FADE IN: EXT. A PRIVATE BEACH - DAY
This is an article from the Feb. 21, 1997 issue
The Pacific Ocean is Sani-Flush blue, lapping gently at
Gap-khaki sands. Seagulls reel, movie stars frolic. And vice
versa. From a distant hi-fi somewhere off-camera, Sinatra sings:
"The summer wind/Came blowin' in/From across the sea..."
I didn't fit in. Not at first. Not in Malibu...
PULL BACK TO REVEAL:
The full panorama of the tan-o-rama that is Malibu. In a single,
sweeping, wildly expensive helicopter shot, we race northbound
just above the Pacific Coast Highway, surveying Westec Security
signs that stand like steel daffodils in front of every
beachfront home, luxury sedans with license plate frames that
read I BRAKE FOR AUDITIONS, the MTV summer house near Zuma Beach
and the sun-dappled set of Baywatch. Finally, the camera swoops
back southbound above the glorious PCH...
You've heard of the Beverly Hillbillies? I belonged to the
Malibu-geoisie: A hopelessly middle-class slug, interloping
among the impossibly rich...
EXT. THE SUNDECK OF A $3 MILLION BEACH HOUSE
Looking up from the private beach, we see lavender-bikinied
LAETITIA, 18, dancing on the sundeck. She is slowly grinding,
like the teeth on a mental patient, to the music drifting out
from the hi-fi in the house.
...and beautiful. All the people here are beautiful: Malibu
Ken and Malibu Barbie...
Seeing that she's being watched from the beach, LAETITIA raises
her hands in protest, removes a stiletto-heeled shoe and throws
it at the camera. The camera pushes up past LAETITIA, still
dancing, and the screen is now filled with the deep-blue sky
above her. Up with Sinatra belting, "The world was new/Beneath a
EXT. THE BEACH
An aging CABANA BOY is squinting as he looks up at the sundeck.
When he speaks, we discover that he is the NARRATOR we have been
listening to. Blood trickles from a wound in the center of his
forehead. He is holding a stiletto-heeled shoe.
CABANA BOY (DABBING AT WOUND, TO CAMERA)
What can I say? She's head over heels for me. I am Cabana Boy.
At least that's what my roommates call me. All summer I have
shared this beach house with three vacationing swimsuit models.
Right, somebody has to. People say my life is a Bud Light
commercial. Or Three's Company. Except there are four of us...
NAVIA, 24, slides open the deck door and pops her head into the
living room, while BRANDI, 19, addresses the lazy, vain, stupid
CABANA BOY below. She is clearly fed up with him. Her tone and
the camera angle call to mind Mussolini speaking from the balcony.
Cabana Boy! We're out of towels!
CABANA BOY (TO CAMERA)
O.K., so I'm not so much their roommate as their manservant, a
professional cabana boy, beach lackey to the beautiful. My life
is really like The Flamingo Kid, except I'm no Matt Dillon. No,
I'm far better looking. Oh, and I'm old enough to be their
oldest brother. Though that's clearly impossible, because while
these ladies do come from the deep end of the gene pool, I,
Cabana Boy, am...
WIDE SHOT - LAETITIA is on the sundeck and CABANA BOY is on the
LAETITIA (IN FRENCH, WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES)
You, Cabana Boy, are something foul, skimmed off the surface by
the guy who cleans the gene pool.
CABANA BOY (BEAMING)
I never know what she's saying, but it always sounds wonderful.
CABANA BOY goes back to his work, planting tiki torches on the
I'll admit, this is the hardest time of year for a member of the
Cabanaero, the brotherhood of cabana boys: the last day of
summer. So tonight, we have the ritual last hurrah--the farewell
LAETITIA, leaping from the sundeck and diving into the surf. She
emerges after a moment and rolls onto the beach, so that she now
resembles a Shake 'n Bake chicken. She sunbathes for a bit, then
walks past the overheated CABANA BOY. As she passes, the tiki
torch he is holding spontaneously bursts into flame. A Steadicam
follows LAETITIA onto the sundeck, into the beach house and
finally to the shower, where she de-sands.
