.

CUT TO:

INT. RESTAURANT INTERIOR. SAME NIGHT.

Carmen A. and a suave Latin bartender in server’s tux have

slipped into a small banquet room inside the restaurant. The

room is dark and silent, obviously not part of the wedding

reception.

 

CARMEN A.

I got the green, you got some

papers?

BARTENDER

No, but I do got a pipe. I’m like a

boy scout, Mami, I’m always

prepared.

Pulling out a small, wooden pipe from his pocket.

And some fire…

Materializes a lighter from the other pocket.

CARMEN A.

You mean you don’t have to rub two

sticks together?

BARTENDER

Don’t worry, Sweetheart. There’s

time for a lil’ rubbing too.

CARMEN A.

So, you think you can light my

fire?

BARTENDER

Mami, it’ll be like “Backdraft” up

in here.

CUT TO:

Carmen M. and daughter Marina are seated. Marina is eating a

slice of Tres Leches cake and drinking a glass of champagne,

despite being under the legal age. As with most Mexican

celebrations, exceptions are made on special family occasions

and children 18 and older are allowed to drink–a little.

 

CARMEN M.

I’ve never seen her so loose. She

usually has a look on her face like

she just got done sucking on a

lemon.

Nods to Carmen C., who, now that a reggae band is playing, is

swinging her hips “Dirty Dancing” style. Having taken her

husband’s advice to have a martini, Carmen C. is feeling the

rhythm and letting go of her usual reserved, polite nature.

Carmen C. puts the empty martini glass on a nearby table and

proceeds to fondle her husband as they dance. He is having a

great time.

CARMEN M. (CONT’D)

You know, I’m worried about the

other Carmen. Adonde Sea? I was

driving her home, I know how she

likes to drink, so I told her I

would give her a ride.

Just then Carmen C. spots Carmen M. and runs over to her

excitedly.

CARMEN C.

(Hugging Carmen M.)

Congratulations, Comadre! You must

be so proud! Your Christina makes a

beautiful bride. And this one

(Nodding to Marina)

So gorgeous, tambien.

Where’s that traviesa, Carmen? I

haven’t seen her all night.

CARMEN M.

No doubt up to no good.

Aaron comes up to his mother and taps her on the arm.

AARON

Mom, something smells really funny

over there.

Points to the doors that lead to the banquet room where

Carmen A. and her loverboy bartender escaped to.

Both Carmens exchange a knowing look.

CARMEN M.

(Sweetly to Carmen C’s

son)

It’s okay Mijo, we’ll check it out.

Carmen M. grabs Carmen A. and they hurry to the rescue of the

missing Carmen.

CUT TO:

INT. RESTAURANT INTERIOR. SAME NIGHT.

The two Carmens burst through the doors to find Carmen A.,

and a still on-duty bartender, kissing and groping through a

cloud of sweet smelling smoke.

 

CARMEN M.

(To the bartender)

Get the hell out of here before I

have you fired. Vaya!

CARMEN A.

Hey ladies. Helluv a party, huh?

CARMEN C.

What are you trying to do, get

arrested on your friend’s wedding

night?

CARMEN A.

Ain’t nobody getting arrested. I

was just smoking it, not selling.

CARMEN C.

C’mon Loca, let’s go grub. I

haven’t had plantanos con crema y

frijoles in forever. My mom used to

make ‘em all the time. It’s been

way too long.

The three Carmens, newly bonded, head back to the party hand

in hand.

FADE TO BLACK