CABANA BOY, sitting on a love seat in the living room,
addressing someone who is just out of the frame...
She won't leave me any hot water. She never does. You notice
that? Cabana Boy has taken nothing but cold showers this summer.
Perhaps it's just as well. You know, sometimes I think you're
the only one in the house who understands me...
PULL BACK TO REVEAL:
A golden retriever yawning impassively on the love seat next to
We're out of snacks, Cabana Boy!
EXT. GROCERY STORE AT THE MALIBU COLONY PLAZA
CABANA BOY is shopping for the clambake. He lowers a whole pig
into his shopping cart, a pineapple, 30 bottles of Evian water.
The wheels of the cart go squeak, squeak, squeak...
DISSOLVE TO: EXT. THE BEACH - NIGHT
We still hear the squeak, squeak, squeak, but now the sound is
made by crickets. On the soundtrack, Elvis Presley sings
Cabana Boy, now that the summer is over, I think we can finally
tell you: You've made each one of us...
No, don't say it. [His eyes mist.] Brandi, you're a fine girl.
What a good wife you would be. But my life, my love and my lady
is the sea...
...sick. I was going to say, you've made each one of us
physically ill with your presence.
But CABANA BOY doesn't seem to hear her. We now view the
clambake campfire through his misting eyes. Everything goes
blurry, and CABANA BOY gets lost in a pleasant, nostalgic
reverie. The entire glorious summer passes before his eyes in
A quick-cut montage of happy scenes from the summer. As CABANA
BOY reminisces, the soundtrack plays "We had joy/We had fun/We
had seasons in the sun..."
The music stops abruptly, with the sound of a needle scratching
across a record. CABANA BOY snaps out of his daydream. He begins
to weep for the summer that is now over. His falling tears
extinguish the dying embers of the campfire.
EXT. THE BEACH - THE NEXT AFTERNOON
A horse's hooves trample over the blackened remains of last
LAETITIA, riding her beloved white Arabian steed on the beach.
Slowly, the camera pulls back to reveal...CABANA BOY,
following with a shovel. He is yakking, but LAETITIA is not
It hurts to say goodbye, ma chere, but we must be strong. It's
Labor Day, when all the cabanaero head south--to Brazil,
Argentina, the Caribbean--to find another gig, another
guesthouse. Me, I'm making for Mexico: Cabo, Cozumel, Ixtapa.
Doesn't really matter. A cabana boy makes his home wherever he
hangs his hairdo.
A long shot of LAETITIA, standing alone on the beach, her hands
interlocked as if in prayer, a look of ineffable sadness on her
face. This is goodbye. Slowly, the camera recedes into the
CABANA BOY (V.O.)
When last I saw Laetitia, she wore a yellow bikini. And a
heartbreaking look of immeasurable loss. I knew that look. I'd
seen it so many times before. It was a look that said...
On the soundtrack, Dusty Springfield sings "The Look of Love,"
from the motion picture Casino Royale. Up with the music as we...
EXT. SOUTHBOUND 405 FREEWAY - DUSK
CABANA BOY is riding LAETITIA's horse at full gallop for the
Mexican border. He is pursued at low speed by 12 black-and-white
Los Angeles police cars.
...a look that said, "I can't believe that guy stole my horse!"
INT. LAPD SQUAD CAR
COP (INTO RADIO)
Suspect is fleeing on a white bronco!
The COP's radio squawks back indecipherably. The audio dissolves
into a cacophony of frantic radio voices as we...
INT. PITCH-DARK ROOM
We see nothing and hear only a single manic voice on the radio.
We can now make out a hand in the dark, reaching to silence an
alarm clock radio. CABANA BOY rises slowly from bed, picks up a
tumbler of Tums from the nightstand, steps over an empty pizza
box and pulls up his window shades, flooding the room with white
light. Wearing only boxer shorts, he looks out the window and
rubs his eyes. A heavy snow falls outside his Minneapolis
apartment. There is whiteout as we...